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New Rifle, may be a Challenge to find a load

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by FTK87, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. FTK87

    FTK87 New Member

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    Location:
    Chouteau, Oklahoma
    I picked up a new rifle at the gunshow this morning, then got to try it out this afternoon.

    Rifle: Howa M1500 .308 22" barrel
    Scope:Nikko Sterling 3-10X42mm

    3 shot 7/8" group @ 100yds, heres the kicker, with PMC Bronze 147gr FMJ(Cheapest brass cased ammo I could find)

    I'll be starting to work out a load next week, to bad my options are so limited, I only have 165gr Hornady SST bullets, and only RL-15 or Varget. Anybody have a clue where to start?

    Attached Files:

  2. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Moderator

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    That's not a bad problem to have! A gun that is too accurate with cheap ammo? :D

    Sorry, but I'm no help on your question. Congrats on your find, though.
  3. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

    Joined:
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    Ohio
    Nice group, beautiful rifle! I own a Howa myself and love it and the Nikko Stirling scope!

    My Hornady manual says:

    VARGET starts at 32.6 at 2100fps, max load at 44.0 at 2600fps.

    RL-15 starts at 35.2 at 2100fps, max load is 44.3 at 2600fps.

    Remember to start low checking for pressure signs every shot.

    Have you ever tried the Audette Ladder Test?

    Make sure you report back to display your hand-loaded groups.

    Be safe!
  4. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Varget is going to be a great, if not the best powder for your load. I use 44 gr of Varget, 168 BTHP with a CCI standard LR primer and get outstanding results. I think Speer shows a tad more than 44 gr for your max load on the 165's but trust only the data you read with your own eyes. Good luck
  5. FTK87

    FTK87 New Member

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    What is the Audette Ladder test?

    Yes, I have high hopes for the varget as well, thats why I bought a pound of it over the RL 15, it seems to be a little more finiky about accuracy, I couldn't get it to group in my .223, but it groups great with my '06. I've had great luck with varget in my .223 and '06.

    funny thing is, I had a Howa M1500 in .223, traded it for a pistol and some cash, sold the pistol and bought another howa. lol
  6. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    Audette Ladder Test

    I use this method every time I load develop. Only a few times did it take me more than 10 shots to find my load.
  7. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

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    Nice rifle & nice grouping FTK! :D It's fun to find a firearm that shoots well right out of the box. ;)

    On a side note; I never understood why some folks think PMC isn't worthy just cuz they're less expensive than most....:confused:.... I've burned through several thousands of PMC fodder over the years, (mostly small arms ammo) & even use their brass for heavy reloads & have never had any issues @ all. I haven't bought any lately, so maybe their level of quality has gone down over the years.... who knows.

    @ the Rifleman; thanks for the link to the Audette ladder test. Anything that might help to reduce the number of rds. it takes to sight in a firearm is a plus. :)


    SR
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I second the ladder test. Since finding it out, its the only load development method i use...
  9. oldreliable45120

    oldreliable45120 New Member

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    you cant go wrong with Varget.I use 44.5 with a 168 bthp in all of my tactical rifles with good results. If you can get your hands on some IMR-4064 give that a try.That is my go to powder for 308.I can get 10 shot 1/2" or less groups @100 yrds.
  10. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    i shoot imr 4320 outta my howa and had great groups. Enjoy the howa its a great gun.
  11. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    My .308 favors 150g Nosler Ballistic Tips ahead of Win 748 over everything else. Close behind it is 168g Nosler BTHPs with IMR 4895. It also shoots Fed Gold Medal Match (clones) pretty well. Very few rifles seem to dislike the Fed GMM so you might want to try those out too. Black Hills Match (I have that recipe as well) is a little too much for some rifles, but its a fairly hot load. Personally, I wasn't impressed with it, but you may have good luck with it.
  12. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    The biggest issue I have with the ladder test is you need more than 100 yards. Up until now (though this has recently changed) I only had 100 yards. At that 100 yards, I used this load development procedure. I'll give the ladder test another go round next time I need to work up a load (which will be soon =) ).

    I shoot 165 gr SST's as my hunting load in my .308. My remmy loves the IMR 4320 with them.
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I find the ladder test work exceptionally well with pistol load development
  14. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    I've actually never ladder tested beyond 100 yards; I want the difference in load to change my POI, not the wind.

    After I ladder test then I will go for a group at 300 to see how well I did. I've never had a 3 shot test group with any rifle be above .68moa at 300 yards, after ladder testing at 100 yards, including my 30-30.
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