Reloading general questions.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by .308 shooter, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter New Member

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    I've been reloading my .308 for about 1 year or almost (still a newbie). I read the manuals and know the safety precautions and even went a little further to figure out the best COL for my gun.

    I've got about a 5" drop from 200 - 300 yards and I've been told by several people at the range "that's not right check your velocity". I have a chrono but haven't had the opportunity to use it yet.

    I haven't seen the Hogdon manual yet, I'm using Hornady, but I've been told the max. charge for my load is greater in the Hogdon manual than the Hornady manual. (I'm using Varget and 150 gr SPBT Hornady bullets - sorry I don't have the manual in front of me at this time to give the readings)

    My question is... if there is a difference - Do I use the powder manufacturer's manual or the bullet manufactureer's manual? I know I have to check the bullets for signs of excessive pressures, and the Chrono will help, but which is correct or safer?
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  2. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    There is no way of knowing except shooting which manual is right (for this gun). You have read how to detect signs of high pressure, just be careful, conservative and observant while you work up. Five inch drop from 200 to 300 yards does not sound excessive. Look at the ballistic tables or use a web based computer program, I'll bet it is quite normal.
  3. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter New Member

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    Thanks..... I miss typed the drop. It was 5" drop from 100 to 200 yards, another 5" from 200 - 300.
  4. RFL

    RFL New Member

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    5" from 100-200 does sound strange but if you go to Hornady's web page, they have a ballistics computer that you can use onliine. You will need your bullet information out of the manual. It's simple to use and can give you good information. As for the manuals, I find that most things out of the Hornady manual are pretty good, my chrono agrees with most of their findings. You will always have those variations from test barrels to the actual gun you are using but like others posts have said, you know what to look for in high pressure signs. If you aren't expreiencing those yet, step the load up until your chrono and you are satisfied that you have a safe round and it's performing how you want it to. A 308 shouldn't have that drastic of a drop out to 200 yards.
  5. RFL

    RFL New Member

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    One more question. What do the groups look like? Are you firing five shot test groups? What I'm getting at is, When I work a load up, as long as it's on the target, I don't worry about a bullseye. I want my groups tight and touching and the only way I get that is through experimenting with different powders and loads. Are your groups good at 100 yards and as they drop, do they still group well? There are a lot of other factors that play into reloading that can mess with performance. It could be that your gun just doesn't like to digest that particular bullet but I still think 10" at 200 yards is a little much.
  6. RFL

    RFL New Member

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    Wow 308 shooter, I must be getting tired. You said you typed it in wrong and I read it wrong. 10" at 300 yards might not be so bad, I'd have to look at the calculator but when you get it figured out, this is what I do. Since I shoot long range, I set my scope 3" high at 100 yards. I shoot a 22-250 and a 300 WSM so out to 400 yards, I don't have to do much in the line of thinking on an 8" target. As long as I can hold on, my gun will do it's part. It shoots far better than I do and a 308 has good performance in long range. Sorry about not being able to read and to many posts in a row. Hey there wOLVES, you and I sound a lot alike. You have a Thumler's that you have used for over 25 years and I also use the RCBS 1010 beam scale. Good luck 308, if you need help with the calculator, I'd be glad to get the figures for you.
  7. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    .308 shooter: Your chrono will NOT help you one iota in reading pressure and neither will bullet drop. Go back to your manual and read the "signs of pressure". I have several reloading manuals and all of them have a section on pressure signs or signs of pressure. If you are working off of a powder manufactures little leaf lit it will not have such a section but a full blown manual will. While you may already understand the following I still feel compelled to state it. If you sight your gun in at a point of impact at 200 yards it shoot high at 100 and low at 300. If you sight it in at a point of impact at 300 yards it will shoot high at 200 yards and even much higher at 100 yards than it did when point of impact was 200 yards.

    As for which manual to use some are more conservative than others and in my opinion none of the new ones will get you hurt. Some of the old ones if followed to maximum loads will show you all the pressures signs you would ever need to see.

    Ron
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  8. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter New Member

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    Thanks guys...

    RFL - I'll check out the Hornady calculator. That sounds interesting, I've heard there may be one I could down load to my iPhone as well. I may try that too, but I'll definitely check out Hornady's.

    Muddober - You are right... I know the chrono won't help with the pressure signs. I was talking about using the chrono to show velocity. I was thinking the velocity may be lower than stated in the manual and that's why I was getting the drop.

    I'm basing all this off the fact that when I first got my rifle, I was able to use my BDC reticle from 100 to 200 to 300 and so on. Now that I'm reloading it's not as "on target" as it was with factory loads. I get the same results with different powders - BLC-2 /Varget / Reloader 15. I also get the same results whether I'm shooting Hornady 168 AMAX or the 150 SPBT.

    I guess I'll just keep experimenting and checking for signs of pressure.

    Thanks for the info.
  9. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

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    Well, it's true that a chrono won't help with the pressure reading, but if you are getting 300 rem ultra mag speeds out of a 308 at least that's a sign you're a "touch over" the recommended pressures. Or even the other way around and getting 30-30 speeds out of it. But it would seem to me, keeping in mind that I don't have a chrono, that the loads out of the manual would be pretty close to what your gun is doing. Sure, it'll be off, but at least close enough to work with. I know that with my reloading I've been using the light loads for my 22-250, of which compare the posted velocities to factory .223 loads and it comes pretty close to what it actually does in the field trajectory wise. If you are using the light end, maybe find equivilent loads in a lighter cal for trajectory purposes.

    I don't know if what I said makes sense, but I hope that helps a little.
  10. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    The more correct manual to use is the one that has listed the components you have on-hand. Most importantly the bullet. If the powder manual only shows weight & jacketed it would be better to use the bullet manual that shows the particular bullet(and all other components you're using). It was proved that the same weight of 30 cal bullets made by different makers varried by as much as 10k psi in an established load. You could also have a ball powder load that's dieing out. What components are you using-cases,bullets,primers, powder?

    The great benefit of using a chrono to check your loads in your situation is that you may detect a barrel with a shot-out throat.
  11. .308 shooter

    .308 shooter New Member

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    Popgunner... I'm using mixed brass, shot approximately 3-4 times now. I've had to resize/trim once. I was using Federal 210 primers until I couldn't find them any more and now I'm using Remington primers. My powder varies from BLC-2, Varget and Reloader 15 - all of which are in the manual except BLC-2, which I called and Hornady and got the information from them on the min and max charges. I'm currently using Hornady 150 SPBT but I was using Hornady 168 AMAX. I'm pretty much getting the same results with both bullets. I was getting such a drop on the 168gr, I thought I'd try the 150gr instead. Not any better....

    It's just weird because I could use my BDC reticle marks when I first bought the gun using factory ammo and they were pretty much dead on. Now they're not - even with factory ammo. I've only got about 300 - 400 rounds through the rifle and I purchased it new.

    How do I tell if I've got a shot out throat?
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