Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by gipat18, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. gipat18

    gipat18 New Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Im very new to reloading, and will be reloading .308 and 30.06 to start. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to which powders, primers and casings I should use. I have a few manuals but they just seem push their own products. I will be using Nosler ammo but am open to suggestions on everything else. Any advice would be welcome......

  2. Archie

    Archie Active Member

    First: Read the beginning parts of the reloading manuals, not the loading tables. Read all about cases, bullets, primers and powders. That background will serve you well in all other matters of firearms.

    Next: Except for specific 'lemons', one brand of bullets, cases, primers or powder is about as good as any other. (Once fired 'AMERC' brand cases are an exception; they are universally avoided; steel or aluminum cases are not suitable for reloading, either.) But all the major brands are pretty decent as a rule. Norma cases are noted as being excellent quality. They charge for the quality. Some people will tell horror stories of brand X, while extolling the virtues of brand Y. Which may or may NOT mean diddly squat in your circumstance.

    You will probably be guided by what is available and what you can afford more than specific brand choice.

    Also, you will have to determine the purpose for your reloading. If you are loading only 'practice' ammo and will carry 'factory' ammo for serious purposes, then you can buy components of lesser price to duplicate the round for ballistics and gun function purposes.

    For instance, one may substitute cast lead bullets for expensive jacketed hollow point ammo for handgun practice.

    Then it gets complicated. Nosler makes excellent bullets, both for hunting use and accuracy. However, they tend to run higher prices than Speer or Hornady Bullets, for instance. One can use the less expensive bullets for practice, BUT they will generally shoot to a different point of impact than the Nosler (or each other) AND, due to the different internal construction, give different pressure levels. So, it is imprudent to simply change bullets and keep all other factors the same.

    More than likely, the same large rifle primers and the same gunpowder will serve. However, sometimes bullet A shoots well with brand X powder, while bullet B (same weight and shape) prefers brand Y powder. It just takes experimenting.

    For .308 or .30-06 ammo, you'll probably want to start with 150 to 180 grain bullets. Powders for these two cartridges run in the middle to slow range of rifle powders. You will want to look in your manuals and see which powder gives the velocities you think you want. Start with that and see how accurate you can get.

    Check the manuals and see what primers were used in the testing. Those primers will be a good place to start.

    I hate to sound like this, but in many ways you're on your own. Read the manuals, peruse the forums on the internet for other nuggets of information and start low. It really isn't that hard to stay safe and get decent results.

  3. 03fxsti

    03fxsti New Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    What Archie said. Plus load to accurate, NOT speed. Find a starting load and make a few. Test. Then modify if needed and test again. Often you will find that your most accurate load will not be the hottest load in the table. FWIW I find the 165-168 gr. .30 caliber bullets give the most repeatable accuracy. .308, and 30-06 are nice because they are so similar. Probably the two easiest, and most forgiving carts. to learn to load.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    + another. Read those manuals. Even though they push their own products.

    I load both of those rounds and I much prefer Lapua brass and Norma brass. But they are both quite expensive. A close second choice is Nosler brass. They are close in quality to Norma and Lapua but less cost. Most commercial brass os good reloadable brass.

    For powders, If you want 1 powder that will cover both rounds look no further than IMR 4895, H4895, and Varget.

    I by far prefer CCI primers to the rest.

    I tend to use alot of hornady bullets. 50 gr IMR4895 and a 155 Amax in the .30-06 is a modern M2 ball equivalent and my M1 Garand loves it, shoots almost MOA with the irons with it.

    Like has been mentioned, velocity isnt everything. Load and test for best accuracy, not best velocity. sometimes you get lucky and the fast load is the accurate load, but usually not. Remember a slow hit is worlds better than a fast miss. And since both the .308 and the .30-06 loaded to minimum pressure will still pass clean thru a whitetail at any conceivable hunting distance, top velocity is of little importance.
  5. noylj

    noylj Active Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    What guns are you shooting? Are the match grade and capable of sub-MOA accuracy or they commercial rifles capable of reasonable accuracy?
    Do you want to pretend they are benchrest or long-range target rifles or hunting rifles?
    You either will want to study all the supposed "accuracy-enhancing" techniques on the way to the holy grail of "consistency," or you will want to cover the basics and worry about "good enough."
    One can simply take cases fired in a specific bolt-action rifle and have hand-made dies made to produce rounds that just fit the rifle's chamber or one can full-length resize all cases, trim all cases down to the "trim-to" length, prime, pour in a known quantity of powder, seat a bullet and have fun shooting.
    You have to decide where you want to go.
    In general, if you want to load a .30-06 to higher velocities, get a .300 Win Mag. Don't abuse your rifles.
    I have only been loading for 45+ years and I have never loaded and shot a "max" load (though, a couple of loads turned out to be max/over in my particular gun).
  6. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    First off welcome to TFF and to the hobby of reloading.

    Without reading through the more than likely good advice others have already put forth to you, I have to ask...

    Just for starters, do you already have some once fired factory brass that you or someone has fired in both the .30-06 & .308 firearms that you're planning on reloading for? Even spent cases from other rifles of the same caliber you may have had previously may do. If yes, than that's your number one source for cases. If not, why not, just out of curiosity?

    Could you clear this part up a bit? You'll be using Nosler products in what context exactly? As ammo would indicate that you could then use the once fired cases for your reloading. If instead you meant that you intend to use Nosler bullets as your choice of projectile component for loading into your prepped cases then you shouldn't be referring to the "bullets" as ammo.

    I'm not busting on you, just trying to figure out at what level of overall firearms knowledge & experience you're diving into the world of reloading from.

    The stickies at the top of this forum and the book, the ABCs of handloading, are always good places to start learning about the handloading experience.
  7. gipat18

    gipat18 New Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the great info.

    I do have a ton of shooting experience but am very green to the world of reloading. What I meant by Nosler products is that I will be using their bullets and I have been saving my brass for some time.

    I will be using a Remington 700 CDL for both and will be hunting with both. They are very accurate and are just great guns.
  8. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Super, you're getting off on the right foot. A Nosler manual then would be a must buy for you but still read the "stickies" and getting the ABCs book would do you quite well.

    For jacketed bullets I'm mostly a Hornady guy but still use others including Sierra, Speer and for some bulk bullets, Remington. For solid copper bullets, Barnes has been my (pricey) choice but with Hornady getting in on the act, I'll eventually be using theirs. For the most part, I've always seen Nosler bullets as being just a bit too pricey for my needs.

    Good luck, be safe, and have fun loading.
  9. Infidel762

    Infidel762 New Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Go buy "The ABC'S to Reloading". Great book for all levels.
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