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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting to reload my first rifle ammunition. I'm going with .308. I've got a book for data. Using 168gr boat tail. The data shows max. c.o.l. at 2.800" for that round. My measurement of my bolt action is 2.825" when bullet touches area close to where rifling starts and shoulder of case against chamber. I'm thinking of going 2.815" c.o.l. I have fully resized and trimmed the cases. My question is: Will I achieve greater accuracy by getting the bullet closer to the rifling even though I full length sized and trimmed? And, as the bullet is less seated in the case, should I consider a slower or faster burning powder? And any other suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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Only your rifle will tell you that. Some perform better with the bullet up to the lands, some like the bullet to have a bit of jump. Trial and error will tell.
You don't say what powder you're using to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Only your rifle will tell you that. Some perform better with the bullet up to the lands, some like the bullet to have a bit of jump. Trial and error will tell.
You don't say what powder you're using to start with.
Thanks, I'm still trying to decide which powder to go with; wondering if changing c.o.l. will play a factor in that decision.
 

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I always find a good load touching the lands or at max length that the magazine will allow. Then I will start adjusting the length away from the lands in .005 increments to find the sweet spot. From my personal experience, most of the time, that sweet spot is within the .020 to .060 jump area. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've started making .308 winchester with sierra 165gr hpbt #2140. 44gr. varget and br-2 cci primers. I'm using a hornady custom grade 2 die set in a rcbs press. I'm full length sizing, trimming to 2.005". The manual said to only screw the sizing die down to where it touches the shell holder. What I'm running into, is hard to close the bolt on ruger m77 gunsite scout. It seemed to me that I had to bump the shoulder back, so I screwed the die down just about 1/8 of a turn. So I just feel a soft bump right at the top of the stroke. This has helped. Some are chambering like butter and some are still stiff. I find that the best ones measure 0.336 at the neck, and 0.448 at the shoulder. Any larger in either of these areas makes the cartridge hard to chamber. Is .308 in a bolt gun usually this finicky, or am I missing something?
 

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The beauty of re-loading instead of shooting just factory ammo is that all the ammo you re-load is customized for that particular firearm. Trying different primers, powders, c.o.l. , different powder loads and bullet weights is how you know what each particular firearm shoots best. The fun part of all this is shooting all the different combinations and finally choosing the best combination. After that you only need to concentrate on those particular bullets, powder, primers and c.o.l.
 

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FWIW, "Chasing the lands" is the last step for me for finding "the load" for any bolt gun. For the first thousand rounds I reload for a particular bullet uses the bullet manufacturer's OAL. For my 308 Ruger I used 155 gr Hornady bullets, using Hornady data and after fiddling with powder, powder charges, etc., I got an average of 7/8"-1" groups. Tried measuring for "optimum OAL" w/Hornady's tool, but no improvement over my standard OAL loads...
 

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My good powders for mid-range weight pills are IMR4064 and Varget. Lee dies get turned in a little further.

Screenshot_20200922-111751_Drive.jpg
 

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I first experiment with different powders,charges, and different bullets (using published OAL for that bullet), until I find something that shows promise. At that time I will play with adjusting the bullet seating depth (after measuring my rifle with that bullet), trying for the best accuracy. Some rifles it helps, some not so much.
P.S. I don't like a stiff closing bolt on any of my reloads because I may use them for hunting also and I don't want to find one at that time that is stiff to close.
 

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Are you a Bench Rest Shooter? To my way of thinking that is about the only time that seating a bullet just off of the rifling becomes practical. I see you are loading 168 grain Match bullets, so obviously this isn't a field/hunting rifle. You may wish to reconsider your FL sizing. Bench rest shooters usually only neck size - then just enough to lightly hold the bullet in place. I've seen them pad their individual ammo boxes with tissue to perfectly protect their ammo to the range.

Sounds to me like you need to get more involved with the bench rest groups. They go crazy with everything and go bananas if they don't shoot one ragged hole groups. I had a friend years ago who was into that stuff. I reloaded for my Military Matches (and always did very well) - but he would put his nose up at my ammunition. He'd speak of 'coaxial measurements' or "orientation of the cases in the chamber" and I'd just return a blank stare. My powder charges were +/- 1/10th of a grain - his had to be dead on. To him my best M-118 and M-72 Match ammo was just so much practice ammo hardly worthy of being on the same range as his ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are you a Bench Rest Shooter? To my way of thinking that is about the only time that seating a bullet just off of the rifling becomes practical. I see you are loading 168 grain Match bullets, so obviously this isn't a field/hunting rifle. You may wish to reconsider your FL sizing. Bench rest shooters usually only neck size - then just enough to lightly hold the bullet in place. I've seen them pad their individual ammo boxes with tissue to perfectly protect their ammo to the range.

Sounds to me like you need to get more involved with the bench rest groups. They go crazy with everything and go bananas if they don't shoot one ragged hole groups. I had a friend years ago who was into that stuff. I reloaded for my Military Matches (and always did very well) - but he would put his nose up at my ammunition. He'd speak of 'coaxial measurements' or "orientation of the cases in the chamber" and I'd just return a blank stare. My powder charges were +/- 1/10th of a grain - his had to be dead on. To him my best M-118 and M-72 Match ammo was just so much practice ammo hardly worthy of being on the same range as his ammo.
Yes, that is pretty much the shooting I'm doing. Really I'm just trying to make a good round that will chamber without excessive bolt force.

Yes, that is pretty much the shooting I'm doing. Really I'm just trying to make a good round that will chamber without excessive bolt force.
I bought a headspace gauge today
 

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Doesn't sound like you know where your excessive force is coming from. Could be the shoulder and could be the bullet. If it's the bullet, you should see land marks on the ogive of the bullet. If it's the shoulder, most manuals say to turn the die to the shell holder and bit more. If your not doing that it could be you simply have a tight chamber and need the die in more. They call it over camming. Did it for years before I started partical sizing. Even with partical sizing to fit the case to a gun's chamber my require over camming the press. My though is it's one of the two. Good way to check just the case is after running it throught the FL dies and before adding a bullet, run the case through the chamber. If you feel it rub then you need to over cam.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited by Moderator)
Doesn't sound like you know where your excessive force is coming from. Could be the shoulder and could be the bullet. If it's the bullet, you should see land marks on the ogive of the bullet. If it's the shoulder, most manuals say to turn the die to the shell holder and bit more. If your not doing that it could be you simply have a tight chamber and need the die in more. They call it over camming. Did it for years before I started partical sizing. Even with partical sizing to fit the case to a gun's chamber my require over camming the press. My though is it's one of the two. Good way to check just the case is after running it throught the FL dies and before adding a bullet, run the case through the chamber. If you feel it rub then you need to over cam.
Thanks! I had already started seating the bullet deeper and came to the conclusion (with measuring) that it was the combination of shoulder, and neck. I started getting cases (without bullets to fit well, but after adding the bullet to a known good c.o.a.l., some worked, some didn't. I did not clean the inside of the neck, and I think that residue in there may have added to much girth to the neck after seating the bullet. I'm going to start cleaning my brass every time.

Thanks! I had already started seating the bullet deeper and came to the conclusion (with measuring) that it was the combination of shoulder, and neck. I started getting cases (without bullets to fit well, but after adding the bullet to a known good c.o.a.l., some worked, some didn't. I did not clean the inside of the neck, and I think that residue in there may have added to much girth to the neck after seating the bullet. I'm going to start cleaning my brass every time.
Also, I knew the c.o.a.l. was good, because if I loaded new brass they were all good
 
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