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CustomGunner910

Hand Loading Saiga .308 16" barrel

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So I wanted to share a little information I have found so far in hand loading for my Saiga .308.

 

I have a converted Saiga .308 with a 16" barrel. I use this information to load in bulk. I am much more exact with bolt guns or when making hunting/match loads. Always remeber to approach max loads cautiously as each gun is different. Start low and work your way up being mindful of pressure signs.

 

Due to the short barrel and my love for Hodgdon Extreme powders, I decided to try Benchmark which is the same powder I use in reloading for my .223/5.56 AR's. Benchmark is an extruded powder cut very short which allows it to meter VERY well out of my RCBS powder meter. It is somewhat on the hot side being about the same as H335 or just a little slower than RL-10. I tried 3 different bullets. For service type rifles including my M1A and Saiga .308, I prefer 147-155 grain bullets to ensure flatter trajectories and optimal ballistic performance. Generally, I like to keep my muzzle velocities >2600 fps so for .30 cal bullets greater than 155 gr., I use a .300 win mag :-).

 

I do not check velocities for each group during the ladder. I shoot several groups, increasing in powder until I find the highest accuracy node that does not show over pressure signs. I then shoot several groups of that load and chrony them.

 

1st ladder test results was with the 150gr Hornady FMJ-BT with cannelure.

Case: Remmington (R P) trimmed to 2.005

Primer: CCI-200

Seated to Cannelure with crimp.

Starting Grains 41

Max Tested 44.5

Results showed that 43-43.5gr gave most accurate results of 1-1.5 MOA at 100 yards

Velocity from chrony gave 2610fps with SD 15fps from 43 gr. Benchmark

 

2nd ladder test was with 147 gr. Winchester FMJ-BT with cannelure.

Case: Rem (R P) trimmed 2.005

Primer: CCI-200

Seated to cannelure with crimp

Starting Grains 41

Max Tested 45

Results showed accuracy node at 44 grains giving 1.25-1.75 MOA at 100 yards

Chrony results gave 2642fps with SD 23fps from 44gr Benchmark

 

3rd ladder test 150gr Hornady SP-BT with cannelure

essentially the same as the 1st ladder test results with same trim, primers, seating ect.

Best results found with 43 gr Benchmark giving 1.5 moa at 100 yards and velocity of 2590.

This is my hog hunting load.

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I've loaded some 223 and 40. Going to start with 308 and 9mm if supplies ever get back in stock. I guess your info is useless to me since I have the 22 inch barrel, correct?

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Tim, it should be very close to what you will want to use.

As all firearms are diff you will need to work up the best for you,

but it sound like a good starting point is 43 grains of Benchmark.

I use WAC 846

As I dont shoot target and I look for MOS (min of squirrel)nothing.gif

Edited by RED333

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Tim,

 

My brother has a VEPR .308 with a 20" barrel. He likes Alliant powders and for him we used RL-15. I made him a box of ammo while he was visiting beginning at 42gr. and ending at 45.5 gr. with the same trim, seating, and using federal brass and Remington primers. He has not checked the velocities yet but 44 gr. seems to work well while 45.5 is nearly a compressed load when seated and crimped which improves consistency.

 

Since I like Hodgdon powders, with a 22" barrel I might try a ladder test with Varget to squeeze every inch out of your barrel. I like the extreme powders due to reduced temp. sensitivity.

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