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.308 match reloading recipe?

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Hello Everyone:

 

I don't doubt this question might have already been asked, or it's something "everybody knows," but does anyone know how to replicate a Federal Gold Medal Match 168 gr. Sierra boat tail .308 cartridge?  

 

Obviously, it uses Sierra 168 gr. match boat tail bullets, but I don't know which powder is used (nor how much powder). what's the C.O.L.? I assume Federal primers are used too.

 

I ask because I've recently entered the .308 world with the purchase of a Savage 10 FCP-K bolt-action rifle. It's a cool rifle capable of long-range shots. I get the impression that 168 gr. bullets are prefered for .308 precision shooting, and Federal's ammo is highly praised. I actually found a store that had a few boxes of Federal's Gold Medal Match .308 ammo, but at ~ $26.00 per box I can't wait to load my own ammo one day  .... if .308 brass ever appears again. Four boxes cost $112 with tax. Ouch!

 

In the meantime, I plan to break-in my barrel with cheaper 150 gr. ammo. Can that still reach out far accurately?

 

Thanks! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Federal 168gr Match is most accurate in my Savage. 150gr still reaches out, but not quite as accurately.

 

Loading data?

 

Get Sierra's rifle manual. The match loading data for their 168gr HPBT match bullet is in there.

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While that specific load may shoot well in your rifle, reloading will allow you to fine tune a load that may shoot even better. Adjusting bullet seat depth ( COL) , as well as the powder, the projectile, and primer, as well as being able to grade your brass for more consistent weight, and therefore internal dimensional consistency, you will find that the sky is the limit for reloading your own cartridges, and making your rifle shoot better than you can hold it. 032.gif

 

 

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^ *like. *

 

Easy answer is to get the sierra book and start with Varget and work up toward max you will probably find best group about 98% from max by weight. Then play with COL, starting at .002" off of the lands. There are lots of guides on how to find this. You do not need to buy a special tool to find the COL for your gun. Just leave a neck un crimped and maybe a little on the loose side (flare it a bit more than you ought) Seat the bullet rather long, and chamber the primerless empty cartridge. This gives you a COL to the lands. (hopefully the bullet will slide back into the neck rather than stick.) make another dummy .001" Less, crimp, chamber, check col to see if it changed. If there are no marks from the lands, your measurement was good.

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I agree with all. Once you have tried for months you'll have a match round tailored to your rifle and it will shoot better if you are any good at reloading.

 

Id try cfe223, and h322. Those are pretty accurate.

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^ *like. *

 

Easy answer is to get the sierra book and start with Varget and work up toward max you will probably find best group about 98% from max by weight. Then play with COL, starting at .002" off of the lands. There are lots of guides on how to find this. You do not need to buy a special tool to find the COL for your gun. Just leave a neck un crimped and maybe a little on the loose side (flare it a bit more than you ought) Seat the bullet rather long, and chamber the primerless empty cartridge. This gives you a COL to the lands. (hopefully the bullet will slide back into the neck rather than stick.) make another dummy .001" Less, crimp, chamber, check col to see if it changed. If there are no marks from the lands, your measurement was good.

And this^^

You will amazed by how much additional accuracy can be found by just determining how much jump to the lands your rifle prefers. For .308, I load both 168 gr. SMKs, 175 gr. SMKs, and Hornady 178 gr Hornady Amax. Varget and 4064 have both consistently yielded sub MOA.

 

ETA.... The trick to determine optimal COL that GF referenced works well. Just remember that this method will only give you the optimum COL for the bullet you use in the testing. If you change bullet manufacturers or weight, you will need to repeat the process with the new bullet you want to use and record the COL on the box for future reference.

Edited by Spacehog
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I also really like CFE 223, but i haven't loaded with it (or anything) to extreme precision. I like it much better than varget, for several reasons, claimed superior temperature stability, the copper removal thing... But mostly becuase it never powder bridges. I was getting drops straight from the fast powder measure that were something like this made up example: 48.0, 48.0, 48.0, 48.0, 48.0, 48.0, 48.1, 48.0. I don't expect much better than that without trickling. 

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Varget is the best powder and most highly recommended for the Winchester .308  It is the powder of choice for many years of the AMTU, and all the M118s/Long Range mil spec .308s were loaded with 43.7 grains of Varget with the 175 SMK.  They use another powder now and I am not sure which one it is for sure.

 

Yes, years ago (many) it was the 168 SMKs:)

 

Here is the link to the Hodgdon site which has excellent data and they keep it updated:  http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/

 

Good luck finding premium rifle powder!!

 

Jack

Edited by JTE

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My rifles are in love with 168 gn MatchKings over 44.3 gns of IMR4064 with a Federal Match LR primer and a Federal or Lake City case.  That is for anything under 700 yds, but should be good out to 1,000M. 

COL will depend on your chamber.  I use a Redding seating die that is micro-adjustable and I seat 'em long in bolt guns.  The mag determines the COL on Autos.  I have a different depths for my Rem 700, Win 70, Savage 110 and Saiga.  Just a heads up.  I load single stage and the Saiga (and most other auto loaders) have a more generous chamber.  Makes it tougher to full-length resize to fit back into a precision bolt gun with a tighter chamber.  I usually sort brass for auto vs bolt gun)..  I'll weigh each bullet in a box and sort by .5 grain incriments, when I am wanting 50 or 100 rds or REALLY tight stuff.  A Powder trickler and scale really help with the charge too.

Cleaning the primer pocket also seems to help a little..

 

Macbeau...

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Do you uniform the flash holes too? Some people say that can make a bigger difference than some of the other tricks. I haven't gone that far, but I do trim every time.

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I am thinking that unless you are shooting a multi-thousand dollar bolt gun, designed for extremely long range precision target shooting, messing with the primer holes is just an added extra step that will yield negligible results in the typical shooter platform.  Have I done it? YES! Have I noticed any difference ?? NOPE.

I dont even ream the primer pockets anymore. ( unless they are stupid dirty, or somehow buggered up...)

Everything I have read on the subject tells me that for MY particular rifles... its just NOT going to be worth the time or effort put into it, for the miniscule amount you will gain.

My brass is tumbled, sorted by head stamp ( yes, EVERY ROUND is sorted!!! grouping by headstamp will allow you to have more consistent internal case capacity/dimension, which WILL give noticeable differences!) Checked for proper trim-to length, trimmed if needed, inner and outer case mouth chamfered, and then loaded to whatever flavor of the week I feel froggy with. 032.gif

 

Using more consistent primers has given me better groups than messing with the primer pockets/flash holes.  CCI benchrest, is my typical go-to primer for almost ALL of my centerfire loading, if I want it to mean something. If I just want " plinking ammo" THEN I will use a standard large or small rifle primer. mind you... the benefits are not huge... but I HAVE been able to notice more consistent group sizes with the SAME loads, with the different primers... maybe a half inch to a quarter inch difference at 100... but enough that you can say " yeah, the benchrest was the 'better' primer for this load."

 

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I don't doubt this question might have already been asked, or it's something "everybody knows," but does anyone know how to replicate a Federal Gold Medal Match 168 gr. Sierra boat tail .308 cartridge??????

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I don't doubt this question might have already been asked, or it's something "everybody knows," but does anyone know how to replicate a Federal Gold Medal Match 168 gr. Sierra boat tail .308 cartridge??????

Sierra's reloading manual will tell you all you need to know.

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