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Thread: What Powder?

  1. #1

    What Powder?

    All,

    I am looking to develop a load for a 125gr Sierra SP to be fired from a 20" barrel chambered in .308w.

    I have been using CFE223 for heavier loads however it will be too slow a burn and therefore a faster powder is needed.

    Does anyone have experience loading light bullets in the .308 and if so what powder performs well? Ideally I'm looking for something that is fairly stable with regard to temperature changes.

    Many thanks,

    J

  2. #2
    It depends on what you want from your 125-gr .308 loads.
    If you want a mild load for practice, use 4895, at about 41.0 grains.
    If you want 2,800 fps, same trajectory as a 150-gr, use 4895, about 43.0 grains.
    If you want 3,000 to 3,100 fps, use W-748, Ramshot TAC or N-140, about 100% case fill.

  3. #3
    Thanks Southern.

    I'd like to be pushing 3050-3150+

    I have had good experience with the SAKO 123gr game head rounds which I measured at 3050fps so I'm looking to replicate or better this.

  4. #4
    According to Quickload, 308 Win 125grain Sierra SP with CFE-223 at a C.O.A.L. of 2.7" with a 100% case fill at 53.56grains. Should give you a 95.8% burn in 20" barrel, 56,836 psi & 3069 ft/sec.
    Is that near enough?

    As always work up etc etc etc.

    Ian

  5. #5
    My fastest load with this bullet was 52 grains of BL-C (2), the max load according to Hogdon. I got 3200 fps from my 24" Sako varmint. The moderator suppressed what would otherwise have quite sensational muzzle flash from this slow burning, for the bullet weight, ball powder. if you do use this load work up to it and put a light crimp on the cases.

    i've moved over to N140 for availability reasons, not as much velocity but workable.

    IMO it's an urban myth that you get more velocity with faster powders in slightly shorter barrels than with slower powders, if that slower would give you better velocity in the longer barrel. IT's more to do with lessening muzzle flash and "ballistic efficiency", the latter irrelevant to sporting shooters.

  6. #6
    You can get 3,100+ FPS with a full load of IMR-4895 or H-4895, Varget and RL-15, just more easily with the powders like 748, TAC, and BL(C2), but they all require compressed loads for the top velocities, and your best accuracy may not be there. Don't know what you are trying to use this on, but you might want to look at the light Barnes bullets, like the 130-gr TSX and TTSX. Here is the latest Nosler load book page:
    Attachment 62174

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern View Post
    You can get 3,100+ FPS with a full load of IMR-4895 or H-4895, Varget and RL-15, just more easily with the powders like 748, TAC, and BL(C2), but they all require compressed loads for the top velocities, and your best accuracy may not be there. Don't know what you are trying to use this on, but you might want to look at the light Barnes bullets, like the 130-gr TSX and TTSX. Here is the latest Nosler load book page:
    Attachment 62174

    52 grains of BL-C (2) is an uncompressed but pretty full load in RWS and Privi brass, you may have trouble if you are using ex-mil brass but very few shooters do it here.

    as for accuracy I find that full case is better, rather than worse. I note that the most accurate powder tested by Mosley was also a ball powder with a pretty much full case.

    i found that h4895 maxed out at around 2950 and wasn't as accurate, of course it will be different for different guns.

    here is a target from the load before I started crimping to show how accurate it was, even with velocity fluctuations of 100fps

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	62175

  8. #8
    Just looked at the Ramshot data .pdf and it lists the Sierra 125gr SPT PH with a Min Charge of 45gr giving 2939fps and Max charge of 50.1gr giving 3198fps at 61381 PSI. This is with Ramshot TAC

    This looks like like it could work well. Only time will tell.

    I rarely stray off the Hodgdon/IMR path so thank you for making me look a little further.

    Now to see if it's in stock.

    What has the past UK supply history been like?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Grandhubert View Post
    52 grains of BL-C (2) is an uncompressed but pretty full load in RWS and Privi brass, you may have trouble if you are using ex-mil brass but very few shooters do it here.

    as for accuracy I find that full case is better, rather than worse. I note that the most accurate powder tested by Mosley was also a ball powder with a pretty much full case.

    i found that h4895 maxed out at around 2950 and wasn't as accurate, of course it will be different for different guns.

    here is a target from the load before I started crimping to show how accurate it was, even with velocity fluctuations of 100fps

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	photo1.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	59.1 KB 
ID:	62175
    Crimping is something I haven't done. What difference in velocity variation do you get when crimping compared with not crimping?

    If it helps, the bullet will be nowhere near the lands with this particular load.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Biathlonjimmy View Post
    Crimping is something I haven't done. What difference in velocity variation do you get when crimping compared with not crimping?

    If it helps, the bullet will be nowhere near the lands with this particular load.
    It dropped from ~100 fps to ~30 fps but this I was using magnum primers as recommended by most authorities for ball powder. have a look at my post on this thread for more: Primers - Federal or CCI?

    The reason it helped in this case is a combination of the very short parallel shank of the 125 grain bullet allied with the fierceness of the magnum primer.

    if you are going to crimp this bullet you need a lee factory crimp die as it works on bullets without a crimp groove and be very gentle with the press or you will ruin the concentricity of the round.

    incidentally, do you need the maximum velocity, what are planning to shoot with this combo?

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