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Thread: .308 Reloading problems.

  1. #1

    .308 Reloading problems.

    Hi Guy's

    Advice needed...

    Just been trying out some new loads for my .308. using 168grn Hornady SST's loading 43grains of Varget, CCI Bench rest primers into Fedral brass.

    The problem I have is that there are no signes of ove rpressure but according to the Hornady manual I'm near enough at max load for the powder but I'm getting burnt powder residue on the outside of the case neck and shoulder of the case. I'm wondering if I'm not getting complete opturation and there are no signed os excessive pressure. In fact i can still see the B stamped on the CCI primer's.

    The question is:
    1. Is the black residue around the neck due to incomplete opturation and there for low pressure?

    2. Will this cause a problem in the long run fo rthe rifle in terms of wear in the chamber?

    3.Can I go past the max load in the book and if so to what?

    4. Is there another powder that's worth trying?

    thanks in davance for your help and advice.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    I think Pete has it about right, it does sound as if you are not generating enough pressure for obturation to occur, hence your dirty cases. You should try increasing your loads up to the indicated max as shown in the manual.

    What you have to bear in mind is that each gun is different and what is safe in one will be, or at least potentially will be dangerous in another. Therefore powder manufacturers when offering their suggested loads are always extremely careful to point out, that load development is the responsibility of each individual reloader and that by exceeding their suggested loads completely exonerates them from any liability. It is the legal eagles looking after their bosses. A by product is that as litigation has increased suggested loads have decreased, if you look in older manuals you will find the loads suggested being bigger than today's offerings.

    If you go beyond the suggested max, and you are not experienced then I would suggest you get a bit of advice from someone who is close to hand and knows what they are doing. What I am saying is no one can tell you the absolute safe load for your gun, it is individual and has to be found out by testing. Stick with the manuals until you know what you are doing.

    Changing the primer may have an influence, altering the bullet seating may also help. What about neck tension? would a little extra tension help? Have fun and keep us informed.


  4. #4
    Post a picture of your cases to show where they are blackened.

  5. #5
    Hi Jason,

    I use 168gns Hornady bullets and Varget powder, I have a number of manuals and they all seem to have conflicting views on powder weights? However I load to a max of 46gns as stated by Hodgdon data. Try this link mate, and follow the steps.

  6. #6
    Hi 300wsm,

    How do you post pictures?

  7. #7

    You have a PM reference how to post pictures.


  8. #8
    Cheers Steyr.308,

    hope this work's here you go pictures of some of the cases.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Jason, have you had any other concerns with the fired cases from your other reloads or commercial ammo?

    Like Pete E, I too wonder if you might have a headspace issue. As you probably know, there are a number of concerns around .308 Win related to the common misconception that it is the same as 7.62 NATO.

    It all depends on how the chamber has been cut. The following is from Ammoguide:

    The original cartridge was developed by the Ordnance Dept. of the U.S. Army in the 1940's through 50's under the name T-65. After extensive testing, it was to become the first NATO-adopted "standard" cartridge, the 7.62mm NATO, or 7.62x51mm.

    Winchester requested and received permission to introduce the cartridge commercially as the .308 Winchester. The result has been worldwide acceptance in a range of sporting firearms. However, the 7.62x51mm NATO and .308 Winchester should not be considered interchangeable. More on that below.

    Key differences exist between military and commercial designs, notably in the hardness and thickness of the brass as well as the external dimensions of the case itself. The shoulder and neck of the military design dictate they are farther from the rim by .013 inches (commercial spec shown above), resulting in a significantly different headspace situation between the two rounds. The combination of shorter commercial ammunition in the slightly longer military chamber presents a possibly dangerous situation due to the emergence of a gap in the mating of case and chamber shoulder surfaces.

    Even if military cases are shaped to the commercial chamber, it's reloading characteristics are different from commercial brass. The increased thickness of military brass results in more difficult sizing operations and reduces available powder capacity. This has the effect of increasing pressures when using military cases, with like charges. Also, primer pockets are likely to be crimped, complicating priming and de-priming operations. Nonetheless, some precision target shooters are careful to deal with these issues and prefer military "Match" 7.62x51mm cases, fire-formed to their chamber.

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