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Thread: A "universal" 308 accuracy load??

  1. #1

    A "universal" 308 accuracy load??

    In general, you can never count on an excellent load for one man's rifle performing as well in another, but in my life I have encountered a few that seem to lean that way. I may have found another.

    In talking to three different 308 shooters about the up-coming load development for my AR10 autoloading rifle, I was mildly surprised to learn the all three of them, from different areas of the country, related the exact same load for 308 match shooting: A good 165-168 grain bullet over 41 grains of IMR 4895, loaded to fit the magazine. One of these fellows, down in the southwest, said that one of the top NRA High Power 600yard shooters he knows uses this exact same load when he is testing a new barrel. If it won't shoot well with this load the barrel is rejected. A local shooter I know loads only this one load for all 7 of his various .308 caliber rifles.

    I just thought this was interesting.~Muir

  2. #2
    That is very interesting Muir. One might even say that with that kind of consistency, a huge array of available rifles, a significant amount of easily available ammunition at prices at the lower end of the spectrum and you could have the 'ultimate stalking round'. As some of us already knew.

    I do not handload but have put the Sako 123grain gamehead through three different rifles with very different barrel lengths and it performed well in them all.

  3. #3
    It must be the sort of thing that ammunition makers need to try and do with factory ammo. It may not be perfect for any given rifle but it's likely to be good enough for most jobs.

  4. #4
    They say a 308 can shoot nails.
    Another magic load seems to be 44gr varget and a 150/155gr soft point or A-max. Which seems to
    work in most rifles.
    edi

  5. #5
    There are certainly "Pet Loads" out there for any number of cartridges, but it was revealing that these three men, who don't know each other, independently recommended the same load when I talked to them. Varget gets my attention as someone mentioned to me that a 175 grain bullet over Varget was the match load for he US Army so I'll probably be trying it eventually. I have a slew of 150 grain FMJ bullets so I'll give the 44 grain load a shot as well.

    The 308 is accurate. I have three of them and they all will drive tacks... well, two of them, at least. The AR10 is giving all indications of being accurate but has yet to be seriously tested at longer ranges. With iron sights, a 6# trigger and old eyes it will shoot 1" at 50M with PPU ball ammo so it's got potential, I think. I also have a Remington Model 700 Police Sniper (early 70's version) that has given 10 shot, 1.5" groups at 200M using pulled, surplus 173 grain military bullets loaded over 4064. The real gem is my personal 308 hunting rifle. It has a BRNO 98 action paired with an FN/Israeli surplus 308 barrel. With 186 grain high velocity cast bullets it shoots in the .3 to .5 MOA range for five shots. I have never had a round of jacketed ammo down the tube but I can tell you that when cast bullets shoot that well, jacketed bullets are going to be at least as accurate. This rifle and has accounted for several deer. As I'm writing this I am reminded that the best load I came up with for that 186 grain bullet was....wait for it....... 39 grains of IMR 4895.

    Funny how things come around full circle.~Muir

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ejg View Post
    They say a 308 can shoot nails.
    Another magic load seems to be 44gr varget and a 150/155gr soft point or A-max. Which seems to
    work in most rifles.i
    I agree. The .308 really does seem to be one of those few 'inherently accurate' rounds that are out there.

    Early on in my stalking career I was lucky enough to develop a load that would cloverleaf at 160m and stuck with it until the powder manufacturers discontinued the product. Maybe 'develop' is going a bit far, all I did was use their quoted book loading and briefly experiment with seating/COL!

    I'll give your load a go as the Reloader powder now on offer doesn't do it for me.

  7. #7
    I stick to 46 grains on N140 for a 155 bullet. Its is pretty muchabout a max load for the case albeit on my caes there is no pressure signs. An old target champion always reckoned the 308 shot best when the bullet was pushed hard.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    In general, you can never count on an excellent load for one man's rifle performing as well in another, but in my life I have encountered a few that seem to lean that way. I may have found another.In talking to three different 308 shooters about the up-coming load development for my AR10 autoloading rifle, I was mildly surprised to learn the all three of them, from different areas of the country, related the exact same load for 308 match shooting: A good 165-168 grain bullet over 41 grains of IMR 4895, loaded to fit the magazine. One of these fellows, down in the southwest, said that one of the top NRA High Power 600yard shooters he knows uses this exact same load when he is testing a new barrel. If it won't shoot well with this load the barrel is rejected. A local shooter I know loads only this one load for all 7 of his various .308 caliber rifles.I just thought this was interesting.~Muir
    There has been quite a lot written about this before. Ken Walters I think was his name who has written pets loads books. And Google Dan Newberry and Optimal Charge Weight he has written an Internet article on finding this sweet spot.

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