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Thread: Ramshot Tac + 168grain A-max Problems!

  1. #1

    Ramshot Tac + 168grain A-max Problems!

    Hi all

    40-44g Ramshot TAC
    168g Hornady A-max
    CCI BR2 Primers

    Ive recently done some loads for my 308 with the above powder and heads and have been getting some strange pressure signs. I started my loads from 39g - 44g as there is no load data for this combination so i went on the sierra 168g as a start point.

    The cases from the beginning were really smokey around the necks as an indication of not enough pressure, the groups were crap too. As i moved up the scale the smokey cases stayed and were just as bad but i was then starting to get an indentation on the rear of the case from the ejector obv indicating over pressure.

    I went up in 0.3 increments and stopped at 43.6. The groups as i say were getting a lot better but nothing to rave about. I went to my loccal gun shop on the way back and he suggested upping the load as he didnt think the case neck was expanding enough giving the low pressure readings. So i did and took a few 43. loads to the range and had great results at 300 yards, not so much at 600. Still i have the problems of dented cases and smokey necks.

    ​ I'm fairly new to reloading so any input would be great. I'm currently working on a load with H4895 and will be trying one with some VIT 150 shortly until i get something decent

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    have you turned the necks mate or are you shooting a factory rifle maybe with some extra tolerance that may account for the necks not sealing. maybe try a member with quickload to crunch the numbers to double check. personly i think you may be overpressure due to other signs. also if its old brass and work hardened it may be time to anneal or scrap, this may account for the necks not sealing. But ejector marks are a clear sign to stop

  3. #3
    It was once fired lapua brass in a brand new rifle. I had a friend try a couple of rounds in his gun too and he had the same issues. I had the chrono out and they were averaging 2700 at max load which is what they should be pushing?

  4. #4
    The brass is def. once fired Lapua (I sold it to him), it's been full length re-sized, trimmed to length and tumble cleaned in stainless steel media.

    I've reloaded and shot brass from the same batch in both my 308s using 41g of Vhit N140 or 42g of TR140. With 168g A-Max, Nosler Custom Competition or Lapua Scenar I get sub MOA at 100m.

    Ramshot suggest between 39.9 and 44.3g for the Sierra HPBT and for a 24" barrel velocities of between 2516 and 2759 with a 24" barrel.

    Only thing different for my loads (apart from the powder) is I'm using either Magtech or CCI standard large rifle primers not BR2s. There are a few reports of TAC being a dirty powder in some rifles.

    What OAL are you using?, I set mine to Saami spec 2.8" as the Howa magazine won't take any longer.

    Two things come to mind, you say it's a new rifle, I assume you've ran through the barrel break in procedure?

    Are you crimping? if so how?, I use a Lee Factory crimp die which (as there's no cannelure) is the best way to apply a very slight crimp to those types of bullets.

    Just scanned the batch test targets using N140 and Nosler CC 168s, A-Max were almost identical groupings.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by phaedra; 02-04-2013 at 22:55.

  5. #5
    Hey Jeff,

    My howa has now had around 300 rounds through it, the last 100 was the rounds im talking about so the barrel is broken in and wasnt getting too bad a group with some cheaper factory stuff. My OAL is 2.810 which is the longest i can have it due to the length of the magazine. I havent crimped yet as i was getting the right speeds on the chrono but its definitely an option but i wasnt sure whether i could without the crimiping grove on the a-max's?

    Ive loaded up 30 test rounds of h4895 and the a'max's in the same brass with the left over br2's. Ill try and get out sunday and see how i get on with those.

    Thanks for your help guys :-)


  6. #6
    Ill post a photo later on of the dents which haven't affected the brass really as they are really light and a photo of the groups i was getting

  7. #7
    The RamShot being a ball propellant, have you tried some magnum primers? back the load down and try some. I prefer Remington mag in my 30-06. The smokey necks can be a problem in some rounds using ball. been there, cleaned lots of cases...

  8. #8
    Attachment 27674
    Sorry its late lads, the above photo is the groups i was getting with Ramshot tac and a-max.

    as i found out later on my scope had been slipping in the mounts (shooting un-moderated in cheap mounts didn't help)

  9. #9

  10. #10
    +1 on recommending starting low again with annealed cases & magnum primers. I'd crimp (Lee Factory Crimp Die) also. A good fast ignition with a bit of controlled back pressure always helps keep Sooty at bay.
    Tighteneing your scope up won't do that! But it should help you analyse your results better.


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