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Thread: 18" .308 loads or quick load help

  1. #1

    18" .308 loads or quick load help

    Hi. I recently had my rifle cut down to 18", to make it lighter, more agile and not catch in the trees while stalking. I have not had it all that long so never really found the ultimate recipe. I would like to find out what loads are reccomended for the following bullets which I already have.
    They are:
    Hornady interlock 150gr SP #3031
    Nosler BT 168gr #30168
    Speer 150gr BTSP #2022
    all in .308 win.

    I have VHIT N140, but would change powder if better results likely from others like varget or h4891.
    I have cci 200 large rifle primers.
    Lapua brass and federal brass.
    As I now have a cmm4 mod on this rifle I don't really want to be chucking large quantity of lead around to find a reasonable load.
    I am looking at shooting out to 200 yds, ideally with a MV of 2400 fps or higher if poss.
    Now hopefully quick load could provide a result that gives a 100% powder burn so no muzzle flash is produced, barrel stays cleaner.
    If there is anyone with quick load who would run this data for me I would be most grateful. Or if anyone using a similar set up who has consistent and accurate loads I like to have a base to start from.
    If any other info required I should be able to provide it.
    I realise this programme is not cheap else I'd buy it myself, but once a load is found I'm not likely to change from it. However happy to make a contribution to helpers or a charity or something. Just the powder and lead saved will be worth it.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    Hi. I recently had my rifle cut down to 18", to make it lighter, more agile and not catch in the trees while stalking. I have not had it all that long so never really found the ultimate recipe. I would like to find out what loads are reccomended for the following bullets which I already have.
    They are:
    Hornady interlock 150gr SP #3031
    Nosler BT 168gr #30168
    Speer 150gr BTSP #2022
    all in .308 win.

    I have VHIT N140, but would change powder if better results likely from others like varget or h4891.
    I have cci 200 large rifle primers.
    Lapua brass and federal brass.
    As I now have a cmm4 mod on this rifle I don't really want to be chucking large quantity of lead around to find a reasonable load.
    I am looking at shooting out to 200 yds, ideally with a MV of 2400 fps or higher if poss.
    Now hopefully quick load could provide a result that gives a 100% powder burn so no muzzle flash is produced, barrel stays cleaner.
    If there is anyone with quick load who would run this data for me I would be most grateful. Or if anyone using a similar set up who has consistent and accurate loads I like to have a base to start from.
    If any other info required I should be able to provide it.
    I realise this programme is not cheap else I'd buy it myself, but once a load is found I'm not likely to change from it. However happy to make a contribution to helpers or a charity or something. Just the powder and lead saved will be worth it.
    Thanks.
    A chronograph is the thing you need to save for.
    Load with Varget or 4895 using a 150 and you will reach your velocity goals.
    No Quick Load needed for that.~Muir

  3. #3
    Muir. Would you just load as per book data regardless of barrel length? Then assuming a good group found and not a huge flame coming from mod, would then chrono to see if MV was acceptable as well? I know this sounds simple, and probably is. However there is some info out there suggesting that incomplete burning is likely in such a short barrel. Also will the result of incomplete burns be dirty barrels and mods, as well as extra gas cutting to mod baffles? The latter is a concern as CMM4 mods do seem to suffer from this badly.

  4. #4
    Woodmaster dont lay to much emphasis on velocity, just load from your chosen data source but try and use the fastest powders listed, that way you will be able to achieve full combustion of the powder charge within confines of an 18" barrel.

    Ian.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    Muir. Would you just load as per book data regardless of barrel length? Then assuming a good group found and not a huge flame coming from mod, would then chrono to see if MV was acceptable as well? I know this sounds simple, and probably is. However there is some info out there suggesting that incomplete burning is likely in such a short barrel. Also will the result of incomplete burns be dirty barrels and mods, as well as extra gas cutting to mod baffles? The latter is a concern as CMM4 mods do seem to suffer from this badly.
    Well. If you stick with a faster powder and work up loads for accuracy, your dirtiness will just be what it is. Not having a MOD I can't say I ever worried about whether a load was dirty or not. As to the loading, of course! Just go by the book. What else can you do without a chronograph? Work up loads that are accurate and safe and then try them over a chronograph. Quick Load is an ok bit of software but it is not gospel. My buddy and I have a copy. I have never used it. We are in business together and i think I have a corporate-copy kicking around my desk but haven't loaded it onto my computer. I don't think he uses his either.

    You can't really avoid tossing a lot of lead when working up loads. It's the sacrifice you make. New rifles and new loads add a burden of expense to shooting -whether effort, time, or money- it's an expenditure. I'll tell you one thing: Save up for a basic Chrony and a whole new world will open up for you.~Muir

  6. #6
    150-gr with N-140 loads are 40.5 to 46.0 grains.
    You are probably going to find best accuracy up between 44.0 and 46.0, but start at 42.5 and shoot groups of 3 in .5 grain increments.

    If you know a factory load which shoots well, or have measured your throat, you can play with the seating a bit, instead of 2.80 inches, 2.810 or more for a polymer tipped bullet like the BT or SST.

    165 or 168 gr, 44.0 gr of Varget or RL-15 would be a safe bet, starting at 42.0.
    With N-140, start at 40.5 and stop at 44.0. Best accuracy may be down around 40.5 to 41.5 where all the powder is burning. 42.5 gr of N-140 in Lapua brass would match the old US Army load match / Vietnam load for the M-14 ( which used IMR-4895 ) in Lake City brass. You might move the bullet out to 2.835 or so and see the groups close up.
    Last edited by Southern; 06-04-2014 at 19:08.

  7. #7
    I don't know if this helps a little as the situation isn't exactly the same as yours but...

    I have a Blaser R93 in 308W with a mod on the end. I think the barrel length is around 21 - 22 inches so longer than yours but not by a huge amount. With the Interlocks and the same components that you are using but using Reloader 15 I see a measured 3000fps with a book max load. This load is much, much more accurate than I can shoot.

    I have a lot of rounds through the mod now, probably 3,000 or so, though clearly not all of them will have been the fast Interlock load, and I've had no problems with the moderator and it doesn't seem excessively dirty to me. I've never seen any flames from the mod, or even the barrel when the mod is off.

    I also have a book minimum load with the same bullet that gives me velocities which are just about 2500fps.

    It is possible that something remarkable happens to performance between 21 and 18 inches but based on my experiences I'd say you don't have much to worry about and that you will not have too many problems making the velocity or accuracy you require.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  8. #8
    I have a .308 with an 18" tube and use RL10x at 38.5gr with 150gr Swift Scirocco II bullets or 48.0gr of RL15 with Sierra Pro-hunter 150gr. Both quite fast powders and the RL15 is not far off max so be careful and follow proper technique in working up the load. Both safe and accurate in my rifle. You get 100% burn with 10x but, as I say, it is a fast powder and to be handled with care!

  9. #9
    Thanks guys. Still be interested to hear from guys with the above components. I still wonder what muzzle flash and recoil will be like. There is a life times worth of info on the web. If enough is read a pattern seems to show through. So I have tonight made up 36 rounds in 3 different bullet types. Hopefully get the chance to get out this weekend and try them for accuracy, flash, recoil then look at MV and any tweeks which can be made.

  10. #10
    A little update. After some time on the phone a few loads were run through the quick load program. This showed up a couple of the top end loads to be significantly over the max PSI of 62000. One was at 69000. The following loads were made:
    Rifle is Sauer 202. 18" barrel atec maxim mod.
    .308 win.
    Federal cases neck sized. (53.8gr H20 capacity)
    CCI 200 primer.
    Vhit N140 powder
    105 yds 3 shot groups.

    Nosler 168 gr ballistic tip (green) #30168 COL 2.885. This is 23 tho off lands.

    40.5 gr gave a 35mm group @ 105 yds.
    41.5 40 mm
    42.5 13mm

    There was a bit of muzzle flash visible through the scope and recoil was acceptable alll be it greater than with the 150 gr loads. However a good start and should be running at around 2500 fps.

    Next. Speer 150 gr SPBT # 2022 COL 2.700

    42 gr gave a 23mm group
    43 44mm
    44 12 mm. (this was 3 shots with 2 through same hole)


    Last was Hornady 150 gr interlocks SP flat base # 3031

    These proved to be the least accurate with the following results.
    41gr gave a 44mm group
    42gr 24mm
    43gr 30mm
    44gr 23mm.

    I think however they have more potential and shall try a few loads in between in all 3 bullet types. However as they all have given a good result
    at around 42 and 44 gr. which is within max loads and not unduly bad recoil or muzzle flash I won't bother too much. I have tonight loaded 5 rounds of the top performer from each to give a better group test along with a couple of loads in between.
    However as per a previous thread it seems all 3 bullets are capable of giving under 1" groups at 100 yds. Which in my world means dead deer if I do my bit. Can't wait to get out and see if shortening it has achieved what I hoped it would out in the field. I'm just so glad it still shoots as I'd have been gutted if I buggered up the best rifle I've ever owned.
    (Apart from the other Sauer in 6.5x55). Hope these results may be of use to others.

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