308 win load ladder question, nosler 150 grain BT

paulbshooting

Well-Known Member
Hello all

New to reloading, read lots on here, good vids on YouTube and currently reading nosler reloading manual. I am happy with the process ahead of my first attempt but unsure on power charge increments?

My sako 308 likes factory loaded nosler 150 BTs and I like their performance on deer...so trying to produce my own, from my nosler manual, N140 powder, max 46.5, 44.5, 42.5 most accurate and min or varget option

I assume that I start at the min load e.g 42.5 or maybe beneath and what increments shall I vary the loads? Some people go 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3 steps?

i will use the manual OACL 2.800”

test firing should prove the best groups and I will inspect cases for pressure as I go.

once my preferred charge is proven, is it worth experimenting with the OACL?

i have watched YouTube on the Hornady lock n load OAL gauge and it makes sense.

happy to mod a once fired brass to fit the gauge and measure. Any pointers welcome

thanks in advance for any help. I remember the first trout I caught on my first tied fly so hoping it will be as satisfying to be reloading.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I am always confused by people who want to duplicate factory ammo and immediately set out to do otherwise. Your rifle like Nosler Factory so WHY are you talking about messing with the seating depth? FL resize all your brass, trim to the same length, and proceed from there trying to target the velocities you got with the factory ammo. It's not that hard.~Muir
 

kenbro

Well-Known Member
He’s just asking if he can improve on factory ammo performance, nothing wrong with that!
Playing with seating depth, may or may not improve groups.
Ken.
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
I assume that I start at the min load e.g 42.5 or maybe beneath and what increments shall I vary the loads? Some people go 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3 steps?

Don't go below the minimum load, that's why it is fixed at the minimum. Start at 42.5 and load them up on 1 grain increments to your max at 46.5. If you can just load one or two of each just to check for pressure signs and shoot them. If they are all OK and clear of pressure signs then load 5 or 10 at the max load and go shoot them at a target for a group. If you don't want to run at a max load then back off to whatever charge takes your fancy and load them instead of the max load, if the book says 44.5 is the most accurate then just got for that and stick to it.

Load them at the book length and don't mess with it. Maybe sometime in the future you'll want to mess with OAL but doing so adds another variable and the whole point of reloading is to reduce variables and produce repeatable and consistent ammo so stick with the book figures and minimum variability just now.

If you load up 5 - 10 at your chosen, pressure sign free, powder load and they really, really, will not group well and you are sure it isn't you or the scope or whatever causing the problem then you can mess with the power load a bit but any reliable and well engineered rifle should simply shoot the bullet where you point it.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
He’s just asking if he can improve on factory ammo performance, nothing wrong with that!
Playing with seating depth, may or may not improve groups.
Ken.
I see, but still -the first place to start is with your rounds as close to the factory ammo as you can get because that seems to be the benchmark for accuracy. Once you can duplicate what worked so well, then the door is wide open for experimentation. ~Muir
 

ChesterP

Well-Known Member
Rule of thumb...starting at min, load up the first 6 or 7 in 1% increments (of max) so in this case, 0.4gr increments, and the last few in 0.2gr increments as you approach max.

You can't always get the best indication of the best load purely shooting 3 round groups. For consistency across the seasons, it helps to look to the most pressure insensitive load which allows a little temperature leeway either side. If you have access to a chrony, this will be the middle of the load region where you get similar velocities for different loads perhaps over a 0.5 to 1gr area (ie velocity plateau). This usually has the lowest of the extreme spreads and Sd of the ladder too. Without a chrony, identify this region by looking at where the average of each group shoots. You may find 3 or 4 consecutive groups which land in the same place. Pick the middle of those. Accuracy, not velocity is the goal.

Saying all that, I've yet to see any rifle that won't shoot well using 44gr N140 under a 150gr bullet. (as always, start low and work up). No need to play with seating depth. You'll get your accuracy node just by varying charge weight. Most hunting bullets are jump tolerant, so make life easy on yourself and load to mag length (2.800) and just tweak the loads.
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
I always recommend trying factory loads, so you know how they shoot in your rifle. You never know when you may need to buy some ammo on a hunt trip, and you may find a splendid factory load.

Measure that factory load.
Use it to set your seating die to the ogive, even for other bullets, as a starting point for them.
Pull a bullet and try to identify the powder. Then start with that powder, case and bullet that work, in order to duplicate. Otherwise, you are just trying to simulate.

If you are using a different powder with a world of experience, start right under the proven load. For N140, H4895, RL-15, or Varget in a .308 Win with 150-gr ( or some heavier ) bullets, the golden loads are going to be 44.0 to 45.0 grains. So start at 44.0, and load some heavier ones if you want to test pressure, in 0.5 grain increments.

Load 44.0, 44.2, 44.4, 44.6, 45.0, .... five each, and I bet you money you find the right load for your rifle in that one set of 20 rounds. If the best load is the top weight, then you may want to step up a few more, if you are chasing velocity. If the best load is the lowest weight, you may want to load a set of a few rounds a bit lighter, to see if the most accurate load is down there ( like 43.6).
 

paulbshooting

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the prompt replies and great advice. Looking forward to loading the first batch and testing.
much appreciated.
 

kes

Well-Known Member
I would be interested in anyone's advice on crimping to do or not to do I have reloaded fro a nuber of years and re-size to allow a tight fit of the projectile without crimping.
This allows a smooth release with no possible pressure build ups and fall off's. I have never varied the overall length although I have been advised to try an overall length which just engages the projectile in the lands and have an accurate measure for that but have never needed to since the accuracy achieved without is perfect. I use a Hornady electronic scale for powder scale measuring device - cheap but seemingly accurate - lately I have seen it 'flutter' over 0.1 grain and wonder if anyone would specifically recommend a really reliable powder scale - I use a good thrower and check the 3/4/5 loads thrown for precision.
Thanks
 

ChesterP

Well-Known Member
How accurate an auto dispenser of thrower are Kes depends a lot on the powder used. None are infallible. I use an electronic dispenser but throw to 0.2gr under and trickle to the precise load needed.

The Lee Factory Crimp wont unduly raise pressures...at least not that I've ever noticed. Consider it more of a good way of uniforming case neck tension. It is worth using as my most consistent ammo has all come from batches where I've used this crimp. Last batch loaded had an ES (verified) of just 4 over a multi-shot string, and that I put partly down to the use of the Lee crimp.
 

308tikka

Well-Known Member
I would be interested in anyone's advice on crimping to do or not to do I have reloaded fro a nuber of years and re-size to allow a tight fit of the projectile without crimping.
This allows a smooth release with no possible pressure build ups and fall off's. I have never varied the overall length although I have been advised to try an overall length which just engages the projectile in the lands and have an accurate measure for that but have never needed to since the accuracy achieved without is perfect. I use a Hornady electronic scale for powder scale measuring device - cheap but seemingly accurate - lately I have seen it 'flutter' over 0.1 grain and wonder if anyone would specifically recommend a really reliable powder scale - I use a good thrower and check the 3/4/5 loads thrown for precision.
Thanks

Dont bother crimping. Are you really going to use cannelure bullets ?

For OP - 44.5gn of N140 is a good all round load for bullets seated to 2.800 and at 150-155gns. It works - no need to reinvent the wheel.

I agree with MUIR - for hunting loads FL resize everytime. Trim to length once after firing and first resize. Chamfer and youre set.

Consider Lee collet die for excellent groups - otherwise RCBS/Redding are buy once in a lifetime.
 

stalkerboydy

Well-Known Member
Dont bother crimping. Are you really going to use cannelure bullets ?

.

Why not crimp. The several calibres I've loaded all grouped tighter with a crimp.
And using a Lee Crimp Die you don't need a Projectile with a Cannelure also a load that shoots well in your rifle could possibly be rubbish in another Rifle/Rifles
 

ChesterP

Well-Known Member
Dont bother crimping. Are you really going to use cannelure bullets ?

For OP - 44.5gn of N140 is a good all round load for bullets seated to 2.800 and at 150-155gns. It works - no need to reinvent the wheel.

I agree with MUIR - for hunting loads FL resize everytime. Trim to length once after firing and first resize. Chamfer and youre set.

Consider Lee collet die for excellent groups - otherwise RCBS/Redding are buy once in a lifetime.


???

The Lee Factory Crimp die is not a roll forming crimp die and as Stalkerboy says does not require the use of cannelured bullets to work. It is a recognised way to improve ES by many shooters and sometimes can help to reduce group size. If you shoot long range, it's worth doing. Even if you don't it may still help with ammo batch consistency.
 
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paul o'

Well-Known Member
Muir is spot on just don't over think it , start with the powder /charts of choice then chronograph as you go find the load that your happy with that makes and meets requirements for hunting in the uk. There is no pint trying to fling your bullets as fast as you can down your barrel if a mid FPS is giving you all you need for stalking then that's the one ! I agree however when paper punching into a 10p size hole more testing needs to but done but its not needed for 1-200 yrd stalking as you only have to hit a 4" mark or less , in time you will develop a round/load that is the best it can be for your rifle or you may just fall onto it out right of the gate ? :smug: . be safe don't go less than the chart is telling you .
my old 150gr pro hunter load was 44gr n140 i think it was around 2700 fps and nowt got up or made much of a run . (sako 85) not crimped never have done, I just match prep the bass VLD mouth and trim the cases after 1st use etc.
 
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paulbshooting

Well-Known Member
Thanks again. Got bench and the Hornady press all setup and been through case clean, prep, full sizing etc. All good so far. Quick question on case length, max 308 win SAAMI case length is 2.015", so I need to trim to under that, so should I go 2.010"? I know the 2.015" is a max but I would rather work to a specific figure (my toolmaker brain sorry) so I learn and document a proper process. I can see this is going to be an enjoyable journey :). So far managed to smuggle all the new reloading kit in HQ undetected...
 

Totsy

Well-Known Member
The load data books will give you a trim to length as well as a SAAMI max length. My Hornady book says the trim length should be 2.005" for .308.
 

Mountainstalker

Well-Known Member
Paul, in a .308 sized case, 0.5 grain increment increase work fine. If you are happy being a bit more coarse on the adjustment use 1.0 grain increments. If you have a hornady oal measuring tool and a modified case, use this to set your COAL. measure max length and come back 1.0 mil (approx. 50 thou). Just check this fits in your magazine. If it is too long then load to mag length les 1-2 mm to stop jams. .308s are generally not to fussy.
 

1894

Well-Known Member
I sometimes think the internet and reloading should not be allowed to mix.

Get a reloading data BOOK from a reputable bullet manafacturer such as hornady or speer.

Read their section on reloading technique and replicate. When you've done that for a while you can shortcut their procedure if you feel the need. Their data and their words have been proof read, checked by lawyers etc etc. For all you know someone writing here might be a troll, LACS member, be suffering pre senile dementia, a contestant in the Darwin awards, just plain forgetful or all of the above

You are creating a small bomb that you are going to put next to your face and in front of your eyes. PUBLISHED DATA ONLY.
 

Scotty99

Well-Known Member
Hi,

I'm just gearing up to start reloading, coincidentally for a Sako 85 in .308. It looks like you are a little ahead of me, I've just set up my press and have just started decapping my brass ahead of cleaning it. Would appreciate some on going posts or PMs so we can share experiences and progress.
 

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