Bullet seating depth .308

Old melv

Well-Known Member
Hi all
I am reloading .308 with hogdons 4895 and hornady 150 grain sst bullets the lee reloading manual that I am using states a minimum length of round as 2.800
when I seat the bullet at this depth it is not any were near the crimp mark on the bullet is this correct or could I seat the bullet deeper ?
I am quite new to reloading particularly .308 any advice would be welcome
​thanks
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
I thought the MAXIMUM length for 308W was 2.800 or maybe 2.810 though I guess in many rifles this will be limited by magazine length rather than anything else.

I take it your powder load is a minimum and that you intend to work up and that you've seen no pressure signs with any you've shot so far?

By pushing the bullet further into the case you, potentially, increase the pressure as you reduce the volume of the case so if you were inclined to seat the bullet deeper in the case then you would need to start with the book minimum load a work up again if you wanted to be safe. If you are seeing pressure signs with your current load then, clearly, it would be unwise to do anything that could potentially increase the pressure.

I use the 150 grain Hornady Spire Points in 308W and seat them to the book recommended length (by the manual I have) of 2.735 which puts the "crimp mark" in just about the right place, I'm running a book max powder load and see 3000fps with no signs of pressure, great accuracy and good brass life. It probably means I have a little more of the bullet in the neck of the case than you and that gives me a little confidence in the robustness of the round, it would be a pain to have the bullet drop out at a bad time.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
I gave a reloading lesson to one of the clerks at the Trading Post. Without his rifle present, we loaded 40 rounds of 308 ammo. Seating depth of the 165 grain SST bullets was simply with the parallel sides of the bullet seated level to the neck-shoulder junction.

The brass was Small Base resized, trimmed, loaded with a starting charge of IMR 4064, the bullets seated as described and crimped. They were the most accurate loads he ever shot and we never laid hands on the rifle until the loading was finished.~Muir

PS: I load that same 4895 and the 150 grain SST for my daughter's 30-06. I determined the seating depth the same way: Parallel sides of the bullet to the base of the neck.
 
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Old melv

Well-Known Member
Yes working up from minimum load 43 grains the rifle is a styer pro hunter mountain.
​i have reloaded for .222 and found for my rifle the minimum load was the most consistent so stuck to that
 

swarovski

Well-Known Member
The 308 is about the most reloader friendly calibre ever made, 2,800 as good a start point as any.
 

tackb

Well-Known Member
forget the crimping groove , seat to 2.800 and crack on .
I'm of the opinion that crimping grooves are for machinegun ammo !
 

pinkfoot1

Well-Known Member
The MINIMUM OAL is correct for your powder/bullet weight configuration at 2.800" as previously stated.
To determine MAXIMUM OAL proceed thus;

1. - With a brass case previously fired from the rifle in question, de-prime it, clean it, re-size the neck and length.

2. - Insert a bullet head by hand so that it is barely entered.

3. - Gently place the assembly into the chamber and carefully close the bolt fully. This will place the bullet ogive onto the lands and push the bullet head into the case meaning there is no dead space between the bolt face and the point where the curvature of the bullet head touches the lands.

4. - Now, equally carefully and slowly eject the assembly into your hand to avoid disturbing the setting.

5. - You can now measure the OAL - case head to bullet tip.

6. - Take 10 bullet heads and measure them for length consistency and you will probably find a variance in the order of 5 thou. If this is the case you can deduct 15 thou. from the measurement at (5) above and seat all your heads at this measurement. By doing this you will find you are safely in excess of the MINIMUM OAL so avoiding the risk of over pressure whilst placing the bullet head close to the lands for improved accuracy.

If you feel the need to ensure a good fit between bullet head and case why not consider finishing off with the LEE FACTORY CRIMP?

I hope this helps.
 

223

Distinguished Member
i used to load this bullet (150 sst) in 308 and i seated it at 2.840 super accurate in my 308 xbolt, the ring was no wear near the top of the case mate
you might not be able to go that long in your gun thou
 
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paul o'

Well-Known Member
in my sako 85 .308. i use h4895 45.gr with 150 pro-hunter bullets oal head to tip of bullet is 2.850 shoots sub .75 or better if in gun vice at 100 and 1.25" at 300y with a 9"drop when zero'd at 1.1/2 " high at 100y
 

timbeech

Well-Known Member
Not sure where in Staffordshire you are but I've got the hornady lock and load OAL gauge for .308 so if you want to meet up your more than welcome to try it out with your bullet combo etc.
 

TASR12

Well-Known Member
Sako 85 Finnlight .308:

150Gr Hornady Interbond, Lapua brass, 2.880 OAL gives me rounds touching at 100m.

Cheers.
 
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SA shooter

Well-Known Member
I reload Nosler ballistic Tip hunting 150gr with Federal brass OAL 2.816" over 46gr Varget
And Nosler Ballistc Tip hunting 125gr with Winchester brass OAL 2.808" over 47.5gr Varget

I fire them out of my Winchester featherweight .308 and both the loads have the same POI at 100m if I do my bit they touch each other 0.5"
Atb
 

phaedra

Well-Known Member
My Steyr SSG-04 has a sweet spot for Nosler CC or A-Max 168gr at 2.857", unfortunately my other .308 (Howa 1500) magazine won't accept anything over 2.80" without jamming so I just load everything to that :)
 

Devon County Shooter

Well-Known Member
Like tackb said, ignore the crimp. The crimp is very popular in military ammo or where vibration could over time nudge the bullet in and out over time. When you have found your feet, move on to measuring to the "ogive", you will never measure tip to tail again.
forget the crimping groove , seat to 2.800 and crack on .
I'm of the opinion that crimping grooves are for machinegun ammo !
 

branko

Well-Known Member
Agree with pinkfoot. Alternatively get yourself the hornady comparator set with 30 cal insert and follow instructions.
if you need ffurther info let me know
 

Old melv

Well-Known Member
Thanks all I now know to ignore the mark on the bullet and set up as per minimum oal. Great to be able to tap into all this knowledge and a real learning curve for a novice reloader .
 

DCG

Well-Known Member
I thought the MAXIMUM length for 308W was 2.800 or maybe 2.810 though I guess in many rifles this will be limited by magazine length rather than anything else. I take it your powder load is a minimum and that you intend to work up and that you've seen no pressure signs with any you've shot so far? By pushing the bullet further into the case you, potentially, increase the pressure as you reduce the volume of the case so if you were inclined to seat the bullet deeper in the case then you would need to start with the book minimum load a work up again if you wanted to be safe. If you are seeing pressure signs with your current load then, clearly, it would be unwise to do anything that could potentially increase the pressure. I use the 150 grain Hornady Spire Points in 308W and seat them to the book recommended length (by the manual I have) of 2.735 which puts the "crimp mark" in just about the right place, I'm running a book max powder load and see 3000fps with no signs of pressure, great accuracy and good brass life. It probably means I have a little more of the bullet in the neck of the case than you and that gives me a little confidence in the robustness of the round, it would be a pain to have the bullet drop out at a bad time.

Hi Caorach
I've just posted a question about virtually the same components, what weight of powder are you using, and what barrel length to achieve 3000 ft/ps
Dcg
 
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