OK My first load ! .308

Night Vision Store


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Right :rolleyes:
I shot some test groups in october , from 45gr to 49 gr ,reloader 15 powder 150 gr norma rounds ,using SAKO once fired cases trimmed and great to go .cci primed . RESULT was 47gr best performance !. I have re loaded 30 rounds to this spec! .
DO I USE A LANYARD , for my first rounds ! As I would like my bits intact for xmas!. or go with my gut instinct that all will be well!.
This may be a dickhead post to some !! but how did you start!.
Regards Trapper , (twitching and eager to go ) :lol:


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Do you mean you plan on operating the trigger with a piece of string? If you've shot 49gr of powder before now,then 47 sounds very middle of the road,so I don't see the problem.
I'm not saying I'm an expert,but if the load is less than tested,then that is going to be safer in the chamber pressure side of things.


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If I remember correctly Trapper the results you got from your first reloading attempt were cock on and looked like you could shoot the b******s off a knat with that middle group.
Go for it mate ( but I have never reloaded so it might not be the right thing to do)



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DL + Jonathon
DL I see what you mean , just my confidence taking a whirl!.
Johnathon , swampy as my wittness I shot well , 47 gr was my best grouping . but we all strive for that I just want to get the best result for my reload and safely!.If I am gonna join the big boys I better know what the ferk I am talking about.


Site Staff

It sounds as if you are having your first swim without your armbands on, your first go unsupervised. :D :D

You worked up to this load, you know it works and is safe for your gun, and according to Alliant Powders own site for a 150 grain round you are well within the recommended limits.

Go for it, and use the lanyard to tie of the ankles of your trousers, just in case :eek: :eek:


Richard Parsons

Well-Known Member
Bear in mind your attention to detail and skill will be far greater in your homeloads than is developed in the crappy factory rounds. Trust it and bust it. Squeeze that trigger, all will be well.


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Well chaps took the advise, and just went for it!! :lol: I have had my .308 stripped right down this week to try and cure my front stud problem(kept pulling out). So I am just after a good group and will walk in the zero!.

I was halfway to my club, :cry: and went back home for my ammo !!DUH. I ALSO FORGOT MY BENCHREST!! :oops: A cracking start . :oops:
Well my first group was all over the shop. I guess I was very apprehensive and, not feeling great about my set up comfort wise .

SAKO .308 once fired cartridges , RELOADER 15 POWDER (47gr), 150gr


ABOUT 3" first group adjusted scope 8 clicks up.

Group 2 not much better, but I had primer failure ! left rifle alone for 5 minutes in case of a cook off!! :eek: It seems the primer was in to far as the pin barely dented it.


Group 3 Getting there alot tighter, and feeling more settled, despite ANOTHER Primer failure!


Group 4 moved scope down 4 more clicks for a 150 zero , the top round is a belt off to clear up at the end of the shoot.


Finally 3 rounds failed, and I guess that is because the primers where in do deep!.
For MY FIRST OUTING with reloads, I was fairly pleased , not the tight grouping I know that the rounds can deliver. One thing that pleased me was that my barrel didn't overheat , and was stable,I also felt recoil was less than factory loads. Perhaps next time out I will be less apprehensive, my next time out I will be paying more attention to my shooting, now I know I have a SAFE workable load.
Cheers me Deers,

Nix Niveus

Well-Known Member
It may be me, or just the photos, but I'm not too happy with the look of those primers, and the fact that 2 didn't fire. I'd investigate :

1. Whether they are large rifle (not small rifle) primers.
2. Whether the cases have explanded due to previous high pressures (measure interior primer pockets with micrometer).
3. Whether your firing pin is OK.

Sorry if I'm teaching you suck eggs, but I'd seek advice from other reloaders before proceeding.


Well-Known Member

What are you using to reprime the cases?

I would change primers. I use Remington magnum 9 1/2 in my 308 and 22-250 and never had a missfire.

I use a lee hand primer tool and you cannot go wrong.


Site Staff
I would agree with Nix Niveux, the primers seem to be sticking out too far and do not appear to be seated properly in the case.

All my kit is RCBS, which IMHO is a very well built and reliable kit.


Well-Known Member
I didnt' mount the primers ,!!Part of a batch by my mentor, who I have trust in! 8)
2. They are large cci's , and where fitted using a Lee primer tool. I found no other problem with the rounds other than crap shooting , my fault , intrusion / extraction no problems so the case sizes are ok as bedding.
I will of course look into matters , primer diameters where 210 as per RCBS (1.75 for small) , guess it is a glitch !
However I only have one mug ! :lol: and as ugly as it is , I will ere on the side of caution! so if anyone has owt to add feel free.
Best to you all .
Trapper ;)

Nix Niveus

Well-Known Member
Trapper, the first skill of reloading is asking advice and you've mastered that.

I think it's essential that reloaders always critically evaluate their own work and offer it for critique by others, advice and opinion on reloading tends to be rational, safety focused and BS free. Everytime a person posts about a problem, a dozen people will learn something from it, so never be shy about doing it.

I hold my breath every time I fire a homeload and I hope I always will. Slightest thing out of the ordinary and I ask advice. :)


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I am not an 'expert', but I'm intrigued by the problem with misfires so wanted to comment nonetheless.

First off, I can't see how misfires can be down to 'crap shooting' - it's either a problem with the reloads or a problem with the rifle. I've done a fair bit of crap shooting in my time (some would say it's the norm rather than the exception ;) ) but the rifle is a mechanical device, and once you've pulled the trigger everything that happens subsequently in getting the bullet out of the barrel is outside of your control!

I also use CCI primers in my .308 with the Lee Hand Primer and I've never had a misfire in over 5 years of reloading. My mentor also uses the Lee Hand Primer on all his reloads (over a looooong time), and he's not had this issue either. The tool is designed to seat the primers at the correct depth. The only variables are the shellholder, the large/small primer tray and the person using it. If the shellholder or the primer tray were wrong, I'd have expected more than 3 misfires. Your mentor sounds like an experienced reloader, so his technique is likely to be consistent, which is crucial....or does he get misfires as well?

Therefore I'd think of the following possible faults:

1. the primer pockets are dirty
2. the primers are seated too deep
3. the primers are faulty
4. the bolt/spring/firing pin is faulty

You say the cases are once-fired, so we should be able to discount Option 1. I also presume your mentor cleans the primer pocket each time like all good reloaders were taught to!

From your comment "the pin barely dented it [the primer]", Option 2 sounds like a possibility, but the photos of the fired rounds don't appear to bear this out. Do you have any photos of the failed rounds? Logically, excessive pressure might be the cause of the primers in the fired rounds sitting proud, but not the unfired ones. If the primers were originally seated proud of the case I would have expected the firing pin to have made a bigger dent (unless they were that far out to be touching the bolt face :eek:). Did you try to fire the 'failed' rounds a second time, or did you remove them and use fresh rounds? If you tried them a second time, did they fire?

Option 3 might be a candidate. Again, would be interested to know if you tried to use the 'failed' rounds a second time and, if so, if they went off or not. Do you know where the primers were stored? Could they have got damp, for example? As the majority of the rounds were okay, I'm tempted to discount this option as well.

Which leaves Option 4. Whey you say "I had my .308 stripped right down this week", how much of a strip down did it have? I'd want the bolt/firing pin checked - disassembled, spring checked, re-assembled.

As I say, I'm no expert, but it would be fascinating to find the root cause of this mystery. If any of the real experts out there want to pick apart my comments above I certainly won't be offended - as Nix Niveus said, every reloader should be open to constructive criticism as our safety is at stake.



Well-Known Member
Thanks guys for all inputs ,
Willie, I checked with my mentor and he is puzzled as well, I think it could be the bolt/pin or the pin anyway, so I am going to strip down and clean up , . I did attemt to refire one of the cartridges , I had the same result (misfire) so I have dismantled and destroyed the cases , I am currently inspecting the primed cartridges I have left over, and am also checking size etc with my dial caliper . This hiccup however will not get me down and, I will make another batch when I have checked all advise given thus far. I am sure the reason is also partly down to my lack of experience, in reloading, and, will stick to the book.
Again guys thanks for all your advise /suggestions.


Well-Known Member

I certainly wouldn't let it get you down - this is all part of the fun of reloading!

The case not firing the second time slightly scuppers my theory - if it was an intermittent fault with the bolt/pin I was hoping you'd say it fired okay when you re-tried. The fact that it didn't would then lead me to believe it's something with that particular primer/round, but quite what I don't know, if we work on the basis that the primers themselves are not faulty.

As well as inspecting/measuring the remaining cartridges I would weigh them as well.

I'd still strip the bolt/pin, clean and reassemble nonetheless....well, it's something else to tinker with ;)

Do you have any factory loads or previous batches of loaded rounds you can test? At least this would help isolate it one way or the other.

Let us know how you get on.



Well-Known Member
Something else to look at is if the non-fired and the fired primers have the same pin indentation. That tells you re bolt/pin.
Another possibility is that the primers got affected due to grease or oil from the cleaning/forming process or got humid from the case being left with the primers fitted over a longer period of time in a humid admosphere, before you fitted the powder and bullet.
Overall nothing to realy be worried about. Reload a new batch and see what it does. Cheers, Rene.


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My, you may just be right about the damp! The primers have been in for about two months and stored on my worktop . I have a radiator in there now as it does get a tad chilly,, Today I went right back to basics checked each cartridge and primers binned about 5 that I wasn't, happy with , measured all cases , and they where correct length 2.015 by the Modern reloading guide , stuck to 47 gr Reloader 15 powder, and 150 gr Nosler bullets. Loaded 45 rounds this sitting so, now I need to get my jacksee out and test fire again. There was crud on the boltface, so that is ovehauled. I feel a lot more confident in what I am doing now, and the jitters have gone! :lol:. Will keep you all posted .
Cheers me Deers
Trapper .

Richard Parsons

Well-Known Member
Dont forget powder has to go in the case. Knobhead here had a dead mans click this afternoon at Bisley. Got home, knocked it out, not a grain inside. Complete tit....it feels good to confess, though.


Well-Known Member
Bring 20 or so clean cases and primers with you next week and some of those failed cases for me to look at. Try and get some Federal 210 primers, I gave Stu my last few as I no longer have a caliber that takes them. I have never had a failure of any type with a Federal.

Might also be an idea to buy some Lapua or Hornady cases, I have never had an issue with damp as I also prime my cases well before loading them.

I will prime them for you, that will at least sort that aspect out but the Lee Autoprime tool is hard to get wrong, I use one myself.



Well-Known Member
It might be worth checking for excessive headspace: if you've sized the case too much and pushed the shoulder too far back, then the case will sit too deep in the chamber and the firing pin can't hit the primer properly. A couple of tools for checking: either the Stoney Point (now Hornady) do a gauge for measuring cases or Wilson do a case gauge (basically a dummy chamber).
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