.308 reloading

Youngun67

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Sep 29, 2020
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Hi all, sorry for what to many of you will be a stupid question. Ive been reloading for a bit, after buying 2 chassis rifles, both .308 it has become more than obvious that my rifles require more consistent reloads.

I have been using rcbs .308 in a single stage press. While trying to set my COAL I was about to stroke out.

Looking for recommendations for a new die set up. I have a RPR and a Savage stealth. A range that can go over 1000, just need to feed them right.

TIA
 

Cr1775

Private
Minuteman
Oct 17, 2020
24
3
Hi all, sorry for what to many of you will be a stupid question. Ive been reloading for a bit, after buying 2 chassis rifles, both .308 it has become more than obvious that my rifles require more consistent reloads.

I have been using rcbs .308 in a single stage press. While trying to set my COAL I was about to stroke out.

Looking for recommendations for a new die set up. I have a RPR and a Savage stealth. A range that can go over 1000, just need to feed them right.

TIA
Do you have a rcbs match seater die with a window i think those die sets have a extended shell holder you use so you can git the case far nuff in the die to seat the bullet
 
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Youngun67

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Sep 29, 2020
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0
Nope not the match seater, just the beginner dies from cabellas. For instance tonight I was going for a COAL of 2.805. First few were right in there. I stopped measuring after the first 5. After 20 o measured and I was at 2.81ish. It's time to buy quality consistent equipment.
 

Cr1775

Private
Minuteman
Oct 17, 2020
24
3
Nope not the match seater, just the beginner dies from cabellas. For instance tonight I was going for a COAL of 2.805. First few were right in there. I stopped measuring after the first 5. After 20 o measured and I was at 2.81ish. It's time to buy quality consistent equipment.
Ok didnt know what stroking was about good die set forster but when you get the coal you measure on buller ojive not the bullet tip
 

wil_pt

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Oct 3, 2019
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Get a bullet comparator for your specific caliber. This will be attached to your caliper and used to measure your cartridge base to ogive length.
 

Notevenonpaper

Private
Minuteman
Nov 30, 2019
44
27
I would check your lock ring on your die. It won't take much play to give you 5 thousandths. Match dies are a lot easier to make adjustments, but if the die itself is moving or if a part of the press has play in it you will constantly be making adjustments regardless of what die you are using.
 

TheOfficeT-Rex

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  • May 19, 2019
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    Bullet length, base to ogive and tip to ogive vary.
    This is the key.

    The seating stem should be pushing the bullet down by the ogvie (or some place on it). Wherever it pushes down will have a consistent distance, but because of the variations above, the overall length may not measure the same. It is normal to see some variation.
     

    rockchalk06

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    Jul 5, 2020
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    This is the key.

    The seating stem should be pushing the bullet down by the ogvie (or some place on it). Wherever it pushes down will have a consistent distance, but because of the variations above, the overall length may not measure the same. It is normal to see some variation.
    I'll echo this as gospel.

    I just finished 400 rounds of 175 RDF's in Federal brass for my M1A, and I bet there isn't a COAL that is the same. Of all 400 rounds loaded, I can remember maybe 10 rounds that were not exactly 2.123" measured off the O-Give.

    These were loaded off a set of Hornady standard dies with micrometer seating steam and a Hornady Lock N Load Press. I load the same with my 6.5 and 308 bolts. I'm at .330 MOA on my 6.5 and .424 MOA on my Bolt. I'm sure better dies will make better ammo, but standard dies can pump out some quality freedom seeds as well.
     

    smoothy8500

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    Maybe Berger's are better, but SMK and Nosler all have different "tips" on their Hollow Points. However, their Base to Ogive is consistent. Tips get bent or smashed, so use a comparator at the ogive and don't worry about a few thou on the OAL.
     
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    bax

    Sergeant
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    Oct 25, 2009
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    While trying to set my COAL I was about to stroke out.
    Please reset your expectations: grab 10 bullets out of the box. Measure them base to tip. Write down the answers. You will probably get a range of at least 0.005, perhaps more. Quality bullets will have a smaller range than cheap ones. Until you start pushing 100-yard group sizes below about 0.4, bullet length by itself isn't particularly important.

    As pointed out elsewhere, the seater doesn't push on the tip of the bullet, it pushes on the ogive. High-quality bullets have a more consistent shape so you get more consistent seating depth. When doing quality control on your loaded rounds, check against the ogive.

    RCBS makes precision mikes, I really like mine and use them every day to check post-sizing base-to-datum.

    Brass neck tension affects seating depth and thus COL. The solutions to that problem include annealing and a neck expanding mandrel or that nifty (and expensive) K&M seating force press.

    I haven't heard of anyone doing this lately but if you polish your bullets in a vibrating tumbler, there will be more size variation.

    Make sure that the die is tight in the press (tight, not gorilla tight) and the seating stem is locked down. When sizing, I use lock rings with flats like a nut and torque the die onto the press. I use 70 in-lbs, that is INCH-pounds, not foot-pounds. That isn't much torque but if I anneal first and lube consistently, I get very consistent case lengths. I use a Girard case trimmer and since I have consistent headspace I also get consistent case length. Since I annealed and expanded the necks using graphite and an expanding mandrel, I get consistent neck tension and consistent COL. As you are working with your components watch for odd things. For example, when sizing if you have a case that takes more or less effort than normal set it aside. When seating bullets, same thing - set aside the easy and hard ones. Tolerance-stacking is your enemy.

    Don't flip out because the base-to-tip COL wanders around a few thou.
     

    Cr1775

    Private
    Minuteman
    Oct 17, 2020
    24
    3
    Maybe Berger's are better, but SMK and Nosler all have different "tips" on their Hollow Points. However, their Base to Ogive is consistent. Tips get bent or smashed, so use a comparator at the ogive and don't worry about a few thou on the OAL.
    I agree with all of that but i will say the last 1000 box of hornady 168gr hpbt the ojive is all over the place 20thou off QC went to hell that and new brass that i cant seat the primers past flush. Waiting on a tool so i can uniform the primer pockets .i think they got social distance rules at hornady that the QC peole cant check there products. I dont know hope they turn it around i like there bullets.
    Please reset your expectations: grab 10 bullets out of the box. Measure them base to tip. Write down the answers. You will probably get a range of at least 0.005, perhaps more. Quality bullets will have a smaller range than cheap ones. Until you start pushing 100-yard group sizes below about 0.4, bullet length by itself isn't particularly important.

    As pointed out elsewhere, the seater doesn't push on the tip of the bullet, it pushes on the ogive. High-quality bullets have a more consistent shape so you get more consistent seating depth. When doing quality control on your loaded rounds, check against the ogive.

    RCBS makes precision mikes, I really like mine and use them every day to check post-sizing base-to-datum.

    Brass neck tension affects seating depth and thus COL. The solutions to that problem include annealing and a neck expanding mandrel or that nifty (and expensive) K&M seating force press.

    I haven't heard of anyone doing this lately but if you polish your bullets in a vibrating tumbler, there will be more size variation.

    Make sure that the die is tight in the press (tight, not gorilla tight) and the seating stem is locked down. When sizing, I use lock rings with flats like a nut and torque the die onto the press. I use 70 in-lbs, that is INCH-pounds, not foot-pounds. That isn't much torque but if I anneal first and lube consistently, I get very consistent case lengths. I use a Girard case trimmer and since I have consistent headspace I also get consistent case length. Since I annealed and expanded the necks using graphite and an expanding mandrel, I get consistent neck tension and consistent COL. As you are working with your components watch for odd things. For example, when sizing if you have a case that takes more or less effort than normal set it aside. When seating bullets, same thing - set aside the easy and hard ones. Tolerance-stacking is your enemy.

    Don't flip out because the base-to-tip COL wanders around a few thou.
    Just ran some bullets in my tumbler no change
     

    bax

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    Oct 25, 2009
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    Just ran some bullets in my tumbler no change
    Back in the day, many of us thought that moly coating bullets was a good idea. I tried it. You use a tumbler. Replace the corncob with small ball bearings. Toss in a little moly powder and your bullets, fire up the tumbler, and let the "soup" of bullets and ball bearings pound the moly onto the bullets. Bullets are denser than brass cases. Ball bearings are heavier than corn cob. At the time, some of the people with fancy tools said that the greater impacts caused very slight bullet deformation (tenths or less) and very slight loosening of the lead core inside the jackets. The latter because there was an impact, the jacket deformed a little and pressed on the lead core but the jacket is more elastic so it springs back but the lead is less elastic so it doesn't.

    I'm thinking that it makes a little sense so I brought it up. I have no further data, just the old story. I will point out that most people don't do their own moly coating these days.

    I don't need shiny bullets and I sorta believe the story so I don't tumble them.

    Tumbling loaded rounds (to get the DNA off) is perfectly safe. There was a fella (from Dillon I think) who tumbled loaded rounds for a very long time, maybe a year. Nothing every went bang. It's safe.
     

    Cr1775

    Private
    Minuteman
    Oct 17, 2020
    24
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    Back in the day, many of us thought that moly coating bullets was a good idea. I tried it. You use a tumbler. Replace the corncob with small ball bearings. Toss in a little moly powder and your bullets, fire up the tumbler, and let the "soup" of bullets and ball bearings pound the moly onto the bullets. Bullets are denser than brass cases. Ball bearings are heavier than corn cob. At the time, some of the people with fancy tools said that the greater impacts caused very slight bullet deformation (tenths or less) and very slight loosening of the lead core inside the jackets. The latter because there was an impact, the jacket deformed a little and pressed on the lead core but the jacket is more elastic so it springs back but the lead is less elastic so it doesn't.

    I'm thinking that it makes a little sense so I brought it up. I have no further data, just the old story. I will point out that most people don't do their own moly coating these days.

    I don't need shiny bullets and I sorta believe the story so I don't tumble them.

    Tumbling loaded rounds (to get the DNA off) is perfectly safe. There was a fella (from Dillon I think) who tumbled loaded rounds for a very long time, maybe a year. Nothing every went bang. It's safe.
    Yes i seen that you said you heard i also heard that before i was just loading rounds in the gun room and hey i was 2 foot away had to try as far as moly coating bullets bad idea good way to screw up your chamber.as far as putting loaded rounds in the tumbler well i did my science project for the day we need another volunteer.
     

    Snuby642

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  • Feb 11, 2017
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    I was kidding about the loaded bullets. I think people used to do that with handgun loads?
     

    Cr1775

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    Oct 17, 2020
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    I was kidding about the loaded bullets. I think people used to do that with handgun loads?
    Don't know if people did or didn't i ain't gonna try it. Didn't someone import 308 from a stan country or somewhere and tumble it to clean it up then sell it and people were blowing their guns up i thought i heard something like that. Anyways kinda imprinted on my skull not to do that.
     

    1500varmint

    Well-Armed Pacifist
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    Aug 13, 2018
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    Nope not the match seater, just the beginner dies from cabellas. For instance tonight I was going for a COAL of 2.805. First few were right in there. I stopped measuring after the first 5. After 20 o measured and I was at 2.81ish. It's time to buy quality consistent equipment.
    What kind of groups are you getting with the gun?
    Are you getting better groups with a different gun?

    What bullets are you using?
    What primers/powder?
    How did you work up the current load?

    What kind of brass (brand, new, once fired, etc)?
    Do you FL resize or Neck size?
     

    Snuby642

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  • Feb 11, 2017
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    I got a 1k box of factory seconds from my son and started measuring them.
    They were all over the place especially base to ogive.

    I consulted one of my mentors here and they told me just shoot the damn things that we got what we paid for and it would be fine.

    Assessment was 100% correct and they shoot better than factory plinkers.

    They were not hornady.

    Figure out where the ogive should be and shoot them.

    Next time pay for premium bullets and expect better performance.
     

    smoothy8500

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    Figure out where the ogive should be and shoot them.
    I've been shooting Nosler Custom Competition "blems" for quite a few years. Some lots the base-to-ogive is consistent, some are very inconsistent. Regardless, my RCBS seater die keeps the cartridge base-to-ogive consistent. I've never had an issue keeping them decently accurate up to 1,000yds.

    I think the OP just got wrapped up over the OAL and needs to focus on how they shoot.
     

    Mr Tibbs

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    Aug 17, 2020
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    Youngun67: when it comes to handloading the question you don’t ask, may be the one that really cost you.