Long range (1000 yard) reloading for 308...168 gr. SMK vs. 175 gr. SMK vs. 185 gr. Berger Juggernaut

boisepaw

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Continuing to ask questions about my load development. Remington 700 Varminter stock rifle...1:10 twist...26" fluted barrel. I'm looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond.

I've got excellent loads for the 168 gr. SMK and the 175 gr. SMK...excellent in terms of 100 yard accuracy (sub MOA) and SD < 10 and ES < 20.

I've heard of the 185 gr. Juggernaut but never loaded it. I happened into some Nosler Accubond 180 gr. bullets that I haven't loaded yet.

Suggestion for bullets for target (non-hunting) accuracy out to 1000 yards and beyond? And while we're at it...what powder? I have a bunch of options on my loading bench...
 
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straightshooter1

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Continuing to ask questions about my load development. Remington 700 Varminter stock rifle...1:10 twist...26" fluted barrel. I'm looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond.

I've got excellent loads for the 168 gr. SMK and the 175 gr. SMK...excellent in terms of 100 yard accuracy (sub MOA) and SD < 10 and ES < 20.

I've heard of the 185 gr. Juggernaut but never loaded it. I happened into some Nosler Accubond 180 gr. bullets that I haven't loaded yet.

Suggestion for bullets for target (non-hunting) accuracy out to 1000 yards and beyond? And while we're at it...what powder? I have a bunch of options on my loading bench...
I happened to get a good deal on some 185 Jugs a couple months ago and tried them out for the first time. I found a good load with IMR 4064 using 40.9 grs that got me an avg MV of 2550 (SD's in the mid single digits and ES's in the mid teens) and my groups were in the high 3's to low 4's at 100 -200 yards. Haven't had the opportunity to go out to 1000 yet, but am looking forward to giving this load a go at it.
 

Powder_Burns

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I would be inclined to stay 175gr range for the .308, the heavies can’t quite get pushed fast enough for my tastes. If you were loading a magnum sized case, then yeah 185-210 all day. The 168 smk is notorious for poor transonic performance.
 

fdkay

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The Hornady 168 ELDM may be better suited to long range than the 168 SMK, though the same could be said for the tipped matchking. (the real issue is the short boattail on the SMK)
FWIW, the ELDM has a BC around the same as the 175 SMK.
A lot of it is dependent on your location. My brother has taken FGMM 168's to over 1000 yards out of a 20" factory barrel, but he's at about 6000 ft ASL.
Folks have loaded the 208 AMAX and gotten good results, they are poking along, but have a pretty high BC.
 
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Doom

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I will take some heat for saying this but quite frankly, I think 1000yds to be about the max for a 308. That said, if you are up in altitude you may get further but not in your state. Thats with pushing and exceeding pressure. Unfortunately, the 308 is not an ballistically efficient bullet until you get to heavier bulls than are suitable for the 308 powder capacity. Remember that the 308 was designed to match the 30-06 performance with ~150gr bullet at a distance of 500-600 yds with less weight in ammunition and rifle action.
 

stello1001

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If you're reloading, try a 208 over Rl17. I don't have experience with this but have spent extensive time checking out and reading on this. I believe a member by the username of Montanamarine has pushed the 208 AMAX to around 2650 FPS out of a 20 inch barrel.

I will try to look for the thread and link it here. Lots of great info there for pushing the 308 to its limits.
 

Steel head

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168 smk do ok if your barrel is a 10 twist but the 175’s definitely do a bit better.
I haven’t seen much of the 168 eldm but hear good things
 

stello1001

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Post 38 on the thread below


Maybe you don't have to go with a 208, but you do have the barrel length and twist. I think if he was able to push a 208 from a 20.5" barrel @ 2600FPS, you might be able to run the 185s at a really good speed to get you to 1000 yards. It might be worth a shot testing and trying just for the fun of it. As always, work up safely!
 

Seymour Fish

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Continuing to ask questions about my load development. Remington 700 Varminter stock rifle...1:10 twist...26" fluted barrel. I'm looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond.

I've got excellent loads for the 168 gr. SMK and the 175 gr. SMK...excellent in terms of 100 yard accuracy (sub MOA) and SD < 10 and ES < 20.

I've heard of the 185 gr. Juggernaut but never loaded it. I happened into some Nosler Accubond 180 gr. bullets that I haven't loaded yet.

Suggestion for bullets for target (non-hunting) accuracy out to 1000 yards and beyond? And while we're at it...what powder? I have a bunch of options on my loading bench...
You have several choices with the 1:10, but some will drop off the list due to relatively short bbl. start with the 168 Hybrid: superb accuracy to 1000, yet a bit wind sensitive. Next, the 175 Sierra: decent, cheap. The 175 Berger is much better. The 185 Juggernaught Shoots and is easy to tune. Above this wt, you might want more bbl length to achieve MV desired. There may be a tipping point for you regards increasing recoil going up the scale. Powder is Varget bu consensus, however H4895 and VV n 140 and 150 do very well. Consider Palma brass if you like the upper node. Seymour
 

Seymour Fish

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Continuing to ask questions about my load development. Remington 700 Varminter stock rifle...1:10 twist...26" fluted barrel. I'm looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond.

I've got excellent loads for the 168 gr. SMK and the 175 gr. SMK...excellent in terms of 100 yard accuracy (sub MOA) and SD < 10 and ES < 20.

I've heard of the 185 gr. Juggernaut but never loaded it. I happened into some Nosler Accubond 180 gr. bullets that I haven't loaded yet.

Suggestion for bullets for target (non-hunting) accuracy out to 1000 yards and beyond? And while we're at it...what powder? I have a bunch of options on my loading bench...
You could play with the loads you already have, taking careful note of the Shape of your 100 yd groups, to see what they do at distance, where you examine vertical spread vs wind sensitivity. Seymour
 
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straightshooter1

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Here's some data for my .308
A lot of Jugg data.
In my RPR .308 with a Krieger 24" 1:10 barrel, the Federal Factory GM Berger 185 Jugs averaged 2650 fps using a Magnetospeed v3 (Temp: 61°F, Humidity: 68%, Altitude: 900 ft). Factory FMG 175's gave me an average of 2622 fps on the same day.

I had pulled a couple bullets from a 185 Jug and a FGM 175 SMK and for the Jugs there was 45.1 gr of whatever powder they use and Federal had 40.0 gr of their powder behind the 175's. I heard in another forum that Federal is using Alliant's AR-Comp behind the 175's and 168's and based on my own shooting data, it does line up. But that's not what's behind the Jugs (it seems to be Alliant's 2000-MR) a bit slower powder???
 
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straightshooter1

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I will take some heat for saying this but quite frankly, I think 1000yds to be about the max for a 308. That said, if you are up in altitude you may get further but not in your state. Thats with pushing and exceeding pressure. Unfortunately, the 308 is not an ballistically efficient bullet until you get to heavier bulls than are suitable for the 308 powder capacity. Remember that the 308 was designed to match the 30-06 performance with ~150gr bullet at a distance of 500-600 yds with less weight in ammunition and rifle action.
1000 yrs is easy enough with a .308. . . as long as you have a long enough barrel. ;) :giggle:
 
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Seymour Fish

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Very helpful information...thanks! But (showing my ignorance here) what is "Palma brass"?
Small-Primer 308 brass. Holds up to many more warm loads before the pocket loosens. Lapua and some newcomers. CCI Mag small primer is typical
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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I've been really happy with my 308. 26" Bartlein heavy palma (10 twist), Area 419 Maverick, and launching 168 ELD-Ms over Shooter's World Precision at 2760. Recoil is mild, ballistics are pretty solid for a 308. I've run it to 1060 at sea level without issues other than switchy winds are a bitch. I built it specifically to be a trainer and not have wind performance as good as the 6mms I usually shoot.
 
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b2lee

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Heh...I'm going old school...running the 168gr bullets with 45gr of BL-C(2)....out 600....and ok to 800. When running to 1000....I use 175gr SMK and Varget. Most of my 175gr SMK were pulls...still got a tiny bit of sealant tar on them. I won a local match once with those to 800yds....it was a fun day.

If I want to run anything heavier than 175gr...I load the 308 bullet into the 300PRC and then give it some speed...and watch it scream.
 

xdeano

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youre missing the boat, run 155grn scenars out of it. Varget running 2900-2925fps. they have a similar bc as the 175smk but you can push them faster.

xdeano
 

FCS

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26” barrel, 10 twist, 185 Juggernaut hands down.
Varget / 4064 / RL-15 / Viht N-140 or N-540 / Norma 203-B are all in right burn rate.

155s might be flatter but 185 Juggernaut are inside for drift.
I’ve played with both, I prefer 185 Juggernaut.
Try some of both, see what works best for you.
 

spife7980

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Very helpful information...thanks! But (showing my ignorance here) what is "Palma brass"?
Palma, the sport class, limits your bullet weights and weapons characteristics etc to try and make every one the same in an attempt to judge the shooter more heavily than the equipment. So because it’s for people and people are competitive they want a leg up and because you can only shoot a 155gr bullet they will want more velocity for that advantage. So you want speed... to make speed takes pressure, to take pressure takes brass. So they made 308 in small primer with a heavy case head to take the beating. Palma brass if the good stuff if you have a tight firing pin fit to stand up to the high pressures on that small primer.
 

boisepaw

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Heh...I'm going old school...running the 168gr bullets with 45gr of BL-C(2)....out 600....and ok to 800. When running to 1000....I use 175gr SMK and Varget. Most of my 175gr SMK were pulls...still got a tiny bit of sealant tar on them. I won a local match once with those to 800yds....it was a fun day.

If I want to run anything heavier than 175gr...I load the 308 bullet into the 300PRC and then give it some speed...and watch it scream.
Interesting. I tried for years to get BL-C(2) to work in this rifle and finally settled on 45.7 grains. Sometimes it would shoot lights out...awesome! Then suddenly turn mediocre. I couldn’t find any consistency and gave up.
 

MrSmith

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185 Bergers, not sure of the details. Varget, Fed 210. A friend, his eyes were having a hay fever day so he ask me to shoot his ladder test. He had 4 of each load. Look to the left, picture is one my targets, of his Varget load, his rifle, at around 44 grains. Cold bore plus 3 at 200 yards. He took the picture.

At a shooting a course at Whittington I was surprised how well a .308 got hits on a 4' X 6' plate at 1200 yards if I listened to the teacher, the spotter, and did my part.

I personally like the .308.

Thank you,
MrSmith
 
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mark5pt56

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Look into PPMR2000 and the 185's. I used to run them hard in a GAP FN custom with a 22" barrel, was in the 2700-2750 neighborhood, Did well at 1k
 

Seymour Fish

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Look into PPMR2000 and the 185's. I used to run them hard in a GAP FN custom with a 22" barrel, was in the 2700-2750 neighborhood, Did well at 1k
Buddy used to run them hotter than out of a m14. Mr2000. razors edge
 

straightshooter1

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Buddy used to run them hotter than out of a m14. Mr2000. razors edge
I really like MR-2000 for the heavy bullets, but . . . I stopped used it as it's just a little to temp sensitive for me here in AZ where significant triple digit temperatures are the norm for a good part of the year.
 

Petrov

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From what I have READ on benchrest/palma forums the small primer palam brass gives slightly more consistent velocity.
 

mark5pt56

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I used it at a local club which had 2 1k matches, June and Aug. Was normally 85-95 that time of the year and I developed the load at that temp.
 

ubettcha

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I am still playing with the Lehigh 150 at 2980-3015fps. The node seems to be closer to 2980-2990with Rl15 I did shoot a bit better wiht CFE 223which is similar to MR2000. BC for me has been .520-.525.
The other bullet would be the 195TMK. In my 12tw it is single feed @2.945 coal It is 1 mil left of my standard load zero and with CFE223 I am seeing 2707fps BC has been .610 and I tweaked the form facter to line up in the hornady app. It is a very simiar trade off to the 215 berger as the 142smk to the 147eldm You can match them up close in good conditions but in the heavy winds the biger higher bc bullet will beat the lesser one.
If you are more apt to want the 175-185 grain bullets The 175tmk or 178eldm can be driven to close to the same speed and will have dope very close to each other in case you want to play around with them.
I have alot of RL15 and because in my rifle it shoots better I deal with the temp sensitivity over varget.
 

16 Gauge

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Lots of good info here.
Thank you all.
Still love shooting my 308 and now might try breath some new life into it.
 

redleg1013

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Push the jugs with some CFE223 it'll be fine. Get your MV around 2600-2700 and you should have enough oomph to get to a grand.
 

squib-load

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@boisepaw

" looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond."

PRACTICE ... a mediocre round fired often and a good shooting log kept learning how to dope wind will get you more points than a 1/4moa load if you can't dope winds.. the 308 is capable at 1000 but is far less forgiving for wind error.. for every 1 mph of wind you don't account for its a 10" drift at a grand..

REMEMBER - US military snipers don't hand load.. they don't tune their loads or tune their rifle.. and use mass manufactured mediocre ammo.. but they fire thousands of rounds each year and DOCUMENT every round.. temp, humidity, etc .. and have their rifle/ammo combo doped..

the marine sniper school leadership came out to one of our club matches to observe and were amazed at what these guys were doing...

" I've got excellent loads for the 168 gr. SMK and the 175 gr. SMK...excellent in terms of 100 yard accuracy (sub MOA) and SD < 10 and ES < 20. "

GOOD STARTING POINT for the 175 load.. SD < 10 and ES < 20. is very capable
forget the sierra 168 at 1000 as its boat tail angle is unstable transonic which it will be, .. IF its more accurate than 175 in your rifle (like mine) use it for 600 and in matches there ARE 168s that will be fine at 1000 .. so if you find your rifles harmonics like a 168pill find one of those

" I've heard of the 185 gr. Juggernaut but never loaded it. I happened into some Nosler Accubond 180 gr. bullets that I haven't loaded yet."

UNLESS YOU CAN DOPE WINDS BELOW 2kts --- don't waste your money unless you just want to feel cool on the line telling everyone you launch a paycheck with each trigger pull... you will likely not see much benefit to cost ratio.. opinion . YMMV ..

forget accubonds for accuracy and honestly I would say forget NOSLER for anything.. their quality control sucks and there is an '6' in every box is the going joke

Suggestion for bullets for target (non-hunting) accuracy out to 1000 yards and beyond? And while we're at it...what powder? I have a bunch of options on my loading bench...

since you are using a factory remington pipe that is lawyered up with a roomy throat (measure it) .. you will likely need a bullet that is jump tolerant - this takes you out of most Berger designs except perhaps some of the hybrids.. I have a very tight short throat so I can load to the lands if I want even with SMKs

I find that Lapua brass really is not tuned for non palma loads. if you have a 32"+ barrel and want to launch 155s that need lots of slow powder like Varget its perfect (that is what it was sized for) . but if you look at mil brass and FGMM which is the same brass used in current mil sniper ammo.. you will find less case volume.. which works great with 4064 which I have shot for years (not as temp stable as Varget) but I get better accuracy in every 308 that I shoot with it (all my rifles under 26".

Forget peoples suggestions on gas gun loads with powered charges less than 43 of Varget/4064 .. it won't get you what you need for a grand.. sure.. can you shoot it .. yeah.. but run the tables with those velocities and you will be transonic or worse sub sonic and accuracy will suffer.. and the 308 at 1000 has a bullet arc like throwing a brick off an overpass to begin with so you bullets down angle at the target is already bad (velocity changes more vertical error compared to faster rounds like 6.5-284) ...

you are going to need to be in a node generally above 2600fps at the muzzle ...

if you use a powder like 4064 you will likely need to load for temperature .. I have to adj my throws about .1 for every 10 deg F to stay in my nodes.. but I run a high load above 44gn of 4064 in Lapua with 175smk ...

I have shot a rack grade 20" rem 700 tactical in the crap hogue stock on occasion at club 1000y matches at the Hathcock sniper range at Lejueune just because I like watching guys tell me it can't be done .. and I outshoot them occasionally and they spent more on the paint job on their unlimited rig than my rifle/scope combo cost TOTAL.. its the Indian as much as the Arrow... to a point.. again.. to break 180 point at a grand with that 20" rifle I needed to be dead on my wind calls all day and or get lucky.. but I average in the 170s with it.. not competitive but fun... and it really sharpens your wind calls..


At the end of the day here are some takeaways
unless you are carlos hathcock .. any sub moa CONSISTANT load will do for you.. cheap enough so you can PRACTICE.. a lot

with a factory barrel at 26" keep in mind that the US army, US special forces command, USMC etc .. have researched this caliber to DEATH...

the 175smk keeps surviving every RFP for a new round.. and again.. the latest round of sniper ammo .. IMR 4064 and the 175smk still came out on top

practice practice practice .... and write it all down...

oh.. also .. if you are planning to load for F Class .. don't test 5 round strings.. you load has to remain consistent for at least 25 rounds fired in 30 minutes.. and yes.. a really hot barrel makes a huge difference in how a load reacts...
 
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boisepaw

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Thanks for taking some time to give me a very thoughtful response. Lots for me to think about there!

Peter

@boisepaw

" looking for something that would give me excellent accuracy at 1000 yards and beyond."

PRACTICE ... a mediocre round fired often and a good shooting log kept learning how to dope wind will get you more points than a 1/4moa load if you can't dope winds.. the 308 is capable at 1000 but is far less forgiving for wind error.. for every 1 mph of wind you don't account for its a 10" drift at a grand..
 

straightshooter1

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the 175smk keeps surviving every RFP for a new round.. and again.. the latest round of sniper ammo .. IMR 4064 and the 175smk still came out on top
Seems I heard from a pretty reliable source, not long ago, that ammo is now using AR-Comp . . .??? Have you by chance heard anything along that line like that?
 

squib-load

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Thanks for taking some time to give me a very thoughtful response. Lots for me to think about there!

Peter

hand loading is voodoo art... external ballistics is fairly well understood but internal ballistics is a science that even the army's aberdeen armory weapons development lab can't fully model ..

I like the old saying from the right stuff.. the science alone would take so long to explain to you.... ' hehe

don't wast time chasing that 1/4 moa of ammo accuracy... chase the 2-3moa miss because of bad wind calls or knowing how your POI moves as the barrel heats.. or more challenging.. getting FIRST ROUND hits at any distance, any temperature and any round count on the barrel since cleaning because your experience and shot log have enough dope in it to make the call AND the shot
Seems I heard from a pretty reliable source, not long ago, that ammo is now using AR-Comp . . .??? Have you by chance heard anything along that line like that?

nope.. but not saying it isn't a possibility ... the military GENERALLY doesn't spec a powder.. the milspec will specify PERFORMANCE and the mfg can mix match or blend propellant to MEET or exceed the performance spec...

the stuff the internet commandoes pass out as absolute gospel that the round is the powder and exactly XX.XXXX grains is horse shit.. that is a BUILD sheet that just inventories the materials in the lot, not the mil spec.. AND that sheet in question wasn't a production lot, but it was the first TEST lot of that RPF test... so take that for what its worth

the big thing with the latest MK sniper ammo was to fix lot to lot consistency, pressure spiking in desert heat, AND a single precision round for all 308 /762 sniper/DMR weapon systems across all services.. so that was multiple bolt guns, multiple gas guns including the M14 and SASS CSASS etc..
 

squib-load

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If you are cratering primers now as is typical for Rem 700s as a minimum you need the firing pin hole bushed, and you may need a small rifle firing pin for reliability.
generally I am not a fan of that saying... unless its so sloppy as to result in an unsafe weapon due to pierced primers (failure) all a sloppy hole does here is make unreliable the reading of primer cratering as a sign of pressure when doing load development (which is not a good or safe practice anyway)

benchrest guys swear that the sloppy hole results in a slightly off center primer hit and can effect accuracy.. and again.. generally call BS and unless you are world ranked in BR shooting AND have that kind of money and expertise invested in being able to shoot inside that error.. its chasing ghost farts... ie.. doesn't matter
 

squib-load

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I have a 16” .308, plan on going the 155 scenar route and hoping I can get 2700 at the muzzle.
likely won't work... not saying that it can't nor that you might find a powder that will get you the velocity to make a 155 a better ballistic choice.. but 'generally' the wisdom is short barrels need heavier bullets because heavier bullets use less powder and lighter bullets need more space for complete powder burn.. look at quick load data if you can get your hands on it at look at %burn and muzzle pressure ... incomplete burn and or high muzzle pressure is usually detrimental to long range accuracy..

ymmv

palma shooters (the only reason 155s are still around) use artillery barrels 30+ inches
 

Powder_Burns

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Thanks for the insight. Back to the drawing board. Looking for a pill for target and hunting that is gonna work well with this short bbl.
 

squib-load

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Thanks for the insight. Back to the drawing board. Looking for a pill for target and hunting that is gonna work well with this short bbl.

what defines working well? range? kinetic energy at the target? what class animal are we taking here, 120 pound dog dear or 220lb?

right tool for the job

inside 200 yards 'almost' any hunting bullet will do you ... I use 150gn flat base CHEAP sierra pro hunters in lots of rifles.. very accurate short distance and can get good enough velocity for in close kills that won't take half the meat out...

if you want to shoot speed goats from 700+ out.. probably would use a 160+pill and look for a flat shooting higher speed combo.. but I wouldn't speed goat hunt with 16" barrel either.. like my 26" 3200fps 6.5-284 for that..
 

FCS

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Thanks for the insight. Back to the drawing board. Looking for a pill for target and hunting that is gonna work well with this short bbl.
190 SMK works really in short barrel, SAAMI chamber and 12 twist has worked fine. 200 Speer flat base, Spritzer kills animals really well.

200 SMK for paper/steel and 200 SGK for hunting, if twist rate supports that heavy a bullet.

Heavy bullets loose less in short barrels, have higher BC too.
 

FCS

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Elk inside 300, steel out to 1k. Trying to keep a relatively flat trajectory for the range side.
LRF & use needed elevation for banging steel, punching paper.

Inside 300, you can guestimate range well enough to bracket on a FFP reticle or dial for a shot into vitals.
Know load, know external ballistics, have a decent range finder and don’t over analyze to point you have analysis paralysis.
Range time is best thing you can do, practice from all the positions you suck at and might be forced into when opportunity is offered.
 

squib-load

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You won’t be able to take a ethical kill shot on much at 1k with a 16” .308. But I believe that was the ‘range only’.
Elk at 300 with a 16” you will likely want a heavy bonded with a powder that will give it some impact. I do t profess to hunt elk so I don’t know the recommended ft/lbs of energy and sectional density for a reliable kill shot but I would guess a 150 class slug just won’t get the velocity you need in 16” barrel. Would need a powder faster than 4064 probably and it’s not a powder range I reload in so no expertise there
 

boisepaw

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I'm going to spend some time this weekend loading and (carefully) shooting some SMK 175's with charge weights that will end up being above Sierra's published max. I've seen a number of folks note loads above those levels with the powder (H4895) that I am using.

I'll be careful but if I don't check in on Monday, can someone call 911?
 
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