Need some guidance on 308 load using 175's

rockchalk06

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Rifle is a Bergara HMR Pro in 308. Barrel today now has exactly 115 rounds. I've been running Berger 175 OTM and Nosler 175 RDF over Varget in virgin Lapua and once fired Federal Match brass.

I have yet to find a 5 shot group under .769" and that was the best I've had out of several. Most were above 1 MOA and some into the 1.5-1.8 MOA. I know this rifle can do better. I know I am capable of .305"-.033" 5 shot groups with my HMR in 6.5, so I'm a little worried about this rifle.

I've worked seating depths up and down from mag length to the standard 2.800" COAL. Not finding anything so far that justifies the 1680 and change I have into the rifle.

Twist is 1-10 with a 20" barrel. Should I try a different bullet in 175 or try a different weight. I've read that the 155.5 Freebores and 185 Juggernauts (sp) have been very good over Varget. Twist rates/bullet weights seem to be all over the place opinion wise.

Any guidance would be very helpful and appreciated. Each of my 5 shot groups were chrono'd as well. I have some strings of single digits SD's but working up and down in .002" increments and .2 grain increments seem to get stupid wide on paper and in SD.

Thanks in advance
 
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rockchalk06

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Should also add that at 50 rounds I cleaned the shit out of the barrel and a dry patch had been run down the barrel bore to muzzle after every outing.

Each 5 shot group was fired then 15-20 minutes of cool down.
 

Flightmurse

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I’d try a different bullet and powder. Try a 168 smk over varget, or try a different powder. If you are capable of shooting in the .3’s then it’s clearly not the shooter, so start playing variables and see what the gun likes.
 
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Dogtown

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Some barrels just don't like certain bullets and there's no rhyme or reason to it, it seems. If you're capable of making good ammo and shooting 1/2MOA groups, yet all of your efforts are not yielding expected results, then it's time to start switching components:

- powders
- bullets
- primers

I've had .308WIN barrels that loved 155s and 175s, but wouldn't group 168s well at all. Changing brass has never really helped me, but trying different bullets, powders and sometimes primers has helped. The latter was really surprising for me with a 6.5x47 where I had a 1/2 MOA load that just collapsed into 10 rounds on top of each other simply by changing primers. Unfortunately, this kind of component testing can take a LONG time.

175s and Varget are generally considered a very safe combination that works in most rifles, so your results are a bit concerning. You might want to just confirm that the barrel isn't just super finicky by testing some quality factory ammo (FGMM 175 is the gold standard).
 

1J04

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    Try 44.5 Varget with SMK 175 in Fed brass and Fed primers.


    1600712153278.png



    When did this type of advice/help become acceptable on here? Don't be an idiot, because you're being an idiot.

    OP, it appears you know the drill, but since someone just shit in the pool, you know damn good and well you don't take this type of nonsense and put it into play. WORK UP YOUR LOADS! Don't just take some random "Do This BS" and light it off next to your face. But you probably know that already.

    If I was gonna do anything I'd "WORK UP A LOAD" with 4064 or H4895, or hell, even stick with Varget, but give some 168 SMK's a go. Regardless of what twist rate calculators say, some Rifles, even in 1:10, like 168's over 175's and visa versa.

    Good luck and be safe.
     

    Mr Tibbs

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    Rockchalk : my I recommend using the CBTO method instead of the COAL method in your load development. This will aid you to achieve the performance that you seek .
     
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    168BTHPM

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    All of my .30cal rifles (.300Sav, .308, .30-06 and .300WM) like the 168 A-Max, I use both Varget and IMR-4350.

    Your accuracy problems may not be related to the load or rifle. What kind of glass and mount are you using?
     

    moaorbust

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    That's a really stout load to use as a starting point.

    That’s not a starting point I am recommending. That is the load which my instructor taught me to make. I shoot it every weekend. Proven safe and accurate (5 inside an inch at 100 yards) with multiple rifles (Howa, Remington, Defiance) by multiple people. Up to you of course. I would never advise someone to do something I would not myself do.
     

    rockchalk06

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    View attachment 7429131


    When did this type of advice/help become acceptable on here? Don't be an idiot, because you're being an idiot.

    OP, it appears you know the drill, but since someone just shit in the pool, you know damn good and well you don't take this type of nonsense and put it into play. WORK UP YOUR LOADS! Don't just take some random "Do This BS" and light it off next to your face. But you probably know that already.

    If I was gonna do anything I'd "WORK UP A LOAD" with 4064 or H4895, or hell, even stick with Varget, but give some 168 SMK's a go. Regardless of what twist rate calculators say, some Rifles, even in 1:10, like 168's over 175's and visa versa.

    Good luck and be safe.


    Thank you. Ya, I seen that and didn't even think to reply. I loaded 5 five shot groups this morning with the fire formed Lapua from this rifle at the best seating depth I've had so far which is 2.181" jumping .125" to jam at 43.7, 43.9, 44.1, 44.3 and 44.5. Hodgdon is calling for 45.0 as max. I've ran up to 44.9 with no signs of pressure on the brass nor heavy bolt lift jumping .130", but will definitely watch after each firing.

    I didn't have any 168's on hand, but will be placing and order for some here shortly. Needing some StaBall to try in 6.5 as well. Will grab some 4064 as I see it's in stock.

    Thanks
     

    powdahound76

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    Whatever @1J04

    Quit being a spoil sport.
    I fill mine to the top of the case mouth with Varget, then use a dowel I made to smash it down, then seat my bullet.
    And use a MG kinda crimp.

    Shoots awesome!!

    When I want a little extra OOMF I use magnum primers and sprinkle in a little Longshot powder to speed things up.

    Dont be all grumpy cause your afraid to try new things!!!
     
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    rockchalk06

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    Some barrels just don't like certain bullets and there's no rhyme or reason to it, it seems. If you're capable of making good ammo and shooting 1/2MOA groups, yet all of your efforts are not yielding expected results, then it's time to start switching components:

    - powders
    - bullets
    - primers

    I've had .308WIN barrels that loved 155s and 175s, but wouldn't group 168s well at all. Changing brass has never really helped me, but trying different bullets, powders and sometimes primers has helped. The latter was really surprising for me with a 6.5x47 where I had a 1/2 MOA load that just collapsed into 10 rounds on top of each other simply by changing primers. Unfortunately, this kind of component testing can take a LONG time.

    175s and Varget are generally considered a very safe combination that works in most rifles, so your results are a bit concerning. You might want to just confirm that the barrel isn't just super finicky by testing some quality factory ammo (FGMM 175 is the gold standard).

    Thank you. I have a couple hundred rounds of 175 FGMM stashed. I'll break some out to give a go.

    I did the standard go around base, rings, ring caps, bipod etc and did find the pistol grip cap was a little loose. Not sure if this would contribute, but it's something out of the norm I guess.
     

    rockchalk06

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    Rockchalk : my I recommend using the CBTO method instead of the COAL method in your load development. This will aid you to achieve the performance that you seek .

    Thanks. That's what I have been doing over the last few months, with the thanks of this place!
     
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    Snuby642

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    When you worked on seating depth did you go backwards from max .003 at a time as sugjested?

    I used to go .010 and then .005 and been told I missed the boat and was an old fudd so the 168g in fc brass and fed primers are waiting on charge weight confirmation with the new cfe223 power (ran out of most varget) and trying to hit 2700fps in a 20 inch barrel.

    Running at 2.8 and will do the painstaking .003 increments as sugjested by the experts.

    Son also wants 175g load so this fresh thread is good timing for me.
     
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    rockchalk06

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    All of my .30cal rifles (.300Sav, .308, .30-06 and .300WM) like the 168 A-Max, I use both Varget and IMR-4350.

    Your accuracy problems may not be related to the load or rifle. What kind of glass and mount are you using?

    Talley 20 MOA base, Vortex Pro Medium Rings and a Vortex PST Gen2 3-14x44. All torqued to specs.

    I've never used 4350, but will put that on the list.

    Thank you
     

    Gil P.

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    Rifle is a Bergara HMR Pro in 308. Barrel today now has exactly 115 rounds. I've been running Berger 175 OTM and Nosler 175 RDF over Varget in virgin Lapua and once fired Federal Match brass.

    I have yet to find a 5 shot group under .769" and that was the best I've had out of several. Most were above 1 MOA and some into the 1.5-1.8 MOA. I know this rifle can do better. I know I am capable of .305"-.033" 5 shot groups with my HMR in 6.5, so I'm a little worried about this rifle.

    I've worked seating depths up and down from mag length to the standard 2.800" COAL. Not finding anything so far that justifies the 1680 and change I have into the rifle.

    Twist is 1-10 with a 20" barrel. Should I try a different bullet in 175 or try a different weight. I've read that the 155.5 Freebores and 185 Juggernauts (sp) have been very good over Varget. Twist rates/bullet weights seem to be all over the place opinion wise.

    Any guidance would be very helpful and appreciated. Each of my 5 shot groups were chrono'd as well. I have some strings of single digits SD's but working up and down in .002" increments and .2 grain increments seem to get stupid wide on paper and in SD.

    Thanks in advance
    This sounds like you have a very narrow velocity node.

    What is your load work up method? How do you measure your powder?

    You're shooting from a factory barrel?
     

    168BTHPM

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    Whatever @1J04

    Quit being a spoil sport.
    I fill mine to the top of the case mouth with Varget, then use a dowel I made to smash it down, then seat my bullet.
    And use a MG kinda crimp.

    Shoots awesome!!

    When I want a little extra OOMF I use magnum primers and sprinkle in a little Longshot powder to speed things up.

    Dont be all grumpy cause your afraid to try new things!!!

    Sissy! I like to hear the powder crunch when I seat the bullet, nothing like a really good compressed load. The only thing that sound compares to is fingernails on a chalk board.
     

    rockchalk06

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    When you worked on seating depth did you go backwards from max .003 at a time as sugjested?

    I used to go .010 and then .005 and been told I missed the boat and was an old fudd so the 168g in fc brass and fed primers are waiting on charge weight confirmation with the new cfe223 power (ran out of most varget) and trying to hit 2700fps in a 20 inch barrel.

    Running at 2.8 and will do the painstaking .003 increments as sugjested by the experts.

    Son also wants 175g load so this fresh thread is good timing for me.

    Yes sir. Up and down Starting jumping .119"which was mag length for me and all the down to .130" in .002" increments each time.

    What's odd is the numbers on the Berger OTM's looked better than the RDF's, but the RDF's held tighter groups on paper. None were worth a shit, but better.
     

    Snipe260

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    When did this type of advice/help become acceptable on here? Don't be an idiot, because you're being an idiot.

    OP, it appears you know the drill, but since someone just shit in the pool, you know damn good and well you don't take this type of nonsense and put it into play. WORK UP YOUR LOADS! Don't just take some random "Do This BS" and light it off next to your face. But you probably know that already.

    If I was gonna do anything I'd "WORK UP A LOAD" with 4064 or H4895, or hell, even stick with Varget, but give some 168 SMK's a go. Regardless of what twist rate calculators say, some Rifles, even in 1:10, like 168's over 175's and visa versa.

    Good luck and be safe.
    I do like the odds though😂😂
     
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    1J04

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    That’s not a starting point I am recommending. That is the load which my instructor taught me to make. I shoot it every weekend. Proven safe and accurate (5 inside an inch at 100 yards) with multiple rifles (Howa, Remington, Defiance) by multiple people. Up to you of course. I would never advise someone to do something I would not myself do.


    No man, you literally sed

    moaorbust said:
    Try 44.5 Varget with SMK 175 in Fed brass and Fed primers.


    Most people are gonna take that, and now your new gem of advice

    That’s not a starting point I am recommending. That is the load which my instructor taught me to make. I shoot it every weekend. Proven safe and accurate (5 inside an inch at 100 yards) with multiple rifles (Howa, Remington, Defiance) by multiple people. Up to you of course. I would never advise someone to do something I would not myself do.


    as pretty much the gospel. You're not advocating being safe and working ANYTHING up because your "Instructor" taught you to make this load. LMFAO Listen to what you're saying Jimmy. It's all Bullshit and unsafe as fuck. "I would never advise someone to do something I would not myself do". What does that even mean? Just because you're batshit crazy and don't either care or give two shits about yourself doesn't mean you need to drag anyone else into your world. You be you, but keep it to yourself. You wanna jump off the Bridge, have at it, but don't try selling it as safe just because you're willing or stupid enough to do it.

    If you can't see the error of your ways, please, just slither back over to whatever Forum it is you spawned from.
     

    Snuby642

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    And if I use up the 8lb of cfe223 I snagged 8lb of h335 which is an old powder listed for 308 but new to me.

    Good luck getting H4350 I cant find it for the 6.5cm.

    Crunching power makes my teeth itch.
     
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    1J04

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    Whatever @1J04

    Quit being a spoil sport.
    I fill mine to the top of the case mouth with Varget, then use a dowel I made to smash it down, then seat my bullet.
    And use a MG kinda crimp.

    Shoots awesome!!

    When I want a little extra OOMF I use magnum primers and sprinkle in a little Longshot powder to speed things up.

    Dont be all grumpy cause your afraid to try new things!!!


    Hilarious, except I know you're being a funny Boi, unlike Calamity Jimmy with his one load for every gun BS. ;)
     
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    rockchalk06

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    This sounds like you have a very narrow velocity node.

    What is your load work up method? How do you measure your powder?

    You're shooting from a factory barrel?

    So far yes. I loaded a few more to try this weekend to empty the box of OTM's and will start with a different power and bullet.

    Each charge is thrown about a full grain under desired charge and trickled up.

    I find a charge a full grain.5 or more under what I find as max, load to mag length and start seating deeper in .002" increments. Run everything over a chrono and watch for pressure signs each shot. 10-15 minute cool down between loads and repeat. When I find few nodes that look good, I start with those seating depths and work up and down on charge weights in .2 grain increments watching for pressure.

    Yes sir. Factory barrel.
     
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    abn31c

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    When did this type of advice/help become acceptable on here? Don't be an idiot, because you're being an idiot.

    OP, it appears you know the drill, but since someone just shit in the pool, you know damn good and well you don't take this type of nonsense and put it into play. WORK UP YOUR LOADS! Don't just take some random "Do This BS" and light it off next to your face. But you probably know that already.

    If I was gonna do anything I'd "WORK UP A LOAD" with 4064 or H4895, or hell, even stick with Varget, but give some 168 SMK's a go. Regardless of what twist rate calculators say, some Rifles, even in 1:10, like 168's over 175's and visa versa.

    Good luck and be safe.
    You must be new here...
    Cause erybody know's if you aint shooting 168' over xbr8208 you might as well just go sit in the park and talk to the squirrels.....
     

    rockchalk06

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    And if I use up the 8lb of cfe223 I snagged 8lb of h335 which is an old powder listed for 308 but new to me.

    Good luck getting H4350 I cant find it for the 6.5cm.

    Crunching power makes my teeth itch.

    I used to load H335 over 168 grain Amax's in 308 for years in my factory LTR 20". 42.0 grains even (which was max load on Hodgdon's website) @2.800 COAL. Hell, I still have some of them loaded from 2009 but I was using Moly back then and I'm hesitant to run it in this new rifle.
     
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    Gil P.

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    So far yes. I loaded a few more to try this weekend to empty the box of OTM's and will start with a different power and bullet.

    Each charge is thrown about a full grain under desired charge and trickled up.

    I find a charge a full grain.5 or more under what I find as max, load to mag length and start seating deeper in .002" increments. Run everything over a chrono and watch for pressure signs each shot. 10-15 minute cool down between loads and repeat. When I find few nodes that look good, I start with those seating depths and work up and down on charge weights in .2 grain increments watching for pressure.

    Yes sir. Factory barrel.

    I wouldn't rule out that your barrel might suck.

    So you find max charge, back off a half grain and then find a good seating depth? After you find a seating depth you start testing your charge weight correct?

    .002 is very small to check seating depth, I hate to think you're burning up your barrel but it I'm sure it will still work. I do it in .005 increments without issue.

    Try a different powder before changing bullets. You should only change one variable at a time. RL 15, IMR 4064, and Vv N550 all worked well for me in the past with that combination.
     
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    powdahound76

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    Hilarious, except I know you're being a funny Boi, unlike Calamity Jimmy with his one load for every gun BS. ;)

    I aint a boi. They are homos, like all the male nurses are.

    I do have a man cold today though. Head feels like the fluffy cows are racing through my frontal sinuses.
    Would you be a dear and bring me a soy pumpkin spice latte please? 😘😘😘
     

    Snuby642

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    Just a psa Hogden lists 45.0 as a compressed max load for 175 smk's.

    I don't start. 5gr below max but often end up there slowly and with careful brass inspection.
     
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    1J04

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    I aint a boi. They are homos, like all the male nurses are.

    I do have a man cold today though. Head feels like the fluffy cows are racing through my frontal sinuses.
    Would you be a dear and bring me a soy pumpkin spice latte please? 😘😘😘


    You also want a little




    on it or what? Maybe some of those cute little marshmellows.......
     

    powdahound76

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    Its marshmallow.
    I think yer head is either still soggy from the Navy or is full of smoke.

    Ban? You say ban?

    Then its probably time to talk about the JOOO male nurses!
    @DuneBoer - just so I can offend you.....
     
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    308Gunner

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    I have shot a lot of 175’s and have always found a load around 44 gr. My current load is 44.2 grains in M118lr brass @2.80. I would also suggest shooting around 10 rounds before you start looking for groups, and as stated above find a load that is decent and then start on seating depth. If you are changing loads and depth you are just chasing your tail. Shoot your barrel dirty and see if that helps, mine takes 11 rounds to settle in after cleaning. Good luck
     

    Snuby642

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    We also have a 1/10 20 inch and to top that off a 2.80 max practical lenght in the magazine. Ruger sps tac.

    We did get a .95 group with 43g of varget under 168 eldm but was slow.

    Running out of varget had me scrambling.

    First thing toss all eld and vld for that gun and run tangent or hybrids and go with faster powder, (that is my plan not a sugjestion) and had some of the berger team help.

    I have a stingy box and chamber .

    And yes I was probably wasting varget near max loads since they were not better.
    Were were you when I started with the 308 ? Damn it.
     
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    Mr Tibbs

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    They also do their testing with a 12 twist 24" barrel. The OP has a 10 twist 20" barrel, which means lots of wasted powder burning past the muzzle.
    168BTHPM you are so right those 20 inch barrels waste a lot of unburned powder outside the muzzle
     
    D

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    Listen man, if someone is giving you loading advice and they are not a Squirrel tell them to piss on that wire.

    images.jpeg
     
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