Powder choice for a full case?

pepperbelly

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Aug 7, 2006
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I plan on using some RL15 I have on hand to load .308 with a 175gr SMK. I want a powder that will give me as full of a case as possible. I don't mind slightly compressed but prefer almost full to full.

Is RL15 the best choice? It seems like Varget leaves more space in the case.

Is there a better choice? A Go-To powder for .308 that I am not thinking about?

The reason I want this is that it's my understanding that a full case of powder burns more consistantly. Is this right or am I full of shit?

I have several different powders on hand that I can try, but want to focus on one or 2 as quickly as I can. It's just too hot here to spend all day figuring this out.

Jim
 

pepperbelly

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Re: Powder choice for a full case?

"The" powder changes every so often. I wanted to be sure I hadn't missed anything.

For example Unique used to be "the" powder for .45acp. There were others that worked well, but I bet more .45 handloaders used Unique than the other combined.
Now I use WST for my .45acp loads.

I think there used to be a standard powder for .308 but it seems RL15 is the one most use. There is a strong following for Varget too. I can't think of it but isn't there a "numbered" powder that everyone used to use for .308?

Jim
 

BCP

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    IMR4895, IMR3031 or Win748? Those are the powders the old farts at my local store always try to sell me on.
     

    wfjames22

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  • May 8, 2009
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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    Jim-
    The rifle I got from you loves 175 SMK's and 44gr of Varget. Case is pretty full with the bullets seated 10 thous. short of the lands. When I load them to mag length, its ever so slightly compressed. Every 308 I have played with likes 175 SMK's with 43-45gr of Varget.

    By the way, I killed a prairie dog at 949yds with that load out of your old rifle in SD two weeks ago. Not going to claim a one shot kill (it took a "couple"-19mph 2 o'clock wind), but we went out, verified the kill and ranged the truck that was parked at our shooting location. Thanks again for the rifle, she's a shooter!
     

    pepperbelly

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    That might be why I was always a little disappointed in it. I only tried 168gr bullets.

    This new Savage I have really loves the 175gr SMKs too.

    I will try Varget as well as RL15 since I have both on my bench, along with H4350, H4895, IMR4895, and too many more. I really want to narrow it down to just one or two powders to experiment with.

    I am happy you like the rifle. Right now I am so tired I don't remember why I sold it to you- or traded it to you.

    Jim
     

    wfjames22

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    I never tried 168 SMK's in it, but I did work up a great shooting load with 165 Nosler BT's for deer.

    I skipped right over the 168's and started with 175's when I wanted to start stretching its legs. I really liked the scope you had on it until I put a Nightforce NXS 8-32 on it. Night and day!! I moved that scope to my 16" bull AR and it works nicely there. Good luck with the load development, I dont think you can go wrong with Varget or RL15.
     

    BCP

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    FWIW 43 varget + 178 AMAX is my new load in LC brass for my 308. Good accuracy, decent velocity out of an 18" AR. I tried 44.5 in win brass but didn't get a huge increase in accuracy, plus I only shoot to 600 at targets and 300 at steel so I don't need another ~50 fps, I'd rather have my brass last a bit longer. For some reason 42 in that same brass didn't shoot for shit though, and I could never get 168s to group unless I loaded them hot as hell.

    Also the reasons I went with varget were 1) everyone else seems to like it 2) local store has 8lb jugs and 3) just got paid that same day I found out about that local store.
     

    KurtM

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    I'm using 43.4 of IMR4895 and getting close to a full case using Fed GMM brass with no compression. I've loaded up 45 with 168s with no problems.
     

    joemagee

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    Re: Powder choice for a full case?

    Im shooting 175 smk. with 44.gr. of IMR 4895, a slight compressed load. I always found a compressed load or base of bullet resting on the powder will shoot a bit tighter.