Reloading .308 win with BL-C(2)

Sev308

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Hey guys,

I'm very new to reloading and wanted to get some advice on a few questions I had.

Here are the components i'm using:
  • Powder: BL-C(2)
  • Cartridge: Remington (headstamp: RP)
  • Primer: CCI Large Rifle no. 200
  • Bullet: Hornady 30c(.308) 150gr FMJBT

1) I loaded 10 rounds (have not shot them yet) with 44 grains of powder, which was the starting load in my lee reloading book. However, I saw on some other charts (online) that the starting load was slightly different for the powder and bullet combo. I also used the lee dipper included in my die set to measure the powder and weighed it after. Is 44 grains a good starting load for the powder i'm using?

2) I neck sized my cartridges with the lee neck sizing collet, and the inner diameter measures in at 0.295 inches. Is that diameter tight enough to seat a bullet with or should it be tighter after sizing? I also used a full length sizing die and pretty much got the same inner diameter with it.

3) My finished cartridges have an over all length of 2.737 inches. My reloading book has a minimum overall length and my die set instruction mentions the maximum overall length. I'm between the minimum and the maximum lengths, but I couldn't find a "correct" length. I'm guessing it's because bullets come in different shapes and sizes. But basically, I seated the bullet right at the bottom cannelure line. I made a dummy round with no primer and no powder, made sure that it fits in the mag and the bolt closes just fine. Is my overall length okay?

*I read over all the data, made sure to measure everything a few times, inspected the cases, etc. I'm pretty sure my rounds are safe to shoot, but there is that slight doubt in the back of my mind that something could possibly be wrong, so I just wanted to ask here before I pull the trigger on my first reload.

Thank you all for your help!
 

MtnCreek

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1) charge weight is fine.
2) 5 thou is more than enough to hold the bullet. Measuring id w/ calipers is difficult.
3) you would seat higher in the canilure if you were crimping, but I suggest not setting seater to crimp.
4) I thought my first handloads would blow up too. I think that's a normal reaction to firing first loads.
 

Mr Tibbs

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Sev308 your procedure seems sound, your load appears to be in a good range, according to Hodgdon’s data. Just a few tips, keeps using the same component, don‘t mix the brass headstamps . As you go forward learn to use the CBTO method instead of the COAL, it’s much More constant and will give you tighter groups .
 
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You are fine. Don't worry about crimping. Load the shit out of those and don't neglect the case trimming.

Once you get comfortable with the process you can start refining a bit.
 
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Sev308

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Sev308 your procedure seems sound, your load appears to be in a good range, according to Hodgdon’s data. Just a few tips, keeps using the same component, don‘t mix the brass headstamps . As you go forward learn to use the CBTO method instead of the COAL, it’s much More constant and will give you tighter groups .

Thanks for the advice! I have a bunch of Remington brass laying around, so I'm mostly going to load those to start with. I do have some Winchester brass too. I won't be mixing the brass, but can I use the same load for the Winchester? I know that the case is a bit thinner than the Remington (I measured it). Would the case capacity/thinner brass produce any excessive pressures? Of course, I will be shooting both cartridges on separate occasions to not confuse the two.
I'll also look into the CBTO method! It looks like a much better and easier way to measure!

Thanks again for the help!
 

Sev308

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1) charge weight is fine.
2) 5 thou is more than enough to hold the bullet. Measuring id w/ calipers is difficult.
3) you would seat higher in the canilure if you were crimping, but I suggest not setting seater to crimp.
4) I thought my first handloads would blow up too. I think that's a normal reaction to firing first loads.

Thank you for the clarifications! I'll try them out this weekend!
 

straightshooter1

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Dec 5, 2017
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Hey guys,

I'm very new to reloading and wanted to get some advice on a few questions I had.

Here are the components i'm using:
  • Powder: BL-C(2)
  • Cartridge: Remington (headstamp: RP)
  • Primer: CCI Large Rifle no. 200
  • Bullet: Hornady 30c(.308) 150gr FMJBT

1) I loaded 10 rounds (have not shot them yet) with 44 grains of powder, which was the starting load in my lee reloading book. However, I saw on some other charts (online) that the starting load was slightly different for the powder and bullet combo. I also used the lee dipper included in my die set to measure the powder and weighed it after. Is 44 grains a good starting load for the powder i'm using?

44 grains will work, it's just on the light side, which can easily cause inconsistent MV's that can show up on paper. This is because that load is just under 90% of case capacity leaving enough room inside where the powder can lay differently which results in the powder igniting differently (a little advanced info, I know, but something to keep in mind as you figure things out).

You should easily be able to work up to 46-48 grains without issues. BUT . . . whenever working up, always do it with caution and an eye out for pressure signs.


2) I neck sized my cartridges with the lee neck sizing collet, and the inner diameter measures in at 0.295 inches. Is that diameter tight enough to seat a bullet with or should it be tighter after sizing? I also used a full length sizing die and pretty much got the same inner diameter with it.

If that .295 is accurate for an ID, it's way too tight for a .308. I assume you're firing a gas gun and if so a good neck tension is .003-.004 and no crimping necessary. So, with a .004 neck tension, your ID would be .308-.004= .304.

Rather than trying to measure the ID, use your caliper to measure the outside of one your sized cases and then measure the outside one of your loaded cartridges . . . the difference in the OD is your neck tension and that's the best way to go about it, IMHO.

3) My finished cartridges have an over all length of 2.737 inches. My reloading book has a minimum overall length and my die set instruction mentions the maximum overall length. I'm between the minimum and the maximum lengths, but I couldn't find a "correct" length. I'm guessing it's because bullets come in different shapes and sizes. But basically, I seated the bullet right at the bottom cannelure line. I made a dummy round with no primer and no powder, made sure that it fits in the mag and the bolt closes just fine. Is my overall length okay?

Yes, that length should work just fine as long as it chambers with no issue.

FYI: SAAMI spec for .308 is typically 2.800 and that's what most factory cartridges are set at, but yes, size of the bullet and how it performs in your chamber determines where you should be.

*I read over all the data, made sure to measure everything a few times, inspected the cases, etc. I'm pretty sure my rounds are safe to shoot, but there is that slight doubt in the back of my mind that something could possibly be wrong, so I just wanted to ask here before I pull the trigger on my first reload.

Again, it all looks fine. But you may want to work up to some higher loads as you gain some experience since there's plenty of room for it.
 
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Sev308

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44 grains will work, it's just on the light side, which can easily cause inconsistent MV's that can show up on paper. This is because that load is just under 90% of case capacity leaving enough room inside where the powder can lay differently which results in the powder igniting differently (a little advanced info, I know, but something to keep in mind as you figure things out).

You should easily be able to work up to 46-48 grains without issues. BUT . . . whenever working up, always do it with caution and an eye out for pressure signs.


If that .295 is accurate for an ID, it's way too tight for a .308. I assume you're firing a gas gun and if so a good neck tension is .003-.004 and no crimping necessary. So, with a .004 neck tension, your ID would be .308-.004= .304.

Rather than trying to measure the ID, use your caliper to measure the outside of one your sized cases and then measure the outside one of your loaded cartridges . . . the difference in the OD is your neck tension and that's the best way to go about it, IMHO.

Yes, that length should work just fine as long as it chambers with no issue.

FYI: SAAMI spec for .308 is typically 2.800 and that's what most factory cartridges are set at, but yes, size of the bullet and how it performs in your chamber determines where you should be.

Again, it all looks fine. But you may want to work up to some higher loads as you gain some experience since there's plenty of room for it.


Yes, i'm definitely going to work up to some higher pressures once I test out some of the lower grains and get the hang of it and become more comfortable. I will be incrementing slowly up to like 47 grains and see what works best with the gun.

I had also measured it the way you said above and got something around .002-.003 if I remember correctly. I'll double check that again. When I was seating the bullet, it felt like the neck tension was a bit loose, because It took barely any effort to seat the bullet. I also tried to use some force to pull it out by hand and with some rubber tipped pliers and it was held in place pretty good. I'll check it again once I get a chance, but i'm pretty sure it was around .002-.003.

I'm also using a bolt action gun, not a gas operated one. The savage axis precision 2 to be exact.

Thank you for all the good info! I'll check the neck tension again and edit my post later!

EDIT: I just measured my inner diameter again, and got 0.305 inches (I checked 10 cases and they were all the same). I might have made a mistake, since I'm converting everything to inches for my fellow Americans. I use metric (in Canada). So yes, that would mean my tension is around 0.03
 
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Mr Tibbs

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Thanks for the advice! I have a bunch of Remington brass laying around, so I'm mostly going to load those to start with. I do have some Winchester brass too. I won't be mixing the brass, but can I use the same load for the Winchester? I know that the case is a bit thinner than the Remington (I measured it). Would the case capacity/thinner brass produce any excessive pressures? Of course, I will be shooting both cartridges on separate occasions to not confuse the two.
I'll also look into the CBTO method! It looks like a much better and easier way to measure!

Thanks again for the help!
Every brass brand has different internal case capacity , so if you want to change brands of brass it would be safe to rework the load. So if your starting load of BL-c2 was 44.0 Grs in the Remington Brass just drop it down to 43.5 Grs in the Winchester Brass and work you way back up, watching for signs of high pressure as you go. Glade to be of help and good luck
 
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straightshooter1

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Yes, i'm definitely going to work up to some higher pressures once I test out some of the lower grains and get the hang of it and become more comfortable. I will be incrementing slowly up to like 47 grains and see what works best with the gun.

I had also measured it the way you said above and got something around .002-.003 if I remember correctly. I'll double check that again. When I was seating the bullet, it felt like the neck tension was a bit loose, because It took barely any effort to seat the bullet. I also tried to use some force to pull it out by hand and with some rubber tipped pliers and it was held in place pretty good. I'll check it again once I get a chance, but i'm pretty sure it was around .002-.003.

I'm also using a bolt action gun, not a gas operated one. The savage axis precision 2 to be exact.

Thank you for all the good info! I'll check the neck tension again and edit my post later!

EDIT: I just measured my inner diameter again, and got 0.305 inches (I checked 10 cases and they were all the same). I might have made a mistake, since I'm converting everything to inches for my fellow Americans. I use metric (in Canada). So yes, that would mean my tension is around 0.03

.003 neck tension works fine, but .002 (~ .06mm) is better and is typically what's recommended for bolt guns (though, one can go even less with a bolt gun).

From what I can tell, even 47 grs is going to be plenty safe at that COAL. One can probably go a little more than 49 at the higher pressure range and still be safe and if you take a close look at the pic below (note the pressure highlighted in purple as opposed to the Pmax) you can see what I'm looking at that helps lead me to that conclusion:

BL-C2.jpg
 
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straightshooter1

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Thanks for the advice! I have a bunch of Remington brass laying around, so I'm mostly going to load those to start with. I do have some Winchester brass too. I won't be mixing the brass, but can I use the same load for the Winchester? I know that the case is a bit thinner than the Remington (I measured it). Would the case capacity/thinner brass produce any excessive pressures? Of course, I will be shooting both cartridges on separate occasions to not confuse the two.
I'll also look into the CBTO method! It looks like a much better and easier way to measure!

Thanks again for the help!

As Mr Tibbs rightly pointed out, case capacity varies from one brand to another . . . Winchester being one that has the most case capacity and more than most others. For example, many brands capacity is around 55.5-56 gr H2O and Winchester is at ~57.7 gr H2O. That difference will definitely be noticeable in the cartridge performance. That's why is good practice to keep the different brands (even the different lots of a brand) separate.
 

Sev308

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.003 neck tension works fine, but .002 (~ .06mm) is better and is typically what's recommended for bolt guns (though, one can go even less with a bolt gun).

From what I can tell, even 47 grs is going to be plenty safe at that COAL. One can probably go a little more than 49 at the higher pressure range and still be safe and if you take a close look at the pic below (note the pressure highlighted in purple as opposed to the Pmax) you can see what I'm looking at that helps lead me to that conclusion:

View attachment 7484041

That's an awesome and useful picture and data! For the neck tension, I can definitely aim for .002 for my next reloads. I'll also try to go up to the higher ranges like you said, incrementing slowly, since it should be safe.

Should I also test out different bullet seating depths? Like seat it lower to grab onto the cannelure, or a bit higher? Or should I keep it like that for now
 
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straightshooter1

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That's an awesome and useful picture and data! For the neck tension, I can definitely aim for .002 for my next reloads. I'll also try to go up to the higher ranges like you said, incrementing slowly, since it should be safe.

Should I also test out different bullet seating lengths? Like seat it lower to grab onto the cannelure, or a bit higher?

Once you find a powder load that's looking good on paper, you can fine tune it by changing the seating depth (like in .005 increments). Then . . . fire 3 shot groups with various depths and see which gives you the tighter group.
 
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Sev308

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Also an other question:

My rifle's twist rate is 1 in 10 (in). Should I go for heavier bullets? Like 180+ grains? I tried a 180 grain hunting round (Remington core-lokt) and it really didn't group at all. I'm not sure what exact issue was. But since the twist rate is pretty fast, it should stabilize heavier bullets right?

I'm going to see how the 150 grain does this weekend and can post the results.
 

Mr Tibbs

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SeV308 one thing to keep in mind when looking at bullet weights, it’s not the weight but the length of the bullet and the twist rate that’s the determining factor in accuracy . For example Hornady 223 75 Gr BTHP Match is longer than a Sierra 77 GR MKBTHP.
 
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straightshooter1

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Also an other question:

My rifle's twist rate is 1 in 10 (in). Should I go for heavier bullets? Like 180+ grains? I tried a 180 grain hunting round (Remington core-lokt) and it really didn't group at all. I'm not sure what exact issue was. But since the twist rate is pretty fast, it should stabilize heavier bullets right?

I'm going to see how the 150 grain does this weekend and can post the results.

1:10 rate should work just fine for 150's. As far as the 180's go, maybe is just one of those that your gun just doesn't like . . . it happens. In my 1:10 twist barrel, Berger 185 Jugs worked great, but Berger 185 VLD's did not.

This week end I'll be working on some 155 SMK Palma's for the first time and push them with something around 45 grs of Varget.
 
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