Totall newby that's kinds confused...

916dude!

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I have a new savage .308 in the mail and I can't wait to shoot it! I'm gonna need to start reloading for it for cost and consistency. I keep reading peoples posts. Of their loads and results and problems and so on. What I want to know is how does a guy even make a choice on what to start with?!? There is an infanent amount of differnt combos out there so how do I decide on brass, primers, powder, bullets, ect. Can you guys give me some insight and egimicate me along the way? Thanks
 

Bacarrat

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  • Jan 22, 2007
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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    Buy a reloading manual. Go with their loads as they should be safe with YOUR gun. Work your load up as every rifle is different.
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    Read everything you can on the subject. I always suggest a Lyman's Handloading Manual. They arent trying to sell you bullets or powder or primers.

    Read all the text between the data chapters, at the beginning and ends of chapters. Leave all the caliber specific out for now. You really need to learn safety first and then how to set everything up. It has a LOT of information for newbys.

    Read everything you can. It can only help you get better.

    Good luck and be careful.
     

    gau17

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    916dude - I'm not an expert but this is what I would do. First is try out different factory ammo like federal gold match 168 grain or black hills. Also try them in 175 grain. See what your rifle likes. you will find most people with a 308 load 155 scenars, 168 & 175 grains sierra matchking. For powder Varget is pretty up there. Brass is Lapua. Your main obsticle is finding components (powder/brass/primer). If you don't have them now, chances are pretty slim of finding them. Maybe you can get on the backorder list.

    go here to see what others are using http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=323517#Post323517

    . ALWAYs ALWAYs start from the minimum and work your way up. Like Bacarrat said READ READ READ until you have steps memorized. Don't be affraid to ask silly questions here. People are alway willing to help a fellow shooter.
     

    ChadTRG42

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    Read a reloading manual (or several), then read it again. Study the caliber reloading data you are loading for, and get the components that will fulfill your needs.
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    Having and reading a manual IS the first step. Get a Lyman now, add others later as you wish. All of them are good but Lyman's has a lot more general info as well as really good load data. Getting more than one book to start with is almost certain to give you info overload. Too much info, at first, will turn to an undefined sort of mush in your mind instead of helping much.

    YOU have to chose your starting bullet. They are all good. Some are better in some individual rifles, none of them are good in other rifles; that's a fact. Your manual will tell you how to choose from the several powders that tend to work well with your chosen bullet weight. It will also tell you how to ajust the charges without going too far. Pick one bullet, one powder, one primer, one case brand. Use them, expirement with charges and seating depths. It's all done one methoical step at a time, there are no (valid) shortcuts at all.

    If your original choices work, fine. If you aren't satisfied, try another powder. Or bullet. Or primer. Or brand of case. Or rebed the rifle. I mean, reloading and shooting ain't a science, anyone who tells you to do this and use that to get best accuracy is kidding you. Or themselves.
     

    Winchester 69

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    The manuals aren't going to tell you which components people are having success with. Problem today is that they're all hard to find.

    You don't say whether you're hunting or shooting paper. If you look around at people asking about loads on the forums, you'll find that Winchester or Lapua ($$) brass is popular. A lot of people like Varget (if you can find any) for powder, and Sierra bullets, 168 gr. MK for paper and ProHunter for deer, will give great accuracy. Any non-Magnum primers you can find (can't be picky if you want to shoot - Wolf are good).

    There are other good powders like 4064 and RL-15, if you have to take what you can find. RamShot's <span style="font-style: italic">Big Game</span> is accurate but temp sensitive. There are other components, but these are popular and work.
     

    dontstrokeme

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    If you are going to buy a set of reloading components...buy a LEE setup...about $110-140 when I bought mine....the shit will work.....as long as you weight each charge you will be as accurate as the guy with the $1000 into his press and charge thrower.....then you know what you want to upgrade first, instead of buying $600 of components and not like/using them. Money would be best spent on buying as much factory loaded ammo as you can and finding out which shoots the best in you rifle....if you buy multiple bullet weights, people will always buy them because their rifle likes them.....but shoot factory shit and find out what is best and then do a search and find out how "hiders" duplicate the factory load.
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dontstrokeme</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you are going to buy a set of reloading components...buy a LEE setup...about $110-140 when I bought mine.... </div></div>

    Remember when you go to buy equipment, press dies and such. In this game you get what you pay for. I wouldn't trade my 35 year old RCBS RockChucker for a truck load of LEE anything. My brother and I went together and bought several back in the 1970s. I've tried more than one of their presses. They just aren't made right. If people can make decent loads on a Lee press they would think they were close to Heaven if they tried a RCBS, Lyman or Redding. If they tried a Dillon Progressive they would thing it was the top shelf in Heaven.

    Read a lot of everything and see if someone close by will let you try their press out. Maybe help them by sizing or something. Find someone close by to be a mentor. Someone with more experience than 30 days. Visit the local firing range and ask a few questions. Tell them you're green and looking for some help. You might gain a friend.
     

    johngfoster

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    1. I think the very first step you need to do is DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF SHOOTING YOU WILL BE DOING. What are you going to be using the gun for? Hunting with a bit of target shooting, punching paper out to 600yd, trying to ring a steel gong at 1000yd? This will form the basis for your choices of components.

    2. Pick a bullet you want to use based on your shooting needs. If you are wanting to do long-range shooting beyond 600yd, then you will want to consider either the Lapua 155gr Scenars, or Sierra 175gr SMK. There are other great choices from Berger and other bullet manufacturers as well, but the Sierra and Lapua offerings seem to be the most popular.

    3. Get a reloading manual printed by the same company that makes the bullet you intend using. Not sure if Lapua puts out a manual or not. Sierra puts out a good one. So does Hornady. I have both. Pick one.

    4. READ IT

    5. Get some quality brass that will take a lot of reloadings. I went with Lapua. It is very consistent in case wall thickness, but it is expensive, and getting more so by the day. A good alternative would be Winchester brass. Not quite the quality of Lapua, but still very good stuff. Remington brass is not bad either, but it does get hard, needing more frequent annealing of the case neck. I looked at this as an investment. Quality brass will last a long time, especially if you buy it in bulk (500+ pieces at a time)

    6. Pick a powder you want to use. Many good choices here. I went with Varget. It is <span style="font-weight: bold">(was)</span> readily available and temperature stable. Also, many said it provided excellent accuracy. Other good powders for the 308 include RE15, H4895, H4350, IMR 4064 among others. You may want to choose one that is readily available in your AO.

    7. Pick a primer that is AVAILABLE. The popular primer has been FGMM 210M LR primers, but they are about has hard to find as hens teeth these days. I decided to go with CCI BR2 primers as they were much more readily available in my AO. Now it's almost impossible to find ANY primer, so I think availability trumps preference in this area. It will be a good idea to pick up at least a brick (1000 primers) as you will use quite a few in load work-up. It would really suck to work up a load and then not be able to get a component and have to do it all over again when you change to a different component.

    8. Start loading about 10% below max listed charge for that powder/bullet combination.

    9. Seat your bullets at factory COAL until you have found a tentative accurate load, then play with seating depth to try to fine tune accuracy some more.

    10. Be safe/have fun.

    Summary: my component choices are: Sierra 175gr SMK, Lapua brass, Varget, CCI BR2
     

    916dude!

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    Re: Totall newby that's kinds confused...

    wow! You guys are great! this has been a LOT of great info! i really appreciate it! The way things are going i guess i better start shopping soon! thanks again hiders!