Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

What do you like for 7.62x 51 (.308) recipes.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Blaster, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Blaster

    Blaster Hunc tu caveto

    Feb 2, 2000
    I'm going to start loading .308 soon. I'm looking for suggested starting points, types of powder, bullets and primers you like that provide good results for a semi-auto rifle. The goal for now to make decent range ammo, not sub-MOA.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    Firstly, avoid Winchester primers and avoid Federal cases. The quality of Winchester primers is completely gone. The plant where they are made is suppose to be in the process of relocating. I don't know if this is the reason for the poor quality.

    Federal cases have the primer pockets get loose after one firing. The gas that leaks past the primer pocket can damage the bolt and firing pin with just one one leaky round.

    Remington cases are, "soft" but not terrible. Besides their slightly larger than usual variations in case weights, their rims can get out of shape in auto rifles, making resizing difficult.

    Winchester cases are lighter than most other commercial cases but their hardness is usually right where it should be. They seem to hold up fairly well and the weight doesn't vary as much as some other brands.

    The Hodgdon, "Extreme" extruded powders are often said to be less temperature sensitive than many other powders and this is true when compared to some IMR powders, except IMR-4064. IMR-4064 is about the least temperature sensitive powder available. It's not the easiest to measure though.

    Hodgdon BLC(2) can act a bit erratic and inconsistent in 308 Winchester. W-748 seems to be a better ball powder for 308 Winchester.

    With primers, the CCI / Blount #34 primers are the safest for auto rifles. Remington 9 1/2 primers are nearly the same. Both the #34 and 9 1/2 primers give less accuracy than Federal 210 and 210M (match not magnum) primers. The CCI 200, 250 and BR2 primers all usually show better accuracy than the #34 and 9 1/2 primers. If your rifle doesn't have a spring loaded firing pin though, the CCI / Blount #34 and Remington 9 1/2 primers are the safest to avoid slamfires. The Federal primers seem the most impact sensitive with the rest of the CCI primers somewhere in between in strike sensitivity.

    For plinking I look for 168 grain match hollow points on sale. Sierra, Hornady (non-Amax), Speer or Nosler. These are as accurate as any other bullet out to 300 yards. I'm usually not plinking past that distance.

    One load I got from IMR some years ago is 42.5 grains of IMR-4064 with a 168 grain bullet loaded to 2.800". 43.0 grains of W-748 will match that load for a ball powder load.

    I try to keep my loads loaded to 2.79" to 2.80" in length because I haven't found much advantage loading longer and my DPMS magazines will barely accept cartridges loaded to that length. My M-14 magazines will allow slightly longer cartridges.

    Surplus cases can be a bargain or a headache. A lot of them have been fired in machine guns are and have been over-expanded. The match and sniper cases usually haven't been fired in machine guns but cost a premium and have already been fired at least once. They aren't bad, but they aren't cheap either.

    If I'm buying cases, I look for Winchester cases on sale or at the lowest price. With once fired cases, I'll reload Winchester and Remington cases. Federal cases get thrown away.

    The CCI / Blount #34 primers or CCI-250 primers are likely best for ball powders like W-748. With IMR-4064 the Federal 210 and 210M primers give the best accuracy but I also use CCI / Blount #34 and Remington 9 1/2 primers too. CCI-200 and CCI BR2 primers usually work well also. I've given up on Winchester primers.

    I do use more expensive cases, powders and bullets for longer range target shooting but I have travel a lot farther away to use them and they are out of the plinking price range.

    Some 165 grain hunting bullets can be used in place of the 168 grain match bullets and are often lower priced. The Sierra 165 grain Game King hollow point is a very good one.

    With any 165 grain or 168 grain bullet, 42.5 grains of IMR-4064 or 43.0 grains of W-748 should be safe loaded in any brand of case. The CCI / Blount #34 primer is the safest to avoid slamfires. The Federal 210M primer has been the most accurate for me. The other CCI primers are also more accurate than the #34 primer. Use a hot primer with W-748. The CCI-200 is too mild for W-748 to give consistent results. The CCI-BR2 primer is not a magnum but seems hotter than the CCI-200 primer. The CCI-250 magnum primer work well W-748 and is not the hottest of the magnum primers. The Federal 210 primer seems hot enough for W-748 in 308 Winchester.

    The "Mil Spec" brand of bullets are imported from Serbia and the 168 grain version is nowhere close to the American versions. It has a very short area that is full diameter, for both neck tension and engaging the barrel rifling. It usually isn't a very accurate bullet and varies a lot in weight. The case neck has to have minimum expansion in order to seat the bullet properly, without it falling deeper into the case. It is cheap though.

    The Serbian-made Prvi cases are thick and last a long time. I buy them when I can. Their primer pockets are small and need to be opened up to fully seat primers.

    The Canadian-made IVI cases have thick heads and walls but the necks are thinner than most.

    The Lapua cases give the best accuracy, especially when sized with Forster dies.

  3. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I use the Sierra 175 gr HPBT with 42.2 gr of IMR4064 and Federal 210M primers seated to 2.800" in Lapua brass.

    This is definitely a sub-MOA round in both of my bolt action rifles. Vihtavouri N540 is also a nice powder - 39.5 gr seems about right.

    In either case, these loads present a problem: They are both more accurate than me. If the group opens up more than a dime at 100 yards or a quarter at 300 yards, I made the mistake, not the ammo!

    The Sierra 168, 175 and 180 gr HPBT Match bullets are phenomenal.

    I'm starting to REALLY like the N540 powder. It's expensive but 100 rounds of bolt action ammo is a lot.

    You didn't say which rifle you were using. There might be different answers if you are using an M1A.

    EDIT: I don't know that there is a large price difference between making great ammo and making something that just goes bang. The overwhelming cost for rifle ammo is the bullet.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  4. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    Vihtavuori told me that they do not recommend their high energy N-5xx powders for in gas operated rifles. I have used a lot of the N1xx and N5xx powders. The N1xx series is single base and the N5xx series is double base. Now here are the differences and results I've found. The N540 is suppose to be a, "high energy" powder replacement for N140. What I've found is, that the N-5xx series powders load and act like slower versions of the N-1xx powders. For example, the N540 powder acts nearly exactly like N150 and loads similarly to N150. N530 is closer to N140 than it is to N140. N540 is closer to N150 than N140. N550 is closer to N160 than N150. Using the Vihtavuori numbers, the N5xx series powders seem to be just slower than their N1xx series counterparts. You can match N540 powder velocities using N150 powder. The two types of powders are different but I've never found any velocity advantage to using the, "high energy" N5xx powders. Vihtavuori says the gas port pressure may be too great sing their N5xx powders and recommends only using their N1xx powders for gas operated rifles. Both Lapua powders and Vihtavuori powders are becoming a bit pricey for, "plinking" ammo. Sometimes they are hard to locate to buy them.
  5. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I hadn't planned to use the N540 for my M1A but it's worth knowing that it could also be a bad idea. When I get around to making ammo for the M1A, I will probably use IMR4064 or IMR3031 although I haven't really decided. Right now I just shoot NATO surplus.

    I picked up the N540 load from the Sierra manual where they named it their accuracy load for the 175 gr HPBT.

    I just bought a Rem 700 5200R with a 20" 11.25 twist barrel that seems to be optimized for the 175 gr bullet. So I decided to try Sierra's load as well as the 42.2 gr of IMR4064. I haven't had enough trigger time to say for sure but it both look good so far. My Steyr SSG really eats the IMR load.

  6. Blaster

    Blaster Hunc tu caveto

    Feb 2, 2000
    The ammo is going in a SCAR 17.
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I guess you can skip everything I posted.

  8. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    147-168 with TAC or BLC-2. Work out a proper load that suits your rifle, the SCAR should like the heavy side bullet.
  9. TX Archer

    TX Archer

    Jun 4, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Following this because I'm looking for the same thing. Shooting through 500 factory rounds to build up a brass supply first.
  10. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    With a 16.25" barrel you might like using 150 grain bullets. Some service load data from the NRA, Hodgdon and Winchester.

    (Note some of these loads can be warm.)

    NRA load data based on velocity using an M-14 with a military barrel and a military chamber.

    150 generic bullet and a military case.

    42.0 grains IMR-3031

    42.5 grains IMR-4895

    43.0 grains IMR-4064

    46.0 grains W748

    NRA service rifle load data using a commercial pressure test barrel. Loads are based on pressure.

    147 grain FMJ bullet and a military case.

    42.0 grains IMR-4895

    42.5 grains H4895

    43.0 grains H335

    150 grain Sierra Match King bullet and a military case.

    40.5 - 41.5 grains IMR-3031

    41.0 -42.0 grains IMR-4895

    42.0 - 43.0 grains H4895

    43.0 - 44.0 grains IMR-4064

    45.5 grains W748

    Hodgdon service rifle load data.

    150 grain generic bullet and a military case.

    40.0 - 42.0 grains H4895

    42.0 - 44.0 grains H335

    150 grain generic bullet and a commercial Winchester case.

    41.0 - 43.0 grains H4895

    43.0 - 45.0 grains H335

    Winchester recommended surplus rifle load data.

    147 grain FMJBT bullet and a commercial Winchester case.

    45.2 grains W748

    (This load is slightly milder than factory 147 grain Winchester ammunition.)

    Current Winchester large rifle primers seem to have some quality control problems.

    I haven't had any problems with Remington primers but reportedly the quality is not what it used to be.

    CCI and federal primers have always work well. CCI-200 primers seem a bit mild for some ball powders. The CCI / Blount #34, "mil spec" primers don't usually give as accuracy as the other CCI and Federal primers. Federal 210 primers are fairly hot for standard force primers.

    Federal cases are soft and thin in the case head. They always develop, "loose" primer pockets after one or two full power loads and leak gas to the bolt face and firing pin.

    Remington cases are soft but their case heads are just thick enough. Their rims often get out of shape and damaged too much to reload if the rifle is hard on case rims.

    Winchester cases seem to have good quality and correct hardness despite being some of the lighter weight cases.

    For FMJ bullets, the bulk Winchester 147 grain bullets give poor accuracy. The, "Mil spec" brand 145 grain FMJ bullets, made in Serbia, seem quite a bit better.

    The rest of the 308, "Mil Spec" brand 168 grain JHP and 175 grain FMJ bullets are not great in quality control or design. The 168 grain ones are difficult to load due to a short bearing area for neck tension and cartridge length while seating. Their weight can vary more than most others.

    Just about any 150 grain hunting bullet is more accurate than the FMJ bullets. The 150 grain Sierra Match King JHP is very accurate and usually somewhat cheaper than the 155 grain bullets.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012