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Discussion Starter #1
Well, deer season's over and I finally got back to working on a load for my Savage Weather Warrior .308. As reported on P* before the board was killed, I found that Remington's load with 165 Ballistic Tips would shoot while nothing I had put to gether would do any better than 1½ inches at 100 yards.

Today I took four loads all using 165 grain bullets and 46.0 grains of Varget. The best at 1.0 inch was the BTs followed by the Grand Slams. The Speir BTSP and Match Kings suck! I'll give it another go in a week or so with the BTs and vary the load at ½ grain intervals from 45.0 to the max listed on the Varget canister of 47.0 grains.

If this pans out, I'll start on the Tikka .25-06, which to date is the worst shooting rifle I own. :grumble:
 

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Varget is a great powder for the .308 and the Ballistic Tips usually shoot pretty well. Let me suggest that you try changing overall length if you haven't already. My experience is that .308s do best with the bullet somewhere between 0.005-0.020 off the rifling. That's quite a bit longer than the factory ammo but often gives dramatically better accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Charlie.

I'll follow your suggestion and vary the overall length. I've got a Stone Point Chamber-All for just that reason. I think I'll stay with the 46.0 grains of Varget and try four loads at .005, 0.010, 0.015 and 0.020 off the rifling.
 

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The Stoney Point gauge is the very best.

BTW: both Hodgdon and Nosler show a max of 46.0 gr. with 165-168 bullets. Some old charts of mine show that to be a very good load with the 168 gr. Sierra Match King.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The canaster of Varget has 46.0 as max also - just rechecked it. Sooo, maybe it was 45.0 I loaded 'cause my plans were to load 1 grain under, which is still too close in some cases. If I were using the Lake City once fire brass, I'd have cut it about 3 or 3½ grains. But I'm using new Remington brass which as a little more volume, IIRC.

Before I load any more, I'll write myself a big note to use 44.5 grains and go from there. No use have the bolt back out with the handle still locked.
 

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If you seat the bullet out really close to the rifling it might push pressure up a bit and a small reduction might be a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Chamber-All gave me a measurement of 3.25" with the BT tight against the rifling. If I pull it back to 3.15" would a 5% reduction be called for ( 43.7 grains ) or would you start with a greater reduction.

What I normally do and it's worked well with my .30-06 and .270 Model 70s is to set the seating die with a factory round for overall cartridge length. My .22 Hornet has to be seated by the book 'cause that damned Ruger rotory mag isn't designed for longer cartridges.
 

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Using a factory round as a gauge is perfectly acceptable for most purposes, but it sounded like you wanted to focus on accuracy. .010 off is a good starting place.

In most rifle cartridges I always do adjustments in increments of one grain just to keep it simple. I only go to half grain increments if something is really promising. With rifle ammo I'm not convinced we can actually see any significant difference with smaller increments.

I think 44.0 would be a good start and then you have two increments to check before you get to max.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Charlie.

I'll start with 44.0 grains of powder and 0.005 through 0.020 for four 5 round loads. If it doesn't look good, raise powder to 45.0 and repeat the seating variance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Charlie Petty said:
Ain't that a great excuse to go to the range...
You betcha!!! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, my best group today was 0.902" with 165 grain Ballistice Tips, 44.0 grains of Varget and the bullet seated 0.010" off the rifling.

This is not quit as good as the 0.618" I got using 45.0 Varget and standard OCL last month.

Think I'll try 44.0 & 45.0 of Varget at 10 off and same powder loads at standard OCL and see what happens.

This Savage Weather Warrior just doesn't like Grand Slams, though. Guess I'll stay mainly with the BTs and try some Hornady bullets. May even try the 150 & 180 grain BTs as well. That's as good a reason as any to go back to the range ASAP. :roll:
 

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I think you'll find that it shoots better at 45 than 44 and if 45 looks ok 46 is probably going to be better still. I wouldn't go closer than 10 off though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I started at 005 but that was the worst group I saw. The bolt wasn't stiff and the primers were okay, but with pressure rise, I'm going to take your advice and go no closer than 10 off in the future. I''ll also try 46 depending on what I see next trip.

thanks, Charlie.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The magazine is long enough to seat the bullet only 0.005" off the rifling and still load the magazine with all four rounds - but barely. That makes the round a little over 0.250" ( ¼" ) longer than a factory round. At 10 off, the rounds fit quit nicely in the well.

Some chamber designs are really pains. Both my .257 Roberts (Model 70 Win) and my .22 Hornet ( 77/22H Ruger) are examples where the free bore is overly long. With the Winchester, I can load long, but with the Ruger's rotary magazine, I can barely exceed standard specs on OCL.
 

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My experience with the .308 is that max charge or pretty close to it will shoot best. I'll be curious to see what another grain or two does.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yote:

Yesterday I guesstimated some OCLs. Sorry.

This morning I got the Chamber-All out and remeasured the OCL length with the Ballistice Tip touching the rifling and got 2.944 inches. At 10 off, that gives me an OCL of 2.934 inches against the listed max OCL of 2.810 inches. That's only an 1/8th inch insted of the ¼" I cited yesterday.

Different bullets will have a different ogive which, in turn, will effect the measurements. That's the beauty of the Chamber-All; you measure things with the actuall bullet you intend to load.

You can shade-tree a tool by sizing a case; slitting the neck and placing a bullet in the modified case and chambering it but "loaded" long. Usually the bullet will come out with the case when you open the action. You may then measure the OCL and go from there.
 
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