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308 Powder Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by bigblue, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. bigblue

    bigblue Beaverton, OR Member

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    Guys and Gals: I am going to start loading 308 rounds. I am NOT focusing on bench rest and long distance sporting accuracy. Instead, I am looking more for general effectiveness for general usage.

    I would like recommendations for powders that meeting the following goals:

    1. Powder that is widely available
    2. Powder that is not too expensive
    3. It should meter well
    4. It should burn cleanly with a minimal of residual residue

    My platform will be a tactical semi-auto with a 20-inch barrel.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ditchtiger

    ditchtiger In the sticks, Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    What make of rifle? Those with an operating rod should stay away from slow burning powders.
     
  3. bigblue

    bigblue Beaverton, OR Member

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    I have an op rod. Thanks.
     
  4. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    i like blc2 for my 308 loads in my bolt gun. i have NEVER experienced the "temperature sensitive" characteristics of this powder that some people claim. i use this powder for hunting loads.
     
  5. ditchtiger

    ditchtiger In the sticks, Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Have also used BLC-2 in my FAL, works fine.
     
    v0lcom13sn0w likes this.
  6. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Available: depends on what's stocked at your preferred stores
    Expense: cost varies from $20 to $30 per lb
    Meters well: ball meters well
    Burns cleanly: most do

    I like
    WW748 (ball powder)
    IMR4064, 4895, 3031, 4198 (tubular powder)

    Haven't used, but would buy
    Alliant Reloader 7

    Relative burn rate charts
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/resour...eloadersguide/2014_Alliant_Powder_Catalog.pdf
    https://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Burn Rates - 2015-2016.pdf
    http://www.imrpowder.com/PDF/Burn Rates - 2015-2016.pdf

    Chronographs (Don't reload without one)
    Chrony F1
    CED M2
    Magnetospeed Sporter
     
  7. Roop

    Roop La Grande Active Member

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    My pet load for my LR308 is 39grs of H4895 under a Hornady 150gr FMJ. This is a pretty light load, but cycles my gun just fine, YMMV. I ran across an article a few years ago on reloading for the M1A, it talked about anything slower than 4985 being hard on the op rod in that platform because of excessive port pressure. I really like H335 for my .223, but have never had good luck with the ball powders in the .308. Another one of my favorites for loading bulk ammo is Hodgdon's Benchmark, it is a very short cut stick type powder that has given me good accuracy with lighter projos in both .223 and .308.
     
  8. bigblue

    bigblue Beaverton, OR Member

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    Would Hodgdon's Benchmark meter will in a Hornady LNL powder measure? I will not be measuring each powder load individually on a scale ... I will do sampling to make sure it is accurate but use the LNL powder measure device in general. That is why I want a powder that meters well. Thanks.
     
  9. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Bimart had the IMR in stock even during the powder crisis...

    I have a couple unopened 3031 I think if you want them for less then the store price.

    It's going to be much longer then I thought before I start to reload:confused:.
     
  10. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    3031, 4320, and a couple other IMR powders that seem to always be in stock. The more targeted you get the less chance in stock.

    There is another IMR powder that's light blue.... I always see it and it's compatible with .308, available at BiMart for sub $25/lb.
     
  11. Roop

    Roop La Grande Active Member

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    I use a uniflow powder measure, i haven't used the lnl, but I see no reason for it to not work. Buy a lb. and try it out, that really is the only thing you can do.
     
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  12. bbbass

    bbbass La Grande Well-Known Member

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    I have used both 3031, and 4064 for my .308 both action rifle. These are readily available all around. Medium burn rate powders which should be fine for semi-auto.

    But I dip each powder load with a powder spoon or throw short loads from my RCBS powder measure and for both methods will then finish with a trickler. It's still a very fast way to go. (How much .308 ammo can you afford to burn thru in one session?):)

    If you strickly want to throw fast charges, you might want to stick with ball powder, but neither of these powders that I use are critical if you stay in the middle of load weights recommended in a reloading handbook. As you mentioned, randomly weigh powder drops so you make sure things aren't getting away from you.

    PS Never use load info posted by reloaders on the internet unless it is verified by your own experience in that particular firearm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  13. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Since you've left some hints.

    I'll assume............that you're loading for a "military style" semi auto like a re-barreled M1 or M1A . Then of course, there are many more battle rifles that use a 7.62 x 51 mm. But I'll assume "military in origin" would also cover it. So then.......I'd be loading close to the NATO spec.

    Note the varieity of powders that are used for the .30-06 fired through an M1 Garand. I'm talking POWDER selection.

    http://masterpostemple.bravepages.com/M1load.htm

    So, BLC-2 or IMR4895 (H4895) comes to my mind off the top of my head. Mind you that I've also used W748 in the past and found it adequate. Some complain that it's temp sensitive. Whatever...

    But then, what's available?

    LOL.....it's not like you'll find an 8 lb keg readily available at Bi-Mart or Sportsmans Warehouse.

    Ok....buy the single pound can. Beggers can't be choosers.

    But, when you find what you like. Buy the 8 lb keg. You can thank me later for that advice.

    Good luck.

    Aloha, Mark
     
  14. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    BTW.....it sound like it's your first time loading for the 7.62 x 51 mm. Let me tell you a story that might help you.

    Story time.....

    My reloaded .308 Win ammo fit my M1a easily. But, when I tried the same ammo in my bolt action Rem 700 (.308 Win) ....well, it didn't chamber. Humm.....ok, so I screwed down the re-sizing die down a bit more. The new ammo is just passing, in the gauge test. Remember, there is a high and a low cut, to test for re-sized brass to still be acceptable. Now, the ammo would work in both rifles.

    Bottom line: chambers vary and a little bit could be all the difference.

    And.......cam over, while re-sizing. I hope you're doing that...RIGHT?

    What gauge? *Course you'll need it in .308 Win.

    http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/456614/le-wilson-case-length-headspace-gage-223-remington?cm_mmc=ps_bing-_-bing-_-RL_Metallic_Reloading_Equipment_Beta_B-_-headspace+gage

    And, IMHO you don't need Military Primers or a SB dies set. Course, if you want to....go ahead.

    Note from CCI:

    Aloha, Mark
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  15. bigblue

    bigblue Beaverton, OR Member

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    You are correct, I am loading for military type 308 platforms, including an M1A and a PTR91-F. Mahalo.
     
  16. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    Ramshot...... TAC
    Ball powder, meters great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  17. USMC-03

    USMC-03 Moscow on the Willamette (i.e. Portland, Oregon) Well-Known Member

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    4895 and 4064 are the two common go-to powders for .308 service rifle reloading. For match and long range .308 loads in both my M1 and M70 target Varget has been my favorite topped with a 175 grain BTHP; IF it can be found these days.
     
  18. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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  19. bsa1917hunter

    bsa1917hunter T.D Well-Known Member

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    RL15
     
  20. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    RL15 is my go to for 308. It is a stick powder though. So it may not meet your 3rd criteria.

    2460 is a good one too.

    H335 is usually on shelfs and is also a good choice for all of your criteria.