178 grain Hornady A-Max in .308 Rifle

This is a discussion on 178 grain Hornady A-Max in .308 Rifle within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; Thanks Gentlemen, I will be using Winchester brass (.308) and CCI-Br2 primers. I also have some match prepped Remington .308 brass ( once fired). I ...

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  1. #11
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    Thanks Gentlemen,

    I will be using Winchester brass (.308) and CCI-Br2 primers. I also have some match prepped Remington .308 brass ( once fired).

    I am thinking of starting with 43 grains of Varget to compare it with my 43 grains of RL-15 load. Then work up from there towards 44 grains. I like staying 1 grain under the max load with most powders. It sort of eases the pucker factor.

    Oh yes, ROB, I remembered, .010" from touching the lands.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  2. #12
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    That's the good part about Varget in that you can be at max and not have to worry about the outside temp messing with pressure. You can go higher than 44 if you don't get pressure especially with Win brass.

  3. #13
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    Thanks again, ROB. All of this good advice is going into my notebook.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  4. #14
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    I've run a ton of RL15 with various projectiles and never found it particularly temperature sensitive. Maybe people pushing hotter loads have had an issue?
    Kamrad Tylov


    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

  5. #15
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    Hmm... interesting. I've thought of giving it a try, but the horror stories about temps scare me off due to the drastic swings in temps up here between the summer/winter.

    Hodgdon's stuff has always been good enough to keep me from looking past it.

  6. #16
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    This past weekend I was able to get to the range and do a little load comparison shooting. The temp at the range was from 90 degrees to 110 degrees. I over did things a bit and got heat exhaustion. Not a fun condition.

    Anyway, the 43 grains of Varget load shot a 5 shot group at 100 yards of .553" with the 178 grain Amax bullet. The 43 grains of RL-15 load shot a .981" 5 shot group at 100 yards. The 43.5 grains of Varget load shot a 5 shot group at 100 yards of .549" with the 178 grain Amax bullet.

    I think all 3 of these loads could do better. On all 3 the COL that I used was 2.825". Wind was gusting from 10 to about 18 mph. And the heat exhaustion didn't help things a bit. None of these loads showed any pressure signs. I did notice that the Varget loads shot a lot cleaner than the RL-15 load. The RL-15 load was not really dirty, but the Varget loads were just noticeably cleaner. I used Fed Military brass and CCI-Br2 primers with the RL-15 load, Remington brass and CCI-Br2 primers with the 43 grains of Varget load and Remington brass and WLR primers with the 43.5 grains of Varget load.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

    PS: I measured these groups at their widest outside to outside measurement. So, for center to center I will subtract .308" for correct group size.

    43 grain Varget load .553-.308=.245"
    43.5 grain Varget load .549-.308=.241"
    43 grain RL-15 load .981-.308=.673"

  7. #17
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    For ROB 01 again,

    Rob, I take it from your posts that your favorite bullets in competition are the 168 grain AMAX and the 178 grain AMAX. And you use Varget to push both bullets to the velocities you require. My question is, have you tried IMR-8208-XBR powder with those bullets and if so, how did it perform for you?

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  8. #18
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    Actually I only use the 178 AMAX in matches with the .308. The 168s are my practice bullets. Have always used Varget and never tried anything else. It gives me the accuracy and velocity I need so I go by the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" train of thought

  9. #19
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    Thanks ROB,

    That was a good, straight forward, no nonesence answere.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  10. #20
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    I am thinking of re-doing the above test using a more consistant set of componants.

    Winchester .308 brass, match prepped
    CCI-Br2 primers
    178 grain Hornady AMAX bullets
    first load 43 grains of RL-15
    second load 43 grains of Varget
    third load 43.5 grains of Varget

    And instead of the 2.825" COL, I will seat the bullet .010" from touching the lands which will be somewhere around 2.935" or so.

    Can ya'll think of anything else I should try?

    Do you think the CCI-Br2 primer would be more consistant than the Winchester WLR?

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

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