155 Lapua Scenar 308 range report

This is a discussion on 155 Lapua Scenar 308 range report within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; My 155 Lapua bullets finally arrived late last week, so I loaded up a batch and went to the range last night. Gun: Rem M40 ...

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  1. #1
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    155 Lapua Scenar 308 range report

    My 155 Lapua bullets finally arrived late last week, so I loaded up a batch and went to the range last night.

    Gun: Rem M40 VN C 308 with Leupold 3.5-10*40 FF on badger rings and base
    Location: Red's indoor range Austin south, temp 70dF-ish

    Load: BHA (Winchester) cases 4-th use, sized with body die until RCBS case micrometer read +0.0002 to -0.0012, then necks were run through a 0.338 bushing and then a 0.332 bushing; CCI 200 primer, Varget {43.0, 43.2, 43.4, 43.6} OAL set at 2.820"

    The load with 43.2 grains shot a 0.37" 5-shot group, with the 43.4 gr load only a little larger at 0.47". All four 5-shot groups were better than 0.9". In the intrest of full disclosure:: I have been seeing my 155 SMK loads just slighlty worse in group size than FGMM 168 with a +0.65" elevation change (155 SMKs are higher). My 155 SMK loads are equivalent group-size-wise to the BH RB 168 Match with a 0.8" rise in the PoI. The 155 Lapua loads shown here have the same PoI as FGMM 168.

    Compared to the 155 Sierra MK Palma bullets I have been using; my gun seems to like the Lapua bullets better. The 155 SMKs start to show pressure signs in the 43.4 range that becomes serious in the 43.7 range. There were no pressure signs on the 43.6 gr Lapua loads. I am going to continue upwards into the 43.7-43.8 range for my next report.

    I suspect that the current load is only 2700-2750 based on the lack of pressure signs. I am hoping to get into the 2800-2850 range with this load with reasonable case life and lack of pressure signs.

    Observation 1: The 155 Lapua bullets are LONG! In order to set the same ogive to rifling 'jump' spec the same as the 155 SMK, one would have to seet the bullets to 2.838 (or 0.038" longer than the SMK). {Measures with the base-to-ogive part of the RCBS micrometer.}

    Observation 2: The 'node' at 43.2 is much wider with the Lapua 155 Scenar that the similar 'node' ar 43.5 using 155 SMKs. I will continue upwards looking for the final node just before serious pressure signs.

    Observatioin 3: the throat on my rifle is long enough that I could never seet a bullet out at the lands (OAL = 2.938). But with the kind of accuracy I am seeing, this excercise can be left for later in the development cycle.

  2. #2
    Sponsors mele's Avatar
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    GREAT report! Thank you for the information and please do keep us posted

    MEL

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kiwi's Avatar
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    Thanks Mitch ...... this sure is an informative place!

  4. #4
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    The first time I used the 155gr Scenars, I swear my rifle said, "Thank You!"

    While my .308 seems pretty finicky with most bullets, almost any load I put together with these seem to produce 1/2" groups.
    Guns don't kill people. Sarah Brady does.

  5. #5
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    Executive summary: one 0.187" and two 0.4" 5-shot* groups {out of 12)

    Gun: Rem M40 VN C 308 with Leupold 3.5-10*40 FF on badger rings and base
    Location: Red's indoor range Austin south, temp 75dF-ish

    Loaded up a sweep over the 43.1 through 43.8 stepping 0.1; OAL 2.830 All reloading procedures as before, same lot(s) of all components.

    Based on the previous groups, we are expecting a node at 43.2 gr and 43.6 gr. This run, indeed, the best grups were at 43.2 {0.39"} and 43.6 {0.187" !! *}. The 43.8 load may be showing the first signs of pressure.

    Observation: somewhere right around 43.6 gr loads, the bark of the report changed markedly.

    In a different test I changed the cases to Federal and ran {43.0, 43.2, 43.4, 43.6} A couple of the groups showed promise, and pressure signs looked reasonable. Will continue to work upwards. There was somthing about these loads that the rifle just plain did not like, and you could almost feel it and hear it. Very strange.
    [*] The size of this group is a crappy 0.9" if you include the called flier

  6. #6
    Senior Member cheaptrick's Avatar
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    I too have just started using 155gr. Lapua's and 155gr. SMK's.
    My rifle, a Remington .308 w/ 1/12 twist, seems to like them ...a lot!

    My load is:
    47.5gr. Varget
    Br-2 Primers
    Lapua brass
    OAL 2.965

    Your Varget load seems a lot less than mine.
    You just picked up a hitcher...a prisoner of the white lines on the free way.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheaptrick
    My load is:
    47.5gr. Varget
    Br-2 Primers
    Lapua brass
    OAL 2.965
    Your Varget load seems a lot less than mine.
    Yes, my load is lower; and I have seen similarly big loads used with Scenars after searching around the net.I do not know or understand what is causing this right now. However, when I load higher than the numbers I am using, I start to see pressure signs. With 155 Sierra MKs; I was getting completely flat primers at 43.6 gr at an OAL of 2.820. With 155 Scenars I am getting flattened (but not seriously flattened) primers at 43.9* at an OAL of 2.830.

    There are several potential causes of our different convergence points:
    A) this particular canister of Varget (Nov 5 2006 manufacture date) is a lot hotter than my previous canister (Aug 17 2006). So much so that my 223 load changed by almost 0.6 grains (lower) to find the same 'node' in my AR15.
    B) I have not yet explored all of the bullet seating depths. I suspect that seating the bullet farther outwards will reduce the pressure signs at least until I get close to the lands. Last night I loaded up 90 rounds of the same powder weight (43.6) and seated the bullets to different OALs to see what happens.
    C) in my chamber an OAL of 2.938 has these 155 Scenars just touching the lands. So I could not get to your OAL anyway.
    D) our primers and cases are different--but I suspect these are minor differences with respect to pressure signs and max loadings.

    Anyway, I have not gotten to the bottom of all of this yet. I suspect that when I find the culpret, the pressure signs will abate and I will be ble to migrate upwards.
    [*] flattened in this case means that the primers look flatter than the primers of FGMM 168 or BH RB 168 Match factory loads in this same rifle after being fired. I have a couple of cases that got seriously streched during firing (sticky bolt: 155 SMK loads) which confirms the primer reading of pressure signs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cheaptrick's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I just realized that I failed to mention THE BULLET I showed the load for.
    That's for 155gr, Lapuas.

    I get great accuracy for both the 155gr. Scenar and the 155gr. SMK.
    I can load the Lapuas closer to the lands.
    You just picked up a hitcher...a prisoner of the white lines on the free way.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheaptrick
    That's for 155gr, Lapuas.

    I get great accuracy for both the 155gr. Scenar and the 155gr. SMK.
    I can load the Lapuas closer to the lands.
    Your extra 0.135 seating (lack of) depth gives you 2.54 grains of additional case capacity. This ends up being most of the difference in our loads.

    Thanks for the help.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cheaptrick's Avatar
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    Thank you for your commentary!!

    I think more people that own Remington .308's with 1/12 twist barrels should consider 155gr. Scenars or SMK's instead of trying to make them shoot 168gr. or 175gr. bullets.
    Mine will shoot 168's fairly well, but no joy yet on the 175gr. bullets.
    You just picked up a hitcher...a prisoner of the white lines on the free way.

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