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.308 accuracy - reloading

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I've been loading handgun ammo for about a year now, mostly .45acp.

I will be switching over to rifle rounds shortly, a couple hunting and then a few for extreme accuracy.

There are a variety of die sets out on the market (currently using Lee with LFC for the handgun cartridges.)

1. Can I continue using Lee die sets to get the accuracy I am referring to or do I need to have a micrometer bullet setting die?

2. Do I have to trim each and every case to an exact length?

3. How critical is powder measurement? Can I stay with a balance scale or should I go with a digital and a tickler?

4. Are bench rest primers that much more beneficial to assume the higher costs worthy?

5. How imperative is it that I purchase a chronograph?

6. Once the case is fired in my gun, is there a specific need to full-length size or is neck sizing sufficient?

Since I am relatively new to reloading, I guess this is a start for precise rifle shooting and reloading.

Any other suggestion, helpful hints or suggested reading material would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

700rem308
 

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1. Can I continue using Lee die sets to get the accuracy I am referring to or do I need to have a micrometer bullet setting die?

A skilled reloader can make highly accurate ammo with any set of undamaged tools. The better tools simply make running the experiments to dial in the load easier.

2. Do I have to trim each and every case to an exact length?

There is a maximum case length, and you should allow no case to get longer than this, however if you trim a case a little too short, just go ahead and use it.

3. How critical is powder measurement? Can I stay with a balance scale or should I go with a digital and a tickler?

A good balance beam scale is more accurate than a fancy digital scale. Once the load is dialed in and you know how wide the charge weight window is either scale works just fine. A fine beam scale can read finer graduations than a typical digital scale. For example, I can read 0.03gr on my scale. This is good for running the charge weight window width experiments.

4. Are bench rest primers that much more beneficial to assume the higher costs worthy?

For the last little quotient, yes, in order to get a load to shoot 0.3" groups, no.

5. How imperative is it that I purchase a chronograph?

middling.

6. Once the case is fired in my gun, is there a specific need to full-length size or is neck sizing sufficient?

I neck size most of the time, but each reload cycle I use a gauge to measure if that case needs to be resized.

But the thing about Neck Only versus Full lenght is the life of the case. Full length is a triffling more accurate, Neck Only gives 3X-5X longer case life.
 

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.308 accuracy - reloading

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've been loading handgun ammo for about a year now, mostly .45acp.

I will be switching over to rifle rounds shortly, a couple hunting and then a few for extreme accuracy.

There are a variety of die sets out on the market (currently using Lee with LFC for the handgun cartridges.)

1. Can I continue using Lee die sets to get the accuracy I am referring to or do I need to have a micrometer bullet setting die? Yes, for hunting. Harder to COAL length right, Forster are better for long range.

2. Do I have to trim each and every case to an exact length?Lots of questions. i do. Measure & trim also, IMR 4061 and H4895 are vey popular in accuracy circles for 308. Try to keep your cases the same in batches.

3. How critical is powder measurement? Can I stay with a balance scale or should I go with a digital and a tickler?
For long range I use digital & tickler. For hunting accuracy is good with balance scale or a Lee Auto measure variant if you use the Loadmaster.
4. Are bench rest primers that much more beneficial to assume the higher costs worthy? Precision is critical for long range accuracy, but Zedicker uses non-bench rest CCI. He’s a multi-time national and Camp Perry champ and loads his rounds. Many top shooters prefer bench rest but not all. Check out Top Grade Ammo for a ton of great info.

5. How imperative is it that I purchase a chronograph? Pretty necessary for long range, not for hunting. Long range velocity consistency counts a lot.

6. Once the case is fired in my gun, is there a specific need to full-length size or is neck sizing sufficient? Yes. You have to full length size ARs and keep COAL small enough to fit the magazine, hence 2.80. With bolt guns you can vary length a little more if you meas your chamber length to the lands, accuracy is usuaiiy best about 20-30 mils off the lands (jump) but you should make test batches of different lengths and assess for accuracy to get your best groups. It’s a lot to play with for maximum accuracy. Length I’d critical, but rifle type creates different length needs and limitations. Bolt guns can be neck sized for reloads, but not ARs in general.

Since I am relatively new to reloading, I guess this is a start for precise rifle shooting and reloading.

Any other suggestion, helpful hints or suggested reading material would be greatly appreciated. Read Top Grade Ammo, by a 9 + time national champ: Zedicker. Be patient and precise. Hunting ammo doesn’t require the precision of long range ammo. Good luck!

Thanks,

700rem308
 

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1. Can I continue using Lee die sets to get the accuracy I am referring to or do I need to have a micrometer bullet setting die?
You can use whatever die you want but I do recommend to use a premium SEATING die. Accurate seating makes difference.

2. Do I have to trim each and every case to an exact length?
As long as the case is in between minimum and maximum trim length, you are fine.

3. How critical is powder measurement? Can I stay with a balance scale or should I go with a digital and a tickler?
Powder measurement is critical. However, choosing between digital and manual only make difference in time taking. I use digital only because it's a lot faster. If you don't mind doing tedious works for a longtime, like balancing every single dump, then go ahead with balance beam.

4. Are bench rest primers that much more beneficial to assume the higher costs worthy?
I do use bench rest or match grade model when it's available for me to buy, but I really don't see any difference.

5. How imperative is it that I purchase a chronograph?
Very imperative. Without the chronograph, you are more like a blind. There's a way to calculate the speed by inverse operation by using BC value and the drop of the bullet. But, it's not 100% reliable.

6. Once the case is fired in my gun, is there a specific need to full-length size or is neck sizing sufficient?
Neck size is fine. But I hate the occasional hard to close bolt cartridges, so I FL size all my loads.
 

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1. Can I continue using Lee die sets to get the accuracy I am referring to or do I need to have a micrometer bullet setting die?
You can use whatever die you want but I do recommend to use a premium SEATING die. Accurate seating makes difference.

2. Do I have to trim each and every case to an exact length?
As long as the case is in between minimum and maximum trim length, you are fine.

3. How critical is powder measurement? Can I stay with a balance scale or should I go with a digital and a tickler?
Powder measurement is critical. However, choosing between digital and manual only make difference in time taking. I use digital only because it's a lot faster. If you don't mind doing tedious works for a longtime, like balancing every single dump, then go ahead with balance beam.

4. Are bench rest primers that much more beneficial to assume the higher costs worthy?
I do use bench rest or match grade model when it's available for me to buy, but I really don't see any difference.

5. How imperative is it that I purchase a chronograph?
Very imperative. Without the chronograph, you are more like a blind. There's a way to calculate the speed by inverse operation by using BC value and the drop of the bullet. But, it's not 100% reliable.

6. Once the case is fired in my gun, is there a specific need to full-length size or is neck sizing sufficient?
Neck size is fine. But I hate the occasional hard to close bolt cartridges, so I FL size all my loads.
You realize you're responding to a 10 year old post? :eek:
 
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