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Hello, I am new to the forum, but not new to the site. I enjoy precision long range shooting, but in the area I live at there is some livestock (cattle and horses). I own 4 acres (955 foot deep and 180 foot wide) and was wanting to reload my own .308 ammo that I could safely use on my ranchette. I do keep Federal Gold Medal in my locker, but I shoot a considerable amount of subsonic ammo for safety. I have developed a few rounds that I use for varmints but the range is short (effective out to 100 yards). For target shooting at 100 yards I use subsonic ammo that I reload. I really do not have a question, but wanted to let people know how I handle shooting my Remington 700 PSS on my property without having to worry about a full power round going astray (also to introduce myself). I have bought some commercially made subsonics and they work good to, but wanted to have something to test against my loads. Anyone have any comments, feel free to post.

Background wise I am ex Army National Guard from an Artillery unit. I worked a lot with light and heavy weapons. I was in during the early '70s during some of the riot stuff and served as a designated marksman during callups (can't take a cannon to the riots). I was in from 1971 to 1977, 1978, and 1983.
 

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WELCOME THANSEN!!!

I was looking into getting a can for my 308 & 300WM, but I was not impressed with the Db reduction (still had the sonic crack), but I never saw one shooting subsonic loads. I do not reload and the off the shelf stuff is a little on the pricy side for me. I would be interested in learning more about the SS loads you have developed.
 

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Welcome to the forums!!

Reloading info is welcome if you would like to share your loads. I'm sure others would find them useful.

Caver, in terms of the suppressors, you really should fire one with subsonics, its really an amazing difference.

MEL
 
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subsonics

Hi Mel, how are you doing ? Nice to meet you caver101. Subsonics are a lot of fun, but where I live at we can not own suppressors. Some things you need to understand on suppressors (speaking of can type) some are designed to handle high power ammo and some both subsonic and high power ammo. I own a Remington 700 PSS, 12:1 twist with a 26" barrel. The commercial load I use is made by TTI Armory and it is 170 grain flat top jacketed bullet. The round I reload and like best for messing around with is: .308 case trimmed with the primer hole drilled out 9/64" of an inch (for better powder ignition), 7 grains of Alliant Red Dot, Federal large magnum primer, Sierra 150 grain round nose jacketed Pro-Hunter. I use this alot for just plinking and shooting at paper terrorists. It is true that some ammo (above subsonic speed) will give the crack out in the field but the purpose of the suppressor is also to protect the shooters ears. Like Mel said, shooting subs from a can is one of the most enjoyable shooting experiences you can have. I have shot suppressed weapons, in states and other places where it is legal or the job required it. I have been around some .22 lr exotics used for specialized military use and they are amazing. The powder has to be a fast burning pistol/shotgun powder and you MUST drill out the flash hole for the primer. It is a specialized affair and care must be taken in all aspects of creating the round. I would be happy to discuss more with you if you like. One word of caution: Use a slow burnig rifle powder you are looking at what we call S.E.E. (basically secondary explosion) which can ruin your rifle and you. But if you follow the correct rules, you should not have anything to worry about.
 

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Welcome aboard Thansen!

Just wanted to say you posted some really interesting stuff and your experience is really welcome here.
 
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subsonics part 2

Depending on the twist of your rifle barrel, subsonic rounds drop like a rock. There are special scopes out that have dual reticles that are used for full power ammo and for subsonics, never have seen one. I adjust with my mil-dots on my rifle. 10:1 twists are more ideal than 12:1 twists but I have been grouping pretty good at 100 yards (.5 to .75). Now remember, I do not want to go over my yardage much so that is the way I load my rounds. Of course I could buy a 10:1 twist barrel, but I like my rifle just the way it is. Also, there are some commercial subsonic rounds out that some suppressor makers will not honor the warranty if the round destroys the suppressor. Sounds weird huh ? Subsonic round, suppressor, should go hand in hand. Like I said I can give you more information on this stuff, if someone tries doing any of this stuff, don't sue me, you won't get much. You should be an experienced reloader and have a knowledge of burn rates of powder and the limitations of bullets. Some people like lead swaged or cast bullets, but the subs I have been exposed to have all been jacketed round soft point or soft flat top. Don't let me scare you away from trying your own, it is a great way to increase your knowledge of ballistics and bullets. Oh by the way it is dirt cheap shooting. I am loading up 150 rounds tonight and the total load up will only cost me $23.00. I'll set up a mission on my property (I have one 120 yard range and 1 100 yard range) tomorrow, put on my ghillie and practice stalks and shots, and then break out the .45 and do a little pistol combat practice (at pistol fighting range of course). Too much fun !!!!!
 
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subs

Thank you Muzzle Blast, happy to meet you. We all share the same interests and feel free to drop a note. By the way, I live right across the street from Lake City Army Ammo Plant, where they make the M118lr and all of the small arms ammo for the Military. I hear .50 cals, and last night I was put to sleep by the lullaby of single .50 cal rounds being fired. I love it when they fire up the mini-guns, its pretty cool when I am target shooting, kind of gives you that feeling you are out in the battle zone.
 

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Meh, even the gunrags say "We are not responsible for what happens using these loads"...BC always makes sure to print a nice big disclaimer when he posts his loads too lol. Neither you nor Sniper Central are responsible, so its all gravy.

Speaking of scopes though you brought up something I forgot I don't remember which of the German companies it is, but I think its either Zeiss or Kahles has a new scope out that can "remember" 5 different zeroes, so you can have 5 different ranges with one round "saved" on your dials, or have 5 different ranges recorded for the same round, whatever ya like. Just have to give the knob one twist and there you are. Would come in handy for your subsonic loads, as you could have, say, a 200 meter subsonic zero and a 200 meter Federal GMM zero. I'll find out which company it is so everyone can take a look.
 
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scopes for subsonics

Thanks Muzzleblast, I saw a Kahles scope that had a setup like that. Man they have a price tag. I need to get back to work but will be back on again over the weekend and tonight. Keep in touch. I am not into arguing or trying to impress people, I just want to share things I have learned and learn from others.
 

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Must be the Kahles then, and yeah must cost a bundle!

Mel's crew here is way cool, so you won't have to worry about arguing or impressing anyone. Some good old fashioned debates sometimes but thats healthy :D

Very knowledgable people, all...Civvys like me, ex and current military and law enforcement people, and helpful too.
 
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thanks

That is why I joined with the membership (a lot of great people). You are correct, healthy debate is good, and it could save you some injury or ruining your gun. Mel is a great guy, even though I do not know him personally, we have corresponded back and forth in the past. Hope to talk with lots of people. My main interests are military sniping, covert type work, and specialized type aspects of the science. Great to meet the people who have responded to my post. Hope everyone has a safe weekend. Like I always tell my friends, there is no undo button when you fire that cartridge. Take care !!!!
 

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Somthing you might want to give a try so you can shoot full loads is to get a half a dozen or so 55 gallon oil drums and put them as a backstop... and fill them with dirt.

BC
 
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Discussion Starter #14
barrels

Sargent BC Outstanding suggestion. If I would of cleared my head I would of thought of that. That is a splendid idea. I really like shooting full power ammo, Federal GM, etc. I think I am going to pickup some barrels this weekend, I have a supplier near me. My lower range which is behind my house has a nice natural back drop, but there are a lot of times I like to go to the back range which is over a ridge and shoots down in a slight grade.

That is about the right number of barrels for my rifle portion of my stalk course. My combat pistol area has a good layer of logs and dirt background, more than adequate for the .45.

I took out some paper terrorists yesterday, didn't know what hit 'em.

I really like the barrel idea though, and I thank you for the suggestion. By the way, Hello ! Feel free to drop a post anytime.
 

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No Problem... we use to use the 55 gallon oil drums filled with dirt out in the desert so that the local police and park rangers didnt get crazy on us for not having a backstop (which is understandable). We usually had them 2 or 3 wide... depending on how far away they were so that incase we missed it hit the one next to it. You can check dirt bike stores... mechanic shops... things like that for empty 55 gallon oil drums. Thats where i use to get mine.

Staff Sergeant BC :wink:
 
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subsonics and oil drums

Thank you Staff Sergeant BC (I like your website) for the suggestions on the drums, I am going to do that. Hope you don't mind me calling you Sergeant, I do that out of respect. I was a buck Sergeant when I was in the guard.

This part is for anyone who has knowledge of subsonic ammo. I was taught, read, and researched to take the .308 cartridge and drill out the primer hole 9/64" so the Federal Large magnum primer would ignite the powder charge properly. Also the recommended powders where Bullseye or Unique because of the volumn that they fill the cartridge, ensuring proper ignition. With the Sierra 150 grain jacketed round point Pro Hunter bullet I am using, I have 7 grains of Alliant Bulleyes backing it up. Now here is the clencher. I got curious the other day and took one of my TTI Armory 170 grain subs and pulled the bullet and carefully dumped the powder contents on the pan of my scale. The powder was tiny round balls and there was a charge of 8.5 grains. hmmmm. Another thing was that the primer flash hole in the Winchester cartridge they use was the regular size hole. I would sure like to find out what that powder is they use, not talking down my subs (they shoot great for a 12:1 twist) even though home loaded or commercial load I still have to crank the elevation all the way on my scope and holdover on the mil dots. The shots are still accurate, I'll just be glad when the windy season is over with. Anyone have any input.
 

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thansenThank you Staff Sergeant BC (I like your website)
BC, you have a website?
 

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APK-223 said:
thansenThank you Staff Sergeant BC (I like your website)
BC, you have a website?
Click on my website link at the bottom of each of my post's... be warned there is graphic footage and some vulgar language on the site both in writing and sound clips when you open a link.

BC
 

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Just a thought... be careful when loading light... more guns are blown up from light loads than are from +P "heavy" loads. This is known as "Double Flash"... when the primer goes off... causing pressure number 1... does not initially ignite the powder since it is laying in the downward end of the casing out of the line of fire from the primer... then it ignites the powder causing pressure number 2... which can be very dangerous. There was an issue of American Rifleman a few years back dealing with light loads... they used small parts of cotton balls placed inside the casing after the powder to keep the powder up against the flash hole so this did not happen. The only downside to the cotton stuff is a little more ash's in the barrel and a little extra "long flash" out of the muzzle...

BC
 
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subs

BC, what you stated is what is called S.E.E., a form of secondary explosion that just like you said is quite devastating. The reason for drilling out the primer flash 9/64" is to allow more flash from the magnum primer. The reason some of us who practice this form of loading use Alliant Red Dot or Unique powder because the powder is large flakes and takes up space in the cartridge (also you want the fastest burning powder you can get). I do not and will not stuff anything other than powder in my cartridges so that is why I use the powders I have mentioned. I ran out of Red Dot, so last night I stopped by the Gun store and got some Unique. I loaded up some 170 grain Hornady jacketed flattops behind 8.5 grains of the Unique. I think I like it better than the Red Dot. There is a volume rule that you never load the case lower than 30%. The flakey RD and Unique really help fill the space, getting excellent ignition. Slow burning rifle powder is where you get into trouble (S.E.E.) DO NOT USE IT. It is also best to use a flat based bullet. After testing and doing research my two favorite loads that I play with are:

Round 1

150 gr Sierra Jacketed Rnd Top Pro Hunter
7 grains Unique
Federal Large Magnum Primer M210?
.308 brass (L.C.,L.C. Match,Winchester (Favorite), Hornady) trimmed to spec.
primer port cleaned and drilled to 9/64" inch
press bullet never crimp


Round 2 (This is by far my favorite)

170 gr Hornady jacketed flattop .308
8.5 grains Alliant Unique
Federal Large Rifle Magnum Primer
Same Brass as above load
OAL = 2.570"

Looks like I cannot post any pictures yet. However the 170 gr subsonic load is the best out of the two. We tested it on a chronograph and with my setup: Box stock Remington 700 PSS .308, 100 yard range, 13 mph full value wind. As a control I had a box of commercially made subs that we compared the two side by side. Both were comparable, and I shot a .50 group with the ones I had made. If you use this load on a 10:1 barrel, and get a sonic crack, then back down on your powder. The commercial made round had 1070 fps mv, mine had 1068 fps mv. I am happy with the round I have created and the money I will save using them. End of experiment.
 
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