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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started loading for the 308 Winchester this week. I am loading 150 grain Hornady interlock with IMR 4064 using Prvi Partizan brass. The cartridge length per the manual should be 2.800 per the manual. I finished at 2.745" as required per the cannelure groove. I started with the minimum of 43 grains and loaded up in 1 grain increments to 47 grains. 47.7 grains was the max listed. The starting load seemed lightly compressed and the last load felt heavily compressed. The powder was almost .25" from the top of the case. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I assume it would be safe to shoot my loads starting at 43 gr and watch for pressure signs.
 

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i dont think your loads are safe

the powder should not be that close to the case mouth

if it were me, no way would i shoot those rounds

you dont have to seat the bullet at the canalure , you can but its not a necessity
you can seat the bullet out further. find the COAL of your particular rifle's chamber and seat .050 off the lands
that usually gives better accuracy anyhow, and allow for more room in the case

having said that. a mid level load usually is best for overall cartridge performance.

unless you need to crimp ( heavy recoiling load, tube feed rifle , cartridges subjected to extreme enviroments and the like ) you dont need to crimp your bullets and that will offer you more variables to better accuracy.
 

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http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/rifle shows the maximum loads for that combination to be compressed, but as Scibaer said I wouldn't run them as short as you've loaded. For the lighter load it probably wouldn't matter much, but I wouldn't go anywhere near max with that shorter OAL. Reducing the case capacity raises pressures and I just wouldn't go there, personally.
 

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try a drop tube to see if the powder will fit better.
i don't have any experience with that powder or
brass, so i couldn't speak of any problems.
have you checked the load with any other brand
of brass? to be that far up in the case doesn't
sound right. you might want to load in increments
of a half a grain or less instead of a whole grain
at a jump.


Scibaer said:
if it were me, no way would i shoot those rounds

another no vote here, not until you're absolutely sure
of what is going on. none of this stuff we mess with
is worth our safety and well being
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input guys. The starting load was right near the base of the bullet. Just for safety sake I pulled out the bullet puller and seated the bullets to 2.800. Since I haven't crimped yet, it was not big deal. I did read of several cases on the net of IMR 4064 completely filling the case because it is an extruded powder. Tomorrow night I'll load up some .5 grain increments just to be safe. If it wasn't for the loads feeling overly compressed I wouldn't be so concerned. In the 15 years I have been reloading I have never had a compressed load.
 

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nothing to regret about pulling loads.
if you load long enough you'll have to eventually.
it's always better to err on the side of safety.
i get the willies when i read these guys on sites
where they post about " what's the safest load over book max?" :( :'(


i've loaded some compressed 30/30's before, but they were
supposed to be. i really don't like it myself. some of mine
are not what i'd called compressed, but they're right close
to the bullet base.
 

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thats why i dont mess with compressed loads with smokeless powders
the manuals dont tell you anything more that "compressed load" and there is no way to tell just how compressed the powder really is
i will change components before i try compressed loads .
i think that when the manuals highlight the load as compressed, i think they are saying 'sketchy charge level' this may be too much powder' .. :eek: [sub]have i said 'compressed' enough?[/sub]
 

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Nothing wrong with a compressed load at all except if you don't crimp the bullet may get pushed out. I use 4064 in my 20BR and run out of case capacity before I get hard bolt lift at 4,250 fps with 32gr bullets. You will find you can gain quite a bit of space if you hold the round with powder in it and tap the side of the case a while with the powder scoop, the stick powder will settle a lot in that case. Just work up slowly and life will be good. Compressed loads can be very accurate rounds because there is no change in powder position in the case. Larry
 

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compressing stick powders isn't going to hurt a thing unless your compressing them to the point the bullet wont stay seated. Now ball powders are a different animal and aren't supposed to be compressed. that said the best load in my ar10 is a 165 sierra flat base with just enough 414 to fill the case right to the top. Ive shot thousands and its never once gave me any pressure problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did some reading online this morning and found some data copied from the Hornady 7th edition manual. It listed the 150 grain SST and Interlock to be loaded at 2.735" with IMR 4064 from 38.4-44.9 grains. Sounds like I will have the bullet puller out tonight. I've been doing this long enough to know when it something doesn't look right stop and get all the answers. I am going to stop off today and pick up a Hornady manual and possibly a pound of AA2495. Thanks for the input.
 

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150 grain hornady interlock, over 43 grains of 4064 was your base load...

should have made for a descent muzzle velocity ...

how did it shoot ? what were the groups at 100 yards ?

i think that would have been the major factor for me
 

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I find 45.5 grains of IMR 4064 with a 150 grain Hornady SST shoots decent and it is a compressed load. I haven't found 4064 to be the best choice for accuracy in my 308 with 150 bullets but your mileage may vary.
 

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"Normal" compressed load are just as safe as any load. I'd say disregard the cannalure and load to book specs., 2.800". Unless these are to be fired in a semi-auto there is no need to crimp, so disregard the cannalure's position...

I've gotten some pretty good groups with 155 A-Max bullets over IMR 4064 in my Ruger American in .308 Winchester. Sub 1" groups from light book charges of IMR 4064.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I stopped off at Cabelas today and purchased a one cartridge load book for 308. It had load data for my exact bullet powder combination and I used that data and load length they suggested. This utilized the cannelure. It reduced my top load by 2 grains. I feel comfortable with this now. I I also picked up a pound of 2495 and some Sierra Game Kings to try out.

I have about 30 rounds loaded up and ready to shoot. I'll try them out tomorrow. My should be good and sore tomorrow night.
 

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Just a question, and it's not meant to insult or question your reloading knowledge. Are you using an electronic scale? The scale may be off and your throwing more powder than you planned on using.

The reason I asked is that one time I had a problem when the electronic scale I was using wasn't accurate, and I was using more powder than I planned on loading. The only reason I noticed was because the amount of powder in the case seemed higher than usual. I used another electronic scale and a manual balance beam scale, to verify the charge. Both the second electronic scale and the balance beam showed that the first electronic scale was off, by a "bit". Had to take apart the batch that I had just finished loading. I now check the electronic scale by weighing a load using the manual scale every 100 rounds. With hunting ammo it's every 20 rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I quit using an electronic scale a while back. I was having problems with it being off by .1-.2 grains. I went back to using a lee balance beam scale I had. I know it is cheap, but it is easy to use and accurate. I bought a Hornady scale to replace it was broken so I returned it.
 

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There is nothing magic about book OAL or cannalure. Experiment with dummy loads to find a length that feeds and chambers well in YOUR rifle and develop your load there, ideally starting with 20-50 thou off contact with the lands. In some 60 years of handloading and developing accurate loads for a lot of rifles I've never paid any attention to a book OAL nor much attention to a cannalure; that groove is nothing but a rational place to crimp into anyway.

It's risky to seat deeper than book OAL for small, high intensity handgun cartridges while using max charges of fast burning powders; in application that means in the hot 9/10 mm and .40 calibers. BUT, for rifles, even with max charges, seating too long (bullets at or into the lands), will significantly increase start pressures while seating a bit deeper allows bullets a running start before hitting the lands and that actually reduces pressures. Military tests of the 30-06 have shown that seating as much as a quarter inch deeper than normal will decrease pressures (for a standard powder type and charge).

Slightly compressed max charges (.1 inch or so) of stick powders are usually fine.

If you're getting best accuracy at reduced charges in a rifle, your powder is too fast. Go to a slower burn rate and you should get good accuracy AND a higher velocity. Once you've found the best charge, tweak your seating/OAL in and out in 5 thou steps to optimize accuracy and stabilize ES velocity.

I'd suggest you try H-4895 for slightly higher speeds at a bit less pressure and you probably would have no need for a compressed load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I made it to the range today and shot my reloads. The IMR 4064 with the Hornady Interlocks shot ok at lower chargers, but not great. I started out shooting 1.25" group and it opened up to 2.50 once I started nearing max loads. Once the groups began to open up I quit shooting these loads.

The AA 2495 with Sierra Game Kings is looking a lot more promising. At 44.5 grains I shot a .625" group and at a max of 46.0 grains I opened up to 1.25". I am going to load up some more rounds at 44.5 grains and 46.0 grains and shoot a few more groups and see how they do. I don't have a chronograph so I don't know actual velocities.

I am limited to a max cartridge length of 2.810 or so, do to a short box magazine.
 
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