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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice!!! I was trying a load for my .308 (180gr hornady sst/ 38gr IMR 4320).
100yds not great but not bad 2-2.5".
200yds the bullet hit the target SIDEWAYS 3 times.
My question is do I try anything else with this bullet weight or change to a smaller bullet?
I have tried some smaller weights in factory loads without this problem.
 

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What rifle are you shooting?
Your experiences with factory ammo should tell you what to do but if you need to use a 180gr bullet, try some round nosed ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm shooting a Stevens 200, and I don't really need the 180gr, just wanted to try it and see what it would do.
I just want to make sure that something like a low powder charge wouldn't cause this.
I've heard people say that their gun may like a 165g or a not like a 180g but I never thought it would be this bad.
 

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I suspect you're way too light on your powder for the bullet. According to Hodgdon, 41 grains of 4320 is a starting load. You just aren't getting enough umph to stabalize your bullet.
 

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I have to agree that your load is below the minimum recommended. The relationship of percentage of case capacity filled by the powder charge to the over all capacity is important. At this point I would not invested in additional components. I would start with the suggested starting load and work up in increments from there. A review of most accuracy loads published in a number of manuals indicates that accuracy improves in the .308 when at least 85% of the case capacity is utilized with the appropriate powder. Give IMR4320 a good test. You might like the results. If you do not like the results IMR4064 works good with a number of bullet weights in the .308 case.

Back when the Winchester Model 88 in .308 came out an older friend who had used a Savage 99 with 190 Silvertips chose 180 grain Silvertips for his new rifle. He successfully put down numerous deer with that load.

[
 

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A Stevens 200 has a 1 - 10" twist rate in 308. This should stabilize a 180 with no problems. Hornady Manual #6 has a 22" 1 - 12" twist test barrel and they are showing load data for bullets up to a 190 BTSP. If you find that you can not get it to stabilize with a heavier shot of powder with out exceeding pressure limits, try a different powder IMR 4064 or Varget as has been suggested. if you are still having trouble look at your crown, it may be damaged. With all of that being said, the 165 grain bullets have been a very popular choice in 308, even for heavier game such as elk or moose. As always, choose your bullet construction for the game being hunted and make sure of your shot placement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was using the Lyman 48th, thats where the starting load came from.
I have noticed that these loads (start & max) differ from one manual to another, I was just trying to start low and work my way up.
I'll try a different load charge and see what happens.

Thanks
 

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blucollar said:
I was using the Lyman 48th, thats where the starting load came from.
I have noticed that these loads (start & max) differ from one manual to another, I was just trying to start low and work my way up.
I'll try a different load charge and see what happens.

Thanks
Working up a load I will load 2 rounds (for hunting or 3 if target load) each at an increasing powder charge. I'll spread these groups out over 4 to 6 steps from the charge range from min. to just below max. I use a permanent marker and write the powder and charge on the case. It will stay on the case through firing but will come off when case is cleaned.

Then shoot them beginning with the lowest powder load to the highest. Will use the same target and mark/circle the same powder charge groups. Starting with the lowest, lets you stop if signs of high pressure is encountered - Also lets you watch the primer shoulder flatten as powder is increased. Let you get some idea of accuracy - even if its just 5 two shot groups. Lets you see if the rifle will walk-up the POI as powder charge increases (most will but not always).

If there is a factory load with the SAME bullet and close to what I'm looking to load, I'll buy one box and shoot some of these for comparison of primers, felt recoil and POI.

PS: http://stevespages.com/page8a.htm
 

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You are going the right directions. I just checked my older 46th addition of the Lyman Manual and it also recommends a 40.0 starting load of IMR4320. And you are correct that there are a number of different recommendations. But commonly the recommendation and you are following that is starting low and work up. Starting low takes into the consideration in the differences in chambers, barrels, powder and primer lots, and bullet design.

As an example I had been loading Norma & Hornady150 grain bullets for my .270. I decided to give 150 grain Sierra Boattails a try, I was hoping to work up to the same hunting charge I was using for the other bullets. But as I approached that charge I started seeing signs of unacceptable pressure and drop back.

I have three different additions of the Lyman Manual. I have found it to be a good reliable resource. But I also own other Manuals.

Following the link to additional data.

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

180 GR. SPR SP 180 H414 .308" 2.800" 46.0 2433 39,800 CUP 49.0 2573 47,500 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 Varget .308" 2.800" 41.0 2470 41,200 CUP 45.0C 2661 49,600 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 BL-C(2) .308" 2.800" 42.0 2460 40,300 CUP 46.0 2660 50,100 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 H335 .308" 2.800" 38.0 2374 41,100 CUP 41.0 2528 49,500 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 H4895 .308" 2.800" 40.0 2454 41,200 CUP 42.5 2595 49,700 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 Benchmark .308" 2.800" 38.0 2363 40,700 CUP 41.3 2542 50,800 CUP
180 GR. SPR SP 180 IMR 4007 SSC .308" 2.800" 45.0 2481 46,600 PSI 48.0C 2616 54,200 PSI
180 GR. SPR SP 180 IMR 4320 .308" 2.800" 41.0 2407 43,500 PSI 45.4C 2665 57,900 PSI
180 GR. SPR SP 180 IMR 4064 .308" 2.800" 40.7 2445 44,100 PSI 45.2C 2683 58,200 PSI
180 GR. SPR SP 180 IMR 4895 .308" 2.800" 40.5 2439 43,800 PSI 44.7C 2674 58,700 PSI
180 GR. SPR SP 180 IMR 3031 .308" 2.800" 37.0 2372 43,300 PSI 40.6 2594 58,000 PSI
 

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blucollar , I would inspect that crown carefully. If it is not sharp and square it could the problem. My 303 with a good barrel, improved it's accuracy after squaring the crown. (I gave mine a 90˚ crown as I could not guarantee perfect bore alignment in the lathe).

303Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thought I would try Varget, heard some good things here as well as other places about it.
Problem solved! It shoots tighter groups and still makes a nice circle at 200yds.
I still have to fine tune the load but it liked the middle range of the loads I tried.
Thanks for all the help!
 

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varget is a good choice,but down the road if you want to try a different powder try w748 with the 180.
my 660 loves it.dan
 

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I forgot to mention that I use AR2208 - same as Varget. I would still check that crown as well as the last bit of muzzle. My .22lr became very sensitive to brand and bullet style until I chopped off 1/2 inch of barrel. Groups tightened and bullet yaw disappeared. On measuring, I found the bore was opening up at the muzzle, not visible to the naked eye. (I made a set of brass Go/No-Go gauges).

303Guy
 

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I'd switch to 150 grain spire points, that is, if you're hunting whitetails!
 
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