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Long term I hope to re-load, but in the short term I want to get some trigger time in with my new Sabatti .308 STR. The dealer who sold it me supplied me with a hundred rounds of HPS 155grn Sierra Matchking. I have not been blown away by the accuracy in the tunnel at 50 metres. I was getting better grouping with my .22 (CZ with long varmint barrel). Is this likely to be my lack of practice with the gun (25 rounds so far) or is this ammo not great for target. I'm going to be going to Yoxter in a couple of weeks to have my first ever crack at 600 yards and want to make sure I have some ammo that will not be hampering me. Any pointers would be massively appreciated.

I very much want to try re-loading, but one RFD says that I need to spend loads of money, whereas the more local chap seems to think he has a kit for £150 that will get me started. I never buy cheap tools because of the old adage 'buy cheap, buy twice'. That said I don't want to start a re-loading business, though I do have a busy life. Any thoughts?

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Reply to the thread below and buy the press, scale priming tool, case trimmer etc. it is a very good start.

The rest you can pick up as you go along.

Keep all the cases from your fired rounds and you can reload them.

 

 

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Your HPS 155 grain Sierra MatchKings are a descent rounds indeed. My club uses them for Target Rifle comps, both long & short range, at Bisley and are capable of "Possibles" at all distances, providing the shooter is up to scratch!. Keep hold of what you have and see how you get on with them at the longer ranges.

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THe HPS ammo is very likely good-it's always possible a rifle may not like a load,but then that's always true-and perhaps the best reason to reload to it's preferences.

   YOu won't save  much money if you want comparable quality-the bullet is. The crucial component-good onesare not cheap.Asa first approximation ,you can save the cost of the brass (Lapua is about £65/100 and you might get say 8 reloads,if not hot-remember any ammo you buy,you'll have to reload if/when you go that route,so keep it)-you won't beat prices retail on the other components wholesale (let alone factory's own at cost). You will have capital expenditure on reloading gear-you say it yourself (buy cheap...but....) but should get some back if you resell.You'll not get the best ammo with minimal budget gear,which probabaly leads to disappointment-though most of us probaby have more gear than needed-factor in pleasure in the hobby.

    See how your shooting goes at 600y (a 22rf is very much easier to shoot ok at 50 yards-gun management/wind is so much easier). I'd say a minute of angle to 600 would be good,if conditions are favourable...ie  no disruptive wind,but that's about par for a non novice decent club shooter with typical equipment....

Suck it and see...don't rush decisions....I've just today blattered off a bunch of  223 at fig 11s,pretty fast and the budget steel case non reloadable Barnaul ammo shot as good as the homeloads,which were actually  more expensive-their bullit alone being the price of a Barnaul round...competition with small targets might well reversethis(I hear good reports on GGG ammo,though the match isn't cheap)....learn and enjoy...and check other's  targets-club room claims are more often 'best' rather than 'typical'....   :-)

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Hi Ralph

factory ammo wise i have tried ppu-not too good at 2" groups at 100m and also hornady match 168 g -which were very good also normal hornady bthp  which were good too ,not sure if 155/168 grains .tried some radway green ammo from 1985 these shot just as good and were very cheap ,check out the posts on 308 reloading or 175 gr 308s to get e few ideas where to go for home loading .save the brass for later ,.if you find some good cheap ammo that works use this for practice then later fine tune and go the reloading route. still looking for the best load a year on from reloading !! thought i had a good load then after a windy day at catterick ranges it wasnt as expected -poss just me shivering tho?     If all else fails just enjoy making a big bang then go home and retry the loads that worked so keep a log or notebook as you shoot to look back on later/take photos with phone helps .   cheers 

AI AT 308 26" barrel 

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Many thanks for the helpful posts.

I think I'll spend some more time shooting with the HPS for a while and see how I get on. I'm very excited about shooting at 600yards though it will doubtless be freezing cold on the top of Mendip! I think I'll dig out my warmest motorcycle textiles!

I think I'll do plenty of research before spending out on re-loading gear and I'll take on board all you have said. Thanks guys.

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Just some info regarding reloading

rcbs rock chuck 4 kit from spud1967 ,powder trickle r to get spot on loads , lapua cases , try a few makes of quality bullets same with powders .berger hornady and nosler manuals to get a feel for best powder amounts . Ordered from spud and a few minutes later he rang me to further discuss my requirements good service . Have upgraded to Forster dies and am very happy with the setup .takes a few nights work to clean and load up 200 rounds . Start low and build up powder charge in half grain jumps , worked off max load minus 10% to find start point. Stick to makers case overall length to start with until you find a good powder combo then fiddle with bullet seating depth. Enjoy 

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I didn't really mean to, but I have ended up buying a load of gear for re-loading. Most of it is Lee. The only bit I'm not getting on with very well is the auto powder measure that sits on the four hole turret press. The loads seem very variable with it and I do wonder if I'd do better weighing the stuff out manually.

The test loads have proved more accurate in my Sabatti STR  at 50 metres than the HPS factory loads (155gr Sierra Matchking). I'm using 168gr Lapua bullets and 43.5 gr of powder.

Weather permitting I'll be trying my first ever long distance shoot on Sunday at 600 metres on the top of Mendip! Be interesting to see how the home loads compare with the HPS at that distance.

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I'd try measuring the powder off-press.

Get yourself a little digital scale. Set your on-press measure a little lower than you require, and fill a donor case. Empty the contents of the donor case into your pan, and top up the charge on the digital scales by carefully sprinkling the powder kernels using your thumb and forefinger. Might be safer to wear latex gloves to avoid cross-contamination.

Once the digital measure is registering your desired powder charge, empty the contents of the pan into your final case. This is the way I measured my first few lots of hand loads. It's a time consuming process, but the loads it produced for me are still some of the most accurate I've ever made. Coincidentally, I was also using 167gr Lapua Scenars.

I've never trusted the volumetric powder throwers. They're OK for dispensing a rough charge quickly, that you then fine-tune manually. I've always preferred to weigh out each final charge individually.

There are lots of corners you can cut when you first start home loading, which will save you money (but cost you lots of time). As you develop, you'll start to buy the more expensive items, such as digital powder dispensers, which will save you a lot of time.

Hand loading is all about eliminating sources of inconsistency. As your loads become more consistent, you'll be rewarded with tighter groups.

Edited by CameronWilson
Correcting the auto-correct.

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The lee powder thrower has a good reputation for consistency. However for ultimate accuracy I would recommend weighing every load. 

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Hi Ralph, My 308 STR prefers the 168gr HPS and is very consistent. For hand loading 168gr TMKs with a few tweaks keep me 1/2 moa indoors 100metres.

G

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