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SchmidtP3

Reloading for .308 - powders

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Hi, looking to start reloading in the new year for .308W. I have a 26" 1/12 barrel. I am going to start with 175gr SMK (target) and 150gr SGK (stalking). My question is really this - given the lack of US powders now, what would be a good alternative powder? I don't want max pressures and speed, just want a reliable powder that will work and won't require a trip to Mordor to replenish supply.

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I like RS52 and N140. The former will give higher velocities but harder on barrel and brass. 

 

Both are readily available.

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1 hour ago, Bangbangman said:

I like RS52 and N140. The latter will give higher velocities but harder on barrel and brass. 

 

Both are readily available.

I think you mean the former has higher velocity and is theoretically harder on barrels as RS52 is a double based powder, whereas N140 is a single base.

To the OP, both of those powders are very good. I’d also consider adding N150 and RS62 in the options too. Both single base, both readily available and both work well with heavier bullets as they’re slightly slower burning.

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Personally I’d steer clear of N540. It is a very hot powder and can cause severe throat erosion.

My powders of choice for .308 are RS52, RS50 and Vihtavuori N150. Vihtavuori N140 can quickly pressure spike but at low MVs is very good.

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I am using N150 with 185s. Using 42 grs this achieves 2579/2569/2560 = 2569ft/s average.

https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/rifle-reloading/?cartridge=30

 

For comparison, when using IMR4895 with 185s, using 42.3grs the average velocity was 2629 ft/s

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5 hours ago, Catch-22 said:

I think you mean the former has higher velocity and is theoretically harder on barrels as RS52 is a double based powder, whereas N140 is a single base.

To the OP, both of those powders are very good. I’d also consider adding N150 and RS62 in the options too. Both single base, both readily available and both work well with heavier bullets as they’re slightly slower burning.

That's right- got my former and latter the wrong way round.

 

I'll edit my post to save any future reader from confusion.

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41 minutes ago, SchmidtP3 said:

So, N150?! ;)

Personally I would use N150 for anything 175gn+ 

N140 is ideal for the 155gn bullets.

 

1 hour ago, furrybean said:

I’ve found Viht to give lower ES and SD than RS powders. 

I’d say either N150 or 140

Interesting, I’ve largely found the same as you but specifically with respect to some of the RS double based powders.

N140 was infinitely better (with the components I tested) than RS52 (double based). But RS62 (single based) was very good, though still didn’t have as low ES/SD as N140.

But I’m VERY impressed using RS80 (mildly double based) in the big .338 Norma Magnum. Consistently single digits SD and extreme accuracy with that powder. Below examples are 5x groups.

It might be that some of the RS double based powders are just a bit different/finicky??

 

84DC292D-7D34-40D3-AC67-18BEC3E30559.jpeg

283D342F-0DD0-48CE-BA15-D8CC1BBBD502.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Catch-22 said:

Personally I would use N150 for anything 175gn+ 

N140 is ideal for the 155gn bullets.

 

Interesting, I’ve largely found the same as you but specifically with respect to some of the RS double based powders.

N140 was infinitely better (with the components I tested) than RS52 (double based). But RS62 (single based) was very good, though still didn’t have as low ES/SD as N140.

But I’m VERY impressed using RS80 (mildly double based) in the big .338 Norma Magnum. Consistently single digits SD and extreme accuracy with that powder. Below examples are 5x groups.

It might be that some of the RS double based powders are just a bit different/finicky??

 

84DC292D-7D34-40D3-AC67-18BEC3E30559.jpeg

283D342F-0DD0-48CE-BA15-D8CC1BBBD502.jpeg

That's quite some shooting there friend. 👍

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The coins are covering the fliers.....

Sorry Catch, I'm only joking, I couldn't resist!

it is Xmas after all!!!     😋

All the best!!

G

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If using one powder to cover both weights I would probably use N150.  It works just fine with 155gr, and should work fine in the OPs longish 26 inch barrel taking advantage of the longer barrel pressure/burn time.  Many have found that the N150 may give lower velocities than N140 with the 150/155 bullets but better consistency for some.   It would imho be a better powder for the 175s.  I have used N140 with 175s and even 190gr bullets but have also suffered pretty scary pressure spikes when the warmer weather picks up.  RS50 is well worth considering.  It's basically re-labelled TR140 and has a similar energy to N140 but I've always found it less likely to spike as readily and have also experienced slightly better velocities when using it with my 155gr bullets.  Chareg weights are poretty equivalent between N140/RS50/TR140 but I would never try loading N140 up as hot as I have using RS50 due to its propensity to pressure spike.

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