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38supPat

Remington 16.5" SPS .308

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Picked one up for fun. Anyone have experience loading for it? Tested some factory loads yesterday and compared against my 700 PSS .308 24" rifle for accuracy and velocity. All loads lost around 150fps. Tried Hornady Precision Hunter 178 ELD-X, shot ok in 16.5" terrible in 24" (1/10 twist vs. 1/12 twist) the real surprise was Hornady Black 168 AMAX. In both rifles it kept poking .5" groups time after time. 

Right now I have the 16.5" barrelled action in a Bell and Carlson M40 stock, factory Hogue was in contact with the barrel, I don't mean it flexes and touched the barrel, it was in contact all the time. EGW base and rings, Bushnell 3-12 elite Tactical G2DMR

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I used to have an SPS with an 18" barrel.  My go to load for it was 44.0 grains of Varget and a 168 AMAX loaded to 2.820 OAL.

 

That load seems to shoot amazing in every 308 I have tried it in.

 

 

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Yeah it really seems to like 168gr loads, doesn’t seem to matter if it’s 168SMK or 168 Amax (maybe a slight edge to the Amax)

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Not sure the distance you're shooting this thing but I had a short ish barreled .308 that LOVED 125 speer bullets.. for plinking and varmints out to 3-400 yards it was a laser.  With the short barrel a tad faster powder will make you a really nice load for a quick handling rifle.

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I put this together as part fun project and part as a deer rifle since most of the area I hunt in is thick bush and longer rifles are a PITA. This year it worked like a charm, easy to handle and manoeuvre with....but only deer I saw were at 600m and out of range. It works well with 168gr match bullets but over the winter I’m going to work up a couple loads with 175smk and 178 ELD-X and see what I get.

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In my Remington 700 LTR, 175 SMK over 44.5 Varget w. CCI BR-2 primers has been a great load.  

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In my 700PSS 175 SMK over 44gr or Varget worked well, not so much in this 16.5” 1/10” twist barrel...it’s ok but not great, not nearly as good as the 168 AMAX or SMK.

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Well I had a good day doing load development today. Looks like I can get the 175SMK to shoot in both guns. Just need to run them a bit hotter.  The 178 ELD-X still wasn’t as good but I may be able to come up with a half decent load for hunting. 

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Out with this again, looks like 44gr Varget with the 175SMK is dialed in.FAF88EDA-E21A-421E-96E2-8A6A95CBED1E.jpeg.6f729f2786251c2c2c4e0807ff7e5bb5.jpegDD8E253B-3510-4098-A62A-569DE0D78656.jpeg.293ad91063b951c4b98186e5d0702afc.jpeg

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The 168/175 bullets over anywhere between 43.8 and 44.8 seem to always run just fine for me. I always use this as a starting point for development. 
nice little group. Congrats and good luck. 

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44.9 worked best in the long rifle and seems to shoot OK in the short

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I think the brass made a difference, this was the first time trying Starline .308 brass. The long rifle is the one I’ve used for PRS the last two years and this is the best I’ve seen it group. It’s normally a 3/4” rifle. The shorty has been a bit of a struggle. It shot OK but not fantastic, now it seems like it’s coming into its own. Maybe it’s just broken in lol

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11 hours ago, 38supPat said:

 now it seems like it’s coming into its own. Maybe it’s just broken in lol

I'm a believer in this, actually. 

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My most recent 308 has liked H4895 better than Varget for accuracy.  

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On 3/11/2020 at 7:53 AM, 38supPat said:

I think the brass made a difference, this was the first time trying Starline .308 brass. The long rifle is the one I’ve used for PRS the last two years and this is the best I’ve seen it group. It’s normally a 3/4” rifle. The shorty has been a bit of a struggle. It shot OK but not fantastic, now it seems like it’s coming into its own. Maybe it’s just broken in lol

How many rounds down the pipe?  

I usually get awesome groups in the first 20 rounds or so.  Then it falls off a bit.  Then it comes back after, maybe a hundred or so.  

The brass forms to the chamber.  The leade angle smooths out.  The lands/grooves settle out.  It all makes sense to me...  At least in my head it does. 

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Probably around 200? After the last session I really wasn’t happy where the accuracy level was, it will shoot some loads ok like AA 168 match, but other match not so much. So I took everything apart and reassembled it and gave the barrel a really good scrubbing. Now it shoots awesome. I’ll give it another good cleaning and then try some previous loads through it and see.

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10 hours ago, 38supPat said:

Probably around 200? After the last session I really wasn’t happy where the accuracy level was, it will shoot some loads ok like AA 168 match, but other match not so much. So I took everything apart and reassembled it and gave the barrel a really good scrubbing. Now it shoots awesome. I’ll give it another good cleaning and then try some previous loads through it and see.

I will also say this...  Some guns seem to prefer clean barrels.  Like, really clean and scrubbed.  Most of my rifles (thank God) have been happy with a Hoppe's and brush in the chamber and a dry patch or three to make sure everything is out of the chamber after 200 or so rounds and that's it.  Then a good scrubbing before it gets put away for the winter.  

 

As a guess, I'd say you may have a tighter bore and that's why when "dirty" it doesn't shoot as well.  That's pure speculation on my part as I'm far from an expert in these matters.  

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Given that it’s a factory barrel I’m not sure. It doesn’t seem like a particularity fast barrel. The 24” load of 44.9 was  around 2650fps and in the 16.5” it was right on 2500fps

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