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Long range .308


Cliveb
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Asking for a friend who wants to load 308 on his 550b (out to 1000metres).
Is the Dillon powder dropper accurate enough for what he wants, or should he go for a separate trickle feeder for his powder throws.

I'm no long range expert, but am leaning to the latter for consistency.

 

Any input would be appreciated.

 

Clive

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A lot depends on the size of the target he's going to engage. If engaging the customary 16x18 steel, he should weigh every load, to get his standard deviation as close to 10 as he can. I used to shoot 308 Winchester, but have since went to a 6.5 Creedmoor.  I'm much happier, just saying.

Edited by usmc1974
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Just now, usmc1974 said:

A lot depends on the size of the target he's going to engage. If engaging the customary 16x18 steel, he should weigh every load, to get his standard deviation as close to 10 as you can. I used to shoot 308 Winchester, but have since went to a 6.5 Creedmoor.  I'm much happier, just saying.

.308 is the calibre he has - so that's not going to change.

From what he said, the targets are pretty small (at least at that range) - so individually, trickle-fed powder is advisable?

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In my previous life when I used to shoot longe range. I would weigh each individual charge. I would use a powder trickle to get each charge as close as possible. Use a very good scale and scale weights to verify scale accuracy.

Since your friend is using a 308. Bullet selection is going to be critical. A 1000 meters is pushing the limits of a 308.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Do not trust the measure for extruded powders, I tried varget in the measure and I was getting large variations. some over a grain and a half out on 30+ grain throws.

 

Use an auto trickler. I have an RCBS that has led to good results. There are a few really good ones out there.

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In theory, with the right powder choice, you may be able to do what you're after.  A ball powder like Ramshot TAC or Alliant 2000MR *should* meter with acceptable accuracy since you're talkin' smacking steel with a gas gun, not F-class.  Some powders like 8208XBR are extruded, but very short cut, so they still meter decently. 

 

Bullet selection will be the next part - and most 175s, and even the Berger 185 Juggernaut will work acceptably at distance for the intended purpose.  Depending on how hot the load, the 175s might not be crossing the 1k mark much above the sound barrier, but it's not like they're going to automagically fall out of the sky if they aren't. 

 

Done properly (in my mind), loading long range ammo on a 550 should involve two tool heads - one for case prep, and one for loading. 

 

My work flow (for bolt guns) looks something like this:

 

Tumble clean

Anneal

Spray lube

 

550 tool head #1:

  Decapping die

  F/L sizing die

  Sinclair expander mandrel die

 

Trim/chamfer/debur (Giraud)

Tumble lube off

 

550 tool head #2:

  Decapping die (to clear any tumbling media from the flash holes)

  Powder die

  Seating die

 

Whether you choose to prime separately after tumbling the lube off, or on press after decapping, is up to you.

 

For most of my guns, the 'powder die' has a funnel and I use an AutoThrower / AutoTrickler setup, though if a Chargemaster or even a powder measure meets your needs, use it.

 

I will admit, I have not had great luck getting what I consider acceptable consistency from the Dillon APM - even with ball powders like 2000MR - but some of that may be operator error (or so I'm told).  I'd dearly like to get that resolved myself, as I have about 14 lbs or so of the stuff that I'd love to use for various things...

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14 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

@TonytheTiger. There you go @usmc1974, he’s officially been paged. 😁

With an official summons like that I wish I could offer something truly profound!

 

I was going to say something along the lines of what milanuk did, but he covered it pretty well. Powder choice is key, UniqueTek sells some things which should help with consistency, but most importantly you have to define the goals.

I use a 550 to load what I call "precision" ammo for what I consider precision rifle shooting. That is, using a gas gun to regularly hit steel as small as 1 moa but usually closer to 2 moa, at distances up to 1k yards, and using volume of fire to make up for my terrible wind reading ability.

 

I've noticed on 1 moa steel at 1k I start wishing for a tighter ES, and that would probably be easier to attain if I wasn't dead set on using a progressive press. I'm also doing it for fun, not competition, and I suspect if I was shooting paper for score at distance I'd be disappointed with the results I'm currently pleased with. 

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8 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

I've noticed on 1 moa steel at 1k I start wishing for a tighter ES, and that would probably be easier to attain if I wasn't dead set on using a progressive press. I'm also doing it for fun, not competition, and I suspect if I was shooting paper for score at distance I'd be disappointed with the results I'm currently pleased with. 

Lord Tony, making headshots at a thousand yards, "1 moa " is just a fantasy,  for me anyway,  even with my bolt action rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor 140 grain rdf bullet a 2750 ft per second. lol

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As far as the OP's question goes, the Dillon powder dropper being accurate has a lot to do with what powder you are using. Extruded powders like Varget and 4895 can have pretty big variances, more granulated powder like CFE223 and H-335 is usually spot on. Also some of my Dillon powder measures are better than others even with granulated powders, I have 8 of them. I have loaded 308 ammo with CFE223 and Sierra 175gr. BTHP on my XL650 that was under 1 MOA at 500 yards. So it is possible if you use a powder conducive to the Dillion powder measure. I have found my very old Lyman 55 measure dumps the extruded Powders pretty accurately, so when I use Varget, 4895 or the like I use the Lyman 55, just a little slower process.

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6 hours ago, usmc1974 said:

Lord Tony, making headshots at a thousand yards, "1 moa " is just a fantasy,  for me anyway,  even with my bolt action rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor 140 grain rdf bullet a 2750 ft per second. lol

Oh don't think I'm hitting a target that size every shot. Hence the wish for tighter velocity spread. A 2 moa target is a sure thing on a nice day, but cut the target size in half and suddenly I'm shooting just above or below the target more than I'm hitting it.

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30 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

Oh don't think I'm hitting a target that size every shot. Hence the wish for tighter velocity spread. A 2 moa target is a sure thing on a nice day, but cut the target size in half and suddenly I'm shooting just above or below the target more than I'm hitting it.

2 MOA at a thousand yards is about the best I can do. The longest distance I get to shoot is up at spearpoint Ranch. they go out to 1400 yards,  400-1300  is a 16 inch wide 18 in Long Steel. About the size of a man torso. The 1400 yard Target is a full IPSC steel Target. I don't hit the thousand yard Target a 100% either, do real good about 800 then hits gets kind of iffy. About 70%

             

          They also have a super long-range matches up there but I don't even compete in them. I think they started a thousand and go to, 2000 yards

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When I got into F class, I tried hard to like AA2520.  It metered so well that the only time I needed a scale was to set the measure.  Unfortunately it was not quite as accurate as any of several extruded powders in weighed charges, so I bought a dispenser and settled in with Varget.

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30 minutes ago, Jim Watson said:

When I got into F class, I tried hard to like AA2520.  It metered so well that the only time I needed a scale was to set the measure.  Unfortunately it was not quite as accurate as any of several extruded powders in weighed charges, so I bought a dispenser and settled in with Varget.

AA2520 goes sub MOA in life 20 inch 6.5 Grendel AR Sanders Armory  1/ 8 twist AR 5r rifling stainless Barrel. that's good enough for me. It is just a little dirtier than I like.

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Well, yes, I traded my 2520 off to a guy who got as good accuracy with it as anything and metering better, so it is just one of those "match your load to your gun" things, and mine didn't.  

I didn't notice "dirtier", it wouldn't foul out in the course of a match and that is all I cared about.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are two approaches that i know about for using a dillon 550 and each requires verification

 

1. Use ball powder and be consistent with operation   Short stick powder can work

 

2. use a 450 powder through die; you stop the press so that the ctg is all the way up in the die and pour weighed powder through   
 

i load my 1000 yd ammo on a 550 using option 2

 

in both or really all cases, you need to check Extreme spread numbers and accuracy

 

i have a .308 set up that shoots sierra 175’s and surplus reloaded 15   Accuracy is there but es numbers are 35, so good for about to 600 yds

 

if you find a ball powder that works and get good numbers, you dont need to weigh charges and dillon measure will be fine

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