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Mar 25th, 2012
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Begineer Reloading .308 #7136855
04/09/18 09:39 PM
04/09/18 09:39 PM
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Bow hunter 91 Offline OP
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I have recently dressed up my M1A on an archangle stock with a Zeiss 5-25 scope and wanting to push my shooting limits. I have never shot past 200 yards and thought this would be a good gun to expand my horizons with. Currently I am using 168 grain ammo, but looking to start reloading for longer shots. I have never reloaded before and just looking for tips on where to start and how to decide on charge and loads to figure out the best combinations.

Thanks in advance

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7136880
04/09/18 09:59 PM
04/09/18 09:59 PM
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Korean Redneck Offline
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How much reloading equipment do u you?
Are u just looking for a starting point, shopping list of needed items, etc?

The more specific your question is here, the more fruitful the responses will be.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7136971
04/09/18 11:05 PM
04/09/18 11:05 PM
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Cleric Offline
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Quality cost and production...pick any 2

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137058
04/10/18 12:35 AM
04/10/18 12:35 AM
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Wolfe City, TX
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FiremanJG Offline
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Not the best rifle platform to learn to hand load with. Not the best scope to extend distance with.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just letting you know, what you currently have will make things more challenging than other options, so know that going in.



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Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137195
04/10/18 02:51 AM
04/10/18 02:51 AM
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Since he went there. Yes totally correct. The scope.mounting platform itself is already a huge disadavtange by itself. Believe it or not you'd be better off with a $350 savage or ruger and $50 more for talley rings for the scope u already have.
You'll learn way more about reloading and accuracy on something like than your current rifle. Your rifle has in coolness what it lacks in accuracy ability.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137217
04/10/18 03:33 AM
04/10/18 03:33 AM
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The M1A is a pretty cool rifle and the archangel is a nice set up for it. Accuracy in the range of 1/2-3/4 MOA can be achieved with some M1A rifles. The first place to start as a new reloader is two good manuals and read the how to section in each manual. They will take you through basic load development. Repeatable consistency is what you are after in your reloading so you can duplicate it when you find a good load. Measure the heck out of everything you do and take copious notes. Chasing accuracy becomes an addiction. IMO as you acquire your gear a good beam scale and powder tricker should be among your first purchases. You can attain a higher degree of accuracy with a bolt gun but it is also a heck of a lot of fun if you get a semi auto dialed in. Good luck and have fun with it.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137297
04/10/18 11:40 AM
04/10/18 11:40 AM
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colt45 Offline
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welcome to the forum, you get a lot of advice hear, check out the post made by certain members, you will soon make a choice on who to listen to. good luck.


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Cleric] #7137393
04/10/18 01:29 PM
04/10/18 01:29 PM
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Bow hunter 91 Offline OP
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Quality and Production hands down.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137397
04/10/18 01:35 PM
04/10/18 01:35 PM
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Bow hunter 91 Offline OP
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Great advice all the way around guys. I have a .308 bolt action rifle with custom heavy barrel and BRNO action. I was planning on dialing it in after my M1A but it sounds like I need to start on that one instead.

Any thoughts on kits to get me going as I currently have no set up? Hornady Lock and load vs RCBS Rock chucker? I am currently looking at Cabela's and am open to other options.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137406
04/10/18 01:45 PM
04/10/18 01:45 PM
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Wolfe City, TX
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Yes, load for the bolt action first. Bolt action .308 Win is in the top five cartridges of "easy to find a load for".

The Hornady and RCBS kits each have their merit. Really the only thing that comes to mind of one over the other is the ease of swapping dies in the Hornady kit. RCBS has built a decades long reputation of quality equipment and stellar customer service. If you do go with the RCBS you will have to screws dies in and out of the press, which is no big deal, but I highly recommend putting timing marks on the press/lock ring/die body, and only using Hornady lock rings on all your dies.

So what ever dies you buy, aside from Hornady, you will need to buy Hornady lock rings seperate. Not a big deal as they are available in packages of 6. RCBS, and Redding are two other brands of dies I use aside from Hornady, but they wear Hornady lock rings, as the design, and end product is far superior in keeping the lock rings exactly in their place, without slipping.



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Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137412
04/10/18 01:48 PM
04/10/18 01:48 PM
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I would not buy a press until I had a game plan


I would head over to ultimate reloader and watch videos on presses to understand how they operate.

Also how many rounds do you shoot in a year in a given caliber?
How much time do you have to reload?
If you just shoot 308 and shoot 100-200 rounds a year. I would advise just buying ammo. You can get some good ammo from the smaller reloaders imo. Chad on here with Dallas reloads makes good stuff.

If you say I am planning on shooting competitions so want to get into reloading. I would still advise buying ammo and shooting it for a year or two to make sure you like shooting competitions and actually do it.

Reloading is fun and rewarding but can be a pain in the wallet. As you start shooting more you need/want some new thing to make it easier. If you are not careful you end up with thousands of dollars in presses, tools, measurement devices, dies, components, etc which is money that could have bought a lot of ammo

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Cleric] #7137529
04/10/18 03:36 PM
04/10/18 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
I would not buy a press until I had a game plan


I would head over to ultimate reloader and watch videos on presses to understand how they operate.

Also how many rounds do you shoot in a year in a given caliber?
How much time do you have to reload?
If you just shoot 308 and shoot 100-200 rounds a year. I would advise just buying ammo. You can get some good ammo from the smaller reloaders imo. Chad on here with Dallas reloads makes good stuff.




If you say I am planning on shooting competitions so want to get into reloading. I would still advise buying ammo and shooting it for a year or two to make sure you like shooting competitions and actually do it.

Reloading is fun and rewarding but can be a pain in the wallet. As you start shooting more you need/want some new thing to make it easier. If you are not careful you end up with thousands of dollars in presses, tools, measurement devices, dies, components, etc which is money that could have bought a lot of ammo


Very good information right here.........

Last edited by snake oil; 04/10/18 03:37 PM.
Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137622
04/10/18 05:21 PM
04/10/18 05:21 PM
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In the Right lane
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My normal first advice pretty much mirrors what has been said above.... if you think that reloading would be an enjoyable hobby then by all means you should take the plunge. If you are just doing it because you think it will save you a little money then you may want to analyze all the points mentioned above.


"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."

Jack O'Connor 1963
Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: DStroud] #7137644
04/10/18 05:59 PM
04/10/18 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: DStroud
My normal first advice pretty much mirrors what has been said above.... if you think that reloading would be an enjoyable hobby then by all means you should take the plunge. If you are just doing it because you think it will save you a little money then you may want to analyze all the points mentioned above.


Yup.

I did not get into hand loading to save money, but to produce precise ammo, tuned perfectly to each rifle. The side effect is that I shoot more. My equipment has more than paid for itself, because I am going to shoot that much volume anyway. I explained to a shooter this weekend at a PRS match that a person can spend as little as $200 on quality equipment, that will make outstanding ammo. Where I continue to spend more money on upgrades and/or additions is to gain speed. I can already make excellent ammo, but I have invested in equipment to speed up the processes.

And I am not talking about the press, I still use, and always will use a single stage for rifles. I am talking about brass prep, and the latest expense, throwing precise powder chargese faster.



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Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7137680
04/10/18 07:07 PM
04/10/18 07:07 PM
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For what it's worth as still a newbie. I started with a hornady classic single press kit without knowing too much. Don't regret it at all. If on a budget but want to get going I'd still get the kit again and immediately add bullet comparator, headspace gauge kit, better primer cleaning tool, and something to trim brass.

With just those things,I was floored by the results even at my unskilled hands. Since then I've bought some better tools but that was my list of "must need" equipment to get started.

As for the ammo price comment, it all depends on how one looks at the economics. On one end of u factor all the costs to get started to let's say the cheapest ammo available then the may dictates you'll need to make tens of thousands in some cases like 308 for example because u can find some for like 70 cents a round.
I look at it as price compared to ammo that can match my hand loads that aren't that tuned just me playing around, that ammo was closer to like $1.80 per round. Some blackhills and another pricey one did very well but that's pricey. Now the round count for break even becomes only a few thousand. Which is easy to reach. I bet some people here shoot a thousand rounds in a month at times.

Btw the reason for the bolt rifle is that you eliminate another variable when trying to figure out from the massive combinations of powder, charge weight bullet, depth etc that are inherent in reloading ammo only. The m1 being a less accurate rifle than your bolt means your introducing more uncertainty to your results.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Korean Redneck] #7138447
04/11/18 06:44 PM
04/11/18 06:44 PM
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Bow hunter 91 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Korean Redneck
For what it's worth as still a newbie. I started with a hornady classic single press kit without knowing too much. Don't regret it at all. If on a budget but want to get going I'd still get the kit again and immediately add bullet comparator, headspace gauge kit, better primer cleaning tool, and something to trim brass.

With just those things,I was floored by the results even at my unskilled hands. Since then I've bought some better tools but that was my list of "must need" equipment to get started.

As for the ammo price comment, it all depends on how one looks at the economics. On one end of u factor all the costs to get started to let's say the cheapest ammo available then the may dictates you'll need to make tens of thousands in some cases like 308 for example because u can find some for like 70 cents a round.
I look at it as price compared to ammo that can match my hand loads that aren't that tuned just me playing around, that ammo was closer to like $1.80 per round. Some blackhills and another pricey one did very well but that's pricey. Now the round count for break even becomes only a few thousand. Which is easy to reach. I bet some people here shoot a thousand rounds in a month at times.

Btw the reason for the bolt rifle is that you eliminate another variable when trying to figure out from the massive combinations of powder, charge weight bullet, depth etc that are inherent in reloading ammo only. The m1 being a less accurate rifle than your bolt means your introducing more uncertainty to your results.


Great point. Thanks for all the pointers folks.

Re: Begineer Reloading .308 [Re: Bow hunter 91] #7139876
04/13/18 11:04 AM
04/13/18 11:04 AM
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I've been reloading since '91 on a rock chucker and have no issues with it whatsoever. It take a little time to reload a batch, but I like the process.. kinda of a little get-away. Great advice on the Hornady lock rings, I just got them for all my dies.. WAY better than using the RCBS lock rings.

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