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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please, if you will, rate my plan, so that I can order components. Other powders and primers than what I have put here are not available due to Coronashortage, from Graf & Sons which I am making my order at.

I would like to start reloading for my 16.1" Ruger Scout in 308 Win.
I have two objectives before hunting season 2020-21:

1) (to start) make cheap soft loads that I can shoot a lot of with reduced recoil and "plinking accuracy", say 3" groups at 50 yards.
Velocities between 1000 and ~1800?

2) (later) explore the cartridge's potential with a goal of accuracy and reasonable recoil, to have fun at the range with accuracy and to be able to take ethical shots during hunting season.
Velocities between 2000 and 3000.

Goal #1:
For my first goal I spent hours and hours researching reduced loads and came up with 2 configurations, one using (max) 13gr of Red Dot and any weight of bullet in the normal range of the 308, large rifle primers. This seems to be an unofficial load, "The Load" by Ed Harris, so to proceed with caution and not to pass 13 grains, since that is quite possible to do without noticing with little powder in the case. The second is with Trail Boss and is more official, cited on Hodgdon's reloading data website, using 10 to 14 grains of Trail Boss behind a 150 gr Nosler bullet in boat tail configuration, large rifle primers. This load has seemingly interchangeable bullet weights and types, due to the soft and forgiving properties of Trail Boss. The range of bullets usable with this powder type and charge is unclear but the pressures and velocities seem extremely low with said bullet, perfect for my goal. Additionally there seems to be more data with this powder when using cast bullets.

Goal #2:
2) When I will know how to shoot the rifle better I will experiment with serious loads for accuracy challenges at the range and for hunting at the end of the year.
I searched the forum for good 308 powders for high performance loads and the consensus seems to be
IMR 4064
IMR 4895
Those are out of stock...
But I found a powder that could work and is actually available right now and it is Benchmark.

Finally:
In order to reach the weight threshold of powder for shipping which is at 3 pounds. I am thinking about getting 1 pound of Trail Boss, 1 pound of Red Dot and 1 pound of Benchmark.
Do you believe it is wise? Will Benchmark satisfy goal #2?

My plan on bullets to use for my 2 goals:
goal #1:
(Jacketed?)
-SPEER 30 (.308) 150gr SP BULLET Spitzer
That one is available and is relatively cheap at $0.19 per.

(Cast)
-ACME 30c(.309) 135gr RNFP BULLET COATED at $0.12 per.
-ACME 30c(.309) 155gr RNFP BULLET COATED at $0.13 per.
Available.

goal #2: I don't know and by then I will have time to do more research on getting the proper bullets to use with Benchmark, such as Hornady 165gn SP.


:eek: I might be on the right track and/or have said some absolutely absurd things just now. :eek:
Release the lions onto me.
 

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Skip the Red Dot and order just Benchmark and Trail Boss.

Benchmark will give you excellent performance with a variety of jacketed bullet weights. Go to Hodgdon's web site and their Reloading Data Center for recommended loads.

Use Trail Boss for your light and practice loads. Hodgdon lists approved loads for Trail Boss. Alliant doesn't list Red Dot loads for any centerfire rifle cartridge and any you found are unofficial and of questionable basis. Also, Red Dot will leave a lot of empty volume in the .308 which can lead to unreliable ignition and variable performance. Trail Boss will fill much more of the case and should be more uniform.
 

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Don't skip the Red Dot and cast bullets .

RCBS Cast Bullet Manual number 1
308 Winchester
RCBS cast bullet # 30-150-FN GC
Red Dot powder

starting load - 11.0 grs. @ 1542 fps
maximum load - 13.0 grs. @ 1716 fps

This data was in the very first manual I grabbed , RCBS tested and verified ...I haven't opened my Lyman manuals but I would bet money "The Load " is listed in them also .
I've used 13.0 grains under cast bullets from 150 to 180 grains with perfect satisfaction for years . Try it ...Red Dot and cast bullets are made for each other .
The Acme 155 gr. RNFP coated and 13.0 grs. Red Dot will be an excellent answer for achieving your Goal #1 ...trust me .
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay. One thing I'm not yet familiar with, and correct me if I'm wrong but with jacketed bullets of exactly the same grain weight, case pressure is always slightly more than with cast, right? This would make let's say 13 gr of powder give out the same pressure behind a jacketed bullet than 13.2 gr of powder behind the same weight cast bullet? About same pressure could be achieved with slightly more powder and a slightly longer COAL?
I feel weird about experimenting with COAL, however it seems that swapping bullets of the same weight for certain loads could be done safely, given that specific bullets can be hard to source these days.
The questions I just asked are centered around the context of my first goal which would involve pretty safe powder charges and powder types (Trail Boss, Red Dot), because later once I've gotten some experience with this type of loading and I move on to higher pressure, real loads (goal #2), I would want to follow load data to the letter, as those have much thinner margins of error between starting and max charge, for each bullet weight and type (and types of primer), with all measures of precaution while loading and then looking for pressure signs at the range every time I ladder up during testing.

About using pistol powders (always fast powders?) in rifle loads, this clears things up a bit:
 

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For now would you just be better off buy some either Remington or Hornady reduced recoil ammo?.. I understand the cost verses reloading etc but it would provide a constant and greatly reduced recoil so you can get a handle on using the rifle well before you disappear down the reloading rabbit hole..
As a note be carefull of reduced recoil loads you will need to find a powder/load that fills as much of the cartridge as possible and still provide the lower velocities. You need reliable ignition of the powder every time which it cant do if its all sitting down at the projectile end away from the primer or flashing across the top of the powder before the whole lot has ignited as a constant from the primer to the projectile. While your experimenting with lower velocity/reduced loads make sure each round has left the barrel and your confident in the load.
Goodluck
 

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For now would you just be better off buy some either Remington or Hornady reduced recoil ammo?.. I understand the cost verses reloading etc but it would provide a constant and greatly reduced recoil so you can get a handle on using the rifle well before you disappear down the reloading rabbit hole..
As a note be carefull of reduced recoil loads you will need to find a powder/load that fills as much of the cartridge as possible and still provide the lower velocities. You need reliable ignition of the powder every time which it cant do if its all sitting down at the projectile end away from the primer or flashing across the top of the powder before the whole lot has ignited as a constant from the primer to the projectile. While your experimenting with lower velocity/reduced loads make sure each round has left the barrel and your confident in the load.
Goodluck
I was about to offer the same sage advice.

OP congratulations on the GSR. I'm a fan and have an 18" .308 and 16" 5.56, both lefties. If you haven't chosen a sling, give Andy's Rhodesian a consideration. I run them on all three of my bolt action carbines. Take the time and really learn to run the rifle. It is very rewarding. Sometimes when we run-n-gun, I'll sometimes take the 5.56 psuedo-scout. Of course I'm not really competitive with the guys with ARs and Minis, I've never finished last and I get a lot of respect.
 

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Okay. One thing I'm not yet familiar with, and correct me if I'm wrong but with jacketed bullets of exactly the same grain weight, case pressure is always slightly more than with cast, right?
Slightly? Maybe, maybe not. As a “general” rule yes, but........and there’s always a “but” when it comes to reloading. All jacketed bullets are not the same and the same can be said about cast bullets, in other words there are a lot of unknown variables that come into play. And the same can be said about the firearm you fire them from.

As to what Gary said about the 11~13gr load of Red Dot, he's spot on. This charge weight is used for more than just the .308. It’s a proven charge weight with cast bullets.

When it comes to pressure and COAL or for me it’s CBTO.....when you lengthen the overall length of the cartridge, (any rifle cartridge) you are creating more case capacity with in the case, more “dead space”. This allows the user to introduce more powder, increasing MV without seeing an increase in pressure.

Personally I wouldn’t hesitate at all to load jacketed or cast bullets at 11grs of Red Dot as a starting point and work up.........needless to say I’d be looking for any signs of excessive pressure as I go.
 
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Goal #2:
2) When I will know how to shoot the rifle better I will experiment with serious loads for accuracy challenges at the range and for hunting at the end of the year.
I searched the forum for good 308 powders for high performance loads and the consensus seems to be
IMR 4064
IMR 4895
Those are out of stock...
But I found a powder that could work and is actually available right now and it is Benchmark.
2 other powders I would suggest would be AA2495 and AA2520 in place of the 4064 and 4895.
kwg
 
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