View Full Version : Newbie Questions

02-10-2009, 12:55 PM
Hey everybody;

I'm new to reloading and I've started picking up things I need to reload.
Picked up a case cleaner yesterday and threw in abt 40 Fed .308 cases I had left over from 168g and 175g matchking loads.

From what I been reading on the site, Fed cases are soft and only worth 3-5 reloadings.
Does this apply to Matchking cases also?

What range should the case lengths be within before needing a trim?

Thx in adv!

K Thomas
02-14-2009, 05:02 PM
Kinda depends on what you're doing here. The Fed stuff can be on the soft side, but should last quite a few firings if the loads aren't pushed too hard. I've had Fed brass go 25-30 firings before the pockets finally got too loose. A close chamber that doesn't make too much expansion, and a sizing die that doesn't work the brass more than necessary will help.

The Federal is definitely on the soft side, but these should help mitigate the problems inherent with such brass. These comments, incidentally, apply to a bolt gun. Just don't use it in a Service Rifle more than a time or two (and preferable not at all).

Hope that helps,
Kevin Thomas

02-14-2009, 07:17 PM
I use nothing but federal premium brass (FC head stamp). I'm getting 10 to 15 loadings in my 7 remmag. after they are fire formed to your gun, i rarely have to re-trim to length after 2 loadings. The primer pockets stay plenty tight for the life of the case if you don't get carried away when you clean them out. I always inspect each case under a lighted magnifier after a thorough cleaning to check for pressure or stress signs. I have culled very few cases before 10 loadings. The weight of the brass, after they are prepped, are very close. Accuracy has been outstanding.

I'm not sure how that compares to Lapua brass, but considering I get the federal brass for next to nothing cost wise, I see no need to change.

I hope that helps. If you have FC brass you don't use, please send it my way.:D

Winchester 69
02-15-2009, 01:10 AM
The ABC's of Reloading. Lymans manual. Any other reloading manual you can lay your hands on.

02-15-2009, 03:37 PM
Here is a good book. Got it all. And a nice web site.

f d shuster
02-15-2009, 03:58 PM
zz28zz: Ditto on the Lyman manual, latest edition is #49: loaded with first-class information. i especially like it since they make and sell neither bullets or powder, so they give a good variety of load combinations. Don't be in a hurry to shorten/trim your cases to the suggested "trim-to-lengths" of 2.005". Every chamber that I've measured the length of is at least .025" longer than max case length. Measure the actual length of your ( emphasis on "your") chamber. I use the Sinclair gages ( approx. $7.00 per caliber), recording the lengths, then keep them .010" shorter. Over trimming cases will create an even greater gap in front of the case mouth where carbon will build-up.

02-16-2009, 11:49 PM
Thx for all the replies!
I am loading for bolt gun.
Sounds like the Fed brass isn't so bad after all. Good thing, cause I have close to 200 cases.
2.005" is the number I was looking for.
Of the 60 nickel plated cases (from Fed matchking loads) I have, they range from 2.004" to 2.012".
I'll be picking up a RCBS rock chucker supreme master kit tomorrow.
It comes with almost everything I'll need to get started except for a case trimmer.
I'm wanting to load at least 60 rounds tomorrow night so I can go shooting the next day.

For tomorrow, my plan is to seat a bullet on the long side (with no powder or primer) and gently try to close the bolt, then seat bullet a little more in the press, and try to close bolt. Repeat process until bullet just touches the lands, then seat bullet .005" more and that will be my starting point for COL.
Then I'll weigh bullet/case assy, fill with water, then weigh again. Take the difference of the 2 weights and multiply by .85 to find my min powder load.
I'm assuming this will be somewhere around 40-42 grains.
I'll be using Varget powder, 175 gr Sierra HPBT's, and Rem large rifle magnum primers (since that's all I can get my hands on).
Anyone see a problem with this plan?:confused:

My kit comes with a Speers manual, but I hear the Lynmans is better so I'll be picking up one next week.
Also plan on getting some type of run-out checker (H&H maybe?), case trimmer, neck thickness gauge, and a few other gadgets, just have to let my pocket book cool off a little.:eek:

02-17-2009, 12:00 AM
This applies to 308. Adjust barrel life accordingly for other calibers.

New barrel/gun and 1000 pieces of brass. Take .01" off the necks right away and you'll never worry about it again if you don't go ballistic on the load or when your sizing cases.

If its a single shot bolt gun, only size enough so that it'll chamber without extra effort. If it's a course rifle (repeater), size them to where the thing runs like a raped ape. Ammunition induced malfunctions during rapid fire strings are a pain and if you compete a line judge is liable to deny you your alibi.

Load every case enough times to burn up three barrels and then trash all of it (barrels/brass) and start over. That should be around 15-20 reloads per case depending on what your doing. (this is for a bolt gun)

15-20 thousand rounds is a lot of shooting so it should keep you plenty busy!

Have fun and good luck.


PS. All that fancy water stuff is cool and all but I'd just get online and look up a well known, well used load for a 308 stuffed with a 175 grain bullet. If this is a factory rifle start with ten rounds loaded at the 2.800' AOL and go shoot it. From there start fiddling but do it one change at a time and in small increments. You'll learn more and you'll keep your primers in your brass and out of your TEETH. I'd save the magnum primers for something else and get yourself a box of plain jane large rifle primers from Federal or CCI. Varget should be fine for just about any bullet weight available in 30 caliber.

Know that a 308 is kinda hard to screw up so if something is just going haywire, check all your stuff carefully before you make any big decisions.