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I just ordered all the reloading equiptment I need to get started except the Hazmats. I am going to the local guns shop this weekend to pick up some powder and primers to start loading my ruger international .308 (just to get my feet wet) and wondering which powder would you sugget for a .308 carbine using hornady 150gr btsp bullets. I know I need to try different bullet/powder combos but what would be good to start with. Also keep in mind I may later decide to switch to lighter bullets. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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There will be lots of good answers and I am sure you have a reloading manual as well. I have a Ruger M77 RSI in 308 pretty little rifle. It really likes IMR 4064 and 150 spitzers. If there is one round that has plenty of experimenting with its the 308. I also used this powder and 168 sierra bullets to best duplicate the load for our M24's

good luck
GF
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Anything in the 4064 burning range should work. I like Varget as it meters better.....

Primers? Could try match, but I use Win large rifle, in pretty much every rifle chambering.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Another vote for Varget. Works extremely well in my Rem 40-X and Model 7, both in .308 Win. and using 150 -155 gr bullets.
 

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which powder would you suggest for a .308 carbine using hornady 150gr btsp bullets
IMR/H-4895, BL-C2, W748 are the powders I've had very good velocity and accuracy from with Sierra and Hornady 150-165gr bullets. In this day and age, if you can find a few lbs of those, or the other powders suggested, you should stock up.

Of the .308's I've loaded for, they are not very picky in my experience.
 

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I have used Varget, IMR3031, BL(c)-2, TAC for 308 Winchester in 2 different rifles. All of them grouped well BL(c)-2 and Tac meters the best out of those. Varget was amazing accurate with 168 through 180 grains. I tried TAC with 110 Vmax bullets the other day and got very good groups and 3050+/- FPS out of my 16 inch LR308. I have never got 150s to shoot well in my LR308 but they did fine in my H&R Survivor 308. I believe the 308 is very forgiving when it comes to reloading. The two that I have been very easy to develop very good loads for.
 

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I thought I would try an experiment for this in QuickLOAD to see what powder it might choose for someone new to loading the cartridge who wants to explore the load range with his bullet? I ran a powder table in QuickLOAD at maximum pressure and a second one at a starting pressure 25% below maximum. l used a 150 grain jacketed bullet. I then exported both result sets to Excel and weeded out any powders that were:
  • Not producing velocity within 100 fps of the top velocity producer
  • Not on both lists
  • Required more than 105% compressed charge in the high pressure loads
  • Filled the case less than 90% in the low pressure loads
That criteria left me with 13 powders.

In descending order of velocity produced at maximum pressure they are:

Alliant Reloder-17
IMR 3031
IMR 4895
Hodgdon BL-C2
Norma 203B
Alliant Reloder-15
Accurate 2520
Hodgdon H4895
Accurate 2495
Hodgdon H380
Norma 202
Vihtavuori N540
Vihtavuori N140


In decending order of velocity produced at 25% below maximum pressure (starting load) they are:

IMR 3031
Alliant Reloder-17
Hodgdon BL-C2
IMR 4895
Accurate 2495
Accurate 2520
Norma 203B
Alliant Reloder-15
Hodgdon H4895
Vihtavuori N540
Norma 202
Hodgdon H380
Vihtavuori N140

Some of the best known accuracy powders, like IMR 4064 and Varget didn't get enough velocity to make the list, so this is not going to prove to be the only criteria you want to rely. It is just a shot at the idea I thought I'd put out there. The biggest surprise was how well IMR 3031 came out. This powder used to be popular even in .30-06, but that faded some because the bigger case could take advantage of slower powders. But in .308, with a light side (to match shooters) 150 grain bullet weight, IMR 3031 appears to make a surprisingly good match. In addition to covering the whole pressure spectrum and producing near-top velocities, it uses the lightest charge weight and produces the 9 lowest muzzle pressure on either list. That means its recoil, relative to the velocity produced, will be about the smallest.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Sounds like a pretty good powder from the press releases.

Alas, I've got so much powder in this burn rate stashed, its gonna take me years just to get down to a level calling for restocking!
 

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I'm surprised no one even mentioned H335. I had some I bought for 30/30, then sold that gun and got a .308. A .308 load was listed onthe container, so I tried it. It isn't a really barn burner, but gets decent enough accuracy with 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips.
 

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I thought I would try an experiment for this in QuickLOAD to see what powder it might choose for someone new to loading the cartridge who wants to explore the load range with his bullet? I ran a powder table in QuickLOAD at maximum pressure and a second one at a starting pressure 25% below maximum. l used a 150 grain jacketed bullet. I then exported both result sets to Excel and weeded out any powders that were:
  • Not producing velocity within 100 fps of the top velocity producer
  • Not on both lists
  • Required more than 105% compressed charge in the high pressure loads
  • Filled the case less than 90% in the low pressure loads
That criteria left me with 13 powders.

In descending order of velocity produced at maximum pressure they are:

Alliant Reloder-17
IMR 3031
IMR 4895
Hodgdon BL-C2
Norma 203B
Alliant Reloder-15
Accurate 2520
Hodgdon H4895
Accurate 2495
Hodgdon H380
Norma 202
Vihtavuori N540
Vihtavuori N140


In decending order of velocity produced at 25% below maximum pressure (starting load) they are:

IMR 3031
Alliant Reloder-17
Hodgdon BL-C2
IMR 4895
Accurate 2495
Accurate 2520
Norma 203B
Alliant Reloder-15
Hodgdon H4895
Vihtavuori N540
Norma 202
Hodgdon H380
Vihtavuori N140

Some of the best known accuracy powders, like IMR 4064 and Varget didn't get enough velocity to make the list, so this is not going to prove to be the only criteria you want to rely. It is just a shot at the idea I thought I'd put out there. The biggest surprise was how well IMR 3031 came out. This powder used to be popular even in .30-06, but that faded some because the bigger case could take advantage of slower powders. But in .308, with a light side (to match shooters) 150 grain bullet weight, IMR 3031 appears to make a surprisingly good match. In addition to covering the whole pressure spectrum and producing near-top velocities, it uses the lightest charge weight and produces the 9 lowest muzzle pressure on either list. That means its recoil, relative to the velocity produced, will be about the smallest.
Very interesting findings. I've always liked 3031 in the 308 and your data seems to prove it out. I find all too often in this world we live in that people forget about the tried and true powders and cartridges and fall victim to the hype around the new and different.

Any serious reloader should have a couple pounds of IMR3031 and IMR 4895 on their shelf. They are very close to being all around powders for many different cartridges.
 

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A Hunting friend uses IMR-3031 in his .270 with 130 grain SPT with good results. If you are reloading your .308, you might try using IMR-4320 with 125 grainers. These shot & grouped well in one of my .308 rifles, even with the starting load.
 

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I just ordered all the reloading equiptment I need to get started except the Hazmats. I am going to the local guns shop this weekend to pick up some powder and primers to start loading my ruger international .308 (just to get my feet wet) and wondering which powder would you sugget for a .308 carbine using hornady 150gr btsp bullets. I know I need to try different bullet/powder combos but what would be good to start with. Also keep in mind I may later decide to switch to lighter bullets. Thanks for any suggestions.
Ramshot TAC
 

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RL 15 is currently used in M118 LR by snipers in the sandbox, so it can't be too heat sensitive, but it does best with heavier bullets than 150's. M118 LR uses the 175 grain SMK.
 
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