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Hey guys, Mike here - just thought I would introduce myself recount my recent foray into reloading & the experience I've had thus far. Little background on me - been shooting my entire life & was in USMC from 89-95. Saw some action in Desert Storm, and later in Somalia in 93. Rifle, shotgun, pistol, love it all.
I've had this FN SPR for the past 10 years:



It really has been a great rifle, and after having it bedded & painted by short action customs, it was a consistent .5 MOA rifle with FGMM factory rounds. I also used Hornady Steel Match .308 for linking/steel targets, which gave .75MOA groups. Here is a typical FGMM 100 yard group:



I've pretty much been happy with this for many years, but recently decided to get into reloading, partly due to the difficulty in procuring FGMM, and also curious to see if I could improve the groups.

About a month ago I took the plunge by reading everything I could find on reloading plus taking an NRA reloading class. I got the Redding Competition dies and all the Hornady accuracy accessories and loaded up 2 sets of ladders for both IMR 4064 & Varget, using Federal once fired Brass out of my rifle, CCI LR Primers, and Hornady 178gr AMAX. The instructor actually made me a modified case from my Federal fired brass, as it fit my chamber better than the generic Hornady .308 one I had bought. Optimal seating depth on my rifle as measured from the ogive was 2.310, which meant single loading the rounds (I'm ok with that).
Here's a comparison of the FGMM and one of my final rounds:



So after shooting 100 rounds at all different powder weights, here were the best 100 yard 3 shot group results:

38.5 grains of IMR 4064:




41.0 grains of Varget:






Needless to say, I'm totally jazzed! These are the tightest groups I've ever shot with this rifle. My first ever .25 moa group!! Bottom line, if you are on the fence about reloading, definitely do it. It made a big difference in my case, plus it’s a lot of fun!
 

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Welcome to the forum and to the money pit annex known as Handloading.
 

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Welcome to the forum Mike ... that's some fine shooting skills with a great rifle!
 

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Nice!!!
 

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Welcome and nice looking rifle!

So far, I have yet to load 308 that shoots better than 168 FGMM out of my SPR (factory target was 0.22" at 100 yrds, my best was 0.16" at 120 yards - with witnesses, and I've had several other groups under 0.25"). I've been loading mine a bit hotter than you, so I think I need to back off a little (finishing up some 4064, switching to benchmark soon).

My only issue with 4064 is that it is a bit temperature sensitive, and since I shot in 20 degree weather (potentially colder if I muster up the will to go out) and 90 degree weather, I'm not too thrilled, although I did have some of my best 5 shot groups with it when it was cold (minus the cold bore shots-which in hind site I should have let the rifle cool between all shots instead of just groups)

FGMM by the red (5 rounds) and my reloads in the top right:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys...its pretty amazing what these rifles are capable of with a chrome lined barrel
 

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No joke. My one friend was frankly shocked the first time I shot it.
 

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Welcome Mike! Fantastic groups! :shock:
 

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Anyone try Reloader 15? Sierra claims it gave the best accuracy with 168g SMK.
 

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My only issue with 4064 is that it is a bit temperature sensitive
You sure about that?

Cartridge, Caliber 7.62mm Special Ball, Long Range, MK 316 MOD 0 (United States): A 175-grain (11.3 g) round specifically designed for long-range sniping consisting of Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail projectiles, Federal Cartridge Company match cartridge cases and Gold Medal Match primers. The Propellant has been verified as IMR 4064 (per NSN 1305-01-567-6944 and Federal Cartridge Company Contract/Order Number N0016408DJN28 and has a charge weight per the specs of 41.745-grain
-SS
 

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Maybe it was just me. I need to lower my charge based on that.
 

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Like I said, I'm almost out of IMR and have a fair bit of Benchmark, so I'll start load development with that in the spring. I like the idea of copying FGMM as best I can since that has shot best out of my rifle. I don't know what powder they use. I've been wanting to try some 175 gr SMK's, but this past summer, they were no where to be found. If I get some, I'll copy the Mk 316 Mod 0 recipe and see how it works.
 

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Welcome to the forum and to the money pit annex known as Handloading.
That used to be the case 12 months ago. I'm also thinking about getting a single stage. The price, let alone non-availability of my 300 AAC makes it a non-brainer.

I believe every serious shooter ought to have at least a single stage and dies for pistol/rifle they have in the vault.

-TH
 

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Like I said, I'm almost out of IMR and have a fair bit of Benchmark, so I'll start load development with that in the spring. I like the idea of copying FGMM as best I can since that has shot best out of my rifle. I don't know what powder they use. I've been wanting to try some 175 gr SMK's, but this past summer, they were no where to be found. If I get some, I'll copy the Mk 316 Mod 0 recipe and see how it works.

It's early but so far this and the MK 316 Mod 0 recipe I shared with Stryker has been producing good groups with my rifle.



A hide member detailed his analysis of FGMM powder and concluded it was IMR 4064. 42.5 grains
 
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That used to be the case 12 months ago. I'm also thinking about getting a single stage. The price, let alone non-availability of my 300 AAC makes it a non-brainer.

I believe every serious shooter ought to have at least a single stage and dies for pistol/rifle they have in the vault. -TH
The initial outlay for a quality set up (Press, dies, dispenser, scale, powder, primers, etc) even now can be pretty spendy. Yes, it pays for itself but then it becomes a vicious circle: Ammo is cheap because you reload. And you shoot more because you have more ammo. Which means you have to reload more. So you can shoot more...
 

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Has anyone tried the 155 palma SMKs? I have heard great things about the lapua scenars shooting bug holes with these guns. I would like to try to get this gun out to 1000 and eventually farther than that.
 
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