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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    119
    Ever since I have been reloading the .308 for accuracy and long range competition, I have been reading on various shooting and reloading websites about the 168 grain SMK and the FGMM loading using that bullet. The FGMM load seems to be the load that all other match factory loads are judged by. And it is a place to start when you begin to develope your own accuracy loads for the .308.

    My question is, if you have developed a duplicate FGMM .308 load, does it shoot better in your rifle than the factory FGMM load. It is a foregone conclusion that Federal was using IMR-4064 in this load. Some people say 43.2 grains, and some say 43.5 grains and some say 42.6 grains. The factory FGMM load will produce between 2600 ft/sec and 2650 ft/sec depending on barrel length.
    I have tried IMR-4064 trying to dupe the FGMM load (43.2 grains and 43.5 grains) and have not achieved the accuracy I am looking for. So, I am asking how your FGMM duplicating loads have done
    and what charge weight of IMR-4064 are you using. And if you have gone to a different powder and kept all the other components the same, what powder and charge weight?

    Also, if you have been shooting the FGMM factory stuff for some time, is it as accurate now as it was say 2 years ago. The reason I ask this is because I have heard that Federal switched from IMR-4064 to RL-15 to load the FGMM load. If that is true, do the new loads shoot as good as the old ones did? What is the charge weight with RL-15? Sierra list 42 grains of RL-15 as an accuracy load using the 168 SMK bullet, FED cases and primers, COL at 2.800" all at 2600 ft/sec in a 26" barrel with a 1 in 10" twist rate. Could this be close to what Federal is loading now?

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    137
    Bubba
    The best I ever did with 4064 was 43.5 grains out of my 20" tactical. Groups hovered around 1/4 to 3/8 inches or so edge to edge. This was about the same as FGMM which was newer stuff that happened to find it's way to my patrol car after a day at the range. So much for my next polygraph exam huh, LOL. I wasn't into precision shooting prior to two years ago so I really can't offer an opinion on the older FGMM. Mostly Ruger hunting rifles where close was good enough with 3031.
    However, I tried your 45 grain Varget load and damn near cut the same hole twice in two three shot strings from a bench at 100 yards. Seriously they were off just enough to not be prefectly round holes. On my worst day with this load it's never opened up more than maybe a dime. I've only tried it past 100 yards once before the weather got cold and was able to center punch a golf ball at 200 yards from a bag across the hood of my truck. Minute of bad guy for sure. I'm pretty convinced this is my rifles pet load. A buddy of mine shot a few Varget loads out of his brand new SPS Tactical, probably thirty or so rounds down the tube, and got 1/2 inch groups or so at 100 yards with no problem. I'm sure that will get better as more rounds are fired. This same load does real well with a 165 Nosler BT as well.
    I used Winchester cases to length, Varget, CCI 200 LR primers and 2.8 OAL, same as with 4064. I really need to invest in a chrony to see what velocities I get from all my handloads but just haven't done it yet.
    Now, with that said, if you were so inclined to mess around with some .223,,,,,, just kidding.
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm. George Orwell
    “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing...”- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
    NRA LE Firearms Instructor, Handgun, Shotgun, Patrol rifle, Precision rifle.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    119
    OK. .223 stuff. OK. Remember, you asked for it. At one time many years ago I had a Ruger #3 single shot in .223 w/22" barrel. I think it had either a 1 in 10" twist or 1 in 12" twist barrel.

    Any way, I got this load out of an old NRA Reloading Manual.

    Case: LC 5.56xW/E (what ever they call the thing)
    Primer: CCI-Br4
    Bullet: 60 grain Hornady HP
    Powder: 27 grains of WW-748
    COL: Just seat the bullet to clear the lands by 25 to 30 thousanths

    Anytime I wanted to I could go out a shoot 5 shot groups of 1/2" or smaller. That rifle wore a Burris 6x mini scope in Burris mts and rings. It was mounted on the barrel as are all of Ruger's single shots.

    That was the only load I ever shot in that rifle. Accidently got it right the first time out. I lived in Arizona at the time and killed everything from prairie dogs to mule deer with that rifle. A few years ago I had a week moment and traded it off. Man I wish I had that thing back. Well, thats the way things go, if a rifle shoots exceptionally good, get rid of it and get something that doesn't shoot worth a hoot so you can stay in the load developement mode. LOL.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

    PS: Say "Thank you, Bubba."

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    137
    Bubba you are the man!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for the info. Personally I hope you stay in the load development mode.
    You are batting a 1000 in my book.
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm. George Orwell
    “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing...”- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
    NRA LE Firearms Instructor, Handgun, Shotgun, Patrol rifle, Precision rifle.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    119
    Thank you. If you look in some of the reloading manuals, Hornady specifically, they will list 25.5 to 26 grains of WW-748 with that bullet. It depends on what year model manual you are looking at. That being said, the 27 grain load showed no signs of pressure and ejected easily from my rifle.

    You know the deal, start low and work up. You might find a more accurate weight charge for your rifle.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    18
    I found that IMR4895 powder in about 43.8 grns, 168 gr SMK, COAL 2.8, in my SPS Varmint with 26'' barrel, averaged 2649 with five rounds. I believe FGMM runs 2650, by their specs.

  7. #7
    dratt1957's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    ARIZONA/OREGON/INDIANA
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by thornblom
    Ever since I have been reloading the .308 for accuracy and long range competition, I have been reading on various shooting and reloading websites about the 168 grain SMK and the FGMM loading using that bullet. The FGMM load seems to be the load that all other match factory loads are judged by. And it is a place to start when you begin to develope your own accuracy loads for the .308.

    My question is, if you have developed a duplicate FGMM .308 load, does it shoot better in your rifle than the factory FGMM load. It is a foregone conclusion that Federal was using IMR-4064 in this load. Some people say 43.2 grains, and some say 43.5 grains and some say 42.6 grains. The factory FGMM load will produce between 2600 ft/sec and 2650 ft/sec depending on barrel length.
    I have tried IMR-4064 trying to dupe the FGMM load (43.2 grains and 43.5 grains) and have not achieved the accuracy I am looking for. So, I am asking how your FGMM duplicating loads have done
    and what charge weight of IMR-4064 are you using. And if you have gone to a different powder and kept all the other components the same, what powder and charge weight?

    Also, if you have been shooting the FGMM factory stuff for some time, is it as accurate now as it was say 2 years ago. The reason I ask this is because I have heard that Federal switched from IMR-4064 to RL-15 to load the FGMM load. If that is true, do the new loads shoot as good as the old ones did? What is the charge weight with RL-15? Sierra list 42 grains of RL-15 as an accuracy load using the 168 SMK bullet, FED cases and primers, COL at 2.800" all at 2600 ft/sec in a 26" barrel with a 1 in 10" twist rate. Could this be close to what Federal is loading now?

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
    I use 42.0 gr of reloder15 and it is still the best 308 load I have ever used period,no matter what
    rifle I have ever shot it in. I have lowered the charge,bumped it up,still cant beat 42.0 grs.
    THE SECOND AMENDMENT
    \"You do not know you need it untill they come to take it away\".........THOMAS JEFFERSON
    \"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not\"..THOMAS JEFFERSON


 

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