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Varget and 155gr Palma SMKs


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I started working on a load and the recommended starting load is 44gr varget.


I fired and found pressure signs in the starting load.  The winchester primers had some minor cratering.  I went up anyways until I was also getting flattened primers with 45.5 gr varget.  I'm going to pull my 46gr loads.


What gives, pressure signs with starting loads?  is this an AR in 308 specific problem?  The brass looked fine though, only primers showed symptoms, no bulging etc.


I was using Black hills once fired brass, but I did size them with a redding small base die due to some minor buldging at the base in from an unknown rifle they were previously fired from.


Should I start again with like 40 grs of powder?


I was able to drive bullets through the same hole at 100 yards 3 shots in a row off bags with 44.5gr but I need to test more between 44 and 44.5gr to find the sweet spot.  maybe try up to 44.8 as well since I was jumping by .5gr to find the ballpark this first range trip.  I have a feeling 44.5 might be the sweet spot though I don't like the cratering in the primer.

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Chronograph results would help, if available . All loadings will make different pressures with different brass. The brass you use may not be what the loading data was used with , so pressure signs may be different.

Start low & build your loads & as said above , play with your COL , to a certain extant because of Mag. restrictions as far as the COL.

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I'll get some pictures this weekend, but it's typical cratering and flattening of primers.  I was loading to just a hair longer than suggested 2.806 seems to be a good average OAL but we all know tips vary some even on Palmas.  I also wrote down the numbers to the O-give from my sinclare comparator.  This tool is only sitting less than a mm from the top of the case rim when measuring but this is my first experience with palmas and 155's.  I also seem to be having a hard time getting a good crimp, I'm lowering my crimping die to its max setting and it's only leaving a crimp about 1/2 a mm on the top of the case.  Maybe I should try seating the bullets out more?  But I'm not sure they will fit in the magazine then.


This was my best 5 shot group so far @100 yards which uses 44.5gr Varget,a nd the CCI primers, I fired rounds up to 46gr although I didn't test the 46gr loads @100.  I fired them at 900 yard target cause I was out of ammo,and it was my frist time shooting past 300yrds so I had to try it .  Some of them hit it, most others just missed to one side or another (I blame not reading the wind cause it was a bit gusty).


Untitled by Glamisduner, on Flickr

Yes I pulled my 5th shot, I'm terrible and always seem to pull the last one!



Tested 44, 44.2 44.4 44.5, 44.5 with CCI primers (slightly less Cratering with those),   44.7, 45, 45.5 gr @ 100 yards.  I shoot off bags so my results are never 100 percent conclusive.


Both 44.5gr loads were able to put bullets through the same hole, the 44.4gr groups were close but my best was 44.5 still.  Coincidence?  I don't know. 

Edited by Justintoxicated
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