The December 2008 issue of "Handloader" has an article that is propbably the most comprehensive test of developing the most accurate .308 load ever undertaken. The article is authored by Gary Sciuchetti and he tests each component & combination of components(brass (factory new vs. once fired), primers, powders, and bullets) to determine which components and combinations of components produced the best accuracy in his test rifle. He litterally spent several months and many thousands of rounds to arrive at his conclusion. He started out with a new Rem. Model 700 VLS and fired the recommended 100 rounds of "break-in" shots. He tested this rifle for 2 months with various ammo including Federal Gold Medal Match before he decided that this rifle was not capable of producing the needed accuracy consistently. He even welded up a new shooting bench to eliminate the possibility that the bench was at fault. He ultimately selected a new Sako-TRG-22 rifle which was guaranteed to shoot 5 shots under .5" at 100 yds. The gun produced .375" - .635" groups consistently, using Fed. Gold Medal Match ammo. His test actually found that "once fired" brass was considerably more accurate than new factory brass, that CCI#250 primers produced the best groups with 45 grains of Varget using Berger 168gr. Match bullets - the average 5-shot group measured .4375" at 100yds. I immediately ordered a pound of Varget and a box of 168gr. Berger Match VLD bullets (at $38 a box!) and loaded some ammo. My 18" DPMS LR-308-B produced a group with 4 rounds touching which was .40" and one "flier" which opened up the group to 1". I was not shooting under ideal conditions since there was a mild cross wind and my bench was covered in snow, but for a semi-auto AR with a short bull-barrel this is phenomenol accuracy. Using 168gr. Sierra Matchkings and BL(C)-2 powder, I always shot 1" - 1.25" groups with this gun, which is still good considering all my shooting has been done in freezing weather. I am certain the authors recommendation of Varget, Berger, and resized brass would produce equally impressive groups in any rifle chambered in .308. A final and very interesting note for all reloaders - he ":endurance" tested 10 varieties of brass by reloading until he achieved case failure. The results were amazing, namely, the most expensive brass (Nosler, Federal Military, Hornady, Federal Plain, Federal Plated, Winchester, Lapua) failed between 11 and 15 reloadings. Whereas Remington Plain, Remington Plated, and Norma lasted from 20 to 24 reloadings before failing. Remington Plain once reloaded brass produced the .4375" 100 yd. group. Nosler, Winchester, and Federal Plated edged-out the Remington in terms of group size by .3281", .3750", and .4063" respectively. In either case, Varget powder behind Berger 168gr. Match bullets seems to be the recipe for accuracy. Incidentally, Berger makes a 168gr. Match bullet in a VLD configuration (Very Low Drag) which has a ballistic coefficient of .535 - higher than anything made by any manufacturer. This is the bullet I tested in my DPMS LR308B. It is recommended for barrels having a 1:13 or faster twist.
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Last edited by RL357Mag; 03-28-2009 at 08:31 PM.