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Considering that Federal Cartridge is owned by ATK, they're probably using Alliant powder in a formulation that is not available to the reloading community.

I duplicated the the point of impact at 100 yards using 44.4g Varget, both Sierra 168g Match Kings and Nosler J4 Match, FC cases, FC210M primers and an overall length of 2.825".

I tested these loads in two M1A Supermatch rifles, a Sako AII tactical, and a Remington 700P with the same results. It is one of the most consistant handloads I've developed.

Using LC99 cases I duplicated the point of impact using 43.3g of Varget.
 

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I dont know about the .308 but several years ago I pulled apart one of the FGMM .223s and it sure looked like Varget to Me! ;)
 

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:D duke nukem; 4895 is an Extruded Powder and so is Varget,in other words they both look like tiny pieces of chopped up Spaghetti only that Varget is finer and has a slight Gold tint to it, 4895 is larger and dark Gray, Sorry thats the best I can do :!:
 

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My favorite Match load for the M14 has always been 39.5 gr IMR4895, LC M118 Match Brass, 168 gr Sierra Match King bullet. Winchester primers.
It works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just pulled one(Federal Gold Medal Match 168gr.308). The powder charge is dead nuts 43.0grains. And yes it looks finer than 4350'
DJ what kind of accuracy did you get with that varget load? And curious? why did you go with varget vs. 4895?
 

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duke nukem said:
DJ what kind of accuracy did you get with that varget load? And curious? why did you go with varget vs. 4895?
Excellent accuracy, slightly better than FC Gold Medal Match. Both bolt guns I own will put five shots into the same hole shot after shot as long as I do my part. I originally chose Varget because one of the bench rest shooters told me it was very consistant. In my original test about two years ago I compared Varget side by side with IMR4064 and duplicated the accuracy and point of impact using loads that differed by a tenth of a grain.

Just found a box of 4064 loads so I'll be able to add to the results below next weekend.

Some of you have seen earlier range reports regarding some warmer loads of Hodgdon Varget and 168g bullets. I've previously documented the data from the manuals. For this bullet weight Hodgdon #27 lists a max of 46.0g, Nosler lists a max of 46.0g and Lyman #48 lists a max of 45.7g. I worked up an accurate load with between 44.9 and 45.1g of Varget using RWS and Lapua cases in the bolt action rifles. I've shot about 100 of these loads with excellent results. I posted a couple of range reports posted last spring along with scans of the targets. Last Saturday I borrowed the range masters chronograph on a foggy 45°F Sacramento valley day and spent several hours testing loads. I have not been shooting much in the past few months so my trigger control and shooting technique was a bit sloppy. Things came together towards the end of the day when I shot two very nice groups.

All of my loads used match prepped cases. The primer pockets and flash holes were uniformed with the appropriate K&M tool and all of the rounds were seated to an OAL of 2.825.

M1A - This string was for a baseline.
FC Gold Medal Match (Factory)
2586
2592
2629
2597
2581
2594
2590
2603
2588
2577
Mean 2593.7
SD 13.75536259


I've shot hundreds of rounds of this load in four different rifles over the past couple of years and every rifle I've tried shoots it to the same point of impact as the FC Gold Medal match ammo.
M1A
FC Cases, FC210M Primer
44.4g Hodgdon Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match"
2596
2586
2638
2633
2585
2554
2650
2590
2633
2620
Mean 2608.5
SD 29.07318352


This following is the warmest load I've shot in my M1A. I did not hear any action slapping and I'm keeping the gas system cleaned out. I will install a Shuster vented gas plug very soon.
M1A
FC Cases FC210M Primer
44.9g Hodgdon Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match
2673
2653
2635
2646
2633
2635
2653
2655
2636
2649
Mean 2646.8
SD 11.92308685


This is the same load in Hirtenberger cases. This is some of the best ammo I've ever bought and this last batch was boxer primed. This load was extremely accurate. 6/10 shots in same hole. Four fliers at two to three o'clock caused by shooting trap too much. The trigger on this rifle is a match tuned USGI group manufactured by OM and purchased from Fulton about two years ago. The pull is about 4-14 which is good for a match rifle but after some usage it has developed an occasional bit of creep. I need to pull it and make sure it's clean before shooting again. I'll scan this target and post when I get a chance.
M1A
HP Cases FC210M Primer
44.9g Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match
2620
2623
2635
2623
2661
2640
2605
2620
2612
2633
Mean 2627.2
SD 15.04526504


Switching to the Sako Bolt action so I could see how the same loads chronograph. This Sako has a metric length barrel that is maybe a bit more than an inch longer than the M1A barrel.

In warmer weather this is a very boring load. Nickle sized groups all day long. Could tweak them down to dime sized by seating close to the lands but I'd rather find something that works and cycles through the magazine.
Sako AII Tactical
FC Cases FC210M Primer
44.4 Hodgdon Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match
2638
2568
2631
2642
2644
2652
2623
2612
2671
2652
Mean 2633.3
SD 26.76210007


I was surprised at the higher velocity produced by the bolt with this load.
Sako AII Tactical
FC Cases FC210M Primer
44.9 Hodgdon Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match
2679
2684
2644
2646
2681
2653
2700
2692
2716
2671
Mean 2676.6
SD 22.37051631


This was the last string of the day. The load was extremely accurate. 10/10 shots in a nickle sized group. I policed my brass from the M1A and forgot to pick up this target so I can't post a scan of this one. It was a very satisfying group though.
Sako AII Tactical
HP Cases FC210M Primer
44.9g Varget
168g Nosler J4 Match
2676
2635
2614
2633
2638
2580
2630
2597
2636
2644
Mean 2628.3
SD 25.0241883
 

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I'm looking around in my files for examples of these loads. Shot this at Chabot last summer with a Remington 700P, fireformed RWS cases, FC210M primers, 44.4g Varget and 168g Nosler J4. I measured it at .870 edge to edge. Shot this one last year

duke nukem said:
Wow thanks for the info guys. Now all I have to do is reload the 1000`s of FC cases.
You need to match prep those cases before you load them. Uniform the primer pockets and the flash holes. FC cases have a very rough flash hole and there's often a burr on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Has anybody had trouble with primers falling out on FC brass? I talked to a fellow on Lightfighter.com said he had this problem. I had this problem with 300Ultra Mag factory once but it was because it was 117 degrees out and the ammo was left in the sun. Had 2 rounds with a negative impression of the bolt face in it.
 

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duke nukem said:
Has anybody had trouble with primers falling out on FC brass?
I've loaded thousands of rounds of FC .308 and have seen the same thing from time to time. FC brass is a bit soft in the casehead, more so in recent years than in the old Red box era. The first indications of pressure are extrusion into the bolt bolt face, followed by a smoke ring around the primer and then primers falling out of the primer pocket. The bolt gets a bit sticky to open as well. I've seen factory FC loads flow into the bolt face, I've got four examples sitting here on my desk, two from my Sako and two from the 700P.

Here's the promised 4064 data. Sorry for the delay.

I made it to the range to chronograph a few more handloads. The weather has been dark grey, I was even fogged out one afternoon. I found a box of IMR4064 that I had loaded a couple of years ago and chronographed some shots to see how it compares to similar loads of Varget. Same rifles I used in the original post.

Sako FCRedbox Match 168g Sierra
2577
2554
2565
2607
2588
2583
2588
2607
2625
2585
------
2587.9 avg
19.82 sd



Sako IMR4064 44.3g, FC Case, FC210M
168g Nosler J4 Match
2681
2702
2712
2698
2690
2714
2712
2690
2718
2704
-------
2702.1 avg
11.61 sd
Respectable velocity. Very accurate


M1A FCRedbox Match 168g Sierra
2535
2576
2585
2542
2537
2577
2586
2554
2585
2552
-------
2562.9 avg
19.91 sd



M1A IMR4064 44.3g, FC Case, FC210M
168g Nosler J4 Match
2718
2710
2712
2702
2698
2698
2684
2702
2682
2663
-------
2696.9 avg
15.61 sd
Respectable velocity. Very accurate
 

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I just shot my first box of FC GMM, and I must say I'm impressed with everything but the cost! Best I found at a show was 17.95/box.

I saved a lot years ago reloading 9mm, but never did rifle rounds.

Is there money to be saved by reloading rounds of the type and sort designed to match this load?

If anyone would care to estimate it, I'd much appreciate it.

Thanks,

--Fargo007
 

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fargo007 said:
Is there money to be saved by reloading rounds of the type and sort designed to match this load?
8 lbs of powder can load approximately 1250 rounds of .308. $120.00
Brick of 1000 primers will cost approximately ~$20.00, Match primers $25.00.
1000 Match grade .308 bullets - $160.00 - $200.00 depending on price and shipping. The 250 and 500 bullet bulk packs are a good value.
1000 cases of Lapua .308 brass will cost $340.00 from Sinclair. You don't have to buy 1000 cases, I used this figure to keep the math simple. Remington is very good and comes a lot cheaper. Winchester is OK but is reported to be the thinnist and least durable brass. Recycled commercial or military brass is cheaper still. Figure that you can load the spent cases at least five times so I'll count.

Powder for 1000 rounds $ 96.00
Primers $ 25.00
Bullets $180.00
Brass $ 68.00 (one fifth of the cost above or 200 cases loaded five times)
TOTAL $369.00 This figure is on the high side because I added the cost of high quality brass.

1000 rounds of Federal Gold Medal match purchased at $20.00/box = $1000.00. This ammo retails in stores for $24 -26 per box plus tax. Mail order I have seen CDNN advertise it as low as $13.50 per box plus shipping. I chose a number in between. Difference is over $600.00.

I got in on a group buy awhile back and paid $96.00 for a case of 5000 FC210M primers and $102.00ea for two 8# jugs of Varget. I paid a total of $320 including shipping. This brings the cost per round down a bit more.

You may not save a lot reloading but you get better ammo and get to shoot a lot more. Any money you save gets spent on fancier reloading equipment. Forster Ultramatch seating dies, Redding FL bushing dies, Thumblers case tumblers, electronic scales, case gauges, and lots of plastic boxes to store all of the prepped brass and loaded ammo. Pretty soon you'll need a bigger house just to hold it all.
 

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TOTAL $369.00 This figure is on the high side because I added the cost of high quality brass.

1000 rounds of Federal Gold Medal match purchased at $20.00/box = $1000.00.
That sounds like I'd save a LOT.

I'm interested in loading more for looooong distance 'hoggin with my 700 than the M1-A, but if I've got the equipment, I figure I can make both rifles smile.

I am impressed With the Federal in the 700. I was able to print a 1.5" group of 5 at 200y prone in the mud in wind enough to blow my spotting scope off target. Worst of the day was 2.3". If I can get up close to that, learn, and save cabbage, I'm in.

I'll check with a bro at my club who is always shooting handloads, and trade him a steak dinner for a lesson or two.

Thanks!

--Fargo007
 

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Just be very careful hand loading for the M1A/ M14 rifle. Your case life will not be near as long as with a bolt rifle. Most use L.C. or other boxer primed NATO brass. I like Lapua brass and don't expect any more than 3 loads per case. Also the the brass with a heavy web has less case capacity, so stay away from max. loads. They are usually never as accurate for me anyway. Check for a ring to start to form just above the web, this is the case head wanting to twist off(case head separation). I have seen this ring start after reloading Remington cases on the first or second reload. I do not try to reload those cases for the M14 type rifle at all any more. Cases are much cheaper than faces 8O . Still, I do like to hand load for my M14. Back to topic; I have beat the Federal GM loads with a few loads, although my very accurate loads were not as fast as the GM load using the same bullets. Have fun with it, but inspect those case close every load. Use a bent ( L-shape ) paper clip to run along the inside of the case to feel for this ring forming above the web, or use a bore light. Enjoy :D , I just wanted you to make sure that hand loading the M14 is safe, but extra safety measures must be used.
 
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