168gr TMK and SST with CFE 223 .308

Thread starter #1

The Rodney

Senior Member
1. Who shoots Sierra TMK and how far off the lands do you seat? Am I right in thinking this is a VLD bullet and it needs to be almost kissing the lands? I did not know this before I loaded about 10 with two different charges and shot like a drunk oyster.

2. Any tips on developing a load for Hornady SST. Right now all I have is CFE 223. I’ve taken several deer in various calibers with factory loads of SST, I am a big fan. So I want to load my own. Research is indicating this powder fluctuates quite a bit with temperature. Can you recommend a powder for hunting in Georgia? I feel like if I develop an SST load in August it will absolutely be a completely different load in October.
If I use this powder. Am I thinking logically? So perhaps for my hunting I should develop using a more temperature stable powder?
 

Gator89

Senior Member
I don't think the temperature fluctuates enough in GA for it to prevent your reloads with CFE223 from killing a deer if the powder has been stored properly.

Temperature Effects on Gunpowder Explained (gunsandammo.com)

Do not store your propellant or ammunition in your car or garage during the summer. The explosive mix in your primers suffers from the same effects as propellants. Always keep propellant, primers and ammunition in a cool, dry place for long-term storage as much as possible. Several months of exposure to high temperatures (above 100 degrees F) can substantially shorten the life and the expected performance of propellant. Cold temperatures have little effect on propellant. In fact, the best possible place to store your propellant would be in a freezer.
 
Thread starter #5

The Rodney

Senior Member
Book says 2.8 on the seat. I will do that and since there were no pressure indications on those rounds I will up the charge. Maybe a little more velocity will help? And thanks for the tip on powder it has been in the garage this week.
 

JeffinPTC

Senior Member
My mom had a Wildcat and that's what I learned to drive, but in reloading I stay away from wildcatting and just load to the length in the manual. You did start and the bottom or 10% off the max and work up?

Speer has recipes for their 168 Gold Dot and CFE223. You could prob use the 165 data also:

https://www.speer.com/reloading/rifle-data.html

https://reloadingdata.speer.com/downloads/speer/reloading-pdfs/rifle/308_Winchester_165.pdf

For some reason I can't find 308 in the drop down list, but if you scroll down the left you'll find it.

Also Nosler is a good source for free data. They group their 165 and 168 in the same table. They don't have CFE223 though:

https://load-data.nosler.com/load-data/308-winchester/
And here's a good source for Nosler "seconds" when/if Firearmageddon 2020 ever ends.

https://www.shootersproshop.com/loading-reloading-bullets.html

I like AR comp for 223 and 308.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
It might be worthwhile at this point to invest in a OAL gauge to measure distance from the case base to lands for the bullet your working with. You then have a reference point to set your case base to ogive seating depth for your round. The case base to ogive measurement of your loaded round is far more important than its overall length, with the caveat of it still needing to fit in your magazine. I usually start out at .010 off the CBTL measurement and will adjust deeper by .010 increments if needed.

Just got through with load workup for a newly rebarreled 308. I used Varget with Sierra 150 GK’s. 23” barrel. I had slight pressure at 46.6 gr, backed off to 45.5 gr. Shooting a ragged hole at 100yrds
 
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Nimrod71

Senior Member
If you are already at the listed max load limit and showing pressure problems, I don't think I would add any more to it, as Jester said, I would restart and work from a lower charge.

A question: what are you wanting from this load? Accuracy or Power?
 

Jester896

Senior Member
If you are already at the listed max load limit and showing pressure problems, I don't think I would add any more to it, as Jester said, I would restart and work from a lower charge.

A question: what are you wanting from this load? Accuracy or Power?
I may have misinterpreted what he said but he intended to add to the ones that weren't showing pressure issues.

target pictures may help and velocity that someone mentioned in the other thread.
 
@The Rodney you have some good advisers here ready to assist you. You did well in bringing up the concerns you were having. Good stuff, man. I don't know you, but I'm proud of ya for waving the flag and allowing these gentlemen to look over your shoulder and help you out.

You now have decades of reloading & handloading experience on your team now. That's powerful, man.


They've likely seen and done it all.


GON forum is a great spot.

Woody Coffee would be very, very proud of the way folks here support each other with helpful experience and try to get them safely up & running.


Sometimes we let our own egos get in the way of learning and improving. Doing so on the golf course is one thing......Being ego-constrained with firearms is a much more serious matter.

I commend you for stopping.....speaking up....and asking for advice.


Just know that many readers, myself included, will benefit & learn from your threads.


Looking forward to seeing you work through the steps and get dialed in. (y)(y)
 

Nimrod71

Senior Member
Questions and solutions are the things I like about reloading. I do stuff all the time that isn't listed as correct. Like loading heavy bullets in a 22-250 and trying get them to shoot in the same whole, it just don't work that way. But, it gives me something to work on. My rifle will shoot the correct weight bullets great, but I've done that.

As Dub has stated we all like helping other loaders with questions and problems, it gives us something to do and think on. With all of us here there is no telling how many hundreds of years of loading experience that one has available to them, and believe me there are no dumb questions especially in reloading ammo. Every question is important and can be deadly important.

If anyone every has a question about reloading ammo Please Ask, we are here to help. The only problem I see is you may get a hundred answers.
 
Thread starter #13
Buckstop, I tried that measurement by seating this bullet in an empty case and the cleaning rod method. There was a .020 difference so I am apt to buy the tool.
Nimrod, accuracy for the TMK bullet then power when I work up the Hornady SST. Going back to square one with Lee's starting load for 168 gr jacketed.
Dub, kind words man, thoughtful. Pressure issues are fixed in the shop.... me on the other hand.... working on that trigger squeeze!
 
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Me, too on the trigger pull.


“Squeeze, break, pause”….is what I remind myself.
 

GSUQUAD

Senior Member
Just my experience in loading several 308s, cfe223 works well but its never been the best powder for me. I became fond of reloder 15 before it became so scarce, now I am trying 4166 since it seems to be somewhat available and I am liking it. As far as seating depth, it seems almost random to me. Some like a bullet in the lands, some like is pretty far back. I have never found a rhyme or reason as to why.

First thing I do when I start a new bullet load is do the berger seating depth test on first loadings. Pick a lower end starting charge, load one set on the lands, another set .040 off, and a third set .080 off, and sometimes a fourth at .120 off. Typically one of those depths will outshine the others. At that point I will either further tweak the best depth I just found or just move onto powder charge ladders. But the berger method has been a good way to identify a seating depth window rather quickly.

I look at seating depth tuning like the first coarse adjustment, and then the powder charge as the additional fine tuning adjustment. And then if so inclined further tune seating in .005 increments if you are getting to where you are chasing that 1 hole group.

I haven't played with the TMK much, but I have loaded a lot of SSTs and my experience is they are pretty tolerant to seating depth changes.
 
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rosewood

Senior Member
I am with GSU. I used RL15 a lot and seems like with the 165 SST, 41.0 grains was dead accurate in my brothers Savage 20". It was kind of slow, but ragged hole. I have also used a lot of 4166 and had good results. Haven't tried CFE223 in the .308 yet, but load data shows max velocity as compared to other powders.

Rosewood
 
Varget might be a good temp stable option for 308. Pretty dynamic powder if you can get your hands on it.

I've shot a couple pounds of CFE223 but haven't payed much attention to velocity... but heard that it's a lot more sensitive than the extreme powders like Varget.

And @Dub is right, these guys here know their stuff and have been a big help for me getting dialed in on a few rounds. I get the feeling that my wife wouldn't like it if I lived closer to @Jester896, I believe he's got enough equipment to make a guy go on a shopping spree!

Good luck!
 

Jester896

Senior Member
RL15 will work good on heavy .223s too...68-80gr. I have been using CFE223 in my 69gr loads and it is just not in there for me. I have barley been able to get much better than 1 MOA @ 100 with it. Still trying to break in my DMR gun though.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
RL15 will work good on heavy .223s too...68-80gr. I have been using CFE223 in my 69gr loads and it is just not in there for me. I have barley been able to get much better than 1 MOA @ 100 with it. Still trying to break in my DMR gun though.
RL15 with the 75 grain BTHP Hornady is the absolute best I have tried in my Colt Hbar 20".

Rosewood
 
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