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P-14 .308 Norma Magnum

27 Nov 2016
@ 12:18 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

It took a while, but Marylin is no longer a virgin. Took her on a date to the range today and put her through the paces. While I had no expectations of grandeur, I was hoping that we would both come home in one piece. In that regard, it was a complete success.

The basic premise for today was to fireform twenty cases so I can start on reloading for the 208gr A-Max. I really couldn't, and didn't want to load too hot for this as this is the action that I re-heat treated. Kind of went middle of the road hot with 60 grains of IMR 4350 behind the 190gr BTSP. ES was kind of high. Highest velocity was 2735fps and the lowest was 2666fps. If I ignore these as high/low erratic, the average was 2704fps.

As was previously experienced with other Benchmark barrels, this one will be a slow fouler. Using 40X, small traces of copper are present.

Now the work reallly starts. I have to find what it likes for a steady diet. I am sure the 208s will perform well, just have to find the right powder combo.

Replies

28 Nov 2016
@ 10:56 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Sounds good Paul. Yes, you may find that H4831sc or H1000 produce better velocities due to the higher case fill. The brass may still have an uneven temper from case to case as a result of forming operations. So hopefully everything will settle without great effort. Should be a very nice rifle to use once its its up and running. Realistically, anything from 2600fps upwards can allow the 208gr to produce spectacular results. The higher you go, the lower the wind drift and the further the effective range. But from a practical stand point, not a great deal of velocity is required to create an excellent ridge to ridge shooter using this bullet.
28 Nov 2016
@ 11:49 pm (GMT)

mark whiteley

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
exiting times ahead for you Paul,
this is the part where you see the fruits of your labour
good on you
29 Nov 2016
@ 01:09 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Thanks for words of encouragement. Powder supply being what it is, neither H4831sc nor H1000 are available to me. I have to work with what I have. Today, I got very lucky and found two pounds of Superformance that were being put on the shelf as I walked up to the counter. So, with that added to the larder, I now have IMR 4350, IMR 7828ssc, RL-25, RL-19, and the SF to try. The first four powders I've found loads listed, but the SF is not in my books, nor on the Hodgdon site. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do a lot of surfing to find it. Part of the journey, eh?

29 Nov 2016
@ 06:58 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Hi Paul
this thread might be of some help http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Resources/Discussion+Forums/x_forum/18/thread/12786.html
29 Nov 2016
@ 12:26 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Thanks, Thomas. I searched the forums, but that one didn't show up. The problems of being a dinosaur.
29 Nov 2016
@ 04:44 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Quote:
Thanks, Thomas. I searched the forums, but that one didn't show up. The problems of being a dinosaur.


Try here Paul:

.308 Norma Magnum
http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/.308+Norma+Magnum.html

03 Dec 2016
@ 10:55 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Today's range results: sunny, -2*C, variable breeze. First twelve rounds used fireformed brass from last session.

These loads are [u]ONLY SAFE IN MY RIFLE[u]. Do not use this information for reloading purposes.

First Session:

.308 Norma Magnum
R-P 300 Win Mag Brass
CCI LR Mag 250 Primer
IMR 7828ssc
Hornady 208gr. A-MAX B.C. .670
COAL = 3.677"

#1 - 69.0gr = 2803fps
#2 - 69.5gr = 2816fps
#3 - 70.0gr = 2840fps
#4 - 70.5gr = 2843fps
#5 - 71.0gr = 2881fps
#6 - 71.5gr = 2913fps
#7 - 72.0gr = 2916fps
#8 - 72.5gr = 2937fps
#9 - 73.0gr = 2963fps
#10 - 73.5gr = 2990fps
#11 - 74.0gr = 3006fps
#12 - 74.5gr = 3025fps

No pressure signs evident on primer, case head, or on bolt lift. Will have to carry on to determine maximum pressure.

Second Session:

Same equipment, brass, primer, bullet as above.
IMR 4350

#1 - 62.0gr = 2737fps
#2 - 62.5gr = 2748fps
#3 - 63.0gr = 2762fps
#4 - 63.5gr = 2786fps
#5 - 64.0gr = 2829fps
#6 - 64.5gr = 2843fps
#7 - 65.0gr = no data
#8 - 65.5gr = 2909fps
#9 - 66.0gr = 2939fps
#10 - 66.5gr = 2974fps
#11 - 67.0gr = 2971fps
#12 - 67.5gr = 2999fps

The second session with the 4350 was using new brass, so I expect some pressure absorption from the fireforming process. Still, no pressure signs on the primer, brass or on bolt lift. Will have to continue with increasing loads to find maximum allowable.

All in all, it was a good day at the range.

03 Dec 2016
@ 11:01 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
I forgot to mention that on the 4350 list, the velocities for shots # 10 & 11 are as recorded. They are not reversed. I expect it was an error on the part of the chronograph.
08 Jan 2017
@ 05:30 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Had another range day today. Way better than the one last week. I actually got to pull the trigger on some good loads. The down side is I had more of the same problems with the chrono.

I did some more pressure work with IMR 4831 and the 208s. Hit some pretty high velocities before the chrono quit. I also got to extend the list of loads using IMR 7828ssc and IMR 4350. Unfortunately, with these last two powders, I had no chrono.

What I did get for numbers was at the 3000fps range with the 208s. The loads that were shot after the chrono quit were anywhere from 3 - 5 grs. over book max (depending on whose book you look at). I really don't understand the why and how of exceeding book max's by such a degree, but the brass doesn't lie. So I'll just keep going.

The chrono problem is hopefully resolved. I bought a new one.
08 Jan 2017
@ 02:09 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Just a curious question Paul, but what chronograph did you buy?
I have a Shooting Chrony Gamma Master model and it is a pain at the busy range we have here as one must talk everyone into holding off until you have it set up. Also on some days the readings are often not as good depending on the light/weather etc.

I have been looking at the LabRadar as well as the Magnetospeed V3.
Either of these get around both the above issues as far as i have been able to observe from others who have them. I have used both and they are quite reliable and accurate where and when my Shooting Chorny is not cooperating.
08 Jan 2017
@ 02:48 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Good morning, Bryan. I ordered the Caldwell from Cabela's. Main reasons for choosing the Caldwell: Cabela's return policy, Caldwell's return/warranty cannot be beat, I'm cheap. Oh, and free shipping.
08 Jan 2017
@ 02:51 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Bryan - I'm going to hijack my own thread here. Do you hunt whitetail long range? Across 1/4's or sections?
08 Jan 2017
@ 03:12 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Yes but I normally use blinds to wait and find a buck I want to get before trying any shots. I often will move my blind closer to where a buck I want a shot at is soming to his scrapes and take a position there and wait for it.

Have taken one at just under 800 meters with the 7mm Remington Magnum and several over the years with the .308 Win from 450 to 675.

Often it is best with whitetails to keep a blind or have the rancher move a couple round bales closer like say around 200 to 300 meters from a scrape he is chekcing out and try to have a larger field of view. Not all ranchers would do so of course...and it is getting harder all the time to get permission on private lands. Some of our biggest whitetails are being taken quite a distance north of Fort St. John these days given the overly long seasons and numbers of hunters and their reluctance to migrate back to the agricultural zone where they will be harassed more. As well, many larger bucks do not remain in areas you find them in before the rut. They travel long distances as was indicated by an extensive radio collaring project we did years ago. So if you do find one you must intensify efforts and hope he stays with does visiting his scrapes.

Getting tougher year after year and these long seasons combined with the limited entry seasons have taken numbers of deer down to low numbers in a lot of our agricultural area.

Yet another issue are the large numbers of wolf packs are back and these deer hole up in very heavy cover and hardly move when they are in the area. Of course some may move out of the area you are hunting in too.

Over the past 7 years I have shot my limit of three wolves a year far easier than the whitetails I have been hunting, so it is time to go farther north and camp out in the bush to get those big guys again.
22 Jan 2017
@ 12:39 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
DO NOT use the following loads in your rifle. They have exceeded acceptable pressure loads and are listed as OVER MAXIMUM in my journals. They are DEFINITELY unsafe in yours.

308 Norma Magnum
R-P 300 Win Mag brass
CCI LR Mag 250 Primer
Hornady 208gr A-MAX/ELD-M B.C. .670
COAL 3.677" 0.020" jump

IMR 4831

74.0gr

3328fps


IMR 7828SSC

75.5gr

3323fps


IMR 4350

71.0gr

3311fps


As noted above, these loads are at maximum. They indicated the first signs of excessive pressure, ie, stiff bolt lift. Brass and primer were good.

Obviously, these are way too fast. I can see no reason to load these bullets at these velocities. But the point of this excercise was to find the maximum pressure allowed for my rifle, and to this point, it was a success.

I did find some velocities that may prove accurate, but this will require a completely new series of load development. But this all part of the fun.

The new chronograph worked flawlessly. Easy to set up, easy to see the screen at about ten feet. I did modify the power source somewhat. The chrony requires the square 9V battery, and it only has room for one to be mounted internally. In the past, in winter, this has proved to be a fault. I took two of the 9Vs and taped them together, and wired them in parallel. This doubled their potential lifespan in the cold. To this, I attached a 48" patch cord, so that I can put the battery pack in my breast pocket and run the cord down my sleeve. I also made up a 25' cable that I can run from the head unit to the bench. With this set up, the batteries stay warm, and the unit runs all day.

22 Jan 2017
@ 04:11 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Correction to the above post: apparently Hornady has upgraded the BC of the 208gr ELD-M/A-MAX. The loads listed above should be corrected to read: BC .690 (not .670).
06 Feb 2017
@ 03:47 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
Picked up some new NoslerCustom brass today. Unfortunately, it is not Norma specific, but I'm finding that getting 308 Norma brass is next to impossible. Anyways, it is 300 WinMag, which is entirely suitable, and it was on sale for dirt cheap.

The box says "Fully Prepped, Ready to Load". For the most part that is correct. But because I am the way I am, I found that there were some cases that weren't quite perfect. Of the fifty in the box, seven had out of round case mouths. Now, having said that, if I were Joe Schmuck and was just going to jam powder and bullets into them, they would have been fine. Well, if they were boattails, they would have been ok. I know the flat spots were from shipping and handling, but that doesn't excuse it when the box says "visually inspected".

To check and see just how good these were, I set up the ball mic and mandrel and went through the box one by one. With one minor exception that is entirely on me, these cases were close enough to perfect in neck thickness to satisfy 99.9% of the population. I found one case that had over one thou variance, the rest were under 3/4 of a thou. That's not bad for a factory run. The exception that I noted above is that their inside neck diameter is different than mine, as it turns out exactly .0005 smaller. This is of little consequence to any normal human being. However, because of this they would not fit my mandrel, so I had to ream them first. My bad, not theirs.

When I formed them in the Norma f/l die, it took very little wax to size them to finished form. Unlike the previous brand I bought, the Nosler brass flowed smoothly and freely when run into the die. So little lube was required that not one case wrinkled or pocked. So nice.

Although, Nosler says that they chamfered and deburred, I redid it anyway. Again, probably from shaking around in the box, but there were some knicks and dings that needed attention. Nothing serious, just me being me.

I guess the real proof will be in the firing. Apparently, these cases are Norma (or Norma-like), so pressures are critical to case life, more so than the harder brands. Through my pressure testing, I have a pretty good idea where I can go to. The exact numbers will remain to be seen.

All in all, I got what I paid for. To this point, very precise finished brass. Like I said, any normal person would be good to go and be happy. Even with what I had to do, it was way less work and time to prep these to my standards than any other brand I had used before.

Side note to Thomas: if you can't get any more Norma brass, I think you will like these.
06 Feb 2017
@ 05:51 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: P-14 .308 Norma Magnum
After three or four loads on that brass, I would neck anneal them. Had to do that when I ran out of 7x57 brass and necked down from 8x57.
 

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