June 16th, 2022

Load Dev for .223 Rem Varminter and .308 Win Hunting Rifle

Keith Glasscock winning Wind .308 Winchester Win .223 Rem load development

Keith Glasscock is an outstanding competitive shooter, who has finished second at the F-Class National Championships (F-Open) multiple times. Keith is also a skilled wind coach who runs the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel. Along with his interest in mid-range and long-range F-Class competition, Keith also enjoys game hunting and varmint adventures.

Developing accurate hand-loaded ammo for hunting and varmint rifles involves procedures that may be a bit different than load testing for a match rifle. You want to be efficient, and use the types of brass and bullets you’ll be using on the hunts. In two recent videos, Keith shows how he developed good, accurate loads for a .223 Rem varmint rifle and a .308 Win hunting rifle.

.223 Rem Load Development — Powder Charge and Seating Depth

In the first video, Keith covers the load development process for a Remington 700 bolt-action varmint rifle chambered in .223 Remington. Keith starts by full-length sizing the brass. Then he experimented with powder charge weights, and came up with a promising load of 24.7 grains of Alliant AR Comp with Hornady 50gr A-Max bullets.

Next Keith experimented with seating depths (see 5:30-6:100) and found that accuracy improved as he changed OAL length in .005 increments. Keith ended up with 2.270″ with a 3-shot group in the twos! This video shows the importance of testing your bullet choice at various seating depths. Keith shoots this rig prone off bipod, which is similar to the bipod shooting he does in the varmint fields. Keith explains key factors to consider when optimizing the .223 Rem cartridge in a varmint rig. Velocity readings are made with a LabRadar unit.

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

Load Development for .308 Win Hunting Rifle

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

In a second video, Keith shows the process for load development with a .308 Winchester hunting rifle. Here Keith uses a large X-type sandbag for a front support. Again, he was shooting a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, this time with Barnes TSX solid copper bullets, PPU Brass, Federal 210m primers, and AR Comp powder. Keith said the Barnes bullets were excellent — he commented that these bullets were “match quality in terms of precision”. Keith achieved some very small three-shot groups with AR Comp and the TSX projectiles. Keith did note that point-of-impact shifted up significantly with increases in charge weight (see 6:20-7:10). With thinner-contour hunting barrels, this is not unexpected. But POI change should be observed carefully during load development, as you may need to adjust your zero after completing testing.

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

Similar Posts: