In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.
.308 Loads for an FN FAL
The Old Salt Member Posts: 94 ✭✭
edited November 2012 in Perry Shooter Competition Shooting and Reloading Forum
I loaded some 308's for my FN FAL. I used 165 gr HPBT Sierra Game King bullets & 43.5 gr H 4895. Seemed to cycle OK, no primer issues. Is there any problems with using a 165 gr. bullet in the FN FAL that anyone knows of? I am using that same bullet & powder in my Rem 308 Tactical & SKS. It would be nice to be able to stock one bullet & powder. I am also using it in my .223 loads.
No problems I can see with the 165 gr. bullets. Although, I would say the load is a little hot for .308 probably. FWIW, I like using H4895 in my .308's but I use a grain and a half less powder in mine. And, it's relatively hot.
I have not delved into the FN-FNAR rifles, but I will make one assumption, and that is, due to the working components, I've found it doesn't do well to go hot or use slow powder recipes in semi-auto rifles. Your choice of h4895 is a pretty good one. Just make sure it isn't slamming your rifle parts around too hard.
No problem with the powder or bullet for the FAL, but second the previous comment; it sounds a smidge hot. Maybe not dangerously so but I'd work up to it and use a few good load manuals for comparison.
The load of 43.5 is top of Hodgdon's chart for a 165 gr in .308 with a CUP of 49.5K. This is not higher than the 150 / 155 gr H 4985 loads listed. I have always heard (correctly or not) that mil weapons were loaded on the hotter side to ensure sufficient pressure to operate the gas system and clear the spent brass quickly. That said the FAL has an adjustable gas vent and when properly adjusted, it vents off the excess, and retains just enough gas to operate the system with just enough force to lock open on last round. Mil surplus ammo usually results in a setting of 3 with "0" being "Vent Closed". That said I am always interested in the valued experience of others who have "Walked the Path Before".
125gr with 29gr H4895 @ 33.6 CUP;
150gr(20% increase in bullet wt) with 28gr H4895 (3.5% reduction in Powder wt.) @ 39.3 CUP (results in a CUP increase of 17%).
I am loading 165gr HPBT (32% increase in bullet wt over 125gr) with 24.9gr H4895 (14% reduction of powder wt).
Weapon cycled OK.
Also I am pushing a .308 bullet down a .310 bore.
I checked again and you are correct that the 43.5 gr. according to Hodgdon is good to go. It is the maximum though, so be careful when the weather gets hot. As long as you have worked up to it and you aren't getting excessive pressure signs it shouldn't be a problem.
In the case of Military gas operated weapons, it is not a simple rule. The 5.56 is hotter than it's civilian counterpart. The 7.62x51 is lower pressure than it's counterpart. Most military gas guns are cooler than their civilian counterparts. Most due to the 'sustained fire' aspect. The 5.56 gets away with it being hotter as the total volume of gas created/expended is less than most of the larger cases. 7.62x39 for instance is loaded down from what it could take. I will also caution you against using different cases to interpolate pressures.
It is very difficult to get a true comparison from PSI to CUP or vice-versa, I don't care what the magazine says. Remember too, that there is always a disparity between each rifle. At top pressures the copper used in the CUP compresses more and is therefore harder at the end of it's movement. Meaning a line on a chart representing it is a parabola at best, never a straight line. And, not always maintaining the correct changing curve once it gets too hard. In today's world we can operate everything off of PSI which is really more accurate. My suggestion is when and where-ever possible find a psi number to associate with a load, not a CUP number.
My FAL has had no issues w/ 168grn LC Match ammo, or the same/similar from Privi Partisan.