Awesome 308 Loading Setup Allows Monitoring of Brass Length While Loading

Ever since I started the AR-308 project here on Ultimate Reloader, I’ve been scheming up and crafting the “ultimate” (pun intended) reloading setup for precision 308 ammunition. I really enjoy shooting the LR-308B rifle, and I know exactly what I’m looking for in a 308 loading setup for everyday precision shooting:

  1. Efficiency in brass prep – Ideally I can loose sort (308 -vs- 7.62×51 military), tumble, and load!
  2. Efficiency during loading – I don’t want to spend a lot of time on non-match ammo
  3. Precision ammunition: I’m looking for consistent powder charges, and concentric bullet alignment with consistent seating depth

My answer to these requirements is to use a 5-station progressive reloader (Hornady Lock-N-Load AP shown here) with top quality dies, and a “secret weapon”. What’s the secret you may ask? It’s the Redding Instant Indicator.

This tool is quite versatile! Redding Reloading lists the following uses for this tool:

  • Sort bullets for uniformity
  • Sort cases fired in two or more rifles
  • Sort sized cases for uniformity
  • Set up sizing die correctly
  • Compare sized cases to fired cases to determine the amount of headspace
  • Check uniformity of shoulder bump
  • Check bullet seating depth uniformity
  • Sort loaded ammunition for uniformity
  • Determine when cases need trimming
  • Check trim length uniformity
  • Supplied with one bore diameter

In the setup I’ll show here, I’m using it to check trim length – and the big deal here is that I can do this while I load in full-progressive mode!

Redding National Match die set with Redding Instant Indicator setup on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP - Let the ammo fly! Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Redding National Match die set with Redding Instant Indicator setup on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP – Let the ammo fly! Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Here’s a station-by-station breakdown:

  1. Redding Size/deprime (full-length sizing)
  2. Redding Instant Indicator with solid plug – adjusted to show “0” for optimal trim length
  3. Powder charge
  4. Redding competition seating die
  5. Redding taper crimp die

Here’s a video showing how this works:

Now that I have a bunch of ammo, it’s time to take the LR-308B to the range!

Thanks,
Gavin

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7 thoughts on “Awesome 308 Loading Setup Allows Monitoring of Brass Length While Loading”

  1. Very cool – I hadn’t seen this setup in a progressive press. I’ve been trying to get my hands on one with or without the dial for months now with no luck. Was this something already had or were you able to find one out there?

    1. I actually had these dies and parts on hand from when I did the AR-308 project (see http://ultimatereloader.com/ar15 ). Good luck finding stuff in this climate – be sure to sign up for “in stock” alerts and see if you can find some local out-of-the-way pawn shops or gun shops to locate reloading tools and components.

      1. Thanks – I’ve been stalking all the regular online shops and places here in the PNW for it. Keep up the great content/videos/projects

  2. What powders are you using on your 308 project? I’d really like to find something in a more spherical shape to meter better with the 308 and 223.

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