Bitmap left a bunch of good reloading information on my Sunday post. For anyone interested in reloading you should check it out. I agree with what Bitmap is saying, but my problem is that the 7.62x51mm round is not the same as a .308 Winchester. The specs call for a 12,000 difference in pressure. So I could shoot 7.62x51mm out of my bolt action, but not the other way around.
Now I do use the same components. A Large rifle primer, H4895 powder and a 168grain HPBT. I use 39 grains of powder for the 7.62x51mm and 40.2 grains for the .308 Winchester. This gives me about 2 MOA from the M1A, and 3/4 MOA from the Remington 700. If I use 7.62x51mm in my Remington, I shoot about 3 MOA.
I've found that if I load the rounds long, I can squeak another 1/4 MOA of of my Remington 700, but the rounds will not load into the internal magazine. So my hunting ammo is 2.80 COAL, where my bench rounds are 2.92 COAL. I could easily seat the bullets deeper if the poop hit the fan, so that's not an issue.
Yesterday, I put 7 rounds into 3/4" at 100 yards. Five of them were in 1/4" or so. Now that's zombie hunting! If I could get a bit more consistent, I could get to the 1/2" MOA I am seeking for egg shoots.
I don't mind having different loads for each rifle. Each weapon has it's own purpose, and these don't overlap with each other. The M1A is a battle rifle, and 2 MOA is plenty. The Remington 700 is to put food on the table and to pull headshots on zombies out to 600 yards. The shotgun is for food on the table and close-quarters assault. If I ever have to kick in doors, that's what I'll use. The Sig220 is for personal protection. The .22's are for practice, small game and varmit shooting.
Thankfully, I have all the bases covered. I would love to buy a few more weapons, but considering my financial situation, I can easily make due with what I have.
Bitmap, thanks for the information! I've never used AA powders. I use H4895 for the rifles, Unique and Blue Dot for pistol, and Clays for the shotgun. I weigh my bullets for the rifle and use the odd ones for the M1A. Only those that weigh exactly 168.0 grains are used for the Remington 700. I use the Nosler Balistic Tip and Combined Technologies for hunting, and Nosler Competition HPBT for the bench shooting and the M1A rounds. For primers I prefer use CCI large rifle because they do not slam-fire like the others in the M1A. I use the bench rest version for the Remington 700. The bench rest primers are about 50% more expensive, but I have 2000 of them already :p
I need to shop around and do some research on 168 grain bullets. I'm concerned the thin-skinned 168 grain Nosler competition HPBT won't be effective enough at stopping zombies. I could use 168 grain ballistic tips, but they are about 5 times as expensive. I'd like to run some tests to see the differences, maybe in the spring I can.