Best twist rate for a 308

ReloadKy

Beginner
May 13, 2020
234
34
My son is bound a determined to have a 308 as his own rifle. I have all of the equipment neccesary to reload for 308 and even owned a 308 a while back. However, I sold it to make room in the safe for my sons 243 that he got as his first rifle. That being said I do not have a lot of experience with the 308. What is the nest twist rate for a 308 hunting rifle? Once he gets a 308 my plan is to shoot 125 gr accubonds and 130 gr Barnes TTSX for the first couple years and then move on up to 150 and 165 gr bullets. I have been looking at the Browning AB3 or Savage 110 series. Any help is much appreciated.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,538
1,026
I've been happily using a 1:12 twist for my 308 Win for a long time. It's done well with a wide range of bullets from 110 grain varmint bullets to 180 grain soft points.

When the original 1:12 twist barrel wore out, I had it replaced with a nice Krieger of the same twist. I think the heaviest I've shot from it are the 190 grain Sierra Match Kings. They weren't as accurate as the 165/168 bullets. For 165's, I think the 1:12 is a real nice sweet spot.

Regards, Guy
 

ronco

Beginner
Oct 2, 2004
79
31
This chart is from Lilja Barrels website. It shows the caliber and bullet weight to figure out what the best twist will be.

RECOMMENDED TWIST RATES

Grain/Cal.172.204.224.243.257.264.277.284.308.338.358
17-209-10
2510
30912
3312
3512
37 VLD6
4012
50-52914
5512
6012
68-699,1013,14
75914
808
857121212
90710
10010101214
105-1078
12010101215,16
1301014
14091010
15014
140-1608101012,13
150-168911,12,13
150-18010,11,12
1609
1759
18010,11,12
20010,1110,1212,16
22010
22510,1212,16
240-250101012
3001012
This chart is based on jacketed lead-core bullets. With some monolithic and plastic-tipped bullets the above twists may be too slow. The reason for this is that copper and yellow-metal bullets are less dense than lead-core bullets and so with bullets of an equal weight the monolithic bullets are longer. And length has a lot of influence on twist required. The plastic tips on some bullets aslo add length without weight.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,538
1,026
BTW, a 308 Win does a FINE job with the 125 and 130 grain bullets. I've shot the 125 gr Ballistic Tips at 3,100 fps with excellent accuracy and notably lower recoil than my standard 165 grain hunting loads:


Link takes you to an article and a video about the 125 grain load.

Regards, Guy
 

HeathSexton

Handloader
May 12, 2006
1,192
0
I like faster twists on my stuff because it allows for more bullet options. I’ve never seen a faster twist shoot worse with shorter bullets. For .308 10, 11 or 12 would all work though.

Savage makes accurate rifles, never been around Brownings much. I am an fan of Tikka these days, as they are light, handy and very easy to get excellent accuracy from.
 

xphunter

Handloader
Sep 15, 2005
324
474
I would just go with a 10T and call it good.
How old is your son?
A good muzzle brake really helps tame recoil, which in turn helps keep good fundamentals.
Sub 16” 308 with 168’s
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,721
986
Most factory rifles in 308 have a 1:10" twist. I would think that would cover all the bullet weights for lead and monolithic offerings.
I just got a Nosler M21 in 308 Win earlier this year and it is a fun cartridge to load and shoot. It has a 1:10 twist and is giving me sub .5 MOA with 150-165 gr BT's.

JD338
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
654
496
Most off the shelf rifles in 308 are 1:10 twist. I started to work with Barnes 130gr. TTSXs and I like what I saw.
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
345
285
I expect you will find a plethora of low-cost, accurate rifles in .308, and any of them should have an acceptable twist rate for the weights you describe. Of the two rifles you remark, I don't think you could go wrong with either.
 

xphunter

Handloader
Sep 15, 2005
324
474
This chart is from Lilja Barrels website. It shows the caliber and bullet weight to figure out what the best twist will be.

RECOMMENDED TWIST RATES

Grain/Cal.172.204.224.243.257.264.277.284.308.338.358
17-209-10
2510
30912
3312
3512
37 VLD6
4012
50-52914
5512
6012
68-699,1013,14
75914
808
857121212
90710
10010101214
105-1078
12010101215,16
1301014
14091010
15014
140-1608101012,13
150-168911,12,13
150-18010,11,12
1609
1759
18010,11,12
20010,1110,1212,16
22010
22510,1212,16
240-250101012
3001012
This chart is based on jacketed lead-core bullets. With some monolithic and plastic-tipped bullets the above twists may be too slow. The reason for this is that copper and yellow-metal bullets are less dense than lead-core bullets and so with bullets of an equal weight the monolithic bullets are longer. And length has a lot of influence on twist required. The plastic tips on some bullets aslo add length without weight.
I need to talk to Carson about updated that chart
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,744
204
I know my Winchester M70 youth Ranger that sits in a Ramline stock has a 1 in 12" twist and my Ruger M77 RSI, Remington 660 and a custom Mauser I'm working with have 1 in 10" twist and all are reasonably accurate except the Mauser which it still in a working stage. Needs a proper stock.
The 660 sits in a H&S Precision fiberthane very lightweight stock and groups just about everything into an inch most of the time. I'm thinking of using some pillar and glass bedding to see if that improves thing. The M70 has so far been MOA or better in the Ramline stock and has even shot some extremely tight groups with the Sierra 220 gr. round nose bullets. Velocity was pushing 2400 FPS FWIW. The RSI is a horse a different breed and after a long period of load work finally gave a load usable for hunting deer anyway. Best it will do is 1.25 to 1.50" at 2550 with the 165peer Hot Core and W760 powder. It won't shoot anything else. I call it my one trick pony. The Mauser is a 1912 Chilean that had a block placed in the magazine and rebarreled to 7.62 NATO. I had it rebarreled and the gunsmith kind of screwed up and put a heavy bull barrel on the gun and put it in a stock not appropriate to the design. Just have to find a stock that floats my boat.
Paul B.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,538
1,026
My old Palma/Match Model 70 had a series of 30" 1:13 twist "tight bore" Krieger barrels. Dang, that thing was a shooter! :)

It was intended for the 155 grain Sierra & Nosler HPBT match bullets, but did real well with 168's and even 175's. Cool rifle. Way too cumbersome for most types of hunting, but it was never intended to be a hunting rifle.

Regards, Guy
 

ReloadKy

Beginner
May 13, 2020
234
34
Thanks for all of the input. My son has shot a lot rifles for an 8 yr old. He loves his 243 and and he has shot the "family" 7-08 a lot. Killed several deer with each. I honestly do not know why he wants a 308 so bad other than the fact that I do not have one and his cousins have their "own" rifles and neither of them have a 308. I can appreciate wanting to be different and have his own but I personally like the ballistics of the 7-08 better.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
654
496
I have S2 Vanguards in both 7-08 and 308. The 7-08 is by far my favorite. If you have dies and bullets for the 7-08 already , that would be the way to go.
 

walkinhorseman

Beginner
Sep 28, 2010
106
23
I'm very fond of both calibers. I say, let the boy have the rifle that he is enthusiastic about. They both have their individual attributes which we could all expound upon for hours. Once that rifleman fire has been kindled, he very well may get the 7-08 in the future, "just because" he wants to know. Just light the fire.
As to the OP, 10, 11 0r 12". Just get a good barrel installed by a good smith. In this case, a 12" would be good. My last 308 Sporter barrel is a 10" twist BRUX because I want to shoot 150-180 grain bullets out of a 22" barrel. There is a lot of merit for this rifle to handle 130 -165 grain bullets well.
 
Last edited:

bdbrown66

Handloader
May 16, 2016
709
97
Dan,

I'm not a .308 guy, so I have no input on the caliber issues. However, I would highly encourage you to add the Tikka T3x to your list. I bought my son his first deer rifle, but allowed him to research and pick the caliber and rifle (within reason). It's a well-built, fine shooting rifle for under $800 (as of a few years ago). I have been very, very impressed with it, and I have yet to see a negative review on it. I have a Browning X-Bolt in 6.5CM, and it and the Tikka would be far above the Savage on my list.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Apr 17, 2020
190
150
Tikka is probably a better feeling rifle than Savage, good triggers, but I do like the way Savage rifles are designed. They are easy to take all the way apart, but in fairness that probably is not a major concern for most people. Savages are made in America and Tikkas are made in Finland if that is of any consequence. Both are more than adequate for any application they were made for.

bdbrown66, I am curious about your experiences with the Browning, I have typically heard good things about them but am not very familiar with the platform. I was always a little leery of Winchester and Browning products after learning that FN purchased both companies.
 

bdbrown66

Handloader
May 16, 2016
709
97
Tikka is probably a better feeling rifle than Savage, good triggers, but I do like the way Savage rifles are designed. They are easy to take all the way apart, but in fairness that probably is not a major concern for most people. Savages are made in America and Tikkas are made in Finland if that is of any consequence. Both are more than adequate for any application they were made for.

bdbrown66, I am curious about your experiences with the Browning, I have typically heard good things about them but am not very familiar with the platform. I was always a little leery of Winchester and Browning products after learning that FN purchased both companies.
My experience with the X-Bolt is pretty limited, so take that with a grain of salt. It's the Medallion edition (walnut stock, etc.), which I call my "old man gun." I haven't hunted with it, just poked holes in paper. That said, it seems to be of good quality and workmanship. I'm playing around with it, working up some loads, and it seems to shoot pretty good. The one thing I did to it was to replace the factory trigger sear spring with a lighter one from M-Carbo. The trigger is adjustable, but not enough to suit me. Replacing the spring made it very nice for my taste, about the same as a Timney, for less than $20. No creep and breaks very clean. Nothing that I've seen from the Browning would give me pause about buying another.

Cheers,
Brian
 

Vince2

Beginner
Jan 21, 2022
169
166
Tikka is probably a better feeling rifle than Savage, good triggers, but I do like the way Savage rifles are designed. They are easy to take all the way apart, but in fairness that probably is not a major concern for most people. Savages are made in America and Tikkas are made in Finland if that is of any consequence. Both are more than adequate for any application they were made for.

bdbrown66, I am curious about your experiences with the Browning, I have typically heard good things about them but am not very familiar with the platform. I was always a little leery of Winchester and Browning products after learning that FN purchased both companies.

Hard to go wrong with anything FN owned or related. FN made the Hi-Power and Browning imported them in to the country. We know it as the Browning Hi-Power but the rest of the world knows it as the Hi-Power and FN makes it.

Sorry to get off track.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Vince
 
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