Loading for a friend's .308

shoots_5

Handloader
May 15, 2009
810
4
So a good friend of mine wanted to get a rifle for coyotes and deer that he could shoot out to 500ish yards. He ended up with a savage 308 and I helped him get a nice vortex viper scope with dials.

Long story short he doesn't reload so I told him if he bought some brass and dies I'd load for him. I've got 168gr BTHP Match bullets, 168 Amax, 168gr Berger VLD. Will probably give the new 178gr hornady eld-x a try when they come out as well. I've got lots of powder to try, varget, IMR 4895, 3031, 4320. I also have some CFE 223 and noticed on the Hodgdon site that the velocity attainable in the 308 is impressive! Anyone try that combo? My only experience with it was in a 22-250 and got really high velocity but accuracy was mediocre.
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Any pet loads you are willing to share are appreciated. Was thinking of starting with the 168 hpbt at about 44gr of varget and working up at .2gr intervals.


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Link to an excellent article re loading the .308 Win for accuracy: http://www.6mmbr.com/308Win.html

Also, I've shot NRA "high master" scores with both 155 and 168 gr Nosler & Sierra HPBT match bullets, using Varget.

The 168's & 45 gr of Varget is a favorite load of mine. Match primers. Almost any decent brass seems to work well.

Guy
 
Also - coyotes and deer to 500 yards or so?

No need for a heavy bullet with game of that size.

Consider a 150 - 155 gr bullet at around 3,000 fps.

Or the impressive 125 gr Ballistic Tip at 3100 - 3200 fps...

I've seen that little 125 shoot just as well as a match bullet, drop deer quickly, and make me wonder why I have a .25-06 sometimes...

Guy
 
I'd try (in this order) 4320, Varget, CFE223. 4320 was my go-to powder in most all mid-range calibers until the craziness forced me to pick one and buy in volume. Ended up with 4064 (another great option for this application).

Another top pick would be Viht N140 if you can stomach the price or R15 if you can find it.

My understanding of CFE 223 is that it is very similar to BLC-2 which is another great powder in this burn range. I know some are using it to great effect in 5.56 heavy match loads.

Don't get too hung up on velocity. Go for top accuracy.
 
I'm looking at the 125 or 150 as well, tagging this thread to see what transpires. Guy, thanks for sharing!
 
Guy Miner":30kl25i1 said:
Also - coyotes and deer to 500 yards or so?

No need for a heavy bullet with game of that size.

Consider a 150 - 155 gr bullet at around 3,000 fps.

Or the impressive 125 gr Ballistic Tip at 3100 - 3200 fps...

I've seen that little 125 shoot just as well as a match bullet, drop deer quickly, and make me wonder why I have a .25-06 sometimes...

Guy


Agreed, a 150 grain bullet (of any king really) is plenty of bullet for deer and coyotes from a .308 Winchester. You helped him make a good choice for an all-around rifle.

Good luck -

Dale
 
+2 with Guy. I can easily touch 3000fps with 49.0 gr of Varget and a 125 BT out of my 22" tube. Check some of the other threads on the 125 and you'll see that those who use them swear by them !
 
Guy Miner":2d5b1hrm said:
Also - coyotes and deer to 500 yards or so?

No need for a heavy bullet with game of that size.

Consider a 150 - 155 gr bullet at around 3,000 fps.

Or the impressive 125 gr Ballistic Tip at 3100 - 3200 fps...

I've seen that little 125 shoot just as well as a match bullet, drop deer quickly, and make me wonder why I have a .25-06 sometimes...

Guy


What he said! 50-grs of Varget rocks the little 125 NBT!
 
Thanks for the advice and info! I knew I'd get some good experience on the 308 from here! I'll let you know how it turns out. Just ordered him 100 pieces of nosler brass and will start load development next week if the weather cooperates.


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That's really good brass... Good way to start! You're going to spoil him with custom-loaded .308 ammo!

Guy
 
I also picked up a couple boxes of 110gr tipped varmageddon blems.....just for fun. I kind of want to load a few up in my 300H&H and go make some pink mist!


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I had great results using Power pro 2000MR/Swift 165 AF in my SILs 22" Remington 700...2750fps! It's good stuff. I couldn't get enough in the 338 Federal though to push the Barnes 160TTSX past 2700, though accurate. I tried TAC and got over 3000fps! So TAC is another good '08 case powder too. Good luck.
 
The 150 or less are great to 200 yards or so. I've killed a lot of deer with Hornady, Speer, Remington and Nosler SB (damn you Nosler for no longer making this bullet) 150s in .308 and similar rounds. The bottom kind of drops out past 200 and the wind starts to kick them around a bit vs. the heavier match bullets. Still good enough for deer, but a bit dicey for varmint sized game. Some of the more streamlined ones like the 155 CC, SMK and A-max will do well to 300m. Past 300 yards, the 168 and heavier match bullets are your friend. I would not advocate shooting any big game beyond 300 yards with any caliber/bullet.
 
I agree about the heavier bullets and wind drift at extended ranges. However with the proper equipment, training and practice a 300+ yard shot can be perfectly ethical and practical on big game. But for the hunter that shoots his rifle 3 shots a year to check zero and thinks minute of paper plate is acceptable accuracy I'd agree with you and go further to say that a 100 yard shot is probably pushing an ethical shot for them. Ethical range is very individualized based on skill, environmental and equipment limitations. I know where my limit is with each rifle and load but I know that from putting many many rounds down range at distance in field conditions. That being said I will always attempt to get as close as possible. I know there are some who will take an unnecessarily long shot for bragging rights.....


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Guy Miner":knxxu5pg said:
Also - coyotes and deer to 500 yards or so?

No need for a heavy bullet with game of that size.

Consider a 150 - 155 gr bullet at around 3,000 fps.

Or the impressive 125 gr Ballistic Tip at 3100 - 3200 fps...

I've seen that little 125 shoot just as well as a match bullet, drop deer quickly, and make me wonder why I have a .25-06 sometimes...

Guy
>>> a buddy used the 125 in a .308 in doe season. it was a bomb! I also liked the old speer 130 HP for varmits back when I had only one rifle, an 06'. I was a grenade.
 
Ok.....now he threw me a curveball and said he would also like to use it for elk and just wants one load to use from coyotes up to elk. I'm thinking the new hornady 178 eld-x might be a very good longish range do all bullet in the 308.

Thoughts?


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