moving up in bullet weight

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,657
237
After checking my bullet cabinet, I have at least one box of 178 ELD_X, 4 boxes of ELD-M for the 308 and 4 boxes of the 180 Ballistic Tips. I reserved the 180 Ballistic Tips for the 300 Win Mag but I want to use my 308 Winchester for a few hunts this winter for deer. I am not a fan of using Match bullets for hunting, so ELD-M is not an option.
My go to bullet was the 165 or the 168 Ballistic Tips for the 308 and I am a hardcore fan of it. I cannot find any 165 or 168 BT anywhere. I think it should be fine to go up a little in weight and powder will be Varget and possibly around 2700 -2725 fps. Range will be under 300 yards.
Have any of you used the 180 Ballistic Tip in the 308 for deer sized game?
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,825
162
Myself, personally, no; but I know those that have with good success! (Our northern deer are larger bodied than those found south of the border)
Still, you shouldn't have any problems; go forth with confidence.
 

coop22250

Handloader
Nov 23, 2018
282
3
Blkram":1zmil13o said:
Myself, personally, no; but I know those that have with good success! (Our northern deer are larger bodied than those found south of the border)
Still, you shouldn't have any problems; go forth with confidence.
I’ve used most 180’s in a 308, at the speed it’s going you don’t have to worry about the same issues as with lighter bullets like exploding without penetration. They will mushroom perfectly unlike the 300 WM that usually make a little shrapnel with them.

Ballistic tips in 180 should be 2600 fps ballpark without pushing it too hard, 2700 possible if warm loads. W760 has been my go to for the heavier ones, been really easy to load with.

I’d feel more comfortable using them in the 308 than the 300, just because of the thin skin.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
I'd think you'll be just fine with them myself TD. That 178 ELD X wouldn't be bad either in my experience. The 212 ELD in the 30-06 at 2700 is a great one in my book. For deer I'd rather have a but more expansion. The 180 BT is a tough bullet in my opinion. Till you get into PT's or similar they don't leave anything on the table. We have ran them from 300 Wins, Wby's and RUM's and never been left with any doubt of their abilities.
 

HodgemanAK

Beginner
Oct 23, 2020
185
52
I've tried out the 178 ELD-X in a .308 carbine. In a pretty sedate load, I got a MV in the 2600 range and it worked great. I haven't shot a lot of game, but on caribou it did the trick at 200.
 
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