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.308 hunting loads

11953 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  unclesarge58
Have seen lots of recipe's for .308 target ammo, good for small groups, killing paper, but not so good for hunting. Anyone got any good loads for hunting.

Seating OAL?

Plus any other info would be good. Like accuracy and how it performed on your game.
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Rifle is a 24 inch SPS. The two hunting loads I have used are:

110 grain Hornady VMax
48 grains of Varget
Winchester cases trimmed to minimum
CCI 200 primers
Overall length 2.80 inches
I have not chronographed this load but the book puts it right at 3000 fps.
The damage to a coyote, or any dog size animal for that matter, inside of 200 yards has to be seen to be believed. I'm not kidding
if your game is this size and you want to see the red mist this is your load. If your wanting to save the pelt this is not gonna work. Not super accurate out of my rifle, 11/4 inch group at 100 yards but dang sure effective.

165 Nosler Ballistic Tip
45 grains of Varget
Winchester cases trimmed to minimum
CCI 200 primers
Overall 2.80 inches.
Again I have not chronographed this load so I'm not exactly sure how fast it's moving.
Probably a little much for a 170 pound Oklahoma whitetail deer. The round just stoned him right were he stood. Paced the
shot off at 150 yards thru the shoulders. Sizeable exit wound with extensive internal tissue damage. This was the first deer
shot with this particular round so I didn't really know what to expect. Probably a little much for that particular application at that distance. Super accurate however in this rifle and my SPS Tactical.

Hope this helps.
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Good stuff BadKarma, that's the kind if info I am after. Nice explanation of how they perform. Sometimes it's hard to find load's with more information than "shoots .54 at 100".
Hi Andrew21,
I see you're from NSW. I'm up in Qld. Speaking of target ammo, the Winchester 308 factory stuff that fullbore shooters sometimes use, is very good on pigs. I flattened a 110kg pig with it some years ago now. Shoulder shot, 100yards. Just lay still. It fooled us a bit. The grass was long long and no-one could see what had happened. It was a no fuss kill. No comotion, no nothing.
Hey quaid, I don't know much about that target ammo, I don't have anything to do with clubs. Is it the stuff you can buy for competition shooting? With sierra 155gr HPBT projectiles?
Andrew my friend, the load is such (Im pretty sure).

Bullet: 155grn HPBT Sierra PALMA Match King OR Dyer HBC 155Gr HPBT Palma
Powder: 44.5Gr ADI AR 2208
Case: Winchester
Primer: Either CCI BR2 or Federal GM 210 Long Range

The primer is what Im fuzzy about.

I run this ammo in my SPS Tactical and my Omark. The SPS Tactical shoots bloody well with it. Get in touch with the NSW Rifle Assc and see where there shop is.
Hey Andrew21,

I will try to get the .308 load that the ranch manager uses. I know he uses 130 grain Barnes Tipped TSX bullets, and I think it is on top of Varget powder. The load has performed excellent on the Feral hogs and Whitetail deer here in South Texas. It has dropped them with authority, but is very easy on the meat. We have recovered one of the bullets that went all the way through a hog that he shot facing him, and the bullet lodged in the ham. It was a text book mushroom, looked just like they advertise. All other shots have exited.
Here is the load that the Ranch Manager uses, it is a compressed load. He has never had any pressure signs and has maintained great case life.

50gr. Varget
130gr. Barnes Tipped TSX
COAL: 2.80"

He is shooting a 22" barrel Remington 700 and is getting 3/4" groups with this load with the following trajectories
+ 1.75" @ 100yds
+ 1.5" @ 200yds
-8.0" @ 300yds
-24.0" @ 400yds

Correction, on the hog shot in previous post. This load was one that he lined up and shot a hog in the head broadside, it exited and entered the next hog in the forehead and lodged in it's chest. That is the only shot with this barnes load that has not exited. Actually it did exit, just not on it's way through the second animal. Needless to say he is sold on this load.
Hope this helps.
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Are there any pros/cons when using a compressed load? I guess the main thing would be to watch out for any pressure signs... but I do that for any load I develop.

My current .308 load behind 45 gr. of Varget is nearly a full case (if I remember correctly... it's winter now so I can't remember) :lol:
Compressed loads are not all the time dangerous. If you will notice in your reloading manuals, there will be a notation by the max load for each powder "C" meaning that particular load is compressed, but is still within the saami limits of pressure for that cartridge. That being said, there are varying degrees of compression. I would err on the side of caution if I heard an extreme "crunch" sound when seating a bullet in a charged case. The more compression, the more powder kernels are broken thus changing the burning charateristics of the powder which in itself can cause a spike in pressure. We all know that a full case is advantagoues to accuracy if pressure limits are not exceeded (100% loading density). Alas, 100% loading density is not possible with all powder and bullet combinations. This has to do with pressure and the position of the powder in the case at the time of firing. In a full case, the powder does not have room to wander around inside the case which is aids accuracy. In a case that is only 2/3 full, the powder has room to wander around so the position of the powder at the time of firing can change, ei powder charge near the base of the case as opposed to the powder charge being close to the base of the bullet. This can cause drastically different pressures which will cause a larger extreme spread which in turn does not aid accuracy. That is why most reloading manuals advise when choosing a powder for accuracy loads, choose a powder that most nearly fills the case for the velocity you are looking for.

Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

PS: In temperatures in excess of 90 degrees F, watch your compressed load very carefully at the range. If they start to exhibit signs of excessive pressure. Stop shooting them. Save those loads for a cooler day. A good rule is to NOT load compressed loads to the maximum and DO NOT shoot them on days over 100 degrees F.
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I'm thinking about using 165gr projectiles for hunting and have always had good results with Sierra's. Probably try a soft point boat tail sierra or hornady and see how they go or sierra 165gr HP. I know a HPBT match bullet will take game but I don't really want to go there. Might try something similar to badkarma's 165gr load but with sierra's. Thanks guys
I just worked up my hunting load for my 700 LTR .308 I have not shot any animals with it yet, but will post "on game performance" when I have it. I am getting .41" to .5" three shot groups at 100 yards with this load.

Bullet: 165gr. Sierra Gameking SBT
Case: Lapua
Primer: CCI BR
Powder: 45.5gr Varget
COAL: 2.815
Velocity: 2580 fps
Hey Stex
That load ought to work real well. I have yet to have a
Varget load in the 45 grain weight range that didn't work
well with a 165-168 grain bullet. Thornblom turned me on to
the 45 grain 168 SMK which is wicked accurate out of my
20 incher, a one ragged hole load on a good day. At that speed I would think your Gameking
would hold together and give better penatration than the Ballistic Tip on tougher game.
Be sure and post your autopsy results.
Good luck.
Shot a hog today with my above mentioned load. It was not a great test but did past for sure. I was working on a deer blind this morning, when the weeds(which are about 4ft tall right now) behind me started to move(about 60yards out). I stepped to my truck for the LTR .308 and stood on the door jam for a better view. Still could not see what was in the weeds but finally started to hear grunting and new I was a bout to get an opportunity to try my new load on a hog. I climbed in the back of the truck and stood on the tool box to get as much elevation as possible, but still could not see the hogs clearly. One finally got in a clear spot under the big Oak tree and was broadside. She was only 40 yards away and I drilled her dead center in the front shoulder. She was DRT. The 165gr Gameking went straight through her approx. 9" wide shoulders and left a 1" exit hole. I know a 40 yard shot on a 80 pound wild hog is not a great test, but it was good to see how the bullet preformed at the top end of my velocity. I will post more results as they come in. As deer season approaches I will have many more test animals and will actually do autopsies.
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I have not shot any animals with this particular load as yet (just started working with this .308 this spring).

I have a Remington Model 700 SPS .308 that I had the barrel shortened to 20" (started out as a 24" Sporter Weight SPS). I ended up with 45.0grs. of Varget behind either a 165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip or Partition. Average velocity for the Ballistic Tip out of my 20" Barrel is 2612 FPS (I actually have ran 25 rounds over the chronograph at different times this summer and 2612 is the overall average). Average velocity for the Partition out of my 20" Barrel is 2620 FPS.

I have 36 of the Partitions loaded up and 159 of the Ballistic Tips. Now all I need is to draw a Deer Tag in our states drawing.

If it is any consolation I have used 165gr. Speer Spitzer Boat Tails in the .30-06 for years with very good results and a buddy has been using 165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips in his .30-06 for years with excellent results. I see no reason why the 165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips are not going to preform good in my .308.

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Try Hornady's 165gr PSPBT Interlock Bullets over 45gr Hogdon BLC-2 Powder w/ CCI LR Primers. I use Federal Brass Exclusively. Every animal from Bobcat @ 75yds to WhiteTail @ 235yds that I have Shot with this Load has Dropped like it was hit by the Hammer of Thor! Exit wounds are generally 2-3in in diameter & provide an excellent but usually unnecesary Blood Trail. This load is quite Potent & Slams right through Ribs & Shoulder Bones. Accuracy w/ this load is Outstanding in my 700BDL .308 w/ 1-10 twist 22in Bbl ([email protected]/5 shot group)& is my Standard Load for this gun.

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