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Old October 6, 2012, 08:54 AM   #1
robertsig
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.308 bullet selection help

I bought myself my first modern high power rifle, a .308 Tikka T3. Most of my other rifles are surplus and have only shot surplus or cheap Brown Bear ammo. My knowledge of bullets in modern rifles is nil.

While I don't hunt (yet) and mostly target practice, I'd like to standardize on a single bullet to do both. I don't plan to reload, but have no problem buying factory ammo or other reloads like Georgia Arms.

Based on a hour or reading, it appears bullets designed for target practice like the 168gr Sierra Matchking are not good for hunting, but the loads for hunting may not make the best target load.

Is there a happy medium? I'd like to stock one kind of cartridge, and work up my accuracy to fit it. Would something with the 165gr Gameking qualify? Is there a midrange bullet that would be the best for all needs?
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:07 AM   #2
WWWJD
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I had the same general theory when I bought my .308; didn't work out so well. Target ammo like black hills, hornady A-max, Federal GMM all shot very well. Hunting ammo was tougher to get the same accuracy. Gameking was the best I tried for group size, but your experience may vary. No surprise, only the most expensive hunting ammo shot like the target stuff in my rifle. Cost and mixed results led me to reloading. Turns out it's not all that difficult to get sub moa performance out of a hunting bullet. I seemed to get the best results with Nosler Ballistic Tip in my limited experience, so that's what I'm going to stick with. The bullets aren't cheap, but again that's offset by reloading.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Just have to try different stuff and see. Generally speaking the 165-168 gr bullets give better accuracy than some other bullet weights. But there are no hard fast rules, every gun is different. The Matchkings do not have an exposed lead tip to aid bullet expansion where the Gamekings do. Shooting at paper targets do not require expansion to kill stuff.

If you want to use one bullet for both hunting and target shooting I'd start with bullets designed for hunting. I've never tried it, but lots of guys report good results on game with some target bullets. The 155 gr Scenars have a loyal following who swear they are deadly on game, although not really designed for it. Some hunt with the Matchkings as well.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:31 AM   #4
Joe Chicago
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I have had great luck with Rem CoreLokt ammo for .308 and 30-06. They have proven both accurate and effective on deer. I just tried various loads for my new Vanguard S2 in .308 and she liked CoreLokt 180gr the best, turning in a 9/16" group with a cold barrel and around an inch with warm barrel. I recommend trying various different manufacturers and bullet weights to see what your Tikka likes, but do include CoreLokt 150gr and 180gr in the mix. The best news is you can always find CoreLokt and in .308 they run just $19.99/box of 20 full retail (they get down to ~ $17 on sale).
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:37 AM   #5
robertsig
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I was looking at the Corelokt stuff too. Any idea if the 150 or 180 performs better in a Tikka? Yes, trial-and-error is best, but I can at least try to narrow it down!
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Old October 6, 2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Try the 150gr first. It works fine on deer.
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Old October 6, 2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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I don't hunt, or use factory ammo...
But, I do shoot the Hornady A-Max in several rifles as a match target bullet- and they can also be used as a hunting round due to their composite tips that will cause expansion.

I would try the 155 and 168 A-Amax to see how they group out of your rifle.

Trying to stick to one particular round of ammunition isn't a good idea, IMO...

If you're precision target shooting- particularly at longer ranges, you need match target ammo. Usually requires quite a bit of experimentation to see what your rifle likes for best accuracy- and that probably isn't going to be a hunting bullet...

Minute-of-deer accuracy at a few hundred yards max can often be accomplished with much less expensive ammo.

Last edited by tobnpr; October 6, 2012 at 02:09 PM.
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Old October 6, 2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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The difference between .5 moa and 1.5 moa within realistic .308 hunting distances is small. If you want to shoot at targets and say "yeah, that would kill a deer if I do my part" using one cartridge in one rifle is a great idea. I do the exact same thing in my rifle but just with reloads. The honest truth is 1-1.5 moa is accurate enough to kill big animals at quite a distance and is easily obtained with off the shelf ammo.

I would think the first thing you need to decide is how important buying locally is to you. That could almost make the decision for you. If you want to buy online I'd recommend starting with the cheap choices and working up from there. I am partial to Fiocchi products over Remington/Federal/Winchester myself and online prices will put you below $1 per round for their basic SP ammo. They also load Hornady SST bullets for a bit more.
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Old October 6, 2012, 06:46 PM   #9
Clifford L. Hughes
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Robertsig:
My pre 1964 Winchester in 3006 shoots 3/4 iinch groups with Nosler's 165 gr. Ballistic: velocity 2,600 fps. Of course, I hand load. If you can find a manufacture that loads them, give them a try. You sound like a serious shooter and if I were you, I would take up handloading. The money that you save by not purchasing match ammo will pay for your reloading equipment,

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Old October 6, 2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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I was playing around with some .308 150 grain Hornady SST bullets as hunting ammo, then found that several of my .308s like them a lot. Really like them a lot. My son's Savage 10 FLP shoots them better than the match loads I made for it using Sierra Matchkings.

The A-Max is actually designed for target work and may be a bit soft for hunting applications, depending on what you intend to shoot with it. While they may be fine for our smallish whitetail deer, they might fail when slammed into something a bit harder. The SST bullet is designed as a hunting bullet and while it isn't considered a premium bullet, like the Accubonds are, the SST is still a good hunting bullet. The fact that it turn in marvelous accuracy is another plus. I had earlier used Nosler BT bullets for hunting, but find that the Hornady Interlock SST is fully as accurate, is less expensive, and is a dandy hunting bullet for my purposes.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:53 PM   #11
Joe Chicago
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Buzz, I was hoping my rifle would like 150gr, but she preferred the heavier round. Either way, a well placed shot will drop the deer.
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:59 PM   #12
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But, I do shoot the Hornady A-Max in several rifles as a match target bullet- and they can also be used as a hunting round due to their composite tips that will cause expansion.
They have a very soft lead core and a very thin jacket- they will likely expand just fine.... and they may hit a bone and turn into sand...... large shallow wound may well be fatal.... just not soon enough that you find the animal before the coyotes do.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:05 AM   #13
Lloyd Smale
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go with either 150s or 165s and buy a box of corelocks, ww powerpoints and fed red box and see if one of them likes your gun. Any one of those choises is all ANYONE needs for deer and black bear hunting.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:04 AM   #14
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Odds are that there will be a lot more paper punching than Bambi shooting.

Once sighted in for targets, it should not take more than a couple of three-shot groups to be re-sighted for Bambi. 20 - 6 = 14, which is way more than enough.

IOW, buy one box of any sort of decent ammo for hunting. For the paper punching, find whatever brand/weight works the best for group size.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:51 AM   #15
robertsig
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It appears all the soft points are 150 or 180 grain. I can't seem to find any bargain 165'ers.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:57 AM   #16
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I doubt Bambi could tell the difference between bing hit with a 150 or a 165 or a 180 .......

If you are that concerned with accuracy (to the point of worrying what bullet weight will group the smallest in your gun), you really should handload. It's not rocket science, and it will allow you twice as many bangs for the buck, with better ammo to makes those bangs.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:23 AM   #17
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robertsig I like georgia arms ammo and use it as my CC ammo and practice ammo in general . It is allways for sale at area gun shows so no shipping. There balistic tips are both fast and very accurate. Even the canned heat they sell is a solid shooter for reloaded mixed brass .There new reload ammo from hunting to target /match is sub moa ammo depending on your rifle an skills. Cheaper than remmy cor lok too if you order enought to make if worth while. I still use there 150gr NBT in my 308 .

Where your at look at UNDERWOOD ammo if you start hunting . The SST bullet that they load is also a very good bullet design and sub moa in my 7mm. They are in west virginy. First time I have change ammo in my 7mm in 20 years.

http://www.underwoodammo.com/308winchester.aspx

You might also try to leave more time between groups . Get some KG-12 for a good barrel cleaning. Do Not use a bore snake. Get a good 1 piece rod and heavy duty nylon brushs to push a patch thru and unscrew the brush , don't pull it back , clean every 15 or 20 rounds too. VFG pellets on a piece of weed eater line with one end mushroom to hold the pellet on it works very well to for barrel cleaning at the range.
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...ELLETS#skugrid.

Simms make an X-RING that does help tune and stabilize barrels. Cheap too.
http://www.limbsaver.com/firearms/sharpshooter.php
This might help with cold barrel shots.
Keep a log for ammo used and how it shoots so even a cold barrel shot can be place where you want it.
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Old October 8, 2012, 07:48 PM   #18
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The best groups I've had in the 308 were with Sierra 150 GameKings. My friend killed a 10pt buck at 275 of his steps (He's 6'7") with this load.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:26 AM   #19
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I get about a minute using the 165 gameking. That would be more than adequate for practice purposes (i.e. position shooting).
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:26 AM   #20
robertsig
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Does anyone sell (yes, sell) reloads using the 165gr Game King?
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:45 AM   #21
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As I'm reading this I think you're asking for a 308 target bullet that would work for hunting as well.

I'm also assuming you don't reload.

This leads me to recommend Hornady Ammo.

In the 308, Hornady mates the A Max in 168. This is a target bullet and according to Hornady and I agree, is not a hunting bullet.

Hornady also makes the 165 Grn SST, which has nearly the same BC as the A-Max, its supper accurate and is a hunting bullet.

I personally think the SST is a great deer/antelope round BUT some times the jacket may seperate on heavy game such as Elk.

Soooo...................Hornady came out with the Interbond. This is basicly the same as the SST, but the jacket is bonded to the core making it a better Elks size hunting round.

Hornady, besides selling the bullets, sells loaded ammo with the SST and IB Bullets.

Again they in my opinion are as accurate as the A-Max.

Personally I don't use the 308 for hunting thought I do use them in a couple of my target rifles. I've shot the SSTs in my target 308s and they seem to work as well as the A-Max.

I hunt with a 270 Winchester. I use 150 SSTs for practice and 150 IBs for hunting. I load them the same. (The SSTs are cheaper then the IBs). Using the same powder/charge, same brass and primers they shoot the same place, at the same velocity. I don't have to change my sights when I switch from SSTs to IBs. I just shoot more SSTs because they are cheaper.

So if I was to recommend a bullet that works for both hunting and target I'd pick the SST. It will work on deer and antelope but I'd chose the same load using the IBs for elk.

Hornady sells both loaded ammo and bullets using the SST and IBs. I'd recommend the 165 grn SST/IBs for the 308.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:59 AM   #22
robertsig
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Thank you Kraigwy
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:37 AM   #23
Lloyd Smale
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150 corelocks. theyll take care of anything youd tackle with a 308 and can be bought for not much more then the cost of loading your own at walmart or other places.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:38 PM   #24
miykael
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Reload

Reloading is the best way to not only save money but get the most accuracy out of your rifle. Also the satisfaction you get is priceless. You can get a low cost kit from Lee or just build your own.

The weakness of the kits and in general are the archaic beam scales, so I would recommend a digital, which on Amazon is pretty cheap (and this one goes to 2/100ths grain)

http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh.../ref=pd_ybh_12

For hunting I love the new Barnes LRX 175s for .308, they are very accurate too (see test http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499228 ) Or use their 165/168 TTSX.

For target, Hornady Amax's are great, as are the SMKs. I prefer the amax.

If you want to got the factory route, check out these tests done:

http://www.snipercentral.com/matchammo.htm (target)

For hunting:
Barnes VOR-TX (TTSX bullets)
Hornady Superformance .308 (Interbond bullets)

The T3 .308 has a 1:11 twist rate (see Tikka website), so you should be good for a nice range of bullet weights up to 168grains. You can try some heavier weights to see how they perform.

Anyway, hope you find the happy medium.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:19 PM   #25
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But, I do shoot the Hornady A-Max in several rifles as a match target bullet- and they can also be used as a hunting round due to their composite tips that will cause expansion.
I use A-Max bullets for Varmint shooting, and they work remarkably well.

I wouldn't use them on a bigger game animal though, there are much better bullets out there.

When I got my 1903A3, I bought a box of the cheapest .308 bullets on the shelf at Cabela's, and ended up with Hornady 180 Gr BTSPs, that shoot great through my rifle.

Definitely worth a try.
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