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Old August 29, 2012, 08:17 PM   #1
uwtriguy
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All around 308 rounds?

Hey everybody. I'm new to rifle shooting. Actually just bought my first: Remington 700 .308.

My question is (in my opinion) simple but I know it can be open to huge discussion and debate. Simply put: I'd like to know some of the best "bang for the buck" ammo to send down range. I'm never planning to shoot competitively but I'd like to hold fairly tight groups and never miss that 12-pointer in my scope. I also don't want to go broke having fun.

Thanks ahead of time!
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:41 PM   #2
Hansam
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By your own requirements you need to make the investment into reloading equipment and load your own ammo.

It'll be the "best bang for the buck" and you won't go broke as quickly shooting more than just buying commercial ammo.

If you DO intend to buy commercial ammo I buy Federal Powershok 150gr or 180gr SP when I need new brass for my .308. It may not be the best you can get but its fairly inexpensive and the 180gr hits really hard downrange.
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Short of reloading... the best thing to do is go down to your LGS, buy a few boxes that would suit your price point, shoot 'em, and see what you get.
Whittle it down to a few brands and bullet weights... then buy in bulk from an online that does discounted or free shipping.

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Old August 29, 2012, 09:11 PM   #4
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Last post is the 2nd thing I'd do. The 1st would be is find a reloader close to you. You can usually do that by going to your range and asking around. And be his buddy. Tell him you want some accurate rounds tailored just for your gun. Ask if he can help you find that. Most reloaders are eager to help. Ask what components you need to buy. And hopefully he can start low and making 5-6 of different charges and y'all can meet back at range to see results and back and fourth. It usually takes me anyhow about 3-4 days of shooting until finally "presto" you find the sweet spot. You should be able to shoot one jagged hole with that weapon at 100 yards no problem. Something you will prob never see with commercial ammo. Shoot, after seeing results you'll be a reloader yourself. Guaranteed. Good luck in your quest.
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Old August 30, 2012, 02:51 AM   #5
bamaranger
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W-W 150's

Rifles are particulat to themselves, one will like one commercial load, the second something else. I reload, and encourage anybody who is going to shoot much to learn to do the same......but....... the suggestion to search for a commercial load your rig likes is apt.

I have had good luck with W-W 150 gr Power Point ammo, plain old pointed soft points. An heirloom rifle I have will plunk 3 of these sub 1 inch , and another "working" .308 will shoot them less than 2MOA hot, cold, dirty clean, which gets venison. Usually this "common" ammo is widely available and priced OK, if we can even say that these days.
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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If you do get to reload,I can tell you of a pretty good package,and I think you can get close to this in factory premium ammo.

Nosler makes a trio of bullets that have for practical purposes,identicle flight characteristics.It is very likely your rifle will shoot them to the same point,or nearly so.

For target shooting,the Custom Competition 168 grain boat tails.

Game,through large deer,165 grain Ballistic Tips

If you want a little tougher bullet for deep penetration on larger game,elk,maybe,the 165 gr Accubond fills the bill.

As preferences go,I choose Winchester brass.

We've been using Varget.It works real good.RE-15 and H-4895 are certainly good powders,too.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:46 AM   #7
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Browse gun stores and learn about reloading equipment. Then check out gunshows and Craig's List for prices on used equipment. Absent gross abuse, it doesn't wear out.

Most any 150-grain bullet will do for anything smaller than elk. W-W or Rem CoreLokt are good to try.

FWIW, I reliably get sub-MOA with Sierra bullets. Bambi recommends them.
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:20 AM   #8
uwtriguy
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Thanks everyone this is a good place to start!!
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Old August 30, 2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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+1 on re-loading. Lots of good bullets, and components for .308 caliber out there. I have owned several rifles of different calibers in the last 50 years, and have never had any factory rifle that would shoot factory ammo, as well as a carefully worked up load of my own. It is a lot more fun to load your own because you get to shoot a lot more often, for a lot less money, and most of the time wind up with a lot more accurate load.

Most factory ammo in a factory rifle will shoot 3" groups at 100 yards, out of the box. But I have had to shoot several deer, when all I have had to shoot at was between tree trunks with an inch or two between them at most. Two years ago, I shot an 11 point,at 80 yards, that only presented his eye, between two trees, with thick brush on both sides, and I was able to take the eye-ball shot because I knew my rifle and loads would do the job. You just can't get that kind of confidence in factory ammo. Most carefully worked up loads will shoot 1/2 " groups at 100 yards, and when you get lucky, you will get that load that will shoot 1 ragged hole consistently at 100 yards. That's the load that you will hunt with almost every time you go hunting regardless how many rifles and calibers, you own.
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Old August 30, 2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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I'll second the Federal Powershok ammo from wally world. The 130s out of my .270 group great and they're among the cheapest available ammo.
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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I have a store not far from me that sells cheap milsurp stuff from an unknown source that shoots just fine in my gun. I wouldn't use it for hunting since it is hardball and occasionally I have to stick a rod down my barrel to get a stuck case out but accuracy is decent and the price is right. It doesn't cost much more than I can reload for only without the work. Try a can of milsurp and see if it works for you. If it doesn't you can always sell the rest of the can to somebody.
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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I will use a bunch of Winchester and Remington 150 gr SJSP ammo for Hogs and Axis Deer on our upcoming hunt in Missouri. That's using my Winchester Model 100 in .308.

Later for deer here in Indiana we can't use the.308 so I will use either a slug-gun or a 44 mag ruger carbine.
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Old August 30, 2012, 04:03 PM   #13
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I have a friend asked me to load for him some 7MM rem loads, I told him we can start ladder testing for his gun and a couple of days we should find something. He said I ain't worried that much about accuracy that he just wants some hunting ammo for hogs. And I believe most people in this world are in this same category. The just want something to shoot decent. It could group 12" at 100 yards and that's decent. Mil-surp shoots decent so buy some! Factory ammo shoots decent so don't worry about reloading. And if you do reload just make something "decent". Well I don't believe the same way, I expect far, far better than decent. I guess we all expect different things sometimes.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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In the 308s I've owned (4), they shot 50% better with handloads, but if you want MODeer, Wally has the cheapest 150 Remington and WW ammo. For deer, you don't need 180s. If you're going to reload, 150gr Hornady Interlock is a choice bullet at the best price.
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:56 AM   #15
uwtriguy
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Wow, this continues to be great stuff! Thanks again!

For the record I'll be shooting a Remington VTR 308 if anybody has experience with it. My wife's uncle does a lot of reloading, his station is quite impressive. I'll see if he's ever worked up some 308 rounds and pick his brain. For now it'll be some different factory to get the tightest group I can find.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:15 AM   #16
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If you're gonna use factory stuff for now. Go to store and get 5-6 of different brands or grains. And shoot like you said to find tightest group. Then after you find that run back to same store and get about 3 more boxes of same ammo for future. Just make sure they're all of the same lot. Lot number will be on boxes. Maybe on outside maybe you have to open flap to see but they will be the most consistent if they're from the same lot.
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Old August 31, 2012, 12:45 PM   #17
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I owned a VTR that I gave to my son that shot MOA at 200 yards with loads I prepared with WW cases, Varget, and Hornady Interlock 150s. You'll love the VTR.
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Old August 31, 2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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I shoot Varget with 165 gr SSTs. Savage 10FP loves it.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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I've been shooting the .308 for a number of years now and have settled on one load primarlily becaue my favorite .308 Rifle, a Ruger M77 RSI is a one trick pony. As a matter of fact, I have three of those rifle, all chambered to the .308 simply because their previous owners sold them cheap because they could not get decent groups from those rifles. When I got the first one, it took me two years of tinkering with loads before I had one that would meet my standards. Now rifles that shoot half inch groups are nice but really, for deer and larger, just how much accuracy do you need? For this very temperamental rifle I decided tha 1 1/2" groups or smaller would be just fine. After all, the gun wasn't meant to shoot ground squirrels at 300 yards. fter working with all the usual suspects regarding powder with no good luck, it was time to play with powders not usually suited for the .308, at lest for the most part. I will not give the charge because hile the load shoots safely in four .308 rifles, it is to hot for a fifth, a custom Mauser sporter with match grade barrel and chamber. I had decided that I wanted to use a 165 gr. bullet and as I had a supply of the Speer Hot Cores, that's what I used. Brass was Winchester and I used the Winchester standard large rifle primer (WLR) Powder was Winchester's W760. The final load that worked was no barnstormer only doing 2550 FPS from the rifle's 18.5" barrel and groups ran right at 1 1/2", sometimes a hair less. The same load shot in a 22" barreled Winchester M70 does 2610 FPS A while back I relieved the metal nose cap on the stock a little and shot a few groups. The gun now shoots closer to 1 1.4" most of the time. I'm one of these people who believe one bullet weight per cartridge. So the .308 gets a 165 gr. bullet, the 30-06 a 180 gr. bullet and I use 200 gr. bullets in my .300 Win. Mag.
How does that "slowpoke" load work on game? Well I've shot deer from about 35 feet to 250 yards with that load from that rifle. The only bullet I've recovered hit the deer as it was checking me out at 250 yards as laser measured by my wife. The bullet hit the deer in the chest and came to a stop against a back leg, breaking the bone. The recovered bullet was perfectly mushroomed and looked like those in the ads. FRankly, if I could get a shot at 250 yards or less, I would have no qualms using that load on elk.
To give you an idea of just how fussy that rifle is, I got a smokin' del one a large batch of 165 gr. Sierra game King hollow point bullets. The RSI spits them out in patterns, not groups. The gun really is a one thick pony. No matter. The M70 just loves them.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:34 PM   #20
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In the last 30 years I haven't shot a factory cartridge in one of my rifles. In that same 30 years, my Dad never shot a handload. He killed just as many deer as I did. I cleaned my bore religiously and he never ever cleaned his. Heck, he'd put the rifle back in the gun cabinet when the rifle still had mud on it and not touch it till next season. And he just kept on killing deer. He had a pile of 270 ammo that was mix and match. Different makes and even different bullet weights. Didn't matter to him, and he just kept on killing deer. There's a message there somewhere, and I suspect that the message is that some of us are just WAY pickier than we really need to be about rifles and bullets and BC's, and pillar bedding and such as that. Just do what farmerboy suggested and you'll be good to go.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:43 PM   #21
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last post is exactly like me and my dad. He never cleaned his guns and killed a ton of deer, about every 5th or 6th deer he would start missing them. We'd check his sights out and theyre loyabl to be 2 feet off sights (scope) Id sight it back in and he'd be good for 5-6 more years. But he also missed way more deer than I ever shot at! his might be shot in the leg, head, shoulder or butt. About 18 out of 20 of mine were shot in head not to mention if they were way out there he would shoot at them only to scare them away.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:29 PM   #22
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Before I started reloading I'd killed plenty of animals with commercial loads.

I also want to make a point that while I do reload I am not primarily a bench shooter nor am I primarily a target shooter. I do enjoy shooting paper to see how accurate the gun is and if I get particularly good groupings I do get excited about it. If that particular load performs well I'll keep it.

That said I also DO load for "just good enough". That means that if I know I can take game with a particular load out to a certain distance but perhaps that grouping isn't better than maybe 3-4" then well I'm keeping that load for hunting. I don't need to have my hunting loads able to shoot .5MOA so I can shoot deer at 100yds.

The primary reason I reload is for cost effectiveness. I don't reload my own ammo because I'm looking for that perfect round. In face I'm not too keen on having a perfect round for every gun. I like a good all around .308 round that will function fairly well in all my .308 rifles. This means that I'm not looking for a load that will work great in one rifle but works like crap in the other two rifles I have in that caliber. I want one that will give me "minute of kill" in medium to large size game in any of the rifles I have. As it is my favorite load works just good enough with all three rifles I have that I can hit vitals out to 300+ yards on a whitetail. That is considerably larger than 1MOA and even 2MOA. Sure I have loads in my books where I COULD shoot 1MOA or better out of a specific rifle but I actually don't have any of those loads on hand or even loaded somewhere. What I DO have is a large quantity of my "just good enough" loads because that's also what I shoot at the range to keep my shooting up to par for hunting.

The same goes for when I shoot my AR-15's. I have recorded loads that were very accurate in particular guns but I actually rarely load anything different than what is required to make basic SAAMI specs OR mil-spec 5.56. I don't use really heavy bullets (aside from my hunting loads then I load to 5.56 pressures with a heavier bullet like a 68gr BTSP). I load what is basically commercial ammo most of the time. Why? Well its because I can shoot a whole lot more for the cost ammo than commercial ammo and that ammo is "just good enough."

So after that long winded rant what I'm trying to say is that my original post about reloading ammo - wasn't about getting the most accurate possible round. It was about getting a good all around loading that would be both effective at most tasks you set it to AND be cost effective. For me meeting those requirements is more important than being able to shoot the eye out of a moose at 500yds out of one specific rifle.

That's why I also recommended a particular type of commercial ammo - because I've killed plenty of deer with cheap Federal Powershok ammo before I started reloading.

My motivation to reload was to stretch my dollar out for more shots per dollar than buying commercial ammo. Being able to get more accurate cartridges is a bonus but not a priority for me. If I can match commercial ammo consistency and accuracy then I'm happy because that means I can shoot it through most of my guns and be accurate enough to take game. Will I win any long distance shooting competitions with it? Most likely not. Will I continue to be able to take game with it year in and year out? Most like yes.
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:44 AM   #23
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The 150's are probably your best choice for deer due to rapid bullet expansion and wide wound channels. 180's kill a lot of deer each year, too. But they're a better choice for animals heavier than deer in my opinion. Anyone is allowed to disagree.

These two coastal blacktails were dropped where they stood by 150 grain Remington core-lokt ammo. .308 is a KEEPER!

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Old September 6, 2012, 01:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
If you're going to reload, 150gr Hornady Interlock is a choice bullet at the best price.
+1 on the Interlock. We've been getting phenomenal accuracy from my son's Savage 10 FLP, just better than half-MOA with that bullet. In the other .308's we've used that load, it's shot better than "decent". I"m quickly becoming a fan of 150 grain Interlocks.
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Old September 12, 2012, 04:35 PM   #25
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HANDS DOWN - Winchester XP3 150GR. is the best on the market today.

A little pricey for targets, but still a devastating round in all applied uses.
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