View Full Version : .308 for varminting?

January 18, 2000, 06:06 PM
Could this round be used for varminting at long range with avery light bullet? Or would it still be too heavy? The largest game I would be taking is a coyote. Also, the light-bulleted-load -- could I find that commercially, or would I have to handload that? I am not currently handloading, so being able to find it factory-made would be best. the reason I ask about the .308, is if I got into larger game later I could use the same rifle. I suppose the same thing could work with a .243 or .260 or even a 30-06. What do you guys recommend. I know about the all-around value of the 30-30, but I really want a bolt-action and have not seen one chambered for that. So let me know what you think! Thanks.


January 18, 2000, 06:52 PM
It depends on what you want to hit and if meat loss is a problem. I have hit woodchucks with .308/ one was a gut shot with 150 grain soft point and it gutted the animal, another woodchuck shooting down a hill, I hit with a nonexpanding bullet just in the back of the neck and it just made a nice, neat round hole in the back of her neck without any significant meat loss. If you are shooting at very long distances, a bullet may not expand much after losing much of it's velocity has dropped off, so I would say simply try to find a light bullet and stay away from gut shots :)

"what gives a government that arms the whole world the right to disarm it's own citizens?"

January 18, 2000, 07:03 PM
Ok...so how about the magnum calibres? Could you lighten the bullet load enough in 7mm Mag, 300 Win mag, 300 Wea mag...heck, 338 mag? I am thinking a strong NO...but I am always learning!


January 18, 2000, 07:24 PM
I think there are a myriad of long range, small projectile calibers that actually outperform the .308. The common .223 is a less expensive round to shoot, and is "one of the" calibers of choice for the varminter. The soft-nosed variety of projectiles would certainly make a coyote sit up and take notice. There are a number of others, but the availability of the round makes it attractive to shooters on a budget or even for us reloaders. Good shooting

January 18, 2000, 08:13 PM
My personal favorite "dual-purpose" rifle caliber for varmints and deer sized game is the .243 and I would highly recommend it for your purpose.

The 25-06 would be another good choice and the .270 might work but it's a little heavy for the varmint end. The .308, although a GREAT round, ain't no varminter (IMHO).


January 18, 2000, 10:48 PM
Haha, I was wondering how long it would be before I saw ".243" show up. :) I am definitely going to be reloading the rounds after a while if I get a new rifle. Mainly, I want a calibre that is super versatile with a tendency towards varminting. Thanks for the help!


Art Eatman
January 19, 2000, 09:06 PM
The 110-grain bullet works well on varmints. For a creative handload, take the .32-20 bullet, 80grains, and swage it down to .308. You can get well over 3,500 ft/sec out of it...At up to 100 yards, it's, er, "ruinacious" on small stuff...

:), Art

January 19, 2000, 09:25 PM
Although I'm not truly pleased with my Mod70, I do like its caliber--.243. I'm getting 4000fps+, using 55gr. ballistic tips. If I were inclined to hunt something a little larger than a crow, I could go all the way up to just over 100gr. Check out the drop for a 70gr. .243 bullet at 400 yds. It's pretty flat-shooting.

Dave Finfrock
January 20, 2000, 12:13 PM
Firstly, I wouldn't eat a groundhog if you paid me. Secondly, you won't be either if you use .308.

I've shot groundhogs for about 8 yrs with the .308. The load of choice has been a 125gr. Nosler BT at about 3200fps from the 26" bbl of a Steyr PII. Very accurate and flat shooting to 300yds. And explosive. This round literally blows them apart. You don't dispose of the body, just the largest pieces.

The only real disadvantage to this setup is cost. .30 bullets aren't cheap and the .308 consumes a fair amount of powder. Case life isn't the greatest (PII is a rear locking rifle), with 5-6 reloads being about the limit. I certainly wouldn't use this combo in a high volume shooting situation. But for groundhogs, it's pretty good.

Futo Inu
January 20, 2000, 04:34 PM
Though no personal experience, I've read that many varmint with .308, with 110, 120/125, and 130 gr bullets (or even heavier). Speer even has a 100 gr. "plinker" that can withstand very high velocities without busting up due to spin. Don't know if these are available without reloading though. As far as ultra-versatile, I would think a 6.5 mm (.264), .277, or 7mm (.284) cartridge of some type would fit the bill, esp. 7mm-08, or possibly even .280 Rem or 7mm Rem Mag if you don't mind recoil. If you reload these, reload manuals will have reduced-power loads for a few of the bullet weights, but then again you need high-vel flat shooting for open country varmint shooting. I say 7mm is versatile for one reason because a "light" varminter type bullet of say 110/125 gr (light for 7mm), still has a good BC in 7mm, but not so much in .308.

Oh yeah, another thread in the rifle forum right now made me come back and mention sabots, which are available for .308s, but not for other diameter cartridges. They will neck .308 to .224, so you can use really little bullets. I think you can get 4100+ with a 45 gr bullet out of a .308 or .30-06. One plus for .308. Don't know about accuracy, but that's the subject of the other thread, so we'll see what responses that one generates.

[This message has been edited by Futo Inu (edited January 20, 2000).]

January 20, 2000, 09:18 PM
Does anyone here actually eat groundhog? Do you drag em home and have the wife roast them? Or just fire up the BBQ? Who cares if you blow em up a bit?
I would think the only reason you would want a varmint gun as large as a .243 is if you wanted it to double as a deer rifle. A .22-250, .220 swift, or .223 would be more than sufficient to bring down those tasty little devils at long ranges. :)

bullet placement is gun control