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Old December 2, 2000, 08:35 PM   #1
Zak Smith
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Join Date: December 12, 1999
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Posts: 2,675
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question, but I will be reloading for this purpose, so..

How do I find out what minimum velocity various bullets will expand sufficiently, e.g., in medium-sized game like deer? In other words, is there any reference of terminal ballistics for different bullets at different velocities?

The reason I ask is that I was running some .308 loads through a chrono, the same load in my 18" .308 was about 200fps slower than my 20" .308.

In particular, from the 20" rifle, I was getting around 2700fps with a 150gr bullet. 2500fps in the 18" seems a little slow, so I am considering making up some 110 or 125/130gr loads for this rifle.

Any suggestions?


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Old December 3, 2000, 10:54 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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Appreciate the chronograph info. Every now and then somebody disagrees with the notion of a 100 ft/sec loss in velocity, per inch of barrel shortening...

I gues it depends on the usual shooting distance for your deer hunting. If you rarely shoot at a deer over 200 yards, I wouldn't even worry about it for a moment. After all, you're still a lot faster at the muzzle than a .30-30.

FWIW, the Sierra 150-grain SPBT seem to open up more than some other brands of bullets and even the Sierra 150-grain flat-based soft points. You might try the SPBTs, to deal with the lesser velocities.

The 125/130-grain bullets are plenty good for deer. Obviously, you can crank them out at a higher velocity. Since I've killed around twenty deer with an 85-grain .243 bullet, I'm sorta unconcerned about your "big ol' heavy bullets".

Hope this BS helps,

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Old December 3, 2000, 11:46 AM   #3
Stephen A. Camp
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Join Date: April 16, 1999
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Hello. I've had fine luck in terms of accuracy and putting whitetail deer down with a 130 gr Hornady Spire Point over 51.5 gr. W748 in WW cases, ignited by a Remington 9 1/2M primer. Velocity is around 3100 ft/sec from my A-Bolt. Unfortunately, my Remington 700 does not like that load as well and gets only about 1 3/4" groups with it. The A-Bolt puts 3 @ 100 yards into about .6". Best.
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Old December 3, 2000, 04:46 PM   #4
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Smithz. I'm curious as to what loads you were using? I can get 2550 FPS with a 165 gr. bullet from my 18 inch barreled .308. I settled on that weight, and have never chronographed the 150 gr. load I used to use.
Anyway, E-mail me and let's see what we can work out.
Paul B.
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Old December 3, 2000, 06:55 PM   #5
Zak Smith
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Join Date: December 12, 1999
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Posts: 2,675
What loads ?

Good question Paul. Here's the information:

Rifle: 18" FN-FAL type, gas tuned so it would not eject. I did a short study and determined that the gas setting made basically no noticable difference to muzzle velocity, FWIW. The 20" was also a FN-FAL type.

Environment: 800' elevation, 18 degrees F.

Remington Factory 150gr: 2548, 2568 fps in 18"; 2686, 2697, 2718 fps in 20"

Radway Green mil-surplus, 150gr: 2534, 2519, 2548, 2540 fps in 18"; 2729 2720 2741 2729 fps in 20"

Load I was testing: 150gr SP over 46 .. 50 gr of WIN 748. OAL ~2.74".

46gr: 2518 2510 fps in 18"; 2650 2655 in 20"
47gr: 2471 2500(??) in 18"; 2711 2758 in 20"
48gr: 2545 2571 fps in 18"; 2772 2875 in 20"
49gr: 2599 2603 fps in 18"; 2826 2832 in 20"
50gr: 2692 ---- fps in 18"; 2881 2898 in 20"

For the 18", no primer "cratering" or other signs of overpressure were present in any of the fired cases. For the 20", there was slight cratering in one of the 49gr primters, and both of the 50gr primers.

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