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Old February 6, 2023, 10:08 PM   #1
dvdcrr
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Favorite 308 ammo or loads for hunting.

We have got a couple 308s to try, semi autos. I was wondering what are your best loads or factory ammo choices for hunting with your 308s. I am thinking 150-165 gr. for deer. Maybe a coyote or hog someday
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Old February 7, 2023, 04:50 AM   #2
cptjack
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I spent many years developing my 308 load. didnt come cheap ,but got there get a manual and start loading .... 3031 @150 gr
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Old February 7, 2023, 07:53 AM   #3
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I settled on the 165gr Grand Slam over 42gr of H4895, which is 1.5gr below max. Shoots 1/2" out of 2 bolts and 1" from a BAR Mk3 DBM. 1/2" exits and DRT on chest shots. Amazing performance from a 2500fps load. With their current availability, I'd go to the 165SST.
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Old February 7, 2023, 08:00 AM   #4
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165 gr Ballistic tip and Varget. Use the Nosler book . If you need a harder bullet,go Accubond.
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Old February 7, 2023, 08:57 AM   #5
dvdcrr
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Thanks for the tips! any body try 155 gr. Amax?
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Old February 7, 2023, 01:38 PM   #6
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I thought they discontinued the A-Max but are still showing it in a 168-gr load. They have been pushing the similar ELD-M which is available in 155 gr. I've used that bullet with good results. But if you can find them, I like the 155 gr Lapua Scenar better.

The A-max, ELD-M and Scenar's are advertised as match bullets, but the Scenar in particular has earned a reputation as a very good hunting bullet. They also make a ELD-X bullet designed for hunting, but the lightest offering is 178 gr up to 220 gr

I only load for bolt guns and wouldn't recommend any of my loads for a semi-auto. But 308 with any 150 gr+ bullet is more than adequate for deer hunting and IME it isn't hard to find an accurate load.

Unless you're looking for extreme precision or long range work any hunting bullet should be fine. No reason to spend big money on premium bullets for this application.
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Old February 7, 2023, 03:10 PM   #7
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125 grain Nosler BT or Accubond or Barnes 130 grain TTSX pushed by RL7. At 3000 fps it is a pretty flat shooting to 400 yards, and there isnt a deer that you can't hunt with these bullets.
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Old February 8, 2023, 12:03 AM   #8
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.308/150gr

I load for several .308 bolt rifles and a vintage lever... but sorry, no semi's. But my go to .308 deer load that I have used for years is a slightly attenuated version of gun writer/loading authority John WOOTERS favorite .308 number.

Wooters load was 46 grains of 4064 and a 150 gr projectile. I dialed that combo down 1 grain and go with 45 grains and settled years ago on the Sierra 150 gr. flat base SP "Pro-Hunter". That combo runs just under 2700 fps from my 18-20" carbines, and just over from longer tubes and has proven accurate and reliable from a variety of rifles. It is well within the safe limits in several manuals. The Pro-Hunter slug is not exotic and used to be common and affordable, I just don't see the need for premium bullets when using .30 cal on whitetails.

I full length size, seat to C.O.A.L SAMMI spec so that the cartridges will feed in all rifles and put the ammo up in lots of 100. (or used to till components got so short)
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Old February 8, 2023, 09:02 AM   #9
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I am going to try some of this Hornady Black 155 gr. A-max. Listed muzzle velocity is 2850. Thats pretty good. It says it is optimized for a variety of platforms so I think it is tested in AR type rifles for function etc. Hoping it shoots good.
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Old February 8, 2023, 09:30 PM   #10
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My .308 loads are almost identical to GeauxTide's. Speer 165gr Grand Slam bullets with 42 grains of H4064. This load works well out of my Winchester 100 carbine and HK 770 rifle. I used to shoot 150gr Gamekings out of my Win 100 carbine, but found out the 165gr Grand Slams shot better.
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Old February 8, 2023, 09:34 PM   #11
dvdcrr
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couldnt find no 165 grand slams
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Old February 8, 2023, 09:42 PM   #12
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Grand Slams are getting difficult to find. I purchased four boxes at a gun shop about five years ago. I commented to the clerk that they getting hard to find. He looked them up and said the four boxes were the last in his distributors inventory.
Speer will make them again. They do seasonal runs making rare bullets.
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Old February 9, 2023, 07:26 AM   #13
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Nosler 165 BT works great for me
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Old February 9, 2023, 11:24 AM   #14
dvdcrr
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Hund:Do you see that load as being kind to your semi auto 100?
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Old February 9, 2023, 11:25 AM   #15
dvdcrr
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I think they did discontinue the amax but are bringing it back out i the Black loading
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Old February 9, 2023, 11:27 AM   #16
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Do you worry about tip deformation of the ProHunters in your autoloaders
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Old February 9, 2023, 02:21 PM   #17
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My pet load for the .308 is the 165 gr. Speer Hot Core over 49.0 gr. of W760. Winchester brass and WLR primer. CAUTION: Work up from 47.0 gr. which is the starting load in my book. The 49.0 gr. load gives 2640 FPS and develops 50 KPSI for pressure.

My favorite deer rifle is a Ruger M77RSI, the one with the full stock. I got into it on the cheap because the previous own could not find a load accurate enough to hunt with. He was right as the rifle was very finicky. Took two years working off and on, mostly on to find a load I could accept for hunting. I decided a consistent 1.5" would work for me. In the 18.5" barrel I get 2550 FPS and 1.25" to 1.50" consistently. The same load tried in a 22" barreled Winchester M70 gave me 2610 FPS on average and groups running 1.0" or slightly less. FWIW, that is the ONLY load that has given me useable groups in the RSI. I did do a bit of tinkering with relieving the muzzle cap and that was when the 1.25" groups became to be. I've never tried anything else since I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I've lost count on how many deer I've taken with that rifle from about 30 feet to 250 yards and may give it and that load a try on elk if I can ever draw a tag.
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Old February 9, 2023, 04:39 PM   #18
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In the grand scheme of things, what is needed for a quick,clean kill is
A) Shot placement. Load accuracy plays a part."Adequate hunting accuracy" will do. Some "recipes" have a track record of performing well in most rifles.
Yet each rifle is an individual.
For hunting,IMO, we balance multiple factors. Is a 1.25 MOA load at 2750 fps "better" than a 2600 fps load that shoots .75 MOA? I'll leave that up to you.IMO ,a1.25 MOA rifle leaves me with no excuses.

B) Bullet weight...inspires discussion. Weight and construction. A degree of reliable penetration is IMO ,critical. Now,whether that is "blood trail pumping full penetration" or "finding the mushroomed bullet under the hide on the far side" I'll leave to others to argue. Do what makes you happy.
Someone suggested 125 to 130 gr 30 cal bullets at 3000 fps. That might not be my first choice for how I hunt, HOWEVER!!!. I'd have to be a fool to say a 130 gr bullet at 3000 fps fired from a 270 is no good.. the 270 is a respected and effective game cartridge.A 130 gr 30 cal bullet can work quite well,I'd guess.
Do what works for you.

We hunt different styles on different terrain. Some are unlikely to have a shot over 200 yds on deer.. Some expect a typical shot on elk to be 300 yds.

They might choose different bullets. Thats OK. No need to argue!

Typically a light bullet starts at a higher velocity but the heavier bullet may retain velocity better.

Conclusion: You decide! If it works, carry on! No need for us to fight over it.

In my experience, a 165/168 gr Ballistic tip launched with a book near max load of Varget at near 2700 fps can be extremely accurate and reliable in an AR-10 T. (Sub MOA in two rifles tested. Just over 1 MOA in the additional DPMS LR-308L)

Put it in the heart/lung boiler room it kills elk fine at 300 yds.

I'm not putting anyone elses load down. Do what works for you.

FWIW, after we tested and decided on this load, "Handloader" Magazine featured an article on " Ultimate 308 Accuracy load"

They found it to be 165/168 match bullets and Varget.

Is it best for YOU? I can't say. Its sure not wrong for me.
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Old February 9, 2023, 11:38 PM   #19
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I have a Win M70FW pre 64 that I bought new around 60 yr ago. It was first CF rifle I got new. It has survived the keeper rack because it’s a tack driver. I started loading 308 with 150 Spitzers / IMR-4895 for years was my standard load for 308. When Springfield came out with M1A they enclose data for accuracy loads. One was with the Speer 130Hp. My buddy bought a bunch of them and he didn’t like them. I decided to sight in with them and use them on ground hog. I have Leupold 6x on the rifle and it would literally drive roofing nails at 100yds. I took it deer hunting and shot 6pt head on at 200yds with good results and since shot several more with no complaints as well as countless varmits and a few Red Fox. It has been my standard 308 bullet since. I can’t remember all the 308 rifles Ive had. The bolt actions all liked them and only poor accuracy out of 308s were Rem 742s. They had to be loaded with 180s at 2400fps to get acceptable accuracy just to take deer at 100yds.
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Old February 10, 2023, 09:18 AM   #20
tango1niner
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I like 39 gr. of IMR 3031 and a 165 gr. Hornady Spire pt. or Interlock, whatever they call them these days...
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Old February 12, 2023, 09:10 AM   #21
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45gr of varget behind a 168amax/eldm. I've lost count of how many deer have fallen to that combo. Keep it off heavy bone up close or you will ruin a lot of meat.
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Old February 13, 2023, 07:35 PM   #22
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I really like Hornady Precision Hunter 178gr ELD-X. It’s really accurate in all my 308 hunting rifles, and has always performed as needed. I don’t reload.
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Old February 16, 2023, 02:20 PM   #23
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A fat load of Varget, 150gr Sierra Pro Hunter or Hornady Interlock, Win primer in Lapua brass. Sub-minute out of my X-Bolt. Where I hunt the shots are 100-200 yds and that load drops WTs like a bolt of lightning.
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Old February 17, 2023, 09:26 PM   #24
jrothWA
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I'm using the Sierra 165 gr SBT & the HPBT, using 748 powder.
You'll need to figure your favorite powder charge.

Good Luck.
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Old February 18, 2023, 05:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Favorite 308 ammo or loads for hunting.
My favorite .308 Win load for deer hunting is the Sierra 165gr BTHP on top of a case full of W 748 powder.

Created this load back in the 70s, wound up a grain over book max at the time, suitable ONLY in the rifle I worked it up in.

With a powder charge adjusted to be suitable to today's standards, it should still be a fine deer load.
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