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Old March 27, 2008, 10:56 AM   #1
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.308 deer hunting loads?

I know I posted a thread before asking for .270 deer loads, but I decided to go with a rifle chambered in .308 instead. So, I need advice for some good solid .308 deer hunting loads. Most shots in my area will be anywhere from 50 - 200 yards out.

Thanks for any input.
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Old March 27, 2008, 01:16 PM   #2
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Old March 27, 2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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I've been there often but as a rifle newbie, how am I to know which loads are best suited for deer?
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Old March 27, 2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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For .30 caliber deer hunting and ~2700fps velocity or so, you'd be best served by keeping your bullets in either the 150gr or 165gr weights. There's mountains of different bullet designs out there to choose from, but one of the cheapest, reliable and popular choices available are the Remington PSP series of bullets.

My M1A shoots the 165gr Remington PSP's almost exclusively, except for when I feel a need to shoot match-grade ammunition using 168gr BTHP projectiles.

If deer are small in your neck of the woods, go with the 150's. If your rifle doesn't like them for whatever reason, move up to the 165's (or go with the 165's if the deer are bigger).

My three cartridges I load for my M1A are:
1. Remington 165gr PSP - practice and deer/antelope - 80% of my shooting.
2. Hornady 165gr BTSP - elk - 5% of my shooting (sight in and hunt, that's it)
3. Hornady 168gr BTHP - target/match/accuracy - 15% of my shooting
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Old March 27, 2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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What Brand

What brand .308 did you go with. I've found the .308 to be accurate enough no matter what you throw thru it (in reason). Case in point, me and my brother-inlaw were loading some rounds for his new .308, Ruger MK2 I believe. The first loads we ran thru it shot a 1 inch group at 100yds and 1.25 at 200. Like the guys said, go to Hodgdon and pick a starter load. I like nosler bullets myself. But any of the loads on the hodgdon site will be fine. I've used Benchmark and have been real accurate with it. Also what does your reloading manual say? Not quite sure exactly what you are looking for when you ask for a "good hunting load". but the loads that you will find at Hodgdon and in your manual will sure as heck kill a deer. It's just finding the right combo for your rifle. I've hunted in PA, my dad lives there. I'd go with a 165gr bullet. He uses a .44 Mag marlin Lever action. Knocks them down hard. But pick a bullet, powder, and a starting point. Find what fits your rifle and that will kill the deer.
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Old March 27, 2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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We've had really good results with 150s at around 2700fps and 165s at a measly 2400fps or so (haven't tried some nice hot 165s yet)

All bullets 150s and 165s have been Hornady SP bullets

the closest shot was a lasered 153-155yrds with the 165

the 150s were all around 200-230yrds
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Old March 27, 2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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Any 150 grain hunting bullet will do, but work up a load using 165 grain hunting bullets with IMR4064 and you'll be set for any game you care to hunt.
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Old March 28, 2008, 09:32 PM   #8
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If you get your loads from the Hodgdon site, you can get loads for WW 748, BLC2, H335, and a host of other good propellants. Varget seems to be getting some good reviews, but I haven't tried it yet. I use 748 for the 150s and 165s, and H380 or 760 for the 180s.
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Old March 30, 2008, 06:02 PM   #9
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Here's a load that has worked excellent in my 308 for both deer and hogs.

45.5gr IMR4064
Speer Hot-cor 150gr SP
Win Brass
WLR Primer

I figure its around the 2600 to 2700fps mark.

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Old March 30, 2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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45.0 grains of H4895 under the Sierra 150 Matchking produced 2730 fps average today from the 20" barrel of my Savage 99 and kept the shots I didn't screw up well under 2" at 210 yards. I'll substitute a 150 Nosler BT eventually and probably never want for another deer load for this rifle.
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