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Thread: .308 WIN Projectile Type/Weight Advice

  1. #1
    Member ocium's Avatar
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    .308 WIN Projectile Type/Weight Advice

    Hi All,

    I'm new to hunting and more than a little confused about the array of bullet options available.
    I intend hunting goats, pigs, deer in the bush, so I guess I'd be shooting 25-100 yards?
    Considering my lack of experience, I was thinking something with less penetrating power and better expansion might be a good starting point?
    Is lead contamination of meat really an issue when using SP?
    Not sure if I have the right end of the stick here or not, but does the lighter projectile have more energy (flatter trajectory, greater range, better penetration), with the heavier projectile having less energy (greater drop, shorter range, less penetration/better expansion)?
    I've read a lot online about weight advantages/disadvantages, but I'm still not sure what nose type or weight would be best for my application - 150gr, 165gr, 180gr?

    Apologies for any questions asked that might be considered dumb, and thanks for any advice you can give me.
    kano308 likes this.
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  2. #2
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    Heavier bullet better at range as carries more energy despite being slower. If I wanted the animal to resemble being struck by lightning up close I would load up a 125-130gr hard projectile and drive it fast but for a big standard all rounder I found the 165gr class ideal for smacking stuff up close and out to reasonable range(400+) even out of a short barrel.

  3. #3
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    I am guessing you wont be reloading?

    I would just grab a box of 150grn Blue Box Federal and go shoot shit
    Shootm, veitnamcam, Friwi and 9 others like this.

  4. #4
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    before i discovered the 7mmRM i was a confirmed 308 fan. i shot everything from sabot 47gr to subsonic 240gr.
    but most hunting was done with good old 150gr softpoints.
    we never did figure out how fast the sabot ammo went, the chrono stopped at 5000 fps
    Tommy, Moa Hunter and 40mm like this.

  5. #5
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    Are you planning on Reloading or using factory ammo?

    Cant go past 150gr soft points for general purpose hunting. If you shoot things really close they don't seem suffer from the over expansion and excessive meat damage that can happen with some projectiles like SST. I never had that problem with my 308 and using SST but that was at 2550fps MV.
    I have seen it regularly inside 50m with 6.5 cal 140gr sst at 2750fps.
    57jl and Moa Hunter like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibo View Post
    I am guessing you wont be reloading?

    I would just grab a box of 150grn Blue Box Federal and go shoot shit
    What he said. Or buy Belmont ammo with 150gr SP bullets. Both good value for money and will do all you want for deer and pigs from right there to 300m +.

    I reload with 165gr projectiles, only because I enjoy the process, and I think that 165gr has a slight advantage over 150gr in terms of terminal performance (slightly more energy and better penetration, mostly theoretical). If I didn't reload, I'd use one on the plain 150gr factory ammo mentioned above.

    Lightweight bullets (under 150gr) in a .308 win are really for hand-loaders for specialist application. Such as shooting small animals (rabbits etc) with very soft explosive bullets or maintaining speed for large animals in very short barrels using expensive all copper bullets.

    P.S I love the 308!
    Moa Hunter likes this.
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  7. #7
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    Furthermore I don't see the point of 180gr bullets for general use in NZ.
    superdiver likes this.
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  8. #8
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    Inside 100m it won't matter. Buy a soft point at the right price. And go shooting. Federal Blue box is a good starter.
    Last edited by 284 Gypsy; 30-07-2019 at 05:04 PM.

  9. #9
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocium View Post
    Apologies for any questions asked that might be considered dumb
    None of your questions were dumb. As said before, buy a pack of 150gn sp, and go shoot. Make sure you zap your beast in the engine room or the central computer.

    Take time to practice with a .22 first if possible.

  10. #10
    Member aetchell's Avatar
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    I use 150gr 308 federal generally as well as 150gr subsonic. I've recently discovered 168gr fiocchi 308. Love em. Good grouping in my tikka.

    Try a few different brands and see what you like. I've had good accuracy with the cheap PPU 150gr too.

    Sent from my ELE-L09 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    I actually recently put 150gr sellior & bellot through a mates 308. basically one hole and $35 a box

  12. #12
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    If you reload for the ranges you mention (and a bit beyond) the 170 grain bullets designed for the 3030 are hard to beat, they dont need to be pushed fast and break through small branches and twigs without going to pieces and are pretty emphatic on arrival.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdiver View Post
    I actually recently put 150gr sellior & bellot through a mates 308. basically one hole and $35 a box
    i did try s&b years back, it was good and consistent but was a very dirty powder. hopefully things have improved

  14. #14
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    A lighter projectile will generally have more energy at close range (as well as less drop, drift etc) due to its velocity advantage.
    A heavier projectile will generally have more energy at longer ranges (as well as less drop, drift etc). This is because the heavier projectile does a better job of retaining its velocity, so at a certain point it will overtake the lightweight fast one in terms of energy, drop, drift etc.

    Penetration is determined by something called sectional density (SD). Sectional density is a measure of projectile weight vs diameter.
    In simplistic terms, the heavier a projectile is for a given diameter the more it will penetrate. eg a .308 150gr and a 180gr are both the same diameter, so all else equal the 180gr will have a higher SD and therefore greater penetration.

    Expansion is determined by a mixture of projectile type/construction, impact velocity, and the amount of resistance that whatever you are shooting at provides (eg a more dense target would allow greater expansion at the cost of deeper penetration).
    A lighter faster bullet would generally have more "explosive expansion" (which causes a large would cavity) due to high impact velocity causing hydrostatic shock, whereas a heavier projectile would penetrate deeper, and not blow apart which will lead to deeper penetration and potentially a cleaner wound.

    Basically its all a balancing act - expansion reduces penetration as it lowers the projectiles SD.
    A projectile that blows apart on hit reduces penetration as the remaining parts of the projectile are not heavy enough to penetrate efficiently (the parts or heavily expanded projectile will be a large dia vs its new weight, so will have a low SD).
    A projectile that does not blow apart, and retains most or all of its weight will penetrate the deepest. (weight retention / the SD does not diminish much)

    Ideally you want good expansion which will make a good wound channel and cause plenty of shock effect, while retaining projectile weight (ie have it hold together and not blow apart) which will allow it to continue to penetrate deeply.
    Obviously different targets require different amounts of penetration & weight retention vs expansion.

    That's a bit of the technical side of it..but as others have said shooting deer with a .308 it wont matter all that much as long as you use a projectile that is intended for hunting deer sized game.
    10-Ring, Sako851 and ocium like this.

  15. #15
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    winchester 180grn factory loads SEEM TO/FEEL LIKE they recoil less than the same in 150s and they kill deer sized animals VERY well...they are soft so expand well. I pretty much duplicate that load with a hornady roundnose...
    25-100 yards pretty much any factory load that tickles your fancy will work...dont over think it,buy a soft point load and go shoot stuff...you take out the front wheels and animal isnt going anywhere.the great creator placed the engine room between them front wheels so double good.
    10-Ring and 57jl like this.

 

 

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