Hunting & Fishing Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

21Bravo

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I know each gun is different but thought I would ask and see if I could narrow the field a little.

First off, I'm shooting a factory barreled Remington LTR .308. It's a .75-.80 MOA gun with Lapua brass, 168gr SMK, BR2 primer and 43.8gr of Varget loaded to 2.800.

I have a bunch of Hornady 165gr SSTs but the gun slings them into 4.5" to 6.0" groups at 200yds. This is despite trying varying charges of RL15, Varget and IMR4895. I am using once fired, but match prepped, Federal GMM brass and WLR primers with the hunting bullet as I have a bunch of it.

I also will not likely be shooting beyond 300yds and I usually don't shoot that far unless the conditions are right. Yes, the above load is minute of deer but those groups don't do a lot for confidence.

Thanks a lot,

21Bravo aka
Craig P. in MO
 

Advokaten

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

use the 165 grain SGK then, they will shoot as good as the SMK unless you do decide to hunt as is instead.

I got SST:s to shoot well however I liked the SGK better still for game.

/Chris
 

xringdb

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

The 150 gr. and 165 gr. Ballistic tips have shot well in .308's for me. The 130 gr. Barnes TTSX is another good option for deer. I have loaded them to over 3100 fps. in a 18" suppressed .308. Both these bullets like to be jumped also, which should help in a factory Remington barrel.

Hope this helps.
 

psinclair

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

155gr scenar has worked great on dozens of deer the past 4 or 5 years for myself and hunting buds. I'll bet they will shoot as well as your 168's do.
 

SAKOstalker

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

PGS

How different is the 155 VLD from the SCENAR?
 

psinclair

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

SAKO, They seem to be very simalar....both kill well. I would have to say the scenar has a slightly harder jacket as they seem to dig a little deeper.

scan0006-9.jpg


This 7X7 bull was killed by a friend of mine with his GAP .308 at 700+ meters using the 155gr scenar. He hit him twice through the rib cage. He never went more than 20 feet after the first shot. Both bullets exited.
 

ALShooter

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jrpilot</div><div class="ubbcode-body">168 Amax at 2740fps. Would work great out to 800yrds. </div></div>

This...
I use the 168 A-Max with great results at around 2700fps. Massive internal damage and expands nicely.
 

SAKOstalker

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

thx PGS


toying with trying the 155 and 175 VLD's
 

hamr56

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

I have had good luck with the 185gr VLD's in both my 308 Savage and my custom 300wsm.
 

rocky_lange

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

I had a doe cirlce back while doing a drive and I touched off a full front shot as she came straight at me through a few small pines. Dropped her in her tracks. When I looked at the entry wound, it looked like a 4 blade broadhead had hit her. I was perplexed to say the least. When I looked back to where I shot from, I saw a 1 1/2" pine with the bark blown off. My shot had hit the tree dead center and came out the other side and continued to the deer. What bullet will go through a tree, fully expand before hitting the deer and still kill it from a head on chest shot using a .308? Barnes TSX 168gr. Afetr that shot, that is all I use anymore. I get nearly as small of groups using them as well, maybe only giving up .1MOA over my best hunting loads from other bullets, and only .25MOA over my best target loads. The 168gr are a little overkill for whitetail, the 130s or 150s would work fine.
 

ArcticLight

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: trigger happy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have good luck with 165 SGK's </div></div>

That's what I use and they are phenomenally accurate.

At 500 yards I was actually shooting better with them than I was with the 175SMK.

I suspect it's because I have a 1/12 twist factory barrel but a 2.5" group at 500 was good by me.

As for performance - have never had a problem. They are an all around GREAT hunting bullet.

Barnes - years ago they were sending out free samples so I signed up for a box of them - but they never sent them. So I've never tried them.
 

21Bravo

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

Thanks for the input fellas. I think I'm going to give the 165 SGK a try first.

Craig
 

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Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 21Bravo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I have a bunch of Hornady 165gr SSTs but the gun slings them into 4.5" to 6.0" groups at 200yds. This is despite trying varying charges of RL15, Varget and IMR4895. Craig P. in MO</div></div>

try those 165 sst with 43 gr. of imr 4064, 2.760 OAL they are slow @ 2614 fps, but stay moa through my savage 22" to 550 yards.
 

wfjames22

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have always had good luck with 165 Nosler ballistic tips in 308's, FWIW. Group really well and hit a W TN whitetail like a hammer. I have never tried the 165 SGK's, but I have heard lots of good things about them.
     

    shaggs

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    hornady 165 gr btsp's are pretty good. very accurate out of my rifle. Hold together well in game and penetrate well.
     

    chadg

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 308LR</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have used 165 SGK </div></div>

    +1,these are extremly accurate in just about everything i have tried them in.The only thing i dont like about them is i have experianced a few case/core seperations in the past.That being said even with the seperations the bullet still penetrated enough to never lose a whitetail that was shot with them....
     

    marduk185

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    125 nosler ballistic tip runnin 2700ish outta a 16" bbl boltgun. this load is low recoil from this light rifle and the deer dont seem to know the diffrence.
     

    Ghogs Nightmare

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jrpilot</div><div class="ubbcode-body">168 Amax at 2740fps. Would work great out to 800yrds. </div></div>
    .
    + 1...Works great, similar to a NBT
     

    SmokeRolls

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have had great success with Barnes bullets. The last 3 or 4 deer were with Barnes XLC's in 168 grain. You can't get the XLC's any more but the same technology and design exist in the X bullets. These bullets work great for penetration including blasting through shoulders/lungs/ hearts.
    ...............SmokeRolls
     

    savage110

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I plan on taking my deer with a 178AMAX this year if I ever get them from Midway, if not then I got my 168Smks
     

    elkkid3

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I'm most likely going to hunt deer with 178 AMAX this year. That is if I use my 308.
     

    retrieverman

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have been loading and shooting 165 gr Corelokt bullets in my 308's for several years with great success.
    165 gr Corelokt
    46 grs Varget
    CCI 250 primer
    in Lapua brass
     

    KYpatriot

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    165 Nosler Accubonds - great bullet, expands reliably and holds together, with a great BC.
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    For your distances, I think 150-ish bullet weights are adequate. I have some reservations with longer shots than that, with any bullet, as an ethical issue. Minute of venison expands pretty large as one gets way out there.

    I also think that the very basic factory hunting loads are more than adequate for both accuracy and terminal performance. Win 150 soft point (Powerpoint?) and Rem 150 Core-Lokt Express have always done the job for me with zero complaints. I have also used 165's and they work every bit as well, but I don't like recoil and the 150's work, period.

    Hornady 'Custom' SST loads are the best hunting ammo I've ever used, and will be my choice in the future.

    I have zero patience and zero expectations about hunting load development. The factories make their bread and butter on hunting ammo, and can afford to do the kind of development I could only dream of doing, especially in terms of terminal performance. I think trying to develop a load to rival that is akin to reinventing the wheel.

    Greg
     

    jeffbird

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    Greg,

    It depends on the habitat where the hunting is occurring. In the heavy woods of New York, 150 yards might be a long shot. Last year besides hunting in the South Texas brush country, I was culling on a wheat field in Texas where Central Texas transitions into the arid open country of West Texas and 250 yards was the closest possible shot.

    At longer range with the persistent winds out there, I changed my choice of shot to placement from the base of the neck/thoracic spine to the spine behind the shoulder for an added margin of error.

    This is a 175 SMK from a 308 at 385 yards and was one of the closer deer. This year, I will be hunting in the same area on another wheat field and will stick with the 175 SMK and/or my 7wsm with a 176 Cauterucio. "Hunting" bullets tend to expand, while the "match" bullets tend to tumble through causing some significant terminal performance.

    Some of the factory hunting ammo can be quite good. Once, I tried some Winchester 7wsm with 160 Accubonds at 1,000 and could keep it within 1 - 2 MOA at 1000 pretty reliably. Having said that, I much prefer match quality handloads and bullets as I know what to expect and that's what I practice with.

    The key is to practice with the set-up that will be hunted with, and honestly "know the limits" of that set-up under various conditions and stick to a high reliability shot. Placement is the most important.

    BradyPics005.jpg


     

    jthyttin

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Greg Langelius *</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    I have zero patience and zero expectations about hunting load development.</div></div>

    Greg, you keep on repeating "there's no need to reload hunting ammo" so I got to have my take on this.

    Buying factory ammo is no better than buying a quality bullet and picking a middle-of-the-road recipe from the preferred reloading manual. Most of the time your reloaded ammo is better since you selected a better (more expensive) bullet.

    All bullets work with good placement, I prefer to use either a bit heavy for caliber and bit slower premium bonded bullet (e.g. Woodleigh) or light for caliber and fast turned monometal bullet (e.g. GS Custom). Both give you great penetration and thus some margin for error, which is needed especially in drive hunting.

    I also trade some velocity for lesser muzzle blast, that is I try to use a powder on the faster side. Keeps the whole thing more pleasant.
     

    jeffbird

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jthyttin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All bullets work with good placement</div></div>
    uparrow.gif

    There is the answer.
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    That's fine. All road lead to Rome. For the amount of hunting rounds I fire at game, load development is counterproductive. I'd shoot more in development than I'd ever shoot in the wild.

    No question, handloads can provide a superior load in every way. But for my purposes, factory ammo has always delivered adequate and satisfactory outcomes. I buy the ammo, shoot a few from varied positions to confirm zero, and Voila; I'm G2G. The deer and 'chucks haven't complained yet

    You're right about NY vs the S/W, 150yd about average for our area. For 'chucks, I could go a lot farther, but the .222/.223 is only reliable for terminal energy to about 250-300yd.

    I suppose if I wanted to be an LR Varmint slayer, the .260 could be quite the implement. But our area is mostly agricultural, and I don't like the idea of using a LR capable round in such confines. Our club range is backed up by a ridgeline about 60+ft tall, with about a mile of gravel pit beyond.

    Greg
     

    johngfoster

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    308 win, 178gr A-Max, 43.2gr Varget in once-fired FGMM brass, CCI BR2 primers, around 2700fps from my 25" Bartlein 5R barrel.

    Exit wound:
    dsc1112o.jpg


    Exit wound after skinning:
    dsc1118.jpg


    Other details:
    -Mule deer doe
    -250ish yd shot
     

    BobinNC

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 21Bravo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I know each gun is different but thought I would ask and see if I could narrow the field a little.

    First off, I'm shooting a factory barreled Remington LTR .308. It's a .75-.80 MOA gun with Lapua brass, 168gr SMK, BR2 primer and 43.8gr of Varget loaded to 2.800.

    I have a bunch of Hornady 165gr SSTs but the gun slings them into 4.5" to 6.0" groups at 200yds. This is despite trying varying charges of RL15, Varget and IMR4895. I am using once fired, but match prepped, Federal GMM brass and WLR primers with the hunting bullet as I have a bunch of it.

    I also will not likely be shooting beyond 300yds and I usually don't shoot that far unless the conditions are right. Yes, the above load is minute of deer but those groups don't do a lot for confidence.

    Thanks a lot,

    21Bravo aka
    Craig P. in MO </div></div>

    Craig,

    I own an LTR, and have so for a few years. When I was shooting 168 gr SMK's out of it, and wanted a hunting load, I took the lazy man's way: I just substituted a Nosler Accubond 165 gr bullet for the 168 SMK. Same everything, primer, powder charge, brass, et al. It shot well, and was accurate; maybe 1/4" worse than the SMK. POI was near the same, so no load development or resighting in was necessary.

    Last year, I converted over to Berger 155.5 Fullbore for the LTR .308. When hunting season came around, I subsituted a Nosler 150 gr Accubond, for the Berger. Same load as I use with the Berger, and tested it. POI was a little higher, but not enough to matter, and accuracy, though not match winning was about 1/3" worse than my match load. But certainly good enough for white tails.

    Since I was going down in bullet weight, 3 grains in one case, and 5.5 grains in the other, I did not anticipate any pressure problems, and none arose.

    Maybe I just got lucky.

    Bob
     

    C.West

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    175 SMK gets my vote... Absolute hammer on deer size game.
     

    XL Mammal

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jeffbird</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jthyttin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All bullets work with good placement</div></div>
    uparrow.gif

    There is the answer. </div></div>

    Not necessarily. A hunting bullet provides more acceptable and predictable terminal performance. Case in point, took a doe last year with 168 SMK at 325 yds. Center punched the heart. She made it about 150 yds before piling up. Made her very difficult to find, since there was very little blood trail that we could find. Switched to 150 gr Federal Power-Shok soft points. Two more does and each traveled 2.5' straight down.

     

    jeffbird

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Mammal</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not necessarily. A hunting bullet provides more acceptable and predictable terminal performance. Case in point, took a doe last year with 168 SMK at 325 yds. Center punched the heart. She made it about 150 yds before piling up. Made her very difficult to find, since there was very little blood trail that we could find. Switched to 150 gr Federal Power-Shok soft points. Two more does and each traveled 2.5' straight down.

    </div></div>

    Go with what works for you, but that is not the shot placement I had in mind. The issue to me is which bullet can I most reliably put where I intend? Here is my preferred placement and a whole thread discussing it.

    http://snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads....640#Post1951640


     

    Bugs Bunny

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have used the 165 SKG for many years (yes there are better $$) been very impressed - recovered 2 from whitetails 2yrs ago, each shot at around 100yds angling shoulder hits, load was 86grns 7828 - neither exited the animal, stopped by the skin on the way out.

    We have had deer run 100yds with a fist sized hole where the heart was - adrenaline - they have to be stopped before running to another hunter
    frown.gif

    This deer my youngest son hit at about 240yds last year - same rifle/load - exit hole seen - ran 50-60yds into the woods before stopping.
    phil8ptjpg.jpg


    below to me is asking alot of a lower $$ 30cal bullet at point blank range - should perform well in the nato round.

    165sgkdeer.jpg


    <span style="font-weight: bold">Happy Hunting </span>
     

    ccoker

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have been using the 165g Gameking BTSP and Varget for years with various 308 rifles.

    It has been consistently accurate and 1 shot, clean kill effective.

    My current 308, an LTR with a jewell trigger will do 5 shots I can cover with a dime and under an inch at 300 yards with the following load:

    44.5g Varget
    2.80 COAL
    Lapua Brass (new or neck sized only)
    CCI BR primers

    I have been tempted to try something else for a bullet, but when I run the #s out on a 150, I don't really see where I gain that much of a flatter trajectory unless I really get them loaded at the upper end.

    I am tempted to run the Barnes 165 TTSX, all I use for hunting in 6.8s are Barnes (now the 95 TTSX)

    Or perhaps the 130 TTSX, if I could get it to shoot really well I might as it would be definitely flatter shooting.

    Of course, the 165g GK BTSP shoots so well and is less succeptible to wind drift (which to me is much harder to judge) it's sort of hard to find a compelling reason to change what works so well on Texas deer, Hill Country or deep south Texas. Oh, they also are wicked deadly on hogs, though I do use a 6.8 for the most part on hogs.

    I have thought about the Bergers, like the 175, but it seems they need to be ran really long and I don't know if I could even get them long enough to fit in the gun.

    And when you factor in the cost of the Sierras, 1/2 of the others..
     

    21Bravo

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I realize I'm resurrecting an old post but wanted to do a follow-up.

    I finally got around to loading up some 165gr SGKs. They actually shot just as good as my best 168 SMK load and for all practical purpose to the same POI.

    Thanks all,

    Craig P. in MO
     

    xNF_9

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    Re: Good accurate .308 hunting bullet (Whitetail)?

    I have a neighbor that uses 168gr FGMM. He has never had a problem with them. You have to be accurate and the job will get done.