Seeking soft-shooting 3Gun .308 load


Zak Smith
August 25, 2003, 11:17 PM
Ok, I'm sending my AR-15 off for some work and am going to use my FAL in the meantime at local 3Gun matches, so....

I'm looking for a good soft-shooting .308 load for a FAL. Major is 340PF so I need a 150gr at 2300fps. The local matches won't have shots over 175 yards, so I can deal with the 4" of drop (if I sight in at 50 yards).

Using 150gr Ballistic Tips (I've got a bunch on hand), I get 2558fps with 44gr Win748, and 2487fps with 41gr W748. Both of those cycled the action fine with "room to spare" - ejecting cases over 10', and the gas port wasn't even closed all the way.

If I extrapolate from those two points, it's about 24fps per grain of powder, meaning that to get down to 2300fps, I need something like 34 grains. That seems WAY low and I know extrapolating does not work with load data,

Most of the reloading data does not go below 41-44gr Win748, but the Lyman data goes down to 38gr for a 151gr cast lead bullet.

Any suggestions?


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Dave R
August 25, 2003, 11:50 PM
Just to give you two more data points, the Speer manual gives two reduced loads that may be lighter than you need, but you can work up from there. They are:

-130gr bullet, 29 gr. I4198 for 2185 fps

-150 gr. bullet, 25 gr. of SR4759 for 1925 fps.

August 26, 2003, 12:16 AM
You might take a look over at They have a reduced load calculator that is darn handy. (Lower left part of the homepage)
I use 37grs BL-C(2) with 180grRN in my .303British for about 2200fps. Burns clean, low recoil. I am sure you would be happy with BL-C(2) in your .308. Years ago I used a reduced load of BL-C(2) with Speer "Plinker" bullets. Do not remember the load, just remember it would just cycle the action on my HK91 and toss the brass about two feet away. A gun I traded away in a fit of stupidity.:banghead:
Let us know what you come up with.

August 26, 2003, 07:39 AM
i put together a soft-shooting load for my 308 using h-322 and 150 flat-base hornadys. have no idea if it would work in an auto, but my bolt fed and extracted just fine! :D

Zak Smith
August 26, 2003, 11:33 AM
Well, I was hoping to use a powder I've already got: IMR4895, W748, and the rest are slower. I do have some #2400 around, but I don't think that'll reach to 2300fps.


August 26, 2003, 08:58 PM
Try 27 of WW748. Below the Sierra book, but it cycled an FN with the port vent closed one notch away from totally closed, IIRC. Maybe 2200 fps, but you can work up.

Cases, however, were quite sooty. G.I. brass apparently has a bit of a slow time sealing up the chamber.

Zak Smith
August 28, 2003, 04:29 PM
Tried 38.0gr Win748 with Nosler 150gr BT. Got about 2340fps out of a 21" FAL. Cases were ejected over 15'.


August 28, 2003, 04:53 PM

Damn!! I feel your least satisfy my curiousity--what'd you get for the '91?

September 1, 2003, 02:19 PM
For barrel break in on my M-1A I used 40 gns of IMR-4895. It was barely major and the cases werent flung into the next county. 4064 and Varget win for accuracy.

You might want to shift to a heavier bullet for the softness factor. I prefer a sharp fast recoil. In 308 I shoot 155 Sierra Palmas and 110 Speer TNTs. You can get the Palmas in bulk a lot cheaper than the Noslers.

Just remember that if you come down to Pueblo for 3-gun, know your zeros from 75 to 420 yards and bring a lot of shotgun ammo.

Dave R
September 2, 2003, 12:09 AM
This weekend I tried a new lite load in my .308. 29 gr. of H335 pushing a 150fr. bullet. Was very accurate in my rifle. 6 shots in just over an inch at 100 yards. Nice thing is, with the scope zeroed for full-power 150 gr. loads at 200 yards, this load is right on at 100 yards. Convenient.

Zak Smith
November 6, 2003, 04:37 PM
Here's a long-overdue update.

Using 38gr W748 and Win rifle primers, I had bad ignition.

I went back to 41gr W748 with Magnum primers and 155gr Palma and ignition is great. I figure it's around 2400fps.


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