A good dual-purpose 30 cal bullet?


January 21, 2012, 05:29 PM
I'm loading for the .308 Winchester and looking for a good dual-purpose 30 cal bullet. By dual-purpose I mean hunting white tailed deer and bench rest target shooting in the 100 to 200 yard range. What are your favorites?

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January 21, 2012, 07:47 PM
I'm sure there are other good bullets, but I can only vouch for the Sierra Gamekings, because it's rare that Sierra's won't shoot, in most rifles.



January 21, 2012, 07:57 PM
168 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip

January 21, 2012, 08:05 PM
Sierra Gameking 150gr-IMR4895-Br2 Primer-Win. Brass.

January 21, 2012, 08:06 PM
Berger VLDs.

January 21, 2012, 08:19 PM
Dual-Purpose equals doing neither excellent. IMHO

But then a hunting rifle is a far cry from a benchrest rifle. Also MHO

January 21, 2012, 08:29 PM

There is one .30 caliber bullet that is a match bullet AND performs well on deer. It is the Hornady 178gr Amax bullet.


January 21, 2012, 08:33 PM
I would start with Nosler Ballistic Tips. I like them in my .223.

January 22, 2012, 09:06 AM
Those Berger VLD's are $.50 / bullet.

Are they that good??

January 22, 2012, 09:25 AM
+1 on Sierra GameKings.

January 22, 2012, 09:36 AM
May consider standardizing on a bullet weight, with loads at similiar velocitys. Have had good accuracy trials with Hdy 165 sst's, but not shot any game with them. They also have a cannelure and plastic tip, if interested in loading for semi auto and /or crimping.

January 22, 2012, 11:47 AM
I was just reading Lyman's 49th last evening, and the chapter on bullet selection suggests that there is no one "best" bullet ... that target bullets and hunting bullets have different requirements. I haven't tried the GameKings myself yet, but will based on the suggestions of this august group. But I fully expect that I'll be loading a couple of different bullets for hunting and targets.

January 22, 2012, 12:29 PM
I like the Nosler Ballistic Tips. They shoot nice and accurate in my .308 and I doubt a white tail will stand up to a 168 grain BT. As for Bench Rest shooting, they won't win any matches as a rule but you won't be embarrassed either.

Don't overlook the Hornady A-Max as an accurate bullet.

They're inexpensive if you buy them 250 at a time and are a good dual purpose bullet. They are supposed to be very effective on "thin skinned" game. White Tail's should be thin skinned enough.

January 22, 2012, 12:58 PM
Another vote for the Nosler BT's.

January 22, 2012, 01:09 PM
I am not a 'competition' shooter, but my Remington Model Seven really likes the Sierra Game King in 165 grain, over W748 powder. Consistent cloverleafs at 100 yards satisfies me. The deer HATE it though....... ;)

January 22, 2012, 04:00 PM
Gameking or BT or Partition 150 grain. IMR4064, 4895 of W748 with mag primers.

January 31, 2012, 05:04 PM
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Wish I could keep a hunting rifle that pretty. Unfortunatly the momma phrase, "That's why we can't have nice things" strongly applies to the abuse I give my hunting weapons (I would cry the first time I took that rifle into Hell's Hole after elk).

Might try some reloader 15 and sierra bullets in her. Sierra Matchkings work awesome in my .308 and Gamekings (the 165g hollowpoints) aren't far behind. Watch it if you are deer hunting with the gamekings though, a bit explosive at close range.

January 31, 2012, 05:37 PM
Nosler BT again.

180 gr ones can be had fairly cheap in "bulk", look for the green tips ( they stick out in catalogs and online for that reason)

The original that lead to full partitioning with ballistic tips..and its still used :)

January 31, 2012, 07:59 PM
the Hornady 178gr Amax bullet


I have used the Amax 178 out to about 550 yards for target shooting...very accurate and will kill a deer with no problem; the Noslers are excellent bullets as well, but cost a good bit more than the Hornady

February 1, 2012, 04:23 AM
In my 700 ADL Varmint the 165gr GMK and 168gr SMK both shoot to the same point and very similar groups of .65moa loaded with RL-15.

February 1, 2012, 07:58 PM
thomis, I'm sold on the Speer 150 grain boat tail and it's listed as No. 2022. I've shot a lot of big deer with them and they will knock a buck flat with a shoulder shot and they are dead on the spot. Shoot at the point of the shoulder instead of the lungs. I shoot the Speer bullets in several rifles and get minute of angle groups out of both of my Model 70 featherweights. BW

February 3, 2012, 01:06 AM
The 165/168/175 bullet weights seem to shoot very well in 308 chambered rifles in 308 Win, 3006 and 300 WM. I don't load for the 300 WSM, so I can't confirm that across those or the Weatherby variants.

The 165 Nosler BT's (yeah, the green tips) were what I started loading with about 86 for 30-06, and they gave me access to serious accuracy in a Remington 742, not normally noted for accuracy. I continued buying that specific bullet through 2007 for 308 and 300 WM as well, getting working hunting loads that were well under MOA for 3 shots and still >MOA for 5 shots even with a Ruger M77 Mk II and an old Remington 788.

After 2008's forced switch to non-lead hunting bullets in my state, I assembled the rest of the NBT's into 3006 practice loads for my match Garands. They shoot every bit as good as 168 SMK's at 200 yards, though my match load uses the 175 SMK's. Punching paper with quality hunting bullets hurts me, but at least they shoot REALLY well......

Brian in CA

PS The only 150's that I would shoot out of 308/3006/300 WM is the Barnes, and they are as long as a 165/168. That means something, not sure what.....

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