18" barrel .308 1/10 twist. Bullet Recomendations?


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danweasel
September 26, 2012, 02:38 PM
Hello,

I am about to get my "scout" rifle back from the gunsmith after getting the barrel cut down to 18.5". The rifle is a Stevens 200, .308 with a 1/10 twist rate.

I am also about to start reloading. I have a small amount of experience with reloading but this is my first press of my own and my first time developing loads as opposed to just "making ammo".

Can anyone give me some general ideas as to bullet weights that work well out of short barrels with quick twists? I am thinking about a flat based bullet (as opposed to a boat tail) due to the fact that I won't be shooting past 2-300 meters. At least not at anything that matters, maybe for fun. I have heard that the BT advantage is more for long shots and that a flat base actually is better than a BT up close. Of course if that is dead wrong, let me know please. I am looking to develop both a hunting load and a range load.

I did some searching but still think I need help,

Thanks,

Dan

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MtnCreek
September 26, 2012, 03:11 PM
I like a 155gr a-max over 4895 for a light target load. 168gr smk over the same is also a great load.

For more velocity, Varget is the go-to powder for me. I don't hunt much, but Nosler BT's (160gr or 165gr?) over Varget is a good load for the whitetail around here.

thump_rrr
September 26, 2012, 04:40 PM
A short barrel is no less accurate than a long barrel however your velocity will be lower.

With a 1-10" twist you can go with any bullet weight you want all the way up to 220gr however if your max distance is 300M you can run a lighter bullet such as a 155gr and push it faster.

In my Savage 10BA which has a 24" 1-10" twist barrel I use 180gr Sierra Matchkings.

The reason I use the 180gr instead of the 168 or 175gr is that everyone and their uncle use those and they are frequently out of stock up here while there are always tons of 180gr sitting on the shelves.

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I've had great success with these bullets over 42.3gr of Varget in Lapua cases with CCI BR-2 primers. I get on average 2612FPS out of my 24" barrel.
This load is over the maximum in the Sierra manual but is lower than what many others load.
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Thump_rrr/TgtGfx.jpg

danweasel
September 27, 2012, 10:58 AM
Hey thanks a ton guys,

I appreciate the suggestions. I wasn't sure if I had to adjust my weights after shortening the barrel. The rifle, when it was 22" shot great with 168 Matchkings (what .308 doesn't?) so I am thinking of starting there as far as the target load. And maybe 165 Noslers for deer, just to keep it simple/similar.

Appreciate it,

Dan

Jasper1573
September 27, 2012, 10:28 PM
Consider the Sierra Game King 165 grain HPBT. These are hunting bullets, but they shoot well out to 300 meters. I have printed a 1 inch group of 3 at 300 yards with these on top of 42 or 43 grains of Reloader 15 powder. Varget will also work well.

You might consider IMR 4895 or IMR 4064...they may give you a little more velocity out of that short barrel. I had my 24 inch Rem 700 in 308 cut down to 20 inches from 24 inches and lost about 100 fps. I now shoot IMR 4064 and have regained that lost velocity even with a shorter barrel.

By the way, shorter barrels are supposedly less subject to harmonics and therefore more accurate. I gained a little accuracy when I had my barrel cut down, about .1 MOA.

ArchAngelCD
September 27, 2012, 11:03 PM
Hey thanks a ton guys,

I appreciate the suggestions. I wasn't sure if I had to adjust my weights after shortening the barrel. The rifle, when it was 22" shot great with 168 Matchkings (what .308 doesn't?) so I am thinking of starting there as far as the target load. And maybe 165 Noslers for deer, just to keep it simple/similar.

Appreciate it,

Dan
For practice I use a 168gr Sierra MatchKing and for Deer I use a 165gr Sierra GameKing. With those 2 bullets I can use the same powder charge and the scope doesn't need to be adjusted. The GameKing bullet will take any Deer I come across in Northeast PA too. I sometimes use a 165gr Nosler AccuBond bullet which is a little tougher than the SGK but still doesn't cost a ton of money like the Nosler Partition does.

stubbicatt
September 28, 2012, 09:30 AM
The recommendations of the others is really very good. You can't go wrong with it. As I understand your needs, you are simply plinking or target shooting so to speak? What sort of accuracy does your setup demand? I have found that the bulk pack 150gr Hornady FMJ will hold 1 MOA consistently in my rifles. So for a fun day at the range plinking at stuff out to about 600 yards or so, I find that these bullets work pretty well with a pet load that your rifle likes.

danweasel
September 28, 2012, 10:08 AM
Yes, mostly plinking, with a deer or maybe an elk mixed in once in a while. I am hoping for 1 MOA (the rifle did it before the cut-down... usually...). An improvement would be great but I wonder what the scout mount hanging off the barrel will do.

Thanks Jasper, I was looking for pretty much exactly what you posted-a powder burn to help adjust for the shorter barrel.

Game Kings are a good idea. I don't know why that didn't cross my mind. Especially since I swear by Match Kings.

blzeye
September 28, 2012, 11:04 AM
I have a Marlin XS7S, which I had cut down to 18" & a Rem 700 SPS w/ a 20" heavy barrel. Both have 1 in 12 twist, but I think that what I've found may apply to you. I have loaded many bullets/powders for the Marlin, trying to find a real good load. The best I can get is w/ Hornady Interbond 150gr. They'll shoot 1 1/4" at 100 yds pretty consistently. I shot a 5-pointer at about 120 yds last season & everything worked as expected. There's a guy on marlinowners.com, (dmsbandit), who gave me the idea of having my Marlin cut down. He has had outstanding results w/ his .308, but mine just doesn't seem to be capable of one-hole groups.
Anyway, back to your question. My Marlin seems to like lighter bullets, 150gr or so, & my Remington likes heavier bullets, 168gr - 175gr. What I've found thru much trial & error is that no 2 guns are alike, and you just need to try & try again until you find what YOUR gun likes. Sometimes you get lucky & find it right away, or you get a gun that likes most anything. Sometimes you get a gun that is harder to please than a woman. Well, I shouldn't go that far! But the good thing is, if you just can't please your gun, you can sell the damn thing & try another!

danweasel
September 28, 2012, 04:56 PM
Thanks.

That advice is greatly appreciated. I went into this figuring that would be the case. But if there were some quick and dirty "guidelines" as to bullet weight vs. barrel length/twist I didn't want to miss out.

Well, my scope rings just came in... And they are Medium height. I ordered Low.

Yay.

Jasper1573
September 28, 2012, 05:23 PM
My Rem 700 in 308 has the 11.25 inch twist. The only thing it doesn't shoot relatively well is the 147 grain FMJBT made by Winchester. Don't know why, but these particular bullets are all over the place. I have shot similar rounds that were mil surp and they were okay.

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