160gr Hornady FTX .308 -- .308 win?


March 2, 2013, 03:34 PM
Okay so this is somewhat embarrassing. In my effort to find something--anything!--at the store to reload, I picked up a box of Hornady 160gr FTX bullets, item #30395.

Naturally, I get home, look in the Hornady manual under .308 Winchester and don't see it. I also noticed that the cannelure looks to be farther forward on the real bullet than on the box (see picture).

I looked on Hornady's website (see other picture) and...Apparently this is a round designed for 30-30?!?! :banghead:

I missed the tiny little "30-30" in the corner of the label. Of course, 160gr is not really typical of .308 win bullets per se, so there is a clue, but I just didn't analyze it too far in depth.

My question is, can they be loaded in .308 win? I have read online that it is a thinner jacket and could tear apart in a faster cartridge. The manual has this bullet in 30-30 pushed up to 2300 fps. If I stay at or under that, is there any other concern? Aside from the cannelure being way out of the case and looking weird.

Thanks all.

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March 2, 2013, 03:42 PM
Yes, you can shoot them.

Yes, they may or will come apart at normal .308 Win pressure & velocity.
I would use 165 grain .308 starting load data.

No, I would not seat them to the cannulure.
Seat to something similiar to a normal .308" loaded OAL.

No, it would not be a good idea to use it for big game hunting.


March 2, 2013, 03:48 PM
RC, thanks for the response!

That was my thought...to use 165gr starting loads, which should keep it well under 2300 fps. I had no intention of seating TO the cannelure. I was just saying, that seated to an normal ~2.75" depth, they will look funny, with the cannelure an 1/8" or so from the case mouth.

I also don't plan to use it for any hunting :) I just needed something to load and shoot! I'll report back if they hit the target in one piece.

Thanks again.

March 2, 2013, 04:15 PM

I did the SAME thing except... I bought the bullets intended for the .308 Marlin Express #30396, instead of the bullets for the .30-30 #30395. Sooo funny. I would try to sell them in a local classified and get the bullets you really need instead of trying to make it work. Someone out there is bound to trade you. Heck I would trade for some .308 Interlocks except for the cost of shipping.

At least now I know I am not the only one... LOL

March 2, 2013, 04:34 PM
I started to get some to work up a light recoil in my 308 (30-30 velocity). When I was looking at them I noticed that the ogive taper is more blunt than a normal 308 win bullet. You may have to seat deeper than normal to get them to chamber. I ended up just using 30-30 rn bullets.

March 2, 2013, 04:41 PM
I use .308 bullets designed for the 30-30 and the .308 round interchangeably. Of course, taking precaution with pointy (the proper technical term) bullets in tubular 30-30 magazines.

March 2, 2013, 05:10 PM
That FTX was designed to give 30/30s a much better performance by making it "pointy" yet keeping them safe in tubular mags. I hope it works for I have loaded them in '06s and 51s plus the 30/30s.

March 4, 2013, 03:08 PM
Just to follow up on this, I ended up loading them with the minimum charge according to Hornady that should have given me about 2100 fps. I also seated them to 2.700" and had no issues with chambering.

The result was a very mild recoiling .308! They chrono'd at about 2,000 fps average (although the spread was about 100 fps), so a little lower than published, and were not very accurate to be honest. But, at least the box wasn't useless to me. Maybe I will have a "newb load" for my rifle, in case I ever teach someone to shoot it.

March 4, 2013, 04:25 PM
I used the 30-30 FTX in 308MX until the MX bullet came out. Couldn't tell any difference even with LeverE powder. The cannular is a problem as you can't crimp there, just FCD them.

March 4, 2013, 04:55 PM
I did the same thing. I'm picking up any .308 bullets I can find. Here's what I got from my tests....

100 yards, 24" bbl, 1:10 twist

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

March 7, 2013, 03:33 PM
No need to download so much. Hornady rates that bullet for 1800 - 2600 fps. They publish the spec at the front of their manual. Load away! :D

March 7, 2013, 05:08 PM
All I have are LR magnum primers. That's the reason for download.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

March 7, 2013, 09:20 PM
I bought FTX online because it was one of the few in 160--168gr bullets available in 30 cal. The previous response was correct when he said the ogive (shape of the bullet) is more blunt than most 308 Win bullets. I experimented and used 38 grain of Varget to load the bullent in a 308 Winchester case (overall length at 2.600"). The result was an estimated MV of ~2580 ft/sec much like a regular 30-30. I suspect there are some powders that would do better. I was sure enough of the load to try it in my own rifle. I recognized I was in unfamiliar territory so the first shot was fired from ~15' feet behind the weapon (the rifle in a lead sled with a string tied to the trigger)--better safe than sorry. After that the first two 3 shot groups (fired while holding the weapon normally) were <1" @ 100 yds and the cases showed no evidence of excessive pressure. Light recoil but not the range of a regular 308 Winchester load--like I said, shoots like a 30-30.

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