Good 308 hunting powder


May 31, 2013, 01:43 PM
I only hunt whitetail with my 308 and usually use Varger, IMR 4895, or IMR 4064 to work up my loads. With powder being tough to find I am having to try new ones and I am not sure what to do. Anyone know of any powders around these days that would be ok for 308? I have seen IMR 4007 SSC for sale lots of places and Hogdon lists loads on their website with it - Anyone have any experience here? Should I just wait for my favorite powders to come back?

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Don McDowell
May 31, 2013, 01:52 PM
I use 748 mostly, with some smattering of RL15, in the 308's.
I've heard some good reports on Ramshots Biggame and TAC powders, I bought some of the Biggame to try, but ended up ran most of it thru the 30-30 ai, and never got around to trying it in the other cartridges I had in mind for it.

May 31, 2013, 02:23 PM
I use IMR 4064 in almost everything and a few years back my Buddy and I , mainly to beat the HazMat costs split a 10 Lb. batch.
I have enough for quite awhile and I guess the Shooting gods were smiling down.

May 31, 2013, 03:41 PM
The good news is that almost any powder works well in a 308. Varget and RL-15 are my prefered powders, but 3031,4895, 4064 work great as well. Ramshot TAC is often overlooked, cheaper and still on shelves in many places. Ramshot Big Game could be used with 165 gr or heavier.

May 31, 2013, 03:50 PM
Varget, RL15, and 748. Lots of guys swear by 4064 but I can never find the stuff even before the crunch hit.

May 31, 2013, 04:14 PM
I was using R15 for 165 gr and under and R19 for 180gr. I have recently switched to R17 for all my bullet. Very happy with results,,accuracy is the same or slightly better but velocity is much quicker.

May 31, 2013, 04:19 PM
Anyone heard of Hogdon Superformance powders? I have read that it is not the exact powder used in Hornady superformance ammunition but close. However I see no load data for it. Anyone know if this would work well in 308?

May 31, 2013, 04:53 PM
Superformance appears to be a little on the slow side for .308 according to Hodgdon's burn rate chart. Hodgdon only list data for .22-250, .243, 6mm Remington, .243WSSM, .25WSSM, .280Remington, .30-06, .300RCM, and .300WSM. Looks like it's mainly intended for some of the smaller bore magnum cartridges or they just haven't found the time to test it with other cartridges. I'd look for something between H322 and H414 on that burn rate chart. 4007 would fall into that range but there's no guarantee it will work perfectly for you, get a pound and test it out.

May 31, 2013, 05:21 PM
thanks squatch

May 31, 2013, 05:27 PM
My go to rifle powder is H4895. I reload everything from .223 to 8X56R with it.

May 31, 2013, 06:22 PM
was using R15 for 165 gr and under and R19 for 180gr. I have recently switched to R17 for all my bullet. Very happy with results,,accuracy is the same or slightly better but velocity is much quicker.

According to:

R15 beats R17 with 150's and 165's by 100-150 fps. 180's are only about 30 fps faster with R15. They show no data for R19 in a 308.

I get good results with R17 in my 300 WSM, but I'm not convinced it is a good 308 powder, but would be interested to hear what your loads and speeds are like.

May 31, 2013, 06:37 PM
I have been using WW748 as long as I have loaded .308

May 31, 2013, 07:53 PM
Using a 24" barrel and a 150gr SP at a nominal 2.800" OAL, here are the top two dozen powders in order that pass of the test of:
≤ 55,000psi
≥ 90% case fill
≥ 95% burn

Alliant Reloder-17
Ramshot BigGame
IMR 4895
IMR 3031
Winchester 748
Hodgdon BL-C2
Alliant Reloder-15
Accurate 2520
Hodgdon H4895
Accurate 2495
Hodgdon H380
IMR 4320
Alliant AR-Comp
Ramshot TAC
Vihtavuori N540
Vihtavuori N530
Hodgdon H322
Hodgdon VARGET
IMR 8208 XBR
IMR 4064
Accurate 2460
Vihtavuori N140
Accurate 2230

There's about a 100fps range from top-to-bottom, but the 308Win eats about any mid-speed powder

May 31, 2013, 08:06 PM
In order of most consistent (Lowest ES/SD, best accuracy) results:

1. IMR-4895
2. IMR-4064
3. H4895
4. Varget
5. Ramshot TAC

Most of the deer and hogs I have shot in my life (Around 150 animals total) have been shot with the 150 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip and IMR-4895 in the .308 Winchester. Match Grade Accuracy (Sub-MOA in just about any bolt action rifle, right around .5 MOA in my slightly tuned Remington 700PSS) and excellent terminal performance on game.

Keep looking online DAILY, be prepared to jump with CC info ready, and you can find the above powders. The only one I have not seen at all during this drama is Varget. IME Ramshot TAC will do anything that Varget will do in terms of velocity, but IME it is not quite as accurate on paper or as consistent over the chrono, but YMMV.

Just my .02,

June 1, 2013, 08:52 AM
I like Tac and BLC-2 the best for my 308 loadimg.:) But I have used 3031, IMR 4895, and Varget with OK results in my bolt 308's.

July 2, 2013, 04:35 PM
My go to powder has ALWAYS been H4895. But beware, H 4895 and IMR 4895 are not grain for grain equivalents! I usually have like a 2-3 grain difference for the same bullet weight.

July 2, 2013, 04:45 PM
The last time I bought powder (around 3 months ago) I took a burn rate chart and ended up with Alliant and Ramshot variants. I have always been a Hodgdon/Winchester user but I branched out and found powder that worked and loads I liked. None of my usuals were on the shelf so I made do, and found a couple of loads that worked just as well as my standard ones. Others, most were ok and will keep me shooting until things loosen up a bit.

Mehavey and leoncarr provided what looks like nice lists to get you started.

July 2, 2013, 05:31 PM
My short-barreled Ruger Gunsite Scout likes BLC2 and Reloader 15 best.

July 3, 2013, 05:42 PM
You are lucky because there are about 20 powders that will do a good job in the 308. If 4007 is available you can use that powder. My 2 favorites are 4895 and 4064 but in these times we have to make due...

July 4, 2013, 07:40 PM
I can't believe so many of you are suggesting IMR4064! It's completely worthless in a 308. If you use it you will have to clean just like you would from corrosive ammo in a Mosin except it corrodes faster, your groups will open up to be measured by lattitude/longitude instead of MOA, your bullets will keyhole out the _side_ of your barrel, and will cause male-pattern-baldness even if you're not male.

Maybe that will get enough people to stop looking for it so I can find some. It's the only powder I use that I haven't been able to find. :D


July 4, 2013, 08:08 PM
W748. I've never found a good reason to use anything else. It's been working great w/ my cast bullets as well. I did pick up some Varget but only because it was there. It seems to be a powder that has good results in a variety of cartridges so I found no reason not to buy it.

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July 4, 2013, 08:23 PM
Hey Morcey,

I hear ya, and like your tactics to discourage buyers :).

IMR-4064 rocks in the .308 with one caveat. IME you have have to weigh every charge due to the long powder grains. When I weighed charges thrown straight from the measure they were all over the place, sometimes +/- .3 grains from an RCBS Uniflow, which is unacceptable to me. Weigh your charges, drop charges slightly under weight and trickle to target weight, and IMR-4064 will sing a pretty song.

Just my .02,

July 13, 2013, 10:41 AM
Which is why I love my Pact scale/automatic dispenser. Just dial up my load and it weighs each one automatically.

Still give the cases the old mark I Eyeball test before I seat the bullets to make sure powder levels are equal in the case. But haven't caught the Pact with an error yet.

July 14, 2013, 05:20 AM
Tagging this for ref as I currently load .308 with IMR4895 and will be on the prowl for more powder soon myself.

July 15, 2013, 05:55 PM

July 15, 2013, 06:20 PM
Accurate 2230 has a large number of bullet choices for .308 here...

It's also a great .223 powder.

41 Mag
July 16, 2013, 05:43 AM
My little Ruger in .308 only has the 16.5" barrel on it. I tried out several of the most recommended powders and loads, and while most gave acceptable groups, most were on the slow side for this particular barrel. I simply got more noise and flash than I did performance.

I had used some H-4895 for reduced load for my oldest grandson quite a few years back so I drug out the remainder of that bottle and worked through the entire spread of loads form reduced to top end. I got great accuracy through out the whole spread along with plenty of velocity to easily equal the factory loads I mostly shot.

I tried it in my 03A3's along with some 150 and 165gr bullets with equal results so I simply decided to opt for simplicity and picked up an 8# jug to use for both.

While it might not be the very best with regard to top velocity, or even the absolute most accurate, out to 300yds which is about as far as I normally would shoot anyway with them, it will do all I need to get done.

Flatbush Harry
July 16, 2013, 03:45 PM
FWIW, I exchanged e- mails with one of Hornady's techs in re Superperformance powder. He noted that the powder used in each Superperformance factory ammo load was a different mixture designed to optimize the performance of that caliber and bullet.

For my .308 loads, my preferences are RL 15 and VV N550. I'll be trying Norma 203b in the near future which is reasonably close to these, per Norma's website. They provide reloading data on their site as well.


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