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168 Gr HPBT question

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Walkalong, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I worked up a load with RL 15 and Sierra 168 Gr bullets in my .308, but Midway had the Hornady 168 Gr HPBT for $127 recently and I just could not pass them up.

    My question is for those who have shot both, and especially if you have shot them both with RL 15, did you use the same charge or did you need to adjust it up or down.

    No telling when I can pick up another 5 pound jug of RL 15 and I can't afford to waste it, so I would like to at least start in the right direction.

    Thanks. :)
  2. CaptHank

    CaptHank Well-Known Member

    I'm also using RL-15 for my 308's, but I'm using 165 GR. Sierra Spitzers. My ideal load is 43.2 GR. of RL-15, 2.7960" OAL. I also loaded some Speer bullets of the same weight and charge. The Sierra's performed slightly better than the Speers.
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Oh yea, I am loading at an average 2.800 to fit the mag. Not chasing the lands. Running 2700ish from a 24" chrome barrel. (FN-SPR)

    Thanks Capt.
  4. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Well-Known Member

    Can't speak of .308 and RL15, but I've used both projectiles in -06 with Varget and 4895. The way I see it, there's not much difference and I've always used the same load. Both are great bullets, and the Hornady's are a little bit cheaper. Hornady has been getting my business for the last couple of years.

  5. wendellgj

    wendellgj Well-Known Member

    We like the Hornady 168 HPBT .308 Cal. for our 30 06 and 308 rifles. H4895 and RL 15 respectively. I like to lighten up and find a nice accuracy load for each rifle we are using. Chronograph and learn the trajectory of these exceptional bullets for the money. Many other fine bullets out there but when talking what we can afford to shoot that have a very good ballistic coefficient we have to choose like you did. I have some other rifles that work best with smoking hot loads.
  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    I've shot Hornady, Sierra and Nosler 168 grain BTHP bullets in 308 Winchesters and no load adjustment was needed with IMR 4064. While I've never used RL-15 in a 308 Winchester, it's my go to powder for several other cartridges and I've never had to adjust charges for bullets of the same weight even when switching from a jacketed lead core bullet to Barnes bullets.

    I haven't shot Hornady BTHP bullets for a long time but way back when I used them, Sierras were significantly better. At that time Sierra bullets were also better than Noslers but when I tried Noslers again a few years ago, I found them to be every bit as good as Sierra offerings.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Thanks for responding Grumulkin. I'll try them with the same charge and see what happens. Hopefully I will not be disappointed. I had a box of 100 Hornadys that I used to fireform the new brass with, and they shot reasonably well like that. Right after that is when everything (bullet wise) disappeared. I was able to buy 300 Sierras from a kindly THR member, worked up my load with those and shot a couple of F Class matches with them. Those are almost gone, and I figured I just had to try the cheaper Hornady again.

    Thanks everyone.
  8. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Thanks Don.
  10. Fredo0621

    Fredo0621 Well-Known Member

    My load data for the 175 MK, 178 AMAX, and 178 BTHP are all the same. I would believe it would be the same for the 168 class as well.
  11. claiborne

    claiborne Well-Known Member

    I have no personal experience with RL15, but....

    .....I too have used Nosler, Hornady and Sierra 168gr bt match bullets interchangeably with the same charge of IMR 4064 for my .308 M1A and with the same charge of IMR 4895 for a previously owned 30-06 M1.

    At 200 yards on paper there was slightly noticeable differences in grouping and points of impact. There was just enough difference to keep the loads separated by bullet flavor in baggies in my ammo can. The accuracy nod seems to slightly favor the Sierra then Nosler then Hornady.

    However, in the case of both rifles and all three bullet types for both rifles, shooting steel at 200 yards and shooting short range action matches at steel and cardboard, the load differences were negligible and now my M1A ammo can is filled with 308 rounds that have the same 4064 powder load, same primer, same OAL, and one of three types of .308 168 gr bt match bullets (depends on what's on sale). And to even upset this apple cart a little more.....I load my M1A magazines with handful of ammo out of the can without regard. Is that an ammo sin?

    I hope this helps even if I can not reference experience with RL-15 for you.

    Have a great day............
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Thanks, that is very helpful information. I'll start with the same charge, and tweak it if I think I need to. Thanks everyone.
  13. Dontkillbill

    Dontkillbill Well-Known Member

    I like the 168 hpbt they are cheap enough and accurate. I can usually stay under MOA at 300 yards. There are better bullets out there but for the price and the minor difference I'll use the 500 of these up quick enough.
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    One loads for the bullet weight. Who made it or its construction doesn't matter.
    You may want to look into working up a load with IMR4064 though. I see Alliant doesn't give on-line data for RL15 for all brands. Not that it matters. They want you to buy their book.
  15. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    Look on recobstargetssupply.com for sierras and 3rdgss.com for nosler. Ive only had to adjust seating depth when switching between the two
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Actually construction does matter, but in this case all the 168 gr match bullets are constructed similarly.
  17. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Well-Known Member

    I use 43.5 RE-15 with the Hornady 168 AMAX and the Hornady 168 OTM in two bolt guns and the load is accurate with both bullets and no pressure signs.
  18. Poper

    Poper Well-Known Member

    I have used a lot of Hornady bullets over the years. What I have found is that you can get very good performance from them if you take the time to sort them in accordance to diameter and weight. I have had bullets of the same lot but different boxes vary as much as 2.2 grains - heaviest-to-lightest. I have had different lots vary as much as 6 grains. I think a 50% yield keeping the tolerance to +/- .1 gn, is fairly average, but it is not unusual to get 40%. I keep the culls for practice and early load development. But when it comes to precision ammo, I always use the weight & diameter match sorted bullets.

    Bullet diameters seem to be somewhat more consistent, but it is not unusual to see them vary by .0003" to as much as .0007". Some folks say those variations are normal and nothing to worry about. Mebbe so. But I know it shows up noticeably in group size in my Tikka .30-06. Nowadays I use Berger 168 grain VLD Match bullets for hunter class Metallic silhouette, when I can get them. When I cant, I use matched Hornadys.

    I hope this is helpful.
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Yes, thanks.

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