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Barrel twist rate for .308 bolt rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sgtb, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. sgtb

    sgtb Well-Known Member

    What is a good barrel twist rate for a bolt action in .308?...I am thinking of buying one of Remingtons SPS Varmits in .308 and not sure if their 1-10 rate is the way to go or not. Also does anyone know the difference between the varmit and the police model?
  2. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member


    The rate of twist required for a .308 is not in a narrow range. Either 1-10" or 1-12" will work just fine.

  3. CDignition

    CDignition Well-Known Member

    1:10 is a,most too fast...but makes the 190 Gr boolets work ok... the optimum is 11.25:1
  4. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    I like the 1/10's, really.
  5. Quintin Likely

    Quintin Likely Well-Known Member

    The varmint and police Remingtons are 1:12.

    .308 twist rate really doesn't matter too much, unless you're out to make the US Palma team or something. If anything, I'd err on the faster side of twists available, in case you get a wild hair someday and want to shoot 190+ gr. bullets.
  6. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    mine has a 1-10 twist and works bueno.

    Mind you I haven't shot anything in it lighter than 147's but the 180's I shoot alot of. Haven't tried the 190 and 200 gr bullets. Its all built on a long action so I can technically seat the bullets without intruding on powder space. A nice option. :)

    I know Nosler has some nice 125 BT's IIRC that I would like to try out, though.

  7. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    The 1 in 14 will stabilize up to a 150 grain bullet (custom barrel).

    The 1 in 12 will stabilize up to a 168 grain bullet nicely.

    The 1 in 10 will stabilize up to a 220 grain bullet nicely.
  8. YodaVader

    YodaVader Well-Known Member

    Mainly the stock - the SPS Varmint has an inexpensive (I'll say it -cheap:) ) injection molded plastic stock. The Police versions have the much more expensive HS Precision stocks that have some type of kevlar/fiberglass laid up around an aluminum bedding block.

    I thought of buying the SPS and then switching the action over to my spare HS stock.
  9. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Bunk!!! As said earlier, the twist rate to stabilize bullets in a .308 is not that narrow. Guys everywhere are shooting 175SMK's out of 1-12" twist barrels, and additionally, most 1-12" twist barrels will stabilize the 190SMK bullet (including mine). Also, a friend of mine has shot the 240SMK bullet out of his 1-10" twist .30-06 and reports that the bullet stabilizes fine, even though Sierra says that bullet requires a 1-9" twist. There's no substitute for actual testing.

  10. chris allen

    chris allen Well-Known Member


    I have built many sniper rifles using 1-12 twist 168 gr and 175 gr. bullets.
  11. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

    Quite true....

    A 1-12 twist will staiblize the JLK 190 grain VLD in a .308 just fine.

    The recommended twist for the JLK 210 VLD that I make is 1-10".... though a 1-11" MIGHT work in some rifles.

    Best to all,

    Garands forever
  12. Quintin Likely

    Quintin Likely Well-Known Member

    I've shot 175s out of my 1:12 Remington 700 with good results.

    A general overall reminder, remember that bullet length influences necessary twist more than weight does. Weight has to do with it some, yes, but length matters more in terms of twist necessary to stabilize the bullet.
  13. Will Learn

    Will Learn Well-Known Member

    Savage reccomends 168gr SMK for their .308 rifles(1:10 twist rate) and my Stevens model 200 seems to agree.
  14. MrDig

    MrDig Well-Known Member

    From Shilen


    - 8" for bullets heavier than 220gr.
    - 10" for bullets up to 220gr.
    - 12" for bullets up to 170gr.
    - 13"* Ratchet rifled 4 groove
    - 14"* for bullets up to 168gr.
    - 15"* for bullets up to 150gr.
    - 17"* for bullets up to 125 gr.

    So that is what a custom Bbl manufacturer has to say on the subject.
  15. aspade

    aspade Well-Known Member

    1:10 is faster than the ideal, but other than blowing the jackets on varmint bullets at 4000fps which you can't do in a .308 anyway overstabilization doesn't do any harm.

    My 1:10 Savage does great with 147-175 grain bullets, which are all I've ever put through it.
  16. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of the old con: "You going to believe what I'm telling you, or what you see with your own eyes". If you want to just dig up stuff from the internet, you can find claims that the earth is flat, the moon landing was filmed somewhere in the American desert, and 911 was done by our own government. There is no substitute for actual hands-on experience.

  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I read all I could dig up on the subject and bought a 1-10. I think a 1-12 would have been ok but did not want to take any chances or cut off any options. The vendor did not have a 1-11 which I would have bought based on the experiece of the guy who got me into Long Range.

    It is very accurate with 175 SMK... and maybe a little better with 155 SMK. Next stop, 155 Scenar.

    Within a broad range, quality of bullet and barrel are more important than fine tuning of the general specifications.

    If I were shooting score benchrest, it would be a 1-13 or 1-14 for 130 grain bullets; but from a smaller case than .308.
  18. MrDig

    MrDig Well-Known Member

    USSR, so what you are saying is that Shilen is not a reliable source to quote?
    I should believe your advice over that of a manufacturer with the quality rep of Shilen?
    What are your Credentials to refute the information I posted?
  19. digisol

    digisol Member

    Interesting to note the Thomson Center Icon Warlord model comes in three twist rates for both the .308 W and 338, 1:10 - 1:11 1/4 - 1:12, I guess having a choice is a luxury not always offered by stock gun makers, not a strict criteria, unless you intend to use the heavies bullets available, then choose accordingly.

    Either twist the TC Icon rifle comes with is certified to shoot under .5 MOA so it's up to barrel quality not just it's twist rate.

    That said it does make a difference to stabilising the range of bullets that the rifles job was chosen for, and stability of the lighter - heavy bullets, one might order the 1:11 1/4 twist to be right more than 2/3 of bullets chosen.

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