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125-grain .308 loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Newtosavage, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    With my big game rifle and load now nailed down (Tikka T3x 30-06 and 165 Hornadys over Superformance powder), I'm now looking for a lower-recoiling Southern whitetail round for my .308 that will double as something fun to shoot at the range each week.

    Midway had their 125 BT's on sale at a great price, so I ordered several boxes, figuring if they don't shoot out of my .308, I'll just load them up in my 7.62x39.

    With that said, anyone have a favorite combo for 125 grain bullets out of their .308?

    I have RL-7, H4895 and Varget on hand.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I've used that bullet out of my 8.5" 300 Blackout. That load was only going 2,000 fps and it dropped 2 hogs without either taking another step. 1 at 92 yards and the other at 52 yards.
    I would shoot for 2,500 fps. That is my mild load using the 125gr BT out of my 30-06.
    Should be no problems, of the powders listed, I would go with Varget. It works well in so many 308 loads and will give better fill than the other 2 powders. H4895 is an excellent choice as well, being only slightly faster burning.
     
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  3. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    I have used the 125s on deer here with good success. Varget gets them trucking along pretty well and plenty accurate for me.

    That 4895 will do the trick too, especially if you want to tone things down a little bit.
     
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  4. Orcon

    Orcon Member

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    I load 125 SMK with 46 grains of IMR-4320 or 45 grains of 4895 for short-range fun.
     
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  5. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    H4895 is better for moderate velocities and lower recoil. Either Varget or H4895 will work well for full power loads.
     
  6. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Thanks all. I was thinking of about 40 grains of H4895 for something like 2600 fps. Should still give me 1000 ft. lbs. at 300 yards if I really need it, but not blow the bullet up at closer ranges. That's the plan anyway. But I use RL-7 for my 7.62x39 too, so I'm hoping there is a RL-7 load that works out real well, then I can consolidate powders a bit.

    I plan to use the 125 BT's for the 7.62x39 too. Hope it all works out!
     
  7. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Just learned they make a 125 Accubond, which is really intriguing. If I find a higher velocity load with the 125 BT's, I might just swap the Accubonds for hunting.
     
  8. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    My buddies and I have killed (literally) tons of deer with the 125 NBT. It works great up to 3000 fps. The BC is really quite a bit lower than advertised, so if you really want performance at longer ranges, I would start it out faster than 2600 fps.
     
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  9. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Where I'll use this rifle, 250 is a LONG shot. So 2600-2700 is my goal. Anything further and I have my '06 for that.

    Glad to know you have had great luck with this combo on deer. That's reassuring.
     
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  10. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I've tried the 125 Nosler BTs in 30-06 but not in 308. I have some really accurate .308 loads for 125 Speer TNTs and 125 Hornady SSTs, but I'll have to wait till I get home to post them. My recollection is both were made with H4895
     
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  11. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    Consider using 8208 XBR? For lighter bullets faster powders seem to work better in my experience. And the upside of 8208 is that it will run thru a rotary drop, and if you want to chase speed, you can get more in the case. Its just a touch faster burn rate than 4895.
     
  12. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I already have RL-7 for my 7.62x39, so I think I'll try that as my "fast" powder and see what I get.
     
  13. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    R-7 is really fast, like H4198 fast. Not that it probably will not work, its just far from ideal. A quick check using H4198 as a rough stand in shows about 200 fps less than 8208, 4895 or Varget.

    Burn Rate Chart:
    http://www.wwpowder.com/PDF/Burn Rates - 2015-2016.pdf

    Burn rate charts are not not the end all of data, but can help when trying to find a similar powder from another manufacturer.
     
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  14. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    The Nosler load data is what made me think of trying it. I never thought it would be worth trying until I saw it listed there for 125's. If it worked out, it would be convenient since I will always have RL-7 on hand for my 7.62x39.
     
  15. scottishkat

    scottishkat Member

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    Midway has some great reviews for both the the 125 NBT and NAB its a pretty good source for hunting bullet performance.

    Good luck and shoot straight

    Bob
     
  16. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    TAC has been pretty good in that weight for me.
     
  17. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I loaded a BUNCH of 125g Speer TNTs with 45g of H4895 in LC brass for a prairie dog hunt. They were very accurate
     
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  18. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Sure glad I decided to try RL-7. I loaded 3 rounds with 48, 48.5 and 49 grains and they produced a 3-shot group just over 1/2"

    Recoil was very light, and speed was 2783-2861

    IMG_0503.JPG IMG_0504.JPG
     
  19. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    By the time you achieve significant recoil reduction, you pressures will be low enough that you won't get good neck-seal during firing. This can lead to bits of chamber-schmutz being blown around the case and back toward your eyes.

    39 grains Varget should still seal.
    Keep your glasses on in any event.
     
  20. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Thank you. I will keep that in mind. I did notice the lower recoil loads went through my resizing die easier, which tells me there wasn't as much expansion.
     
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  21. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Winchester brass...

    Learned something today. Winchester brass, which holds significantly more powder than my Hornady brass, produces sub-MOA groups with 125 NBT's, while Hornady brass - not so much.

    I never would have thought just a different case would have such an impact downrange.
     
  22. davidpipes

    davidpipes Member

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    What caliber are you loading here? According to the Lyman manuels ( 49& 50) these charges are way over for both .308 & 30-06.
     
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  23. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Loading .308 That was a typo. I meant 38, 38.5 and 39 grains. Thanks for the catch.

    Nosler load data says this is a mid-range load. Shot another 10 today and I can tell you that out of my Savage model 10, this is one of the most accurate loads I've ever shot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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