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.308 Hunting Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Citadel99, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. Citadel99

    Citadel99 Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    Got a new FN PBR XP in .308 with a 20" barrel and want to load up some good hunting ammo. Thought I might pull from the brain trust before I start picking loads blindly.

    I haven't ever reloaded hunting ammo but would like to start as the prices are now through the roof. I have a keg of IMR 4895 that's hardly been touched so I'd be really happy if there was a good hunting load that could utilize that...

    Targets will be large TX deer, hogs, and occasional nilgai.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  2. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    BLC-2 and H4895 have been my best powders, but RL15 and Varget are "new-comers" making a name for themselves.

    My brother uses 150gr Nosler Partititions in his Winchester M70 FW (pre'64), and has taken numerous deer and several elk. No complaints.......
    He prefers the 150's over the 165's..
    He uses an "over listed max" load of H4895 for chrono'd 2,900fps. Very accurate, and no pressure signs from "HIS" rifle. He hunts in cold weather at high altitude, so he can "get away with" his "warmish" loads....... He's used BLC-2 and IMR4064 but prefers the H4895.

    Personally, I use a .30/06 (and others) with 165gr bullets......... But I still like Reloader 15 for 150gr bullets.

    IMR 4895 is a tad bit faster burning than the "H", but is excellent, too.

    Best load for your rifle will have to be determined by you.
    Select a reputable manual, and have at it........
  3. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Upper East Tennessee
    At 308 velocities the 168 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip hard to beat for deer size game. (45 grains of Reloder 15 is what I use)

    For tougher game...Barnes TSX, Nosler Partition, Speer TBBC, Nolser Accubond, Nosler E-Tip...the list goes on.

    Sorry but I cant offer any loads with the 4895...I'm one of the hard core Reloder 15 guys (I have tinkered with Varget some)
  4. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    i really like rl-15 in shorter barrelled 308's, and varget in longer barrels. so, i'd reccomend rl-15, hornady 165's, and whatever lr primer makes you happy. that combination has made a lot of meat for me...
  5. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Barnes TSX bullets for sure. A little pricey but well worth it!
  6. wyohome

    wyohome Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Deaver, Wyoming
    I have hunted almost exclusively with .308 caliber rifles since 1968. My all time favorite load for deer is:
    48.5 Grains of W748
    CCI 250 Magnum primer
    150 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet
    You can load this slightly heavier, but I don't see enough difference to warrant the hassle of dealing with a compressed load at 50 Grains.
  7. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Use the same (different bullet) and it gets 2852 fps avg from 24" barrel. Also like 45 grains AA2460, same everything else for 2816 fps avg velocity.
  8. THR4L

    THR4L Member

    Nov 24, 2004
    I've heard awesome things of the TSX, but not necessary (i.e. overkill) for what you're hunting (and pricey).

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the 165 SST from Hornady. Shoots as accurately as SMK or other match bullets for many folks in .308, yet great on deer/hog sized-game.
  9. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Wabash, IN
    I would definitely recommend the Barnes TSX for the hogs. I tried the ballistic tips (Nosler and the Winchester Combined technology) and the result on pig was ugly. The bullets exploded on contact with the heavy shoulder shield - had huge entry wounds and only core size exit holes.
    The TSX's performed classically and brought Porky right to the ground.

    4895 is a classic powder for .308 especially with 165/168gr bullets so you should do well with them.
  10. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Barnes TSX is exceptional as well as Reloader 15. 4895 is also a good choice.

  11. brdavis

    brdavis Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    What is the twist? If it is 10 try this.
    168 Berger
    41 grains of 4064

    I use in my 18" barrel Remington VTR.

    Attached Files:

  12. Clark

    Clark Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    110 gr Hornady Vmax, 44.9 gr H322, 2.810", ~43kpsi, 3050 fps
    .44 moa
  13. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    S32-E152 Hunter Valley

    IMR-4895 is a well suited powder for 308win, so, yes you can utilize your current powder inventory.

    The game you list, may require a bullet of heavier construction than just a general hunting bullet, like others have suggested Nosler Partitions and Barnes TSX are 'built' to punch through the toughest of critters.

    But you may find that something ' in between' maybe upto the task, without alot of expense, if your loading in the 165gr to 180gr range.
  14. DannySeesUSMC

    DannySeesUSMC Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    which one wouldn't be good?

    You don't need to use those expensive bullets unless you really feel the need to. Just use a decent size bullet (150 grains or more) with decent construction...whatever is on sale that has a brand name you recognize. A lot of people don't know about Speer spitzer soft-points, but they are just as good as 99% of the other bullets out there. Very accurate and great b.c.'s They cost about 40% of what a Barnes TSX costs. 500 lbs. and smaller animals don't need bullets that are ready for giant bears and rhinos.

    What's your longest expected shot? That would be the only thing that would really make it necessary to be a little more picky.
  15. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    in the sticks of nc
    the cheap core lokt(165) work ok as far as weight retention, waaaay better than 150sst which of 40 i only found two that held onto the core btw im just shooting target with a huge wood backstop and digging out the old bullets
  16. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    Texas - Born and Raised
    For general hunting of hogs and deer if your looking to keep cost down, I would suggest the Remington 150gr CL. I have used the factory loaded stuff to take out plenty of hogs very reliably. Haven't taken a deer with the .308 yet but have with the '06, and they worked just as well.

    If you want the premium stuff, and a one bullet load, you might look into the 150gr Accubond. Another would be the Barnes TSX or TTSX. I am loading the 130gr in reduced loads for my grandson, it's pushing 2600fps form the 16'5" barrel of my little Ruger and hits with plenty of authority. Bumping up to the 150 or 168 would cover just about anything you would want to shoot.

    If you wanted to use the Ballistic tips, keep your MV right around 2800fps and you should get some really great results in both the 150, 165, or 168gr loads. I have found that when using the BT I got extremely good groups with just about every powder I tried, however with the higher velocities, I also got mixed results from the bullets, depending on what they were used on. If impact velocities are above 2800fps your looking at trimming up some meat, and on the bigger stuff inadequate penetration.

    Another one which I have just started to look into is the Berger line. I have shot them from a 300 RUM, and an STW and they did awesome. Sometimes they are a bit contrary, but once they come in, they come in tight.

    Good luck with your work ups, and keep in mind not to try and push the envelope, and you will find better performance from both the rifle and the loads.
  17. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Austin, Tx
    FWIW, for the "Occasional Nilgai" I'd pack a bigger rifle. Nilgai are essentially the equivalent of African Plains game and are tough critters. I'm not saying a 308 wont do the job, but I've seen them take solid hits from bigger rifles and get back up.
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