Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gone Hiking, Aug 7, 2021.
For deer size game a bonded bullet like your mentioned Accubond and Interbond will work wonderfully. You could step down to a 165 or even a 150 grain bullet for deer.
For bear or elk I'd go with a 165 lead free or a bonded 180.
I'm fine with cup and core hunting bullets. They work well.
Have also loaded some 150 grain flat base.....both Speer Hot Cor and Hornady Interlock. From limited tests......accuracy good enough from all.....won't know results on a deer until deer season.
For tougher game like bear, elk, or moose you could still stay with bullets as light as 150 gr, but you'd want to use a tougher bullet. Right now people are having to use what they can find, but if I could choose only 1 bullet for my 308's I'd choose a 165 gr Accubond.
In all truthfulness, I've never killed a whitetail deer, but I've been killing mule deer since I was 14 or 15 (I'm 73 now) and I've never found them all that hard to kill - I can't imagine whitetail deer being all that much different.
That said, until sometime in the early '80s when I decided I "needed" to step up to a 30-06, I used regular old Remington, 150gr CoreLokt factory loads in my .308 Winchester for deer hunting, and regular old Remington, 180gr CoreLokt factory loads for elk. Once I "stepped up" to a 30-06, I started using my own handloaded Hornady 165gr BTSPs for both mule deer and elk. They worked well.
At any rate, I figure any regular old cup and core bullet weighing between 150grs and 180grs, and kicked out of your 308 Winchester between 2,600fps and 2,800fps will work great for whitetail deer. Like I said though - I've never killed a whitetail deer. But they can't be all that much harder to kill than mule deer, can they? Which in my experience, if you put the bullet in the right place, die really quick, if not instantly.
This is one of the alternates I have in mind. I did find those available, somewhere. Not bonded, but the BC is excellent. I know we're "only" talking about whitetails, but I'm particular.
Absolutely nothing wrong with that. The reason I insist on at least 3 bullets in 1 inch at 100 yards with my scoped, big game hunting rifles is because I'm "particular."
Do I believe that kind of accuracy/precision is necessary for big game hunting? Absolutely not. But I can get it, so why not? It's no skin off anyone else's nose.
And it's no skin off my nose or anyone else's nose if you want to use the best bullets money can buy for hunting whitetail deer with your .308 Winchester. You're doing the hunting, and you're doing the handloading for it. I'm hope you can find whatever bullets and other components you need for what you want.
BTW, I've been using Sierra 165gr HPBTs in my .308 Norma Mag for mule deer for a while now. They're accurate, have a high BC, and seem to hold together well even though I'm kicking them out at better than 3,100fps. At least I haven't recovered one from a dead mule deer yet.
Photo 1 is the Varget Load. Tac only gets an honorable mention as it opened up in the peak of the summer on me. Still less than MOA but just barely.
The TAC chrono data is with borderline junk brass and 8 shots with a 6.7 SD and a very stable ES. These were thrown charges with a twist or two from the trickler directly into the case to get get them closer before I seated a bullet. This load deserves a second look.
The 4064 load is well known from the target shooting days when it was winning MATCHES and setting records. I copied and tested it .3 under and .3 over the match winning load data and tweaked the COAL and it shot just as good in 2021 as it did when the bullet came out all those years ago.
If the deer managed to flop somewhere they left blood trails a blind man could feel
I really like these 150 gr BTSP from Speer. It is a bonded bullet so you get controlled expansion which I prefer in my hunting bullets. They are very consistent and accurate for a hunting bullet.
Sorry, those are not bonded. They aren’t even their “hot core” style. They are a simple cup and core bullet with a slightly better ballistic coefficient that probably won’t hold together as well as the Speer flat base hot core would. Still, plenty for a whitetail at reasonable range in a .308 Win., but not recommended for anything larger than whitetail or pronghorn.
I've killed and seen killed a lot of deer...A LOT OF DEER....upwards of 100 with various 150 grain bullets in the .308 Win and .300 Savage. My go to favorite is the Speer 150 grain Hot Core. Those are also unobtainium at the moment, so skip to my #2. The Hornady 150 grain flat based spire point. Both are no-frills, no-nonsense bullets that simply get the job done on whitetail at speeds capable with the .308 Win. They both tend to be easy to find fine accuracy with also, and easy on the shoulder and wallet allowing for additional practice time. I actually step mine down to .300Savage speeds in deference to meat damage on eater deer, but my ranges tend to be short. I suspect the 150 BTSP from Hornady would perform similarly, but I have no experience putting them through a deer.
Fired from a .308 or .300 Savage, I have never seen one of these bullets fail to pass through a whitetail from 5 to 250 yards excluding a couple of shots at extreme quarter where I wouldn't expect a pass through even with a heavy premium. Terminal damage is good, blood trails tend to be short and generous. A hit near CNS will result in a satisfying dead right there kill. You could move up to a 165 if your shot angles tend to be severe and expect a little more penetration and less violent expansion.
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