.308 Whitetail Hunting Bullet

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gone Hiking, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Gone Hiking

    Gone Hiking Member

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    I'm trying to get squared away with a new Tikka in .308 with a Primary Arms BDC scope. I'd settled on either a 180 grn Hornady Interbond or Nosler Accubond bullet, but both are unobtainium at the moment. I have some alternates in mind, but would like to hear suggestions on others that may be similar, ballistically and performance-wise.
     
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  2. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    What are you going to be hunting?

    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.
     
  3. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    168s work well for deer. 150 do also.
    I'm fine with cup and core hunting bullets. They work well.
     
  4. nick22

    nick22 Member

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    I wouldn't be afraid of going lighter for whitetail. I feel the 180 grain bullet retards the .308 a bit unless you're hunting in pretty tight woods. I would lean towards a 168 or 150 grain bullet that shoot well out of your rifle. I really like Nosler partitions or barnes TSX.. Pet loads are rough these days.
     
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  5. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If I was searching for a mono to hunt, the 150 ttsx would be high on the list. Some states require lead free so if that doesn't apply the other choices may be better. The 150 seems good in 308 and using those bullets they recommend you step down in weight and drive them fast.
     
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  6. Triphammer

    Triphammer Member

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    I've run 165 gr Sierra Game King PSPBT out of a 308 on everything from coyotes to mule deer for 40 years w/o any issues
     
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  7. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    I am loading hunting rounds for a 308 as well. These Hornady 165 gr have been widely available for months now.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1010483691?pid=741952

    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.
     
  8. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger member

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    I took 3 deer with a new 308. 180gn so. Worked fine. 150-180 will do. IMO 165 shoots best but all eat different. Add boat tail helps.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If that is the bullet you have it'll work, but you don't NEED bullets nearly that heavy for whitetails. Just about any bullet 150-180 gr will work. And some as light as 125 gr. Whitetail ain't hard to kill.

    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.
     
  10. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    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.:thumbup:
     
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  11. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    Ive had great luck with 178 ELD-X's. But a good old fashioned Interlock 150 will put a whitetail down too.
     
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  12. Gone Hiking

    Gone Hiking Member

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    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. ;)
     
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  13. Flycaster1977

    Flycaster1977 Member

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    I load 150 grain accubonds for deer in my 06. Have never had any trouble putting a deer down.
     
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  14. IALoder

    IALoder Member

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    A 150 or 165 Hornady interlock or Speer Hot Cor is bad medicine for a deer, and honestly just about any medium sized game. I have a feeling Speer gold dots would do pretty well in a 150 or 168 if you were wanting to stay with a bonded bullet. They're priced well and available.
     
  15. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    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.:thumbup:
    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.;)
     
  16. n2omike

    n2omike Member

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    It's a Whitetail deer... Don't think too hard about it. Pretty much any bullet will do. Pick pretty much anything from 140-180 grains and be happy. You can even go higher or lower than that and still be just fine. No need for bonded cores, etc. You're not hunting Grizzly Bears. :)
     
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  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I have flattened a bunch of whitetails over the years with 180 grain Remington Cor Lokt bullets in 308, 300 SAV, and 30-06. Most any fair cup and core bullet will work just fine out to 150-170 YDS. You dont need to spend big money unless shooting at a distance. Truthfully most of mine could have been taken with a 30-30 or 12 GA buck and were 50 YDS or less. You just have to know your game and their habitat so you bring enough gun. Even got one with a 44 MAG 230 grain SWC. Anchored that spike horn with first shot.
     
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  18. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    I have shot all the bullets that you mentioned from 2580-2720 FPS. 178 AMAX, ELDM or ELDX @ +/- 2.825 with 43.6 Varget (honorable mention... 43.3 TAC @ +/- 2.805) were the most accurate followed closely by the 180 Sierra BTSP Game King @ +/- 2.825 and 43 grains of 4064. All bullets above have a BC of .500 or better.

    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.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
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  19. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    Couple more... Hopefully this will save you some components. None of these are close to max.

    IMG_5.jpg

    IMG_6.jpg
     
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  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    My favorite 30/06 load for southern whitetail was a 125 grain pro hunter pushed with varget

    If the deer managed to flop somewhere they left blood trails a blind man could feel
     
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  21. Skeptic13

    Skeptic13 Member

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    SP_2022_30CalBTSPBoat-TailMediumGameBullets_Combo_R.jpg

    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.
     
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  22. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    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.
     
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  23. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    The bullets you list are overkill for whitetail (and your shoulder). There is, IMHO, no reason to shoot 180s from the .308 or even the .30-06 at deer, especially the bonded designs. As far as medium light game goes, those are for the .300 Magnums.

    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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  24. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Go old school, 150 gr Core-Lokt. Should be easy to find. That's what I used last season and will be using this coming season. Though from a different 30-cal cartridge.
     
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