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Upper limitations of the .308 win cartridge?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by vincyr, Feb 20, 2013.

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  1. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    The deer only went 30 yards .... tough crowd!! Anyway, you will find examples like this for every bullet ever made. Terminal performance is subject to statistical probability like anything else. There are far too many examples of near perfect expansion of TSX bullets in game of all shapes and sizes so I think many consider the TSX to be an excellent bullet.


    The plastic tip offers two advantages. It increases the BC, but a secondary benefit is that the tip shank requires a larger hollow point cavity which aids in expansion. A common misconception is the the tip somehow helps in expansion directly and this is not the case. The tip typically breaks away from the bullet "long" before expansion starts. This is true for the TTSX at least.
     
  2. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

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    This was shot from stem to stern and even though it failed to expand it made a mess of the inside of that deer.

    Likewise there are many X bullets that pass through critters never to be found that penciled through on broadside shots. It still erks me that it happened though, could have been $6K wasted from a supposedly premium bullet.
     
  3. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    dubbleA, what do you prefer to use now after your experience with the TSX? Have you tried TTSX bullets.
     
  4. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    The .308 hits about the same at 225 yards as the slower 30-30 does at 100 yards. This elk never heard about ballistic charts or energy tables.

    TR

    bullelkWinchester.jpg
     
  5. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Darn it,

    I always thought the animals spent hours sweating over ballistic charts stressing about the particular calibre's and bullets they would least like to be shot and die from :D.

    Nice hunting pic, real nice.
     
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    What is a "nature" bull elk? Are we trying to say a free range wild bull elk?

    From personal experienced I've witnessed the highest number of wounded non recovered elk with the 7 rem mag. Is there an issue with the big 7? Nope it's great round but it's NOT a magic bolt of death and it does not perform miracles at long range like some users believe it does.

    A .308 has identical killing power to an 06 out to it's MPBR which might be 25 to 50 yards less than a .30-06 with a heavy bullet and identical with a 165 or a 150 gr bullet. And the 7 mag has an additional 50 to 75 or so yards on the .30-06 depending on the load and bullet. The .270 is the lesser of them all. And they are all capable of killing any elk on earth at a sensible distance with a decent bullet and a good shot presentation/placement. Non of them are fantastic long range or are they great dark timber jump shooting calibers for elk.

    Whoever wrote that at Petersons was either lacking good material for his article or was simply filling blank pages without the facts in place, if he actually wrote that in the context presented here.

    Here is a perfect example of how you deal with your rifle/load on bigger animals. Here is my little cookie monster at 12 years old with her first elk a mature cow shot with her .30-06 down loaded to basically .30-30 ballistics. She shot this cow with a 150 Gr Hornandy interlock @ a MV of about 2200 FPS at about 150 or so yards just a bit further I'm guessing but I never lazed it, as it was "close enough". The round went through the ribs punched both lungs and came to a stop in the hide on the off side. The elk went about 50 yards and laid down she shot it once more in the neck as insurance.
    DSC02583.jpg

    Here is my big girls first elk also at age 12. She was shooting a .308 win also loaded down to almost 30-30 ballistics. A 150 gr RN SGK at about 2200 FPS. She also got full body penetration with a stop on the off hide. Her shot was at about 80 yards maybe a bit less I don't remember the exact distance but it was close.

    So what do these both have in common. Simply that you close the range to an appropriate distance for your equipment before you shoot and you don't take shots on game at a longer distance than you or your equipment are ethically capable of. It kind of makes the whole caliber adequacy argument null and void. If you want to pop elk at long range get the right set up and none of the mentioned rounds in the article are it.
    Torishuntelkprofile.jpg

    We saw lots of elk and we passed up lots of elk until we were able to get the girls within range to make a killing shot. Makes sense when think about it huh?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  7. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    I cannot get 30-06 performance out of my 308, not a ton of difference but the 308 runs into pressure limits before it will catch up, they are both 22" barrels. In the manuals I can get 3kfps with 150gr BT and Varget, in reality I am flattening/leaking primers at the mid ranged load, limiting me to factory like speeds while the 06 can run compressed loads of RL19 and get 270win like speeds. Maybe that is just my rifles, but that is how I see it. 308 does not equal the 06 but that is fine by me the full power 06 is too much gun on southern whitetail at close range, the 308 at full stroke should be much more appropriate come next season. Just my $.02
     
  8. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Assuming that we are in the 2500 to say 2800 FPS range 100FPS or even 200 FPS does not make any discernible difference with like weight bullet and construction in respect to terminal performance on game. It does however make a slight difference in regards to MPBR.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  9. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    I am looking at an aprox 230fps difference between the two with 150gr, now I am new to 308 so I imagine I will be able to work that down a bit with the right powder/ bullet combination, but that is a noteworthy difference about the same difference as there is between a 30-06 and 300 H&H magnum. I would agree that there is little difference in killing power using the same weight, but the lager 30 cals can effectively use heavier bullets and there is no contest there.
     
  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I've never seen a .308 that can't stay almost at the same velocity as a .30-06 with 150 or 165 gr bullets. And being that it is the internet I guess I need to include the obvious. With same length barrels, and identical bullets.

    Here's the deal though if you are having explosive deer issues with an 06 you either need to load it down a bit or use a better bullet. In fact if you want really minimal meat damage use a 200 gr TSX or NP or some such controlled expansion bullet and load them to about 2500 or 2600 FPS in your 06.
     
  11. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    That is what I am doing. Working up some heavy slow controlled expansion bullets to reduce the size of the deer explosions that thing makes, playing with a few 180gr and even 200gr Hot Cores to see what it will shoot well with, don't think my brother will be knocking any 9 1/2" holes in them at only 2400-2500fps. They will still kick like they mean business so he won't think I loaded him up any sissy bullets :D
    As I said, I am still pretty new to 308, I may well indeed get up to 30-06 performance with 150s, but one thing for sure I am not getting there with Varget.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    My father always loaded his '06 to M2 Ball velocity of, what, 2,700 ft/sec? He used Hornady 150-grain Spire Points (the old, pre-ogive style). That was good for deer to 500 yards, per witnesses' stories. Plenty good for mule deer which dressed out to 200 pounds.

    IOW, whatever 150-grain bullet groups well in a .308 will do just fine. I really wouldn't worry about "matching" '06 performance. Me, I never had the first sign of Bad Things with the Sierra 150-grain flat-base soft-point. Or the Remington Bronze Point, for that matter. Bang/whop/plop.
     
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Sierra Flat base? You mean Pro Hunters?
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Lordy, Kachok, I dunno. I'd have to go to the garage and look. They look like the same Sierras I've been using for forty forevers. Come in a little green box, said 150-grain. Soft point. Flat base. :)

    Probably Game King, if they have a name. I don't guess I've had to buy any new bullets for fifteen or twenty years. They started getting above ten bucks a box of 100 and I figured they wouldn't get cheaper, so I bought a bunch.

    We had a discussion over at TFL, maybe ten or a dozen years back. I'd had a Sierra 150 SPBT blow up in a mulie's neck; shot him at maybe 25 yards, at most. I was probably getting around 3,100 from my 26" '06. I emailed the Sierra folks and one of their guys chimed in on the discussion. He said that the BTs by the nature of the design had a slightly thinner jacket, and really worked a lot better at around 2,700 to 2,800 muzzle velocity. The flat-based bullets have a little thicker jacket and will work better when pushed from, say, a .300 Win Mag.

    I never had a problem with the boat-tails at 200 or 300 yards. Adequate slow-down, I guess.

    I loaded the boat-tails because of the quite-possible need for a shot out around 500 yards, give or take. We have a 16-day season in a desert-mountain area with a sparse population of deer. Might only see one shootable buck, and no telling what the situation might be. Heh. So then I go up the Davis Mountains and walk up on Ol' Bucky during his mid-day nap. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  15. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    They started calling them Gamekings after they gave them the boat tail, the flat base used to not have a name but they are all Pro Hunter now I think. The boat tail Game Kings exhibit nasty expansion on close range shots, kills them dead on the spot but damage is beyond excessive. Love their bullets but from now on I am taking their advice on the impact speeds :D Got my Sweed pushing 140 SGKs to a modest 2700fps, should be great from point blank to 300yds or so.
     
  16. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Mmmmmmmm,

    pushing 140gr. SGK's in my 6.5mm at 2575fps, perhaps a little tame.

    Back to the point though. SGK's are the most accurate bullet I have used but don't pretend to have loaded many different types. From a hunting point of view had one or two mishaps with SGK's, they don't like being up close and personal and tend to be better when slower.

    Have only recovered one SGK, the rest have simply vanished in the body cavities. Have not failed to kill anyting with them though.

    The one recovered was banana shaped. Shot an Impala at 20yds while quartering away, the angle was such that I needed to go through the ribs to get at the heart. The bullet (165gr. SGK at 2650fps) entered at the ribs (and must have immediately deformed into a banana shape. It then travelled between the rib cage and the skin exiting at the shoulder after which it entered the neck slashing a large wound channel in the neck. Was not nice.

    This one incident was probably freak and not representative. Due to this incident I changed to 180gr. Accubonds, these whistle straight through leaving less than a 0.75" exit wound on all engine room shots.

    I would think that in the .308 Accubonds or similar would do exceedingly well for the OP. As someone already stated, if you WANT another gun then that is a different story but make sure you do the right thing for the right reason.
     
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Your maximum point blank range should be pretty close to 300 yards with load zeroed at 200 shouldn't it? I'll be it's 260 or so anyway.
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I discovered that the Sierra 165-grain HPBT expands violently at close range. Federal uses that bullet in their Premium High Energy Round in both '06 and .308. From the '06, they've been chronoed at 3,150 from a 26" barrel.

    I blew the whole chest out of a coyote at some 40 yards on a cross-body shot where I held a tad low. I had a close-range doe take a step just as I was gonna touch off for a neck shot. Hit the top of the shoulder blade on the way in, took out the whole upper leg bone on the way out. Fist-sized cavity exit wound.

    On out at distance? Probably work just fine.

    I probably should have taken up bow hunting or used a pistol with all that close-up stuff. But I grew up with a rifle in my hands...
     
  19. The"D"man

    The"D"man Member

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    Here's you're God Dang answer to all na-sayers about the Venerable .308

    @ 875 yards ELK knocked down! Not cat, dog or some small arse animal a Elk insta-dropped at 875 yards and I've done it personally just under 480 yards... BS It is not undergunned by the .30-06, .308 has less kick, slightly less ft lbs of energy, but if hand loaded will out perform any over the counter .30-06 load... I know that firsthand... NO MORE LIES!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrQqPdRgw_w

    NOT just my two cents, I'm throwing in $1.50! LOL

    if you can't wait, go to 5 minutes and 35 seconds on the video, hold your breathe, then breathe after 5:42!
     
  20. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Was that a neck shot? Sure looks like it was.
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Just keeping it real here D. You hit her just under the ear through the neck. No way that was where you were aiming at 875 yards. I'll take lucky any day, but it is what it is. That is a yearling calf about the size of a large mule deer. A .308 is getting real marginal on a body shot on a full sized bull elk at long range.
     
  22. murf

    murf Member

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    welcome to the forum d.

    murf
     
  23. natman

    natman Member

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    I'm going to assume that that's a Mature Bull Elk.

    The fact is that a 308 will push a 180 grain bullet about 125 fps less than a 30-06. That's a legitimate difference, but the notion that a 30-06 is ideal for the job but a 308 "won't cut the mustard" is absurd. It's not that much of a difference.
     
  24. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Agreed with the above statement. The 06 and the .308 are close enough in performance that there is no real world difference on game at any range.
     
  25. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    A 30-06 was my only rifle for a very long time, and one will always be in my possession. But several years ago a 308 became my go-to rifle. I figure with the best handloads and premium bullets It'll still give adequate penetration and expansion on elk size game to at least 400, maybe 450 yards. Add 100 yards to that for deer size game. My 30-06 will be moving the same bullets along at the same speed about 50 yards farther down range. One of the 300 magnums would add another 50-75 yards of effective range over 30-06.

    I can't shoot well enough at those ranges to take full advantage of any of them. Beyond 300 and I'm out of my comfort zone. I'd take a shot at 400 under ideal conditions, but that is my limit. I find the smaller, lighter package along with just enough difference in recoil makes the 308 worth the slight loss of performance. If I really need more punch than my 308 can deliver I probably need a lot more gun than 30-06.
     
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