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Thread: How to Select the right 308 projectile?

  1. #1

    How to Select the right 308 projectile?

    I've a rifle that fires 308 slugs, but has very little commercial loads available.
    As such I need to roll my own. I'm very familiar with ballistics, right up until they become terminal.

    Criteria:
    308 calibre (7.5 x55 Swiss)
    humane dispatch
    meat damage to be kept to a minimum
    suitable for any species of deer indigenous to the UK

    I've access to Hornady, Sierra, Berger,Lapua, Nosler, and Barnes.

    My expectation is that I might want 2 different bullet weights. One for small game and another for large. (I personally have no issue with juggling 2 drop charts)

    it it can be a it of a mine field choosing a suitable round, so I thought I'd ask. I've no idea of the correct application of ballistic tip vs soft nose vs hollow point. Is velocity a factor, can it be going too fast?

    im more interested in the why, rather just "use X as it has never failed me"

    regards Dio

  2. #2
    In .308 Win I was using 150gr Nosler hunting ballistic tips for many years but changed to using the Hornady 170gr Interlock FP (flat point) after loading some for boar.

    Since then I have been mightily impressed by the results they achieve on red and roe deer at relatively modest calculated velocities - circa 2500fps with the Vihtavouri N140 loading of 42gr.

    There is some online discussion about using this bullet for the .308Win as it is 'normally' found loaded for the 30-30 and some have expressed concern that it wouldn't hold together in a .308 or 30-06. However it has found favour in Spain where the rimmed .307 Win is/was popular in tubular magazine semi-auto and pump rifles as a work-around for the requirement for non-military chamberings. In the .307 Win the 170FP was factory loaded to 2550fps, so all is good on that front.

    From a practical point of view I have found that at distances up to 150m they stop the deer in their tracks - almost 'Hammer of Thor' like in effect - with penetration and expansion being excellent at the loading given above, cause minimal meat damage, and a big plus, are about half the price of more fashionable pointy bullets. Accuracy is the usual 100m cloverleaf from my Steyr Model L Varmint and recoil much reduced from previous loadings - but it is a heavy(ish) rifle anyway.

    Should fit right in with your 7.5x55 Swiss and intended usage. Good luck with whatever you end up with.
    Last edited by Orion; 08-09-2015 at 17:15.

  3. #3
    Try Sierra gamekings over n140. I use 150gr for everything and have had no problems. On roe, fallow or red I have never shot muntjac but see no reason why they will not work. The meat damage is very little and they work. I know others who shoot 165gr on the hills and longer distances but the 150's have worked on fallow out to 250yards.
    IMHO I would keep it simple and go for one round either 150 or 165gr

    BE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dioxin View Post
    I've a rifle that fires 308 slugs, but has very little commercial loads available.
    As such I need to roll my own. I'm very familiar with ballistics, right up until they become terminal.

    Criteria:
    308 calibre (7.5 x55 Swiss)
    humane dispatch
    meat damage to be kept to a minimum
    suitable for any species of deer indigenous to the UK

    Sorry just to be clear
    when you say Humane Dispatch do you mean a "humane killing bullet" rather than the exclusive humane killing of injured or sick animals?

    a 150gr bullet is effective on all game in the UK
    no stag has ever survived a well placed 150gr soft point
    no munjac has ever evaporated either

    Any soft point cup and core construction from a decent manufacturer will do the job if put in the right place

    surely the choice of a suitable bullet is one that is accurate in your rifle and readily available?

    having frigged around with multiple loads for multiple bullets for the same rifle on the whole I am back to one that works across the board
    .222 - 60gr SP Hornady Varmint
    .270 - 130gr SP Hornday Interlock
    .300WM - 180gr Rem Corelokt (exception here as the 208gr Amax is bang on the same POI at 100m!)

  5. #5
    This maybe a good place to start?

    Google, terminal ballistics research nz




  6. #6
    If you do mean HD, i.e. putting down RTA victims etc, speak with Leec6.5 on this site. He had done a great deal of work on this subject using heavy low velocity solids to minimise the issues of ricochet of of bullet fragments. He is worth a good chat on the subject.

    If you mean killing cleanly in normal woodland stalking circumstances I am just experimenting with a .308 launching a 168 vmax at 2500 fps, TV 2200 to 2400 which should mean good controlled expansion (rather than the amax explosion when you hit them at 3000fps). Will let you know how it goes.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  7. #7
    The 150 pro-hunter for all gets my vote 140 or h4895

  8. #8
    For humane kills you need to efficiently transfer sufficient energy between the bullet and the target animal. This then has to do sufficient tissue damage to vital organs that may be shielded behind varying depths of skin, muscle and bone. It is more important which tissues get damaged rather than how much energy is transferred so reasonable accuracy is desirable. Once the bullet hits, energy transfer can be enhanced or reduced depending on the shape of the bullet. Flat nosed bullets will displace tissue faster than a spitzer, however the soft point designs will deform into a shape more conducive to energy transfer. When lead core bullets deform they shed thousands of tiny lead particles which will remain within the tissues. This can result in excessive meat damage in some circumstances. Mono metal bullets tend not to shed fragments and will therefore generLly damage less meat as well as penetrating like mad. To answer your question my own answer is the 130grain Barnes TTSX driven at 3000fps or above. It is accurate, expands really fast and transfers lots of energy yet penetrates well. Meat damage is consistently minimal.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NigelM View Post
    If you do mean HD, i.e. putting down RTA victims etc, speak with Leec6.5 on this site. He had done a great deal of work on this subject using heavy low velocity solids to minimise the issues of ricochet of of bullet fragments. He is worth a good chat on the subject.

    If you mean killing cleanly in normal woodland stalking circumstances I am just experimenting with a .308 launching a 168 vmax at 2500 fps, TV 2200 to 2400 which should mean good controlled expansion (rather than the amax explosion when you hit them at 3000fps). Will let you know how it goes.
    I mean a clean kill, an FMJ will kill, but hardly quick.
    I've got 100 168 grain Hornady SST, so I guess I'll work up an accurate load with that.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by paul o' View Post
    The 150 pro-hunter for all gets my vote 140 or h4895

    +1 for the 150 grn pro hunter
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
    "'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

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