Very basic question

Bestman

Well-Known Member
I've only ever used factory ammo and know very little about reloading and ballistics

I have the opportunity to buy a nice little lightweight rifle in .308 when I'm really after the same model in .243 or 6.5x55.

I already have a .308 and this would be mainly for munties - Is it possible to 'download' to achieve 'lesser' performance, either learning myself, or getting it loaded for me?

Is this a practical? Or a stupid idea? I'd then have the additional advantage to be able to use the rifle at full capacity if circumstances required.
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
I've only ever used factory ammo and know very little about reloading and ballistics

I have the opportunity to buy a nice little lightweight rifle in .308 when I'm really after the same model in .243 or 6.5x55.

I already have a .308 and this would be mainly for munties - Is it possible to 'download' to achieve 'lesser' performance, either learning myself, or getting it loaded for me?

Is this a practical? Or a stupid idea? I'd then have the additional advantage to be able to use the rifle at full capacity if circumstances required.
It is a good question...worth checking out.

Tim.243
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
Subsonic is interesting, but is a rather sepcialised thing and possibly wouldn't tick the deer box...

Have a look here, for example (other powder manufacturers are available) Rifle reloading data | Handloading | Rifle calibers | Centerfire Rifle bullets | Reload your own ammo - Vihtavuori

The thing about reloading is that one should start with the lowest suggested, or starting, load and work up. Between the lowest load and the highest for your rifle (which might be lower than the 'book' maximum) you're likely to find a couple of charge-weights where the accuracy is better than the rest. If the lowest of these accurate charges is still deer-legal but on the mild side, then you'll have achieved what you're after, I guess.

So I'd say entirely practical, and not a stupid idea at all. Compared to a factory .243, you mght well find that at woodland ranges, a heavier .308 round- or flat-nosed bullet of lightish construction (perhaps the kind designed for a .30-30?) driven at modest velocity delivers an appealing combination of killing-power and limited carcase damage in a very user-friendy round.
 
Last edited:

Apthorpe

Well-Known Member
Would it also be correct to warn that loading with less than the starting or minimum weight cited in manuals or load data can be dangerous?
 

Maxiwaxy

Well-Known Member
Would it also be correct to warn that loading with less than the starting or minimum weight cited in manuals or load data can be dangerous?

Potentially yes



I personally don't think I would do it I would just just the full power the 308 can offer alough I do see where you are coming from but if it was me I would want an all or nothing type approach and have a separate rifle for the lighter work in an ideal world.
 

Bestman

Well-Known Member
Thanks all, especially Dalua, I've had a good look through the reloading data.

Interesting, and quite surprising to the uninitiated, how 'narrow' the window is. What is the 'danger' at the bottom end?

Just so I understand, is it broadly correct that if one was able to come up with a .308 combo of bullet and velocity that achieved a muzzle energy of 1700 ft/lbs, it would 'feel' similar in a similar weapon, to any other combination of Mass and Velocity that generated a MV of 1700ft/lbs irrespective of calibre?
 
Last edited:

Edinburgh Rifles

Well-Known Member
Done this with several cartridges
It’s very straightforward

I ran a “roe load” in my .270 which worked well
130gr at 2700fps

About to do something similar with my .308
150gr at 2500
 

Bestman

Well-Known Member
Thanks ER,

Aside from the terminal effects, how do you think your .308 load would feel to the shooter when compared to a theoretical .243 load 100gr at 3000+ fps?
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
Would it also be correct to warn that loading with less than the starting or minimum weight cited in manuals or load data can be dangerous?
Indeed - a thing that I think most reloaders would consider axiomatic - but which is worth emphasising to someone considering taking it up.
 

Dave881

Well-Known Member
I used to shoot 150 grain nosler BTs at 2550 fps and they were brilliant, next to no meat damage even on muntjac but very good knockdown power. They worked really well for me from 25 yards out to 200 with no problems.
 

Scapegoat

Well-Known Member
I put together a modest 150gr Nosler BT load for the 308, MV around the 2500fps Mark. Very smooth to shoot and great effect on roe. 42.5gr Viht N140 through a 20” barrel. Smashing little woodland round.
 

Sagebrush

Member
This is common in the US where we call them "Youth Loads" because people load down to teach/introduce kids to shooting centerfire and hunting deer. Unfortunately, the best powder is H4895/AR2206H which I believe isn't being imported to the UK anymore.
Vihtavuori has a number of "Start" loads that are mild and accomplish the task. N133 may be your friend.
There are downloads for jacketed bullets using pistol loads. C.E. Harris has published data for this "The Load".
At Cast Bullets Forum there is a wealth of information for light cast and jacketed bullet loads. Most commonly with fast pistol powders or again, powders you can't readily get in the UK. You can find what is available to you and suitable at Cast Bullets. Many soft shooting cast bullet hunting loads are discussed.
Warning: At Cast Bullets the members call bullets "boolits" and in the US anyone who says "bullet head" is considered unsophisticated or lower class.
 
Last edited:

muddy42

Well-Known Member
I have explored this in my 308.

Firstly there is a factory option (not used them yet personally)

Secondly i have reloaded what should be very similar. 125 gr nosler BTs at a starting load 2740 fps. Its early days on the meat damage analysis but definitely low recoil.
 

Bestman

Well-Known Member
Thanks for replies gents.

I will see how available factory reduced loads are, although obviously a reduced selection, and no guarantee the rifle will like them.

Definitely want to minimise ricochets here in overpopulated Hampshire. Is the relationship between MV and ricochet linear? Or do you on get problems subsonic?
 

muddy42

Well-Known Member
Obviously Subsonic is not legal for all deer in the UK, so forget about that. I have never heard or been aware of a supersonic bullet of mine causing a ricochet in 20 yrs of deer stalking. Ensure you have a safe backstop and you’ll be OK - grass soil and vegetation absorb bullets pretty well.
 

Smellydog

Well-Known Member
In 308 it is easy.
I had a bunch of .30 bullets once that I wasn't going to use at top end loads.
I also use to supply many rabbits to a game dealer....in all weathers. So I developed a 1200fps load for them bullets and on very windy nights got the job done perfectly.

Go for it, a simple Lee loader and the right powder and you will soon have that munty load you seek.
 

Dave881

Well-Known Member
I used to shoot 150 grain nosler BTs at 2550 fps and they were brilliant, next to no meat damage even on muntjac but very good knockdown power. They worked really well for me from 25 yards out to 200 with no problems.
Would like to correct myself, I was using 165 grain nosler BTs not the 150s.
 

Top