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ddress00
11-03-2013, 10:17 AM
Hello all

I love my trusty savage 308. Had it for years an years. When elk hunting I've used mainly a 165 gr hornady round. I love the round an weight, plenty of stopping power with a well placed shot......with that said. What's are some of y'all's favorite in 308? I'm wanting to try something else if I'm missing out on a great round. Thanks in advance

ivorytip
11-03-2013, 10:43 AM
165 in .308 are about as good as you can use. have you tried 150? may shoot straighter for ya and still has more than enough umph to bring that beast down. but if 165 has been working for ya, stick with it.

ddress00
11-03-2013, 10:55 AM
165 in .308 are about as good as you can use. have you tried 150? may shoot straighter for ya and still has more than enough umph to bring that beast down. but if 165 has been working for ya, stick with it.

I haven't no. I must admit I was kind of grandfathered into the 165 (dad shot it). But I was just Curious about it after a recent trip to the range and thinking about bullet drop an muzzle v. I'll more than likely stick with what I'm use to but wanted to Know if I was missing the ticket on a "better round"

Thanks Ivory

Colorado Cowboy
11-03-2013, 11:16 AM
Not trying to start anything, but my baseline performance measurement is 3000fps and .308 doesn't make it. All my big game rifles hit that mark or better. I am sure that my baseline is way to high for lots of whitetail hunters, but I hunt the west almost almost exclusively. The 3k fps gives me great performance out to 400+ yds.

With that said, I also firmly believe that you must be very confident in your gun and shoot it a lot. The more comfortable it is, the better shooter you become. Use it, practice and get good with it.

kcaves
11-03-2013, 06:32 PM
My girlfriend just shot her elk yesterday with 150 grain billets from her 308. It did the job but it was a well placed shot as well

ivorytip
11-03-2013, 07:17 PM
seen a moose drop in its tracks with a .270 chambered with 130g last week. 100yrds

ddress00
11-06-2013, 08:58 PM
After a weekend at the long range in bv I switched to a nosler in 165. Shot tighter an flatter for me.

SansSouci
11-23-2013, 11:52 AM
ddress00,

The .308 Winchester cartridge is enigma. It's also one of the best cartridges for all North American game. Lots of Rocky Mountain hunters use it.

After climbing all over the Rockies carrying a heavy rifle, I began to understand utility of a lightweight rifle. So I bought one. But before I did, I did a lot of research. Initially I was going to go with a .280 Rem or an '06. I was surprised by what I had learned. The .308 Win is an efficient cartridge. It is an inherently accurate cartridge. It is a powerful cartridge. And it's a short-action cartridge. To my way of looking at big game hunting, that combo is hard to beat.

Hunters will campfire banter about merits of their favorite cartridges and why they're better killers than other cartridges. Emotionalism does not defeat knowledge. When using practical, western .308 caliber hunting bullets of 180 grains & less, there is virtually no difference of impact velocities between the deservedly venerated '06 and the .308 Win.

I can go on forever about the merits of the .308 Win, but I'll just post velocities I've chrono'd out of my 22" barreled, bolt action .308 Win with factory ammo:

1. Hornady 165 grain Light Magnum: 2900+ FPS
2. Federal Classic 150 grain: 2900+ FPS
3. R-P 150 grain Core-Lokt: 2900+ FPS
4. Federal Premium 165 grain 2700+ FPS
6. R-P 180 grain Core-Lokt 2700+ FPS

I do not recall any ammo shooting above MOA.

While I've never shot an elk with my .308 Win, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. The .308 Win will destroy any elk's heart and/or lungs just as surely as any other cartridge. And I do know from my own experience that mule deer will die when hit with a .308 Win bullet. I would not hesitate to hunt elk with a .308 Win.

The .308 Win in a lightweight rifle will not bruise a hunter's shoulder. Its accuracy instills confidence. After carrying heavy rifles for far too long, one grows to appreciate a short-action, lightweight, powerful rifle.

BTW, I've recently read an article that indicated that the .308 Win has passed the '06 in popularity. The '06 needs no accolades from me. It has done everything on the North American continent and others.

To answer your question: were I limited to one .308 Win bullet it would be the Hornady 165 grain Light Magnum. Right on its heels would be the R-P 180 Core-Lokt.

My hunting experiences have taught me that the dominant criteria of success are hunters' skills in finding game, maneuvering into position for advantageous shots (A bad shot is a bad shot regardless of cartridge.) and accuracy skills. Any suitable cartridge will kill. No animal can live sans heart and/or lungs. The adage that a .243 Win to heart and/or lungs is a whole lot better than an '06 to the guts is right on target, so to write. And we certainly cannot lose sight of the fact that our hunting forefathers killed all North American big game with surplus 7x57 & .303 British rifles. So it ain't cartridges alone that kill. Hunters' skills at putting bullets where they need to be factor heavily in the game-killing equation.

Next elk season I ought to be in one of Utah's premier trophy elk units. I will use my .270 Win as my primary rifle. And I will take my .308 Win as its back-up. I am trusting what might be a once-in-a-lifetime trophy elk hunt to these two cartridges. That's how respectful I am at them.

bdan68
11-23-2013, 07:14 PM
I would try 150 grain Barnes bullets, or one of the other 100% copper bullets. You'd get more velocity than you do with the 165's, and a bullet that retains 90% or more of its weight. A hard combination to beat. With a more conventional type bullet, I'd agree with the 165's.

Multi-SpeciesHunter
11-23-2013, 07:44 PM
So a .300 win mag loaded with a 180 gr Partition wouldn't be enough for you? It blew a big hole through my mulie at 320 yards this season, and I would have bet any elk would have dropped there. I'm not arguing, just curious. So you believe speed kills? I haven't decided my part on that argument. If you love speed, get 7.82 Warbird! You'll be getting close to 4000 FPS with a 150 gr bullet haha.


Not trying to start anything, but my baseline performance measurement is 3000fps and .308 doesn't make it. All my big game rifles hit that mark or better. I am sure that my baseline is way to high for lots of whitetail hunters, but I hunt the west almost almost exclusively. The 3k fps gives me great performance out to 400+ yds.

With that said, I also firmly believe that you must be very confident in your gun and shoot it a lot. The more comfortable it is, the better shooter you become. Use it, practice and get good with it.

SansSouci
11-23-2013, 08:06 PM
MultiSpeciesHunter,

I have read opposing research about velocity causing death. From my experience, I don't think it does. All of us have knowledge of big game animals that were poorly hit with bullets from mega-magnum cartridges and traveling a long way after. In contrast, no animal is going very far sans heart and/or lungs. What destroys these organs is immaterial. That they're destroyed is.

Were I accorded a hunting do-over, I'd buy a .280 Remington and never need another rifle. However, I know other hunters might see it differently. I'm good with that. What other hunters use to kill big game is their business, not mine. As long as their cartridges are capable of causing humane kills, I'm good. And I will admit, campfire cartridge banter is fun. If a hunting buddy believes an '06 is better at killing big game than a .308 Win, I'm good.

Multi-SpeciesHunter
11-23-2013, 08:48 PM
I agree! Don't use something that's ridiculous and I won't complain. I love my .300 winnie, but am not a one gun kind of guy. I'm only 18, so my gun count is limited. But I see many guns in my future. I like a guns history. I'd take a 30-06 over the newer .300 short mag any day. I feel as if I'm holding a piece of history in my hands.

I also feel that too much speed with a smaller bullet doesn't wreak as much havoc as say a slower more powerful round. Say a person is deciding between a 100 Gr .257 Weatherby or a 220 Gr 35 Whelen on an elk hunt. Well that's about a 1000 FPS difference. But I would take the 35 Whelen any day of the week. Just the amount of destruction the Whelen causes versus the .257 Weatherby is astronomical.

The .257, or any related caliber in a smaller load, is just not going to cause enough havoc to have that for a go-to big game gun, it will not usually have a massive wound channel as found with the slower bigger calibers.

But I'm not saying it won't kill an elk either. Just much less margin for error. Speed doesn't necessarily always kill.

MultiSpeciesHunter,

I have read opposing research about velocity causing death. From my experience, I don't think it does. All of us have knowledge of big game animals that were poorly hit with bullets from mega-magnum cartridges and traveling a long way after. In contrast, no animal is going very far sans heart and/or lungs. What destroys these organs is immaterial. That they're destroyed is.

Were I accorded a hunting do-over, I'd buy a .280 Remington and never need another rifle. However, I know other hunters might see it differently. I'm good with that. What other hunters use to kill big game is their business, not mine. As long as their cartridges are capable of causing humane kills, I'm good. And I will admit, campfire cartridge banter is fun. If a hunting buddy believes an '06 is better at killing big game than a .308 Win, I'm good.

Colorado Cowboy
11-23-2013, 08:51 PM
So a .300 win mag loaded with a 180 gr Partition wouldn't be enough for you? It blew a big hole through my mulie at 320 yards this season, and I would have bet any elk would have dropped there. I'm not arguing, just curious. So you believe speed kills? I haven't decided my part on that argument. If you love speed, get 7.82 Warbird! You'll be getting close to 4000 FPS with a 150 gr bullet haha.

I didn't say anything about "speed kills" pard. Read my post again carefully. What I said was that a baseline of 3000fps gives you much better performance out to 400 yds. A 400 yd shot are not unusual hunting in the open country I hunt. If you can't get 3000fps out of a .300 Win Mag with a 180 gr bullet, somethings wrong. I have a .300 Wby I handload for that I get 3200 fps with a 180 Nosler Partition very easily. Fact is with that load I shoot moa out to 500 yds. I also shoot moa out to 500 yda with my 30-06 with my hand loads. Mv is 3150 with a Sierra Gameking 150 gr BT.

Multi-SpeciesHunter
11-23-2013, 09:45 PM
I didn't say anything about "speed kills" pard. Read my post again carefully. What I said was that a baseline of 3000fps gives you much better performance out to 400 yds. A 400 yd shot are not unusual hunting in the open country I hunt. If you can't get 3000fps out of a .300 Win Mag with a 180 gr bullet, somethings wrong. I have a .300 Wby I handload for that I get 3200 fps with a 180 Nosler Partition very easily. Fact is with that load I shoot moa out to 500 yds. I also shoot moa out to 500 yda with my 30-06 with my hand loads. Mv is 3150 with a Sierra Gameking 150 gr BT.

My .300 Winnie shoots a little under 3000 FPS. I do agree that 3000 FPS is probably an ok bet if you plan to shoot that far. I did not mean to say you were totally for "speed kills" , my bad.

2,950 FPS .300 Win Mag 180 gr versus a 3,200 FPS .300 Weatherby. You will not see field difference. I can kill an Elk at 400 yards just as dead as you can.

The common amount of energy said to kill an elk is anywhere from 1200 to 1500 pounds. We will both have more than enough at 400yds. But I don't meet the 3000 FPS baseline.
( I won't shoot animals past that anyway)

Kentucky hunter
11-23-2013, 09:53 PM
So a .300 win mag loaded with a 180 gr Partition wouldn't be enough for you? It blew a big hole through my mulie at 320 yards this season, and I would have bet any elk would have dropped there. I'm not arguing, just curious. So you believe speed kills? I haven't decided my part on that argument. If you love speed, get 7.82 Warbird! You'll be getting close to 4000 FPS with a 150 gr bullet haha.
The thing with speed is the less time your bullet is in the air the less time there is for wind to push it off target an less time for your target to move have seen game take a step an make a perfect shot a not so perfect shot I see it both ways I try to load 2900fps an up my 300 rum shoots 168 gr at 3280 I can get more out of it but lighten up the kick an cut holes at 200 with that load an will push 150 gr 3500fps but I feel that bullet is a little light

Multi-SpeciesHunter
11-23-2013, 09:56 PM
I believe more in foot-pounds versus FPS is all I am getting at. But a good balance of both is best. I like your idea of 3000FPS. But with todays gun talk, it's like 2800 FPS can't kill anything anymore.

Kentucky hunter
11-23-2013, 09:59 PM
After a weekend at the long range in bv I switched to a nosler in 165. Shot tighter an flatter for me.

I shoot the barnes bullets they out shoot most conventional bullet types I still like my lead core bullets but barnes are my go to bullets

Multi-SpeciesHunter
11-23-2013, 10:00 PM
The thing with speed is the less time your bullet is in the air the less time there is for wind to push it off target an less time for your target to move have seen game take a step an make a perfect shot a not so perfect shot I see it both ways I try to load 2900fps an up my 300 rum shoots 168 gr at 3280 I can get more out of it but lighten up the kick an cut holes at 200 with that load an will push 150 gr 3500fps but I feel that bullet is a little light

Love the RUM! Good balance of foot-pounds and speed. But I feel many people say "speed kills" when really a fast .257 can definitely be blown off course at 500 yards. It is just a smaller bullet. But a larger bullet like a 30-378 or RUM, will have the speed and size to not be blown off course.

Kentucky hunter
11-23-2013, 10:50 PM
Love the RUM! Good balance of foot-pounds and speed. But I feel many people say "speed kills" when really a fast .257 can definitely be blown off course at 500 yards. It is just a smaller bullet. But a larger bullet like a 30-378 or RUM, will have the speed and size to not be blown off course.

The high the bc of the bullet the better an on most bullets the bigger they are the higher the bc is a big bullet with a high bc will out run a smaller faster bullet down range an less wind drift I just went with the 168 to lighten up the recoil

mcseal2
11-23-2013, 11:24 PM
It's just a matter of finding the right balance for you personally.

I look first at finding something with the bullet weight and energy to do the job. Then I look at finding a way to do it without to much recoil, because heavier recoiling rifles cause me to flinch. I shot everything with a 22LR or 300 win with hot loaded 180gr bullets for to long. This wasn't smart, it worked great for a while but after time my flinch started causing missed shots. The 300 win may have been a little overkill for coyotes, crows, etc. from awkward positions.

I started thinking about this, I hate to miss, and learned I could shoot a 140gr bullet with an identical BC and velocity from some other rounds and use my same wind and elevation holds with much less recoil. I started doing this and missing less. The bullet weight and energy were still adequate for elk and smaller game and my shot placement was better. Later I started playing with the lower BC but higher velocity 22, 24, and 25 calibers and learned that they also have their place.

I am not saying anything against the 300 win mag or any other round, many people can shoot them fine. I could to for a while. I shot to darn much and after a while the recoil took it's toll on me personally. I didn't let the bruises on my shoulder heal between rifle shooting sessions and was also doing some competitive shot gunning at the time that further beat my shoulder. It didn't work for me. I use a 204 Ruger, 223, 6mm, 264WM, and 270 win for most all my hunting anymore and each has it's place. Never taking to much recoil lets me practice a lot while keeping my flinch under control. Others are just as good, these are just what I have.

I evaluate Time of Flight (primarily due to velocity) and BC to find the most efficient bullet weight for each gun for it's intended purpose. Then I try to select the bullet with the right expansion characteristics and BC to find a load that gives me what I want. I chronograph the loads and once I find the right mix of accuracy and velocity with the right bullet I use it. I shoot some longer ranges and hunt in windy conditions so I pay attention to the little things, try to give myself what advantages I can.

mcseal2
11-23-2013, 11:33 PM
The high the bc of the bullet the better an on most bullets the bigger they are the higher the bc is a big bullet with a high bc will out run a smaller faster bullet down range an less wind drift I just went with the 168 to lighten up the recoil

Good point. A friend shoots a 257 weatherby and I shoot a 264WM for deer. I loaded for both and we learned that with a 250yd zero his gun shooting 110gr bullets fast is 2" flatter at 400yds, but mine drifts 2" less in the wind with slower higher BC 140gr bullets. Two different ways of getting pretty much the same trajectory at that range. The difference does increase with range, but it shows that at normal ranges there is more than one way to get similar results.

SansSouci
11-24-2013, 09:01 AM
mcseal2,

I'm right with you with your aversion to recoil. I've fired rifles that were just too painful. Merely looking at mega-magnum cartridges causes me to flinch. And reality is they aren't going to kill any better than a .308 Win. I've seen studly dudes beaten up by .300 Win Mag rifles. And were I to buy a .308 caliber mag, it would be a .300 Win Mag. I know my limitation, and it's 7MM Rem Mag recoil.

I, too, shoot for accuracy; however, I'm not quite as technical. I do examine sectional density, mostly for penetration purposes. I don't consider wind drift. I stop at bench shooting accuracy. The reason is if it's too windy for any bullet, it's time to close distance. If wind is in my favor, I'll stalk. If not, I'll wait it out hoping game comes to me.

SansSouci
11-24-2013, 09:09 AM
MultiSpeciesHunter,

Your right on target with big bore rifles. "40 Years with the .45/70" is a book by Paul Matthews. He began big game hunting with an '06. Then he was introduced to the .45/70. He wrote that game he shot with huge, slow, paper-patched lead bullets dropped dead in their tracks. Were I to move to Alaska where grizzly bears are as common as jack rabbits in the Mojave, I'd own a fast-handling, lever action .45/70 with stout hand loads or stuff from Buffalo Bore. The drawback with big bores is they hurt like hell when bench shooting.

When I first started deer hunting 40 years ago, an old-timer used a 7x57. He also had an 8x57 that he used for game larger than deer.

The equation was explained to me when I was quite young and is as follows: big gun>big recoil>big miss. One of my long ago hunting buddies referred to the MM in 7MM Rem Mag as mighty miss.

Kentucky hunter
11-24-2013, 09:30 AM
You all are right a lot of guys can shoot a mag mine hurt like hell untill I did some work on it an made y own load now you can shoot it on the bench with one hand everyone thinks Im crazy but the recoil isnt that bad

Colorado Cowboy
11-24-2013, 09:40 AM
My 3150 fps load in my 30-06 doesn't kick any harder that a 2900 fps load, I've shot them both. But the ballistic performance is much better with the 3150 load. just my experience.

I also believe that felt recoil is a result of bullet weight more than velocity. The heavier the bullet, the more recoil. I shoot a lot of B/P 1000 yard matches. When i increase the bullet weight from around 350 to 500 (with a similiar powder charge, the recoils in tremendously increased!

I also have a MB on my .300 Wby that screws on/off. I use it at the range, but not in the field. On or off, accuracy not effected.

My normal antelope/deer rifle is a 25-06, the .30's are usually for elk or larger animals.

Kentucky hunter
11-24-2013, 10:36 AM
Your right Cowboy bullet weight makes a big difference you been loading a long time

Colorado Cowboy
11-24-2013, 11:04 AM
[QUOTE= you been loading a long time[/QUOTE]

Started loading helping my Dad when I was 12....60 years ago. When I was 15 I bought my own loader from Herters. Been loading everything since then. Started out reloading cause it was lots cheaper than factory ammo. Not as much so now. The main advantage as I see now, is that I can tailor my loads to each gun I own and outperform the factory stuff easily.