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  1. #1
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    308 bullet question

    I will be taking my 13 yr old son on his first elk hunt this fall here in CO.

    He will be shooting a Ruger American in 308 w/ a Nikon ProStaff 3x9 BDC. So far he has been very good on the range at 100 yds during our sessions sighting in his rifle. Shooting 2-3" groups for the first few sessions as we have sighted his gun in this winter. He has good shooting technique and I wouldn't let him shoot over 200-250 yrds depending on how he performs at the range this summer.

    My question is .....do I need to have him shot 180 gr loads for elk or do you think he will be good with 165/168 gr loads?

    I like the slightly smaller loads due to the ballistics. I'm looking at the Hornady 165 SST Superformance load. It is carrying 1858 ft lbs at 300 yds.

    I was looking for some input as we do some final tweaks sighting in this summer with the load he will be hunting with this fall.

    Your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    165 is perfectly fine at the distances you mentioned. Although, if I remember right, the SST is designed for smaller animals like deer and antelopes. I killed a few bulls using the Hornady Interbonds and would suggest looking into that bullet choice for elk in the 308.

    I used to use 150s in a 270 before I went with a bigger cal...

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  4. #3
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    As elkhunter96 mentions, the interbond is much better suited for elk. The SST are a rapid expansion bullet so penetration could be a problem. I shoot 165 grain superformance interbonds in my 30-06 for elk and I doubt I will ever switch. I have taken many elk with this combination and never have had an issue.

    A 308 will cleanly take elk with any controlled expansion bullet beyond the ranges you discuss so just find one that your wallet and your gun like.

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  6. #4
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    Running a few quick calcs, the 165gr provides as much or more energy at 500 yds anyway so it would be in the "sweet spot" for weight/speed ratio. It'll work fine at normal hunting distances.

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  8. #5
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    I use 180 gr. Nosler Partition in my .300 Wby.....exclusively. I'm old school for sure, but dead is dead and the Noslers do that job perfectly!

    I'm sure the bullet you have chosen will also do the job, but shot placement is king!
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

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  10. #6
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    CC,

    Nothing wrong with old school! I'm set in my ways also.
    "Only two people have died for You and I, The American Soldier died for Our Freedom & Jesus Christ Died for Our Souls!" I thank GOD for them! GOD BLESS AMERICA!



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  11. #7
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    If your boy hits that elk behind the shoulder through the lungs, any of the bullets mentioned will work fine. On a less that perfect shot, where bone is encountered, a Partition /Accubond/Barnes X/ Hornady GMX/ Nosler E-tip would be preferred. Better safe than sorry.

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  13. #8
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    The first elk I killed was with my .308 150 grain winchester supreme silver ballistic tip at 254 yards. Double lung shot he ran about 75 yards.
    "Only two people have died for You and I, The American Soldier died for Our Freedom & Jesus Christ Died for Our Souls!" I thank GOD for them! GOD BLESS AMERICA!



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  14. #9
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    I agree with these posts, but I would like to add that my .308 tends to shoots a lot better with 165 grains instead of the 180 or 150's. I am not sure why it does that, but there was a big difference. I didn't ever narrow it down further I just stuck with the first ones that worked. So in my opinion a 165 or 168 would be fine for an elk if that is what works best with your gun.

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  16. #10
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    Do not use the SST for elk! Stay with their Interbond and don't look back!!!

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