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Short barrel 308 ammo recommendations

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Lockjaw View Drop Down
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    Posted: June/03/2016 at 05:34
I am doing a single purpose deer rifle. It's a Ruger Hawkeye, 16.5 in barrel. It's going to have a Zeiss Conquest Duralyt 2-8x42 on it. It's going to be a close quarters gun, mainly in thick cover.

Accuracy aside, what would be a good option for ammo selection? I was thinking about the 165 gr Hornady American Whitetail load. The gun shoots the 150 grain well, just thinking maybe a 165 might be a little better in thicker cover. 

I know the shorter barrel will knock some of the velocity down. I want to be able to anchor my deer. I've shot 2 deer with it using the 150 HAW ammo, both dropped in their tracks. They were just doe's tho. 

I have a box of Hornady 165 gr BTSP I got last year when one of my local gun stores was running a sale. I thought it was the 150 SST, which I had been buying as well. I think its basically the same as the AM ammo, just it has a boat tail instead of a flat base. 

I do not like Core Lokts, so please don't suggest them. 

Any benefit to a 165 over a 150? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DCAMM94 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 05:49
In thick cover you're not going to need to worry too much about velocity.  Any of the bullets loaded in the ammo you suggest will have ample energy to expand at velocities from a 16.5" barrel within 200yds.  With that said, I think heavier is better for "anchoring" game, plus, the lower velocities produce less cavitation, and therefore less bloodshot meat.  When I was young, I used to think faster and flatter was better.  Now that I'm more experienced, if my hunting will be within max point blank range, I go with heavier bullets every time.  Hope this helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 08:56
Heavier is better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 10:13
The only advatage lighter will have is possibly lighter recoil.

Heavier will retain more energy, penetrate deaper, retain better velocity, less wind drift. All around better option.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 10:58
Nosler partition.  The standard by which every hunting bullet is judged, and has been for over 60 years.  I'd go heavier as well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lockjaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 12:26
Well gun is 5.75 pound and no recoil pad. I'm adding about a pound and half for scope and rings. I didn't think it was to bad with 150 grain. Less than my 270 with 130s. And it's heavier to boot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 12:33
I have a 300 wsm that is right a 7 lbs. i shoot 180 grain out of it. U definitly notice when u pull the trigger. :).

I just bought a mossberg .308 with 16" barrel. Its great fun. I am a fan of short barrels for sure.

I would even consider 180s for your ruger. Lots of benefits to heavy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 13:26
I hand load, so it's tough to make the "factory ammo" call.  My brush gun is an 16" barrel AR10 throwing 180 Barnes TTSX at about 2600FPS, and I love the setup.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 23:33
180gr copper bullet at 2600 out of a 16" barrel is pretty peppy. I am sure you know what you are doing, but it would make me worry about pressure.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2016 at 23:36
Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

Well gun is 5.75 pound and no recoil pad. I'm adding about a pound and half for scope and rings. I didn't think it was to bad with 150 grain. Less than my 270 with 130s. And it's heavier to boot.


I would start by getting a recoil pad. With ammo, i am with everyone else here: go with the heaviest quality bullet you can easily get.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2016 at 09:32
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

180gr copper bullet at 2600 out of a 16" barrel is pretty peppy. I am sure you know what you are doing, but it would make me worry about pressure.

ILya

I wouldn't, PERSONALLY, be particularly afraid of it, but have never seen the 180TTSX loaded above about 2650-2700fps out of a 16in barrel.  Please PM me some info on your load, RC…  If it is working well for you, I would love to try it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steelbenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2016 at 16:08
I use RL-17 with my heavies but out of a bolt gun not an AR platform.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/06/2016 at 11:56
Dan, I can't tell you, it is super secret, I don't use powder, I use C4 as the propellant and it is mall ninja---typo sorry, 2500 on the 180s, or thereabouts. Will look up the specs but it is a compressed load of varget over a bullet seated to max mag length.

2600 would be sporty indeed!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2016 at 04:01

I just took a load, for a slightly larger bullet (approximately 1500gr) rated at max range of 4500 meters to 7300 meters.  There were definitely some overpressure signs in the brass, but the gun held up well.   Some of the brass was very old and showed extreme pressure signs, some of the newer stuff did very well.  No one had ever done it before, at least not "recorded". 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lockjaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2016 at 10:25
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

Well gun is 5.75 pound and no recoil pad. I'm adding about a pound and half for scope and rings. I didn't think it was to bad with 150 grain. Less than my 270 with 130s. And it's heavier to boot.


I would start by getting a recoil pad. With ammo, i am with everyone else here: go with the heaviest quality bullet you can easily get.

ILya
it is not bad really. I have same gun in stainless in 708 and its .25 pound heaver and easy on the shoulder. Of course I have dropped 30 pounds since last year so I might need a pad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevel610 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2016 at 20:16
I have a Ruger RSI with 18.5" barrel in 30-06. It too is a brush gun. I'm making a load which mimics a 30-30. 150 gr. Sierra flat point using H4350. It shoots 1.5" at 100 yards. I haven't chrono'd it yet, but by load weight and velocity reduction for the short barrel, it should be just at 2390 fps.

I have a nice low power load using the same bullet with H4895 that shoots the same grouping. Only chrono'd at 2124 fps which makes it a 125 yard load.

Using a fixed 6x for load development, but will be switching to an NECG rear Ruger sight once the load is developed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevel610 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/07/2016 at 20:21
Using 150's because they group better than 165's or 180's out of this gun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lockjaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/08/2016 at 07:00
I don't want a low power load simply because I could be in a situation where I could be presented woth a longer shot. I killed a deer 2 years ago with this rifle off a PowerLine and it was easily 150+ yards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernie Bishop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2016 at 23:13
Hornady TAP (168 grain)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nralifer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2016 at 22:13
I have a 308 Savage action with a 20" Douglas barrel. It is my favorite hunting rifle. As far as what factory ammo to recommend I would try a variety of brands and settle on the one or two that shoots the best out of your rifle. Bullet placement is all important. Heavier is better, and 180 grain bullets do very well.
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trigger29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2016 at 10:43
Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

I don't want a low power load simply because I could be in a situation where I could be presented woth a longer shot. I killed a deer 2 years ago with this rifle off a PowerLine and it was easily 150+ yards.
don't fool yourself into thinking the underrated .308 is limited to short range, or that it doesn't have the power to take game at longer ranges. I've taken game weighing 300-600+ lbs at ranges of 250-500 yards. Bullet placement is key. Put the bullet where it belongs and it should do its job.

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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trigger29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2016 at 10:45
Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

I don't want a low power load simply because I could be in a situation where I could be presented woth a longer shot. I killed a deer 2 years ago with this rifle off a PowerLine and it was easily 150+ yards.
don't fool yourself into thinking the underrated .308 is limited to short range, or that it doesn't have the power to take game at longer ranges. I've taken game weighing 300-600+ lbs at ranges of 250-500 yards. Bullet placement is key. Shoot a quality bullet. Put the bullet where it belongs and it should do its job.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2016 at 11:05
Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

I don't want a low power load simply because I could be in a situation where I could be presented woth a longer shot. I killed a deer 2 years ago with this rifle off a PowerLine and it was easily 150+ yards.
don't fool yourself into thinking the underrated .308 is limited to short range, or that it doesn't have the power to take game at longer ranges. I've taken game weighing 300-600+ lbs at ranges of 250-500 yards. Bullet placement is key. Put the bullet where it belongs and it should do its job.

Jason, with 308, like with most cartridges these days what limits the range at which a hunter can take game is usually the skill and confidence of the hunter.  You are competent shot and you practice, so for you a 500 yards shot is not terribly difficult.  However, most importantly, you also know how to recognize the conditions when a 500 yards shot is absolutely out of the question.

For most people out there (me included), a 500 yard shot on game is absolutely out of the question simply due to skill and confidence considerations.

With that in mind, for almost all big game in North America (with well known exceptions from the "large and mean" category), 308Win is an excellent cartridge to use within any reasonable range.

The question of bullets still remains.  While I personally tend to lean toward heavy for caliber bullets, I fully admit that with modern superbly designed monolithic bullets (that someone I know promised to make a few of, not that I am pointing fingers...), a lighter and flatter shooting might just be the way to go.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steelbenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2016 at 14:32
I had some of the 170grainers of said bullets! I need to get a few more!
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trigger29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2016 at 22:52
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by Lockjaw Lockjaw wrote:

I don't want a low power load simply because I could be in a situation where I could be presented woth a longer shot. I killed a deer 2 years ago with this rifle off a PowerLine and it was easily 150+ yards.
don't fool yourself into thinking the underrated .308 is limited to short range, or that it doesn't have the power to take game at longer ranges. I've taken game weighing 300-600+ lbs at ranges of 250-500 yards. Bullet placement is key. Put the bullet where it belongs and it should do its job.
(that someone I know promised to make a few of, not that I am pointing fingers...), a lighter and flatter shooting might just be the way to go.

ILya
I took a 600lb blue wildebeest at 482 yds with that short .308 shooting only a 150gr bullet....... and fear not bud. Those bullets are coming...... soon.

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