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Thread: Stabilizing heavy 308 bullets

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Stabilizing heavy 308 bullets

    Ok,
    How many of you chaps have had good luck getting accurate 308 loads in a 1:12 twist bbl with bullet weights over 170 grains?
    Sure like the win 70 but at 1:12 I am a bit held back - could always send off to PacNor for a new 1"10 bbl but hate to waste a perfectly good new bbl -
    Ruger and Savage both offer 1:10 in their 308's - gotta love the triggers and bedding in the Savage for sure but the winny just keeps calling pick me pick me!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    My only experance is with Ruger and 200's did well with 220's just OK at a hundred yards
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3

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    For shooting heavy 308 diameter bullets you'll have the advantage on your side with the Tikka and it's 1-11" twist or the 1-10" twist of Winchesters competetion.
    HOWEVER, if you want to get the heaviest bullet you can to stabilize in the 1-12" twist; use flat-based-round-nosed projectiles that are cup and core type. These will reduce overall bullet length and increase stability, I'm not sure how heavy of bullet a 1-12" twist will carry though. BUT with the reduced velocity of launching a heavy cup and core bullet from a 308 the chances of bullet failure are nil, because most heavy bullets are designed for 30-06 or greater velocities minimum.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I had a Kimber with a 1:12 and it wouldn't stabilize anything over 180s and those seemed somewhat sketchy.

    For what its worth with the excellent modern projectiles available today, I don't see any need for a .30 cal bullet over 180gr. except to meet the bison requirement. I tend to think they're something of an anachronism when you look at the TSX, Trophy Bonded, the ETip and the like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    For what its worth with the excellent modern projectiles available today, I don't see any need for a .30 cal bullet over 180gr. except to meet the bison requirement. I tend to think they're something of an anachronism when you look at the TSX, Trophy Bonded, the ETip and the like.
    I agree with you 100%.

    Smokey...keep a close eye on bullet LENGTHS as you compare the wonderful choices we have as handloaders. Bullets of the same weight vary in length due to composition, design and manufacturer. Twist rate and LENGTH of the bullet are the factors in stabilization during flight.

    I'm sure you already know this because you're no rookie.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    cant speak for the 1-12 twist, but the best luck you will have, as has been mentioned is with the 200-220 gr round nose flat base bullets. Just a guess, but i would think if you could push them above 2,200 fps you should be fine for stability. it's worth giving it a shot and see if you get key-holes at a 100 yards.

    bit off topic, but I have been playing with a new rifle that has a 1-8 twist and I am able to stabalize the Hornady 225 gr match bullets as slow as about 950 fps at 100 yds. below 900 fps it becomes obvious by the holes in the target that there is some bullet yaw. what is really wierd, is that even when they are yawing noticably, the accuracy is still pretty good, with 5 shots going into 2" or less.
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Many good points for sure to ponder. I agree totally that one likely needs nothing heavier than a good 165 to hunt about any critter with outa that 308 - that's likely why some of the hunting rifle mfgs are sticking with the 1:12 twist rate.
    Makes me lean back pretty hard on the winny as it was my first choice anyways - been waiting for a distributor to get some for over a month now - lottsa 3006 and 270's but have not seen a 308 yet.
    Figured I am getting to old and creakety to haul my win 300wm around on many more hunts so figure a nice lighter weight 308 should finish out my hunting days and it should be fine with 165's for mooses out to say 350 I reckon with good shot placement!
    Always got the 4570 if'n something needs killing harder
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Have you tried a 168grn TSX? The TSX's tend to be longer for their weight, so that could be a problem for your 12 twist, but if they do work and you can safely squeeze as much velocity (with accuracy or course) in your load as possible that could be the ticket. However, I'm still carrying my 375H&H every fall up here.

    As a side-note, but related to your thread starter...I have a 257WBY with a 10 twist. After much experimentation I found that it loves 100 grn TSX's, but key-holes the 115 TSX's (regardless of velocity) and doesn't group the 120NP or A-Frames to my satisfaction. In the last few years I've cleanly taken four black bear with that little quarter-bore 100grn TSX at ranges from 35 to 400 yards doing spot and stalk hunting...granted, that little TSX is moving real fast out of a 257WBY.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I had very good luck with 180 Fail Safes (I think discontinued) and accuracy with 165 Interbonds in Hornady Light Magnum ammo was nothing short of stellar. Back then I couldn't reproduce those with handloads but I think with some of the newer powders you could easily make a fast 165 or 180 with a tough bullet and exceed the level of "on game" performance that a 180gr .30-06 of twenty years ago had- no flies on that reputation.

    I really like the idea of a Featherweight in .308....hmmmm.

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    My Marlin XL7 30-06 has a 1:10 and it definitely likes the heavier bullets. I tried some 150 gr. Hornady GMX's and groups were pretty wide. 180 Nosler partitions were grouping sub-MOA with three of six loads. I'm going to try some 200 or 220 gr. bullets when I get the chance. I wouldn't mind getting another '06 someday with a 1:12 barrel for a long range shooter with lighter bullets. Seems to me changing the barrel is almost like getting another rifle in a different caliber.

    And Smokey - The Marlin is certainly worth a look. I bought mine in synthetic/stainless for under $450 and they have been consistently out-shooting virtually every other rifle in the under $2500 range.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I can definitely see a trip to Cabella's or Bass Pro's soon to "fondle" some guns ! I got in an Edge in 243 for my Bro-in-law and I didn't care for the feel of the grip - was a bit small and buttstock seemed to come to a sharp point at the top where your cheek sits. Glad it fits some as it is a real bargain value.
    Gotta get my hands on one of the Savage 16 FCSS models to feel. It has some features I like in writing for sure with the accustock a plus having a soft recoil pad.
    My goal was to have:
    1. an adjustable trigger
    2. SS all weather
    3. a composite stock that could take a beating without regret " I have plenty of beautiful guns "
    4. accurate history
    5. below 7lbs
    I plan to slap on a new Leupy in 2x7x33 - 30mm with the red lighted led reticule. I do not think the Savage comes even close to the beauty of a win 70, but I have hunted critters with many cur dogs vs purebreds and in the end they performed just fine. All the write ups on the Savages sure look good.
    No problem with Rugers either - other than the trigger being somewhat non adj for the user - got some nice ones that shoot lights out, but this time I want a gun I don't have to drop another $150.00 on for a new trigger I can adjust...
    Would love to be able to still drag a 375 around Doc - I hope you get many years of toten that smoke-pole around yet!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  12. #12

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    SMOKEY, while you're there be sure to check out the Tikka T3 lite. It doesn't have an adjustable trigger, but it really doesn't need one either, it's comes with a 1-11 twist, 6.75 lbs.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    SMOKEY, while you're there be sure to check out the Tikka T3 lite. It doesn't have an adjustable trigger, but it really doesn't need one either, it's comes with a 1-11 twist, 6.75 lbs.
    Will do Brav01, can you tell me about what they come set at? Thx
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Never checked mine but it breaks clean; I'm guessing at around 3 1/2 lbs. Pretty good for a 6.75 lb hunting class rifle in stainless/ syn. Heck it may even be adjustable, I haven't checked mine was good enough from the box. I'ld seroiusly consider adding a Limbsaver recoil pad though, there's a direct replacement that just bolts on.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    The Marlins have a "pro-fire" adjustable trigger, very similar to Savage's accu-trigger, and weigh right at 6 lbs. without scope.

    zoom_xs7s.jpg

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Ok,
    How many of you chaps have had good luck getting accurate 308 loads in a 1:12 twist bbl with bullet weights over 170 grains?
    Sure like the win 70 but at 1:12 I am a bit held back - could always send off to PacNor for a new 1"10 bbl but hate to waste a perfectly good new bbl -
    Ruger and Savage both offer 1:10 in their 308's - gotta love the triggers and bedding in the Savage for sure but the winny just keeps calling pick me pick me!
    I regularly shoot 5 shot sub moa groups using 185gr Scenars with my Blaser

  17. #17
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Never checked mine but it breaks clean; I'm guessing at around 3 1/2 lbs. Pretty good for a 6.75 lb hunting class rifle in stainless/ syn. Heck it may even be adjustable, I haven't checked mine was good enough from the box. I'ld seroiusly consider adding a Limbsaver recoil pad though, there's a direct replacement that just bolts on.
    Brav01, their literature says they are adjustable from 2 - 4lbs
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I am beginning to think we have toooo many choices! Then one has to add in DBM or not - good grief LOL
    I like the DBM from a point of easily loading and unloading - not convinced its the better route to go though...

    Lotsa fine guns that all ccan get'er done - thanks for all the inputs fella's.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  19. #19

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    Smokey, I spent labor day playing with 308s. I took my Charles Daly 98 mauser, my Weatherby Vanguard light weight and I also took my son's Remington 700 VTR. My old buddy Butch showed up with Chrony and the All Weather Winchester 308 that I sold him a short while ago.

    The load that shot the best in all 4 rifles was a 165 grain Hornady Interbond on top of 46 grains of Varget, 3 of the 4 rifles shot MOA with that load and the Winchester was just over at 1.123 inches at 2754 fps.

    The rifle that gave both the smallest group and the highest velocity was the VTR. It grouped at less than a half inch at 2819 fps. The Vanguard was right behind it at just over 5/8ths of an inch at 2730fps. The Vanguard sports a 20" barrel and had the lowest velocity. The commercial 98 shot around 3/4 of an inch with a velocity of 2804fps.

    The Remington and Winchester came from the factory with great triggers and I tinkered with the the mauser and Weatherby until I got them to where I wanted them(that took several nights and many tries to get the mauser where I wanted it and if I had it to do over again I would just buy a Bold trigger and be done with it).

    Of these 4 rifles the one I like the best is the cheapest one price wise of the bunch but it gives up nothing to the other three in quality making it in my opinion by far the best value of the bunch. That would be the Weatherby Vanguard.

    Just a few weeks ago I sold a bunch of guns and had both of these 308s (the Mauser and the Weatherby) in the pile of guns to sell. However when it got right down to time to part ways with them I pulled them both out of the pile. I just couldn't sell them!

  20. #20
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    [
    Of these 4 rifles the one I like the best is the cheapest one price wise of the bunch but it gives up nothing to the other three in quality making it in my opinion by far the best value of the bunch. That would be the Weatherby Vanguard.

    Just a few weeks ago I sold a bunch of guns and had both of these 308s (the Mauser and the Weatherby) in the pile of guns to sell. However when it got right down to time to part ways with them I pulled them both out of the pile. I just couldn't sell them![/QUOTE]

    EKC thats just not right to show up to the party late and get me all confused again! I wus thinking maybe those squirrles had buried ya and we's were gonna have to get up a search party to find your rearend!

    I picked up one of the new Vanguard II's in a store a few weeks back - sure felt good and looked good - it was a 308 and I just about came home with it but something - oh yeah my wife - held me back...
    Thx for the good inputs!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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