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Thread: 308 win question

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Default 308 win question

    What's the biggest bullet that folks have loaded into the 308?
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  2. #2
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.


    200s and I think that's all it will do. I like 180s better myself.
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  3. #3
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Delta Junction AK


    I've had some 200s and I agree with AD, that's about it. Mine wouldn't shoot 200s worth thinking twice about. You could maybe go with 220s but the velocity would be getting low.

    Personally I like good 165s in my .308- mine stabilizes 180s so-so with a 1/12 twist but shoots 165s like a house on fire. If you want more penetration, then a tougher than normal bullet can be used. I don't like really tough bullets in a .308 but I'm thinking a Fail Safe, Trophy Bonded or TSX at full velocity would penetrate tissue about as far as anything in a .308 Win, probably farther than a 200 or 220 would at reduced velocities.

    I do have some older Winchester Fail Safe 180s that are what I'd choose if I needed a tough and heavy bullet for tangling with something out of the .308's league.

  4. #4
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Near Phoenix, AZ


    My 308 has a 1:10 twist and prefers 175gr Berger's. The folks with 1:12 twist would most likely do better with 168gr and lighter. Once the bullet weight gets above 180gr in the 308 your effective range is significantly reduced do to loss of velocity.

    Several of the good bullets list 1700-1800fps as a minimum impact velocity for proper expansion. That puts you down to around 350 yards for a 200gr versus 500 yards for a 165gr with typical velocities for those weights.

    If your shooting targets or small game you could reach out a few hundred more yards if you wanted to. I'm assuming you would be shooting deer, caribou or perhaps a moose with the heavy bullet.

    I've been shooting steel targets with my 308 at ranges out to 600yards but I would not consider hunting with it at that range.

  5. #5


    I used to load 200 grain Speers for my own a couple of buddy's guns many years ago when we were hunting clearcuts for Columbia blacktail. Shooting was usually very close and very fast, and at those ranges the 200 held together beautifully, penetrated well, yet still expanded. We all carried a few 165 Noslers in our pocket for the occasional deliberate long range shot. I tried some Remington 220 RNs too, but all our guns just did better with the 200's. My go-to bullet weight in the 308 has always been the 165 Nosler for all around use.

  6. #6

    Default 220 Partitions work great

    I have done a lot of reading on the subject of heavy for caliber bullets, and decided that for close in brown bear protection, that that is the way to go. I read a post on a forum written by Phil Shoemaker(probably the top Alaska Brown bear guide today) where he states he did penetration tests on several rifles/bullets and the results were surprising. For the 30-06, the 220 partition gave the deepest penetration. Next were the 200 Swifts and 180 TSX ( which gave identical penetration), followed by the 240 Woodleighs PP and finally the 220 Woodleigh RN. He says he gets 2500 fps muzzle velocity with the 220 partitions using MRP powder in his custom made 06. He also tested several other calibers/bullets.

    The 220 Partitions equalled 300 gr Partitions from a 375 H&H and beat 400 gr DGX Hornady softs from a 416.

    read about it here;

    He states that for someone that can stalk and shoot, you should have no problem using a 308 win with proper bullets for Brown bears. Since my only rifle is a 308, I decided to try and see how the 220 partitions would shoot in my Tikka T3 lite/SS. According to the Lee manual, H4350 powder should give a velocity of 2369 fps at just below 55,000 psi pressure for a 225 grain bullet. H414 gives 2289 fps also at 55,000 psi. I have some H414, so I loaded several 220s up starting low and finishing at the 44 grain max listed in the manual. I didn't see any pressure signs at all, and the Lee manual gives coefficients for pressure and velocity so that you can calculate new values for increasing or decreasing amounts of powder. I slowly upped the charge .1 grain at a time untill I got to 45 grains of H414(59,000 psi calculated). This showed no bad signs of too high pressure (no cupped primer, easy bolt lift, easy extraction). This load chronographed at 2340 fps. I have no doubt you could get 2400+ fps with H4350 powder. How did it shoot? It shot a .94 in., 4 shot group at 100 yds. Looks like I have my bear protection load.


  7. #7


    Depending on what I am hunting, I use a 150 gr bullet. For deer sized game I use the 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, if I am going after something bigger, I step up to the 180 gr Accubond or Barnes TSX

  8. #8
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Apr 2006

    Thumbs up

    anything heavier than 180;s tend to rob powder the 308 Win!

    No big bears with the 308 bear OK. I don't beleve you could fine a guide that would take U after Big Bears with a 308 Win......

    The 168gr TSX or 180gr Nosler AB or Part work great in the 308 Win with RL 15 or Varget.


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