The .308 Winchester for Long Range

A place to discuss subjects related to those who prefer to take those longer shots. Sponsored by European Long Range Hunting and EuroOptic

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stokesrj
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The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:36 am

Some time back Corjack made the comment that for standard hunting ranges the .308 had much to offer compared to the 6.5 Creedmoor. I had to agree, but still think the Creedmoor is more fun and more capable at longer ranges.

My first bolt action rifle was a .308, a Sako L57 that my dad gave me. It was my only rifle when I first moved to Alaska and it killed most everything with little fuss or bother, but to be honest, I couldn't wait to get a more capable rifle. I just thought of the 308 as boring and I thought of it as a 0-300 yard cartridge, blown around in the wind too much for serious long range considerations.

I had also used the .308 competitively on the USAF rifle team and at 600 yards it was ok but even the .223 with 77 or 80 grain SMK's would shoot inside the 308 at that range in the wind. however, I have also seen the 308 used to set national records in 600 yard Mid Range Prone matches. So it can be learned and used effectively out to that range anyway, if you consider that long range.

Face with the dilemma of a caliber choice for my K95 Stutzen which is on order from Blaser I was forced to consider short barrel performance and recoil from a light rifle. My focus shifted once again to the .308 Winchester. So I began studying it, both from an exterior and terminal ballistics standpoint. One thing became clear, H4895 (ADI 2206H) is the powder for 20" barreled .308 rifles. Nearly every way I look at it, H4895 shines in this application. Surprisingly, in my research I found several people using the .308 for long range hunting applications, and with 20" barrels at that. My curiosity was now peaked.

One of the people using the 308 in this application is Nathan Foster of New Zealand. I've read a lot of his work on terminal ballistics and have found many of his experiences to match my field experiences. Yet, he had a different take than I on bullet performance at long range, he also has more experience than me. He leans much more toward highly frangible bullets than I do which is perhaps why I have experienced some disappointing results when ranges are long. I've always wanted a bullet that will penetrate deeply at close range and expand well at longer range which is why I've used the Nosler Partition quite a bit, mostly the 165 grain .308 partition and mostly from my 30-06 rather than the .308 Winchester but the principles are the same.

Nathan favors the 168 grain A-Max or now ELD-M over even the ELD-X at long range and has many photo's of wounding at impact velocities all the way down to 1400-1600 fps with fast kills. I have experienced slow kills with the 165 Partition between 500 and 600 yards with well placed shots. So maybe he understands some things I don't understand so well. This of course still leaves me with the concern about close range impacts and shallow penetration using a highly frangible bullet. To this concern he also has examples of quartering away close range shots on larger deer species in which the 168 ELD-M penetrated all the way to the opposite shoulder on red deer. I'm willing to give this train of thought a try so have ordered a Remington Custom Shop Model 700 20" 5R in .308 in an HS Precision stock along with a few hundred of the 168 grain A-Max and some Lapua Palma 308 brass.

I'll report how it goes on this thread.


Robert J Stokes

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:50 am

I've switched to the Z-max as it was just a dirt cheap way to buy 1000 Amax pills for $400.
So far I've been impressed with it on pigs and fallow, up close and out to 350m so far.
But my gold standard LR pill in the 308win is the 168gn Nosler BT, not the accubond the plain Jane BT.
It was soft enough to open out far and accounted fir the better part of 600-800 goats between 300m-850m.
I've taken hundreds of pigs and fallow and red deer with it, and damn was it accurate.
Eventually I will either run out of Zmax or I will use them for pigs and targets and start loading the Nosler BT again.

One point to note about the Zmax, you need to shoot chest or neck with them, but if you do damn they drop things.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:17 am

I have a mental thing against the Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets. Early on when they first came out I had several fail to penetrate but a few inches on small deer. I understand logically that they fixed that issue with a tapered jacket but I still feel ill when I see them. It actually spills over to the new tipped SMK's since they are also a green tip. Even though I have seen the new BTs perform I just can't get past my early experience with them.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Blasernovice » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:02 pm

My friend is having very good results with the 178 eld-m with his 308. It is a sako a7, 24" barrel. I've watched him shoot deer out to 700yds with it and seen his target group at 940yds.
He is using Varget/ADI2208 for powder. He was using 168amax and eld-m but felt the 178 killed better at longer range.
His son has recently got a 308 as well, but is using a 154sst. One nice kill at 200yds so far.

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:15 pm

Varget does great in a 24” or longer barrel but doesn’t do as well in a 20” barrel according to a lot of folks. I have plenty of Varget and may try it if I don’t get the performance I expect with H4895. We’ll see how it goes.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:09 pm

I've been messing with BM8208 powder, (IMR8208 roughly) and its been great in my 22" barrel for speed, I'm getting 2800fps with the 168gn pill which is pretty damn good for a LR 308win.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:38 pm

I have ten one pound bottles of IMR8208XBR that I can try if the H4895 doesn't work out. Good to know your getting that kind of performance in a 22" barrel. I used 23.2 grains of the 8208 behind a 77 SMK for my 5.56 service rifle with great results at 200 and 300 yards and then the 80 SMK loaded long with the same charge at 600 yards. It would shoot 500-50X if I could.
But I'm more curious about your statement of using the A-Max (zombie version) for chest or neck shots. Have you tried this bullet on shoulder shots at under 300 yards as well?
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:59 pm

I'm loading 43gn, which is just under maximum.
I should be getting around 2700fps according to the ADI manual but either its wrong or my barrel is fast but either way I'm very happy with it.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by deerhunter338mag » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:54 am

Well from what I’m hearing the R8 308 doesn’t shoot. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Measure it, when it’s on the deck

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:28 am

Should have got an R93 then. :lol:
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by deerhunter338mag » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:38 am

SPEEDY wrote:Should have got an R93 then. :lol:
Should just go down to chemist warehouse and get a 2 for one on dummy’s. :lol: :lol:
Measure it, when it’s on the deck

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Vaughan » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:45 am

deerhunter338mag wrote:
SPEEDY wrote:Should have got an R93 then. :lol:
Should just go down to chemist warehouse and get a 2 for one on dummy’s. :lol: :lol:
Nothing wrong with a 2-1 dummy special. We all need 'em on occasion when getting a new rifle to shoot.... :shifty: :shifty: :lol:
/Vaughan

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Vaughan » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:00 am

More on topic... FWIW, I've never used my 308 at ranges much beyond 300m but at least out to that more modest range the most reliable bullet I ever shot through it was the 125gr Nosler BT. My NBT load would consistently out shoot my 90 or 105gr Scenar loads in my 6BR at 300m. Maybe that says more about me or my 6BR but I had/have complete confidence in that NBT round. I was only shooting roes and wasn't trying for a LR load, so did not try the larger BTs. Was a bit destructive if I hit bone, and I hate to imagine what a high shoulder shot would do, but a core lung shot drops them every time. The 165gr NABs also shoot well but not nearly as consistently as the BTs - in my hands anyway.
/Vaughan

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:11 am

No BT's all the way, much better bullet IME thenbthe accubond.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Joe338ST » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:28 am

Nah! Just use 300 grain Berger Elite Hunters in a 338 Snipetac. They just smash it!

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