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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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:08 am

Thanks, you were correct, I was using H4350 for my 30-06 for the same range session and somehow transposed that to my thinking. The powder used here is H4895, I edited the post to correct it, good catch.


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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:41 am

I liked my custom M700's good simple honest guns that shoot good and handle well.
That should do the trick just fine, and love the barrel.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:45 am

The added bonus is that the cost for this Rem 700, Nightforce mount and Timney trigger was just about the same as an R8 barrel with a saddle QD mount. It isn't the same quality as an R8 or even close, but it will make a great knock about gun for my suppressor.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:58 am

I'd still love a model 7 laminate in 308win for a knockabout hunting rifle.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:03 am

fullsizeoutput_2951.jpeg
I also got some of my bencrest loading gear today. The K&M neck turner, primer pocket uniformer, and neck iron mandrels. I'm still waiting on the Arbor press and LE Wilson neck and seating dies. I can already see that neck turning the Hornady 204 brass will improve bullet runout from .004-.006 down to .001. I don't know if that will translate to improved accuracy, it shoots pretty darn good with RCBS full length sizing dies and seating dies but I do get pretty high SD's hopefully it will release bullets more consistently and more in line with the bore axis. Time will tell.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:32 am

I did a little more load development for the 700. I was curious what difference I might find using Lapua Palma brass in place of the Federal brass if any. For this test I loaded three loads, five rounds each 41.8, 42.0 and 42.2 grains of H4895 behind the Sierra 168 grain Tipped MatchKing seated at 2.820". I used Federal Gold Medal Match 210 primers in the Federal Cases and CCI BR4 primers in the Lapua cases and achieved the following results.

100 yard five shot group size

41.8 grains
Federal Case 1.365"
Lapua Case 0.876"

42.0 grains
Federal Case 0.834"
Lapua Case 0.649"

42.2 grains
Federal Case 0.866"
Lapua Case 0.758"

Muzzle Velocity

41.8 grains
Federal Case 2573 Average, 32.0 Extreme Spread, 13.0 Standard Deviation
Lapua Case 2569 Average, 30.0 Extreme Spread, 13.0 Standard Deviation

42.0 grains
Federal Case 2583 Average, 31.0 Extreme Spread, 12.9 Standard Deviation
Lapua Case 2568 Average, 19.0 Extreme Spread, 8.5 Standard Deviation

42.2 grains
Federal Case 2589 Average, 23.0 Extreme Spread, 5.5 Standard Deviation
Lapua Case 2610 Average, 31.0 Extreme Spread, 12.0 Standard Deviation

The Lapua case, BR4, and 42.0 grains of H4895 shows promise so now I'll tune seating depth, neck tension, and maybe do the bench rest bag of tricks to see if any of it will tighten this up to my goal of sub 1/2 MOA.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:04 am

As a side note, I did try out the benchrest tools on my .204 Ruger Hornady cases. I loaded a load that has shot well at 100 yards but displayed an unacceptable velocity spread for use at long ranges. I expanded the necks with a mandrel iron, turned the necks to cut off the high spots, uniformed the primer pockets, and deburred the inside of the flash hole. Prior to this I had trimmed to length and chamfered using a 30 degree chamfer tool.
I think it helped, not much if any in group size but definitely helped narrow velocity variations. This load is the 45 grain Hornady Spire point, 28.1 grains of H4895, BR4 primer and 2.250" COL
Average velocity was 3678 with an extreme spread of 14 and standard deviation of 5.2 for five shots. The group measured .309" center to center.
fullsizeoutput_2952.jpeg
The low shot was also the outlier in velocity. If I remove that shot from the string the extreme spread drops to 5 fps and standard deviation to 1.38 fps. I need to work some more on this loading. I think it has some great potential.

The horizontal spread of the four shots may have been influenced by wind, there was a gentle but variable wind of 2-4 mph.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Blasernovice » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:56 pm

Some good results there. Interesting the direct comparison of the two brass brands.

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:53 pm

I've bought the standard lapua cases for my LR 308win, but I thought about getting the Palma match cases.
I wasn't sure if they would be any different, but if I switched to them I would only need to buy small primers.
The only rounds I load for are 308win, 6mmBR and occasionally the 44mag.
I load bugger all 44mag so I could just buy bulk small rifle primers and cut out the large rifle all together.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:05 pm

I've continued to play around with the 168 grain Tipped Match King and have it shooting pretty good now. I've also been playing around with precision brass preparation, neck sizing and in line bullet seating. Without all the brass prep I've been getting groups that are ok but not great, like this typical one.
IMG_8583.JPG
For the brass prep process, I sorted through some of my Federal brass and selected 25 that were once fired and within one grain of one another. I then uniformed the primer pockets, deburred the flash holes, turned the necks to .0145" neck wall thickness, trimmed case length to 2.005" deburred and chamfered the case mouths at 30 degrees. I then neck sized to .335" using the LE Wilson neck size die and seated the bullets with the LE Wilson micrometer in line seater.
I had noted what seemed to be an accuracy node around 42.5 grains of H4895 so I started exploring around that loading today varying seating depth in .005" increments and stumbled upon what seems to be a promising load at 2.815" COL, one that has the potential of meeting my criteria of a sustainable .3 MOA. I was only doing three shot groups so this is not conclusive but sure was pleasing to my eye. And the Lab Radar read 2599, 2599, 2599 for the three shots, again I don't think this is repeatable, but one can hope.

Now I need to see how much if anything all the brass prep and neck sizing contributed and if it is repeatable. I'm pretty sure I'll find it is mostly the recipe and not all the brass prep but it will be interesting to see what is what.
IMG_3510.JPG
As for using this bullet for hunting I called Sierra and verified a few things that I had read from Nathan Forster. The Jacket on the Tipped SMK is identical to the Sierra Game King, and the lead core hardness is identical to the Game King. I explained that I was intending to use this bullet at 800 yards on coues deer from my .308 so impact velocities will be in the 1400-1500 fps range. To my surprise they said the Tipped Match King is the only .308 bullet they would recommend for this application. I reminded them that their loading manuals and literature says not to use any of the Match Kings for hunting and they said yea, we know, but if we were to say they are okay, there will be idiots trying to use the regular Match Kings at low impact velocities and then complaining. The reputation of the Match King is so great we don't want to risk tarnishing it in any way.

I also discussed the possibility of using the 165 grain Game King but they rightly pointed out that at 800 yards it would have lost to much velocity that it would behave as a solid. Even though it has a relatively wide soft point the Tipped Match King has a wider hollow point behind the plastic tip. The 165 Game King would only fragment out to around 600 yards was their estimate considering my 20" barrel length.

I'm slowly warming up to the idea of using this bullet for long range hunting applications. It shoots more accurately than the 168 grain A-Max or now ELD-M. And even though 3/4 MOA is good enough for 500 yard shots, it is not good enough for 800 yard shots on small deer. The chances of a wounding shot are beyond my tolerance level, so 1/3 MOA is therefore the goal. I'm hopefully honing in on that goal, and hopefully will find I can drop all the brass prep and go to full length resizing or at least shoulder bump dies.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by SPEEDY » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:31 pm

They speak exactly as my experience has concluded, hence why I picked the Zmax (AKA Amax) as my LR hunting pill, although I'm suprised and happy with its up close effectiveness on pigs.
Going to give them a red hot run next month on them.
But I still think the 168gn Nosler BT is the best close up and LR bullet for the 308win.
I will probably move back to them and use the Zmax for pure LR work on deer.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by Joe338ST » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:21 am

stokesrj wrote:I've continued to play around with the 168 grain Tipped Match King and have it shooting pretty good now. I've also been playing around with precision brass preparation, neck sizing and in line bullet seating. Without all the brass prep I've been getting groups that are ok but not great, like this typical one.
IMG_8583.JPG
For the brass prep process, I sorted through some of my Federal brass and selected 25 that were once fired and within one grain of one another. I then uniformed the primer pockets, deburred the flash holes, turned the necks to .0145" neck wall thickness, trimmed case length to 2.005" deburred and chamfered the case mouths at 30 degrees. I then neck sized to .335" using the LE Wilson neck size die and seated the bullets with the LE Wilson micrometer in line seater.
I had noted what seemed to be an accuracy node around 42.5 grains of H4895 so I started exploring around that loading today varying seating depth in .005" increments and stumbled upon what seems to be a promising load at 2.815" COL, one that has the potential of meeting my criteria of a sustainable .3 MOA. I was only doing three shot groups so this is not conclusive but sure was pleasing to my eye. And the Lab Radar read 2599, 2599, 2599 for the three shots, again I don't think this is repeatable, but one can hope.

Now I need to see how much if anything all the brass prep and neck sizing contributed and if it is repeatable. I'm pretty sure I'll find it is mostly the recipe and not all the brass prep but it will be interesting to see what is what.
IMG_3510.JPG
As for using this bullet for hunting I called Sierra and verified a few things that I had read from Nathan Forster. The Jacket on the Tipped SMK is identical to the Sierra Game King, and the lead core hardness is identical to the Game King. I explained that I was intending to use this bullet at 800 yards on coues deer from my .308 so impact velocities will be in the 1400-1500 fps range. To my surprise they said the Tipped Match King is the only .308 bullet they would recommend for this application. I reminded them that their loading manuals and literature says not to use any of the Match Kings for hunting and they said yea, we know, but if we were to say they are okay, there will be idiots trying to use the regular Match Kings at low impact velocities and then complaining. The reputation of the Match King is so great we don't want to risk tarnishing it in any way.

I also discussed the possibility of using the 165 grain Game King but they rightly pointed out that at 800 yards it would have lost to much velocity that it would behave as a solid. Even though it has a relatively wide soft point the Tipped Match King has a wider hollow point behind the plastic tip. The 165 Game King would only fragment out to around 600 yards was their estimate considering my 20" barrel length.

I'm slowly warming up to the idea of using this bullet for long range hunting applications. It shoots more accurately than the 168 grain A-Max or now ELD-M. And even though 3/4 MOA is good enough for 500 yard shots, it is not good enough for 800 yard shots on small deer. The chances of a wounding shot are beyond my tolerance level, so 1/3 MOA is therefore the goal. I'm hopefully honing in on that goal, and hopefully will find I can drop all the brass prep and go to full length resizing or at least shoulder bump dies.
Great write up Bob. It appears the neck turning and adjusting the COAL is making a significant difference to your accuracy. Are you measuring COAL from bullet head to ogive or tip?

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:25 pm

I measure both and work with the ogive measurement when setting up for a new lot of bullets. I just glass bedded this rifle today to see if I can get rid of the flyers.
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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by secondtry » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:49 pm

NOTE : this is not a thread hijack, but I'll start a new topic if it turns into a hijack :lol:

Regarding a mild mannered long range whacker, such as the 308 with loads and target related projectiles that have been discussed here, what are the thoughts on the 7.08 using the 150 ELDX as a milder mannered path to similar results ? For me frontal area is hard to trump, but we are not talking about big animals.

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Re: The .308 Winchester for Long Range

Post by stokesrj » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:19 pm

I think the 7mm-08 will do a little better on the wind, but otherwise not much different other than the .308 has a little bit more mass which can be important when using fragmenting bullets. This guy Nathan Forster, a Kiwi fellow, uses both the 7mm-08 and .308 for long range, what he calls hack rifles (non glamorous, work rifles) and then pairs them with a magnum when conditions call for it, beyond 800 yards, or more difficult wind conditions.
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