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I just picked this up from the local Cabelas Gun Library:

Model Seven .308-9988.jpg

I'm off to the club range to shoot some factory rounds for the brass to start reloading. Thoughts (particularly with experience) on loading for a 20-inch barrel appreciated. I plan to start with Varget. 150 grain bullets starting with Core-Lokts.
 

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With Varget and 150's or 165's you're on the right track.

I've loaded for .308's with 20" 24" and 30" barrels. All of them liked the same powders; Varget, RL-15, IMR 4064, H4895... The list goes on. The .308 Win is one of the most user-friendly cartridges I've come across. It's incredibly easy to develop a great load for it. Varget is my favorite powder for the .308 Win, for barrels short or long.

This article is slanted towards the target shooter, though I've got a few words in it re hunting. Well worth the read for anyone enthused about the .308 Win: .308 Winchester Cartridge Guide

Your rifle BTW, is a beauty! I love the simple, compact lines! Should prove to be an excellent general-purpose hunting rifle, and it looks like you've scoped it well too. Nice...

Regards, Guy
 

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My favorite .308 Win hunting load is:

Winchester brass
Federal large rifle primer (match preferred)
Varget
Nosler 165 gr Ballistic Tip

I load this to about 2750 - 2800 fps with excellent accuracy. The Ballistic Tip has a bad rap from decades ago when they were perhaps too fragile. The current versions have a much heavier base and jacket, and hold up really well. My son and I have been using them for our .30 cal deer hunting in recent years, getting quick kills, and complete penetration, along with outstanding accuracy. Here's a 165 gr Ballistic Tip recovered from the infamous water-jug testing that has destroyed other, lesser bullets:



I haven't been able to recover one from game, they have always given complete penetration on deer-sized game for me and my son.

Regards, Guy
 

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That's a sweet group Travis. I couldn't bear to let such a great rifle sit around without a working scope!

Good shooting!
 

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My Ruger Hawkeye 308 Win. has a 22 inch barrel, not 20, but my best group came with IMR4895 powder & 150 gr. Hornady SST bullets 002.JPG 3 shot group @ 100 yds.
 

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I'm probably not much help, as I only have one 308, and it's not a 20" gun, but I have gotten excellent results out of it with IMR4895; that is until my scope broke. Haven't bothered to send it in for repairs yet.

That is some good shootin Travis!!:beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, Travis! And ole toy! I'm at the range right now and I'm a fer piece from that! Still, it shoots nice. A bit loud. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oleroy! Blasted phone spellcheck. Grumble.
 
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I've seen many one hole .308 groups using IMR4064 and of all things a common Sierra 150gn spitzer flat base hunting bullet.

This was at 200 yd competition in hunter bench rest class aka modified deer rifles 20 inch bbls and glass bedded.

Most of the competitors had bench guns in .308 and used the same components in them.
 

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I'm partial to 150 gr bullets, and usually Sierra. But,......I only use it for deer hunting, and nothing larger. Besides, if it takes more that that 150 gr bullet, I'm not sure I really want to hunt it.
 

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I have owned 6 or 7 .308 rifles from Rugers, a Savage 10FP, a Rem 788 to Tikkas. I was pleased with all of them and shot probably a thousand rounds through them and every one of those rifles shot 150-168gr bullets very well. From the 150gr Nosler BT to the 168gr Sierra Match King, I had great success using Varget.

some .308 reloads using the 168gr Sierra MK ...






I shot several groups in the low .2's with Varget including a .230" group with the Rem 788. The Rem 788 is now the only .308 rifle I still own. With powders kind of being scarce, it "might" a little difficult finding exactly what you want but my vote goes to Varget for a great all around powder.
 

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M son has a 308 with 20 inch barrel. I used to own it before I traded it to him and it would just about shoot a 3 shot group into one hole at 100 yards using 150 Hornady sp and a max load of WW-748 which is a super 308 powder. He is hooked on the 150 grain superformance ammo and I can't fault him because it shoots extremely well with it. Varget would also be a good powder. The last really big buck I killed was at 150 yards with 19 inch win model 70 mannlicher in 30-06 loaded with varget and a 150 seirra and it went through both shoulders and was lodged in the hide on the off side, I pullet it out with needle nose pliers and it had shed a lot of weight but did the job. You get used to shooting a 20 inch barrel and a 22 or 24 incher just feels to long. Beautiful rifle you picked up.
 

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I have a Socom16 (M1a) which has a 16" barrel, the standard for the 150grn bullets is IMR4895, and I have very good success with it. I'm also experimenting with IMR3031 and IMR4064 in both the 150grn bullets, and the 168grn Nosler CCs, the jury is still out but IMR3031 is showing some promise in the shorter barrel. 20" isn't 'short' short, but trying a quicker powder like IMR3031 might be worth a try, particularly with the 150's.
 

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Thrilled to read/see load results in this thread. Just got a 308. My first. Savage mdl 11 VT. 24" hvy bbl w/ accutrigger. Just getting the bbl broken in. I am shooting a bunch of old WRA 65 and 66 headstamp Nato ammo to break it in. Have a Prvi match load, and ordered 4 more for testing to determine what it prefers once the bbl is broke in. Don't intend to waste match ammo until I get at least 100 rds thru it...

But I the things I see that I like are: 150-168 grn bullets, and not necessarily match bullets (I found the same in an old 300 Win Mag - it LOVED good old Speer 180 grn flat base cheap hunting bullets!!!), and Varget, I4895 and I4064. Have to relook, but maybe also H335 and I4320.

Think I am really going to way enjoy this rifle!
 
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Chopped the stupid & ineffective muzzle brake off a Remington VTR and recrowned the barrel to 20".
Found Varget to be the most accurate powder for a 20" bbl.
The burning rate of Varget is just right for maximizing velocity in the shorter barrels.
 
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Thrilled to read/see load results in this thread. Just got a 308. My first. Savage mdl 11 VT. 24" hvy bbl w/ accutrigger. Just getting the bbl broken in. I am shooting a bunch of old WRA 65 and 66 headstamp Nato ammo to break it in. Have a Prvi match load, and ordered 4 more for testing to determine what it prefers once the bbl is broke in. Don't intend to waste match ammo until I get at least 100 rds thru it...

But I the things I see that I like are: 150-168 grn bullets, and not necessarily match bullets (I found the same in an old 300 Win Mag - it LOVED good old Speer 180 grn flat base cheap hunting bullets!!!), and Varget, I4895 and I4064. Have to relook, but maybe also H335 and I4320.

Think I am really going to way enjoy this rifle!
Couple of things...

NATO brass is military brass... it is heavier than commercial brass and therefor needs to be downloaded a hair (usually 1grn in a generic 40grn load) and worked back up vs. a load worked up on commercial brass.

I wouldn't get too excited about Prvi 'match' loads... from what I have heard, they are very inconsistent. The standard would be Federal Gold Medal Match (FGMM) and there are some custom loads made by Nosler and others that would be close to FGMM. I shoot quite a bit of Prvi M80 145grn ammo... it's fine for GP ammo and fairly accurate. Prvi brass seems to reload decent as well.

I also have a load for the Socom that uses 150grn Remington PowerPoint flat-base bullets, and I have a fair stash of 155grn Hornady A-Max seconds, both of which are quite accurate. I'm such a cheapskate, even my Nosler CC's are seconds... That may change when I get my Savage bolt gun, however.

As an aside, and this has no bearing on anything with another rifle... but the highly lauded 168grn Sierra Match Kings (SMK) are, believe it or not, just a hair more accurate than the basically identical Nosler Custom Competition bullet. If you aren't getting the accuracy you believe the rifle is capable of, try a different bullet... even in the same weight range and construction.
 
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