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Thread: Thoughts on the right boolit for a .308

  1. #1
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls




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    Thoughts on the right boolit for a .308

    I did the deed and picked up a montana in .308, which oddly enough I have limited experience with as a CB round. I've putzed around with most the other .30 cals and have a bevy of 06s, a pair of .30-40s and .30-30s. I've always been of the mind that if you can't go fast, go heavy. Consequently I load a lot of 311290s and 311284s for hunting in my model 70 06.

    My other .308 in a hunting rifle is a savage 99, which shoots the 311291 exceedingly well, my 311041 less so. One of my considerations is possibly putting together a cross platform hunting load for both rifles. I have a pretty wide swath of .30 cal moulds with the exception of ranch dogs or RCBS middle weights.

    I'm torn between working up 311041 or 311407 loads vs experimenting with heavyweights. An awful lot of deer have fallen to 175 grain boolits at .30-30 velocities, to include my marlins. Bear in the adirondacks is the heaviest animal I'm likely to hunt anytime in the next couple seasons.

    I'd like to hear the thoughts of others that are using the .308 and mould designs I might want to look at further.




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    Boolit Master

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    Tried the NOE 311440 first and never felt the need to try anything else.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master 35 shooter's Avatar
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    I used the NOE 30xcb boolit in my 12 twist .308 Zastava mauser @ 2450 fps. last year on my deer. It made a very accurate combination using imr 4350 to push it out the bore with.

    After that i did some load work with the NOE 188 Hunter boolit, which was another one that was easy to get to shoot very well indeed.

    Btw, that's a very good looking rifle you have there.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I was pleasantly surprised she shoots as well as she looks. I simply got tired of taking my faithful model 70 featherweight hunting in the rain.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Good contemplation...have to mull a bit, hmmmm....OK, Depends on the length of the chamber.
    I would use a profile that comes within .020" or so of the lands when fully seated in the neck...you could be looking at anything from 170~200 grains...kinda 'upper middleweight to lower heavyweight class' so to speak.

    You can then find the best speed vs node of that heavy barrel and print out your external ballistics chart and you have good glass on there...there you go.

    I didn't know it at the time I purchased a heavy barrel 700 Varmiter but it has an exceptionally long throat, dunnoh why. I started working with 168g. match rounds and they were an unbelievable .135" off the lands...but now that I'm into cast, I can lay a heavyweight in there...I suspect you can do the same.
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  6. #6
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    I did OK with it yesterday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  7. #7
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    I'll say you did "ok".......very nice!
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    Dean, I have always figured a .30 bore starts at 180 gr., and goes up from there. I think a 200-220 gr. bullet is probably optimum.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Nice buck! I didn't catch the exact load you used, boolit and bhn, velocity?

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    My thinking too Ric. I guess that's why I stuck a 311290 deep in some neck turned federal match cases and had at it. I didn't have time to screw around with any load development so I used 26 grains of IMR-4895 and a tuft of dacron. The chamber on this rifle is pretty tight so a .3105" boolit (measured not a sizing die diameter) chambers and a .3110" boolit gives resistance. I've been loading for a bergara BCR-27 and the sized lapua cases that crush fit in the bergara would require a cheater bar to chamber in this kimber.

    When I shot my first 5 round group at 100 it centered almost exactly 2" lower than my jacketed load. The group was only 2" so I called it good and went hunting.

    2 things that bother me about the load really have more to do with the rifle than the boolit choice. Because it's a blind magazine the administration cycling of the action for safety reasons means I have to keep the boolits well off the lands lest I stick one in the chamber and the short magazine hammered the noses on firing.

    I'm not sure the second one is problematic when you consider a slightly fattened meplat isn't detrimental to killing deer at all.

    Like always, where you hit them matters more than what you use. I tagged him through both scapulas about 1/3 of the way up his body. I was slightly forward of his heart and ripped a nice hole through his aorta. I was pleasantly surprised to see him DRT. In my experience that never happens. When the shot broke I could see him fall straight down without a twitch. It's one of the reasons I like low magnification BTW. My lupe was set at 2X.

    Last year I shot a buck through both shoulders in exactly the same spot (both anatomically and geographically) at a range of 15 yards with a 180 nosler partition from my 06 and sans front legs he still went 30 yards.


    FWIW, Despite it's diminutive girth, she's capable of fine accuracy. 5 round groups are running close to 3/4" off the bench with matchkings. Right at 1" with partition golds. One of the places I hunt later in the season has the potential for 400 yard shots, something of an anomaly around here. Before engaging in such folly I need to practice some longer range work with this rifle in hay meadows. I have a leupold lightweight 3-9X on order with the CDS turrets and wide duplex. SWFA was closing out the Vx3Is and I missed getting the last 1.75-6X by about an hour.

    first 3 shot group of sierra matchkings during barrel break in.
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    Last edited by fatnhappy; 12-05-2017 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added picture of 3 shot groups during barrel break in
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish View Post
    Tried the NOE 311440 first and never felt the need to try anything else.
    Isn't that the clone of the Lyman 311440 round nose flat point known as "the Hammer of Thor"
    I have a 4C MP-311-440HP that I've yet to really play around with, but it sure looks like a killer.
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  12. #12
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    Very nice buck! That's what I need bang/flop! This tracking in the dark thru wet pine needles is too hard on this old goat!
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  13. #13
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    Discussion on the engineering behind the NOE / Ranch Dog 180: http://noebulletmolds.com/smf/index.php?topic=585.0

    Plenty of boolits out there cooked up for the longer necks of the .30-06 and other older rounds; that one's designed for the .308 - not just the neck, but the SAAMI throat as well. Has made it pretty simple thus far - seat it to the crimp groove and forget about it.

    Though a tumble lube design, I've been dual-lubing it with Ben's Red and a top coat of BLL (Got to run it though a sizer for the gas check, so why not?). Shoots great as the jug-busting practice bullet in my Ruger Scout (hunting is gonna be full copper only here in CA in 2019, so I'm there already for my "war shots"). I like it!
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  14. #14
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    Interesting. That’s exactly the type of free thought I’m soliciting. Looking at that boolit design sort of reminds me of the old fat 30 with a strong driving band to fit the throat.
    Last edited by fatnhappy; 01-05-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuz View Post
    Isn't that the clone of the Lyman 311440 round nose flat point known as "the Hammer of Thor"
    I have a 4C MP-311-440HP that I've yet to really play around with, but it sure looks like a killer.
    Yes sir, I think that it's been called that, adapted from the Ideal 311440: http://www.three-peaks.net/bullet_molds.htm I originally bought it for 30 WCF, but was in a hurry to find something to fly in an H&R that had been rechambered in 308 Bellm. (444 brass run through .308 dies.) First load I tried was accurate with a caseful of WC 870, so I went on to other things,,,,,.

    Flies nice at least 265 yards too.


    As has been said, there are plenty of other designs around that are heavier that I would probably consider first if I was serious about using it to hunt, especially farther than 100 yards, but in a pinch it would do.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"


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  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    nice shooting Dean!
    Looks like the one I got with my truck this year.

    here are some pictures from when I was doing some AR10 load development.
    Same basic requirements. Have to be able to eject any round without it sticking in the chamber. I was looking at pointy bullets for feeding, but some RN were included too.

    all in the pic demostrate where the bullet was/had to be seated to function in the Armalite rifle.

    I'd be really tempted to put a small HP in the 311291, WDWW, crank the velocity a bit and then be anxious to smack a deer with it.

    top pic is the 230 gr NOE 300 BO designed bullet
    middle one is a mould I no longer have its about 250gr bullet
    bottom one is a 311265?


    top one in this pic 311284
    middle one ah I forget
    bottom 311291
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    You were close Blammer, 311365. I've got a 5C PB sitting here by my chair to motivate me to get busy with my '98 Krag,,,,,,
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnhappy View Post
    I was slightly forward of his heart and ripped a nice hole through his aorta. I was pleasantly surprised to see him DRT.
    In my experience taking out the major blood vessels above the heart is the shot most likely to result in "DRT". A shot through the heart will result in a high kick and a 100 yard run, albeit with a blood trail a blind man could follow. Consequently I try to aim for that spot. If a little high, you still get both lungs.

    I have the NOE 311331 218 gr which shoots very well in both .30-06 and .308 Win. It is very easy to flat point them with a flat top punch, which has no effect on accuracy in my rifles.
    Last edited by oldblinddog; 11-28-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls




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    Btw DJ,I have a HP 311291 mould if you want to borrow it. I also have a nose core mould for casting pure lead noses for the 311291
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    thanks for the offer, I recall I took you up on it once before. Liked it so much I had to get my own.
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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check