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Thread: 308 question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    308 question

    I may have a chance to buy an excellent .308 Win bolt rifle for an excellent price. Even though a heavy recoiling rifle in 308 is not my first choice it is cheap enough to make me consider it. My question is how much accuracy can one expect to get loading lighter using cast. If I can't expect 1 to 1.5 MOA at 100 yards it is not attractive. My expectation is the rifle will shoot .75 MOA using factory. Maybe even better.

    Anyone getting low recoiling loads to produce results in the 1 MOA at 100 yards and if so can you share ideas?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    Ben's Avatar
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    You don't reveal many details about the rifle.
    To answer your questions , one would have to know a lot more about the rifle.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master


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    A .308 is a "heavy recoiling rifle"? I thought I had become kind of wimpy regarding recoil but normal 150 grain loads in a .308 aren't bad at all.

    Hogdon has a set of "Youth" load data for various cartridges including the .308. When my youngest son started deer hunting at about 11 with a .308, I used Hogdon's data, 125 grain jacketed spitzer and 37 grains of 4895. Accurate, hardly kicks at all and kills deer fine at realistic ranges.

    What Ben said for the most part, but the .308 is generally a great performer with cast.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    My Winchester 670 is very accurate with
    Sierra 125 gr SP and H380. The lighter
    bullet minimizes recoil and is a great
    groundhog getter out to 400 yds.

    Try different powders. I may be totally
    wrong but slower powders seem to have
    a less sharp recoil impulse ?????

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    If your gun is 6 lbs and you can get into the but stock, try adding 2 to 3 lbs of lead. That will reduce the felt recoil by about 50%. You can look at getting a muzzle break for it and that will take more off. Now for the question. Can you shoot sub MOA? The rifle can only do what you can. Next, can the rifle? Unless you have bedded the stock and put some love into accurizing the rifle and hand loads for that rifle YOU CANT EXPECT IT TO DO BETTER. Realisticly, if the gun was made in the last 10 years or so you should expect 2" groups with 10 rounds at 100 yards. Once you put some luv into it, you can get it down to .75, but that will take some work. It looks like you don't own the rifle yet. Good rifle at a good/great price, buy it and enjoy the journey. By the way a wise old sage once said if you want one hole in the paper, only shoot once.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    One point I recall reading is that you can use 30-30 cast bullet loads in a 308. Lots of those out there and it's a significantly less powerful round. I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule but it sounded like common sense when I read it.

    There are threads on here concerning using Unique in 30 cal bottle-neck cases. I tried a few 308 loads using a Lee 160gr with a gas check but never really got far enough to give you any info on accuracy. Some of the loads were really mild, to the point where I wasn't bothering to waste a GC on them. It shot well enough at 100 yds as I recall, just can't tell you how well.

    A thread from last year:
    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...nique-in-a-308

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


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    There is a TON of cast bullet data out there for the .308 using Unique, Red Dot,, 700X, etc. Get any Lyman manual, the 3rd edition at least you can download for free.

    More .30 caliber mold designs than any other caliber by far. Literally hundreds of threads on here with this very topic, this is ground that has been well plowed many times, not rocket science, do a little reading and experimenting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Short answer would be yes. But, it depends on the rifle and the shooter as well as how well you can cast bullets. Getting to 1MOA first means making really good bullets. Then good rifle and decent shooter.

    You can load as light as you want. A good bullet is the XCB (NOE 310-165) at 1800fps or so.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy badguybuster's Avatar
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    308 can be handloaded pretty mild while still maintaining "minute of deer" accuracy. My 6 year old shoots my Rem 700 Tac with reduced recoil loads and she loves it

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I think it will be very hard to get a .30 cal. rifle that shoots quality factory ammo into .75 MOA to shoot cast into 1.25 MOA. Not saying it can't happen but premium factory ammo is pretty good these day. I check out bench rest comp results in "The Fouling Shot" every issue and not many competitors are consistently under 1 MOA in the Factory class and these are the people who think they are good enough that it is worth their time to prepare for and attend competitions.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy pacomdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB234 View Post
    I may have a chance to buy an excellent .308 Win bolt rifle for an excellent price. Even though a heavy recoiling rifle in 308 is not my first choice it is cheap enough to make me consider it. My question is how much accuracy can one expect to get loading lighter using cast. If I can't expect 1 to 1.5 MOA at 100 yards it is not attractive. My expectation is the rifle will shoot .75 MOA using factory. Maybe even better.

    Anyone getting low recoiling loads to produce results in the 1 MOA at 100 yards and if so can you share ideas?
    Heavy recoil? , guess ive gotten too used to shooting my 338 lapua 338 mag and 300 mag rifles, i dont feel much recoil from the 308s i have, even with my hot Berger 168 VLD loads. if 308 is too much, might wanna look at something in the 22-250 or 223 rem range

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    My comfortable shooting load in a Savage 99 308 is a 185 gr pointed gas check bullet and 18grs of 5744, CCI 200(LR) primer in a prepped case(3trimmed, flashhole deburred, annealed). 1.5 MOA is expected, developing loads at 200 yards using incremental/ladder style load development to reduce vertical stringing by finding 'barrel node' can make quite a difference in group size. Getting under 2 MOA groups with 'most' rifles, good barrel, decent trigger, good scope, maybe 9x plus in power, solid rest can make a difference. Recoil of a 308 can be unpleasant in a very light rifle pushing heavier bullets fast. A soft recoil pad can make a significant difference in shooting comfort. I have installed Kick-Eez or Limbsaver pads on most of my regularly used rifles, including a 30-30 and .243. For a range/truck/treestand rifle weight can be your friend. If you have to carry that rifle miles in steep country, trading weight for recoil works for ME. I start with a .310 diameter, with several .308's, .300 Savage's, 30-30's and a 300 Win Magnum all getting good accuracy. Mild and accurate cast boolit loads should be expected in any good .308.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'll side with the OP on recoil. I've got a Savage 10BA in 308. At 12 lbs, recoil is minimal regardless of the load. But I also have a Steyr model L which is about half that weight. The Steyr is great for hunting but factory loads can get brutal at the range. My wife won't shoot it without the reduced loads, and she loves the double set trigger on it. I used to have a 300 WinMag, it was ok when I was younger. And the 444 Marlin in the closet? It could get downright painful until I found out 13 or so gr of Unique turned it into a fun plinker.

    Recoil used to be ok. Maybe I'm just getting older. Maybe it's the fact that my wife's with me most trips to the range and she doesn't like the recoil at all.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    In my experience, it is quite easy to obtain m.o.a. loads in the .308 Winchester with either cast or jacketed bullets. For cast I would choose either a Lyman 311466 or the NOE 310-165 (30XCB). Try 10 grains of Unique, 13 grains of Red Dot, or 16 grains of 2400 with the 311466. I usually load this over 13.0 grains of Red Dot and get m.o.a. in my 10” twist .308.

    With the 30XCB, my favorite load in my 12” twist M40A1 clone is 44.5 gr. of RL22 which gives me about 2350 fps and less than m.o.a. at 100 yds.
    USMC 6638

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    I think it will be very hard to get a .30 cal. rifle that shoots quality factory ammo into .75 MOA to shoot cast into 1.25 MOA. Not saying it can't happen but premium factory ammo is pretty good these day. I check out bench rest comp results in "The Fouling Shot" every issue and not many competitors are consistently under 1 MOA in the Factory class and these are the people who think they are good enough that it is worth their time to prepare for and attend competitions.

    Tim
    Reality is a cruel mistress....

    I tend to ignore claims of accuracy from most folks. Too many three shot groups and "wallet groups" are used to substantiate performance of men, loads, and equipment.

    I doubt 95% of members can put 10 shots into 2" at 100 yards with cast bullets....and 50% could not shoot 1" groups with jacketed in factory hunting rifles. It is easy to remember the good groups but we make excuses for the times we shoot "normal" groups.

    OP...have fun with your new .308. It is an accurate cartridge and will perform well in a decent rifle. Start with some good quality jacketed bullets to give a benchmark of what it will do.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    The .308 is a great cast caliber. The necks are a bit short but, no problems shooting Gas Checks below the neck if they are crimped on. Midway was saying yesterday they had the Lee 312-155-2R mold in stock for a decent price. Works good in my R-77 Compact.

    Try 16-20 gr of 2400, or 4198 a bit heavier with mid weight boolets. I size to .311" and get good accuracy if my cast boolets are cast well. Unique will work but Mid range powders will give you an option to raise recoil to tolerable levels. I don't shoot Factory 180's much.

    The Lee 309-200-R is good too. Experiment with COL for your chamber. It does make a difference.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I made this thread a couple of years ago, and settles for a load that gives me sub MOA with fast

    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...FC+compass+308

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy pacomdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB234 View Post
    I share this, "Recoil used to be ok. Maybe I'm just getting older." along with enough time for old injuries reminding to avoid taking unnecessary poundings. Light rifle for hunting where one takes a shot or two is different than my application.

    Shooting 300 Win Mag class rifles off a bench at paper 100 or 200 yards downrange is not my thing. Not saying it doesn't make sense for those who like to do so.

    This is a partial definition of a lucky guy, "Maybe it's the fact that my wife's with me most trips to the range ..."

    my wifes current deer gun is a 300 WSM built off a sporterized P17 with a timney trigger in a polymer stock with a heavy sporter profile barrel 24" long, it shoots very well with 208 amax bullets. she shoots it with a sling standing and gets alot of eggs in my clubs turkey shoots (egg at 100 yards standing)


    i was a NRA instructor for abt 10 years, mainly with the Boy Scouts rifle program and then with our clubs Junior CMP program. Recoil is a very subjective term that varies greatly from person to person, if you shoot the same rifle from the bench and then standing, you will have completely different "experiences" of recoil, most people will say it recoils less when standing than off a bench due to the physics of the way the force is exerted against your body

    i dont shoot any of those rifles off benches except for load testing, the 338 mag is my deer rifle, its a bone stock win mdl 70, so its a fairly light rifle and shot from the standing position with a sling. i use it since where i hunt, there is alot of scrub brush that would deflect less powerful rounds and most shots are 75 to 150 yards. the 225g bullet does a good job in that brush. so does my wifes 300 WSM with the 208

    i shoot long range tactical shoots with 2 308s with 168 berger VLDs and 175g SMK , the 2 300 mags with 208 amax and 220 SMK and the 338 lapua with 250 and 300 scenars, the 308s are used out to 7 or 800 and dont break the 300 mags out untill im at least 7 to 1K yards, with the lapua from 1k out

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    You can have a lot of fun shooting cast in a .308. I shoot offhand at a 6" gong at 50 yards with gas checked tumble lubed boolits. In the Northern forest this level of practical accuracy will do the trick on deer though I use jacketed for hunting. You can stay sharp using inexpensive cast loads. I shoot off the bench to get sighted in. After that it is offhand, sitting or braced on a tree.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    2400 and any lead boolit gas checked will meet your needs.low recoil and good accuracy for me with 18gr.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check