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#7145970 - 04/19/18 09:43 PM 16in 308 bullet choice
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
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So i am looking for some thoughts on selecting a bullet for a new 16in barrel 308....
Primary purpose will be hunting Deer and Elk (or carried while I walk around colorado) Would like to be able to shoot up to 400-500 yards
May use for longer distances for shooting targets

Planning on alpha brass and CCI primers (only because thats what i have always used, open to suggestions)
Powder will be varget


Bullet 1- 178 ELD-X
Assuming 2400 fps
Range- Mil
300 1.7
400 2.9
500 4.2
Benefit- higher bullet mass, expensive bullet with high bc but slower

Bullet 2- 168 ablr
assuming 2500 fps
300 1.6
400 2.6
500 3.8
benefits- better bc/velocity balance, heard of mixed results on bigger game

155 SST
assuming 2600 fps
300 1.5
400 2.6
500 3.8
Benefits- cheaper bullet then 168ablr- more tried and true

thoughts?

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#7146008 - 04/19/18 10:43 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online   content
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Registered: 11/01/12
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Loc: Lubbock, TX
155 AMAX?
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#7146052 - 04/20/18 06:31 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
scottfromdallas Offline
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Registered: 06/23/15
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#3. I've heard from many people that the ABLR is difficult to load accurately.
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#7146067 - 04/20/18 06:57 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
wp75169 Online   content
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The SST has always impressed me on deer size game. I got caught up in the “need” for a better bullet long ago and left it behind. The truth is the only cup and core bullet to ever disappoint me was a NBT 120 gr out of a .260. Im not sure I would chase elk with a .308 155 gr though.

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#7146081 - 04/20/18 07:18 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
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178 ELD-X

Bullet price doesn't matter, performance does. And Hornady bullets are quite reasonably priced.
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#7146153 - 04/20/18 08:11 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
ccoker Offline
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yeah, for deer and elk I would do the 178 ELDX
they work on big pigs great and should do well on elk
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#7146212 - 04/20/18 08:55 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: FiremanJG]
Cleric Offline
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
155 AMAX?

I wouldn’t trust amax on elk.
Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
#3. I've heard from many people that the ABLR is difficult to load accurately.


Some truth to that. I had chads help on my 300 with accubond
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
178 ELD-X

Bullet price doesn't matter, performance does. And Hornady bullets are quite reasonably priced.

Agreed. That was the only down side I could find. I am heavily leaning towards this bullet.

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#7146254 - 04/20/18 09:30 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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I loaded some 165 grain Nolser Accubonds for a customer and his 16" FN SCAR for elk hunting. He killed a nice bull with one shot from a 16" SCAR. Penetration was good, and expansion was decent. For hunting, I want bullet weight, but I also want to retain decent velocity for bullet expansion. In a 16" barrel, the heavy bullets (175+) will begin to have minimal expansion due to their slower speeds. I would lean towards a 165 grain bullet that expands easily, or a lighter weight 150-155 grain tough bullet, like a bonded bullet. Those would do very well.
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#7146278 - 04/20/18 09:46 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: ChadTRG42]
Cleric Offline
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
I loaded some 165 grain Nolser Accubonds for a customer and his 16" FN SCAR for elk hunting. He killed a nice bull with one shot from a 16" SCAR. Penetration was good, and expansion was decent. For hunting, I want bullet weight, but I also want to retain decent velocity for bullet expansion. In a 16" barrel, the heavy bullets (175+) will begin to have minimal expansion due to their slower speeds. I would lean towards a 165 grain bullet that expands easily, or a lighter weight 150-155 grain tough bullet, like a bonded bullet. Those would do very well.


So how much do you use min velocity? According to the eld x white paper min velocity is approx 1600. Do you trust that as a good number or do you still prefer higher velocity?

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#7146314 - 04/20/18 10:23 AM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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As speed decreases, so does bullet expansion, and vice versa. From my personal experience, customer testimonies, bullet company discussions, and ballistic gel results, I like to keep "impact" velocities above 2200 fps for reliable expansion (for lead core bullets). The more fps the better. The tougher bullets may need a little more, softer bullets a little less.

When I first started shooting the 300 blk out, I was all about shooting the real heavy bullets (165 Sierra Game King, SGK, and 180 SGK) as fast as I could push them. I shot some 165 Sierra Game kings and 150 Nosler Ballistic Tips in my Rem 700 bolt gun. I killed some pigs with the 165 SGK and the bullet had straight line penetration, with no visible expansion at the exit wounds. Same for the 150 BT. I shot a pig with the 150 BT right in the shoulder, and had a .308" exit hole. Muzzle velocity was around 2150 fps, I think. I wanted bullet expansion, so I dropped down the to 125 BT and 125 SST bullets. I'm launching these at 2360 fps in my 16" bolt gun, which is fast for a blk out. Impact speeds at 100 yards is right around 2100 fps. We have recovered bullets from pigs with perfect mushroom shaped expansion and the bullet recovered under the far side skin. On deer, I am getting full pass throughs with quarter to half dollar size exits. So, penetration is perfect, and bullet expansion is good. I haven't slowed them down to see where the drop off in velocity is to reduce the expansion of the bullet. But it would be somewhere around the 1900-2000 fps mark.

The ELD-X is a controlled expansion bullet. The bullet jacket is tapered and gets thicker down the shaft of the bullet towards the bottom. This helps keep the bullet from over expansion at higher speeds. The frontal area of the bullet has a thinner jacket to help initiate expansion. The ELD-X is really a great design and for a "do-all" type bullet. At 1600 fps, it will not have much expansion at all. The faster the speeds, the more expansion. For proper bullet expansion and performance, I would keep impact speeds higher than 2200 fps.

But, shot placement is a big key. My son shoots a 20" Tikka bolt gun shooting my 168 A-max bulk ammo at 2540 fps in his rifle. He shot a spike straight through the heart at 110 yards with it. Spike dropped on the spot. Exit was small, maybe nickel size. Impact speed should have been about 2330 fps. Expansion wasn't huge, but the bullet did it's job. I have also had customers take elk with the 168 and 178 A-max bullets. The 178 A-max was recovered under far side skin and showed perfect expansion. Elk dropped. My 178 A-max bulk ammo is not very fast, about 2630 fps, but the bullet performs very well. The A-max is one of the best dual purpose, IMO, for hunting and target shooting when used properly. Not only do I recommend it for this, but I personally use it for hunting. Years ago I used a 155 A-max as my main hunting bullet out of my AR-10, when I hunted with that. It did fine, also.
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#7146400 - 04/20/18 12:08 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
kmon1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 22890
Loc: Texas
400 yards is pushing it for elk with that length barrel in a 308. Energy levels will have dropped and velocity for expansion as Chad described just might not be there for most bullets. The Long Range Accubonds will expand at lower velocities than most bullets since they have an extremely thin jacket near the tip and a thick shank with the core bonded to it to curtail over expansion.

Of the bullets listed out to about 300 yards I would expect all to work and for expansion reasons I would look hard at the LRAB if shooting beyond 300. I have only worked up loads for one cartridge with the LRAB and did not see anything tht concerned me for accuracy for a hunting bullet. Eaisly sub MOA in that rifle.
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#7146471 - 04/20/18 01:26 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
ccoker Offline
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Registered: 09/17/09
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yeah, I wish they hadn't discontinued the 178 AMAX

I just got a box in from Black Hills with 150SST loads for my 308 16" but it will be for Texas deer an hogs..
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#7146605 - 04/20/18 03:56 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
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interesting discussion....Think we can all agree that shot placement is more important than bullet selection

So chad do you think the AMAX has better expansion than the ELDX? If you have the 178 AMAX at 2630, assuming i can push the 178 eld X closer to 2500 the velocity differential is not that bad

I am hoping to be able to push the reloads a bit harder to get more out of the bullet.

I think pushing the 168 ablr could be intriguing because the min velocity is lower than the eldx


Edited by Cleric (04/20/18 03:57 PM)

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#7146607 - 04/20/18 03:58 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
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any thoughts on CCI vs federal primers?

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#7146643 - 04/20/18 05:10 PM Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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The ELDX will certainly be a tougher bullet than the A-max. The ABLR would be a good bullet, if you it shoots ok for you.

CCI vs Federal primer, up to you. Either will work fine.
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