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Mar 25th, 2012
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16in 308 bullet choice #7145970
04/20/18 02:43 AM
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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?

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146008
04/20/18 03:43 AM
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155 AMAX?




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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146052
04/20/18 11:31 AM
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#3. I've heard from many people that the ABLR is difficult to load accurately.


Scott
Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146067
04/20/18 11:57 AM
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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.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146081
04/20/18 12:18 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146153
04/20/18 01:11 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: FiremanJG] #7146212
04/20/18 01:55 PM
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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.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146254
04/20/18 02:30 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: ChadTRG42] #7146278
04/20/18 02:46 PM
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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?

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146314
04/20/18 03:23 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146400
04/20/18 05:08 PM
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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.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146471
04/20/18 06:26 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146605
04/20/18 08:56 PM
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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

Last edited by Cleric; 04/20/18 08:57 PM.
Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146607
04/20/18 08:58 PM
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any thoughts on CCI vs federal primers?

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146643
04/20/18 10:10 PM
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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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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146687
04/20/18 11:30 PM
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The price of the bullet is the last thing you worry about on an elk hunt. IMO the tougher the better when elk are involved, Partition should be considered for this application.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7146774
04/21/18 12:54 AM
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Having hunted elk in days of rain, would add to the discussion a recommendation to use primer sealant. I use it on the primer only, not the bullet.

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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7147248
04/21/18 06:44 PM
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400 yards is a pretty long shot. I like 2000 fps at impact and a bullet of at least 165 grains. My favorite elk rifle is a 30-06 with a 24 inch barrel. Favorite elk bullet is the 180 grain partition. I have used the 165 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip on one elk and it worked perfectly as it landed in the right place, expanded and exited. Range was 450 yards, hit was broadside behind the shoulder just below mid chest. Wound channel was not as wide as it would have been at a closer range but the elk only went 50 yards and laid down, was done before we got there. I really prefer to keep my shots under 350 yards and strive to make them all good hits.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7147300
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yeah to clarify this is primarily deer and elk on occasion...

If i feel i need to take a longer shot while deer hunting i can step up to a WM. I am thinking about going into so higher density areas and may take this gun with me.

I am still tossing up between 168 ablr and 178 eld x. Part of the decision will be made by what kind of velocities i can actually get. I do not know how much the alpha brass is going to change things. I forgot that the ablr has a much lower min recommended velocity due to the thinner walls at the front

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7147952
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It is still a catch 22, even if the bullet will expand down to 1600 fps your looking at a 178 gr. bullet going 1600 fps. Would you hunt big game with that combination? Is that what you want hitting an animal 350-400 yards away?

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7147960
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
yeah to clarify this is primarily deer and elk on occasion...


You select the bullet based on the heaviest/toughest critter you plan to hunt. In this case an elk, so that's what you base the decision on. And shooting out to 400 yards is not a long shot at all. It may be to some, but with a little training and practice, 400 yards should be a very doable shot, especially on an elk.



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Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7151568
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No 400 yards is not, under good conditions a tough shot. The point is that say the animal is 400 yards away and you hit it with a bullet that doesn't expand fully and has the energy of a 357 Magnum. If the animal travels very far it is already 400 yards ahead of you and not likely to leave much of a blood trail.

Last edited by rickt300; 04/25/18 05:10 PM.
Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7155575
04/30/18 04:13 PM
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I have a 17" bbl Bartlein 1:10 in 30/06 with a 5" thunderbeast

I tried the following:

190 AB's - Great accuracy, but slow - Giant fireball out of the muzzle with H4831SC

175 Barnes LRX - These were not stable. Stay away from the 175 LRX in 1:10 unless you're driving it faster

150 AB's - could not get to shoot below 1MOA, tried several powders

168 VLD hunter - sub 1/2 MOA and over 2800 FPS with varget. No fireball. Not my favorite bullet, but this is my cull/doe/pig gun so I use them.

Re: 16in 308 bullet choice [Re: Cleric] #7155577
04/30/18 04:14 PM
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Stick to the lighter bullets. I can't remember how slow the 190's were... but it was WAAAAAAYYY slower than what my previous (23") barrel would do.

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