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Long range for a .308

 
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  #1  
Old 10-20-2011, 03:57 PM
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Long range for a .308

I'm stuck at home and can't shoot until tomorrow so today I get to play 20 questions on the forums. Folks who frequent this forum ( or ones like it) are at least interested in the sport of long range hunting. Most of us are shooting rifles chambered for cartridges that are adequate for taking large game at extreme distances. ( for this topic, I will define extreme hunting distances and anything past 800 yards). With that said some of us ( namely me) haven't stepped up to a caliber suitable for taking large game (like elk for instance) at extreme distances.

Because I have an obsession with becoming a better field marksman I practice every chance I get. Sometimes its a lot, sometimes its a little. You can bet your beer money that I do not miss an opportunity to sling some lead in my quest to be a better marksman. With that being said, I am fully confident that I can put a Nosler ballistic tip where it needs to go when I have the luxury of sampling the wind, calculating the range and dialing a correction. Now is where these types of discussion turn in to flame wars. When it comes to hunting at any range, being a competent marksman is only part of the equation. Another part is staying within the EFFECTIVE range of your cartridge. It has often been said that a .308 winchester is an 800 yard round. I think that statement was referring to the battlefield as apposed a hunting situation.(Yes our fine precision shooters often referred to as snipers have stretched that distance to 1000 yards.) Since Big game animals are harder to kill than enemy combatants I think that in a hunting situation 800 yards is a ballistic stretch with a .308. Not impossible but on the ragged edge. I'm not saying the .308 is a sissy round. At 350 yards I have full faith and confidence that I can kill anything with a pulse. Add another 150 yards and I draw the line at deer ( when I have a good broad side shot).

I guess now I should get to my question. For those of you who hunt with a .308 how long is your comfort zone.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2011, 05:24 PM
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Location: Central Pennsylvania
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Re: Long range for a .308

With the recent data introduced to me in another thread (http://stevespages.com/jpg/bestbullet.jpg), I have changed my bullet choice from 175 Nosler Custom Comps to 168NBT. At 1400fps they will still open creating additional damage to the animals important parts (heart, lungs, spine). So with this new found knowledge and the ability to have a bullet open up at such a low speed, I plan to take my .308 to 900yds depending on what my resulting velocity is and accuracy. Should I achieve 2850fps+, then that will be my distance. FLAME ON!!!!!!!!

Because of the length barrel I currently am using, it is very plausible that I will achieve 2900fps if not more with the 168's. Here's the drop data with the 168 in a possible hunting scenario here in PA:

Humidity 60%, Temp 40, Baro 29.85 (just a guess until I get to my spot, but should be about right), Elevation 1000ft. (give or take 50ft, might get higher is some areas depending on where I go)

Bullet: Nosler Hunting Balistic Tip, 168gr. BC: .490 (On the box is written, suggested for Whitetail and Antelope)

As per JBM: 900yds, 1426fps 26MOA Should I get more velocity, then I could be pushing it to around 950yds.

Tank
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Last edited by liltank; 10-20-2011 at 05:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:02 PM
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Re: Long range for a .308

The .308 is certainly capable of getting you to 1,000yds but for deer and larger sized game you're pretty much out of gas at around 650.

Definitely not a "sissy gun" just not an ideal round for long range hunting.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:33 PM
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Re: Long range for a .308

I will definantly be following this
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2011, 09:43 PM
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Re: Long range for a .308

I took my old heavy tac/ F-T/R .308 out long range hunting a few times last season. Shot at a deer at 768yards with it, did not adjust for downhill angle, due to being so focused on the wind... wind call was dead nuts on but missed clean over his back!

My load was 208gr A-max over 48gr of RL17 in a custom, long throated, 28" 1-11tw Hart barrel.

Still had plenty of energy at that range. A-maxs (at least the old ones) were known to open down to around 1500fps impact velocity...
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2011, 10:39 PM
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Re: Long range for a .308

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliveralan View Post
I took my old heavy tac/ F-T/R .308 out long range hunting a few times last season. Shot at a deer at 768yards with it, did not adjust for downhill angle, due to being so focused on the wind... wind call was dead nuts on but missed clean over his back!

My load was 208gr A-max over 48gr of RL17 in a custom, long throated, 28" 1-11tw Hart barrel.

Still had plenty of energy at that range. A-maxs (at least the old ones) were known to open down to around 1500fps impact velocity...
Actually at that range it's dropping like a rock and has minimal energy.

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Ballistics Calculation



Input VariablesFirearm typeLongSight Height1.5Bullet Weight (grains)200Ballistic Coefficient.520Muzzle Velocity (fps)2400Temperature59Barometric Pressure (hg)29.53Relative Humidity78%Zero Range (yards)100Wind Speed (mph)0

Ballistics Table in Yards 200 gr., .520 B.C.www.hornady.comRange
(yards)Muzzle1002003004005006007008009001000
Velocity
(fps)2400 2240 2086 1939 1798 1665 1540 1425 1320 1228 1151Energy (ft.-lb.)2558 2229 1933 1669 1436 1231 1053 901 774 670 588

Trajectory (100 yd. zero)-1.5 0.0 -5.4 -18.9 -41.6 -75.0 -121.1 -181.9 -259.9 -358.0 -479.3

Come Up in MOA-1.5 0.0 2.6 6.0 9.9 14.3 19.3 24.8 31.0 38.0 45.8

The following table is provided as a "cheat sheet" that you can tape to your gun.
Ballistics Table in Yards 200 gr., .520 B.C.www.hornady.comRange
(yards)Muzzle1002003004005006007008009001000Trajectory
(100 yd. zero)-1.5 0.0 -5.4 -18.9 -41.6 -75.0 -121.1 -181.9 -259.9 -358.0 -479.3

Come Up in MOA-1.5 0.0 2.6 6.0 9.9 14.3 19.3 24.8 31.0 38.0 45.8

Ballistics Calculator v1.0
Hornady Mfg, Inc., by ARIS, Inc.

At that velocity you'd be lucky to get an open tipped match bullet to expand sufficiently and without a perfectly placed shot it'll be time to do some tracking.
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Last edited by WildRose; 10-20-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2011, 06:29 AM
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Re: Long range for a .308

I tried a few beyond 1K shots on antelope with a 308 this year in Wyoming and the problem seemed to be that with an animal that is moving any amount such as grazing, the range and curve of the trajectory create a severe problem in getting the right drop data dialed in before the shot. Perhaps if I had a spotter constantly giving me new data it would have worked out. After about three misses in the 900-1100 yard range I gave it up and settled for a 638 yard shot. I used the Berger 155.5 Fullbore target bullet and it opened up very well and exited. This load is my normal F-class load and not at maximum speed due to accuracy being achieved a lower speeds.

I conclude that the Berger Fullbore is suitable for antelope and eastern whitetail deer to beyond 650 yards but rangefinding and trajectory considerations make getting a good first round hit difficult.
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