This is a great thread. Thanks everybody for the input. I am a Varget guy and working on a .308 load as this is written. I think it is a little light for me to try elk at distance. I am comfortable with it to 300 yards. I would be comfortable with my .308 out out further for antelope or deer where I live.
When the 30 mph + wind gusts die down after spring (yeah!) I am going to set my chronograph up. In the current winds I don't know if there is enough clicks to try to figure windage!
There is a lot of good data and many good bullets to try especially when looking at keeping the distances reasonable 500 yards or so. I know some of you guys can do better. For me I am really on a learning curve, but there is time before hunting season.
Wow, I kind of stopped following this post. It didn't take off so fast. A lot of good info finally came out. I do not expect to use a 308 as my primary elk rifle. It will mainly be used for practice, but I would like to get as much out of it as possible. Running my ballistics program, it seemed to me that 450 yards was about as much as I could expect. I did read a post on another website where a guy said he shot an elk at 650, 750, and 800 yards. Who knows if he was a key board commando or what so I thought I would ask here. I would like to be able to carry hunt with this rifle, mainly for deer and hogs, but elk hunting is my passion so that is how elk worked its way in to this.
The .308 is a good cartridge, and a fine, accurate rifle can be built around it at reasonable weight and without great expense. I really like my .308, not sure how far I'd risk a shot at elk with it. 400 - 500 yards sure. Beyond that? Dunno. Farther is why I have a .300 WSM too!
What I do like about the .308 is that it's so easy to shoot well, easy to load, easy on barrel life and just very pleasant to get along with. I've been shooting mine for about 15 years, through several different barrels. Now and then I get the urge to re-barrel it to something else, but I always seem to come back to the .308 Win.
Ouch, cant believe some of the mis information on the .308 in here. It is a better caliber than most know, since there obviously hearing rumors on it passed through the grapevine.
I reload the heck out of .308 and I mean thousands, have 3500 Lapua brass I'm working on prepping now.
46grains (max) of Varget at 2.82 OAL and CCI BR primers and a 175SMK will send everything to death at 1000yds while screaming right at 2800fps, most guns get in the 2750 range.
I would use a Nosler BT or something in the Fusion category that you can buy off the shelf, but I would just try and copy that or maybe use the Fusion bullet which is a hunting bullet from Sierra that is close to matching the SMK. They say that hunting bullet is preferred better starting at 300yds and out..
Made me wonder how a arrow can kill a Elk at 30yds but a .308 isn't gonna kill it past 400yds?