Originally Posted by 270 Sender0
I have one of Thompson/Center ICON Precision Hunter rifle in .308 from the Ian McMurchy Rifle Raffle. I just had Shawn and Bob from Defensive Edge put the rings and scope on and itís time to start reloading. I mentioned before that I have the 168 gr. Sierra Mkís (Kirby Allen), also a 1000 Berger bullets from Eric Stecker of Berger bullets. I have not ordered the Bergerís as of yet, do you have any suggestions on what gr. Bullet to use with the Bergerís. I hunt elk and mule deer here in Idaho.
With the shorter factory barrel I would recomend starting with powders on the faster side of the 308 spectrum such as RL-12, Benchmark, H4895, VV-N530 etc....You could try RL-15 and Varget if those dont work, but H4895 and similar should work well.
As far as which Berger, it is a hard question for me to answer. Your rifle may not like the best one for the job. Also, the VLD's typically works best with higher impact velocities. This doesnt work well with a 308 espescially a short barrel 308 for long range hunting.
For mule deer or elk, I would be looking hard at the 168 or 175 VLD. They are a good balance between weight, mass and BC with a decent starting velocity (2600-2700 FPS for the 175's and 2750-2800 for the 168's) This would get you somewhere in the 500 yard+ ball park for reliable terminal effects with the VLD. If you work up a good load with the 168 SMK, then I would get the 168 VLD's and work the charge weight up and down SLIGHTLY and/or the seating depth to duplicate the SMK load.
Let us know what happens!