180 Berger Elite Hunter or 215 Hybrid in .308 Win???

codyadams

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So a buddy of mine gave me his Savage Ashbury Precision rifle to work out a good long range target/hunting load for. It's a .308 with a 24" 10 twist barrel, and 4-14x Nightforce SHV. It runs on AICS type mags, and I have an Alpha mag that allows me to load out to about 2.975" COAL.

He told me to load whatever I want that I think would work best, and he will pay for components plus some extra change for me. I plan on trying the 215 Hybrids, as I already have some, and they are a proven hunting bullet. I will use Reloder 17. I know most people load these to 3.000"-3.100" COAL throat dependant of course, but I think it should still work at 2.975"....

But I'm wondering, has anyone used the newish 180 EH bullet in a .308? Running the numbers in Applied Ballistics, even if I only get 2400 with the 215 it still outperforms the 180 at max velocity I could resonably get in the energy and wind drift department, but it's close.

So is there any outstanding reason anyone can point out to drop the extra $50+ on another box of bullets instead of just running with the 215's?

Thanks in advance all.
 

codyadams

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I think a major consideration should be the velocity required to open the bullet. I would determine the max range for each but I think the 180 would get the nod in the 308.
I agree, velocity certainly is a consideration. But on comparison, they are pretty darn close....that 215 catches up fast. I currently run the 215 in my 20" savage .308 at 2480 fps, so a 24" should let it get a few more fps. I ran this at 2500 for the 215 and 2725 for the 180, and the 215 catches it at 1600, even if you put your threshold at 1800 fps, it's still really close, like only 25 yards difference....
Screenshot_20180405-162612.png
Screenshot_20180405-163251.png

This is what is causing me so much indecision!! Ha ha.
 

elkaholic

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I agree, velocity certainly is a consideration. But on comparison, they are pretty darn close....that 215 catches up fast. I currently run the 215 in my 20" savage .308 at 2480 fps, so a 24" should let it get a few more fps. I ran this at 2500 for the 215 and 2725 for the 180, and the 215 catches it at 1600, even if you put your threshold at 1800 fps, it's still really close, like only 25 yards difference....View attachment 95372 View attachment 95373
This is what is causing me so much indecision!! Ha ha.
Surprising! Maybe just run an ELD and forget about it
 

gohring3006

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I think impact velocity is important, as well as trajectory. I run numbers and see how flat the trajectory is for a range I was intended to shoot.
For long range target at known range, I would go with the 215. If I was hunting to 500-600 yards, definitely the 180 just because of quick shooting involved with hunting, I may not always have time to update my range with a range finder.
I’m also concerned with stability with the 215 in a 10 twist, especially with such a low muzzle velocity.
 

codyadams

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Surprising!
Right?!? If I only get 2350-2400 fps or something in this rig, then that would determine my decision, but I am optimistic at this point.
I think impact velocity is important, as well as trajectory. I run numbers and see how flat the trajectory is for a range I was intended to shoot.
For long range target at known range, I would go with the 215. If I was hunting to 500-600 yards, definitely the 180 just because of quick shooting involved with hunting, I may not always have time to update my range with a range finder.
I’m also concerned with stability with the 215 in a 10 twist, especially with such a low muzzle velocity.

Good point about not readjusting your dope on an animal that takes a few steps.....and yes, also stability. Well we live at a higher elevation, about the lowest around here is 6600, which is pronghorn and sometimes deer, and we hunt at 8000+ for elk. I'll post the stability results at 6600 ft and 10 degrees, so about worst case scenario for stability during hunting
Screenshot_20180405-191831.png
 

gohring3006

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Right?!? If I only get 2350-2400 fps or something in this rig, then that would determine my decision, but I am optimistic at this point.


Good point about not readjusting your dope on an animal that takes a few steps.....and yes, also stability. Well we live at a higher elevation, about the lowest around here is 6600, which is pronghorn and sometimes deer, and we hunt at 8000+ for elk. I'll post the stability results at 6600 ft and 10 degrees, so about worst case scenario for stability during huntingView attachment 95382
You’re definitely good on stability.
 

Shane Lindsey

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One of my 308s loves the 215. It is an old Ruger tang safety so the mag well is short and they must be loaded long. Getting about 2475 with H4350. The 180 did not shoot well in it at all. If you have the 215s try them. If he's going long, I think the 215 is worth it.

I think there is something about a small little cartridge launching volkswagons...It's just cool.
 

codyadams

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Ya, I loaded the 215's up 1 each from 42 to 49 grains of Reloder 17 for a pressure/speed test, seated at 2.965" OAL so they will fit in the Alpha AICS mag, Hornady brass and CCI BR-2 primers. I'm certain I'll reach pressure before 49, most people that are loading 3.100" oal and using hbn coated bullets are only getting to 49 grains, but I know I will find a max in there, and I'll just pull what's left. Gonna try them soon hopefully, I'll report back my data. Unless I get bad accuracy, or speeds don't break 2450, I'll be sticking with the 215's
 

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MudRunner2005

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I shoot everything from 168 to 215 Bergers in mine, but if I was to pick a compromise of speed and mid-range performance, I would look into that new 180 Elite Hunter.

I have considered swapping to them in my .30-06 AI (1:12 twist), to gain some slight speed and better BC than the 185 VLD's that I've been using for years.
 

BEEMAN

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Friend of mine is shooting the 225 ELD-M out of his F class 308. Going from memory I believe he’s getting 2515 fps out of a 30” Bartlein. Shoots really good with Varget. Could be another option for a bullet for you.
 

lancetkenyon

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What range do you run down to either 1800fps or 1500ft/lbs of energy? Those are my personal criteria for elk hunting. Whichever one gets you a bit further before hitting either of those numbers is what I would choose.
 

codyadams

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Ok guys....FINALLY was able to get some time this morning to go shoot my load work-up. I have to say, I am excited with the results. So here is what I found

.308 Win
24" Savage 1:10 twist barrel
Hornady .308 brass
Berger 215 Hybrid seated at 2.965" (.080 OFF LANDS)
CCI BR-2 Primer
Reloder 17

42- 2365 fps
43- 2399 fps
44- 2453 fps
45- 2491 fps
46- 2532 fps
47- 2579 fps // faint ejector mark outline, easy bolt lift,
48- 2625 fps // light shiny ejector mark, slightly noticeable bolt lift increase, slightly cratered primer
49- Did not shoot, pressure was obvious

Also, all 7 shots printed within a 1.25" group, less than .75" vertical, the spread was horizontal, and likely due to pulling a shot to the right. I will post pictures of the group and cases in my next post.

I am very happy with this, I believe I will find a good load in the 45-46.5 grain area, and it should be running 2500-2550 with these 215 Bergers. Just for comparisons sake, I will compare the 1000 yard ballistics to a few other bullets with predicted velocities.

Using my current atmospherics (22.8 for pressure, 55 Degrees f) and a 5 mph crosswind not accounting for spin drift or coriolis, results are as follows-

1000 yd performance:

215 Berger @ 2510 fps
retained velocity: 1663 fps
retained energy: 1320 ft. lbs
wind drift: 2.3 MOA
elevation: 30.2 MOA

180 Berger EH @ 2725 fps
retained velocity: 1662 fps
retained energy: 1104 ft. lbs
wind drift: 2.6 MOA
elevation: 27.1 MOA

178 Hornady ELD-M @ 2725
retained velocity: 1599 fps
retained energy: 1011 ft. lbs
wind drift: 2.8 MOA
elevation: 27.9 MOA

And just for fun, I'll compare this to a high end 6.5 creedmoor load....

140 Berger EH @ 2900 fps
retained velocity: 1845 fps
retained energy: 1058 ft. lbs
wind drift: 2.2 MOA
elevation: 23.1 MOA

Really quite impressive for a .308....only .1 MOA wind drift behind a high end hand loaded 6.5 creed, and over 250 ft. lbs more retained energy. I don't usually take too much consideration for elevation, as that is an exactly quantifiable number that we use an electronic rangefinder to account for, and that only leaves the velocity for the .308 to fall behind, which according to Berger, 1600 fps is still enough for their bullets to properly expand, but even at that, the .308 is only 182 fps behind the creed. And also, this is at 1000 yards, about the max hunting distance for these rifles.

One other thing, in this 14 lb rifle, recoil was very manageable, even from prone position, without a muzzle brake.
 

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