Short barreled .308 loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TC338, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

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    Who’s loading for 16-18” 308 win? What are your load specs? Powder, charge weight, bullet weight, speed?
     
  2. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    The same loads I'd use for a 20-24" barrel. They'll just go 200fps slower.
     
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  3. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    The link below did extensive testing on barrel lengths and has links to powder testing.
    The biggest factor is you need a thicker recoil pad and better ear protection the shorter the barrel. I have a 20 inch Savage Hog Hunter in .308 and its not a fun gun to shoot all day at the range.

    308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm NATO: Barrel Length versus Velocity (28″ to 16.5″)
    https://rifleshooter.com/2014/12/30...ato-barrel-length-versus-velocity-28-to-16-5/
     
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  4. TC338

    TC338 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link. Planning on running suppressed so noise won’t be a huge issue.
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    .308 Win can get a nearly complete burn in a 16" barrel... So, just like BallisticsGuy said... Same loads as for a longer barreled .308. Nothing will be different except for your muzzle velocity and energy.
     
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  6. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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    Very true. I have a 308 with an 18" 1:12. The velocity handicap is real. Using faster powders in a short barrel doesn't help velocity, they still pressure out before the case is full. Modern powders like MR2000 and RL-17 can bridge the gap a bit with heavier bullets, but if you are looking for long range performance 155-168gr is the best compromise between BC and Velocity. Consider loading beyond 2.8" OACL and RL-15 should you choose this route. Can't help ya there because I have no interest in single loading a stubby lever gun.

    In the beginning this particular 308 was setup as a bush/brush gun and I used a lot of 180gr protected point partitions at ~2500fps. It's been a solid performer inside 200yd and a great companion in bear country, but a long range load it is not. I shot a number of 165 Accubonds and a few 150's, but came to the conclusion that for general hunting, a 308 is really handicapped by heavy bullets. Especially with a short barrel.

    49gr of TAC under 125gr ballistic tips has been a recent revelation for me. Just under 3100fps and easy mode beyond 300yd. Maybe it's the novelty of having 270win performance in a short little package after lobbing heavies for so long...? While I can't speak from experience on this yet, I think a 130gr monolithic (hammer/ttsx/plainsmaster) might be as good as it gets for a short barrelled .308. That's the direction I'm headed anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  7. Creoleboy

    Creoleboy New Member

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    Savage precision model 10 308 20 inch bbl, 44 gr Varget, 165 nosler bt, 2.91 ocl, 2660 fps
     
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  8. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    I tried fast powders too, they did not help my velocities

    out of my 16" AR platform rifle my accuracy comes at 2850 for the 125/130 class--I could never hit 3000 without pressure signs, I get 2650 for my 150 lead core and 2550 150 monolithics, 2450 from 168 monolithics, and 2470 from lead core 178's
     
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