Short barreled .308 loads

TC338

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

bigedp51

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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/
 

TC338

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Central Oklahoma
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/
Thanks for the link. Planning on running suppressed so noise won’t be a huge issue.
 

MudRunner2005

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

Hand Skills

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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.
 
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Creoleboy

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Aug 8, 2018
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Louisiana
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.
Who’s loading for 16-18” 308 win? What are your load specs? Powder, charge weight, bullet weight, speed?
Savage precision model 10 308 20 inch bbl, 44 gr Varget, 165 nosler bt, 2.91 ocl, 2660 fps
 

cohunt

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Jan 21, 2016
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Colorado Springs, CO
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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