Thanks for the link. Planning on running suppressed so noise won’t be a huge issue.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″)
.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.Who’s loading for 16-18” 308 win? What are your load specs? Powder, charge weight, bullet weight, speed?
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.
Savage precision model 10 308 20 inch bbl, 44 gr Varget, 165 nosler bt, 2.91 ocl, 2660 fpsWho’s loading for 16-18” 308 win? What are your load specs? Powder, charge weight, bullet weight, speed?