180gr 308?

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #1
Have some Hornady SST 180gr bullets laying around that I used to shoot through my 30-06, thought about loading them for my 308 BLR to use in the woods while stalking. I know they’re not going to be fast but most shots are well under 100 yards. My BLR is 1:12 twist and I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about heavy bullets stabilizing in that twist rate, anyone tried it, or used the 180gr SSTs at all?
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#2
That would be pushing it with that twist, all you can do is load a few and try. When you get that close you never know, one rifle will stick them and the next one may not. You won't have lost a whole lot to have loaded a half dozen and just try. You can shoot them on a big enough target and just shoot for group, not even worry about changing zero to you see how they shoot.
 

Winnie 70

Four Pointer
#6
I shoot a 308 and load Hornadys 165....the 180's will work but for me were always way to heavy for deer if that what you stalking....but that just me. My favorite is the 243 in 100 g.....flat shooter and perfect for deer, easy on the shoulder, and will drop one "way out yonder".
 
#7
Any reccomendations? I have Varget, IMR 4350 and H4350 right now. Generally speaking, I use Varget on short action rounds and 4350 for long action.
I love Varget in my 22-250 and 30-06. Looking at Hodgdon's data Varget should be a good choice. I don't see 4350 as listed at all.
 

JJWise

Four Pointer
Thread starter #8
I shoot a 308 and load Hornadys 165....the 180's will work but for me were always way to heavy for deer if that what you stalking....but that just me. My favorite is the 243 in 100 g.....flat shooter and perfect for deer, easy on the shoulder, and will drop one "way out yonder".
Through my Model 7 308 I use 150s because it shot them better than 165s. But I’ve never experimented with weights in my BLR, it was shooting 150s about 1.5”. I have some 165s on hand as well, might make a few rounds of that and see which one the gun likes.
 

LanceR

Four Pointer
Contributor
#9
It's safe to say that the relationships between bullet weight versus twist rate are often misunderstood and are just as often over simplified.

All rifles are individuals and although 1:12 is pretty slow for many 180 grain bullet/barrel combinations I'd load 3 to 5 each of three powder weight charges (one each at the bottom, middle and upper end of the recommended charge weights and see how they group. And my money would be on the slowest ones. Or maybe just start with some of the lowest powder charge and start from there.

All other things being equal, bullets are more gyroscopically stable at lower velocities, not higher velocities. Generally, in cases of marginal gyroscopic stabilization due to slower than "normal" twist rates lower velocities lead to better results. Note my mealy-mouth terms like "all other things being equal" and "generally". Like I said, all rifle and load combinations are very individual things so until you try and shoot a particular combination you'll never really know what will happen.

In the strictest sense, barrel twist stabilizes bullet length, not bullet weight. Discussing specific bullet weight versus barrel twist rates only really matters if the bullets being compared have similar construction and length. Again, generally speaking, (there's that phrase again....) round nose bullets stabilize with less twist than spitzer (pointed) nosed and, especially boat tail spitzer bullets. Solid copper bullets such at the Barnes TSX and solid gilding metal bullets such as the Hornady GMX which are less dense and are longer for any given weight and profile and so they generally benefit from faster twist rates than similar lead core bullets, etc.

And in the "for what it's worth" column, most of the Army's M24 sniper rifles have 1:11.25 twist barrels and I can tell you from long personal experience they can stabilize 190 and 200 grain Sierra MatchKing bullets in well made hand loads just fine out to 1,000 yards and well beyond that.....despite all manner of "experts" who would claim that it shouldn't work.....

As you noted, most shots will be well under 100 yards. Despite the stories of folks shooting deer two zip codes over and maybe even over the horizon by bouncing bullets off the ionosphere or some such the fact remains that the significant majority of deer and bear taken in the eastern US are shot at less than 100 yards with a big majority of those at under 65 yards. If you think that is kind of what you are going to see then maybe you want to check groups at 75 yards to see if they stay tight enough to hold a "minute of deer" accuracy. After all, the heart/lung area of the smallest legal deer viewed broadside is just about the size of a 9" paper plate...

Of the powders you listed I would try the Varget first. Varget is one of the 4-5 Hodgdon factory preferred powders for heavy for caliber .308 Win. loads.

At any rate, load those SSTs up and see what happens. Until you actually shoot them and see the results I suspect that we're all kind of pole vaulting over mouse turds here.

Best regards,


Lance