308 Win. Long Range Bullet Selection in Canada
*lmerFudd said: OK, I am trying to figure out what bullet or bullets to start with testing in my new Remington 700 Stainless Special 5R Milspec. For those that don't know it has a 24" barrel with a 11.25" twist (slightly faster than the 12" standard). I hope to be doing some long range shooting in the new year perhaps with the BCRA out to about 600m. As such I think I want something in the 165 to 175 gr. range. The December '08 Handloader Journal had an excellent article by Gary Sciuchetti "Developing an Accurate .308 Load". But it was written for a 12" twist barrel and of course lists common bullets available in the USA. I will likely be using Varget as suggested on CGN many times and in the article. Although over the winter I will likely try H335 or IMR 4064 that I have on hand just to get started. So the question is: What bullet, that is commonly available in Canada, would you recommend? And where to buy? Of course price is important so if it is twice the price and only gains me .1" over 500 yard it likely isn't for me. :rolleyes: And while I have your attention, what cheap bullets do you like for short range plinking in 308? Something I can have fun with and take a friend to the range to try without breaking the bank as much. Just to make it fun I made this a poll of what I think is available locally in Canada and was in the short list in the Handloader Journal. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!! Fudd
B*g JD-From the hills said: Try some RL15 also, my savage does better with it than varget. Some of the hornady bullets are reasonably priced, and usualy are quite accurate.
*pscgraz said: And while I have your attention, what cheap bullets do you like for short range plinking in 308? Something I can have fun with and take a friend to the range to try without breaking the bank as much. Higginson has some 150 Gr 308 FMJBT for around $17 - $18 a hundred.
msg.dr*w said: All of the bullets listed in your poll are avalible in canada... Yes 150grs for plinking and 168grs match for long range accuracy... berger lapua and hornady make exellent 168grs match bullets
b*arhunter said: Try some Sierra, 2200C, Match in 168 grain HPBT. If you like them, buy them in the 500 pack and they will be about the same price as cheaper bullets, but far more consistant. Remember, practice with the bullets you intend to use, then there aren't any surprises when the shots count. bearhunter
B*omer said: I've had good luck with MK's, Nosler J-4's, and Hornady Int'l Match, (I haven't tried the A-Max) but I keep going back to the MK's that are available in a greater range of .30 caliber weights, and my very best bragging groups have always been with MK's. I haven't used Lapua bullets all that often, but when I have the results have been outstanding. While I haven't shot Bergers, they have a fine reputation for accuracy, and a pal of mine swears by their .224's. Being able to get personal email assistance from Walt Berger is a nice touch, and a good marketing strategy. Wildcat Bullets in Wetaskiwin AB was working on a long range bullet with an aluminum nose cone. The shape of this bullet pushed the BC to a degree I have never seen on a .30 caliber bullet before, but the length would of required a fast twist barrel. The trouble is I don't know if this slug was ever perfected and marketed. I guess I'll have to touch base with him and find out. Using extruded powders with a mid range burning rate means that you don't need a particularly hot primer, while a magnum primer might produce more uniform velocities with H-335.
R*bAK said: I've found my Rem 700P loves 175gr SMK. I'm using Norma match brass with 45.5 grains of Viht N550 powder.
Tr*vor60 said: If you are going to be shooting matches Lapua or Berger are your first choice. 155's or the 185 as an aside both Berger and Sierra have come out with new bullets Berger 155.5 and the un-named Sierra that are getting very hi praise For general shooting the Sierra work just fine. 168 - 175 I shoot 155 lapua at the moment and they work great in my 11.25 twist rifle starting to test the 185. Lapua are easier to get at the moment but Berger is making a hard push to become more available.
m*ynard said: 168 gr bullets are garbage out past 900 yards. They were designed for 300m ISU shooting back in the 60's. 155's are the max bullet weight for my game of TR. I have used all of the above for long range with the exception of Speer bullets. 155 Berger's and Lapua's use about 2 moa less elevation at long range than SMK's and Nosler's. I tried Hornady A-Max's when they first came out and didn't like them. Varget seems to be the cleanest burning powder I have found.
J*mie said: I've found my Rem 700P loves 175gr SMK. I'm using Norma match brass with 45.5 grains of Viht N550 powder. ditto used lots of bullets but always go back to the 175 SMK for 1000meter work
sp*oksar said: I use the Sieira 180 gr match king in my CZ 750 with excellent results. Reloader 15 for powder CCI primer and WIN cases. The 180 holds it's velocity better out at longer ranges.
L*Roy said: mysticplayer (member here) has Bergers, and AMAX's. I know, because I have ordered some (they are waiting to be paid for). mystic is great to deal with. LeRoy
M*beasto said: I think taht with a 11.25 twist you should try 175 gr. Sierra match king... with about 43 gr of Varget... With that your bullet should get out at about 2600fps.. and according to Brad Sauvé.. you should seat it at .018 off the land. I worte him an E-mail to Sierra and for my 30-06 they recommended the same recipe ..cause my tikka is 1:11 but is actually a bit more than that by my measure...
p-17 said: Welcome to BCRA! As you accurately pointed out, we don't really have any ranges in BC that go beyond 600 metres. At that range, frankly, any decent match bullet from 155 grains and up will work, assuming you and the rifle are up to the task. The vast majority of us use 155s at Vokes, and they work well out to 600 and beyond. (TR rules also require us to use 155s.) However, others swear by 168s and 175s. Just remember that the 168 is not really designed for performance beyond 600 (at .308 velocities, anyway). Your 1-11 twist will work very well with bullets from 155 through 180 grains. I have an identical twist on one of my rifles, and it is very versatile. There really is no best brand of bullet for this purpose. As with anything else, you have to use what works best in your rifle. I settled on the Nosler 155s myself because they shoot very well, and they're cheap. I used these bullets at the World Championships in Ottawa in '07. Lapua, Berger, Hornady, Sierra and Nosler all have their followings, though Sierra has the biggest number of fans, by far. One of the reasons for the popularity of the Sierra is that it is designed to work in a wide variety of throat configurations, with different degrees of jump. VLD bullets like the Lapua, in contrast, DO fly flatter at longer ranges, but the down side is that they have a reputation about being VERY sensitive to seating depth, and they tend to like being seated right out into contact with the lands. Hornady AMAXs are claimed to be somewhere in between the Sierra and Lapua in this regard, and Noslers tend to be very forgiving about seating depth. You should just buy boxes of a few bullets that you want to try, and develop loads for them. Most people use Varget powder, but some swear by Reloder 15 or Vihtavuori N140 and N540. As for primers, Federal 210M (if you can get them) are excellent, as are CCI BR2 (which seem to be more readily avaialbe). My advice is just settle on one of these two, buy a few thousand, and don't think of it again for a while. Trial and error is the only way to figure this stuff out. It takes work, but it is worth it in the end. Good shooting!
BC_G*y said: Another vote for sierra 175's. BCRA's Tactical matches, I'd venture a guess that the 175 is the most common round, with the 168's being a close second. Try them both, they'll likely both shoot well through a 5R.
p*terdobson said: Many Lapua GB491 shooters win matches with the ogive from .015" into lands to .040" off the lands(Marion and Praslick111-using factory ammo) You get the same ballistic coeficient as the Sierra 175 MK, but it goes faster= better ballistics. Regards, Peter
sl*shee said: M853 (168 grain SMK) emulation for ranges 0-600 ish. Anything over that and I would emulate M118 LR (175 SMK)
st*vebc said: I'll be trying various charges, seating depths, etc in a comparison between Sierra Palma Match 155's and the Hornady A-Max 155's. We'll see how it goes...
*lmerFudd said: Your help people has been great... so far. :p I knew Sierra was popular but at the same time I thought more people would be using the Speers. At the moment and for starting out I really don't want to deal with a Lapua bullet that is sensitive to seating depth just to fly a bit flatter. So I will skip that one for now. And the Bergers, according to the WS catalogue are about 75% more expensive ($55/100 vs. $31/100 for Noslers) and the VLDs are more depth sensitive so I think I will put them off till later too. So I will pick up / order some Sierra, Nosler and Hornady. Weights to be determined... Now out to 600m will the 168 or 175 gr. really be that much better than the 155 gr.? Is the extra weight to fight the wind really worth the lose in velocity? :confused: Or is it just more stable? Looking in the Russell's catalogue I see Hornady 150gr. FMJBT for $5 less per 100 than their 168 gr. HPBT. What's the accuracy range of a 150 gr. FMJ BT? 5 more grains really make that much of a difference or is it the hollow point on the 155 gr. that makes it so much better at range? I know the hollow point does make it better but then I see some using the Hornady A MAX. :confused: Thanks again for the help guys, Fudd
sl*shee said: I found this on sniper central, seems to talk about what you are interested in knowing "I'll chime in a little on this topic. The 155 SMK is actually a good long range bullet when compared to the 168gr. The BC's are nearly identical (.443 vs .447) but you get better velocity with the 155gr's. So, at longer ranges, both drop and winddrift will be less than the 168gr loads. Now, if we are comparing federal GMM ammo, we'll have to be careful, because the 155's do not achieve the advertised 2900fps because those are from a 29" palma barrel. From my 23" barrel, I was getting close to 2800fps, so we'll compare the 155 at 2750fps and the 168gr at 2600fps. and look at the extremes. bullet......drift 10mph 1000y......drop 1000y 155gr............103".........................423" 168gr............110".........................477" 175gr..............93".........................437" I threw the 175gr in there also, at 2600fps. The numbers show some interesting info, and if you can throw that 155gr even faster, the results would be better. Notice even at 2750 it drops less than even the 175gr though the wind bucking is better with the 175gr. The 155gr is a good bullet, the lapua scenar even better, though they do arrive with less energy than the 175's. Just thought I would confuse everyone more and put up some numbers! MEL" So while having less impact energy, it would seem they are travelling faster then the 168's and 175's to offset wind drift and bullet drop. Basically I think it comes down to buying 100 and testing them. As each rifle is different, your rifle may or may not shoot one particular brand of bullet better. ps - as a general rule, i find FMJ BT's to shoot less accurate then HP BT's. For paper punching I think you would be well to pick up a box of 150, 155 and 168 grain bullets and test them. I think the preformance difference between the three will be minimal unless you are getting into 600-1000 range competitions. Then you will definatly want to test a whole variety of bullets and powders to squeeze every last MOA you can.
Myst*c Precision said: Having shot a number of the brands and bullets in question, I'll throw in my 2 cents. Nosler is essentially a MK clone. Didn't shoot that many of them but what I shot was fine. Availability is not always that great but they can be had for a decent price. Don't know what their QC is like as I have not shot them for a number of years. Amax is by far the least expensive bullet that will shoot very well in a number of barrels. In general, the QC is great. Recently, their lot to lot variance has been really good but have varied in the past. Also, those tips have been known to be installed wonky yet still make it out the door. Hornady customer support has been really good to me. Not the bullet I would choose for guilt edge accuracy/consistency but for LR plinking, my number one choice IF they make a suitable bullet. Lapua is a super consistent product box after box. Seems to shoot best just off the lands. LR accuracy and vertical dispersion is small. I have shot ALOT of 6.5's in my Mystic F class rifles and you just open the box and start loading. Berger is also in this level of consistency WHEN they don't change to a new bullet die. however, they usually let the major shooting boards know when they retire a die. Excellent accuracy and consistency within the lot, and lot variance (same bullet die) is very small. Again, you just open the box and go have fun. Their secant ogive shape allows for the higher BC compared to comparable tangent ogive bullets. I consider high BC very important in a LR match bullet. I have shot my smallest groups with Bergers and Lapua MK's have an enormous following, the lowest BC usually, and the worse QC. They are known for mixing bullet dies into the same lot. Sig variations in shape and weight have plagued different cals and lots over the years. Their customer support is usually really good but what a pain. They single handedly created the match bullet sorting tools some use. Measuring ogives, trimming meplates, weighing bullets and sorting into different lots is not my idea of a true match bullet. Can they shoot well? of course. Am I willing to risk dropping a point due to an errantly made slug? Not in your life. Their pricing is also right in there with the Lapua's and Bergers. When you account for the bullets culled (some lots zero, others as much as 1/3), things get real expensive in a hurry. Plus it does not instill in me any confidence when I have to sort the bullets. Did I sort them well enough? What about an error I can't see or measure? Then there is all that time I would rather be doing something else with. For competition, I use Lapua and Bergers. yes, these can cost more but that is the cost of higher potential scores. Their increased BC will also pay dividends when the winds do blow. For LR plinking, I will also add some Amax as they fly really well way out there. They are also the only bullet that consistently goes subsonic yet retains accuracy. That is important at 1 mile. For bullet weights, 155 or 155.5gr for sure. Little point in dealing with more recoil and lower ballistics unless your barrel really likes the heavier slugs. Jerry PS I can offer any of the bullets above.
st*vebc said: I settled on the Nosler 155s myself because they shoot very well, and they're cheap. I used these bullets at the World Championships in Ottawa in '07. Which Nosler bullet is this? I looked at their website and their Custom Competitions didn't mention a 155. I'd love a cheaper alternative to the SMK, so I'd like to try a box and see how they do for me.
k*egs said: Nosler custom comp 30 cal 155 gr hpbt 250 ct part number if I am readin the box I got here should be 53169
st*vebc said: Thanks keegs, guess I was looking in the wrong place....
s*mulate said: The Sierra 155 gr HPBT works well for me out to 900 yards.
st*vebc said: MK's have an enormous following, the lowest BC usually, and the worse QC. They are known for mixing bullet dies into the same lot. Sig variations in shape and weight have plagued different cals and lots over the years. Can they shoot well? of course. Am I willing to risk dropping a point due to an errantly made slug? Not in your life. I was noticing today while loading that several of the MK hollowpoint tips were less than consistent: Some tips were slightly angled as opposed to flat, and some seemed to have larger openings than others. All other things being equal, how big a deal are these variations? Or is there any way to know, given the problems mentioned above?
Myst*c Precision said: Steve, this is why I don't use Sierra. All that variations indicate that your box of bullet was more then likely produced from several machines. Or with differing components. Or just generous QC. Each machine is likely fine but each bullet die is different. That could be little or it could be alot. The only way to find out is to shoot them but then maybe results are not what you wanted. Why Sierra shooters are also more likely to sort their bullets, trim their meplates and measure ogive lengths. Life is way too short for this nonsense. Jerry
st*vebc said: Thanks Jerry- I'm basically using them up and will be going with Amax after that. Besides, the Amax's are a bit cheaper. :)
br*d555 said: I have a HS and it like the Lapua 155 with Varget.