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Need a Load Reco for My New Rifle

Old 09-24-2010, 08:21 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Need a Load Reco for My New Rifle

If you've been following my other thread, after much deliberation I decided to purchase a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .308 Win. Now I'm looking for recomendations on brands/loads of cartridges. I do not reload rifle cartridges, so reloading recipes isn't what I am after.

I plan to use the rifle on whitetail and black bear in New York State, so I'm thinking max distance to target would be 150 yards.

The Winchester Power Max Bonded with 150 gr bullet sounds very interesting, but they put such emphasis on it being an excellent deer load, that I'm wondering if it would be less than optimal on black bear.

So I ask you, what brands/loads should I be considering for my specific needs?
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:52 AM
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JMHO,But you might just want to try several different brands,weights types to see what your rifle likes the best first off.Then look for the style of projectile that you want ,round nose, spirepoint,Ballistic tip.hollow point ,etc.As far as factory loads for Blackies,and Whitetail the ever so 'ol faithful remington corelokt are hard to beat and you can get them just about everywhere.for factory rounds the Hornady custom in a 168 boat tail spire point is a very good round.Federal premium loads always served me well also.I had a Brownie A-bolt that liked the cheaper winchester PXP rounds better than anything else so that's what I shot in it even though I roll my own.Trial and error is most likely the best way for you to find out.You might get lucky and hit the right one first ,But you never know .I don't hunt Blackies so most of what I said mainly pertains to whitetails.I would think that you would probally need a projectile that has good penetration and retains the most weight.You might want to ask Ridge Runner about this one he is about as slick as they come around here on bullets and long range hunting. Once again this is just my opinion and you probally want to wait on what the really knowledgeable guy's on here have to say.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:08 AM
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I agree totally that there will be some trial and error involved in deciding which load shoots best in my gun. I'm hoping to get some direction on where to start looking. There are so many options that I figure it will be much more economical to ask first than to hear someone tell me later " I could have told you that would be a poor choice."

I'm picking up the rifle tonight and will be visiting my son at college this weekend, so I have a whole week to gather info before being able to play with my new toy. It's kind of like Christmas morning, but having your folks tell you you're going to your Aunt's house so leave your toys home...LOL! (Or should I be crying?)
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:23 AM
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I like the fusion loads they would work on either I'd try both 150 and 180 grain bullets. Also another I've seen used with great success on bear is 180 gr power points on 308. I've killed deer with 180gr PowerPoint 30-06 so I kno a 308 would do just as good.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:30 PM
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Contact the manufacturers for their recommendations on a round for black bear.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:40 PM
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You need to remember that the .308 was only designed to be used for one reason and that was to replace the 30-06 in a military rifle.
The benefit was that the action was shorter and the shell used less powder, was shorter - was lighter - so you could carry more ammo.

The downside to it was that it was only designed to be shot with a 150 gr bullet, not a 180. When you move up to a 180 gr bullet, you are getting into 30-06 territory and the .308 just doesn't have it to propel the 180 gr bullet down range as good as the 30-06.

I'm not putting down the .308, I am just saying that if you wanted to hunt bear, you should have thought about it before you plunked down your hard earned money on a gun that is marginal at best with anything but a 150 gr bullet.

The advantage you have is that the technology today in bullet manufacture technic's is 100% better then it was 20 or 30 years ago so the bullets you buy today will retain more of their shape and energy downrange and using a larger bullet is not always necessary.

Bigger is not better, the bigger bullet uses more case space, which leaves less case space for powder. That also translates to more recoil and less expansion and less range - because the bullet will not travel as far or go as fast as will the 150 gr bullet.

For regular old deer hunting, you can't beat a economy round such as the Remington Corelokt's or the Federal Classic.
If you felt the need to hunt bears, you could try to the new light magnum loads. The funny thing is - if you wanted a magnum - you should have bought a magnum in the first place.

I bought several boxes of Nosler Partitions 180 gr for my 30-06 and my .300 Winchester Magnum and have never shot any of them, because the cheaper bullets does the same thing for less money.
@where I live, you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning then getting a bear in our 3 day bear season.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:08 AM
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I must again beg to differ. My .308 throws 168 grain match bullets out to 800 meters quite well on the Known-Distance (KD) range. Oh, and might I add - it (an M1A) is patterned after the very military rifle that was intended to replace the M1 Garand. What matters more at extreme range is the bullet's ballistic coefficient. Get Ridge Runner into this discussion, he's forgotten more about long-range shooting than I'll ever know. "Marginal"? Really now ...

But we're not talking sbout black bear at 300 yards, are we? We're talking about eastern deer and black bear, and shots at less than 300 yards (from your prior post). Chances are that you're not going to realize what your .308 will do at long range while you're hunting unless you head out west.

People lately, possibly because there's so much information out there and even more marketing hype, tend to overthink ammunition selection. Black bear are not as "hardy" as grizzlies. Generally, any deer rifle and soft-point (not FMJ, not match) deer bullet will do the trick. Neither deer or bear hunting are anything new, and both animals have fallen regularly to calibers that are ballistically inferior to the .308 for ages. 75 years ago, hunters were in the field chasing these two animals with things like .30-30s and .44-40s. "Premium" bullets were jacketed, rather than cast lead. You'd think that deer and bear have evolved since then - it takes a .378 Weatherby now to take down a bear (by some people's logic).

You'd probably want to use 180s for moose or elk should they one day become a possibility, but you're going to be fine using 150-165s for deer or bear. If you find that your rifle shoots cheap green-box CoreLokts better than it does "premium" bullets, you're better off with the cheap stuff. Take what your rifle shoots best to the field, not necessarily what costs the most or comes in the prettiest box.

Last edited by homers brother; 09-25-2010 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:30 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for chiming in Homers Brother!!!! You obviously read my first post above. There is no question that the .308 is more than adequate for the conditions I described for black bear. Hell, as we all discussed in the other thread, it is viable on elk and moose. I was simply looking for someone who perhaps had personal experience with the Winchester Mod 70 in .308 to save me some experimentation time and money.

Here's a question for you - - Weather conditions being constant, if I found that a particular load was optimal for my Winchester Mod 70, does that translate to someone elses Winchester, or are there characteristics that litterally make each rifle shoot differently?
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:35 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Deer Hunter
You need to remember that the .308 was only designed to be used for one reason and that was to replace the 30-06 in a military rifle.
The benefit was that the action was shorter and the shell used less powder, was shorter - was lighter - so you could carry more ammo.

The downside to it was that it was only designed to be shot with a 150 gr bullet, not a 180. When you move up to a 180 gr bullet, you are getting into 30-06 territory and the .308 just doesn't have it to propel the 180 gr bullet down range as good as the 30-06.

I'm not putting down the .308, I am just saying that if you wanted to hunt bear, you should have thought about it before you plunked down your hard earned money on a gun that is marginal at best with anything but a 150 gr bullet.

The advantage you have is that the technology today in bullet manufacture technic's is 100% better then it was 20 or 30 years ago so the bullets you buy today will retain more of their shape and energy downrange and using a larger bullet is not always necessary.

Bigger is not better, the bigger bullet uses more case space, which leaves less case space for powder. That also translates to more recoil and less expansion and less range - because the bullet will not travel as far or go as fast as will the 150 gr bullet.

For regular old deer hunting, you can't beat a economy round such as the Remington Corelokt's or the Federal Classic.
If you felt the need to hunt bears, you could try to the new light magnum loads. The funny thing is - if you wanted a magnum - you should have bought a magnum in the first place.

I bought several boxes of Nosler Partitions 180 gr for my 30-06 and my .300 Winchester Magnum and have never shot any of them, because the cheaper bullets does the same thing for less money.
@where I live, you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning then getting a bear in our 3 day bear season.
This is probably the biggest load of BS I've read in some long time.

The .308, while it was a military round (and so was the .
30-06) is a marvelous deer and black bear (and elk too) hunting round and does quite well with the 180 grain bullets. My .308 with 180 grain ABs in a 20" Rem 700 pushes them at 2740 FPS.....and that's a very powerful round.

As to deer.....they shouldn't be considered big game.....they are actually big varmints and easily taken with 150, 165, and 180 grainers from any ammo you choose to buy.....I say shoot what shoots best in your rifle.......and the BS about it being "less than adequate" is great material for toilet paper!

Take it hunting and prove it to yourself.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:50 AM
  #10  
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I'd hunt anything in the lower 48 with a 308 and feel well armed. My dad has 2 hunting rifles a marlin 3030 and a Winchester model 70 featherweight 308( same as the posters) and I've killed deer in there tracks at 300+ yards with it.
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