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Re: Close-Range .308 Loads

20 Dec 2016
@ 10:13 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe



In your 20" barrel, Varget / 4064 loads will not reach book quoted speeds. You'll be down a good 100fps or more. In your short barrel, H4895 is the most effective and without pressure issues. You can use this with all bullet weights.

Thanks, I'll see if he has some of that powder on hand, otherwise I'll buy some and use that as a baseline for other possible powders. Much appreciated.


The round nose bullets do not always show great differences in energy transfer in this caliber. Some individual bullets do display better energy transfer than others but this is as a result of careful design, not meplat area alone. See comments in the KB regarding the .30-30, .307 and .308 for general info. I have found that differences in energy transfer based on tip style alone are more pronounced in .358 up- all other bullet design factors being equal.

So then, if I'm understanding you correctly, the hardness of the core, jacket thickness and taper, etc. will likely have a greater influence on terminal performance than meplat shape. At least in the .308 diameter.


As for deflection, the smaller trees in your photo would deflect any bullet, especially considering the distance between trees and deer (saplings nearest to the deer). Bullets simply deviate when hitting debris. But, the degree of yaw may vary depending on bullet weight, impact velocity and bullet design.

I'm not interested in 'brush busting' at all. I have no problem passing on shots if there are things obscuring the bullet's path. I just don't feel comfortable shooting at an animal if I'm not confident that I can make a clean, well-placed hit. I actually kinda enjoy "threading the needle" by putting bullets through a small opening to make a hit.

I'm really looking for something that expands quickly, loses a fair amount of weight from fragmentation, but will be able to reach vitals at all angles except for tail-on shots.


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