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Best .308w Bullet for short range

09 Mar 2015
@ 04:40 pm (GMT)

Rui Cardoso


I live in Portugal, and its very hard to find a good variety of 308w. bullets, and the good ones are very expensive ( up to 70 dollar a box of 20 ammo)
At end i start to reloading my own ammo.

I want some advices from you guys.

I hunt wild boars, and sometimes deers. The distances, that we shot, can be from 5 meters up to 100 meters. MOst of the time we don´t have more than 20 meters to make the shot.

What type of bullets are best for this shots? and weight?



09 Mar 2015
@ 05:00 pm (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
Hello Rui

Good Lord, I thought we got gaffed in the USA for ammo. They are really putting it to you hunters in Portugal.

I think I will fall over if Nathan does not say Nosler Partition. He sure straightened me out with them in my 270 Win.

Of all that I have hunted in over 61 years of it, Boars are my favorite game animal. The action can be very fast, and yes, very close in. I have found that a Swedish Aimpoint dot scope on a rifle for fast pace and close in shooting of the rooters is about as good as it can get.

I also have killed a lot of Russian Boars with handguns, especially the 454 Casull. I love nothing better than to rile up a Boar and have it charge and shoot it just feet off the gun barrel. Those pigs sure can move fast when they want to.

Best of luck on your hunts and be sure to post pictures and results.
09 Mar 2015
@ 05:19 pm (GMT)

Rui Cardoso

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range

In Portugal the 308w its considered for 98% of the hunters, a small cartridge.
The 3 most common calibers are de 30-06, 300wm and 9.3*62.
I shoot with a Aimpoint micro H1 2 moa, and its the best com close range shooting.

I start to hunt wild boars 2 years ago and never lose a wild boar with this caliber. The only problem i had is, when the shot is in lungs, hearts, they run 30, 40, 50 meters or more. Never a clean kill, except for head shots.

This probably is a bullet problem. I am reloading SIerra 165gr Gameking, and Barnes 165gr TTSX.

I have 130gr GS hunting bullets, but i can´t find no reloding data for 308w cartridge.

09 Mar 2015
@ 08:36 pm (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
I have whacked over 300 Russian Boars to date and have seen them killed with everything from a 22-250 to a 460 Weatherby Magnum ( I am the mad man who used the 460 on them ). I've seen them killed with buckshot, muzzleloaders, and bows as well. I have also seen them killed with spears and knives.

One can get into very heated arguments about what it takes to kill hogs, but in reality about anything will kill them. It's just a matter of when they decide to check out.

Nathan is a man after my own heart. A clean kill is when they drop in their tracks and is what is always sought after, or, as close to it as possible.

In my experience with Boars in the 250 to 500 pound range high velocity deer type bullets does not seem to kill them as fast as other animals. Looking back, I would say I have had more in track kills with the 444 Marlin and the 45-70 in long rifles using blunt nose heavy bullets at moderate velocities. The 454 Casull in a revolver is very potent medicine on the tuskers. And I have dusted a few with a stiff loaded 45 Colt in a Freedom Arms revolver which is considered very mild for wild hogs.

For a long stretch my favorite rifle for Russian Boars was the 378 Weatherby Magnum. Without question, very deadly on hogs. I do not believe I have ever had a pig so much as twitch when hit with a 270 grain bullet out of it. It was lethal at close range, and it was a wicked killer at long range.

Unfortunately, not many folks can tolerate the vicious recoil of the 378, and, these days the price for 20 rounds of 378 Weatherby Magnum ammunition is $149 USD

A lot of game is knocked off with 308 rifles, and a lot of folks all over the world love the 308. There is no question that with a well placed shot and the proper bullet it will kill any hog that ever walked.

But dropping them on the spot all the time I think is a tall order for the 308 and a lot of other calibers for that matter. As you know, Boars are built like Sherman Tanks and they have those shields that are just about impossible to get a broadhead through even from a 70 pound Compound bow. Which is why we try to angle arrows behind the shields going forward to get into the vitals.

It does not sound like you have time to make a very precise shot and have to take advantage of whatever way you can get a bullet in the hogs. With a 20 meter window to spot, get on, and shoot I would imagine you will be forced to take some steep raking shots or not get to shoot at all. Too, a pig that has made the hunter will either charge, or move off very quickly. Adding lead to a fast moving Boar does not always land the bullet just so as intended either.

Of course I may be all wrong here and someone like Nathan just may have a magic bullet for the 308 that I am not aware of that will plant em where they stand.

I would love to know of it as well if it does exist :)

09 Mar 2015
@ 09:12 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
Hi Rui, if you wan tto use the 130gr GS bullet, you can use data from either the Norma or Vihtavouri manuals for either 130 grain bullets or more accurately, 125 grain bullets.

The reason I say that the 125gr bullet data is more accurate, is because the GS needs more powder than you would normally use for 130 grain bullets due to the driving band design and also the moly coating.

This bullet works quite well on pigs.

Thomas, I spent some time deliberately testing to see if wide bores could render a fast anchor on adrenalized running wild pigs. In short- yes, especially when poor shot placement is a factor. Really need to finish the KB so that this info is shown. maybe this year....
10 Mar 2015
@ 11:51 am (GMT)

Rui Cardoso

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
In Portugal the only powder we can get is Vectan.
I reload with tubal 3000. We don´t find any reloading data for this powder, in american manuals. we start with the manufacturer data and its a experience and error labor.
The GS bullets, i bougt it from a spanish guy that wasn´t reloading any more. I don´t know if i can get more of this bullets.

The most common bullets we can find, its hornady, barnes ( in spain), sierra, and a few lapua.

I was thinking to try 150gr bullets. What you think? which brand do you advise? any particular model?

10 Mar 2015
@ 12:25 pm (GMT)

Jacob Jensen

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
I have used (reloaded) the Hornady 190gr BTSP in several 308s for wild boar hunting. It has worked just perfect from close up shots and out to 200 meters on all sizes of boars. The bullet i fairly soft but because of the relativly high weight it does a great job on the mentioned distances without bulæet blowup. The wounding is quite dramatic - specially if the bullet meets good resistance.

12 Mar 2015
@ 07:13 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
I would say a 160-180 grn flat nose like whats in 30/30 or round nose should fit the bill nicely and deliver whop when hitting. no need for fancy long range load at those distances.I shot more than a few pigs up to 180 lb as a young fella with 30/30 and had no issues tipping them over, the .308 will deliver big payload to that distance. trick would be to get projectile thats NOT designed for a 300 magnum so its soft enough to expand a little. if you can get Barnes and they arent too expensive you could go down in weight to 110-130grn and save yourself the recoil but still have good penetration/energy????
12 Mar 2015
@ 06:58 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
Hi Rui, my apologies for neglecting this thread.

You say that Hornady is the easiest to get hold of. A certain degree of speed would help trauma but some weight is also needed for poor shots. So I think something around 165gr would be ideal unless the boar are over 90kg- then it can pay to step up to a 180gr bullet for blood trailing or use a tougher bullet.

Here are some basic options:
165gr SST
170gr Flat nose .30-30 for under 100m

Heavier basic options:
180gr SST
180gr round nose.

180gr Norma Vulcan if available (optimal).

There are many ways you could go about this including a 150gr Interbond rather than a 165gr SST, tougher but lighter.

Please check your gun store, then report back as to what is available.

Often, the easiest place to start is in the middle. The 165gr SST for example, renders the widest possible wound on pigs. From there, we can monitor penetration on your local game specied. If this proves insufficient, then we know that you need to move to a deeper penetrating projectile. This may result in a small sacrifice in width of wounding but may help with b blood trailing. But- you need a starting point. If you give me a list, I will select one and from there you can monitor results- if you want to go this way.

07 Dec 2018
@ 11:48 pm (GMT)

Stanislas Guerra

Re: Best .308w Bullet for short range
Hi Rui,

My experience with Vectan powder and Vectan 30-06 sprg (not 308 Win) reloading tables is that they are not up-to-date and you may need to increase the stated maximum charges to get descent velocities.

I tried two of them for hunting purpose (and several others for plinking purpose) and the conclusion was always the same. Don't hesitate to ask them tables for a specific caliber ; the website contains only a few.

The first was a reloading for the Norma Alaska 180gr which is an excellent short-range bullet.
Using 3,22g of Tubal 5000 gave me only 770m/s out of a 60cm Steyr barrel instead of the 800m/s stated in the 2006 reloading table.
I tried to switch to the slower Tubal 7000. With 3,50g/3,55g I reach around 760m/s instead of again 800m/s.
Then I increased the charge above the max and was able the reach the 800m/s with 3,65g but the downside was some difficuties to extract the case (Partizan).
Velocities were recorded at 4/5 meters of the muzzle. Primers are Winchester LR and I try 3 differentes cases (Winchester, Geco then Partizan because they are cheap).

For a short-range application, 770m/s is a good velocity for this kind of bullet and does not kick too much.
This short but heavy bullet is ideal for a 308Win and its small case capacity. A spherical and densier powder may be a path worth exploring.
FYI, Vectan use 2,70g of the quicker Tubal 3000 with that bullet (770m/s).

Oh and by the way, precision is excellent. In the realm of the MOA (at 100m with an Aimpoint).
If you can't find Norma bullet, maybe try the cheaper and mostly equivalent Hornady RN flat base.

Same shit with the Sierra GameKing 180gr SBT (#2166). You are supposed to reach 850m/s (!) with 2,65g of Tubal 7000.
Using Magnum CCI Primer (I like magnum primer with compressed powder) I only get 800m/s.
Again, I entered uncharted territory and was able to reach 825m/s with [3,69g-3,73g] without any sign of over-pressure and excellent precision (but that because I use the hold-that-forend® technique!) out of another 56cm Steyr barrel (I know that Nathan has a feud with Steyr but the two I own give me good-enough MOA for my hunting purposes and the swing mount (Eramatic) returns DEAD ON).



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