Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

308 Bullets info


Recommended Posts

Where is the 3 gun shot? What kind of target shooting?

You will find people shooting from 110 Hornady V-Max to 168 Sierra Match Kings at 3 gun matches. I know that 2 successful shooters in Heavy Metal, use 125 Sierra's and 135 Sierra's. Toss in Speer 125 TNT bullets too.

The Speer TNT bullets shoot very well, as do Sierra Match Kings.

I'm sure this reply didn't help a bit. :roflol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very broad question. If you intend to shoot long range (past 800 yards) while target shooting, then you will want something with a higher BC than the standard bullet. 175 match kings work well and the 155 scenar is also a good choice. The 155's need a longer barrel to get the velocity needed to make it past 800. The 175's will work out to about 1000 with varget and a 20" barrel, but the extra fps from a 24 or 26" barrel are very nice.

However if all of your shooting is within 300 yards and you are just trying to shoot within 3 Moa, then most any bullet will work for you (except maybe milspec 147's).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried the light bullets but keep going back to 150-155 grain bullets. Hornady 150 FMJs and 155 TMKs over H4895 shoot well out of my 20" AR 10. I really like the Steel match ammo but had some ignition issues with the last batch I bought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

For a good general purpose bullet look for something in a 150-175 range with a medium to fast powder. You are looking for something that's going to work out to 500 yds so that's all you need; your not looking nor do you need a 1K load for 3G. Bullets lighter then 150 are going to need a faster powder to work best and when you get heavier then a 175 or so you will need something a little slower then 4064/ varget. 155's might work in your rifle but they have a short bearing surface.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Nature Boy, I'm curious about your load for the 155's and H4895?

My general intent is to get a good 155/H4895 load for my M1A, and a good 168/Varget load worked up for my bolt gun. (M1A Squad Scout and GAP 22" bolt gun)

One day, I will actually get it done. I'd just rather borrow a load. The GAP has lived up to the 3/8 MOA guarantee with match grade ammo (Factory Federal 168 SMK's), but the M1A has been a little different story (not fair to compare the two).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wild Gene,

My best load has been:

155gr Hornady AMAX

LC Case

WLR primer

38.7gr H4895

Getting average ~2,500 FPS out of my M1A Standard with 22" bbl and a consistent 5 shot 1 MOA accuracy at 100 yard with a best .740 5 shot group.

Interestingly, I can't get 168gr SMKs close to that with any load variation I've tried so far.

Edited by NatureBoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

What is the most popular 308 bullet out there ? In grains and type ? To use for 3 gun and just target shooting.

If you are shooting 3G then you are probably shooting under 600yd. If so, then lighter and faster is probably the better choice because for those distances you will have a slightly flatter curve an a better MPBR.

Price wise, you are probably better off with a 150gr FMJ or if you want to spend more, then a 150-155gr ballistic tip.

The Sierra 155 gr Palma (#2156 BC:.504) bullets over H4895 perform extremely well but can be quite pricey for anything other than precision rifle.

Edited by Graham Smith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wild Gene,

I recently found some magic for my .308 bolt gun (FN SPR, 1:12 twist, 24"). You mentioned you were looking for a 168 solution for yours.

168 AMAX, 39.5g H4895, Fed case, Fed 210 primer, OAL to the lands (in my case, 2.891)

Average speed 2550 fps

5 shot groups consistently under 0.5 MOA at 100 and 200 yards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an article I wrote last year regarding my thoughts on 3 gun 308 bullet selection:


There are so many .308 bullet choices, which one is right for me? In this article I will cover different genres of .308 bullets applicable to the 3 Gun game and help give some perspective on various bullet aspects. Proper bullet choice can potentially reduce costs and increase the He-Man/Heavy Metal shooter’s performance.


.308 bullet choices can range in weight from around 100 grains to over 200 grains. Such a wide variety allows the shooter to tailor reloads to certain matches if they desire. For example, lighter bullets are superb in up close hoser situations as you will experience less recoil. Heavier bullets excel at longer range situations.

Every bullet performs differently and it is important to know what you want out of a bullet. Some factors that I consider when choosing a .308 bullet are wind deflection, drop, and cost.

Why is the wind important? Wind is one of the most chaotic aspects of long range rifle shooting. It can be consistent, it can vary, it can go one direction and speed near you and another direction and speed near the target. Therefore, the more a bullet can resist being pushed by the wind, the better. We always want to reduce chance in our game. For the wind, a higher Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is nearly always better. Nearly, but not always, because sometimes the tradeoff for a higher BC bullet is not worth it. Sometimes the additional weight, and therefore lower velocity, of a higher BC bullet does not provide less wind drift over common 3 Gun long range distances (such as 400 yards).

Drop is important because a flatter shooting bullet can make long range easier, especially without some type of ballistic compensation in your sighting system, such as in traditional iron sights or a red dot optic. Higher BC does produce less drop if velocity is equal, but frequently those higher BC bullets will be traveling more slowly. Therefore, the lighter bullets typically will drop less over our common 3 Gun distances. On the flip side, drop is consistent and repeatable, meaning you will experience the same drop within the same cartridge loading (barring extreme atmospheric conditions).

.308 bullets run the gamut of cost. The more I can save while reloading means that I can shoot more for the same money, and the higher performing bullet may not be worth the cost to you. I have separated bullets into weight categories below, and will be using a full value (90° to direction of travel) 10 mph wind and 400 yards as a reference for consistency. Remember that increasing range magnifies wind drift.


Bullets in this class such as the Hornady 110gr VMAX can easily approach and exceed 3,000 fps in 16” and 18” barrels. Such a high velocity allows the 110’s to be very flat, though the lower BC means you should expect about 19” of drift in a 10 mph cross wind (full value) at 400 yards. The Hornadys are about $0.27 per bullet. I love the light weight bullets up close because they have the absolute lightest recoil, which can come in handy for short range bay based matches.


Several bullets in the 125gr-135gr weight class are the Speer 125gr TNT, the Sierra 125gr SMK and the Sierra 135gr SMK. Expect velocities in the 2900 fps ballpark. For about 2” more drop and a hair more recoil than the 110s your drift in a 10 mph cross wind at 400 yards drops down to about 16” (50 yard zero). The Speers are about $0.20 each while the Sierras are about $0.32 each. The balance of cost, recoil, and wind deflection make the Speer 125gr TNT an incredible value for He-Man shooters.


There are lots of bullet choices in the 150 grain weight range; not just different manufacturers, but numerous bullet profiles even within the same weight. A few examples I will use are the Hornady 150gr FMJ and the Sierra 155 SMK. The Hornady FMJ is another bullet that is a great value. While it has a lower BC than the Hornady 155gr AMAX, it can also be found for only $0.20 per bullet. And don’t worry about the cannelure being above the case mouth; it is placed to line up with the case mouth of a 30-06 Springfield and it will work just fine with .308 Winchester. About $0.35 will get you a Sierra 155gr SMK, and at 2700 fps your wind drift at 400 yards with 10 mph of wind will drop down to about 13”. With some of the medium weight bullets such as the Berger 155gr Hybrid we start seeing potential overall length issues. The bullet is so long that you begin using a lot more case capacity to get the cartridge to fit into a magazine. For me, the 155s are best weight for maximum wind-busting ability for common 3 Gun distances. They really shine at matches such as Rocky Mountain, where you can expect to see lots of long range targets with varied wind.


I’m lumping bullets weighing 168 grains and up together in the heavy class. While these heavier bullets such as the Sierra 168 SMK, 175 SMK, or Hornady 178 AMAX will get you a higher BC, that doesn’t always equate to less wind drift. The reason for it is due to the lower velocity we can achieve because of our barrel lengths and the distances we typically shoot. If we shot at much longer distances then we would start seeing the higher BC provide an advantage. Add in more drop because the bullets are travelling slower as well as cost at and over $0.30 and you see why I don’t bother with them. The only reason that I would choose a bullet of this weight for 3 Gun is if it is significantly more accurate from your rifle.

The Bottom Line

There are a variety of bullet weights for the He-Man/Heavy Metal shooter to pick from. Each has different attributes and it is important to pick the blend that best suits your needs and budget. In the below picture I have lined up a variety of .308 bullets that are currently in my reloading room.

Currently I am using Armscor 110gr FMJ’s and Sierra 155gr TMK’s. When I shoot longer range matches I want maximum wind busting abilities, though the TMK’s are quite pricey. To balance the cost, I save money and recoil with the 110’s. If I was not shooting past 300 or so I would likely stick with the Speer 125gr TNT as my go to bullet. Having two loads takes more time but I prefer to have the right bullet for the right target. I’ve never had a problem using both loads in one stage, or even one magazine.


From Left to Right:

Armscor 110gr FMJ

Speer 125gr TNT

Sierra 125gr SMK

Hornady 150gr FMJ

Hornady 155gr AMAX

Berger 155gr Hybrid

Sierra 155gr TMK

Sierra 155gr SMK

Sierra 168gr SMK

Sierra 180gr SMK

Edited by rboyes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

My M1A likes 168 gr. SMKs with IMR-4895 or W748. My Franken-FAL is another matter.The only sure lesson with that rifle is that 147 gr. FMJBTs a la M80 do not work. well. Oddly, it seems to work well with the 168 gr. SMKs, but that's another story. Not knowing any more about how well your rifle might like them, I'd be inclined to test-drive the 155 AMAX. It almost has to have better bearing surface than the 147s and lighter projectiles, and is probably not as pricey as the SMKs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...