Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

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Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

Post by AJMD429 »

My son spends quite a bit of time living out of a tent as a wildlife management biologist working out in the northwest. He generally has a 308 if he is fortunate enough to have some time off to hunt, and he will typically carry a Glock 10 mm readily accessible if he is in bear country.

He likes to get as much of his food as possible as he goes, so he will take small game like rabbits or grouse whenever possible. We've talked about different options for toting along a lightweight but accurate 22 or 22 Hornet class gun, whether a Ruger Mark 3 or Contender pistol or whatever, but he really doesn't want to have more guns and weight to haul around.

I recall when I was a kid an older friend had loads he used in his 30-06 that was a little half jacketed 110 grain or so bullet that he claimed was pretty accurate, although I don't know what his definition of "pretty accurate" was.

I was curious if anyone here has had good luck developing any light loads that were accurate enough for small game using a 308 Winchester or similar cartridge. I'm thinking he would want to be able to take a headshot on a squirrel at 30 yards if possible.
Last edited by AJMD429 on Sun Jun 19, 2022 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

Post by wvfarrier »

Ive had good luck in the past using 110 soft points on varmints in 308. I load them down to about 1800 fps, they might still be too much for squirrels and rabbits that are going to be food. Id think a 90-110 grain FMJ or BTHP loaded as slow as he could get them to accurately shoot would work. When i toyed with "mouse fanny burp" loads I took the published lowest data and worked down until the accuracy fell off.
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Re: Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

Post by Carlsen Highway »

I make a load for rabbits with my .308 when I go out for any length of time, and it works well:

It's a 147 grain FMJ, with 12-14 grains of Universal (or Unique). It is very accurate (single hole groups at 55 yards) and will knock a rabbit over without destroying him. I recall it was around 1600 fps. Any old bullet will do with this load.
I have made smiliar loads with this powder for my .30/06, and .223, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how amazingly accurate they are.

You may have to consider your sighting - as it happens with my 4x scope on my .308, the small game load point of impact falls exactly at the intersection of the large and thin crosshair on the lower verticle bar of the reticle (at 55 yards) when the rifle is zero'd for full power loads at 100 yards. (If you have a reliable scope you could dial between them)
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Re: Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

Post by Rockrat »

I used to load a 71gr. ish cast bullet with a few grains of Bullseye, in my '06. Should work well in a 308 too. If you could find some bullets for the 32 acp or 32 mag in jacketed flavor, they should work, but you might have to increase the powder charge a half grain or so. Be prepared for a stuck bullet or two till you get the right load. If you aren't set up to load cast (flaring the case mouth so as to not damage the bullet) then I would stick with jacketed. I think you can get some jacketed bullets for the 32 mag in the 85 grain range.
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Re: Cat-sneeze 308 loads.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I struggled to find an accurate reduced load with the .308 though I tried for years. Might just be the rifles I was shooting didn't like these loads.

But when I carried a rifle in Alaska, I would not have wanted to take the chance that I had a reduced load in the chamber.

I solved this issue with a really light Ruger MKII. It was hard to shoot well in the begining because it is so light, but once you learn to use it, it is as accurate as a rifle at small game distances and the ammo is light and cheap. CCI Mini Mag HPs is the only way to go.
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