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How much of a difference does 150 gr. vs. 180 gr. make in .308?

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  • How much of a difference does 150 gr. vs. 180 gr. make in .308?

    How much of a difference does 150 gr. vs. 180 gr. make in .308?

  • #2
    Depends on what parameter you look at.

    Velocity: decrease
    Penetration: increase
    Cost per bullet if reloading: increase
    Recoil: increase
    Perceived "drop" of bullet: increase

    If you are shooting big critters, an 180 grain bullet would be a good thing, with trade off mostly related to range issues.

    If you are shooting deer-sized critters or less, go with the 150.

    Me? I shoot 165 grain bullets and split the difference.

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    • #3
      The short answer at close range. Not much. At 200 yards, enough to be concerned about. Using Nikon SPOTON ballistic software, (which isn't always perfect on a test bench but close enough) and setting it to the same bullet (Winchester ballistic silver tip and A 100 yard zero) we see a raw drop from the barrel of 2.32 vs 2.69. So a point 37 of an inch at 100 yards. Greater then a quarter of an inch and less then half. At 200 yards the raw drop opens up to 9.78 to 11.47. A 1.69 difference. But because it moves in a giant curve your 180 bullet is actually 1.46 inches low at 150 yards and a whopping 4.60 inches at 200 yards. My caveat here is I have found ballistic software less then perfect on a range and basically a guide. My advice. The difference is enough to justify a range time and another zero. There a contributors on the blog who are much better at this than me and they may want to chime in.

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      • #4
        Oops. I made the assumption perhaps erroneously that you are sighted in for 150 and looking to use 180 without zeroing again (or the inverse).

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        • #5
          Most of your 180's are designed to penetrate which means slower to open and shed their energy. 150's designed for faster expansion on thin skinned animals such as deer. Over reasonable distance the difference in energy and drop not much of a consideration. My brother and his son use 150's and seldom shoot even a hundred yards. So does his father in law shoot a hundred or closer and he swears by 180's. They all get at least 1 deer a year so depends on your use I would think. If you're looking larger than deer I would think 180's would better suite you. How your gun shoots them might be more a deciding factor

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          • #6
            Sorry. 1.46 high at 150 yards. Didn't triple check what I wrote.

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            • #7
              Every caliber seems to have a weight it 'handles' better than other weights. For me, a .308 is at it's best with a 165gr and likewise a .30-06 likes the 180gr. Granted each can shoot a myriad of other weights depending on your particular circumstances, but the two mentioned seem to be the middle of the road in all around performance. JMO. I am sure an abundance of discussion will ensue on this issue.

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              • #8
                All the advice above is great leaves me nothing to say but follow it. Lol

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                • #9
                  The 180g bullet usually produces a lot more recoil out of most lighter, short action rifles. Although debatable, there is limited if any value in a 180g bullet on deer sized game or smaller. Lots of elk have been taken with 150g bullets and I know elk hunters who prefer them to 180g bullets even for elk. With the modern super penetration bullets like the Barnes, Accubond, Hornady Interlock, etc. the 150s will be fatal in any elk taken within 250 yards with a good hit. I've seen many a hunter who learned to flinch with 180s in a .308 and of course a miss with either is not good. If it is any solace, I've creamed tons of deer and antelope with 100g bullets out of a 25-06 and that tells you bullet weight isn't the only variable in good hunting. I use 168g Barnes bullets for elk but 130g or 150g Interlocks for deer. I prefer speed over hole punching because they all punch holes and speed reduces lead and holdover making a good shot a little more predictable.

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                  • #10
                    I do just that my 308 gets a 150gr federal power shok & my browning safari 3006 gets same bullet in 180gr both rifles love this combination with the accurate very accurate federal power shok cartridges I just wish I'd known bout this bullet 20yrs ago wid have saved a lot of $ on Ammo this is a great cartridge for deer hunting

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                    • #11
                      Would 165gr be good for both deer and elk and bear ?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
                        Depends on what parameter you look at.

                        Velocity: decrease
                        Penetration: increase
                        Cost per bullet if reloading: increase
                        Recoil: increase
                        Perceived "drop" of bullet: increase

                        If you are shooting big critters, an 180 grain bullet would be a good thing, with trade off mostly related to range issues.

                        If you are shooting deer-sized critters or less, go with the 150.

                        Me? I shoot 165 grain bullets and split the difference.
                        I shoot 165 Nosler Accubonds in my 300WSM because it seems to the weight it wants and they are great on deer. In my .308 I shoot anything from 125 Grain Nosler Accubonds to 150 grain Hornady Interbonds to 165 grain Hornady SST's or Hornady 165 grain Interlocks to 165 Nosler Acubonds. Most of my deer are killed within 100 yards. The most devastating load that I have shot in my .308 deer hunting is the 125 Grain Nosler Accubond. It is a compressed load and according to the Hornady Baslistic calculator they are traveling approx 3300 FPS. The last deer I shot with them the bullet traveled through both shoulders and was inside the hide on the off side. It more than doubled in diameter and weighed 80 Grains and was a perfect mushroom. The deer acted like lightening struck it and like I always say it ran like hell for a half of step straight down. My buddy wanted me to try 85 grain Barnes bullets in my 25-06 ( which I only owned for 3 weeks) and the deer was hit it the same place through both shoulders and it didn't even act like it was hit. I found the deer over 125 yards away. Nosler just started making the .30 caliber 125 grain Accubonds and from all my hunting I like the Accubond better than any other bullet that I have tried.

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                        • #13
                          I have used various 165 gr bullets in .308 Win with success. The 180's are too slow for long range shooting for most folks. 150's are a bit light for optimum penetration on big critters. The 165 is a good compromise and will do what either of the other 2 will do.

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                          • #14
                            WAM, succinctly well answered

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the answers guys I think il try the 165 grain and see what my 100 yard shot clusters look like then then when I do il let you guys know what happened good or bad

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