.308 Winchester hand load data and Ruger American Rifle

Probably 10 or 15 years ago, I was helping a gentleman sight in his newly acquired Ruger American in .308. He had a VERY cheap scope on it (the kind that didn't even have clicks for adjustments) and was shooting MILSURP ammo. That combo was stacking FMJ's, one atop the other. I have never seen ANY rifle do that, before or since. Go figure...

I’m sure you were as surprised as I was when you saw that happening.
I have a Sig Sauer Buckmaster 3-9x40 with BDC, not exactly cheap, but not overly expensive. That glass is clear and works well for me.
The whole combo is nothing short of amazing to me for being an entry level Rifle, cheap ammo, and a decent scope.

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I love the .308. For decades it has been my go to for northern whitetails, but would also be perfectly happy using it for eastern black bear or moose. My go to round is 165 grain Speer spitzer, which you can get in the grand slam at the same ballistic co-efficient, as I recall. I use 748. Use recommendations as a guideline, then strictly follow your reloading manual.
For years a Rem 700 .308 Win was my only big game rifle. It went everywhere from California to Alaska to South Carolina. I used it for everything from Elk and Caribou to those little S.Carolina deer. I standardized on 180 gr bullets. Factory Winchester 180 gr PowerPoints were used but my favorite factory load was Norma cases with 180 Nosler Partition bullets. I reloaded Nosler Partitions and for powder it was H335, Bl-C2 or W748. Loads ran 44 -46 grains. this was before chronographs were available to mere mortals, but I'd guess the velocity was about what the manuals said at 2600 fps.
Does the .308 hold it’s own against the larger plains game in Africa?
I know it works well here on elk, and moose. As long as you have good shot placement.
Any opinions from all of you?

Does the .308 hold it’s own against the larger plains game in Africa?
I know it works well here on elk, and moose. As long as you have good shot placement.
Any opinions from all of you?


I wouldn't think twice about using one for PG, no problem at all. I would probably use a 150gr TTSX or a 165gr AFrame, but there are plenty of other options that would be just fine.
I’ve used 308 on blue wildebeest, zebra, and a few other large PG with no issues…

While I know many eland have fallen to 308, for me, it’s not an optimal choice…

But for any PG up to eland I wouldn’t hesitate to use a 308 with a good bullet (I use Barnes 168 gr ttsx at about 2700 fps at the muzzle)…
I’ve had my Ruger American Rifle in .308 Winchester for some time, but just got a chance to go shoot it recently. It did really well with the Winchester 150gr Power Point factory ammo. 8 shots into a one inch group.
I was wondering if any of you had load data they would like to share with me?
Also, what has your hunting experience been with your .308 and rifle combo?
I’m looking to possibly use a Hornady 178 ELDX bullet in my .308. What do you all think?

My go to load for my son's 308 is a 150gn SST or 150gn accubonds with 50gn of CFE223 for a bit over 2,900fps from a 22 inch barrel.
This load was safe in my rifle only and should be approached with caution.
Accuracy is 0.3 inch for three shots.
I almost always take vital area shots, heart-lung area over anything else.
I’m not the type that shoots at game a half mile away. I like to keep my shots within the range it was meant to used. Usually 400 - 500 m.
The usual hunting distances I’ve shot game has been 75 - 275m. I know the .308 is up to the task within those ranges.
Yes, my Ruger American has a 22” bbl with 1-10” barrel twist.
I’m open to any bullet(s) that will work well.


A 150gn SST retrieved from an 80kg pig. Bullet found on the off side just under the skin. Penetratrd both gristle pads and demolished the internals. Range was around 80 yards. The only SST I have ever recovered.
@Bob Nelson 35Whelen

Thank you for your expertise and knowledge and sharing of such.

I can always count on you for your candid insight.

And colorful commentary! LOL

Every gun and load is a law unto itself. You need to experiment. First see if your gun likes flat base or boat tail better. Try Mono metals (Barnes TSX, Nosler E-Tip, etc.) and then cup and core. You will get a feel for what your particular rifle likes. I have four .308's. It is an excellent cartridge for hunting, target shooting and best of all handloading.

I have had great success with Varget, TAC, 2520, CFE223, RL15. Varget, CFE223, 2520 seem to have good availability right now..

After you get your powder, bullet combo addressed, start working with your seating depth. Soon you will have bug hole groups!

By the way my rifles shoot great with the plain jane 165 grain Hornady Interlock SP. fueled by 46grs Varget. 3 Cow Elk, 1 shot each out to 275 yards. 4 Mule deer bucks, instant drops. 2 large Russian boars.

Very hard to go wrong with the .308, and ammo availability is worldwide, very important when you fly to hunt.

When I had my shop I built a lot of .308's and customer satisfaction was high.

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jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
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