Author Topic: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?  (Read 2527 times)

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Offline Terbltim

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30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« on: May 06, 2010, 04:44:56 pm »
Hey Gang,
In error I posted this on the lever action forum but it really belongs here.

Some time ago (yrs) I looked into using a Hornady 90gr XTP pistol bullet in the 308.
There were various forums where contributors claimed very good accuracy and surprising performance, (including exit wounds on deer from chest hits!)
I never followed up on the idea. Now I wish I had.

My question is; has anyone here done any of this?

If yes, would you please give some details about the load and the exact shooting situation ?

I want to introduce a young lady to shooting a 308 BLR that she inherited from her daddy.
She has no center-fire shooting experience and it seems that a light-wt bullet will help reduce the recoil to something she can tolerate as a beginner.
I have more than 3 decades of hand-loading experience and I'm almost embarrassed that I haven't tried this myself. Asking around seems like a good way to start.
"Stop global whining!"

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30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« on: May 06, 2010, 04:44:56 pm »
 

Offline wncchester

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 07:36:02 pm »
Have never done that, don't intend to.  But who ever said they shot deer clear though with a .30 cal pistol bullet must be shooting some very tiny deer.  It would be okay for light plinking/orientation loads.  

The only "light" bullet I'd use on deer would be maybe a 130 gr. Barnes X.  Loaded to modest velocities it will have little recoil and still be deadly on game.
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Offline mbopp

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 07:58:40 pm »
If you want light loads try some 110gr bullets meant for an M1 Carbine. Push 'em with Harris's "The Load" - 13 gr of Red Dot:

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=1387&forum_id=22

I'm told Hornady (?) also lists "youth loads."
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Offline necchi

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 08:08:47 pm »
Hodgdons has the Youth loads;
http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Youth%20Loads.pdf

they use h4895, max load  x 60%. If the link doesn't work go to the home page,, Data,, scroll down,,youth loads
found elsewhere

Offline 1sourdough

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 04:32:22 am »
 Another option is loading a '30-30' bullet in the 125-150 grain range to a modest 2000-2200fps. There is data available out there for that.
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Offline Land_Owner

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 05:02:15 am »
IMHO, everybody gets stuck on big, Big, BIG.  My hunting partner shoots a 243 with a 90 gr. pill.  Do not know exactly which one every time, Nosler Partition maybe, and some Sierra stuff, and they shoot right through necks, rib cage, shoulders, etc.  I have killed deer with his 243 and a 90 gr. pill.  Hogs too!

A 308 caliber bullet, whether pistol or rifle origin (is there really a difference?  Bullet shape maybe, but not in bullet construction), should work great with the right powder and inherent velocity.  

I went to the Hornady web site and found no XTP for the pistol.  The only one was a 30 Mauser .308 x 86 gr. RN ($19.11/100); BC 0.105; Sectional Density 0.130.  I looked at the rifle bullets and found the lightest was a 0.308 x 100 gr. Short Jacket ($18.53/100); BC 0.152; SD 0.151.

Are there better rifle bullets for the .308?  Sure!  Are the two herein "close" to one another?  IMO, sure!  

High velocity, flat trajectory, brush busting, etc., are great, but not the point for the lady.  I kill hogs with the 22LR rimfire.  The world record Grizzley bear from 1953 until the mid-1980's was killed with a 22LR single shot.  Whould I go Grizzley hunting with a 22?  Hell no!  IF it was all I had at the time and I needed to defend myself, it is enough gun provided the bullet is put in the right place the first time.

Bullet PLACEMENT is the real key.  Confidence in one's ability and thorough familiarity with the equipment is the key to bullet placement.  For the lady, recoil, velocity, trajectory, etc. are all going to be moot if she is flinching.

Oh yeah, and a steady rest.  Shooting off hand should be avoided as there are just too many good rests available not to use one.

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 05:55:14 am »
that would be my first choise
Another option is loading a '30-30' bullet in the 125-150 grain range to a modest 2000-2200fps. There is data available out there for that.
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Offline Dezynco

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 06:13:55 am »
I've loaded the Hornady 90gr XTP's in a 30-30 before.  They're wicked fast and very accurate.  However I don't think I would hunt any larger sized critters with them, there are much better bullets for that. 

Offline Terbltim

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 06:15:25 am »
Thanks for all your remarks guys.
I already know and generally agree with all that has been posted to this question thus far and I really do appreciate the spirit of these replies...but none of this is helpful.

My thoughts and opinions ran like most of what has been posted here thus far. That is, until I ran into the forum I mentioned.
Sure wish I could remember the exact forum. Probably a different web site entirely.
I stumbled across a forum a few years ago and was quite surprised at what was being posted. That's why the memory lasted.

A rough memory of the strongest impressions includes things like velocities over 3000-fps, very-good accuracy (under 1-inch to ragged-hole remarks) at 100 yards and a couple of posts about taking deer and other game.
I was surprised by those remarks which is why I remembered them.
Comments about the exit wounds were usually fragments as I recall but the result is the same regardless...a cleanly taken deer.
There were several comments about only shooting when a good view of the heart is presented, etc. (well duhhh?)
All of this is easy to remember because it was a stark contradiction to what I already knew and thought...like most of the replies here so far.

I've cleanly taken deer with 6mm 60gr bullets at 200+yds and have stood by and observed deer being hammered by 55gr 22-caliber fast movers at well over 300 yards.
The bullet seldom exits but the deer behaves as if struck by lightening.
A good hit is all that is needed no matter what.

Remember, the 220 Swift was originally developed as an Elk cartridge!

No offense intended guys but if you haven't actually done this you're not being helpful.

I'm hoping for the input of guys that really used the Hornady 90gr XTP bullet in the 308 rifle.

Those guys are out there somewhere.
"Stop global whining!"

Offline 41 mag

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 04:13:05 am »
Terbltim,

While I cannot say I have used the 90gr XTP on game I did load some up for testing when working up loads for my grandson.

I found however from my rifle that they were pretty erratic in both accuracy and velocities. I am guessing this was due to the short bearing surface. They are pretty short for loading in a rifle but are great in my Ruger .30 Carbine.

I found that the best over all performance was with the 130gr bullets from several manufacturers. I ended up using the 130gr Barnes TTSX and they did everything we needed doing. His load was using 42grs of H-4895 and with the 130gr bullets we were getting right at 2650 from the 16.5" barrel on the Ruger Compact. Accuracy was under 1" groups at 100yds with me behind the trigger and with him sometimes the same sometimes a bit more. But for a 4 thru 8yr old I wasn't complaining. Here is a pic of two shots he made on one of our plates at 180yds with the Barnes,

Without the cross wind he would have been spot on the bull, still good enough for the hogs we were after. And yes that is two impacts together by a 4yr old at the time.

I highly suggest trying this bullet and the Hodgdon loads out. When testing I used the loads on feral hogs out to around 200yds and with good placement, and even a couple of not so well placed shots the little Barnes pill rocked their world.

The other bullets I used in 130gr range were some bonded core handgun bullets from Alaskan Bullet Works,
http://www.custombrassandbullets.com/albuwo.html 
Very good bullets at these velocities. Couldn't tell you how well they opened up as they went never stopped in the shots I made on three 150'ish pound hogs. I can tell you they went through both shoulder bones and all, and left half dollar sized exits.

I also used the Speer 130gr Spitzers, and also some 130gr Wildcat Bonded Core.

Like I mentioned I was so impressed with the Barnes and with the availability being a considered factor they won out. The Speer shot OK, and could have probably been tinkered with and brought around to group as well but we were at the time working against the clock to get the load worked up in order to practiced up for hunting season. With a kid of 4yrs old that meant LOTS of trigger time. We used a lot of 125gr bullets for practicing then switched up to the Barnes a couple of weeks before the season opened. He did however get his first hog with a 125gr Nosler BT, but after hitting a coyote broadside and not getting an exit, we bumped up to the 130 and never looked back.

Good luck with your loads, hope this helps some. Like I said those 90gr XTP's might work out for you, but in my rifle they were just a bit too unpredictable.

Offline Dezynco

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 06:25:29 am »
I have tried the 90 grainers in .308, 30-30, and 7.62x39.  As I stated, they are very accurate, and very fast.  However, I WOULDN'T use them to hunt deer....

I'm just not a fan of using 30 calibers lighter than 125-130 grain bullets on deer.  The ballistic coeficient of the little 90 grainer is poor and the bullet is a little stumpy short thing.  She'll risk wounding a deer, then having to tromp through brush and briars in the dark to look for it.  That would indeed be a poor experience for a beginner.  Granted, a well placed shot and a safe distance with any caliber or bullet weight will put one down cleanly.  I suppose you could kill a deer with a sling shot with a well place shot.  It's just that with a beginning shooter, she'll need all the advantage that she can get.

The 90 grainers might be fine for plinking or varminting, but I wouldn't hunt deer with them.  I know there are a lot of 243 fans out there who swear by the 85-90 grainers, but we're talking about 30 caliber bullets and the little 90 grainers are just so short and fat.  Also, if she's shooting a BLR, the little blunt noses might not feed through the action too well.  You might consider some round nosed or spire point 110's for plinking.  If you're a handloader, consider loading reduced velocity loads for practice, maybe even subsonic loads.  Gradually work up to some stiffer loads as she gets more comfortable with the recoil.  That's what I do for my kids and wife.

Offline Couger

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 04:26:39 pm »
I haven't used the 90 grain .308 cal bullets being discussed, but have seen them - and they are "tiny" for using in a .308 cal rifle, except perhaps the .30 Carbine?

Much good advice has been offered so far.

Sierra used to make a 125 grain .30-30 bullet (didn't look to see if they still do as i write this).

Speer makes a 130 grain .30-30 bullet, which i have used. Its a good bullet!  

Both designs have cannilures and are easily loaded down to low velocities in the 1600-1700-1800 fps ranges.

Also if you visit "Rocky's Reloading Room" site, he lists a 'universal' .30 caliber load he recommends that uses UNIQUE and a 110 grain Varminter bullet.  That 110 grainer has a cannilure as well. (don't be put off navigating that site.  The "tab" is off but the information is on that site.)

But the best suggestion I can offer is to stop thinking that young lady is going to 'break' is she shoots a round you think is too "heavy!"  In other words, STOP trying to decide what she will or won't like!

I realize you're trying to be thoughtful and careful, but what shooting experience has she had?  Can you set her up with a .223Rem rifle?  and maybe a .243 or similar rifle?

And can you show her the difference between a .38 Special and .357 Mag?  In the same revolver?  (to show recoil)


Twas me I'd load some of those 130 grain Speer bullets at the lightest load listed given the powder you're using, and then get her feedback and increase the loads based on her comments.

Offline dieselman

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 02:25:06 pm »
I have used some .32cal (.312 dia.) lead gas checks in .308 and 7.62x39mm they were 100gns and they worked just fine out to 100yds, I was just killing paper though. I found them real cheap at a gun show and paid like $15 for 300 of them. I like the 110gr v-max for up to deer size game, I have taken deer with them @300yds with them in a 7.62x54r and it was a one shot kill (120lb doe).   

Offline cbxboy

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 12:50:15 pm »
I plan to load both the 110 Gr .30 carbine bullets AND pulled 85 grain .308 bullets at some point in the future.  I just haven't needed too yet.

What I really like is getting the 165 grain CAST bullets and using 6 grains of Unique.  There IS no recoil and it is a very pleasant and very accurate shooter out to 50yds.  Never tried further is all.

To answer your query directly is to respond that you want a LIGHT shooter.  I did not interpret this to say it HAD to be a light grain bullet.  I found this out when loading my 30.06 pistol.  Light grain doesn't automatically mean less felt recoil.

So understanding you never mentioned this gal friend ever even consider deer hunting.....I would try the .308 with 6 grains of Unique under a 165Gr cast bullet.  Great load to accustom yourself to shooting.  You can almost run downrange and wait for the impact  ;)  but it shoots for me very-very well.  And my 9 year old can shoot 200 of them with no shoulder effect at all 8)   

Offline cbxboy

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2010, 07:56:03 pm »
Terbltim,

You may have moved on with this old post but for the heck of it I loaded a few for this weekend.

Went out Sunday at 90 degrees, 65 humidity and about 13 mile an hour wind.  Actually a nice day despite the efforts to make it bad.

The Friday night before I went out I was down in the G'room and thought....lets give it a go.  I grabbed about 30 of my old Sellier and Bellot .308 cases which are corrosive berdan primed.  I had pulled them down a while back.   I dropped in 6 grains of Unique and added a 110 grain jacketed bullet (m1 Carbine).  Seated and light crimp - very light - I call it a "tighten".  I also loaded 4 with an 85 gr jacketed bullet from pulled down 7.62x25. 

Here is my opinion.  I was shooting a converted Mas 36 to fire .308.  It has a wobbly forearm (most do) and this is a peep sight rifle.  I shot at 45 Yds.  My first grouping was low but SURPRISINGLY relatively accurate.  I raised the rear ramp to 600 meters and started getting near POA.  Kinda exciting.  Still a nice group.  Remember this is open sites!  I really enjoyed the shoot, accuracy was good/great.  Recoil virtually non existent.
The 85 grain did not fair so well, flew all over.  About an 8 inch group at 45 yds!  I would bet if slowed down it may come around and ease into consistency.

As a side note, I also loaded some x39 with the 110 gr and 18 grains H4895 (the 60% load).  Shot GREAT but had unburnt powder issues.  Accuracy has good potential.....but later compared and felt that it should be reduced only if recoil is an issue (how could it be in x39?) as accuracy was just as good at 25.6 grains with 125 gr bullets.

My .308 scoped with 165gr Cast Bullets and 6 Grains Unique is a PET load of mine, consistently easy and accurate for me.

Offline Terbltim

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2010, 10:00:16 am »
Hey Gang,
All of this is very useful info and I thank you deeply for the helpful suggestions and real information.
More proof that if you want to know about something, all you have to do is ask, (and ye shall receive".
Thanks again.
"Stop global whining!"

Offline Barrika

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Re: 30 Cal pistol bullets in the 308 ?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2010, 05:17:21 pm »
I;ve had a LOT of fun for years now using those 90gr XTPs in my Marlin 30-30.  They've been accurate & fun, though loaded for slow speeds, as I;ve heard they COULD fail downrange from centrifugal force if psuhed too fast.   HOWEVER, I've not been able to buy these bullets for over a YEAR now, from MidwayUSA or anywhere else I've looked!   "Now", Midway shows backorder NOT possible and they MIGHT be re-stocked by late August.  Don't hold your breath though:  they''ve been pushing that date back for over a YEAR now I think...  I MISS them.

 

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