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Reloading for a Ruger Compact in 308
 Moderated by: Slingshot, Rockydog, klallen, DesertMarine, -6
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 Posted: Sun Apr 24th, 2011 03:45 PM
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pcgod
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I really like the size and weight of these little guns and just picked up one in .308. I need some help or suggestions around reloading for this. While I would normally work up a load using a 150gr bullet and probably Varget powder, a couple of folks recommended considering a 125/130 gr bullet. Apparently one of the guys loads this for his wife; the theory is that if the velocity drops to about 2700 fps the bullet acts like a big game bullet rather than a varmint bullet. Since this rifle has a 16.5 inch barrel, the thought was a standard loading of this bullet will lose 200-250 fps and thus be fine for deer.

Does anyone have any experience loading for the ruger compact in 308 and has anyone tried these bullets?

Finally, any info regarding your experience with a compact in 308 would be helpful.

 



 Posted: Sun Apr 24th, 2011 08:26 PM
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wsmreloader
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I bought two of those guns several years back with consecutive serial numbers in 308. One for me and one for my son. I really liked hunting with it, because of it's light weight. When my son had my first grandson < my first grandchild> I parked that rifle in the gun safe for my first grandchild and haven't hunted with it since.It will be a present for him at some time. I wanted it to be as close to new as possible, so I didn't want to add any handling marks that sometime show up out of nowhere. It has been a while < years>since I've hunted with that particular rifle, but one of the trophy's hanging on my wall came from that gun using a 125 grain nosler BT. I personally like a little heavier bullet for the .308 < I usually hunt use a 150 or 168 grain bullet in 308> but because my son was younger < about 12 and not real big at the time>, I loaded a light weight bullet for him to shoot. Like most kids, he wanted to shoot the same bullet as dad, so I hunted with the lighter bullet, too. My data shows that we loaded IMR 4895 and chronographed the load at a little under 2700FPS. A wall hanger and lots of meat in the freezer prove that it don't have to be a big bullet to drop a animal. Shot placement is way more critical than either speed or size of the bullet. My son still hunts with his rifle, but now uses 165 grain partitions. For what it's worth, I now hunt with a 140 grain Nosler BT in a 270 WSM, and have yet to loose a animal with that gun/bullet combination. The last four deer that I harvested were shot with a 140 grain Nosler BT over WMR powder and all dropped right where they were standing < no tracking>



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 Posted: Sun Apr 24th, 2011 08:44 PM
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runfiverun
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i done up some 125 gr bullets for the 7.62x39 over 35 grs h-4895 for my girl when she was 8-9 years old.
it simulated an easy 30-30 load.
yeah they were .310 diameter.
but she learned how to shoot well with the light rifle and recoil.
i don't hesitate to use that same load with a 30-30 150 gr bullet, or some 125's designed for the x39 in .308,
they are great for close in hunting, general plinking, and close target work up to about 300 yds.



 Posted: Mon Apr 25th, 2011 01:48 AM
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pcgod
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The way it was explained to me was the faster lighter bullets have the advantage of shooting flatter. But it sounds like the advantage is around the recoil.  I think i'll work up a 150 gr load and not worry about the 125. If I want less recoil I can use my sons compact in 243.



 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2011 12:39 PM
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TMan51
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My first centerfire was a Savage M340, and I used it for groundhogs and foxes.  Even with that slightly enemic .30 cal, expansion with 125gr Sierra's or 130gr Speer bullets was often quite explosive.  Those I'd avoid for larger critters.

Hornady makes a 130gr SP that's built for SSP's, and that might be a good place to start.  Another 130gr I would take a look at is the Speer 130gr FP built for the .30-30.  It's designed for velocities at the top end of .30-30 speeds, and they work real well on deer.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2011 05:33 PM
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Paul B
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I've always ended up going with a heavier bullet in my hunting rifles. For the .308, my pet load uses the 165 gr. Speer Hot-Core. My 18.5" barreled Ruger RSI shoots that bullet at 2550 FPS and my 22" barreled Winchester M70 does 2610 FPS with that load. Based on that difference, I'd estimate about 2490-2500 FPS from the 16.5" barrel of that compact. That would put it right in the area of the .300 Savage which isn't all that bad a place to be. I dropped the 150 gr. bullet in the .308 years ago because it mangled up too much eating meat. Let's be honest. We don't always get perfect broadside shots, even if we like to think we do. To use an old mountain man term, "You got to touch the life.' That means you need the penetration to reach the vitals. The only 130 gr. bullet I would look at is the Barnes TSX. If I were to go back to a 150 gr. bullet, it would be a TSX or Nosler Accubod or Partition.

FWIW, the longest shot I've had to take with the 165 gr. Speer at 2550 FPS was 250 yards, laser measured. Animal was a Mule Deer that dressed out at 195 pounds. The deer was facing me so I put the bullet just below the neck and dropped the deer DRT. I found the bullet lodged against the back leg of the deer. That bullet travled the entire length of the deer and if that leg bone, which was broken BTW, hadn't gotten in the way, I do believe it would have exited the animal.

That's the nice thing about shorter barreled rifles. You won't get as high a velocity but in a way that's a good thing. Common cup and core bullets will act more like premiums due to the somewhat lower velocity. I've taken about 10 deer with that load, most broadside or quartering shots and that one bullet has been the only one I've been able to recover. All the rest have been complete pass throughs. :cool::thumbs: You can't ask for anything better than that.

Paul B.



 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2011 10:00 PM
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OldStuffer
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TMan51 wrote: Hornady makes a 130gr SP that's built for SSP's, and that might be a good place to start.  Another 130gr I would take a look at is the Speer 130gr FP built for the .30-30.  It's designed for velocities at the top end of .30-30 speeds, and they work real well on deer.


That is my deer killer bullet in my BAR, has been for over a decade. Definitely not behaving like a "varmit bullet" at high velocity and close range.

 

I'd have to look over my old Chrony data but they are leaving my barrel over 3,000fps.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 05:47 AM
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LawDogg8026
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I have a Ruger Compact in .308 Winchester. It's my son's rifle and he is still a bit young to use it. Before I read the article below I loaded Barnes 130 TSX with 48.2 grains of BL -C (2). So I was close to what this guy already did. I hope it helps and I know the thread is a bit old.

 

http://www.realguns.com/archives/180.htm



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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 09:01 PM
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Paul B
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I've used the .308 quite a bit since 1973 but not one with a 16.5" barrel.My shortest barreled .308 was a Remington 600 Mohawk that I got in a trade. Never even shot the gun as it was quite cherry and this 17 year old kid was trying to save up money to but his first deer rifle. Afer gaining his parent's permission I gave him the rifle.
Other .308's I have owner are a Remington 660 with 20" barrel, three Ruger M77 RSI's, a Winchester M70 with 22" barrel and a custom built on a 1912 Steyr Mauser with 23" barrel. Never did chronograph the loads i ran through the 660 but from the RSI's 18.5" barrel, a stiff load of W760 pushes the 165 gr. Speer Hot Core to 2550 FPS. That same load in the Winchester gave 2610 FPS. a diiference of 60 FPS. That load which shoots just fine in three rifles will lock up the bolt on the custom Mauser I have to add that W760 really is too slow for most use in the .308, but that load is the only one that will work in the RSI. :confused:
I gues I'm repeating a myself a bit but after reading that goy's article, I would seriously like to have a sit down talk with him. maybe it ws his wiseacre attitude but he kind of ticked me off. I've probably done more reloading, shooting and hunting with the .308 in the last 39 years than most people. That Remington 660 flat wore out the extractor afterrunning somewhere over 5,000 rounds through that rifle. A goodly bunch was with cast bullets but the extractor finally gave up and quit on me. I'm just glad it didn't happen on a hunt. The only one of those rifles that hasn't been blooded on a hunt is that Mauser. I might have to do something about that. :wink::lol:
Paul B.



 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 09:14 PM
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westy
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Last deer season, I was still recovering from spinal fusion surgery on my neck. So I made some reduced loads for my 30-06 using the Sierra Pro-Hunter 125 grain bullets loaded over 47 gr H4895. A lot less kick than my normal 180 grain Hornady Interlock load. Two shots from my quad pod stand and two bang-flop does. I did make sure to send those lighter bullets through the boiler room and not into a shoulder. The deer up here in Upstate NY farmland are big bodied most of the time.



 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 11:24 PM
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OKLHUNTER
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I have been working on loads for 175 Barnes LRX over some Varget. Getting some pretty good results with both the 165 and 175 grainers. Oh yeah, I'm shooting them through my Remmy 700 SPS.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 3rd, 2012 06:26 PM
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pcgod
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Well, I did alot of testing and ended up using the Sierra 165 gr BTHP Game King over 748 powder. This is NOT a kids load. I love this bullet and have used it hunting before. The velocity is 2600 fps and it prints 3 shot 100 yd groups under an inch. While I'm not particually recoil sensitive, I am told this rifle is a killer. I don't agree, however, it does have alot of muzzle flip when it goes bang and that is what folks are percieving as recoil. For a light weight, under 200yd rifle this is a keeper.



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