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JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
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Question for the new 308

I have a new Howa ranchland compact 308 in sand coming in the next week and was wondering what yall thought the best round for the 20" barrel is. I have no experince with the 308, just thought I'd like to have one for a barbary hunt in february. It made a good excuse to order a new rifle anyway.

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Don Fischer's picture
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I used a 308 with a 20"

I used a 308 with a 20" barrel for a lot of years, Rem mod 660. Never hunted with anything other than 165gr Hornady SP's, never let me down. 

JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
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Thanks Don, I was thinking

Thanks Don, I was thinking 165 - 180 so thats where Ill start.

Don Fischer's picture
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From the for what it's worth

From the for what it's worth deept, I'd tried everything from 150's to 200's. Most guys have pretty good luck with 150's, I didn't. 165 and 180 both shot very well with the 165's just a bit better. 200's would give about 2" as the best. If I were hunting something that might bite back I'd give more though to the 200's but, a bigger case handles the much better.

JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
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My rifle came in yesterday. I

My rifle came in yesterday. I picked up a box of 150, 168, & 180s. My hop is to get the scope on it this weekend and do some shooting. all my research has suggested that with the 20" barrel I stay above 160gr so at least it gives me a starting place. i really like the rifle so far has a nice trigger, and it seems to have a better stock than they started out with 5 or more years ago, its more ridged.
I may ceracoat the barrel and polish the bolt just to see what I can make it look even better.

James

JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
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Alright guys, my new 308 is

Alright guys, my new 308 is in and this weekend I got the scope mounted. After bore sighting I went out side to put a few rounds through it and as I chambered a round and close the bolt it wouldn't lock down. I only had one box of shells and tried several with the same result. My son said he had 3 boxes at his house so we took off for there. With his ammo I went though the same procedure but with different results the bolt would lock down with a little force. my son also had a 243 Howa so I asked for his bolt and it ran smooth. I replaced my bolt and it seemed to get better after cycling a few rounds. I am not finding any marks on the bullet or casing so what do yall think is the problem or is it just tight and needs to be cleaned and fired?

Critter's picture
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Sounds like you need to get

Sounds like you need to get ahold of Howa and let them know what is happening.  I would be willing to bet that the new rifle will be sent back to them for inspection. 

You might want to check on the barrel and make sure that is is labled .308.  I saw a Remington once that all the paperwork said that it was a 7mm Remington mag but the barrel said 300 Winchester mag.  It shot the rounds but the accuracy was way off with the bullet rattling down the barrel. 

JSmitty's picture
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I finily got out to the pit

I finily got out to the pit yesterday with a box of shells and ran the 20 rounds through the new rifle. After getting it adjusted as per the manufactures breakin for the barrel I loaded the last 5 rounds and shot a 5 round group and I think it will do just fine.

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Critter's picture
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Looks pretty good.  I presume

Looks pretty good. 

I presume that you got the bolt problem taken care of, what did it end up being?

JSmitty's picture
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The first box of ammo I had

The first box of ammo I had was picked up at a gun show and are reman ammo, and the cases are to long. All of the factory ammo cycles good. I cant remember off the top of my head but when i put a mic on the cases they are around .0025 over max case length. That dosent sound like much but my bolt wont close with them and does great with the factory loads.

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It is quite possible that the

It is quite possible that the ones that you bought were not full length resized or the die may of been backed off just enough to cause you problems. 

That is why when I reload ammo for friends that I tell them that I want their rifle or handgun.  I'll custom taylor the load to the firearm and with the rifle the round will fit properly in their rifle.  I'll also cycle every round through their rifle just to make sure that they are not going to have a problem down the road.  I have found a few rounds that will not chamber by doing it this way. 

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