I think I have gotten a bit more respect for the .30 cal. lighter weight 125-130gr. bullets through a bit of experience. Before, I would never have thought about using them on deer sized game for fear that they would be too quickly to expand and have little penetration. Velocity makes all the difference of course and intended range of use.
The 125-130gr. .30 cal. bullets that we have loaded for my Son's AR 7.62x40 Wilson Tactical have performed fantastic on Missouri deer at close heavy woods ranges. While the velocity of the altered .223 case with just a bit more powder capacity than the Black Out case is starting out at only around 2,450 fps, they have totally destroyed the lungs and livers of every deer that my Son has shot with them and on occasion we have even found pieces of lung hanging in the brush.
I would expect similar decent performance on deer from the much faster .308 Win., way on out there. I had always shied away from the lighter weight .30 cal. bullets in the faster cartridges thinking that the lighter weight bullet would perform more like a varmint bullet. And perhaps it might up close, but at the slightly longer open shooting ranges I expect it to be a great deer and coyote bullet.
Our choices of bullet for my Son's AR were the 125gr. Sierra SPT Pro Hunter and the 130gr. Hornady Spire Point. Both bullets gave excellent accuracy at the little cartridges velocity using a full case of AA 1680 or around 25gr. I had originally used up all my supply of the discontinued Win. 680 powder developing the loads for this cartridge as AA 1680 was hard to find at the time due to powder shortages and the high demand for that powder for the Black Out round. Both bullets had the exact same point of impact so he can use either bullet with the same scope setting, although the 130gr. Hornady prefers about 150 fps less velocity for best accuracy in this chambering/twist combination. His twist is 1 in 12".
Sierra has two new lighter weight Match King bullets specifically designed for the .308 Win. Although not really designed for hunting, it is interesting that Sierra has chosen to develop the lighter weight Match bullets.
Edited by Ham Gunner on November 23 2018 at 10:30am
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