Outdoor Skills – Hunting Q&A

My wife and I are going to hunt elk and black bear in British Columbia. We plan on using a Ruger Mark II Ultra Light and a Remington Model 7, both in .308 Winchester. I reload and will probably use a Nosler 180-grain Partition roundnose with 44 grains of IMR4064 powder, which should give a muzzle velocity of about 2700 fps and a sufficient amount of energy out to 250 or 300 yards. Do you think this combination will work, or should I try a different load? Other calibers are out of the question, s

The .308 should work fine with the right ammunition, but your suggested load has me puzzled. Nosler doesn’t make a roundnose 180-grain Partition. Are you thinking of their 180-grain Protected Point with the flat tip? Also, while the Nosler Reloading Manual Number Four lists 44 grains of IMR4064 as the top load for their 180-grain bullets, the muzzle velocity of 2718 fps is taken in a 24-inch barrel. You’ll lose at least 100 fps from the shorter barrels of your rifles, maybe more, so the 300-yard velocity will be 1900 fps or less, the absolute minimum for expansion with Partitions. This bullet is designed especially for the .300 Winchester Magnum, not the .308, so it may not even expand much at 1900 fps. I’d suggest their 165-grain Partition Spitzer instead, using 44 grains of Alliant’s Reloder 15. This will get you about 100 fps more muzzle velocity, and the pointed tip will retain more velocity and energy too, arriving at 300 yards traveling at about 2100 fps. Expansion will be certain and trajectory flatter. I’ve used this bullet a lot, and it works great.