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308ME Lever Evolution Powder

2438 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Hyphenated
I couldn't get close to published numbers in my 308ME using traditional powders so I had to find out if Hodgdon's new lever gun powder would improve my numbers. First things first....always start low and work loads up watching for signs of pressure. The following info was safe in my rifle, but may not be in yours, so use caution.

I used four brands of bullets I had on hand which would not be considered premium bullets, but good affordable hunting bullets. Whichever bullet showed the most promise in this test would go to the range for accuracy testing in the future.

I won't bore you with all the numbers in the process and cut right to the chase. The big question is, will this powder enable you to match a box of factory ammo? Well, yes and no. This is what the factory claims from their website.
150gr. - 42.0gr = 2632fps
160gr. - 41.5gr = 2658fps (Hornady 160gr FTX ammo listed at 2660fps)
170gr. - 41.4gr = 2565fps

I could not achieve any of those velocities using their load data. I was shooting a 22" barreled rifle versus their 24", so my goal was to just come within 40fps of their data. My results were as follows.

Hornady 150gr RN - 2.5% over max load 2567fps
Nosler 150gr. SBBT - 2.5% over max load 2673fps (worst ES)
Winchester 150gr. PSP - 2.5% over max load 2621fps
Remington 165gr. Core-Lokt - 1% over max load 2525fps (best ES)

The Hornady RN fell way short and I wasn't going to push it any harder. Both the Nosler and Winchester bullets did finally match or exceed factory velocities, but the extreme spread was so high I would not consider them for a practical hunting load. Last, but not least, the Rem. 165gr bullet fell short of the 160 bullet by over 125fps, but came pretty close to the 170gr load. This load also had the smallest extreme spread.

This small test just barely scratches the surface of this powders capabilities. But I think it proved to me why Hornady chose the 160gr bullet for their factory .308ME ammo.


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You fellas are right. Anybody who is serious about shooting needs to know what their ammo is doing.

I am using a very early model Chrony. I bought this one before there were a lot of choices. The newer models have a wider shooting area and will hook up to a laptop and crunch all the numbers for you. I haven't used any of the newer versions I am not qualified to make suggestions. I guess it boils down to how fancy you want to go. We didn't even have home PC's when I bought this Chrony to give you an idea of it's age. So I have to write down the numbers as I shoot and do the math on a calculator when I get home. However, I still consider it the best $100 I spent on gun equipment.
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