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  #1  
Old 11-17-2012, 10:56 PM
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Default Alternatives to SMK 168 for my .308?

Just wondering if you guys can point me in the right direction.

I have loaded 168 SMK and was wondering if you can give me alternatives (based on your experience) to this bullet.

Something more affordable would be nice.

Also, whats the benefit of using a lighter (155) versus heavier bullet (175)?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:14 PM
huckberry668 huckberry668 is offline
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Nosler Custom Competition 155, 168 and 175 would be my suggestion. They are cheaper and shoot on par with SMKs in my experience.

more expensive alternatives are: Berger, Scenar (Lapua), Hornady.
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Old 11-18-2012, 7:48 AM
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Your reload manual is full of alternate bullets. Barrel twist can help determine what weight bullet might work best in your rifle.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:17 AM
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Yup, Nosler is probably your best "cheaper" alternative. Most people who opt not to shoot the 168 go with the 175SMK. The 155s were designed for Palma shoots, but are another good alternative for long range shooting if you can get them close to 3000fps (the 155 Scenar in particular).
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:31 AM
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+1 on the 155 Scenar. Make'm scream!
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Old 11-19-2012, 7:16 AM
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If you want to go away from SMK, I have read Amax have shot really well!
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Old 11-19-2012, 8:08 AM
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Dont overlook 178 A-MAX.
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Old 11-19-2012, 9:38 AM
afrancke afrancke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brando View Post
The 155s were designed for Palma shoots, but are another good alternative for long range shooting if you can get them close to 3000fps (the 155 Scenar in particular).
Another option in a similar vein is the Berger 155.5 FB. You will not get far north of 2700 fps out of a 20" barrel with these without cranking up the pressure beyond published maximums. I was able to get close to 2900 fps with a nominally unsafe load - 48 gr of 8208 and FGMM 210M primers - and plenty of bolt marks on the case head using Lapua brass, a bit of primer cratering, but no bolt stickiness. QuickLoad shows ~71k PSI peak pressure here - I don't recommend that!

That is well past the load I ended up going with for a precision rifle class recently - 44.1 gr 8208 with the Berger 155.5 FB, closer to 54.5k PSI. Great accuracy, and worked well enough out to 1000 yards at the density altitudes of 900 - 1800 ft we were shooting at those days. We didn't have much wind to speak of so I can't compare to the 175 SMKs.

All that said, not cheaper than the SMKs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 9:42 AM
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How far do you want to shoot? The 168's will do okay out to around 800. Past that I'd look for something with a better BC. 178 Amax is a really good option for longer ranges. If you don't mind a slightly larger drop, the 190 SMK or 190 Nosler CC work very well for long range as well. From what I've seen, the 190's also transition into subsonic better than a lot of other boat tail designs due to their extra length.
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Old 11-20-2012, 6:19 PM
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I like the 178gr A-max but give the 178gr HPBT match a try. It's supposed to perform better than the A-max.
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Old 11-29-2012, 9:41 PM
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I normally used the Sierra 168 HPBT, but I came across some Hornady 168 HPBT bullets. Did some load development and I have the cheaper Hornady 168's grouping 1/2 MOA at 100 yds. My load uses once fired .308 Federal GMM cases, Winchester Large Rifle Primer, the Hornady 168 HPBT, Hodgon BLC-2 powder and an overall seated length of 2.800". Out of my department issued Remington 700 PSS Sniper Rifle, I chrono'd this load at 2503 FPS 10 feet from my muzzle. I wish I could use it on duty, but department regulations require me to use the issued Federal 168 GMM. I won't state the amount of grains of BLC-2 I'm using due to liability reasons, but i will say that it will be a minimum load per the Sierra Reloading manual. Hope this works well in your rifle too.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:01 PM
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The 155s were developed to give as high a BC as possible with that weight to comply with certain shooting competitions. Their advantage is good BC with higher muzzle velocity. You can use the 168 A-Max, 175 SMK, 178 A-Max and I think Berger makes a couple bullets in that weight range. You could go heavier and push them at slower velocities.
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