I’m confused by the amount of bullet types... how do I choose?

ask the experts

ask the experts - Credit: Archant

I shoot a .308 and am totally confused by the amount of bullet choices out there... I’ve recently acquired some stalking land and need advice! Dom Holtam replies

Q: I am a relative newcomer to centrefire rifles but have recently acquired some land for stalking, which is on a farm I have been shooting rabbits on for years. I shoot a .308 and am completely confused by the amount of bullet weights, designs and prices on the market. How do I choose?

DOM HOLTAM replies: Firstly, you should consider the array of choice a blessing, not a curse. There are some brilliant rounds out there, offering great accuracy off the shelf.

When I first bought a centrefire I was recommended a relatively low-cost round (Federal Power-Shok 100gr from memory) to try. My trusty Tikka T3 .243 used to shoot around about the one-inch group mark with them at 100 yards and I couldn’t imagine ever wanting more from a factory round. I used it for years and was very happy with its performance on roe and fallow.

You say you are stalking deer, but in the UK that could mean a muntjac weighing 10kg or a red stag weighing closer to 200kg! I’m assuming that if you have selected a .308 you will be targeting the larger species. That being the case, I’d be looking at a bullet weight of 150gr to 170gr and a simple soft point should be sufficient. If you are shooting for meat then a soft point will probably cause less damage than a tipped bullet. Having said that, I have found some tipped bullets to be extremely accurate and very effective on game.

I would certainly take advice from your local gun shop – they will be able to advise on what their customers rate, even for the specific rifle that you have bought. They will also be able to give you a steer on availability and pricing. An obscure choice that is rarely available is no use to you if you run out of ammunition and can’t source replacements. Try a box and if you are pleased with how your rifle performs with them, buy a batch for consistency.