I have had to change my thinking of late on the Saiga 308 now that information has emerged that it's very loose twist produces optimum results with 110gr "Varmint" bullets.The lighter bullet has less inertia to carry long distances and buck wind but it is screaming at 3100fps out of the full length 22in barrel.
This means functional accuracy for us non-snipers will be increased due to a lack of bullet drop but it also means that the power drops rapidly after a certain point.The good news is that at practical shooting distances(where you would use a ruggedized semi-auto 308)like 500 yards the energy and velocity of the 110gr bullet is higher at 500 Yards than the M118 sniper round currently used by the US Military and it shoots flatter which to those of us who might not be experts at bullet drop calculations and need to make fairly rapid successive hits.
There is an Appleseed Rifleman who was hitting the "Tombstone" military target at 700 yards with the cheapest surplus parts Romanian 7.62x39 AK scoring 4 out of 5 hits. If he can do that with a 4-6MOA weapon with 257 inches of bullet drop then we can do better with our 1.75-3MOA Saiga 308s with less than 72 inches of drop.Unfortunately for me my shooting spot maxes out at 580 yards if I chop the brush down and setup to shoot at the cattle gate by the road diagonally across from the hill I use as my backstop so I can't prove that theory without a change in shooting venues.
I am currently excited to try the 125gr Corelokt PSP since the 150gr Corelokt is what has given me the best accuracy to date out of a Saiga 308 and the 125gr is better suited to the over 1 in 12 twist while offering a bonded core pointed soft point bullet instead of the flimsy "varmint" type projectile of the 110gr TAP.It might be the "Magic Bullet" for Saiga 308 performance.
The best answer I can give you is get out there and shoot until you really get a feel for the rifle and can hit consistently with it then start hunting down a load it really likes and then start worrying about engagement ranges.
I've come around to this line of thinking as well. I'm going to try the 125 Nosler ballistic tip next. From what I've read, it's more of a deer bullet than a varmint bullet. Or it jacket is at least tough enough to penetrate somewhat without completely exploding. It's also a boat tail bullet, which should help it retain energy better than the 110 VMAX or other flat-based bullets of similar weight.
However, a lightly loaded (probably ~2550ish FPS) 110 VMAX shot very accurately for me at 100 yards, had very little recoil, and still fully penetrated 3 milk jugs full of water at 10 yards (penetrated 3 and bounced off the 4th, then back into the 3rd). That's ~18" of water. From what I read, the TAP 110 round penetrates about 9-11" in ballistics gel, so I think driving the bullet a little slower than the factory loaded stuff might result in less fragmentation and more penetration. Even if the penetration doesn't quite reach 12", I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't really matter due to the sheer volume of the cavity it would produce where it did penetrate. The largest fragment was about 60 grains with the base intact. The total recovered fragments (those that weren't just dust) weighed 75 grains. Most of the fragments were in the second jug. Here's a picture of the fragments I recovered:
Honestly though, I live in a place where it's rare to get an open space at much more than 350 yards (or at least can't find somewhere where I feel safe to shoot at that distance), so can't offer much help there.
Edited by Dudethebagman, 05 July 2011 - 11:04 PM.