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Is bigger always better at distance?

 
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  #1  
Old 03-20-2012, 04:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Is bigger always better at distance?

Ok I am new to this site and frankly I happened upon it because i have questions about long range shooting. I currently hunt with a few calibers, my Favorite is a T/C venture in .270 win. Now for my question, I shoot Horanday 140gr SST Super performance the muzzle velocity is 3096 and 2968Ft lbs of energy. At 700 yards it is 2018fps @ 1266 ft lbs. Alot of guys have been telling me I should go to a 7mm if i wanna shoot distance. Well I looked at a couple ballistic tables and found that what i am shooting is faster and delivers more energy @ 700 yards than, say a Remington 7mm Mag 165gr extended range (1807fps @ 1197 ft lbs). I know these are factory loads and I am sure I could look around and find a more compareable load, but then I also would have to deal with more recoil but have compareable results. So if I am looking for a good rifle that shoots consistently @ 500-750 yards, Would I be fine where I am or should I look to purchase a larger caliber? I use rifle to hunt High country Mule deer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I am a complete novice when it comes to this stuff. Just starting to shoot long ranges.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:41 PM
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Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

As you mentioned, your comparing a really, REALLY top end 270 Win load with a higher BC bullet and comparing it to an average performance 7mm Rem Mag factory load. Really apples to oranges comparison.

You could handload a 7mm Rem Mag with a 162 gr SST (I think Hornady makes one in this weight) and load it as fast as your pushing your 270 Win. The added bullet mass and energy will certainly add to its down range advantage over the 270 Win.

That said, they are still in a similiar class of performance. For 700 yard max shooting, your rifle has plenty of power for hunting deer size game with proper accessary items such as RF and scope designed for accurate bullet drop compensation and also, you have to be up to the challange and your rifle does as well.

For anything larger then deer, I would say your very marginal past 700 yards. This is where the heavier bullets of the 7mm Rem Mag would really start to shine over the 270. Still, for game such as elk, I still prefer at least a 30 cal round for elk at the 1/2 mile range or beyond. Past 1000 yards, I always recommend a 338 cal. Not that nothing else will work but just a recommendation that works and has been proven to work time and again, especially when things are not ideal with shot placement. Make a flat out bad shot and nothing will get you out of trouble except luck but often times our shots land on the fringes, this is where the smaller calibers leave alot to be desired and the larger calibers get the work done better.

If your going to step up in power for shooting at 700 yards, The 7mm Rem Mag would certainly be an upgrade but not a huge upgrade over the 270, at least not at the velocities your pushing yours to.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 1,148
Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

In my opinion your first question shouldn't be if bigger is better necessarily but rather is the setup you have now good enough to get started in learning LRH. And it most definitely is assuming your gun can shoot.

I ran your numbers through the G7 ballistics calculator on this site and they are close to what I came up with which puts you right where you want to be at, the 700-800 yard range, with the setup you mentioned.

There are differnt ways to determine how far a particular setup will work at but in almost every way you are ok, as long as YOU can shoot that far! FT LBS are over 1000 which is what some say you need for a successful kill. on deer. Velocity is high enough to ensure proper bullet expansion. I haven't shot the .277 SST but based on other calibers you should be ok down to 1500 fps or so.

Now you need to start putting in the time, learning consistent shooting form, verifying your specific drops and learning how to shoot with the wind. That's the hard part, not so much getting the perfect rig to do it! Learn with what you have. You will need all the extra cash to pay for all the practice you will need to do!

HTH,

Scot E.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2012, 04:58 PM
MHO MHO is offline
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Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

Mr Allen explained it very well. And yes as far as hunting at long distance, IMO bigger is better. Energy Kills.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

Thanks for the help so far guys, I have been putting in time shooting and am pretty comfortable @550 right now. I am getting better at 700, its just calculating wind is where I seme to have issues, but will work that out. (I had no idea the extra 150 yrds would be that dramatic). Again Thanks for helping out a complete novice at this.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

You are also looking at only one aspect of hitting a small target at long range and that what our goal is. Our goal is not just to hit a big game animal, its to pick out a relatively small target on that big game animal and put our bullet in that spot.

As you mentioned in your last post, reading the wind is the real challange once everything else if fine tuned.

Which again takes us back to your original question, is bigger better. We have talked a bit about terminal performance but just as important, and perhaps more importantly, hitting the target is key at long range. So is bigger always better for long range shooting. Lets see, The longer the bullet, on average, the higher the BC will be. the higher the BC, the less drop and drift you will have while the bullet is in flight all else being equal.

Now take that larger bullet with higher BC and put it on top of a larger case capacity and you can drive it faster. Given the same BC, the faster you push a bullet out of the muzzle, within reason, the less time gravity and environmental conditions have to effect that bullet in flight.

This gives the shooter a larger margin of error in judging external conditions which means you do not have to nail the conditions dead on the money to still put a bullet in the vitals of a big game animal at long range.

If you simply look at the ballistic aspect of your question, if all is equal, the larger chamberings allow us to hit small targets easier then with smaller chamberings, ESPECIALLY when the wind picks up a bit and we can not predict exactly what the wind is doing down range.

With todays advances in muzzle brakes, there really is no reason why very large chamberings can not be shot by anyone that wants to shoot one, not only shoot, but shoot them comfortably and extremely accurately. My wife shoots my 338 Allen Magnum with amazing precision, as well as I shoot it and thats with a 300 gr SMK loaded to nearly 3400 fps. Felt recoil is probably no more then your unbraked 270 Win and certainly less then an unbraked 7mm Rem Mag.

So, if your goal is to get the rifle system that allows us to put the bullet on the mark with the most efficency possible, there is no question, the big guns can do things that smaller chamberings simply are MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to accomplish in same conditions.

I have made a living with this theory and my customers prove this same theory to themselves all the time. I also reaffirm the theory everytime I take one of my Allen Magnums or Allen Xpress wildcats out in the field and see just how easy it is to hit small targets at long range once you have your rifle, load and drops accurately figured out.

So ballistically, yes bigger is better in my opinion. In ideal shooting conditions, may not be such a huge advantage but generally conditions are FAR less them ideal when we go to the field hunting.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2012, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Re: Is bigger always better at distance?

Thanks again Mr. Allen. I did some surfing of your website, You will be seeing me as a customer in the near future! Thanks again for your info! What you have explained in a few minutes is more than I have picked up in weeks.
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