Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards
Len: Thanks very much for the invite to join the forum - I like the zero tolerance to flaming, negative comments etc.
My question is based around bullet performance and what those experienced long range shooters use for bullets ( for deer sized game) at ranges over 400 yards. I have a newly acquired 300 Ultra Mag that today is loaded with 180 Partitions. I do not think I need a "premium" bullet, but would like to hear what others are using.
posted April 13, 2001 10:13 AM
From: Tucson, Arizona USA
Registered: April 12, 2001
It has been my experience, as well as many long range hunters around me that bullet performance from the so-called premium bullets at long range has not resulted in the desired effect we are looking for. Premium bullets, at long range, tend not to expand as they were intended to do. Throughout my hunting and Outfitting career, I have seen numerous animals, from Coues deer to Elk, shot at long range (450 yds to 725 yds) and the only bullets to improperly perform were the so-called premium ones. They pinholed the animals.
I shoot a .300 Weatherby for my long range gun. I load it with the 168 grain Sierra Match bullet. This is the most devastating big game killing bullet I have ever seen. It works equally as well from 50 yards to 700 yards! I would try this bullet in your .300 Ultra, to see if you get the accuracy that you need, but also try the 190 grain. If either of these shoots well in your gun, then don't hesitate to try them on game. I think you will be happy with the outcome.
Pusch Ridge Outfitters
posted April 13, 2001 12:19 PM
From: Oshkosh, WI
Registered: April 10, 2001
My experience at 400 yards plus is with Nosler Ballistic Tips, Barnes X, and Sierra Matchking. All killed my quarry but the Barnes didn't make much of a hole. The Matchking expanded well as did the Nosler. Both failed to exit but the Barnes did.
I think the most important trait in a long range projectile is extreme accuracy over expansion, however. Next, among accurate bullets, I think the most important trait is high ballistic coefficient. This reduces the amount of drift due to the wind. My continuing quest is for the one bullet that will make the smallest groups in still wind conditions with the highest BC. This combo will reduce the effect of any wind estimation errors in more typical field conditions.
These higher BC bullets are longer and require a faster twist barrel. I am having two of my 7mm rifles rebarrelled with a 9 twist. Then I will be trying Warren's Lost River bullets and Hornady's A-max. They have very different expansion characteristics but that doesn't matter much to me for a deer bullet. I simply want to use the bullet that strikes the deer in the kill-zone every time.
[This message was edited by Len Backus on April 20, 2001 at 07:47 AM.]
what is the velocity on your 180gr Noslers? I use the 165grainers in my Sendero 300 WM, and will hopefully get 3300fps out of them...I would like to use a heavier bullet (the 180 grain) but I would like more velocity out of it. Just curious as to what you're getting...
This seems to be a great forum, I hope to get to know all of you.
As far as velocity goes, they're flying about 2950 - 3050fps, depending on air & ammo temp. I load primarly for accuracy and leave velocity as a distant second. I don't have my load book handy, but IIRC the load is 57gr of IMR 4064, Fed 215 primers, WW brass, and is seated .015 off the lands. I like to use the heavier bullets for long range shooting because they buck the bind a little better and have more kenetic energy at the point of impact.
I will be using a 7 STW for hunting the high desert in Az (hopefully this year) for mule deer. I plan to use a Sierra 160 gr BTSP for shots to 500 yd. Is the 168 Sierra MK the best bullet to use from 500 to 800 yds? How good of a hunting bullet is the 180 gr. Berger VLD?
The gun is a 700 Rem SS DM-B with a 1:9 twist barrel. The gun doesn't like bullets under 160 gr.
Having tried some of the new plastic nose cones and varying results, it takes me back to when I did a little large game hunting and was in the market for accurate and good performing bullets. It seems we go our best results with Nosler Particians but out best accuracy was with the Speer Gran Slams. The performance of the Gran Slams was as good as the Noslers in those days. (20 year ago).
Anybody else tried them? Or care to comment?
The Matchking has ALWAYS worked for me in any longrange rifle I have had over the years. Our success rate over many years for kills using Matchkings is 100% of what was hit. This includes elk, Mule and Whitetail deer.
The following information is the cartridges that I use them in even now.
Bullet selection in my 300 Weatherby 16 1/2 LB rifle is and always will be the 200 or 220 gr Matchking because of the higher BC and the ranges we normally shoot. Good for OVER 1000 yds anytime.
For my 7mm/300 Weatherby is the 168 Gr Matchking---Good for OVER 1000 yds anytime.
For my 6.5/300 Weatherby--the 142 Gr Matchking---good for OVER 1000 yds anytime
For the 338/416 IMP it will ALWAYS be the 300 gr matchking with an Oehler measured BC of .800 coming out of the 37 1/2" barrel at 3250 to 3300 FPS, depending on my load. Killed out to 2100 yds on elk. Penitrated the far shoulder after entering behind the near shoulder.
Jack 1K---Many years ago I talked to Walt Berger about the same question you asked about his 180 gr bullets.
He said that, the jackets of his bullets are thinner then Sierra and they will fly apart on game and that he did not recommend them for hunting.
I see others here have experianced the MK on kills of deer ---They work so well, it scares you.