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Where is the balance between weight and speed?

 
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2013, 07:38 PM
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Where is the balance between weight and speed?

I posted a thread here recently on the effectiveness of the 208 amax on elk. There were lots of very helpful responses, some of which got me thinking on another question. What is the ideal weight for hunting bullets in each caliber. This caused me to spend a great deal of time today on the ballistic calculator.

Let me explain what I'm thinking before I get to the question. If you were going to shoot only extremely long range at targets where you know you have a lot of time to range and figure wind then we all agree I think the heavier and the higher the BC the better. Lets use the 300wm for example. Right now my plans were to shoot the 208 amax which I think I can safely push to 2850-2900 in my 27in broughton 5c 300wm. I ran the numbers on the berger 190 at 3100 which I think is do able. I have not used this one but used to regularly get 2875 from the 210 in a 24"5r. If anyone is using these in a 300wm please feel free to give us some actual data. It takes roughly 26moa depending on atmospherics and altitude to reach 1K with the 208 at 375ASL where I live. The 190 gets there at 23moa with almost the same wind drift.

Now, I'm saying this based on a rifle that I plan to employ as a hunting rifle that may be shot from 30yd to I would say 800yd and maybe 1000 absolute max. Like 800yd on elk sized game 1000yds on whitetail sized game due to retained energy considerations and shooting skill level. The 190 gives you a 30" flatter trajectory at 1000yds. That is a lot more room for error in a hunting situation where lets say a deer is at 750yds when you range it then he moves to 780 before you take the shot. I know a bullet of that weight class has plenty of energy at those ranges because I see the Best of the West guys spanking stuff at 900-1100 yds with 168gr berger 7mm. Is there any guys out there running the, what we will call mid weight bullets, instead of the heavies for this reason. I understand the sectional density thing too but I think the 190 have plenty of that probably comparable to or better than the 168 class7mm stuff.
Just looking to get some opinions and thoughts on the subject. Remember were talking about a Longrange hunting rifle , but you want to be able to employ it in all conditions and positions with the most forgiving trajectory possible to help account for field error while still packing enough thump to handle business at the maximum range you intend to shoot.

Thanks guys
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:17 PM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

Each rifle/cartridge combination has an optimum bullet weight. For Trajectory, Velocity and energy.
And if you run the ballistics and make a bell curve of each where they all meet and then drop off
the chart will tell you what the optimum bullet weight is for a given cartridge. It may not be what you want to use or need but it is the optimum .

Some times a lighter bullet may have more of everything you want for the distance you want to shoot (If you are going to limit your shots to 500 yards the lighter bullet may have the advantage)

In other words there is no reason to use a high BC Bullet if shorter distances are the norm, But for extremely long distances are the norm High BC Bullets are a must IMO.

Run the numbers and combine each element and it will answer your question.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:33 PM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

For me, I always limit the rifles effective range well before the expansion velocity threshold, and like to keep the KE up too. Due to these two things, I usually shoot the bullet that performs the best 200 yards inside the rifles max effective range. Mostly because closer shots are normal for me (350-600).

In my .338 RUM I shoot 250's and don't see myself going back to the 300's any time soon. I actually see it as an advantage in the mid-long range game, where I can hold off out to 500 yards pretty fast and don't even need to hold off fur until 300 yards. The steel doesn't notice a difference to 1100 yards either.
I guess I like to keep it around 3000 fps for hunting loads.

All that said if all you can get is heavies, I would shoot them over a mid weight with a crappy B.C.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:36 AM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

My buddies and I have been working on this. A couple of us have 7mm stws (i am not trying to convert this to another stw thread). With this cartridge we have come to the conclusion that the 180 Berger shoots its best in the 2950-3050fps range. Push them any harder and they scatter. Meanwhile one guy has a 168 Berger running at 3450fps in a long barreled bat actioned model. I believe that the extra 450fps outweighs the 12grains of bullet weight or roughly .04 b.c increase. A good ballistic program will really help with these choices. I personally would go with the 190s in your situation.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:54 AM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J E Custom View Post

In other words there is no reason to use a high BC Bullet if shorter distances are the norm,
I agree with this in the case of controlled expansion type bullets, but when it comes to highly frangible type bullets, bigger is ALWAYS going to be better. It will reduce impact velocity at closer ranges and bring more mass on target resulting in better penetration.

We just had a thread that delt with this issue in where the 250 Berger bullets were used in a 338 LM to shoot a moose inside 100 yds. It was a rear quartering shot and the bullets came apart penetrating only 8" and not reaching the vitals. The moose was finally brought down by a third shot to the neck. They blamed the bullet for poor performance whereas I blame it on poor bullet selection. Had they used the 300's instead, with less velocity and more mass, it would likely have been a quicker uneventful kill. But it does make for good bullet bashing fodder.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:12 AM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by backyardsniper View Post
I posted a thread here recently on the effectiveness of the 208 amax on elk. There were lots of very helpful responses, some of which got me thinking on another question. What is the ideal weight for hunting bullets in each caliber. This caused me to spend a great deal of time today on the ballistic calculator.

Let me explain what I'm thinking before I get to the question. If you were going to shoot only extremely long range at targets where you know you have a lot of time to range and figure wind then we all agree I think the heavier and the higher the BC the better. Lets use the 300wm for example. Right now my plans were to shoot the 208 amax which I think I can safely push to 2850-2900 in my 27in broughton 5c 300wm. I ran the numbers on the berger 190 at 3100 which I think is do able. I have not used this one but used to regularly get 2875 from the 210 in a 24"5r. If anyone is using these in a 300wm please feel free to give us some actual data. It takes roughly 26moa depending on atmospherics and altitude to reach 1K with the 208 at 375ASL where I live. The 190 gets there at 23moa with almost the same wind drift.

Now, I'm saying this based on a rifle that I plan to employ as a hunting rifle that may be shot from 30yd to I would say 800yd and maybe 1000 absolute max. Like 800yd on elk sized game 1000yds on whitetail sized game due to retained energy considerations and shooting skill level. The 190 gives you a 30" flatter trajectory at 1000yds. That is a lot more room for error in a hunting situation where lets say a deer is at 750yds when you range it then he moves to 780 before you take the shot. I know a bullet of that weight class has plenty of energy at those ranges because I see the Best of the West guys spanking stuff at 900-1100 yds with 168gr berger 7mm. Is there any guys out there running the, what we will call mid weight bullets, instead of the heavies for this reason. I understand the sectional density thing too but I think the 190 have plenty of that probably comparable to or better than the 168 class7mm stuff.
Just looking to get some opinions and thoughts on the subject. Remember were talking about a Longrange hunting rifle , but you want to be able to employ it in all conditions and positions with the most forgiving trajectory possible to help account for field error while still packing enough thump to handle business at the maximum range you intend to shoot.

Thanks guys
Here are my thoughts along with my previous post. 30" flatter trajectory @ 1000 yds doesn't really mean anything. If you are off 1 MOA @1000, it's going to be 1 MOA no matter what bullet you use and how fast it is going and dropping. 1 MOA is 1 MOA. The only place that trajectory counts is at closer ranges to point blank range and maybe a little farther. If getting the max point blank range is your goal then use the lightest, fastest bullet you can with a descent BC, that is adequate to do enough damage to effectively dispatch the game. But, don't use a highly frangible bullet like a Berger or an Amax or you will almost certainly have a bad experience and be tempted to blame it on the bullet.

Once you get to ranges that require you to make adjustments in terms of MOA, trajectory doesn't mean didly. Nada. Your rate of drop between the 2 bullets is going to be close enough that the margin of allowable error between the two is really negligible. And, at some point down range, the higher BC bullet will exceeed the lower BC bullet in velocity, in turn having actually a greater margin of allowble error due to trajectory, still negligible though.

My advice is, do yourself a favor and stick with the heavy high BC bullets. The benefits FAR outweigh the benefits of a lighter bullet which might get you 50 yds more point blank range.

I think the 215 hybrid is a perfect fit for the 300 WM or maybe even the 230. I'll be shooting 230's in my RUM

Hope that helps.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2013, 10:26 PM
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Re: Where is the balance between weight and speed?

In reference to the other post.... I think more went wrong there than just a bullet with low S.D. There was a bullet that was a tactical model, most likely had the tip closed up (all the OTM's I've killed stuff with had to have the needle in the nose trick), and a unwise shot for the type of bullet.

There is definitely a place for faster bullets, without needing to go to wicked fast "point and shoot" loads. Middle of the road, around 3000 fps, get you farther flatter with the same wind drift and more energy up to a point. The only down side to a slightly lighter bullet is the slightly lighter S.D.
I still have lots of love for the heavies, they just aren't always the best for an application.

The 250 OTM for example is still a heavy bullet! It still has a good S.D (.313 compared to the 215's .324). If it still beats the wind more at a desired distance, and shoots flatter, what's not to like? or a 168 compared to a 180 in 7mm? It still works well. In fact it was the bar for a lot of years for 7mm shooters.

I once shot 225 sst's at 3350 for a season. They are frangible, and they still killed a lot of deer. they have a fairly poor s.d!
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