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300 Norma Mag

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Old 04-23-2012, 07:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,587
Re: 300 Norma Mag

Dave,Just as you posted.I have 2 friends that shoot 1000 bench,Penn. rules and work at it.They both have 2 current records,each and have broke their old records.One has 6agg.4.88 and 10 agg 5.89, the other 6 agg 99.5 and 10 agg96.8.The first has a stack of targets in the 2's,doesnt keep 3's.These are shot in ideal conditions at day break,like 5:30 am.I have watched him do it.His matches start at 9am due to rules,and there is always some wind. If his gun shot to the top high end of his groups,he told me he would saw it up and start over. He just built a heavy 6 dasher and shot a 100 at first match with it. The rifle will shoot tighter,it is not luck,and needs least wind for the dasher to excel .
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:08 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,114
Re: 300 Norma Mag

Originally Posted by DAVETOOLEY View Post
So let's see one 10 shot group at 600 yds. published in1971 in the American Rifleman is gospel.
You forgot I mentioned he shot several others about the same size. Later that day, he put 40 shot inside 1.93 inches at 600 with the same ammo and rifle. But it's OK by me if you dismiss this or ho-hum it by other means.

One test at Sierra in the tunnel out of a machine rest, probably shooting 168's- big deal.
Wrong, but yes, it's a big deal. Sierra first ballistic was also a top level high power shooter. When he tested production runs of 30 caliber HPMK's, he had dozens of full length sized, primed and powder charged cases (metered, not weighed) ready to have bullets seated and shot from rail guns in their 100-yard test range in California. 168 and 180 HPMK's were tested in .308 Win. cases; 190 and 200 grain HPMK's were tested in 30 caliber belted magnum cases. As the cored jackets went through the final stage pointing machine, he would grab 10 of them, seat 'em in those cases then shoot them. When those 10-shot groups got down into the ones (indicating a very uniform lot of jacket material and very uniform jackets), he would move a special barrel under the pointing machine. As long as test groups were in the ones, those lanolin coated ugly bullets went into that barrel. When test groups went up into the twos and threes, he moved a production barrel under the pointing machine, scraped the top inch or so of bullets out of the special barrel then put them in the other one. That production barrel went to the rubber lined cement mixers full of wood chips where the lanolin was removed and bullets polished bright and shiny for packaging in green boxes.

Meanwhile, that special barrel's bullets would be packaged in 1000 round plain brown boxes, a blank shipping label affixed then in pencil the bullet weight and caliber would be written on the box top. Those bullets were shipped to two folks who sold them at high power matches to anybody for abot 10% less than what green boxes retailed for. They shot about 40% more accurate than those sold at retail in green boxes. I've still got some 180's, 190's and 200's in those brown boxes. Sierra quit this practice when they moved their plant to Missouri. I've tested them in my '60's era 30 caliber magnums with both full length sized and brand new cases getting 5-shot group averages around 3 to 4 inches and 20 or 30 shot test groups wel under 6 inches.

I was fortunate to get a couple 1000 bullet special boxes of 30 caliber 155's to help the US Palma Team develop loads for that bullet in 1991. I shot 20 of 'em into 3.2 inches at 800 yards. A friend grabbed 20 of 'em at random from a Dillon 1050 progressive loading them in brand new cases with metered charges of IMR4895 under bullets with runout of up to .004 inch then shot them into 2.7 inches at 600 yards with his ' 60's era pre '64 Win. 70 based rifle. I had the high aggreate score over 5 days shooting them in the first long range match in which that ammo was used by everyone. Group wise, over 95% of my shots stayed in the 600 yard 12-inch 10 ring and the 20 inch 10 ring at 800, 900 and 1000 yards. None were more than about 1.5 MOA away from center.

It's ok by me if you thumb your nose at this too.

Smart folks know that a long range benchrest aggregate record in the 5 and 6 inch range includes some groups larger than the average. Statistically speaking the big ones go up to about 50% larger. Realistically speaking, sometimes the biggest one is twice as large, but the smallest one has to be tiny to get the average well under tha biggest one. But benchresters don't like to discuss nor mention the biggest groups they shoot; doesn't matter that they happen just as often as the smallest ones.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 14
Re: 300 Norma Mag

You confirm everything I've been saying. I don't doubt what you say is true but back then you admit it was a special lot with some luck involved. Now there is a much higher level of expertise and consistancy in the manufacturing process of all the componets we use.
I very familiar with both Sierra and Hornady as I have worked with them on several projects. 1991 and Sierra, let see that was German guilding metal for the jackets. For a number of years there Sierra couldn't do anything wrong. That changed about '95 or so when they went to Olin for their raw stock. I do know a little something about the business.

You just don't get it so I'm done.
Dave Tooley
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:10 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 151
Re: 300 Norma Mag

What twist rate would you recommend for the Berger 230's and the 300 Norma with a 26" barel, if the application were to be for ELR? Does a faster twist make a difference? If you have first hand knowledge, and are willing to share, I'd be most grateful.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:57 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,114
Re: 300 Norma Mag


For 190's and 200's, a 1:12 has been good in 28" barrels. But for a 26" barrel for hunting, a 1:10 would ensure good accuracy in very cold weather.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pocahontas, AR
Posts: 894
Re: 300 Norma Mag

Originally Posted by DAVETOOLEY View Post
If you know how to manage carbon fouling and heat checking you can expect 900 good rounds out of the 300 Norma. The 30-375 is a better balanced round. By that I mean you get enough of a boost in velocity over the 300WM without increasing recoil much, as well as shortening barrel the life. It works with a .523 bolt face VS the need for a custom action for a 300 Norma. It works very well with heavy bullets. I've shot it out to 2K. With that being said there are no free lunches.
I was thinking that about the 30-375 Ruger though I do not have any personal experience with the round, just seems to me for the average guy (in budget) using a Model 700 action it would be a good way to go.
You will not make peace with the Blue Coats, you are free to go.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:10 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Smalltown, Virginia
Posts: 389
Re: 300 Norma Mag

welp..i was wondering about this caliber a while ago and finally emailed Jimmie Sloan. He assures me that if the barrel is well taken care of the barrel should hold good accuracy from 2500-3000 rounds!!!...

Now.. I am no expert and I didnt design the cartridge... But similar cartridges in the same class get no where near that amount of barrel life. I have heard of the .300wsm getting 3000 rounds but I am sorry to have to disagree with mr. sloan. I doubt you would get 3000 rounds with the .338 norma. I was going to be excited if he told me that they were getting 1000 rounds down the tube before accuracy starts to fall off.
"...I shoot big cartridges, not because I am ego bound, not because they are needed to kill big game when well placed shots are made, but when an error is made, they will get you out of trouble more often then a lesser round."

--Kirby Allen
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