.325 WSM bullet performance
Had an interesting day yesterday - we shot bullet tests all day Saturday with .308 Win and left the gear in the field. I went out to clean-up by myself yesteday - decided to shoot the .325 into some of the clay that was still in tubs.
First shot fired yesterday cost me 20 bucks! Tried an experiment where we suspended a mil-surp duffle back full of clay and water bags. Thought the bullet would go through canvas, mushroom in clay, stop in water. Duffle was suspended in one of our steel target frames, used two come-alongs to lift it 6" off the ground. Instead the hydraulic forces blew the front out of the bag - heavy canvas but blew it apart like a balloon! Thought I would get a better look at wound cavity if the clay was not sitting on a hard surface, had a block of clay that was damn near as big as the chest of a deer. Hornady A-Max did a great job on the clay, 9" wound cavity, very quick expansion but decent penetration on the type of clay used. I would use it on deer for sure. Second bullet fired only cost me eight bucks, partner pulled the shot a bit, blew the side competely out of a Rubbermaid tub. Ripped it apart also. One hundred yard impact velocity does nasty stuff. Can tell you guys something tho, the new Federal Fusion is a good bullet - holds together like the bonded higher$ bullets. Good accuracy through the Rem. VS we used.
Back to yesterday. First I needed a target so setup one of my steel 2'x4" on a steel frame. Then grunted the tubs of clay over to a location so I could see them near the target. Ugly, this stuff is like lead - we made up almost 1000 pounds of clay for bullet tests! Then setup the gear at the firing position and shot five factory Accubonds at the steel to get an idea of what the wind was doing and elevation. Then shot at the partial-sized block of clay, only about 6" up and down and 12" sideways visible through the damn grass and weeds since I did not use an elevated stand. No spotter, don't enjoy shooting long without a spotter. Couple misses high, pass-through dust so I knew I was missing, couple down-wind also. Only needed 2.5 moa right wind, wind was gusting to 17+ mph but oblique from five o'clock.Drove down to the clay, two or three bullets in perfect location, one mushroomed bullet lying right out in the open in front of a cavity. Used my metal detector to get the others - got three recoveries at 500, found another lying on the ground ten feet behind the damn clay - perfect mushroom. Prepped another block and moved to 400 yards. One sighter and shot 5-6 at the tub, saw the tub burst on last shot. Got two that time, used the detector again. Back to 400 and three more shots - down to block, got two more, one lying on the ground near the clay. Setup another block and move to 300. Shot a paper target, SHOOTNSEE and got perfect elevation, smaller block this time so needed good accuracy. Only seven cartridges left out of 40, had shot up some on a rock to confirm wind and elevation at the 500 and 400. Shot three at 300, got two again, very flattened out but excellent. Back to 300 and three more, got two again, one lying on the ground in front of another cavity. Sometimes the bullets bounce rearward, don't always stay at the end of the cavity.
Then used the metal detector to recover some Grand Slams from the day before from the back of another big block of clay - shot five got five! Then about 90 minutes of cleanup and packing all the gear, targets and frames and junk. Hour drive home, got home late, tired, but had a good day. NRA article coming up on long range performance of the .325 WSM.
Thought you guys might be interested in what goes into article preparation. I am also doing one on bullet testing so all this effort can be used for more than one story. Have used five different mediums to stop bullets so far, more to do. Have killed several critters now with the .325WSM, going to Manitoba next week for a fall bear hunt to try for another. Still not quite there with the bullet test medium, getting close but need to get the process simpler and less grunt-work. Metal detector is the answer, amazing how easy it is to get a bullet out of a big chunk of material. Takes time and lots of boolits. Have been doing this for three or four years, takes a lot of shooting to get a decent sample size that means anything, takes me at least that long to figure out what I am doing. Recoveries from dead critters are best, have some but not many since the bonded bullets like to go through.