Bullet choices, what do you think? I value your opinion
Looking for some feedback from you guys out there, gals too if your there (I ain't sexist when it comes to shooting). I am about to mix up some of my hand loads and it never hurts to get opinions from others. First off I’ll tell you what I have, what my uses are, what my issues are, and what I am thinking of.
I have three hunting rifles that I hand load for, I hunt mulies and elk mostly, pronghorn occasionly. I have two Remington 700BDLs, one in 7RM (got it when I was 15 and that was quite a while ago, 1971 to be exact) the other 700 is a .300 WinMag. The 7RM sports a Leupold 4x12x40 Vari-X II that I just sent off to Leupold to have a CDS elevation turret installed. The .300 has a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5x14x40 with BDC reticle and sf. My third rifle is a Springfield 03-A3 that is at the gunsmiths where he is re-installing the 30-06 barrel. The Springfield has a Leupold 3x9x40 VX-II scope. I do not have any current developed loads for the 30-06, but I am going to start with H414 and IMR4350 powders.
I have used 180gr Accubonds on the .300 with great success, they are accurate, (¾” groups at 100 yards, 1 1/2” groups at 200 yards) and perform well (the last two elk I have killed were at 297 yards and 350 yards and one shot and they dropped in their tracks).
I load 160gr Accubonds in my 7RM, again they are accurate and perform well, but I have a problem with the .300 and 7RM cartridges looking so close to each other, especially with both Accubonds having the same white polymer tip. For that reason I have always thought it would be an excellent idea to find another bullet for one of these rifles.
Since I was just about to start loading for the 30-06, doing research on the net is what brought me to this site. I had heard so many good things regarding Berger bullets for hunting that I decided to buy a box of Berger .308 168gr VLC hunting bullets. Once I researched it more here I wish I would have held off purchasing the bullets.
From what I gathered from my research here regarding the Berger bullets for hunting is that they are extremely accurate and upon impact will “explode” after a few inches of penetration therefore causing devastating exit wounds. I had always used the philosophy of retaining as much of the bullet weight as possible. With the innovation of the bonded bullets over the past 10 years I have found that I could use a bullet that retained much of its weight and still be constructed with a good ballistic coefficency (therefore good accuracy). With the bonded bullets I developed very accurate loads with bullets that had good knockdown power and I had good results with. I understand the benefit of the Berger bullet at even longer than usual ranges (I’ll say in excess of 400 yards). I am not against change in thought and I am willing to give this new philosophy a try (the bullet breaking up rather than retaining as much of the weight as possible). After all I started using bonded bullets only after giving ballistic tips a try and having them fail. The idea of the ballistic tip flying good was great, but it took the bonding process to make it a good hunting bullet. I had found that the ballistic tip just didn’t have the knockdown power for elk hunting.
I am now thinking that I will stick with the 180gr Accubonds in my .300, they have always done me well. Maybe trying the 168gr Bergers in the 30-06 or offering them up in a trade, but changing to the 165gr Scirocco or 165gr Hornady Interbond, as my main hunting bullet in the 30-06. In the 7RM I think I am going to the 168gr Berger VLC Hunting bullet.
I have a couple other changes I am thinking of as well. I am thinking of purchasing a HS Precision, McMillian, or Bell and Carlson stock with the metal insert for the .300 and maybe changing to a thumbhole wood stock and Leupold 6.5x20x40 VX-III with AO on the 7RM and using it strictly for long range hunting or competition shooting. After all that expense I suppose a heavier flutted barrel would be next. But the stock discussion will be for another thread. For now I would love to hear your opinions in what I have stated above regarding my bullets and what I had said.
If you can read this, thank a teacher
If it's in English, thank a soldier