Have you considered factory loaded 180 grain Failsafe ammo - we shot a case of it a while back and had superb accuracy all the way out to 1000 yards. Failsafes are very reliable game bullets on tough critters.
Otherwise I would use a bonded bullet and there are lots of good ones. I have dropped some pretty big hogs with 165 Trophy Bonded bullets, and also 180 Swift Sciroccos with excellent success.
Today I shot the following bullets into a heavy clay medium to compare expansion and penetration: Swift Scirocco, Swift A-Frame, Speer Trophy Bonded, Remington Core-lokt Ultra, Hornady Interbond, SST and standard interlocks. I shot a .308 Win. into large blocks of moisture-saturated clay at 100 and 200 yards. Which were best - damn good question.
Let's just say that the non-bonded bullets did not retain nearly as much weight, the jackets parted from the cores and they did not penetrate like the bonded bullets. I believe that they would have killed a deer but might have gone to hell on a tougher critter (like a hog's shoulder).
For the money the Hornady Interbond is going to be very difficult to beat - it is a significant improvement over the SST in accuracy and weight retension.
Nosler's Accubond is a beautiful bullet that shoots great and retains a very high percentage of its initial weight. In .30 cal it is only available in 200 grain so far, but that would work in your WSM although I would prefer something a little lighter.
Ian, would love to get some comparative info. What you have illustrated would make sense for conventional short range hunting. However, when ranges go 500yds and over, impact vel drops off so that "premium" bullets may actually become a liability.
As always, choose the right bullet for the impact vel, size of game and amount of penetration needed. We now have so many different options that we can choose the right bullet to suit our situation.
Was shooting some clays at 700yds last week and found some 87gr Vmax in the dirt. The mushroom was picture perfect. Would have been perfect for smaller big game like Antelope and Southern white tail. Normally, that bullet would be a horrible choice for hunting but when slowed down, maybe not so crazy. Impact vel is estimated at 1700fps.
I think we need to change our thinking from "best" bullet to "correct" bullet.
As usual you are right-on. My testing has been at 100 and 200 so far since those are the ranges the readers of a certain mag are most likely to be interested in. I am going to do this at extended ranges, hope to go right out to 700 BUT this is one ugly amount of work. Hands feel like freeking sandpaper, that stuff shrivels you up like a prune (there are certain places you don't ever want to get it on [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )
Will have some impact velocities to go with the weight retension - no use doing this stuff if you don't know how fast the damn bullet is going when it hits.
You would like the setup I developed today - had to figure how to move a 100+ pound block of clay by myself and how to shoot the block with an almost assured possibility of bullet recovery (I cheat a bit, use a metal detector). No hernias popping yet, but this is getting awful close to resembling work!
My numbers indicate that what you suggest is going to be a reality, but need lots more shooting and bullet recovery before I would make that statement. Maybe your beloved SST's will be the ultimate LR bullet!!!
I tend to agree with Jerry, but like you say, more testing really needs to be done to see how they open up at LR. Look forward to your tests, as always. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
My brother just showed me a bullet he recovered from the sand bank that he shot out of his 470 Capstick, it was a 600gr Hawk bonded core bullet. I'll post a pic, ha! You'll get a big laugh at this one! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
I'll give you a clue, It's bigger than a golfball and fast approaching the size of a baseball!! I'll have to weigh it. Keep in mind, this thing is a bonded core bullet too, and for BIG game.
Ian, Similar shooting test was done in Shooting times several months back. The results resemble yours. At high impact vel/close range, only the premium bullets held together and penetrated a long ways.
The wound channels of the softpoints would still be enough to kill most animals with a broadside shot. These wound channels were larger and shallower as expected.
At lower vel, almost all of the bullets penetrated the same with the best wound channels going to the softpoints. The premiums acted more or less like solids.
Nice to see a trend back towards moderate size cartridges for hunting. Now the hunter will have the best of all worlds because the bullets today can give then elephant style penetration, match type accuracy, and/or bombshell wound channel just by changing the bullet.
The '06 and its siblings/similar sized cases are going to be very busy.
I believe that one can say "there are bonded bullets, and then there are bonded bullets." I am detecting two different performance perameter ranges in the 165's. Very significant differences in when the expansion begins and frontal diameter of the expanded bullets when they travel and impact at similar velocities. Need more mudding to make that statement with confidence.
Interesting result of the shooting test was a five shot group that measured 1" at 100 yards shot with five different bullets - impact location did not vary much.
I am just south of Clanton, Ala. I hunt hogs on my cousin's place about a mile from me. He has open fields that span aprox .75 mile. My place is mostly wooded with just a couple of greenfields for taking whitetail, the longest being varily over 300 yds.
I can still get within 500-700 yds on the hogs. The last time I hunted elk was in the early '70s a couple of years before I joined the USMC. I always managed to get within 400 yds then. I used a .270 Win 130 gr Gamekings on every thing I took then.
I am using H4350 with the 190 SMK now but will eventually try H4831.
Ian, that was a great article on the .300 WSM to 1000 yds. It is what helped me to use a Mike Rock barrel. My rifle does not like the FS and just slightly better than 2.2" at 300 yds.
Hogs are not near as tough as reputed. There is a lot of callous "armor" skin on the front that they develop moving through briars. I have no doubt this has stopped or shredded bullets. Their lungs are also very far forward and the diaphram is only slightly behind their shoulders and hunters probably have shot in the rumen thinking they were hitting center lung.
Again, many thanks. And my e-mail problem is my fault. I should have used REC USMC RET@wmconnect.com with the spaces. I tried to correct it and could not reenter it im my profile with the spaces.
Rapid fire is the crutch of an incompetent marksman. ONE SHOT, ONE KILL