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Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

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Unread 03-10-2004, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 34
Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

Are heavy bullets always better,or where is the line between the two.

lighter bullet with say a bc of .355@3800fps
heavy bullet with say a bc of .420@ 3300fps

I know energy is the big dif but some times the lighter bullet with more speed beats the wind better.This is more directed towards long range coyote hunting.

heavy,slower bullets in a larger cal as aposed to lighter faster bullets in a smaller cal.
It is ALL about bc. numbers is'nt it???

Are the balistic programs allways right in the number they show.

[ 03-10-2004: Message edited by: Crazycooydog ]
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Unread 05-24-2009, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: land of Oz
Posts: 38
Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

Idont even worry about the BC as Im a lot more concerned with the rate of twist in the bore and what bullet I choose to shoot thru the bore for propper bullet stabilization,my drive in the game is to hit a nickel at 100yds or qa golf ball at 300 yds and if I can do that then I feel confident that I can take the heart out of anything that walks out to 300 yds and if I can take his heart out then he isnt going far..............................
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Unread 05-27-2009, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

The bullet examples you list really are not that far apart and the "high BC" bullet is not really all that high and the "low BC" bullet is not really all that low. To be honest, they are both medium range BC bullets.

I am really suprised at the velocity spread in your comparision as the BCs are really not all that far apart which would tell me bullet weight would likely not be much different if same caliber. Perhaps the case capacity is dramatically different in your comparision between the two which we do not have that information.

There is never a BEST choice, there are better choices for sure but it all depends on the situation and many different bullet will work in several different situations.

In reality, if your shooting under 500 yards, the lightweight, high velocity bullets will generally shoot flatter then the heavier slower bullets even if they have a dramatically higher BC.

If its windy, the heavy bullet may have an advantage at 500 yards but likely they will be very close simply because of the velocity advantage of the lighter bullet.

If you stretch things out to past 1/2 mile, the higher BC bullets will nearly always make hits easier at these ranges and farther, especially when its windy out or even breezy. Does that mean they are the best bullet, depends on what your doing and what you need the bullet to do once it arrives on target.

Simply put, there is never a single best bullet design, many will work, some are just better then others at certain things.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 05-28-2009, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 214
Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets


I think your answer a great generic summary.

If, however, the target type, worst anticipated ambient condition, and maximun range at which that target will be engaged is specified... would you entertain the idea that there is always an optimum projectile/charge/barrel combination?

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Unread 05-28-2009, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

There are only two things that affect wind resistance. Velocity and BC. Heavier bullets tend to buck wind better because heavier bullets uusall have higher BC's, but not always, depending on their shape.

As Kirby mentioned, it depends on the situation and the kind of shooting you are doing. Lighter and faster bullets will have a flatter trajectory in short to medium ranges, but then they loose velocity quckly due to their lower BC.

The best way to detirmine which bullet is best for your application is to crunch the numbers in a ballisitic calc using likely BC and velocity.


Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 05-28-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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Unread 05-28-2009, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 37
Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

The best solution would be to run a exterior ballistic program, like montanRifleaman mentioned. Ive been using the Sierra ballistic software for almost 8 years,serves me well. And its relatively inexpensive. Oh ya and if you plug in the envirnment parameters thier usually pretty accurate.(i sometimes bypass that operation when getting rough estimates)
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Unread 05-25-2012, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 29
Re: Heavy bullets vs.light bullets

"Are the balistic programs allways right in the number they show."

Yes, the programs work on math formulas and all of the info you give or have is math based. So if the data inserted in the program is accurate, the results will be accurate.

If you want to see this work, take a look at the program Silhouette Ballistics. It allows for a great deal of data imput including, temp, pressure, humidity, altitude, wind, BC, velocity, scope settings and the actual true scope adjustments for your scope. It will give you sight setting in 25 yard increments out to 1,000 yards that are accurate based on your zero distance.

I have used the program to convert my normal sea level, high humidity shooting location's sight settings, to various locations in the US including the high desert at 4,500 ft for a world championship match.

If you put the program on a lap top you could adjust the data at the match or in the field.
Those that beat their guns into plows will plow for those that do not.
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