Originally Posted by Lightvarmint
I don't know what the intentions of the test were, but what I have gleaned from it is the following:
--HAT Bullets did not stabilize at the lower velocities at your altitude. Specifically, the launch velocity did not stabilize the bullet and it was in a yaw condition both when passing over the chronograph and upon impact in the expansion medium. FWIW, simulating long range velocities without the proper initial rpm on the bullet seems a bit fruitless for diagnostic testing purposes. The 280s are fairly longer than the 300 smks and so the smks could have been more stable due to the shorter oal.
--Why not just put the target at 1000 and shoot it at normal velocities and get a legitimate expansion test that leaves no questions unanswered with respect to expansion in newspapers?
--Unstable bullets do not chronograph well.
--Unstable bullets do not penetrate or expand well.
The new dies are here and they have less bearing surface than the old dies. New 338 bullets will be in testing shortly.
Finally, I don't see why so many folks are interested in the .338 version anyway. The 220s out of a 30/378 will spank the poop out of a 338/408 Cheytac improved using a 300 smk in drift, energy and trajectory. Specifically, it passes it in energy right at 1700 yards. So why not play with the ones that will yield "Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before" while using 40 grains less powder?
Our season opens on 8/15, so maybe we can get a meat test under field conditions shortly.
I will respond to your points.
One: It is obvious there was some yaw in the HATs as they went through the chrono and that gave them the lower bc. HOwever, I'm at a high altitude and bullets stabilize easier here than they do most other places in the country. Just something to keep in mind.
ANd for Long range use, we have to depend on the bullet we choose to open up reliably at ANY VELOCITY including and most importantly LOW velocity. What is the point of building a Long range hunting bullet with a super high bc but only having a short range terminal ballistic window?
And remember, RPM's are coincidental to a bullet's stability. You can fudge stability a bit by increasing velocity, but there comes a point when a bullet has to rely on the gyroscopic spin imparted to it by the twist of the barrel. Bullets will have yaw in a couple places in their trajectories even though they were properly stabilized. If your bullet isn't perfectly following it's point when it hits the animal, it should still be designed to open up and cause damage regardless because you don't know at what distance and what caliber and what speed your consumer is going to use the bullet to kill an animal. I am going to kill an elk at 1500 yards or 1 mile and my velocities and rpm's at that distance will be very similar to the test I performed at 100 yards although the stability will hopefully be better. Can that change the terminal? Yes. Will it? I don't know. But the tips of these bullets are still intact and hardly bent. So that tells me that the bullet is not frangible enough for a long range kill regardless of rpm's, stabilization, velocity, or anything else.
The 300 smk was stabilzed better obviously but it probably still did exhibit yaw as most long bullets do before they go to sleep and longer distances than 100 yards. SO it is probably safe to say that there was not a perfect "tip on" impact with them either yet they still had good terminal peformance. And their RPM's were very similar to the HAT's as they were only 20 to 30 fps different and shot from the same barrel with the same twist rate.
Two: Ideally, putting the newspapers at 1000 yards and shooting them at normal muzzle velocities would be a better test I admit. However, I have done this with the Lapua Scenars and comparisons were similar. Also, it gets very hard to put a bullet EXACTLY where you need it within an inch or two at 1000 yards so as not to stack bullets into the same wound channel and distort the results. So a VERY good load must be developed and ideal conditions must be achieved to do this kind of testing and I simply didn't want to burn up 100 to 200 more rounds of barrel life on developing a load for a bullet that may or may not work. Not to mention the money involved in doing so. So for practicality, the reduced MV test at 100 yards is adequate and will tell you what you want to know as long as you test in COMPARISON.
Three: "unstable bullets do not penetrate well". Agreed. But looking at the pics of the jackets on these recovered bullets, do you honestly thing these bullets would have expanded better had they been shot from a 1-6" barrel at 2000 fps? Possibly, but I seriously doubt it. The heavy jacket of this bullet would give more influence to the test than a bullet that is slightly more "tip-on straight" when it hit the media I believe. MOre testing needs to be done and I don't want to say there is no hope for these HAT bullets in any way. I am simply suggesting, from what I have seen and experienced, that these bullets are built too tuff to offer long range killing ability so some redesigning will be in order if this is the intent.
Four: New dies? So If I had found these bullets to work well and spent a grundle of money to work up a load for them, when were we going to find out that the "old" bullet was no longer going to be available? Or are you going to produce both bullets? When bullet manufacturers change dies or discontinue bullets, people tend to get really upset!
Five: This one is simple. My custom long range hunting rig is a .338 caliber. I have a 30 too but I'm not going to rebarrel my 338 to a 30 so I can have two 30's and be able to shoot these bullets which I'm not yet convinced are game bullets!
In closing, please understand I reported this in an unbiased way. I feel it is better to have people aware of a product's full capabilities and be fully tested before it is advertised as something it is not. I truly hoped (and hope) that you guys can produce an ultra high bc bullet that opens up and kills quickly at all ranges and whatever I can do to help you achieve this I will do. thanks