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190gn and up in .300win mag?

 
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  #1  
Old 09-23-2009, 04:08 PM
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Location: Aussie in Italy
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190gn and up in .300win mag?

I'm preparing a load for hunting ibex in Kyrgyzstan in 3 weeks time.
The 220SMK, 200SMK, 190SMK, are the pool of hevier bullets I have to choose from. I only have IMR4895, VV N160 and VVN560 to use as powders.

I wasn't able to find much info on these weights for loads, so I'd like to hear what people have found works best out to the 800 yard mark. Can I get away with a 180gn bullet for these kinds of distances?

Any advice would be appreaciated, tomorrow I will shoot the first batch of 220grainers and see if they prefer one specific powder, if the 220gn SMK's wont shoot then I'll start looking at the lighter choices. I'm running a Shilen select match grade barrel, 1:10 twist, so it should stabilize, 26" long on a trued Remington 700 action out of a Manners stock.

Thanks.

Last edited by EXPRESS; 09-23-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:20 PM
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Re: 190gn and up in .300win mag?

EXPRESS, I used to shoot a 13 lb Shilen barreled .300 Win Mag at 1000 yds with 200 gr full patch bullets and 190 gr Smkhp's. With IMR 4350 and Rem 9 1/2 M primers, the rifle was a laser with either bullet and could buck wind like crazy.

For a long range hunting load, I would start with a 200 gr Nosler Accubond and Hodgdon's H-4350. It should fall in at around 2900 fps. Get some instrumentals on S/D and velocity, use exterior ballistics tables to estimate bullet path and retained energy, then verify the path on targets.

This sounds like the trip of a lifetime. You don't have much time to develop the load and build absolute confidence in it before you go. On the up side though, the .300 Win is a fine cartridge and should come in quickly. It's not finicky, it's very accurate, and will retain enough energy to drop an Ibex at 800 yds.

After re-reading your question, I'll make some default recommendations. Of the components you list as available, I'd go with the 190 gr Matchking and one of the VV powders. 4895 is too fast. I've killed whitetails instantly with the 190 Smkhp, but some people find them to be inconsistent on expansion. They do fly straight though.

I hope you have a great hunt.

Best of luck, Tom
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Last edited by specweldtom; 09-24-2009 at 12:26 PM. Reason: add Win Mag
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:20 AM
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Re: 190gn and up in .300win mag?

Well after todays session, I found that the 220gn SMK's shoot just so fine that I have settled on the bullet.

A load of 62.6gn of VV N560 gave 2550fps and a group of .38MOA.
Next in line was VV N560 with 65.5gn and that shot .8MOA at 2650fps.
This was just preliminary testing but I think there is very little to play with here. I am pretty sure that I can get the 220SMK to about 2800/2750fps since there are no pressure signs yet.
VV N160 was right on MOA, IMR4895 was all over the place.
Was shooting at 300 meters, breeze up to 8mph at times.
I might do a ladder shoot tomorrow or just make up some 3 shot batches to see where the sweet spot is, if I can find another one closer to 2800.
What kinds of speeds are people getting with the 220grainers in .300wim mag?

I honestly can't see a problem with terminal ballistics using the 220gn SMK on ibex, there is just so much lead and SD there that even if it does start to come apart there will still be a big chunk there to carry on. With a BC of .629 it's going to be wicked shooting through the wind, and I prefer to compensate more more drop than dope more wind.

Things look good, and I've got plenty of free time to dedicate to shooting before I go, only real hassle is that it's almost unseasonably hot here now, which means long pauses between shots and higher pressures compared to what I will get in Kyrgyzstan.
I spent the evening preparing 100 pieces of new brass, tomorrow I'll shoot some more and start to experiment the drop at the longer ranges.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:31 AM
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Re: 190gn and up in .300win mag?

Man, you're off to a running start. The 220's are great bullets, I'm just surprised at the velocities you're reaching. My experience was that the 190's were about optimum for the .300 Win., with the right balance of B/C, velocity and trajectory. However, in my rifle, the 200 grain full patch bullets did have a slight accuracy edge at 600 yds and beyond, so I used them in competition, but hunted with the 190's. I don't remember why I didn't stick with the 220's, but it was probably velocity. Best I can recall, they only went about 2500 with safe loads of IMR 4350. I did try them recently in a .30 x .378, with fair results.

I also dope elevation much better than I can dope wind.

Your group sizes are real confidence builders, and you're right about the wind bucking qualities of the 220's. I agree wth you on sticking with them at this point. Tuning your loads to absolute optimum is a great way to spend some time just getting real comfortable with your rifle/load combination. Try some sitting shots too. You may not always be able to get prone if tall grass or terrain interferes.

I'm guessing it'll be much colder in Kyrgyrzstan than where you are now. Get your final zero in Italy at as low a temperature as possible. A drop in temperature of more than 10 deg F from your zeroing temp will probably drop the impact point measurably at 300 meters and get worse at longer ranges. We used to dope 1 moa bullet drop for every 10 deg F drop from zeroing temperature (with 4895 in .308 Win). I don't know how the VV powders handle temp changes. Something else to consider is a change in geographic elevation. The rifle will shoot flatter at higher altitudes. If at all possible, check your zero and trajectory when you get to your hunting area. Nothing like knowing for sure. Barring that, do the ballistics tables at different lower temperatures and higher elevations and take the data with you. It's the next best thing to actually firing under the prevailing conditions, and just doing the homework is itself a confidence builder.

Remember to clean any grease out of the inside of your bolt, and only use a very light oil sparingly on any moving parts. I would also wash out my trigger with a spray brake cleaner solvent and blow it dry with compressed air. It won't hurt it to be oil-free for a few shots, and you can relubricate it when you get back. It may change the feel of the trigger, but it won't get "muddy" or seize up when you need it.

I apologize for getting so long winded and preachy, but old guys apparently can't help it.

I hope you have a great hunt, and would really enjoy hearing about it when you get back.

Good luck and good hunting, Tom
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:54 AM
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Re: 190gn and up in .300win mag?

Cheers Tom,
I was surprised at the velicities I got too. I was expecting it to max out around 2500fps, but that's what the starting loads gave!

I have some prepared up to 66.5gn of VV N560 and will see how far I can go before the pressure starts to show, if it gives great accuracy and a little pressure I won't be bothered, I'll just keep them for the colder temps in Kyrgyzstan and keep on shooting a little milder here before I go. Got 50 rounds lined up for tomorrow morning, for a little more load development and getting the feel of these 220's at distance. Was planning on shotting today, but I forgot that today is a "silence" - no shooting on fridays or Tuesdays.
Tomorrow I should have some more news.
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