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Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

 
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  #1  
Old 08-25-2013, 08:18 AM
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Location: Northwest Ohio
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Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

Anyone using Hornady's 178 grain BTHP Match out of a .308? I tried some the other day out of my stock Rem 700P at 200 yards. The grouping was better than I thought it would be. I like that they have a higher BC than most other bullets in that weight range (.530). I had them loaded under 41.7grs. of Varget in Rem brass being set off by CCI BR2 primer. I seated them to mag length which would be around 2.812" (2.145 to the ogive).

If I was figuring right, haven't ran through a chrony yet, they should be going about 2450fps or a little better at the muzzle. Going at that speed, will they make it to the 1000yrd. line without any problem?

I would like to hear about this bullet a little more out of your gun.

Rifle:
Remington 700P (stock)
26" barrel with 1:12 twist

Jason
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2013, 11:44 AM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

A friend of mine flirted with the Hornady 178g BTHP's last fall. He was getting very erratic performance from them. He went back to the 178g AMAX and is pretty much cleaning up at the local 600 yard F-T/R matches.

41.7g Varget? Why are you loading so light? You are at or below the starting load. Max should be around 45g or so with a velocity in the vicinity of 2700. With your current load, you should be around 2550 or so. You can go that slow if you want to, but there is likely to be an accuracy node well above where you are loading currently.

To answer your ballistics questions, go here:

www.jbmballistics.com
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2013, 03:58 PM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

Thank you the reply benchracer.

I was following the Hornady manuel. It says that 41.7grs. of Varget is close to the max. Max being 43.2grs. I looked on Hodgdons site and for a 180 gr. pill for Varget, min is 41grs. and max is 45grs. being compressed. For a 175gr. bullet, it says to start at 42grs. and max is 45grs. Also compressed. I do have a load that I found that works for this gun. it is 175 SMK on top of 42.5grs. of Varget. I still get a little flatten primer with this load but not as bad as when I tried 44.0grs. of Varget. With the 42.5gr load im getting 2575fps. I would like to get closer to 2600 but I can get 1/4 moa at 200 yards with it.

One reason why I looked at this bullet was the .530 BC. Thought it would handle the wind better going to 1000yds.

Jason
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2013, 11:42 AM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

I own a copy of Hornady's latest manual, but I am not in a place where I can get to it any time soon. If memory serves, Hornady breaks the .308 down into separate sections for bolt action rifles and for service rifles. Are you sure you're not using service rifle data?

Hornady lists a mv of 2600 fps for their standard match ammo with the 178g BTHP. You should be able to better that slightly with a 26" barrel without much trouble.

As for your flattened primers, that is not a reliable pressure indicator. Cratered primers would be a defininte red light. Flattened primers can happen at low OR high pressure. One thing to pay attention to is if your loads are smoking the case necks. If you are getting smoked/sooted case necks and flat primers, that is a pretty good indication of a LOW pressure load. Many factory loads will flatten primers, FYI.

As for the bullets themselves, my friend was having issues with the jackets coming apart in flight. He had several of them splatter against plywood backers @ 600 yards. Accuracy was very erratic. I strongly suspect a bad batch of bullets. If they are shooting well for you, by all means stay with them.

I have been shooting 185g Berger Classic Hybrid Hunters and RL-17 with very good results. The bc of these bullets is very similar to the Hornady BTHP's and the Hornady bullets are quite a bit less expensive.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2013, 06:45 PM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

I check the manuel again. I am using the section for bolt guns. I did see the service gun section and those loads are even lower.

185 Berger Classic Hunters? That might be another option to look into.

Thank you benchracer

Jason
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2013, 07:14 PM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

Benchracer,

Here is the reason I thought I should take another look at the Hornady 178 BTHP. These were shot out of a clean/cold barrel. I loaded these up to foul the barrel for testing some other loads that I had loaded up. I shot 3 foulers. I thought this was very impressive. And the target was at 200 yards. The other holes in the target were from another gun so don' t pay any attention to them.

Jason

Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match-068.jpg
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2013, 01:24 AM
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Re: Hornady 178gr. BTHP Match

That is an impressive group indeed! I can see why you would want to stay with that bullet.

Keep in mind that, generally speaking, it is preferable for your bullet to remain above the transonic velocity range (above mach 1.2) all the way to your target. The reason for that is the potential for buffeting that can upset bullet stability as the bullet passes through transonic and then to subsonic velocities. Some bullets are more tolerant to this than others. With its long, shallow boat tail, the Hornady 178g BTHP would probably be one of the more tolerant bullets. Only testing at your desired distance would tell you for sure.

With a mv of 2450, your bullet would enter the transonic range somewhere between 700 and 800 yards at sea level. A mv of 2575 would extend that by another 100 yards or so.

Though your rifle/load combination is grouping VERY well, I think it would be worthwhile to do a powder charge workup all the way to max. I would be very surprised if you don't find a higher velocity accuracy node. Here is a good, efficient method of doing a powder charge workup:

OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System

As it stands, your current accuracy load looks like it would do very well out to 700 yards or so. If you really want to go to 1000, though, I think you will want more velocity.
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