My wife has been having trouble connecting on deer (250ish yrds) since moving to a new stand (great stand) were she can now shoot as far as 400 yards. I know this has been talked about alot but I always like to get fresh info. I had ordered her 115 grn berger for a bolt action Rem 700 cdl .257 wby mag sf we have. She was shooting an old semi 742 since most my family and friends reload for me and and already have the Nosler AB 110 and nosler 100 partitions. I want try the Partitions because it will be stronger if she has to take a 50 yrd shot on a deer at such high velocities but still at those velocities they should loose some weight and cause extra damage.. My friends love the bergers. But Im worried bout her getting a 40 yd shot on a big buck and what if her only shot is the shoulder? Im confident that at these velocities the bergers will kill well with a chest shot. But if she only get a shoulder shot they worry me. I would like to try them all but I dont like chancing wounding deer so saying that I can work up a good 33-3400 fps load for her 257 wby mag which bullet knowing that she may have to shoot her buck in the neck, shoulder or chest at up to 300 yds and farther. We live in the woods and can shoot alot and what ever load I decide she is going to practice WAY more befor next season.
But Im worried bout her getting a 40 yd shot on a big buck and what if her only shot is the shoulder? Im confident that at these velocities the bergers will kill well with a chest shot. But if she only get a shoulder shot they worry me.
And worried you rightfully should be. Two cons here right off the bat: high velocity at short range, and a frangible bullet at long range and if close up, who knows what would happen. Con #3 is smaller bullet.
You wrote that she has up to 400 yards. So forget the Bergers. I've killed about 5 deer at 50 yards and under with Bergers but they were bigger bullets: 150s in .277 and 210s in .308. No problems.
For 400 and less yards, try a bonded tipped bullet like the Scirocco (my favorite bonded) or the AB. In fact, just about any good bullet will work at that distance. I'd even consider a TTSX and if I were in her stand, I'd purposely aim at shoulder.
Thinking about it, I'd go with the TTSX hands down. You can't go wrong, especially with the velocities the 257 can produce. My experience is the TTSX and TSX love high velocities in each rifle I've used them in.
I second the TTSX vote. I shot my buck this year with an 80gr. TTSX at 35 yds with my 25-06. The load cronyed at 3699 fps from my a-bolt. The deer was running broad side at 35yds and with the my scope on 12x it was hard to find him. The result was a marginal shot hitting farther back than I would have liked. The TTSX clipped the back of both lungs and turned the liver to jello. The deer kept running but left an instant blood trail wider than any braodhead I've every seen. The deer piled up about 50yds away completely drained out. Awesome performance! BTW, the bullets needed to be seated .075" off the lands to get the best groups (.495"). Try'em, you'll like'em!
"My wife has been having trouble connecting on deer (250ish yrds) since moving to a new stand"
I'm not really making the connection here, help me understand please? Your wife isn't hitting deer she sees at 250 yards? That's how I'm reading this. Or am I getting it wrong?
If that's the case - different handloads may not really be the key - what is important is getting her some practice, and perhaps making it real easy for her by sighting the rifle in at 200 yards, then maybe even putting a marker out, showing her where 250 or 300 yards actually is. Then with almost any cartridge, she could simply hold on hair, stabilizing the rifle nicely on a rest in the blind, and gently squeeze the trigger. Done deal.
I do like the .25-06 & .257 for their highly lethal effect despite mild recoil. There's a LOT of different bullets that will perform nicely at the ranges you mention.
Then again, I might have read the post wrong. If so, my apologies!
No, you read it right, and practice is the main thing I mentioned that. I plan to have her sight it in at 200. I plan to build something in her stand on the window the long shot is on to help her stablelize. and let her practice this offseason on jugs and hogs from her stand at long distances. Just dont have the money to try alot of bullets and dont want to wound any animals.Thanks for the help.
OK - If I lump 6mm, .25-06 & .257 Wby experience together, I've seen very good success with Nosler Partitions (including surprising accuracy), Nosler Ballistic Tips (surprisingly tough anymore), the Barnes TSX (tremendous penetration) and the 115 Berger VLD. My closest shot with the 115 Berger was about 100 yards, into a large mule deer buck I'd dropped from farther out with a spine shot. Had to finish him. MV was about 3200 fps, and the bullet did a great job of penetrating the chest cavity and killing him quickly. My other shots on mule deer with that bullet were at 175, 230 & 400 yards.
I've not yet tried the 110 Accubond you mentioned, but if it shoots as well as a Ballistic Tip, yet holds up well because of the bonded construction, it sounds like a winner. As far as holding together on a near shot, I've never had a problem with the Partition in various calibers, and the Barnes TSX is in a class of it's own.
I lumped all three of those cartridges together because I've been using them for quite a few years off and on and in my opinion they're fairly similar in the field - all .24 & .25 cal high velocity, flat shooters. One thing great about the .257 Wby is that it's such a flat shooting cartridge, aiming and/or distance estimating errors are minimized.
Seems to me that you're headed in the right direction, with an easy-kicking, flat shooting, accurate rifle.