325WSM 200 grainers Vs 220 grainers

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by sambarstalker, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Hi all,

    First time poster long time reader!

    I recently purchased a Browning X bolt with the titanium finished stock and fluted barrel, then topped it with a 4.5-14x44 Ziess Conquest. Primarily the light weight unit will be used for hunting sambar deer in Australia. Sambar are the biggest of our deer species and a big stag can weigh between 550 to 600lbs (or 250kgs)

    These deer are tough any many that hunt them in Australia preach using calibres like the 458, 416 or 375 to pull these blokes up

    To give you an idea go to
    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

    As you can see this stag took 3 fatal hits from my 300 WM using 180 grain Barnes Tipped Triple Shocks. A projectile I dubbed drill bits as at 260 meters when driven quit hard at 3125 fps at the muzzle don't expand enough. I find them very good under 100 meters. A friend had a similar experience on a bedded stag.

    Now to get to my question! In my 325WSM I'm currently using 200 grain Accubonds. Winchester factory ammo that shoots and groups very well. After using Barnes I switched to 180 Accubonds in my 300WM that proved soft not even exiting on a large stag when taking a quartering shot. I lost that stag after 4 days of searching which was a gut wrenching experience!

    Can anyone provide feedback on the 200 grain Accubonds on large game animals? Be it sambar, elk, moose or even thick skinned African beast.

    Alternatively I am considering loading some 220 grain projectiles. The 220 grain Sierra Game King with its thicker jacket ( designed for the 8mm) seems to stand out. Can anyone offer feedback on this alternative on tough animals?

    Last but least, loads! In Australia powders are limited and my best option is the Aliant RL powders. Can anyone provide load details using Aliant/RL powders using a 220 grain projectile? If you be so kind as to provide speed and barrel length in your answer. Someone who owns the same rifle would be cool.

    Apart from that good hunting and appreciate your feedback

    Sambarstalker
     
  2. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    I have shoot a handfull of elk with my 325 wsm A bolt. Out to just under 600 yrd. That was a 200 NAB @ 2825. I like the rifle for packing, but at 800 yrds that load has 936 E. This rifle I like but it is a medium range rifle for me as I have 2 that ARE BETTER suited for elk at distance
     

  3. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Thanks for the info mate!

    It's encouraging to hear the Accubonds out of the 325WSM has that kind of knock down power at 600 yards. In the hills we hunt that is a long shot and the risk of loosing the animal very real. For example I shot a 300kg stag at 80 meters using a 180 grain MRX. He crawled 15 meters and took a mate and I close to 2hours to find him.

    Since massive bush fires in the state of Victoria the regrowth has been a massive issue and has changed the dynamic of hunting these deer.

    Once again thanks and I appreciate your feedback

    Good huntin
     
  4. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,829
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    I shoot a X bolt in 325 WSM using the 200 gr accubonds. When I get home, I will post the load for you. It was a tackdriver. Was under 1/2 MOA at 100 yard 3 shot groups. You will not be disappointed with the accubonds.

    Just got home so here is the load that I was using:

    Powder: 65 gr of IMR 4350
    Bullet: 200 gr Accubond
    COAL: 2.880"

    I can't remember the exact speed but i know for sure that it was in the range of 2800 to 2850 fps.

    Just start a few grains lower and work up incase you show pressure before 65.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  5. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Thank! Have you played around with 220 grain projectiles at all?
     
  6. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,829
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    No I have not. I haven't found the 200 gr Accubond to be lacking in any department out to 400 to 500 yards so I haven't even bothered with any thing else. It hits like a hammer at those ranges.
     
  7. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Great to hear! What are you hunting with it?
     
  8. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,829
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    I use it as medium range mountain rifle for elk. I have also taken an oryx with it. I have not lost an animal with it yet but I have not taken a shot over 400 yards with it either.
     
  9. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    That's good feedback thanks
     
  10. moorey78

    moorey78 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Hi did you end up getting a load sorted for your 325 and Sambar, Ive just got one myself and would appreciate any feedback
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,311
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    For Elk size animals I have found that 225 to 250 grain Accubonds work extremely well in 338s.

    I use the 225 and the 250s in my 338 RUM, and the 225s in my 338 RCM (Very close to the 325
    WSM).

    The Accubonds seam to be the most consistent bullets I have used and wound channels are very consistent with different impact locations.

    I would recommend the 220grain Accubonds for Sambar, Elk, and Stag. And 200 grain Accubonds for deer size game using the 325 WSM.

    Just my opinion based on the results I have had with different bullets on Elk size game (I have never shot a Sambar stag but killed Nilgai and they are very tough).

    With the Accubond ,you don't have to make a shoulder bone shot to make the bullet expand.
    they expand with soft tissue shot placement but do not come apart and normally have full penetration.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Hi moorey78,

    Before I comment please note that the load I am using is 2 grains over max from what information is available on the following web site:

    Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide

    My 325WSM has a skinny barrel and a lot of work went into finding a good load for it that was suitable for sambar (barrel harmonics etc.). I would advise you start 5% or more below the following loads and find what works well in YOUR rifle.

    I have developed 2 loads both using Reloader(RL) 17. This powder can be hard to get but worth its weight in gold.

    Load 1 (not suitable for sambar IMO, but your choice)
    220 grain Sierra Game King
    64 grains RL17
    Average over the Chrony 2820fps
    ¾ inch groups at 100 meters

    Load 2 (the ducks guts and pic attached FYI)
    200 grain Nosler Accubond
    67 grains RL17 (could be hot in your rifle)
    Average over the Chrony 3050fps
    1/2 inch groups at 100 meters

    The picture attached shows the first 3 shots fired using the 200 grain load and subsequent sighting in confirmed the groupings. Over the Chrony the spread in velocity over 3 shots was 15 fps which I was very happy with.

    As for the choice in projectile use, it’s up to you. I was turned off Sierra many years ago but gave them a go in the 325WSM and will never use them in a rifle used to take a tough animal such as a sambar again. I know a lot of people like Sierra and that’s their prerogative, I simply dont like them.


    I would stick with the 200 grain Accubonds and from what I’ve read on other posts they seem to be the projectile of choice in the 325WSM. I’ve used Accubonds in other rifles on sambar and they are a consistent performed that gets the job done.

    I hope this has been of some help.


    Good hunting and be safe.


    Dennis


    325WSB_AB.jpg
     
  13. moorey78

    moorey78 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Hi Dennis

    Thanks for the help there mate, I have a tub of RE17 and am up to 65 grn with Accubonds ( i did load some for a pressure test but only went up to 66gn and was no sign of pressure however as most info I could find said 65 was max I settled on this) and not entirely happy with groups yet, did you find that lower charges didnt group as well?
    Thats a pretty good group for a big caliber so I will up my charge again and load some up and test on the weekend.
    You may have said already however what rifle are you using? I am using a browning X bolt stainless stalker.
    Have you taken many Sambar with this Rifle yet?

    Thanks again for you help

    Wayne
     
  14. sambarstalker

    sambarstalker Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Hi Wayne,

    I have a Browning X-bolt as well but with the fluted barrel. Nice and light weight, and you can carry them all day, great for backpacking too.

    I found when I was doing load development that I was getting average results as well however when you get it right the results is very good. Mate your definitely on the right track using the 200 grain Accubonds and I would suggest playing around in ½ grain increments, so 65.5, 66.0, 66.5 and 67 grains. From what I experience with the Browning you probably very close to hitting the target load right now.

    If you get to the higher end of the scale and see pressure signs then don’t shoot them. I was loading 6 up, using 3 to test groups and if they grouped well then Chrony at least 2, leaving 1 up your sleeve for whatever.

    I also get a bit particular with my loads. I know it’s a deer gun and sambar are big so many would argue that clover leaving is not necessary and that fair enough unless you want to shoot them out far. I’m not about shooting deer at long distances but I will put in the effort to optimise my loads as much as possible. If you’re loading why would you not want to optimise? If I wanted to push a 165 grain projectile at 2600 fps, I’d buy a 30-06 not a 300 Ultra Mag.

    Yeah I have taken 1 sambar deer with this rifle using the 220 grain Game Kings. It was a hind I head shot at just less than 10 meters in the thick stuff so not an accurate test of the calibres capability. Apart from that I have not seen anything real good while carting the 325WSM, plenty of small fellas but no screamers.


    I don’t think you should be concerned about the 325WSM ability to stop a sambar. It’s a pretty big hole and 200 grains is a lot of weight to throw around at 3050 fps. Its comes down to the old adage of shot placement.

    Good luck with it this weekend and let me know how you go.

    Dennis