B.c. Crazy!

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by elkaholic, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I am as much a promoter for high b.c. as most of you for long range hunting as being of high importance, but lets talk realistically here! First of all, we all realize the benefit of b.c. for long range for less bullet drop and wind drift, higher retained energy, and better expansion due to higher retained velocity. Having stated these truths, what I am concerned about is that some of the new, less experienced, shooters can easily get caught up in the b.c. craze and bypass some very good and often "better performing" bullets for there hunting bullet selection. I think the main reason for this occurring is, what exactly is long range? First of all, it depends upon what rifle, cartridge combo are you using and what is the intended game animal? We have people shooting elk with everything from 6mm's to 375's and larger with mv's of 2500' to over 3500'+! There are obvious differences here in what long range should be. Also the question becomes, is long range 400 yards or over 1000? For some of us who have worked our way up over a period of years, it may be 1000 yards or more. For some of the newer long range guys, it may well be 400-500 yards. The first consideration should not ALWAYS be b.c.! It is my belief that there are several better choices out there that were made for hunting that are being overlooked for higher b.c. bullets. Most of the time this occurs with capable long range elk rifles. Let's use the 300 WM for an example: Why do we need a super high b.c. bullet in the 100 to even 700 yard range which will likely perform far less reliably than a moderately high b.c. bonded bullet which is made for hunting? Most of the shooters that are qualified to take 1000 yard shots are realistically shooting most game at far less than that with bullets that are likely inferior to what is available. I'm only throwing this out there to make us think a little more clearly and especially to help the new guys not get caught up in the "b.c. at all cost" mentality that I think is a danger that currently exists. I know this is coming from a high b.c. hunting bullet maker, but from my stands, I know pretty much what my range is going to be. What do you guys think?.........Rich
     
  2. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's much of an issue for a couple of reasons. First, I would suspect that less than a few percent of the total rifle hunting population know about or cares about ballistic coefficients. Secondly, based upon my experience with the heavy for caliber, high BC hunting VLD's from Berger, they they don't give up much if anything in performance. I have had equal and in a lot of cases better performance at the shorter hunting distances with VLD's then many of the popular performance bullets. IMHO .
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    +1 coudnt have said it better myself. It is the nonexpanding breed that has gotten me into many long tracking jobs.

    Jeff
     
  4. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you are correct concerning the general population but I was thinking more of the people that visit this forum. I also would agree that VLD's are at their best the bigger and heavier they are i.e. 300 gr. .338. The point I was more trying to make was that I do think there are a lot of less experienced shooters that are new to the forum that probably think VLD's are the end all for every caliber weapon in every situation because of all the press we give them, but maybe it's just me........Rich
     
  5. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I admit I am obsessed with high BC. I am always crunching numbers to see what the wind drift will be with a particular bullet. A 490 yd shot at an elk in a 20 mph crosswind using the low BC TSX still haunts me. I have never liked holding many feet OFF an animal compensating for crosswinds to make the shot. My guess put the bullet through both shoulders and I got the animal. Right after that I began to use the higher BC 200 gr accubond in my 300 RUM. So my quest will continue trying to get the very best I can from my hunting rigs using the highest BCs available.

    I agree with Grayfox that most hunters don't know anything about the BC of their chosen bullets. I am talking it up to all sorts of shooters at the range and they don't even know what BC means. The few that are using VLDs know this information. If they visit here they will learn these things quickly or leave puzzled.
     
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I believe your question is a valid one as I had thought about it myself, not only relative to the shooters on this site ,but also at a club I belong to that does a lot of long range shooting with a constant flow of new shooters wanting to enter the sport. I have been pleasantly surprised with both venues. While there can always be a few zingers that show up, it seems to be the exception, and they usually evacuate quickly. I find most new shooters that are serious tend to be more conservative and inquisitive. I think the first time they look at a target at ranges longer than they are used to shooting, they rarely expect to hit the target. Once they stick their toe in the water,
    and like it, if they weren't optimized at first, they will tend to bone up quickly and stick with it. I also think that the far bigger variable a new guy has to deal with is refining their shooting skills to actually hitting distant targets. During this period they usually learn about the fine points of load development.
    Just me looking throuh my rose colored shooting glasses.
     
  7. myrifleisLapua

    myrifleisLapua Well-Known Member

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    im new to the whole long range thing . even have a lapua on the way mostly for it power and hog hunting though gun). i do want to find someone to load me some rocky mountain 325s they have a bc of 1.035 and carry about 2500-2700 ft lbs @ 1000 yards launched at 2700 fps . but mostly plan on going with either 265 ttsx or 280gr lrx
     
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Again, I am all for all the b.c. you can get providing the bullet matches the intended use. Here is an example of what I mean by ALWAYS trying to go for the highest b.c. and ESPECIALLY at intermediate ranges. Let's take the 300 WM again as an example:
    We'll use a 200 yard zero, a 10 mph crosswind, and the difference at 600 yards between two of the most popular bullets on this forum, the 210 Berger with a .631 G1 and the 200 Nosler AB with a .588 G1. With the 10 grain weight difference, it is fair to start the Nosler at 3000' and the Berger at 2900'.
    (Berger: drop in inches=61.5, Nosler 58.3)( Berger wind drift inches 17.9 Nosler 18.5) (Berger velocity 2145 Nosler 2178) (Berger energy 2146 Nosler 2106)
    I realize there will still be disagreement as to terminal performance of each, but if your game is brown bears and you like AB's, how can you justify the Berger with the higher b.c.?............Rich
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    But! , If the bigger bear is at 800 yrds this is why we carry the higher BC bullet. Just because we are long range hunters does not mean we are always looking long. But if the shot is presented we need to be ready with what it takes to get all the advantages we can of the highest BC bullets.

    FWIW, my 300 win sends the 210's at 2995 fps from a 28". Another reason we need to do these comparisons in the field to see real results. Lap top programs are only as good as the data that was guessed at when entered. The proof is in the field on practice day in the wind.

    Jeff
     
  10. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I didn't intend for this to be about what our favorite bullet is and am not trying to pick and choose between anyones favorite including my own. The thought I was trying to provoke was, "is the highest b.c. bullet available, the best for every occasion?" I don't think any of us actually believe that.....Rich
     
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, at 200 ~300 yards BC makes little if any difference. But like all error factors in long range the farther you go the more it matters.

    But with the very caliber and the black bear you used as a referance my last bear was fine with me using a high BC bullet at 378 yards.

    Lnk to the stort below:

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f88/my-2011-black-bear-my-300-wm-73292/

    I guess I am not wrapping my head around what you are trying to present. Maybe that is due to the differences we have had in the field.

    Sorry if my posts were not on task.

    Jeff
     
  12. Autorotate

    Autorotate Well-Known Member

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    Rich...I agree with what I think the point of your post is....BC isn't everything.

    Folks need to do an honest assesment of what the maximum distances are going to be that they actually break a shot with the crosshairs on game.....and then build thier whole approach/system towards that goal.

    My personal philosophy is that you need to hit the target/game first, and then worry about terminal performance......BUT....an honest assesment of your intended/anticpated ranges will assit in vetting out whether 1-3" of wind drift at those intended ranges merits hunting with a "match" bullet vs a "hunting" bullet.

    I agree with you, in that it would be easy for a "new" LR Hunter to be drawn into the sensationalism of making LRH shots....without realizing what all went into making those 1200+ yd shots. I'll admit....I was one of them...after a successful ELR hunting shot, and that while it was a one shot DRT kill.......I wish I could have it back.

    BC isn't everything.....don't get tunnel vision on making the 1% shot...do an honest assesment of the ranges you're going to hunt at....build your approach to those goals for the 90% opportunities.....and don't forget to keep it fun!

    Broz-Awesome bear hunt/story!
     
  13. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I think the intended purpose dictates bullet choice. For hunting, my first criteria is the terminal performance of the bullet on game at furthest range I intend to shoot. Assuming that the accuracy requirement is achieved, I will usually try to optimize for the highest BC I can get. My primary reason for this is to get the maximum long range velocity and the lowest wind drift possible. Is it necessary for all my hunting situations, no, but it sure makes life easier when you have one optimized load to cover a broad range of hunting situations. I'm lucky in that my high BC loads have performed very well on the game I hunt from 50-1000 yards. I quess the answer to your question is yes. For me it is the best for every occasion since I don't have to make a trade off.
     
  14. Autorotate

    Autorotate Well-Known Member

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    One last blurb, and then I'll get back to listening/reading on this thread instead of gabbin' :rolleyes:

    It is SO much easier to make cold bore first round hits on a 1 MOA steel plate at 1000 yds with a 3300 fps 210 VLD Berger than it is a 3360 fps 200 gr Accubond.

    When the wind kicks up...it's not even a contest....the result of what JBM, Patagonia, or Shooter says it should be...for ME...become somewhat marginal/trivial. Need to get out and shoot your rifle for sure in order to validate computed assumptions. gun)