Bullet suggestions for Marco Polo

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by gillettehunter, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    As the title says I'm going on my only trip to Kyrgyzstan for Marco Polo and Ibex. One of my top 3 most wanted trips/animals! I am planning to take my 7mm SAUM that the smith is finishing up in the next week or so. Looking for suggestions on bullet choice. I leave Feb 15th.
    Shot ranges are expected to be 200 to 600 yards. I hope to feel confident out to 800 yards, if needed. I need a bit of trigger time/instruction to get confident to 1000. Barrel on the SAUM is 25 inches and has been titanium nitrided.
    I had thought to use the 175 gr LRAB's, but am having some second thoughts based on the experiences some are having. I also have 168 and 180 gr Bergers on hand as well as 168 gr LRAB's. Plus I'll buy anything available that might work better.
    Should be able to push the 175-180's over 2900 fps and I'm hoping over 2950. The 168's have hit 3000 fps with my former SAUM.
    So the big question. If you were going what bullet would you choose and why?
    I know that sheep are generally not exceptionally difficult to kill. On the other hand Ibex is also on the menu and they are a bit tougher. Both of these could exceed 300 lbs. Thanks for the help. Bruce
     
  2. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the 180's if they shoot well. I am a fan of the larger for caliber bullets but you will probably get a lot of different opinions. Are you able to seat the 180's out far enough to not take up powder space and still fit them in the magazine? If so, I would go with the 180's. If not then I would move down to the 168's.
     

  3. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    Rifle is being built so as to be able to seat bullets out a ways. Should be plenty of powder capacity. Bruce
     
  4. ChrisAtl

    ChrisAtl Well-Known Member

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    You are cutting it close! Feb will be hear before you know it. I agree that the 180s would be my first choice for bullet selection. I would be more concerned with getting as much time behind the trigger on the new rig and developing an accurate load.
    Sounds like a great trip. Can't wait to see pictures and read a review.
     
  5. HuntFarther

    HuntFarther Well-Known Member

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    I would take the 180 berger and just say it is the best thing on the table at the current time for what you are doing. It seems every marco polo hunt I have seen is pretty wide open country. You hit the chances of a follow up shot are great. But I would say the 180 berger would be loaded for me.
     
  6. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...for sure some pictures and a detailed story. Marco Polo sheep is number 1 on my list of things to get done before I keel over.
     
  7. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I would think the 162 amax would work very well. It has worked awesome for me this season out of my 284 win at 2860 fps MV.
     
  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    I would of liked the rifle to be done sooner. Doesn't always work the way you want. I have a 6.5-06 that is pretty well dialed in. I know the Berger 140's would do the job on the sheep. Little light on the Ibex.... Felt that the SAUM was worth waiting for and just better choice for the job at hand. I'll see how the 180's shoot and go from there unless someone persuades me otherwise. Bruce
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I would stick with regular Accubonds, Hornady Interlock or Hornady Interbond, and the heavier the better. They are very tough critters.

    You are my friend heading off on two hunts I consider to be "dream hunts" myself. Please take LOTS of pictures and video and do us a good write up.
     
  10. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    I have considered the Accubonds. The 160's are in stock. My biggest problem there is that I had a problem with them the only time I have used them..... .25 caliber 120's. Zipped right through the ribs of a deer at under 130 yards. Penciled through. Lucky to find that deer. Hasn't given warm fuzziness about them.
    Anyone personally used the 7mm 160's? Have thought about trying them for any closer shots, say under 400 yards and then the Berger's for any long range shots. Bruce
     
  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Not really a surprising result for that bullet at that range. At that velocity having not struck anything really hard (has to do with how ribs are formed embryologically, they are not hard bone as they arise from cartilage) or thick so the bullet really didn't have time to expand. Most of those shots were at 200-500yds which is just the norm for most of my hog hunting the last twenty years.

    One of the reasons I quit using Nosler Partitions on deer and smaller game was this was an extremely common problem.

    If you look at the construction of the two animals you are going after however and their environment they are heavily muscled, lots of thick fat and very heavy boned. I would not hesitate to use a regular Accubond although my personal preference of those I mentioned is the Interlock as it is boat tailed, has a decent BC, and the cannelure ensures you get good, but limited and controlled expansion with high weight retention.

    Another thing to keep in mind when planning your choice of caliber and bullet for this hunt is that you will have a very high likelihood of winds in excess of 30mph.

    I know a little bit about that part of the world having been there for a few weeks once doing some security work and we spent some time at the same high elevations you will be hunting. The weather can be flat brutal their in the late fall, winter, and early spring.

    As for your two sought after animals I'd rate their body toughness very close to that of hogs of the same weight if that's any help. I have shot some big hogs with the 160's and a whole lot more with 140's and they performed well but not quite as well as with the Hornady interlock when I was making shoulder shots. I still had dead hogs but did not get a complete pass through. Found the remaining accubonds in the off side shoulder. Good performance but I do prefer a complete pass through.
     
  12. HuntFarther

    HuntFarther Well-Known Member

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    Really the 600 yard game you can just pick a great hunting bullet. Stretchin longer I would lean towards the high b.c bullets. Ibex being tough would still be an elk or moose. And a lot of both have been shot to 1000 yards with the 180 berger.
     
  13. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    I bought the 180 Bergers for use in my 7 SAUM, i'm digging the SD offered from the heavy boolit... The 168 would fit the bill pretty well also.

    I would not hesitate to use your 6.5 setup either, there are many 'o' dead elk posted on here in a state of permanent sleep ala the 140VLD.

    I can't speak to the Hornady bullets, the only ones I shoot are the V-Max.

    Cutting Edge is working good for me as well.

    I am not super knowledgible in the realm of anything 7mm but I have to vote for the heavy for caliber Bergers or this particular CEB looks very intriguing:

    https://cuttingedgebullets.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=MTH_J07


    I would normally recommend the TTSX as well however, I only have experience with 2- 7mm Barnes, the MRX which is no longer made & the 160 TSX which my experience has led me to add it to the list of bullets I will not use.

    Let me know if I can help :)


    t
     
  14. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    What about the 160 Matrix for the 6.5 and anneal it, IF, the 7mm is not ready? Just a random thought. .680 BC. My 6.5-284 loves those pills.