Bullets, Ballistics, and Theories Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by MudRunner2005, May 29, 2013.

  1. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    A few threads in the past and present have sparked me to start this debate thread because of a growing and devoloping theory I've had for years and years now.

    Now, I don't want this to turn into a BS or pissing match, I want us to be able to discuss these things like the grown intelligent and intellectual adults we are. We should be able to do that.....I hope.




    When talking with many hunters over the years about different calibers, I have heard many and numerous storys of smaller calibers being shot at great distances successfully, but you don't seem to hear about them on here.

    This next paragraph is just using the 7mm as an example....As I am a .284 nut, I have quite an intimate knowledge of the 7mm's, which is why I used it as compared to other calibers, also the fact that the heavy 7mm's can carry BC's that are VERY close to (and in some cases higher) than the larger diameter calibers. Also, since we had the 7mm vs .338 conversation a few weeks ago, I decided this would be a much more interesting and friendly way to have this discussion.

    Here is some opinion and a little controversy from my thoughts...

    I have faith that a really heavy, high-BC bullet (ex: a 180 VLD or 190 Matrix) from a big 7mm (.284), such as a 7mmSTW, 7 RUM or 7mm Allen Magnum, could be effective out beyond 1000-1500 yards, although I have no personal experience killing anything that far. I have heard about and seen videos and pictures of real people and true stories, killing very large game at great distances with a 7mm RemMag on the interwebz....And Carlos Hathcock made numerous 1,000+ yard kills with a .30-06 Sprg MIA and some very impressive shots with a Rem 40X .308 Win, with a crappy scope, and primative technology (as compared to today). So my brain begs to know why do we actually "need" these enormous calibers with all the weapons and bullet technology we have today. If people could successfully do it without them back then, why do we "need" them now? I understand everything has its limitations.....Which is what separates a .22LR from a .338 RUM. So as far as velocity and energy, bullet weight, etc....I understand all that.

    Now, just so you know, I am NOT putting down anyone's choice of caliber. "You brought it home...You feed it." That's what my dad used to always say when I was growing up. :D

    Everyone has a preference and a choice. I just want to know WHY you bought what you did, and WHY you felt it was the only option for your task at hand, forsaking all other calibers out there?


    I have a theory, but yall will probably think I'm nuts....I just want opinions rather than a bunch of heated BS. I want opinions as to why, if you think my theory is correct, or incorrect, not a bunch of "because it just does...." type of answers. I also don't want a bunch of negatory answers, I want factual evidence as to why my theory would be correct or incorrect. I have been gathering this theory for a while. I don't want a bunch of charts that have been manipulated and spun to work in favor of your choice, etc....I want to see hard factual evidence of what makes the monster bores better than standard large magnum calibers at long range.

    Here's my theory...


    I think the larger bores with the heavier bullets might carry the energy farther out, but they also move slightly slower from the get-go, and with a much larger overall mass and more bulbous shape, would lose velocity a great deal faster, which is why you need so much powder and a such a large case capacity for them to be efficient at such long ranges......

    Wouldn't a faster moving bullet that weighs less, and has a more aerodynamic profile, follow a better trajectory to the same target at the same distance, which in turn, even though it is a lighter bullet, will expel the same amount of energy, based on the higher velocity it maintains as it reaches the intended target, as compared to a larger, slower moving projectile with a rapidly decreasing velocity?


    These are just thoughts I have, and I would love to hear everyone's opinion on them.
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Are you setting the limit at your "1000 ~ 1500" yards to appeal to the smaller calibers?


    Jeff
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    No, the reason was because majority of your average shooters don't possess the skill set to simply pick up a rifle, dial it in, and start shooting at 1,500 yards and drilling the target, and most will never even attempt distances like that. Also, because I rarely hear of animal kills beyond the 1,500 yard mark.

    I haven't tried to shoot my rifles at 1,500 so I don't know how they would perform at that distance.

    This was more for a theory and possibility type of discussion topic to make you think, as opposed to a why limit yourself to a certain yardage...

    Although I do believe we are on the right track for this discussion thread. Come on yall, I wanna hear everyone's opinion.
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I think I will make one more post on this and then be done with it.

    All I want to say is, and I have done this on many occasions with 7mm's / 180's.

    You need to try to spot your hits / misses, or see, if you can see it, the impact or dust cloud of a 180 gr 7mm with a MV of 3150 plus, off a rock at 1500 yards compared to a slower MV 300 gr .338 with a MV of 2800 fps. Or listen to the report back from the two of them off rock or steel at 1000. Or actually watch game hit with either of them from 1000 plus. Believe me when I tell you they are both good rifles, but not even close to the same league for terminal performance.

    Now take it past a mile and good luck even trying to tell if you hit the target until you get there with a 7. But with a 338 it will be evident.

    Jeff
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Jeff, I feel you are taking this personally....It is not personal to anyone, but me. I am just curious as to everyone's thoughts and opinoins on the subject at hand. So, don't feel like you are intruding on the thread in any way. I started this to discuss my thoughts....And also after that gets discussed to discuss other thoughts for other questions and things later on by other members.
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    No, nothing personal at all. But I don't choose to be part of it. Why?? and this is not personal either. But I feel this "debate" will be mainly discussed by people that probably have not shot much past 1000 let alone 1500. And for sure by many that have never shot both a 7mm @ 3150 plus and a 338 @ 2800 side by side at or past 1500 yards over and over. I have and I know how it really is so I need not be a part of any debate other than what I have already stated.

    I am a 7mm fan for where they shine. If you doubt that look up my 7mm-300 thread and see what I did there. I have built and owned 3 of them. But all the hype and theory in the world is not going to get a good 7mm to hit with the authority of a good 338 past 1000. Thus like I said, you probably just need to see it in the field.

    Jeff
     
  7. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    tagging in for the "discussion"
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks for the honesty.
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I would say that hathcock's targets were of the very thin skinned, light boned and low muscle density variety. Comparing his calibers to target relationship can't be compared to say elk at 1000-1500 yards. I'm a smaller caliber kind of guy (6.5-30 cals) but I see the value of a big 338 for 1000-1500 yard elk or moose hunting. These need raw energy and deep penatration. Not that the 7mms aren't capable of that but with big boned animals at great distances, large heavy bullets win in my opinion.

    IMHO, bullet weight for equal weight and equal form factors, smaller calibers win in the BC department but larger calibers always have higher BC potential. Start with a 22 caliber and work all the way up to a 50 caliber. Bigger has higher potential. Now the trade off here is recoil. That's what makes 7mm to 30 cal are so popular. They offer a decent balance between recoil and down range energy. That said, you still need to match the caliber/bullet to the game/ranges you're hunting. Better yet you should pick a caliber you feel comfortable with. Do I believe 7mms are king? No. Do they have their place? Absolutely.

    Is a bigger 338 better than a big 7mm? That's subjective. Better in what category? 338s have better bore life and hit really hard and make a darn good sized hole. 7mms are easier on the shoulder and are cheaper to reload for typically. I have up on 338s simply because I rarely have opportunities at elk or moose at beyond 1000 yards and I don't want the recoil. I have settled on the 300 win mag running 210s which works just fine for what I need. 1500'pounds at 1k with minimal drift and more mass plus a bigger hole for the larger tougher game I hunt. I know hunting grizzly/brown bears I'm more comfortable with bigger calibers.

    Not trying to knock your 7mms, just sharing my thoughts as to why everything is a trade off.
     
  10. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I'll offer my thoughts concerning what I think one of the main factors is and let everyone decide in their own mind what is the best cartridge. No matter what you are shooting, the bullet is the killing factor which really eliminates most of what is out there. This is ONE of the many reasons to go large bore as you are mostly dealing with frontal area doing the damage with little "or no" expansion. Having said that, if you can retain enough velocity with a smaller bullet to cause it to expand, it may actually perform better than a larger bullet that doesn't. In other words, I give more importance to a bullet that will penetrate sufficiently and tear up tissue rather than delivering a ton of energy with no expansion. This is why I exclusively use my own bullets for really long range use. They will expand well down to around 1300' and are basically heavy for bore, high b.c., tipped varmint bullets! Anyone using most off the shelf, long range bullets, and trying to kill something at 1500 yards is asking for trouble. IMO......Rich
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Michael, thank you for your input. I wasn't trying to say anything was better than another, I was trying to subjectively figure out why it is deemed "necessary" for the larger calibers when what was possible 20 years ago with smaller calibers.

    Your opinion was excellent and I agree completely, everything has its place. I was simply comparing the 7mm's to the .338's ONLY because that had been brought up on here before, but we never truly got into the meat & taters of WHY? I agree with everything you said. I understand the basic reasons why people choose them, but was curious to the ballistic aide of things.....I would love to see a ballistics gel test with both calibers side x side at that distance. I think that would be cool to see the differences of the 2 terminally at 1500 yards.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input.....This is what I was posting this as, but people will take it as I am saying THIS vs THAT. I am trying to figure out people's opinions as to why they chose what they did.

    Thanks again for posting.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Your missing a couple very key parts to the picture, taking the 300 OTM at 2800fps and a 180 VLD at 3150 fps and comparing them at 1500 yards you'll see that the 300 gr bullet beats the smaller bullet in windage which will grow with more range. The bigger bullet carries weight which wins when you get out where velocity has bleed of, the sectional density for the 338 is much larger than the 180 and with that and the weight you get almost double the momentum which is what drives these big bullets through game animals and causes destruction at much farther ranges.

    I have no love for the 7mm, but I dig my 270's which with the excellent bullets we have now days lets me run ballistically right with any 7mm of equal case capacity, I'll shoot an elk at 1000 yards with good conditions so fast it would make your head spin but if conditions kick up or the range gets out past a grand the 338 comes out, not so much because I don't think I can kill something past that with my 270 but the 338 give me a much larger window of error and it will give you much more feed back from the shot than a smaller cal will which lets you make decisions easier after the shot.

    Another advantage the bigger rifles have is barrel life, a hopped up 7mm will have the throat changing in it and you have to stay with it to keep the ELR accuracy and consistency, the 338's tend to stay very consistent and change slower, you can focus on improving yourself and skills instead of chasing your load or finessing your rifle. The 338 give you numerous small edges that all stack up as the range grows, it's not about who whipping the most lead out there but getting every advantage you possibly can because you need it.

    I'm by nature a small cal guy and I've argued the points your trying to but when you get behind the rifle and put the rounds down range with guys like Broz you flat get schooled, not by an attitude of my gun is bigger than yours but by the fact that they also have been down the same road and have the experience to know what tools to use to give them every edge they can.
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    You aren't understanding....I don't care what caliber vs what caliber.....That was merely an example.

    I'm asking someone to read my theory and discuss why it is or is not plausible and possible. I mentioned all of it just to digress to my theory.

    Also, bigger bullets, while heavier and harder to move from wind drift, also posses a larger cross-section which would make them more succeptible to wind or rain or moisture in the atmosphere. Isn't that also correct?