Can hunting bullets be accurate?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Hired Gun, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    I am in awe over the tight groups and extreme range performance that a lot of shooters on this board have. I have also noticed that a lot of the same guys use only specialty bullets like SMK's, Lost River, Wildcat, Amax, and Berger. Is anyone getting any decent 500 to 1000 yard groups with Partitions, Accubonds or Barnes Triple Shock bullets in 257 caliber?

    Having never shot a target bullet from any of my .257 caliber rifles, I’m wondering if the bullets are capable and maybe I need a better barrel or even with the best of everything a rifle that shoots better than 1” groups at 300 can be expected to open up a bit with hunting bullets? Will match grade bullets turn my .5”-.8” gun into a gun that shoots in the .1”-.2” zone. If they will I will just do that for varmints and be happy. I want to varmint hunt with a .257 explosive bullet then switch to hunting bullets and be able to hunt big game with it as well. I need to be able to engage 2” targets with some degree of repeatability to 500 yards yet still be able to deliver a hunting bullet to 1000. Is it possible?
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer all of your questions. However, I spent a lot of time +200 rounds trying to find a super accurate load for Ballistic Tip hunting rounds. I could get 1.75" at 200yds and that was it. I then loaded some 162gr A-Maxs and immediately dropped under 1" for 5 shot groups. I've been using the A-Maxs for deer ever since.

    The A-Max's have worked fine for me. 3 for 3 on neck shots and 2 for 2 on head shots. All under 200yds though.

    Hope that helps,
    AJ
     

  3. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    As far as the Wildcat bullets they are hunting bullets, as far as all the ones I have shot that is what they were designed for first. I am shooting a 125gr Wildcat bullet in my 25-06 in a attempt to push a factory gun to the 1500yd mark. So far I have been very pleased with these and all Wildcat bullets.

    What big game are you planning on hunting with a 257 caliber. Is this rifle a custom job because engaging 2" target at 500 with decent repeatability is a pretty decent little shot in and of itself.

    If the rifle shooting .5 groups already I wouldn't ask much more from it. I had a factory 22-250 that would punch regular .5 groups at 100yds and managed to shoot a .8 group at 400yds. Later I was able to stretch this gun out to 730yds and from there back to the muzzle a lot of pdogs died at many ranges. This was done with 55gr ballistic tips.
    We have used a 105gr A-max from a 243 out to 1100yds with great accuracy and even though this is a target bullet I still consider it great for hunting as long as the animal isn't overly large.
    GoodGrouper used the Bergers on Antelope with success and one of the Moderators right know has a post going about using SMK's for deer with obvious success.
    As far as the 257 goes try the Wildcats if you get the chance. I have not heard great things about the Accubond for some reason, every other caliber seems to love the bullets. I have always heard of 25-06 loving the 100gr Sierra gamekings.

    Good Luck
    Steve
     
  4. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    I have shot sub MOA groups at 535 with my 300 SAUM with 140 Barnes X and 150 NABs. That being said, 175 smk best group is 1.4" ctc with 2.2" being average.

    In my experience, match bullets are just more consistent. Consistency is wht you have to have to be effective at 1k like you mentioned. Can NPs be used at 1k? Sure. I bet a SMK will outperform it at 1k, expansion-wise!

    My longest kill to date is 494 yards, and I killed the deer with a 300 WM 150 gr NP. They are plenty accurate for 500 yard work; 1k I have no clue as 535 is the limit at my disposal. Maybe by spring I will be able to say if NPs and Barnes will keep it tight at 800 yards or so.

    Most of the loads I shoot are under 1 MOA at 100 with hunting bullets. FWIW my 25-06 shoots 87 gr Speers better than any other bullet match or otherwise.

    The bare minimum to do what you are asking would be to try 115 NBTs for your hunting to 1k. The other bullets, NP, AB and TSX, will probably not offer you good performance at that range imo. The Wildcat bullets as previously mentioned would be the only other choice, imo, without shooting the Berger VLDs that I know of.


    115 NBT 3150 fps (26"barrel)

    range/drop/drift/vel/ft lb

    500 yd/7.9 MOA/3.3 MOA/2171 fps/1203 ft lbs
    800 yd/17.7 MOA/6 MOA/1685 fps/785 ft lbs
    1k/26.6 MOA/8.1 MOA/1411 fps/508 ft lbs

    125 WC RBBT @ 2960 fps

    1k/25 MOA/5.75 MOA/1666 fps/770 ft lbs

    I take it back! 115 NBT would be good to 750-800 yds, imo!

    There is my answer to your question! Wildcat 125 RBBT for your 1k bullet, imo.

    Stephen
     
  5. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I don't know what you are shooting but in my 25-06 with rel 22 I was getting just under 3100fps with the 125 ULD's

    steve
     
  6. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    Yes hunting bullets can be accurate. Infact most of my targets are shot with hunting bullets and in some cases they shoot better then my match bullets. For the 257 try the 110 Accubond. I tried these last year in my friends rifle and he was getting 1inch groups at 300 yards with them. Give them a try.
     
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    In .243 win and 308 Win I have had very good luck with the Hornaday SPBT's. Have shot many .5 MOA groups and under at 600 yards even. Accubonds are very accurate as well and are a good balance of match quality with hunting charechteristics. Dont be fooled by the AMAX's rep as a match bullet. Even the manufacture recomends it for hunting deer size and smaller critters. In the right rifle Ive had sub .5 MOA groups out to 800 yards with the Barnes bullets. XBT's to be exact. So to answer your question, yes, hunting bullets can be very accurate. Most here use other types for their high BC's for flatter shooting, increased distance, minimal windage and extreeme accuracy.
     
  8. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Dakor,
    you had a person shooting good with the 110 accubond in a 25. everyone I had heard from said they couldn't hit the ground with them if they had three tries. I am glad to hear some hope for them, I am wanting to try them in my 25-06 some time.

    take it easy
    steve
     
  9. dwm

    dwm Well-Known Member

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    I was at the range last weekend with my first try at a load for the 110 grain Accubonds in the 25-06. Five shots went into 0.32" center-to-center at 100 yards. Works for me. 52.5 Gr of H4831SC. Haven't tried them at longer range.

    I'm not sure how this will work for everyone else, this gun just loves to shoot. Shoots 85 grain and 115 Nosler Ballistic Tips just as well.
     
  10. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Give the 117gr SST's a try. All the SST's I have ever used shot sub MOA at LR.

    Jerry
     
  11. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    I know the target bullets will work at regular speeds but right now I am putting out 100 grain Partitions at 3650 fps and average .5 to an inch or so. I can hit a 2 inch circle 100% at 200 yards. 300 yards and I'm wasting lead. 75 grain V-Maxes shoot .3's at 3950 but they lose steam fast, nor could they ever work on deer. I'm still trying to get used to their trajectory. I end up shooting over most stuff and if I can't see my hits I'm lost.

    If I rebarrel I'm thinking of a 30" barrel and shooting 100 grainers at 4000 or so. I'm afraid a SMK or anything other than a Partition or Barnes will disintergrate on the hide the way the Balistic tips do at 3600.

    So far what I'm hearing is no matter how good my barrel is, the accuracy I'm looking for is not going to be had with either of those two. I didn't have great results with the Accubond. I did get a couple sub half inch groups but most of the time they had fliers opening up my groups to just over an inch. Also I couldn't get enough speed out of them to do anything the Partition couldn't do all the way to 1000 yards energy or drop wise. In case I run into a close one, 3200 is one thing for a target bullet but I'm thinking 3650 to 4000 impact speed is just going to leave a flesh wound. I'd like to mount the horns so head shots are out. Been there, done that. Not much left to put up in the garage.

    Why shoot them so fast? It makes for more downrange energy and, cause I can /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  12. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I don't know what you are shooting but in my 25-06 with rel 22 I was getting just under 3100fps with the 125 ULD's

    steve

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I got the data from a post 2506remington had posted. I had no idea what vel they would shoot at.

    Your velocity makes the trajectory look even better. I had used a bc of .625 for the bullet too. Others has calc. anywhere from .6 to .65 for it. I just split the diff. Thanks for your load though. I will be giving that one a try.

    Stephen
     
  13. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I am not 100% on this but I am thinking I was shooting around 53-54gr of rel 22. I am not sure but if I find out for sure I will tell you. Little suckers carry a lot of energy out to 500yds on a still gong.

    steve
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Can hunting bullets be accurate? One guy's experience with one rifle and 3 bullets.

    Wanted as long as possible range capability so I started with 250 SMKs then switched to GMKs cause they were less expensive to work up loads with. Then I went back to SMKs. Then while testing an SMK load I had a couple, sorry only 2, WC 252s loaded. The Pics tell the story.

    All shots at 200 yds. Group size is typical in that rifle with those bullets. Go figure..... Needless to say there is no more load development necessary at least in my book. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    [​IMG]


    Typical SMK group with first 2 shots w/WCs. Wudda hit the dime with both of the WC shots./ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    [​IMG]