Long Range Big Game Bullet Options

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bookworm, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. bookworm

    bookworm Well-Known Member

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    I know this one may have been beat to death, but I can't seem to find a concise list of long range hunting bullets that people have had success with - both from an accuracy and terminal performance standpoint.

    There is a lot of discussion on Bergers, and I'm currently loading the 190gr VLD's for my 300WM, but I'm looking for other options to try to see if bullet type has an affect on accuracy of my rifle (hopefully in the positive direction).

    The others I've seen comments on (but have no personal experience with) are:

    Nosler Accubond (0.507 BC 180gr, 0.588 200gr)
    Sierra Game King (0.501 BC 180gr, 0.560 200gr)
    Speer Spitzer BTSP (0.52 BC 165gr, 0.54 BC 180gr)

    And for comparison...
    Berger VLD (0.549 BC 185gr, 0.57 BC 190gr, 0.631 BC 210gr)


    Anyone have experience (good or bad) with any of these "other" bullets?

    What others would you put on the list for good long range big game performance?
     
  2. cross

    cross Well-Known Member

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    OK

    I'll have a go at this, some will agree and some won't but that's what we all seem to get.

    Nosler Accubond: Great bullets, accurate with good penetration and weight retention. I've read of some failures but have experienced none.

    Sierra Game King: Some folks say they shoot well, they've never worked well for me. Watched my buddy wound a mule deer to death with Sierra Game King 180s. Upon butchering, the bullets were penetrating about 1.5 to 2 inches before absolute disintegration. One bullet just forward of the shoulder didn't stay together well enough to make it to the chest cavity. Another in the back strap barely penetrated far enough to break it's back. Yes the animal died (for all of those who think if you brought the animal home bullet performance couldn't have been bad) but he lived 2 shots and 10 minutes longer than he would have had he been shot with a Nosler partition or Accubond. Never tried the 200's.

    Speer Spitzers: These are pretty accurate, standard cup-and-core rifle fodder which can perform but don't always. I've seen my buddy break the front shoulder of a bull elk with 145s from his 280 Rem. and also seen where my Dad put a 250 grain Speer Sptzr. from his 35 Whelen Imp. into the neck of a whitetail at 30 yards and the bullet barely held together well enough to reach the spine.
     

  3. bookworm

    bookworm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the good input cross. Yours is the first Speer input I've come across, so that is very helpful.

    What is your preferred bullet(s) for this application?

    I'm using Bergers and going to try the Accubonds. Anything else I should add to my "try" list?
     
  4. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    Bookworm, I think you're on the right track. I read one of your other posts about changing scopes and you had some pretty decent groups. I also shoot a 300 WM regularly and have a bit of experience with it and also use the same scope you switched to. You menioned trying the 180 AB's with H-4831 SC. That is my current load and I have had good success with it. As another member posted, I also tried the 180 Gamekings and they flat out sucked. I too shot a mule deer at around 350 yds and got less than 2" penetration. It was a perfect shot too, and I tracked him for about an hour to put him down. I think the AB's are a good bullet. The BC is decent, they're super accurate in most applications, and they're fairly tuff. For the most part, mine have retained around 70%. At first I wished it was more, but they put game down quick.

    My take on the others are that bullets like the Barnes are very tuff and retain more weight, but lack the BC. I've heard good things about the E-Tips but haven't tried them. They are somewhat similiar to the Barnes but definately have a better BC. Then there are the Bergers. Lot's of guys swear by them but I haven't tried them for fear that they may break up too much, especially at closer ranges. I may try the 210 in my RUM just so I can get some first hand experience with them. My thought has been that the Accubond is a great compromise in construction and accuracy while maintaining a high BC. I just bought a Broughton for my 300 WM and plan on having the chamber reamed for the 180 Accubond, that's how much I like that bullet.

    I think at this point though, I would try hard not to drive yourself crazy switching components too much. Try the AB's with the 4831SC and see if you can get something going with them. If you try too many things, when you finally find what you really like, it will be time for a new barrel and then you'll have to start the madness all over again.

    Some of the other things that helped me with this caliber was a Forster FL competion die, Redding competition seating die, and Norma brass. Of course, I paid attention to detail with every step of the reloading process and starting shooting bug holes, you will too. Good luck.
     
  5. bookworm

    bookworm Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff Moman - thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I have a couple follow-up questions, if you don't mind.

    [newbie question] what do you mean by reaming the chamber for the 180 AB, and what does that buy you?

    [load recipe] Do you have any suggested powder load ranges for the H4831SC and 180 AB? The Nosler manual doesn't list this powder for the AB so I'm not sure where to start for min and max loads. Would you be willing to share your recipe, even offline in PM? I know I'll need to tweak, but looking for a good starting point.

    Also, how far off the lands have you found the AB's to like?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. WAhunter

    WAhunter Member

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    What is your opinion on elk huntig with a 338-378 wby pushing a 300 smk? Lots of energy,but will it do the job at close and long range,(600)yds?
     
  7. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    For me, the sweet spot on seating depth has always been .020: I've used the AB in about three guns now and it's always ended up at .020 off.

    What I plan to do with the chamber is make a couple dummy rounds that will be .070 shorter than the mag and the smith will ream the chamber to this length. My mag length is 3.590, so I plan on making the dummy rounds 3.520. Then my OAL will be 3.500. This will give me a decent OAL and leave a little room for throat erosion. I may even be able to go a little longer, I'll talk to the smith here shortly and make sure I'm on the right track, it's a little new to me at this point.


    Here is a link to Hodgdons website that will give you load info, of course work up. My load actually exceeded max a bit, but I had a Gynormous chamber.

    Cartridge Loads - Hodgdon Reloading Data Center - data.hodgdon.com
     
  8. Johnboy

    Johnboy Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2009
    what no love for the 208gn A-max.and in a 300wm they will give you the energy you would want at a long range.heck some are even getting good results in a 308 with them.may not have the energy but great for papper.and the 178gn A-max's are a good 308 hunt'n bullet.but hey this is just an opinion.