Long Range Hunting Bullets

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by bblaine2k, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. bblaine2k

    bblaine2k Well-Known Member

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    Need suggestions for a good LR bullet for my 7mm Remington Ultra Mag in a Remington Sendero.

    From what I've come across, many long range shooters have suggested "match" bullets as well as "custom" bullets. Both of which, I've never used for hunting.

    Since the manufacturers of such bullets do not advocate them for hunting, which bullets have performed well for hunting. I'm new to the Long range realm and this is one topic I'm not too sure about. Any info on good suggestions for hunting bullets for my 7mm RUM is appreciated.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mountaineer,
    I would suggest the 162 grn. Hornady Amax. Yes, Yes , Yes, I know they are MATCH bullets but take it from many on here with experience THEY WORK very well for Long Range applications. If they were a BAD choice the guys on here would not use them.... Also you could try the SMK, JLK, Bergers etc. etc. You will be Very SURPRISED at the way these suggestions perform in hunting situations. [​IMG]
     

  3. bblaine2k

    bblaine2k Well-Known Member

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    Jerry, 338-378 and Darryl

    Thanks!

    Jerry I especially want to thank you for breaking it down ballistically for me. I always suspected the impact velocity of the bullet to be a crucial factor in the design for a hunting bullet. As you mentioned, the LR impact velocities are something that not every manufacturer has taken under their wing to design since most Joe Shooter's keep their shots well under 400 yards. I'll probably buy a couple boxes of the "match" ammo to try out.

    Any favorite 7mm RUM loads I should try?
     
  4. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Mountaineer, impact vel is the critical part of bullet design and why bullets like BarnesX, Failsafes, and a whole host of bonded/partitioned bullets have been engineered. The NA hunter wants bigger and faster so impact vel have steadily increased (hunting distances have not increased though). This has lead to a lot of poor bullet performance and wounded game using conventional bullets. Not the bullets fault, just poor match with cartridge, game, and hunting distance.

    These super bullets work very well at elevated impact vel. In fact, they work about as well as conventional bullets at standard vel or cast at slow vel.

    If you do try the amax or matchkings, shoot them at wet phone books or steel gongs. At extended ranges, they are going to hit very hard. A friend shoots a 280rem and 168gr mk at 2850fps. At 700yds, he is cratering our steel gongs. You will be going 2 to 400fps faster. If you connect, you are going to be very impressed with the effect on game. Also, don't expect to recover too many bullets on broadside hits.

    Since you mentioned you are new at this game, I will throw in a mention on proper load development and practise. You have to shoot at extended ranges (the furthest range you want to hunt at) to see how your load will shoot. 100yd groups just doesn't cut it. You also need to do a lot of practising in order to learn how to shoot at long range. You must shoot from field positions and varied weather to learn the drop and windage of your combo. A rangefinder, drop table and proper optics are also a must. Review past articles for more detailed info.

    Good luck on this journey. It has been wonderful for me and this board will give you the support you need to make it all happen.

    Jerry
     
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I like Retumbo or 5010 powders & Cauterucio 156 or 176 grain VLDs. The bullets are long, accurate, & heavy jacketed. At 1,000 yards, they'll make a steel gong do backflips. At 600, they'll dimple one made of T1 steel!

    If you're barrel has a slower twist than a 1:9", you'd be better off with a 156. If a JLK will shoot for you, they'd be acceptable too. Best of luck!
     
  6. Darryl Cassel

    Darryl Cassel Well-Known Member

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    Have used Sierra Match Kings of different weights and diameters for MANY years in my Longrange guns.
    On PA deer and bear, West Virginia deer, Colorado deer, elk and bear and none of them ever had enough strength to complain as they were very dead.
    MKs work for me. I like the biggest weight and highest BC per caliber they make.

    DC [​IMG]
     
  7. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Mountaineer, remember that to 90% of the hunting population, LR starts on the far side of 250yds and the near side of 400yds. Some of the rifle on this board can't adjust for that close. When we talk of LR we are talking a long ways out.

    The key here is impact vel. Premium hunting bullets are designed for very high impact vel (2500fps and higher), softpoints 2000 to 2800fps, match like Amax and Sierra (1500 to 2500fps). As long as the bullets are kept in the design range, they work very well. When driven faster or slower, poor results occur.

    We use "match" bullets because at LR our impact vel are comparatively low. Bullets will not blow up when impact vels drop under 2500fps, even when striking bone. Most of the time the impact vels are in the teens so reg. hunting bullets could be a liability as they probably will not expand.

    Bullet engineers simply do not plan for impact vel just above the speed of sound. Why bother for the few guys that hunt with 45-70's?

    Anyways, my testing with Amax have shown that they are still a very tough bullet. At 70yds and an impact vel just under 3100fps, the 30 cal 168gr Amax went through two water filled milk jugs and split the third. A Nosler BT went through all three. So much for "soft" bullets.

    Out of a 308, a 155gr Amax at 2850fps muzzle vel went clean through a 5/16" mild steel gong at 385yds. That should break the skin on most NA deer, I think.

    Remember that fragile bullets are a relative thing. Slow any bullet down, to a point, and it will go cleanly through any animal with good expansion.

    For your RUM, the 162SST and 168gr MK would get my nod. Launch them 3000 to 3200fps, or whatever will give you the necessary accuracy and if you hit something properly, it will go down. You will be very impressed with the expansion/penetration at long range.

    Good luck...

    Jerry
     
  8. bblaine2k

    bblaine2k Well-Known Member

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    Jerry and speedbump,


    Thanks for the info and suggestions. I agree, practice is part of the equation. I was wondering, what do you use for gongs? I have the range, but what is your source of gongs/metal plates for LR shooting. The only thing I can think of that might be suitable is a manhole cover! Any target suggestions?
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I also suggest 156 cauterucio.
     
  10. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Visit a metal fabrication shop or scrapyards, and look for cutouts or scrap. I use pieces from 5/16" to 1/2" mild steel depending on distance. Size to suit your needs. You can then build a swinging stand or just weld on some legs and post into the ground.

    They will get beat up with time so be prepared to replace every now and then.

    Jerry
     
  11. St_Gunner

    St_Gunner Member

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    The_Mountaineer,

    Go to the local steel shop, I bought a piece of 1" thick steel plate that was 24"x36" for $33, it weighed 333lbs, so it wasn't real easy to move around. I cut it into a couple targets, some 6"x6" squares and some human torso 18"x18" chest with a 6"x6" head. I welded some 2 3/8" pipe to the back and made a t at the bottom from same. I stick a couple fence t-posts in it and have a good base. I shoot them all the time, the 1" steel doesn't get hurt much, some 8mm surplus I have makes small indentions.

    On the matchking question, I shoot em all the time. Shot em out of a .308 Remington varmit in the 168gr loading and they worked fine. Took a nice size Texas whitetail with them and countless feral hogs, never had a problem. I don't remember the exact loading but it was a case full of Varget and was putting em out right around 2850fps from a 26" barrel. The whitetail was a fluke, I was watching a sendero and he came out about 5yds away, I shot at about 15yds right behind the shoulder. You couldn't tell heart from lung when you opened the chest up. The hogs it did the same under 200yds, but outside of that I normally got pass throughs, I never shot over 500yds with that set-up, just didn't have a place to at that point in time.

    I just bought a Sendero in .270 win and am going to be shooting some 135gr sierra in front of H1000 and hitting right around 2900fps, i'll let you know how it goes on critters.

    Steve
     
  12. HighLander

    HighLander Member

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    Good discussions! I'll add my 2 cents. I just acquired a 7 RUM this year and have my load worked up. I can't remember where, but somewhere on this forum there have been discussions on loads. I'll give you mine. Also, I have corresponded with another 7 RUM enthusiast and this load worked for him as well:

    Nosler Ballistic Tip 140 grain bullet. This makes me a little nervous inside 250 yards, but after that should be perfect. I suggest something like a Nosler Partition and other similiar controlled expansion bullets if you plan on 250 and under. But you probably won't since you have a 7 RUM I suspect and will long range it. Nosler doesn't have a 140 new Accubond bullet out yet. Hornady's new 139 Interbond is not in production yet. These may prove to be fine hunting long range bullets as well.

    Reloader 25 = Books say maximums of like 92 grains, I think. 95-97 grains is not out of the question, if you ladder up and keep an eye on pressures, as they can spike quickly. I have tried quite a few other powders, all had disappointing velocity at maximums, with this 140 grain/weight bullet.

    Federal 215 magnum primer.

    Seat for maximum magazine length, since you have some freebore.

    Velocity at 95-97 grains, if pressures are okay, should be in the range of 3450-3500 f.p.s.

    Accuracy, of course depends on you, your optics, gun, and your load, but I bet .5"-1" will not be out of the question, or better possibly at 100 yards.

    It is great advice to shoot at the longer ranges and good practice as well. I have shot a great group at 400 yards off Harris short bi-pod, prone and back end on back pack. And the group size was smaller than the math tells you. Meaning, 1" at 100 does not necessarily mean 4" at 400. I suppose bullet spin, stabilization, etc. all factor in to surprise yourself. Others on this forum I'm sure could shed more light on this subject.

    Best of luck and keep us posted!

    P.A.S.S. (pick a spot, squeeze)......
     
  13. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Mountain,
    Suggest that when you go looking for steel that you try to get something that is wider than high. Once you get your elevation most of the challenge is wind, so a wider target is good. We use 4 foot wide and two foot high and they are fine. Thickness is somewhat dependant on distance, we are shooting a piece of 1/4" right now at 700 and the .308's are denting it and bowing it but not penetrating. Much easier to handle if you have to move it than 3/8 or 1/2 but any steel thickness can work if you are out far enough. We shoot paper to 400, start using heavier plates at 500 and use the light stuff at 700 and longer. This is with .308's, bigger cartridges will beat up the steel and penetrate much more, but what the hell, it is only scrap steel. Buy some good cans of white spray paint, repaint the bullet splats as required and you can shoot all day. You can easily see bullet splats at 1000 yards on fresh paint.
     
  14. bblaine2k

    bblaine2k Well-Known Member

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    St_Gunner, Ian and Highlander,

    Thanks for the great gong suggestions. I'm hoping to have them up and running soon. Gotta wait on my welder to get back from the beach. In the meantime, it has been trying out different loads. My initial increment testing from a 24 round broken in barrel gave good groups. 5- shot groups giving about 0.4 inches at 100 yards with H-1000 and those "non-hunting" 168 grain Matchkings [​IMG] Further up the scale though my groups started flying apart. SHOULD HAVE DONE THE LADDER TEST [​IMG] if I had known about it before. Boy that trigger was stiff. Once I get that working right, I'll start slinging lead. Actually went out and did some lasing of the ranges on my hunting ground, 700-800 yards is gonna be about the max I'll encounter. Doubt if I'll change the bullet setup so long as accuracy stays good with the 168 MK. Though I did get some 162 A-MAX as well to try. The search continues!

    Thanks for all the LR advice for someone new to the ranks!