Newby with 300 WSM

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by MontanaRifleman, May 22, 2008.

  1. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Howdy All,

    I'm a newby here and glad I found this site. I have always hunted with a 7mm Rem Mag and this year I just picked up a SAKO 85 Finnlight in 300 WSM. The Finnlight probably isn't the best rifle choice for long range hunting but I think with a well developed load I should probably able to get sub .5 MOA out of it. I know someone who is shooting their Model 75 300 WSM at sub 1/2 inch at 200 yds with factory ammo.

    I'm going to put a NF 5x22x50 on it. I'm looking at two or three bullets. The primary two are 168 gr TTSX and 180 gr E-Tip, both very new bullets on the market with some good reviews. I plan on using H4350 because it's a temp stable powder and I've heard (locally) and read in different forums that it is a real good 300 WSM powder. I'm hopping to get 3100-3200 fps out of the 168's and 3000-3050 fps out of the 180's. I also would eventually like to develop a load for 130 gr TTSX's.

    I hope to be able to develop the ability to make consistant accurate shots out to 1000 yds with this rifle within a couple of years. The bullets I'm using will not expand beyond 750-850 yds although I think they would punch through the boiler room of an elk? Any comments on that?

    So I was wondering if anyone here has a similar outfit and what their experiences are?

    Or any comments at all from long range shooters in general?

    I certainly welcome advice and tips for this goal of mine.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark
     
  2. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry brother, can't help you with the 300 short loads. I have experience with the 300 wm and think you made a good choice with the cartridge selection. As far as the rifle is concerned, if you can hit with it then it is a good choice. A light rifle is just harder to keep steady, but that is my opinion and they vary.
    As far as the bullets are concerned, if you know they will not reliably expand at the velocities they will arrive on target then you're asking for trouble. Would you shoot an elk or deer with a FMJ? Because a bullet that doesn't expand will basically be one. You might get lucky and hit a bone but even then the damage might not be enough to kill. Even if it does kill, that could be a slow death. Have you ever shot a deer and it didn't leave much of a blood trail to find? It happens. Imagine trying to find a blood trail of an animal that maybe barely bleeding and you have to pin point his exact location from 1000yards. Even if you do, he might not die! Then you have an animal with over half a mile lead on you. You see where I'm going with this I hope. The possibilities are endless...oh my.
     

  3. Jon2

    Jon2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi MR

    I have an 85 stn/syn in .300 WSM and bought it for longranging as well as shorter conventional stuff.

    I have a NXS 3.5-15 x 50 on board and I have just developed a load with 180 grn BT's with 68 grns of RL22 behind.

    The good news is it groups sub half no problems. The bad news is I chrono'd the load and disappointingly the reading was 2800 fps. The load is .3 of a grn below max. I have no problem with going over a grn or two but not much more than that.

    Mine didn't shoot with 165 grn bullets (was getting about 1 to 1.5" group).

    I am going to use N560 next to squeeze sum extra juice out of it as I would like to get over 2900 feet - ideally around 3000. I know that 100 feet is neither here or there but I may have well gone with a .30-06 if I was happy with that vel. Not that there is anything wrong with .30-06 - great cartridge - it's just that I want some more out of the short mag.

    Have you got any data for 4350? What velocities does the data say you can obtain with a 180 grn bullet?

    Thanks and regards

    JB
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Bravo 4, I hear ya... a non expanding bullet is definitely not ideal, but a hole through the lungs would kill an animal, question is how quick? So I guess I am wndering if anyone had any experience on that? From some posts I've read and video I've seen it sounds like some game has been taken well with bullets that may not have expanded. If not a good idea, I'll just have to settle for less than 900 yd shots, which is still plenty.

    Thanks for the input

    Jon2, I know a guy here who is getting 3000 fps using H4350 and 165 TSX's and making one hole groups. Not sure how much powder he's using but less than max. He was more interested in accuracy than speed but he did want 3000 fps. Not sure how long his barrel is either. for H4350 you can expect max to be around 64.5 - 65.5 for 165/168's and a couple grs less for 180's, from what I've read. I plan to start at 61 for the 168's and 59 for the 180's. On the Nosler site they are showing over 3000 fps for the 180 bullets, including RL 22. Fed is showing 2980 for 180 gr bullets which is about what Hodgdon is showing. Nosler had no data for H4350 when I called. Neither did Barnes, which I find interesting, because H4350 seems to be the most popular choice for 300 WSM loaders. Go figure. I think Barnes said something about it being compresed but 65 gr shouldn't be very compressed.

    Thanks also for the input, hope you find some good velocity, you should be able to get more, have you checked your chrono?
     
  5. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I have a Tikka T3 lite 300 wsm and I am getting good results using BR2 primers, win brass, H4350 and Nosler AB's 180's. I feel the 180 is about the best weight for the wsm long range and the AB gives you a good wide variety of penetration, performance and fairly high bc. My current load is getting 2915 at muzzle
     
  6. Jon2

    Jon2 Well-Known Member

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    Britz

    What are you putting behind your 180's to get over the 2900 feet mark? I mean how many grains of 4350?

    Thanks

    JB
     
  7. piutemike

    piutemike Well-Known Member

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  8. JPRITT

    JPRITT Well-Known Member

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    Sako makes and excellent rifle and will shoot better than most shooters can shoot it. my thoughts on your set up is this; the velocitys you are trying to reach may be a little difficult to achieve. If I remember correctly the finnlight has a 22 in barrel. The lack of 4 inches of barrel will deifinately be an issue. my other thought is that nightforce scope may make the rifle feel unbalanced and top heavy with finnlight being sub 7 pounds. That 3.5 x 15 may be the ticket. and cheaper to boot. Have you looked at shooting the berger vlds. extremely accurate and still work well at lower velocitys do to their thin walls. just my opinion.

    ps. I had great luck with H4831sc in a tikka 300 wm. All hodgons "extreme" powders are supposed to be consistant at any temp.
     
  9. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    MR,
    I'm not trying to preach ethics here, I think you just don't understand what I'm getting at. Let me try to explain...again. When you shoot an animal you want to take it down ASAP, preferably DRT. I don't do this just for ethical reasons, I do it because I am selfish and lazy! The lazy part is that I don't wanna have to go looking for the freaking thing. The selfish part you wouldn't totally understand unless you have had the buck of a lifetime (or several for that matter) stolen because it ran a couple hundred yards before dying and some jerks happened upon it before you did. You mentioned elk, I have never shot an elk but have friends that go almost every year. I have been told stories of hitting them at under 200 yards with 250gr soft points from .338 Win Mags and they don't flinch so the guy thought he missed and hit it two other times (all lung shots) before it moved! All kill shots! That my friend is the very definition of tough! You are talking about poking a tiny hole through lungs the size of a pizza box. That would be the equivalent of shooting them with field point arrows. Sure, you might get lucky. About 15 years ago when I first got into long range shooting I bought a 300 WM and that is when the Winchester Fail Safes were kinda new, I was in my middle teens and thought they were cool and just flat out didn't know any better so I bought several boxes to use deer hunting. Practised alot and was very comfortable out to 400yards. Opening day I shot a doe a little over three hundred yards and she(they) ran into the woods. Thought my new super rifle with wonder bullets would have knocked her over. I must have missed. A little while later another doe came out with the same effect. A bang and the deer ran off. I couldn't believe I missed again! I got down and went to investigate. Looked all over that place for blood with no avail. I had been bow hunting for several years at this point and shot several deer so I was not new to hunting and blood trailing shot deer. I went and confirmed my scope was still on. A few days later I sat on the same field, only closer to where the deer usually appeared from, to try again. I shot another big doe, this time behind the shoulders at a mere 20 yards. She ran off as though she was unscathed! There was no way I missed! I got down to look and seen her 50 yards in the woods just standing there looking at me and shot her behind the shoulder again. This time she jumped and kicked as if she had been hit and ran off. I waited about 15 minutes and went in to get her thinking she would be just right in a little ways. I went in the way she did and jumped her about 200 yards in! I went to where she had laid down and found a small amount of blood and marked it. I left and came back almost an hour later with a buddy and we went looking for her. I seen her a couple hundred more yards in, she was bedded down looking at me very alert and I put one between her eyes. When we skinned her she had very little damage to her lungs...two tiny holes in and out. Upon seeing this we got my buddy's hound and ended up finding one of the other does not far from the spot I finally killed the last one. One we never found. He had also shot a doe with his 7mm Mag with the new fandango bullets and we couldn't find hardly any blood. He shot the same doe a week later in the same stand with his .44mag. The 7mm bullet had angled (quartering away) through her chest and lodged in the far shoulder. He said she had a limp when he shot her the second time but didn't think it could have been the same deer. Not after being shot with a 7mmMag in the chest! These are cases of using the wrong bullets on game. I hope you see the point I'm making. Just trying to save you from yourself. I will leave you alone on the matter now.
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Britz, the AB is a good bullet. You might want to check out the E-Tips. They have a slightly better BC and from what I've read, monometal bullets tend to be a little more inherently accurate than jacketed bullets. The E-Tips expand down to 1800 fps, probably about the same as the AB's?Thanks for the info.


    piutemike, I plugged in 3000 and 3050 fps (being optimistic) and 5000 ft elevation. Most elk around here are taken at 5000 to 8000 ft. At 3000 fps and 5000 ft the E-Tip is traveling 1802 fps @ 850 yds and at 3050 fps it is moving 1808 fps @ 1875 yds. At 7000 ft elev the downrange velocites are increased by about 60 - 70 fps. I would love to have a 300 RUM, it's on my list.

    JPRITT, You're right about the velocities I'm hoping for being optimistic, as I read the posts in here. Nosler publishes three max loads at over 3000 fps and others sources at just under 3000. I guess time will tell. The Finnlight has a 24 3/8" barrel which is OK for the WSM. I also considered the the size of the NF and the ballance. On a rest, ballance shouldn't be much of an issue, I'll have to see how it feels offhand, sitting etc. I also considered the 3.5x15 and almost went with it for the lower end power in close quarters. It's only an oz lighter than the 5.5x22. Yep, also looked at the VLD's, I dont like their explosive performance at higher velocities and I believe their expansion velocity is about the same as the E-Tip. They have a little better BC which might buy me a few more yards but over all I think I like the E-Tips. I have considered loading the VLD's for the longr range shots only. The H4831sc max's out at about 69 gr which is a significantly compressed load in the 300 WSM, but yeah, I'm sticking with the temp stable powders.

    Thanks again for all the input,

    Mark
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Bravo 4, I definitely know what you were getting at. I have only ever lost one game animal (deer) in my life and that was my first one in which I attempted a head shot from my tree stand to the small buck right below me. I didn't compensate for the difference of the sight plain and the bullet plain. Long story short, after lot's of tracking and two more shots I had to abandon the chase when the deer went into a residential area. I was totally sick about it. Since then I have made all one shot kills with the exception of a Bigorn ram. The Ram was fatally wounded on the first shot, throught the lungs. He was about 150-200 yds, and stumble forward a couple steps and just stood there. I was using 160 gr partitions out of a 7mm Rem Mag which I have used to take about 90% of my game. I put two more shots in through the lungs and he didn't flinch, just stood there. The fourth I put through the spine and dropped him. When I got him home and skinned him out, the first three entry hole were so close together, you could have covered them with a half dollar. The exit holes were a little larger than nickle sized openings. The 2nd and 3rd shots did very little damage. So bottom line, I don't like loosing game and never want to loose another animal.

    Elk are fairly tough animals but not all that tough. I know a guy who has killed 4 with a 243. Two dropped in their tracks, and the other two didn't go far. They were well placed shots at fairly close range. He was also using partitions. A lot of elk die to 243's. The only bull I've taken was at 15 yds with the same 7mm load as described above. His body shook violently and he leaped up, spun around, took one bound and piled up. I know a lot of other elk dropped in their tracks and some that needed tracking. Usually though, a good boiler room shot kills them pretty quick.

    Having said that, as already mentioned, I am totally new to long range hunting and have everything to learn. I do appreciate your input, you make valid points that must be considered. Loosing an elk would be a very ugly thing for me. At the same time, I see and read reports of game being taken at ranges, with bullets that are probablty not expanding so I would like to know particulars. i.e. there is a thread in this forum on 1000 yd deer gun. The load is a 6mm, 105 gr A-Max, at 3200fps. When I run the balistics on that that bullet is a little slower than the loads I'm looking at down range, and very doubful about expasion, yet the shooter says he is getting about quarter size exit holes at 900-1000 yds with the farthest shot being over 1600 yds. They have killed a lot of deer, one shot kills and haven't lost one. So I would like to hear more experiences on these longer shots and what performance peolpe are actually seeing with their bullets.

    I wont be making any 1000 yd shots any time soon and will probably work up to the long hunting shots gradually after lots of work on the range. Antelope would make a good game animal to learn on. They are relatively delicate animals and easy to observe in the open country they live in.

    Once again, I do appreciate your input, that's why I asked the question. I figured there would be a variety of experience and views.

    Mark
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    If any of you have experience with long ranges shots with these types of bullets and loads (.30 cal or other small/med bore) I would like to hear what you have seen with their peformance on game.

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  13. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    Jon2, I have been using 65 g H4350, but I worked the load up very slowly and I am at the peak for my rifle. I am not and will not ever recomend anyone go above the published max load and you should always start lower. I was using a load of 64 g and CCI mag primers last year and the velocity was a little slower - (@2850-2880)
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    65 gr of H4350 behind a 180 gr bullet...that's interesting...would expect 63 or 64.

    Yep, max is max. Don't want to exceed that. Sticky bolt. Throat burnout. Ruined brass. I back off til I get a smooth bolt and primers not showing excessive flattening and pressure. Hot loads just aren't worth it.