What is Palma?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cornchuck, May 30, 2011.

  1. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    When I look at Sierra's 30 cal. 155 gr. Palma Matchkings, what does Palma mean? Can they be used in any 30 caliber rifle. If so, can they be used for shooting 1000 yds. I have noticed for a light weight bullet it has a high BC.

    Jason
     
  2. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Palma is a style of long range competition that uses iron sites. .308 is one of the allowed calibers if not the only one? Iron sites at 1,000 yards is beyond what my eyes can do! I don't believe many of the competition style bullets are designed for expanding on game. Seems like the Berger VLD is a bit of an exception to that rule.
     

  3. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    As Davkrat said, they are meant for a specific competition that limits the bullet weight to 155 grains. I'm not sure, but I think they are 30" barrels of a particular weight and contour. I think 14 twist? The bullets are sometimes used for hunting, but in my opinion, are not the best choice as expansion is not very predictable. I have tested Sierra matchkings in other weight's and they didn't pass MY requirements for a hunting bullet......Rich
     
  4. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Palma is shot from the prone position, using a shooting coat, sling and glove, and a rifle normally chambered in .308 Winchester and equipped with micrometer-adjustable aperature sights. For International competition, 155gn is the weight limit (no such limit for domestic U.S. competition), and twist rates of 1-12 to 1-13" are common, as are 30" barrels. Some of that barrel length is for getting the bullet up to speed to keep it well above the speed of sound at distance, but also for increased sight radius to aid in precise aiming.

    The sights are often referred to as 'iron' sights, but bear about as much resemblance to the open buck-horn sights on a .30-30 as a Nightforce 12-42x NXS does to an ACOG or Aimpoint. Between adjustable aperatures in the rear (which allow you to close down the size of the hole and increase the focal length) and front sight (which allow you to adjust the 'line of white' between the black aiming bull and the front sight ring), plus the use of diopter lenses (which help with bringing both the front sight and the target into focus)... most people who say things like "Iron sites at 1,000 yards is beyond what my eyes can do!" have probably never actually taken a look thru a set of modern aperature sights.

    As for the bullets... they are first and fore-most target bullets, meant for poking holes in paper. This particular weight class has enjoyed a lot of scrutiny and development over the years, so they do shoot extremely well out of a lot of guns and work well for a lot of things they maybe weren't designed for.
     
  5. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    I've seen how fancy (and expensive) those sights can be! I'm sure they are wonderful. That amount of expenditure for specific gear is way beyond me. I'm totally impressed by what those shooters can do but it's beyond my interest or funds.
     
  6. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Jason,

    Course of fire for the Palma Match is 15 shot strings at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards, for a total score of 450 possible. As others have stated already, the match calls fro a gun chambered in 7.62x51/308 Winchester and iron sights. All shooting is done prone, slow fire.

    It's important to understand that the 155 grain bullets that we use in this game are there because of the rules; not because they're superior to heavier, higher BC desgins. Believe me, we'd use them instead if we could. Ditto the 308 chambering. Again, it's because of the rules, not because it's an optimum 1000 yard round. A couple years back I was squadded next to a girl shooting a 6.5x284 at Perry. Back at the 1000, she was consistently using exactly half the windage I was on my Palma gun with the 155s. Half. If I had ten MOA wind on my gun, she needed five. Five on mine, two anf a half on hers, etc.. It's also important to understand that these aren't run of the mill 308s, either. Most shooters use a stiff charge of Varget (probably the #1 powder choice for this community) and the shortest barrels you'll find are 28" or 29" long. You need a minimum of about 2950 fps out of these bullets to keep them supersonic at a 1000, something you won't be able to reach with a typical 24" barreled gun. Yes, it's a specialized game but it's a lot of fun.

    Anyway, if you're just looking for something that'll do 1000 yards out of an existing general purpose type rifle, go to the heavier, higher BC type bullets. The 155 won't do for you what it will for a shooter using a true Palma rifle.