Hunting Bullets and BC's

RockyMtnMT

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I would like to start a conversation about hunting bullets and their bc's. A lot of us on this site truly hunt at long ranges where bc's become very important. Most hunters don't shoot THAT far. There is a ratio of speed, distance, and the bc. What starts my curiosity in this is when advice given to hunters on bullet choice always turns to "Pick the highest bc bullet available that your rifle likes". So many guys go on about bc's and then mention that they will never shoot beyond 500 yards or less. My opinion is that bc in most big game hunting chamberings really don't kick in until beyond 500 yards.

Lets see if we can have a good conversation with out getting into the "chevy, vs ford" ******* match. Willing to take an over under prediction as to how long this can stay civil.:rolleyes:

Steve
 

stonehands1

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Ford? Chevy? I guess if we're talking bullets you just covered the the cast your own lead side of things. Lol just kidding. Go Dodge!
But seriously I think your right on target at the 500 range. I always tell people when it comes to hunting rifles to shoot the bullet that shoots the best in your rifle and works the best on the game you're shooting.
In my case (Lazzeroni Warbird) I shoot 150's because at 3800fps muzzle velocity it beat the bigger bullets in speed and energy till about 5-600 yards. Also it shoots 150's very well and has a lot less recoil than 195's.
 

ohiohunter

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Choosing a bullet becomes a very very subjective matter quickly. When it comes to the gun itself most get what they can afford, and then equip as necessary. Bullets are an inexpensive way to get the most out of your gun, comparatively speaking.

For big game the target is much larger than the target you practice with. Also you normally only get one shot, where as your target will not run and endure the punishment. More bullets are shot on the range than in the field, those on the range are scrutinized the most. How tight is the group, how much drop.. etc... An accurate gun is measured by what it does on the range and not in the field. So if you can squeeze an extra 0.1" due to slightly better wind deflection out of your gun simply by using a higher bc bullet why not? Why penalize your gun's ability, your ego, and your confidence? Maximize your mechanical advantage.

ANother angle, marginal shots and misread wind. Sure a 0.5bc will kill just as dead as a 0.7bc, but a miscalculation shooting across a breezy/gusty canyon or field with hidden wind can result in a wounded animal w/ the 0.5bc where as the 0.7bc will deflect just enough to catch the back of the lungs and turn that 1+mile tracking job into 300yds. All this is hypothetical, but if anyone has ever lost an animal they can attest to what they did wrong when the trigger is pulled, not before. SO again, why not eek every mechanical advantage you can out of your equipment?

Some will defer from those marginal shots, I applaud you, but the choice is not always easy and as clear as you may think.
 

Sneaky Apasum

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I only consider bullets that are proven to perform well on game, and then I compare the BC of those bullets. The smaller the caliber, the more emphasis I place on terminal performance.
 

jpd676

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Jackson Hole, WY
I agree the BC of a bullet isn't all that important under 500 yards. Most hunters don't need to bother with this. I also choose a bullet that will perform on game. Some high BC bullets don't kill very well so I would never use one to hunt with. Sectional density may be more important than BC to your average hunter. It has been my experience that a bullet high in SD kills more effectively. To a long range guy, he needs everything to come together to make the long shot an ethical first round kill.
 

RockyMtnMT

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Choosing a bullet becomes a very very subjective matter quickly. When it comes to the gun itself most get what they can afford, and then equip as necessary. Bullets are an inexpensive way to get the most out of your gun, comparatively speaking.

For big game the target is much larger than the target you practice with. Also you normally only get one shot, where as your target will not run and endure the punishment. More bullets are shot on the range than in the field, those on the range are scrutinized the most. How tight is the group, how much drop.. etc... An accurate gun is measured by what it does on the range and not in the field. So if you can squeeze an extra 0.1" due to slightly better wind deflection out of your gun simply by using a higher bc bullet why not? Why penalize your gun's ability, your ego, and your confidence? Maximize your mechanical advantage.

ANother angle, marginal shots and misread wind. Sure a 0.5bc will kill just as dead as a 0.7bc, but a miscalculation shooting across a breezy/gusty canyon or field with hidden wind can result in a wounded animal w/ the 0.5bc where as the 0.7bc will deflect just enough to catch the back of the lungs and turn that 1+mile tracking job into 300yds. All this is hypothetical, but if anyone has ever lost an animal they can attest to what they did wrong when the trigger is pulled, not before. SO again, why not eek every mechanical advantage you can out of your equipment?

Some will defer from those marginal shots, I applaud you, but the choice is not always easy and as clear as you may think.

Have you compared the .5 bc bullet with it's muzzle vel to the .7 bc with it's muzzle vel? In a 10 mph full value wind what yardage does the higher bc bullet overcome the lower one? Assuming the lower bc bullet is lighter and has a higher launch speed.

Steve
 

ohiohunter

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Have you compared the .5 bc bullet with it's muzzle vel to the .7 bc with it's muzzle vel? In a 10 mph full value wind what yardage does the higher bc bullet overcome the lower one? Assuming the lower bc bullet is lighter and has a higher launch speed.

Steve

Can't say I have, but as I said, it is all theoretical. Why would you not want to maximize your mechanical efficiency?

What I said is splitting hairs, but I've had marginal shots (that I thought were good) leave me tracking well into the next day.

I have yet to see realistic velocities overcome drastic bc differences. Thats why everyone loves 7mm/180 and 308/215 bergers. Even pushing the 215's out of 308win. I haven't heard of any of the higher BC bullets having any problems w/ terminal performance, but then I haven't heard it all. With the exception of the amax's... The bullets performing poorly, to my knowledge, don't have the desirable high bc's.
 

BergerFan222

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It doesn't take much wind drift to miss a groundhog at 300 yards. A deer facing you is also a narrow target that wind drift can cause a miss or poor hit on. Deer and groundhogs are easy to kill, so the notion of the highest BC bullet that will reliably expand is usually pretty good advice. There is no need for partitions and solid copper bullets on these targets.

The "high BC" approach will also work well on larger animals as long as high BC is achieved with enough bullet weight and sectional density that good penetration is ensured by weight rather than by construction. Given that there is a wide range of powder capacities in different cartridges, I think the best advice might be "shoot the highest BC bullet that your gun will shoot at 2900 fps and that will reliably expand out to your desired maximum range."
 

7magcreedmoor

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I picked a bullet with an excellent reputation for killing performance, a high BC and SD and will stay with it until the barrel is shot out. No changing of dope when hunting compared to practice. When I am looking at fur, I don't want to be trying to recall which load I have in the chamber....

Oh, and the bullet is Berger's 168VLD 7mm starting at 3015fps from my 280 AI. Works for me...
 

Ridgerunner665

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I picked a bullet with an excellent reputation for killing performance, a high BC and SD and will stay with it until the barrel is shot out. No changing of dope when hunting compared to practice. When I am looking at fur, I don't want to be trying to recall which load I have in the chamber....

Oh, and the bullet is Berger's 168VLD 7mm starting at 3015fps from my 280 AI. Works for me...

I am not and do not intend this as an argument...its just something I've been studying up on the past year or so, while waiting on my rifle to be built...got it home just last week...haven't fired a single round in it yet (Nosler M48 Custom 280 Ackley), haven't even held it in my hands yet (haven't been home yet, truck driver)...all that is to say, I have no actual data, only numbers generated from ballistics programs...I use Applied Ballistics....again, just discussing some things the numbers seem to be telling me...nothing more.

Berger 168 (2,900 fps) vs Nosler 150 ABLR (3,050 fps)....easy to attain speeds in a 24" barrel
Forgetting all other aspects of these 2 bullets besides BC and downrange trajectory...strictly the numbers...their numbers are essentially identical to 1,000 yards (I primarily look at wind drift for these comparisons, the most important aspect)...I can see no good reason to go with the heavier bullet UNLESS that one happens to be the most accurate...the 280 Ackley is pretty much at its deer killing limit at 1,000 yards, in my opinion (~1,000 ft. lbs.)...I'm a deer hunter, maybe elk if I'm lucky enough to draw for Tennessee's hunt one day...but mostly deer.

My numbers are generated for my area...1,300 feet ASL...if you're doing the math at 5,000 feet...everything looks better gun)

Anyway...to the point...Leaving accuracy, terminal performance, and brand preference out of it....why is the higher BC better in the Ackley if 1,000 yards is its useful limit?

150 Nosler ABLR (G7 .295)


168 Berger (G7 .316)
 
Last edited:

RockyMtnMT

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So I have been running #'s like a mad man. Here is the comparison that I came up with.

I chose the 300 win mag as the cal. Nosler bullets, Nosler ballistics, and Nosler load data. Bullets chosen to compare are 150g E-Tip, 180g Accubond, and 210g Long Range Accubond. I used JBM Ballistics for down range #'s

At 300 yard zero. elev 3000ft 10mph full value wind

180g AB @ 3123 fps max load H1000 per Nosler site. Published bc .507
Drift @ 200 yard=2.1" @ 300 yard=4.9" @ 400 yard=9" @500 yard=14.5"
Drop @ 400 yard=9" @ 500 yard=23.9"
Max point blank range=375 yards

210g ABLR @ 2731 fps max load H4831sc per Nosler site. Published bc .73
Drift @ 200 yard=1.7" @ 300 yard=4" @ 400 yard=7.3" @500 yard=11.6"
Drop @ 400 yard=11" @ 500 yard=28.7"
Max point blank range=325yards

150g E-Tip @3237 fps max load H1000 per Nosler site. Published bc .469
Drift @ 200 yard=2.2" @ 300 yard=5.1" @ 400 yard=9.4" "@ 500 yard=15.1
Drop @ 400 yard=8.6" @ 500 yard=22.8"
Max point blank range=375 yards

Interesting....

Steve
 

ohiohunter

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I am not and do not intend this as an argument...its just something I've been studying up on the past year or so, while waiting on my rifle to be built...got it home just last week...haven't fired a single round in it yet (Nosler M48 Custom 280 Ackley), haven't even held it in my hands yet (haven't been home yet, truck driver)...all that is to say, I have no actual data, only numbers generated from ballistics programs...I use Applied Ballistics....again, just discussing some things the numbers seem to be telling me...nothing more.

Berger 168 (2,900 fps) vs Nosler 150 ABLR (3,050 fps)....easy to attain speeds in a 24" barrel
Forgetting all other aspects of these 2 bullets besides BC and downrange trajectory...strictly the numbers...their numbers are essentially identical to 1,000 yards (I primarily look at wind drift for these comparisons, the most important aspect)...I can see no good reason to go with the heavier bullet UNLESS that one happens to be the most accurate...the 280 Ackley is pretty much at its deer killing limit at 1,000 yards, in my opinion (~1,000 ft. lbs.)...I'm a deer hunter, maybe elk if I'm lucky enough to draw for Tennessee's hunt one day...but mostly deer.

My numbers are generated for my area...1,300 feet ASL...if your doing the math at 5,000 feet...everything looks better gun)

Anyway...to the point...Leaving accuracy, terminal performance, and brand preference out of it....why is the higher BC better in the Ackley if 1,000 yards is its useful limit?

150 Nosler ABLR


168 Berger

They have identical BC's. You've taken Grade A nosler vs Berger's grade B IMO. Do a true apples to apples comparison of the ABLR 150 vs ABLR 168.... there's your answer. Also I think noslers bc's have been proven to be exaggerated.

Given your above tables though the ft/lbs are about the same, I would hunt elk w/ the 168gr for the momentum difference.

Very interesting Steve... have you tried any other ballistics calculators?
 

Ridgerunner665

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They have identical BC's. You've taken Grade A nosler vs Berger's grade B IMO. Do a true apples to apples comparison of the ABLR 150 vs ABLR 168.... there's your answer. Also I think noslers bc's have been proven to be exaggerated.

Given your above tables though the ft/lbs are about the same, I would hunt elk w/ the 168gr for the momentum difference.

Very interesting Steve... have you tried any other ballistics calculators?

Those numbers are generated with Litz's tested BC's (above post edited to add this info)...not Nosler advertised...and using the 168 ABLR doesn't change anything in any measurable degree...the BC of the Berger (.316) and Nosler 168 (.319) are very similar, again...using Bryan's verified BC's.

168 ABLR (G7 .319)


Not sure I understand what you mean by "I'm using Bergers grade B"...using any heavier bullet in a 24" barreled 280 Ackley is a wasted effort (by the numbers).


For reference... http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/nosler-lr-accubonds-bc-testing-results-137554/
 

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