Spreadsheet to determine best long range hunting cartridge

packgoatguy

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In case anyone else finds this (often debated) topic interesting: Ive been planning on setting up another long range capable rifle. With SO SO SO many caliber and cartridge choices available, it is difficult to evaluate which one has the most to offer. The following link is to a Google Sheet spreadsheet that I created that compares some of the more popular long range hunting cartridges.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/156KStH-VKLIwILKsmubbCZDm6XzUvyz47oro0nR5hxY/edit?usp=sharing

The spreadsheet ranks the various cartridges based on the point in their flight when they drop below 1600fps (the minimum velocity when the popular Hornady ELD-X bullets are said to be designed to reliably expand upon impact.) For the purpose of this analysis, I am calling this the "max effective range" of the particular cartridge.

SPOILER ALERT, this spreadsheet puts the 28 Nosler at the top of the list (unless you can get 2900fps or more out of a 270gr 338 bullet.)

The spreadsheet uses the advertised velocities on Hornady's and Nosler's websites.

Also included is the wind drift and drop of each cartridge at 500, 1000, and 1500 yard increments.

Also included is the KPS (Killing Power Score) of each bullet at the corresponding yardages and velocities. (the KPS scale accounts for energy, velocity, bullet weight, sectional density, and the diameter of the bullet to give a "score" that more or less defines its "oomph" on target). Bear in mind that a 10mm pistol at point blank range has a KPS score of 12-17 depending on barrel length and how hot the ammo is.... and that is a round many would argue is adequate medicine for protection in bear infested woods...

So, my question to you all would be: in real life, do you see these velocities as advertised? What other considerations should be included in evaluating the "best" overall long range hunting cartridge?

If you were trying to put together the lightest weight, but still half MOA accurate rifle, which of these cartridges would you choose and why?
 

packgoatguy

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Im still not finding that other post. Do you by chance recall what it was titled or something? Im curious to compare their results
 

MudRunner2005

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It was a long time ago... Can't recall. It was some homemade data sheet a guy tried to make, but used factory ammo specs and light-for-caliber bullets, and it was all wrong on many levels. I wouldn't even waste my time looking for it.
 

packgoatguy

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It was a long time ago... Can't recall. It was some homemade data sheet a guy tried to make, but used factory ammo specs and light-for-caliber bullets, and it was all wrong on many levels. I wouldn't even waste my time looking for it.
well, then, perhaps my input here is still relevant. Let me know after you have had a chance to review the data. Let me know if the numbers jive with your real world experiences.
 

packgoatguy

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packgoatguy

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Doesn’t show top potential of some of those cartridges.
That is correct. For this spreadsheet, in order to compare "apples to apples" I am only using the "factory" advertised velocities. (the exception of course is the 338LM Improved I through on there to show what the 338s could do in relations to the other options if pushed faster).

However, it would be interesting to make a list of the top potential velocities for these particular bullets and BC ratings (lets say out of a 26 inch barrel to keep everything equal). If you wanted to provide the data, I could plug it into the spreadsheet. That is exactly the kind of information that should be considered here (if one cartridge or another has a lot more room to be pushed higher than others, that should be a consideration.)
 

packgoatguy

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One question I have here: 28 Nosler is leading the pack by the numbers... but ONLY because it is pushing that 162 or 175gr bullet at well over 3100fps (more than 100fps faster than the 7mm STS is advertised at). Are these velocities accurate under real world conditions using the factory ELDX or Nosler Trophy ammo?
 

Hand Skills

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Indeed, the trouble with these comparisons usually have to do with bullet choice and velocity scaling.

Personally I would bump the the 7RM and the 300win up 50fps. Maybe drop the WSM's back by 25fps..? As the numbers demonstrate, it's really splitting hairs.

Thanks for sharing your work.
 

packgoatguy

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Rigby Idaho
Indeed, the trouble with these comparisons usually have to do with bullet choice and velocity scaling.

Personally I would bump the the 7RM and the 300win up 50fps. Maybe drop the WSM's back by 25fps..? As the numbers demonstrate, it's really splitting hairs.

Thanks for sharing your work.
Interesting. I actually found the opposite with my 24 inch barreled Tikka 300wm... about 25fps slower than was advertised for the ELD-X.

However, that brings up a good point... at what point would it make a difference? Adding 50fps to the 7RM only puts it up to the advertised velocity of the 7WSM, but still less than the 7STW... which is still less than the 7MM RUM or 28 Nosler... So, if someone had to pick "just one" cartridge to do it all... then what advantage would the 7RM have over the 28nosler? Some non-performance related issues come to mind (like availability of ammo, cost of ammo, etc) but if one were merely comparing on the basis of accuracy and effectiveness... are there other things to consider?
 

TG-5150

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This seems rigged, out of the gate.
This being a long range site, most on here are making hot chili.
There are too many non SAAMI cartridges to even make this a fare.
Wonder what a post about SAAMI vs. non SAAMI loads would leave for a fairer comparison
 

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