WY Pronghorn

drtony

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I bought a used mark V Stainless in 300 weatherby magnum today-- should be here next week. I am still new to hunting and look on this forum often for good information.

I will be hunting pronghorn and whitetail with it this fall. That being said, what would be an ideal cartridge for my first WY pronghorn hunt? I do not reload, but am willing to get custom ammunition until I have reloading equipment/supplies. I do not know enough about ammunition to make an informed decision. I would like a round that retains most of it's weight so meat loss isn't extreme. I've never hunted pronghorn, but I assume it'll be 100-600 yard ranges. I have some heavier gr rounds (180-210) but would that be overkill for antelope and whitetails?

I was looking at:

125 gr nosler accubond (3500 fps)

150 gr nosler accubond (3400 fps)

165 gr nosler accubond (3300 fps)

or

Swift Scirocco II in 150 gr or 165 gr

Open to any other ideas, but I do not have anything to reload my own yet-- so I need to be able to purchase the ammunition.
 
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Deleted member 107796

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You'll have to contend with distance, maybe a stiff crosswind as well. That will play into your choice. If meat retention is key, then maybe a monolithic load is what you want to cook up, which is easy.
 

Beardeddeer91

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Any of those bullets will do the job, however, as mentioned the wind will be something to contented with at the upper end of your mentioned ranges especially. At those distances with with the wind potential in antelope country, I personally would like a greater BC bullet (in the 200+ gr range). I’ve shot them with 210 and 215 begers and IMO I’ll take that extra meat loss to increase my ability to make an ethical kill.
As mentioned a mono would have greater weight retention and obviously not put lead into the meat. Hammer, Barnes, etc., would all be great options. Hammer bullets can produce custom loaded ammo that might be worth looking into for your purposes.
 

HARPERC

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I just have had better luck loading the .30 magnums as bullet weight goes up. On antelope as much quirk as science, but over the years I've never had a 150 penetrate well.
For reference the last antelope I shot with a .300 magnum I used the 200 grain Accubond.
 

codyadams

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Southwest Wyoming
What does monolithic mean?
He means an all copper bullet, so being that you are limited to factory ammunition, you likely choice would be something loaded with a barnes bullet.

The 165 accubond or 165 scirroco is what I would go with of those choices, if you want to save meat then extreme velocity is not your friend, the high velocity of the lighter bullets will cause more blood shot and more meat loss. Also, hunting pronghorn here in Wyoming often times means shooting in high wind, so the heavier bullets will have a higher ballistic coefficient and cut the wind better even with their lower velocity, giving you slightly more room for error. However, if your shooting at that distance you will need good accuracy too, so what you end up hunting with may be dictated by what the rifle shoots best.

As far as ideal cartridge for a pronghorn/whitetail hunt, a 300 weatherby is not exactly what I would call ideal from what I know of your situation. Don't get me wrong, it's a good round, especially if elk is on the menu, but if your new to hunting you may also be new to shooting, and IF that is the case, the heavy recoil and expensive cost of the 300 weatherby is simply not a good choice to learn long range with. Even with a good muzzle brake taming the recoil (not the inefficient radial brake that comes on them) the percussion can cause a new shooter some problems. Something more along the lines of a 7mm-08, .260 remington, 6.5 creed, 6.5x284, or even up to a .264 win mag and possibly 7mm rem mag is better for a new shooter, though a light 7mm mag can have significant recoil as well. These rounds allow more shooting due to less shooter fatigue from recoil, more affordable shooting because of cheaper ammunition, give good trajectories, and still have enough power to hunt big game, especially if your intended targets are only white tail and pronghorn.

A 300 weatherby (while expensive) is certainly a good long range hunting cartridge, especially when handloaded with 200-230 grain bullets, but my concern would be more the ability of a new shooter to hold the necessary 5"-6" groups or less at the max 600 yard range you listed with a larger magnum cartridge in what is likely a relatively light rifle (sub 10 lbs). Pronghorn are not very big critters, so you need to be able to hold good groups at the range, because things certainly are not easier in the field.

I may be way off base, and you may be a very experienced long range shooter that has just never hunted (which is perfectly fine) but if that is not the case, and you are relatively new to shooting and long range, I would be cautious of getting too much gun, which will simply end up teaching you bad habits and poor form. All too often people new to the sport fall into this "You have to have a magnum to kill" mentality, when in reality you need an accurate shootable rifle and time behind your gun getting comfortable and accurate with it.

I don't intend to stand on a soap box, just want to make sure someone new to the sport is getting a good start!!
 
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Deleted member 107796

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Sorry for not clarifying "monolithic." I like the idea of using this caliber as an all around rifle, much like using lighter bullets in a 338. As mentioned, there is something to be said for increased mass when it goes downrange. As well as the real possibility of a closest shot at about 400yards, pronghorns are a very small targets at distance, so I'd pick your best shooter. good luck
 

drtony

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Best shooter makes sense. I have 180 AB and 210 gr ABLR already. Ill pick up a box of 165 gr for fun so I can compare the 3 rounds. The comments about wind and heavy rounds higher BC was something I did not take into consideration. I have also read somewhere .30 cal rifles prefer 180 gr as a general rule.

I have grown up around guns and shooting and have shot many 300 win mag and wby mag rounds. I always shot my dads guns or someone else's and I have never had a problem with noise or recoil. I just never had an opportunity to invest in my own firearms or hunt due to school/grad school taking up time and $$$. I went elk hunting last year, but unfortunately did not get an opportunity to harvest an animal.
 
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