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What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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SharpShooter14
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

I am intrested in making long distance shots and i dont now if i should use heavy or light bullets.
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

As a rule, the longer bullets per-caliber (usually means heavier) will shoot flatter and produce more energy than lighter bullets at some distance. Sometimes this distance is much farther than any intended shot so may not be an issue for you. Now when I say "will shoot flatter" I don't mean that the heavier bullets can't have a higher mid-range than a faster, lighter one if both are sighted to the same zero distance. I am referring to the amount of drop for each bullet weight once the initial zero has been passed.

Bullets with the highest ballistic coefficient (BC) will generally out perform those with lower BCs when it comes to both trajectory and energy even when velocity is lower.

Let's look at the data concerning a .22/250 Remington sighted for a 250-yard zero. In the first scenario, if we push a 55-grain V-Max bullet to a quite reasonable muzzle velocity of 3,750 fps and compare it to a load that achieves 4,300 fps with the Barnes 36-grain Varmint Grenade, the lighter bullet never achieves similar energy figures and begins to fail in all regards by the time it reaches the “zero” range. Notice that its velocity advantage has been lost before it even reaches the 200-yard mark and has lost a considerable amount of ground trajectory-wise at 500 yards. When we raise the bullet weight to 75 grains at 3,200 fps even the 55-grain load starts to rapidly lose ground at the 750-yard mark, by which time the greater mass of the 75-grain bullet is showing its muscle.

The biggest question is just how far do you want to shoot?

You can figure much of this out by determining the caliber, bullet style and likely distance and then crunching the numbers through PointBlank for comparison. Of course, as accurate as PointBlank is, nothing beats actually shooting to see the results.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:19 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

As SSL asked, how far do you want to shoot? Equally important is WHAT you want to shoot. Are you punching paper only? Varmints? Big game? All this figures into your choice of bullets. Determine whether a heavier bullet with a higher BC will be so much slower than a lighter bullet that you lose any advantage that would have been gained by the higher BC. Find bullets of similar weight, designed to perform on your target, and then pick the one with the highest BC. Again as SSL said, PointBlank offers an easy way to look at the possibilities.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

What you should also understand is that a 6mm 107 grain Sierra MK around 2900 FPS will shoot flatter than a .308 168 grain MK bullet in the 2800 FPS range. The extra 100 FPS has little to do with it, The design of the bullet is what counts !!!

Some amazing things are being done with small cartridges like the 6BR and the 6.5x47 Lapua (at 600 and 1,000 yards) with bullets in the 100-140 grain range. The .30 cals are typically running 168-220 grain bullets.
The biggest benefit with the smaller stuff is the recoil. Economy is another added benefit. Less powder, lighter bullets = less money to do the same thing.

But once again the question becomes what are you doing?
What is your max distance going to be?
Are you just punching holes in paper or are shooting at game?

More questions need to be answered to give you the best information possible.
This will give you the best chance at deciding what is right for you!!!

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Ok- I'm jacking this thread.

*

Weather: 80*, 20%h, Calm.

Use: target.

Range: 100y and 200y

Gun: '08 Ruger SBH, SS, 10.5" bbl. (1:20 TR)

Load: Reminton case (trim lentgh 1.280") and 2 1/2 primer, 13.0gr 800X (approx, forgot the exact #, whatever the START load is....)

Crimp: firm, Factory LEE.

Bullet: either 200gr or 240gr Nos JHP.

My question is: which bullet 'flies better' ?

I can't 'point blank' it, computer is a POS standard model here at work and I do not have one at home- this thing just locks up if I try.

So- firing up the grey-matter model...My brain tells me the 200gr one will fly better and flatter (in calm conditions)...
But then I started looking at the cross-section and noted the 240gr is longer, so, now my brain tells me it would be more stable as it engages more rifling and is more resistant to deflection. But a longer profile makes it more prone to shear.

I notice stuff like this then wonder if it makes a difference but I'm not a math-major and don't know how or why it works at these speeds etc. (I aint that bright.... Embarassed )

Then my brain tells me I'm getting a headache and to stop thinking so much before I break something........(I smell smoke! Shocked )

I'd like to use the lighter bullet with less recoil ... but how this range affects it due to drag and less stability is beyond me. Or does it even matter with this flying ashtray?

I suppose I could get a box of each and experiment. But with sacrcity of components and all....

Discuss!
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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Too late!

Just ordered two boxes of 200 gainers.

Heck, they was in stock!
How could I pass it up! Laughing

Razz
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

I plugged both bullets in to PointBlank, using starting loads for 800X taken from the Lee manual. 1400 ft/sec for the 200 grain, 1275 ft/sec for the 240 grain. The 200 grainer is a bit flatter but with a 100 yard zero the 240 grain bullet only drops 1.5" more at 200 yards. Energy is about the same at the muzzle but the heavier bullet has more energy from there on out.

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Thank you, kind sir. Cool

I'm down to 300 240gr's.
So I got 500 200gr as the 240gr's are out and on b/o.

Interesting numbers, thanks for the food for thought! Smile

-kevin.
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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

If you are contemplating shooting a handgun at long distance, lets not reinvent the wheel. Go to the site where the folks do this every day, IHMSA. The standard course of fire for big bore is out to 200 meters.

www.ihmsa.org

The first revolver to shoot a perfect score, 40x40 was a SBH in 44 Mag. 90% of the 44 shooters use a 240 in cast or jacketed. The 200 can be used but you have to really push the 200 for accuracy at 200.

I used a 10.5 inch SBH for 3 years until I received my first two SRMs. But I shot cast 99% of the time.

An excellent load is 23 gr of H-110 and the 240 XTP. You must prep your brass for good performance as uniform length gives uniform crimp and uniform bullet pull weight.
Best,
Ed

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Copy that- and, can't I access that sight. The range I normally fire at is the home of the LASC.

I was loading 240gr JHP w/ H110 (23gr is the START load on the Hodgdon chart) for the long ranges.

Scarcity of components are forcing a change in recipe.
Hence the questions, I was curious about drag affecting the lighter bullet, all other things being equal....thanks for the input. Cool
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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

Try this site for the IHMSA forums.

ihmsa.aimoo.com/

Ask around there.

Next time you are out to LASC say hello to Todd Spotti for me. Tell him Ed from Hurlburt says hey and wants to know when he is going to learn how to shoot? Very Happy
Best,
Ed

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Thanks, Ed.

If I run into them while I'm up there, will do.

-kevin.
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DKAllen
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

I agree with most that has been said, but something that has not been mentioned is Barrel Twist. Twist Rate will determine the weight of the bullet also.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long shots Reply with quote

Been reading along with this thread. All of which I understand (believe it or not).

Out of all this and the other knowledge I have picked up over the years it all boils down to this. [By The Way...Welcome to this site DKAllen] Barrel length, twist, bullet manufacturer and quality, etc, etc. I own two "high powered" rifles as you all know. one Browning .30-06 and the "ol' Jackhandle" (for DKAllen. A 60 year old .30 WCF mod 94). After playing with every bullet weight and design the .30-06 preforms best with a Sierra 165 grain BTHP and the .30 WCF and a 170 grain HCFP Speer.

What ever works best for your particular rifle. And sometimes it takes a bit of lookin'...

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: What is better to use, light bullets or heavy,for long s Reply with quote

Can’t agree with you more Bushy !!!

Took the long way many of times trying to find the best for what I was doing.
In recent years though I finally started to learn from others trials and tribulations.
Sometimes going with the flow gets you to the same point a lot quicker.
As Ed has pointed out 90% of the IHMSA shooters are using a 240gr. bullet. There’s a reason for this, it’s proven to work.
Please understand, I’m not saying you shouldn’t try something different though.
Whenever I explore new territory I now look at what is considered "the standard".
I then let my wheels turn and see if I can fix what someone hasn’t !!! Very Happy So far I haven’t !!! Sad

Pumpkinslinger sums it up the best !!! (hint..... signature line)

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A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
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