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How fast is too fast/slow?
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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johnbra
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

A buddy and I have been having a conversation for quite sometime about what bullet to shoot. We've both been shooting a 150 gr hornady SST, he has a 300 ultra mag, and i've got a 300 WSM. His misfortune last season of wounding an elk and never finding it has us both wondering if we need to make a change in our bullet selection. He's had multiple people tell him the bullet is cheap, too light and going too fast and the bullet probably discintegrated on contact not making a fatal kill. I'm thinking about putting the nosler 200 gr partition in my 300 WSM. Seems we're learning fast isnt necessarily a good thing, but i want to keep my trajectory as flat as possible. My primary game is deer, elk, and bear. Should i stick with the 150 SST? or should i move up and how high?
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

My understanding is that the SSTs are designed for deer hunting. From Hornady's web site:

"SST® (Super Shock Tip)
Streamlined for ultra-flat trajectories our SST contains a polymer tip for rapid expansion and maximum energy transfer. The match-grade jacket delivers surgical accuracy while heavy construction with InterLock feature delivers deep penetration every time. Find out more...

Rapid, controlled expansion with deep penetration.
Recommended muzzle velocity range: 2000 to 3300 fps"

It would appear from Hornady's manual that the Ulramag might be pushing it too fast and the Win Mag is at the edge, depending on distance to target.

I'm sure some of our elk hunters will come along with some experienced suggestions. IMO, if you want to use just one load then use a good bullet for elk and use it on the others too.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

It might pay to test out a few selected bullet types to match to your velocity/ projected distance and game size. Obtain a quantity of bundled newspapers or phone books and soak them in water over-night. Arrange them in a box so that you have around 3 feet of depth and place them at 25 yards. Using ballistic tables from Hunting Nut or any reputable loading manual, load your bullet of choice to the velocity levels indicated for various ranges. For example, you might find that your particular cartridge is listed at 3,100 fps at 50 yards, 3,000 fps at 100 yards, 2,780 fps at 200 yards, 2,600 fps at 300 yards and etc. Load a few rounds containing the desired bullet to each listed velocity using proper loading techniques and fire them into your ballistic medium. Close examination of the resultant recovered bullets and their respective penetration paths will soon reveal the levels at which they will fail. You may well find that a bullet that performs to expectations at 2,600 fps comes apart at 3,100 fps but fails to expand at all at 2,200 fps (about 500 yards in the above example). This method is of course not perfect and does not take into consideration dense bone that may affect performance, but it will give you an excellent idea whether your chosen bullet can be expected to perform well at given distances and is far better than just guessing.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

It is not uncommon for modern magnums to have issues shooting the legacy lead-core bullets that are light-for-caliber. On large game, I avoid bullets that are ment to rapidly expand and fracture. I also, wouldn't use a flat-based bullet like the Nosler Partition if you want a flat trajectory. I would look at a monolithic bullet like the Barnes 180gr TSX or Hornady 165gr GMX. The expand while retain their weight so you are ensured penetration. They both have reasonable BCs to support flat trajectories. They typically are about double the cost of lead-core bullets but I believe they are worth it.

www.barnesbullets.com/...sx-bullet/

www.hornady.com/store/...65-gr-GMX/

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

No such thing as a bullet going to fast..........unless the design is incorrect for the application they're used in !!!

The SST's are great bullets and are definitely not cheap, like anything else they need to be used correctly. The 150gr would probably make a fine bullet for deer hunting in your WSM but I wouldn't even consider it in a Ultra-mag unless the intended target is beyond at least 200 yards.

Stepping up to larger game such as elk and bear I suggest looking at the bonded, partitioned or all copper bullets. I will not argue that many of game animals have fell to the classics of lead core style bullets but the newer styles give a more predictable outcome.
I recommend a bullet of at least 165-180 grain, the lighter ones are geared more toward deer.
The 200's wouldn't be the best choice if your setting up for all three, possible you could run into expansion issues.

Bottom line......you need to understand what the bullet is designed for and what it's operating velocity requirements are.

Keep asking questions....... we'll help the best we can !!!

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44marty
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

Nice post, SingleShot - That test should tell just what needs to be known.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

I have used a modified "Fackler box" to test expansion and penetration of different bullets. It used 1 gallon zip-loc freezer bags of salt water held in a frame and did a great job of comparing different bullets and various velocities. There is a corelation between ballistics gelatin and salt water that will give you a good estimate of the actual penetration through soft tissue. Very repeatable results, easy to set up and use, and not so expensive as gelatin.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
It used 1 gallon zip-loc freezer bags of salt water

For us that don't live by the ocean, how do you create the salt H20?

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

I have made saline water from 35 grams non-iodized salt to one liter of water, or you can use salt water aquarium salt. I use to buy salt water salt for the aquariums for around $14.00 which would make 50 gals of saltwater. If I remember right, you want to stay between 3.5% and 4% saline percentage when using a salt hydrometer.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

44marty wrote:
Nice post, SingleShot - That test should tell just what needs to be known.

Thanks, but I can't take all the credit for the idea. I remember reading an article where this was mentioned some time ago but can't remember the author to give them the proper credit. I have used the method to compare bullets occasionally and, while not perfect, it gives us a way to compare the performance of various bullet styles and types...at least under those conditions.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:26 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
used 1 gallon zip-loc freezer bags of salt water held in a frame

Paul, would a plastic gallon milk jug do the same? Maybe a few deep?

I'm going to try this on the bullets I've been using!

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44marty
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

slimjim wrote:
PaulS wrote:
used 1 gallon zip-loc freezer bags of salt water held in a frame

Paul, would a plastic gallon milk jug do the same? Maybe a few deep?

I'm going to try this on the bullets I've been using!

I tried this with my .204 to try and get an idea of how the fragmenting Sierra Blitz King bullets would perform. I was also trying to recover some of the fragments to see how large they were. The .204 exploded the first jug, tore up the second and put a couple of very small holes in the third. After repeated tests, I never managed to recover any fragments. These were 89 oz "Simply Orange" jugs - about 5" thick.

Then I tried my .300 WBY, just for grins. I had 9 jugs lined up on top of an 8 foot 2"X10". The WBY cleared out all 9 jugs and the 2X10. The largest remaining pieces of the first two jugs were about 1" square. All jugs were utterly destroyed. The 2X10 was thrown about 5 feet.

Don't you just love exploding stuff?

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

44marty wrote:
The largest remaining pieces of the first two jugs were about 1" square. All jugs were utterly destroyed. The 2X10 was thrown about 5 feet.

Guess it will be wet newspaper and or phone books.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

I can relate to Marty what the WBY does to to jugs. Using standard 1 gal milk jugs filled with water capped, I cleared 4 jugs just nicking the 5th with hand loaded 44 mag with 240 jhp. The 340 WBY 250gr factory load destroyed 8 jugs that I had left and never recovered the bullet against dirt backstop. But the 44 bullet I recovered was mushroomed perfect with no fragmentation.

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Azar
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: How fast is too fast/slow? Reply with quote

Quote::
A buddy and I have been having a conversation for quite sometime about what bullet to shoot. We've both been shooting a 150 gr hornady SST, he has a 300 ultra mag, and i've got a 300 WSM. His misfortune last season of wounding an elk and never finding it has us both wondering if we need to make a change in our bullet selection.

A sample of one doesn't really tell you anything about how well a bullet may work over a lot of hunts and under differing conditions. That being said if it were me, I wouldn't even bother using a 150g SST out of a .30-06 on elk let alone having a 30 caliber magnum flinging it. It has a reputation of being a bit frangible at standard velocities and a magnum is bound to exacerbate that problem.

I agree with other posters. Even though one situation can't tell you everything about a particular bullet I wouldn't hesitate to step up to a premium.

Barnes TSX or TTSX
Nosler Partition
Nosler Accubond
Nosler E-tip
Hornady GMX
Hornady Interbond
Swift A-Frame
Swift Scirocco II
etc, etc.

I'd also probably go with a 165-180g bullet as well. Just my $0.02.
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