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hdwrench 02-20-2010 10:51 PM

the lightweight high speed thing
recent article in american hunter (9-09) , a lighter bullet adding velocity ,as opposed to a heavy bullet at a lesser velocity . . the bullet used is a barnes tsx . i read the article and i'm thinking of trying its theroy. the author's set-up is a 300 win mag with a 130 gr bullet crono'ed at 3575 in a 26 " barrel with very good accuracy at the range.

my set up would be a 120 gr bullet in my .280 rem with a possible muzzle velocity of 3246 . a 140 gr bullet would produce a muzzle velocity of 2998 .

any thoughts on this set-up - pros or cons ?


Catfish 02-20-2010 11:25 PM

This agrument is as old as firearms. Military firearms have went down in caliber since the military first started useing firearms. There does come a point at which liter bullets leaveing the gun faster becomes a loseing propisition. As the bullets get liter their ballistic coefficient get lower, which means they drop velocity at a faster rate. There does come a point at which the maximum range will decrease because the BC of the bullet ( which is basically a measure of it ablity to retain velocity) get so low the the heaver bullet with the higher BC will travel farther.
There is one other big consern about high velocity lite bullets versus heavy slower bullets and their effect on game. While a lite fast bullet will have more kenitic energy that does not mean it will be more effective at stopping or killing game, especially dangerious game. Lite fast bullets will eather blow and not penitrate on heavy skinned game, or it will punch a very small hole and not deliver it`s energy effectively. There was an Aferican guide named Taylor that said Kenitic Energy was a usually was to figure the effective stopping power of a round on dangerious game. He preposed his own knock down formula, The Taylor Knock Down Formula. It says velocity X bullet weight X diameter of the bullet. Is a far better way to figure the effectiveness of a round than 1/2 MV2. As a matter of fact most afferican guides do not want a round for dangeriuos game that has a muzzle velocity of over 2,400 fps. They prefer the largest diameter and heavest bullet that they can stand to push at 2,000 to 2,400 fps. saying it is the most effective at stopping dangerious game.
If you hunting deer in this country stopping it is not the question as most people have far more gun than needed any way, it becomes a question of how much meat do you want to destroy.

Tuner 02-27-2010 06:02 AM

Light Weight Bullets
Catfish made a good some good points particularly about light bullets shedding velocity because of a lower BC and also tissue destruction because of higher velocity. Light fast vs heavy slower is an argument that will go on for ever and each has its proponents. I have cleaned out many deer over the past years and it is amazing how big a mess a fast bullet will create will create. I have seen an area over a foot in diameter so blood shot that you had to throw it to the dogs. You can loose a lot of excellent eating meat. I tend to use heavy for caliber bullets because of that just to slow the bullet speed down so I don't have as much velocity and tissue destruction. I will typically use 180's in an 06 at about 2700 FPS when most writers recommend 150's which are going pretty close to 3000 FPS. Even there you get a lot of shot up meat. Several years ago I shot a nice buck with my Marlin .44 Mag and cast bullets. Made a lung shot and the deer went 20 yards and piled up. You couldn't ask for much more then that and when I cleaned out the deer there was about a 2 inch whole all the way through with almost no blood shot meat. As Elmer Keith would say, "you could eat right up to the whole".

Higher velocity does provide flatter trajectory over average hunting ranges, but how flat does a trajectory need to be? According to my Speer reloading manual a 130 gr. 284 bullet at 3200 FPS when zeroed at 200 yards will drop 6 inches at 300. A 160 gr 284 bullet at 2900 FPS will drop 7.1 inches with the same zero. There are darn few hunters who can hold a rifle to one inch at 300 yards from a hunting possition and I would much rather have the authority of that 160 gr. bullet especially if your shot is one where you have to enter in through the paunch and angle forward into the vitals. Reality of the situation is that probably both of them will do a fine job of killing our average size deer if the hunter does his job in bullet placement.

This year I hunted with a man that was using a rather expensive ($12,000) custom built 300 super mag that pushed 180 gr. bullets close to 3500 FPS. He wonded more game then any hunter in the group. As another individual wrote in response to pig hunting, if you don't hit them in the right spot with a 460 Weatherby they won't go down.

jpattersonnh 02-27-2010 04:22 PM

Lighter is not always better. I started using Barnes XFB, the same as the TSX today for 7mm Rem mag some time ago. I use to load 140..175gr standard fodder bullets, but when I did the math the 140 and 160gr Barnes fit what I wanted to do w/ them and added better weight retention and penetration. I still use standard SP on lighter game. I just ordered some .323 to load up some 8x57. I ordered 160TTSX and 180grTSX. My rifle shoots 150gr SP ok and 175gr Sierra hunters very well, but again the Barnes fit a certain niche of performance that was lacking in other bullets. In 8mm, my weight increased.
I also ordered some 165gr TSX for .308. Same weight as I use in .308 currently. They sent me a 10% coupon, so I had to buy some!

hdwrench 03-01-2010 11:31 PM

well i was looking to flatten out my shot but you guys bring up some good points . i will try the heavier bullet and see the results . if nothing else i'll stay with the 140 gr .

jpattersonnh 03-01-2010 11:51 PM

The 140gr Barnes look great in 7mm.

deth502 03-02-2010 12:19 AM

130gn in a 300 win mag??!?!:eek:

i wouldnt think of anything lighter than a 180gn

preferably a 200 or 220.

imo, those high velocity numbers are the nuts for bragging about to your friends, but the usefulness stops there.

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