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Changing bullet weight question

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Nwcid, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I see all the time that people say "pick gun XXX because you can run 35 gr to 80gr bullets or you can run 100gr to 220gr bullets". I also see "I use 150gr bullets for XXX game and 180gr bullets for XXX game".


    For all the guns I shoot I pretty much find/load a round that works well in my rifle. i adjust my sights for that round and stick with it.

    So the question is how do you guys that shoot several different rounds in a single gun stay accurate and proficient with it?
    Do you have dope charts?
    Do you actually see a difference in game when using different bullets?
    Why not just use the heavier bullet all the time.

    I can understand if you normally run 150gr 30-06 bullets for say deer but one year you decide to hunt elk so you load up some heavier bullets, go out and sight it in with that. Then if that was your infrequent elk hunt going back to your "normal" load.
     
  2. jyerxa

    jyerxa Graham Member

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    The weight is important and the type of round only in the sense of harvesting the most out of the meat is the way I have been taught. But it is just a hand me down opinion I grew up with and still consider to be the real reason for bullet/weight management. There are weapons that will blow up a deer and all the choicest venison you might have gotten. Then there are rounds that are just to light to break bones of the larger game and hit the target. Getting the most out of your harvest. If you look at hunting that way.

    Lets take your 30-06 at 180 grains designed for elk. The key is it is DESIGNED for elk. The bone, mass and such to deliver the most effective round to harvest an elk. If you use that same 180 gr. on a deer the energy is not absorbed per design. And it may be a normally good shot but zips right through with out a very effective transfer of energy. Not a swift kill. A swift and efficient kill is a good shot. And you could also end up chasing that deer all the way into Canada before it succumbs to that kind of shot.
     
  3. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For the hunter with only one (or a few) guns, bullet weight choices allow that single weapon to fulfill a variety of purposes (as jyerxa explained in very understandable terms). A good ol' .30-06, can for a man of modest means become everything from a cottontail harvester, to a prarie-dog vaporizer to a moose thumper, and with the right choice of bullets run right with the guys that have more money and more guns.

    Just as important as bullet weight (or even more so, with modern bullets of highly engineered design) is bullet construction, when choosing a bullet for intended game. Centerpieces of this consideration are the Nosler Partition and the Barnes all-copper offerings. A 150 grain Nosler or Barnes may actually be a BETTER choice for elk than some 180grain bullets: The lighter bullets will give the hunter a flatter trajectory for a long-range shot, and yet still bust bone and penetrate when arriving.

    Nwcid is on to something when he wonders why a guy would change bullets like underwear. For a guy who does have numerous guns in various calibers, it really makes absolutely no sense to load various bullets in a .300 Magnum when you have a .30-06, a .308, and a .30-30 on the rack. Assign the gun a general purpose, develop a load that is an ideal combination of fulfilling that purpose with accuracy, then stick with that load for that gun. The only conceivable reason to change might be a new development in bullets that would fulfill the intended purpose even better. Make the .300 the moose gun, make the '06 the muley thumper, make the .308 the scoped whitetail/black bear gun, and make the .30-30 the fast handling river-bottom deerslayer.

    Then beware of the man who hunts with one gun. He very likely knows how to use it.
     
  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I usually hunt with a 30-06. For the last several years I have hunted with ammunition that I have loaded myself. I have specific ammo for deer and a different one for elk, but the weight doesn't change. I've read that the 165gr bullet may be the best in the weight to speed ratio and while I've considered trying a different pair of bullets in the 165gr range, I for years have used 180gr with very good results.
    I use 180gr Ballistic Tips for deer and 180gr Partitions on elk. The cool thing is that I push both of these with the same powder charge, they have the same velocity (within a few fps) and I don't have to re-sight in my rifle between seasons. (I do always check it though) 150 yards is as far as I've shot these at paper and they both hit the same point of aim.
    So, I feel there is a reason to change bullets, but I think it would be foolish to change weights, especially between seasons.

    If by some chance I decide to hunt with a different rifle, it's a 375 Ruger. With 260 or 270gr bullets it has a near identical trajectory to the 180gr in the 06. I may be hunting with a different caliber, but it's a near identical rifle shooting the same trajectory as the other. I kinda don't like to put too many variables into my hunt. There's enough already!
     
  5. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Some good thoughts in there. I understand about bullet construction and "best for xxx" but that does not mean yyy will not get the job done.

    The big question was how do you keep track of what bullet shoots to what POA? How do you KNOW you are going to hit where you aim when changing weights?

    orygun you make an interesting point about shooting different guns that have similar trajectories.
     
  6. jyerxa

    jyerxa Graham Member

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    I kind of got to laugh. I learned to shoot straight with a crocked 22 as a kid. I ended up becoming a pretty good shot because of that crocked gun. I could out shoot everybody else who had guns with nice adjustable sites. (I hated that rifle) What I learned to develop is called Kentucky windage, I'm sure you have heard that term before. I don't really get to technical as lots of folks do here. Just the type of shooter I am nowadays is based off of the knowledge of my rifle and familiarity with it. I guess that is why I don't feel the need to get a lot of guns. The ones I do get I learn everything about them, uphill, downhill, cold. windy, hot or what ever. Go camping someplace where you can shoot open and freely and shoot pine cones at different distances and climates. I just don't think there is any replacing practice and skill. I like to call at (a natural shooter) quality.

    And just a whole lot of plinking with a 22. Site it in so you know exactly how it shoots at 75 or 100 yards. Open sites preferably. And just plink pine cones as a recreation. It is easy to learn skills about judging distance, wind-age, elevation. Well I say it is easy. Maybe not so for others. I shot every thing I could put my hands on as a kid, sling shoots, bows, BB guns. I just shot a lot until it became natural.
     
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Again your skill of good shooting came from lots of trigger time. How many thousands of rounds of .22 did you go though to get that good?

    Now how many people put that much trigger time on say a hunting .30-06? Then on top of that how much trigger time do they get with each of their different loads? Even with good fundamentals each caliber handles different. If I used the same holdover or windage on my .223 as I do my .22 the results would be beyond bad........ I know guys that go though a box (20 rds) of hunting ammo about every 5 years. There is NO way to stay proficient with that gun with that little shooting of it.

    I have some guns that I can pick up and hit anything I aim at, but I have tons of trigger time on them. I have others I don't do as well with but they get shot maybe a few rounds a year and just for fun.

    Just an FYI you sight your guns in with open sights and then you can talk about it on this web site.
     
  8. jyerxa

    jyerxa Graham Member

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    Not to sure what you mean by that.

    When I'm plinking and exercising my shooting at a range I like to use open sites because it is more challenging. I have to try harder. I want a group like the guys out there with a scope. Nowadays I plink with a 223 and I can actually adjust my sites lol. I like it when I get a nice tight group. Scopes beat me every time though, well they better. LOL

    And when it comes to getting serious hunting, then it is time for the scopes. Both my hunting rifles have scopes. One brush gun and the other open range I know them both well and I would feel really clumsy using anything else because I am so familiar with these. I'm just trying to give any helpful tips because I know how I got to be a good shot.

    And then there is this really nifty calculator Winchester has. Play around with that too. It is really cool.

    And I guess I almost forgot the most important thing about becoming familiar with your rifle. I know what I can and can't do. There are times ya just have to let it go.
     
  9. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It is comforting to see that a number of contributors here are finding the value in the basics: .30-06, iron sight shooting to develop skill, etc.

    I learned the value of iron sights as a young smallbore competitor. I had an Anschutz 54 that was my competition rifle, but would take it out on weekends to shoot squirrels, starlings, etc. to hone skills and practice. I was young and dumb, and since it had a dovetail on the receiver, I thought I'd be real smart and truly take that Anschutz to its limit for accuracy: I'd install a scope! Ripped the micrometer peep off the back, installed a good scope, and very quickly found that the peep sight and globe front could not be matched for precision. The rifle actually shot WORSE with a telescopic sight. Since that time, I always consider a good peep and a decent front sight AT LEAST as good as any scope (as long as the target can be defined: by good eyes, etc.). I know for certain that the irons definitely CAN be better.
     
  10. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    after shooting several deer with .243 caliber 100 gr core lokts i came to the conclusion that they were punching pencil sized holes clear through them. if you hit them in the heart they were done for but. if you hit them a little high,low,forward, back, seemed like they could go forever. started shooting them with 165gr winchester silvertips from my ruger .06 they started falling down instead of running, just my two cents
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hey, sheep!

    Ya shoulda given your .243 the same chance you give your '06: A fast bullet that expands fast. Smack deer with a .243 and a 95 grain Ballistic Tip, and it is lights out. Would you expect lightning kills from a .30-06 on deer ribcages using a 180 grain Trophy Bonded? Nope. They'd needle right through (just like you observed with the 100g .243 Corelokts) unless they hit heavy bone. I've had questionable results from .243's with a Nosler partition on medium deer: they run quite a ways before they die. A lighter, more frangible bullet works for the most part better on the medium critters. Do not mistake: I worship at the altar of Nosler: If I was hunting heavy muleys with a .243, I'd go for the bone smashing, penetrating Nosler. But it will not deliver the ribcage lightning strike that a more explosive bullet will.