Thoughts on 30 cal Bullets

Griz406

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Hey everyone,

I am new to reloading and Hammer bullets and currently trying to decide on the 180 or 196 hammer hunters. Currently, I cannot find really anything that my rifle likes to shoot. Powders I have on hand are H4350, H4831sc and H1000. Primers are CCI 250, Nosler Brass. Just wondering what I could try with either bullet with what I have or if their is anything I could do. I’m really hoping to find accuracy. Any ideas, thoughts or reviews would be greatly appreciated.

Rifle
Christensen Arms Ridgeline .300 Win Mag 1:10 twist

 

Griz406

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Broz, Thank you for the reply. It’s much appreciated. I am a few months into reloading, if you can’t already tell. I would like to hunt in the 800 yard range or so if I cannot get closer. I am having a trouble of a time with my 300 win mag. Very difficult to find something that can get accuracy. I would have loved to have tried the 215 bergers with H1000 or even the 208’s. Just the availability has been hard on grabbing those bullets.
 

Spreedizzle

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500 available right here…….

 

Mark Dille

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Broz, Thank you for the reply. It’s much appreciated. I am a few months into reloading, if you can’t already tell. I would like to hunt in the 800 yard range or so if I cannot get closer. I am having a trouble of a time with my 300 win mag. Very difficult to find something that can get accuracy. I would have loved to have tried the 215 bergers with H1000 or even the 208’s. Just the availability has been hard on grabbing those bullets.
Griz406,
I see you’re considering monos and struggling a bit with accuracy. I’ll first say that with your 1:10” twist, our 153gr Afterburner (link below) is a perfect setup in a 300 WM twisted as such. It’s BC, at a radar verified G7 of .257, will be noticeably higher than the 180gr bullet you were trying to shoot above, and it’s proven super accurate out of my own 300 WM. It hits like a freight train, with high trauma and deep penetration. I would use it on anything I’d be comfortable taking with any 30 cal cartridge.

Having said that, as a new reloader, it can be daunting. Firstly, always obey physics. Twist rate requirements rule all. Even if a bullet may appear stable at 100 yards, it may be on the ragged edge. Any gusting winds can significantly disrupt its marginal stability cross canyon, but most importantly, after it hits the animal is the most significant aspect if aerial stability appears acceptable. If you do review our Afterburner line, you will see drastically lighter weights for given twist rates. In fact, all of our bullets are designed around twist rate. The weight just becomes what the math tells us. Much of that is due to the heavily contoured design profile combined with solid copper with a lightweight tip, but the rest of it concerns terminal ballistics. The most important part is AFTER the bullet strikes the animal. Its path through the animal must remain straight for proper penetration and transfer of energy. An incorrectly designed bullet and/or twisted rifle for the bullet being used, can and will result in button hooks, tumbling, etc. In mono metal world, that spells disaster and results in poor and inconsistent results.

Okay, so after the “physics” part of the equation, there are plenty of other new reloader bits of advice. Many on here may chime in. I would say these couple quick bullet points.

1. Spend time on brass prep, but don’t overthink the process. Definitely trim all cases to the same length. After that, an easy button here is get a Redding body die and a Redding standard neck sizing die that has the expander. Why? The body die is to be setup and used once the brass starts to affect the bolt cycling smoothness and/or ability to close without extra effort. At that point, set it up to bump the shoulder about .002” back. This may take a couple firings to get to that point. Until then, use the very simple, and incredibly repeatable standard Redding neck sizer. The advantage is that the brass is last reworked outward with the precision indicated off the ID. This is very consistent, and neck tension will be standard. From a case perspective, you will definitely be in the ballpark.

Personally, I like the Lee Factory Crimp Die for bottleneck rifle cartridges. It usually improves ES and groups, and in many cases, especially with Afterburners, it replaces seating depth adjustments for fine tuning. Don’t overdo it with this die. Start light. The press has a tremendous amount of power at cam over, so light resistance at this point is still doing a fair bit with the crimp die, but the level of crimp can and should be adjusted if necessary.

As far as seaters, my favorites are the ones from Forster, but plenty can do the job right for that. I try not to use a heavily compressed load as it’s hard on the seating process. Light compression at most, but near 100% case fill is always beneficial for consistency.

If you clean your cases in a wet tumbler or ultrasonically, definitely brush some Redding Dry neck lube on the inside of the case neck prior to putting powder in and seating the bullet. This will help prevent what is referred to as cold welding over time, which makes the bullet difficult to dislodge from the case after sitting for a while and makes shots potentially inconsistent from one month to the next.

Lastly, if a powder, primer, case, and bullet combo is spraying them all over the target, and you’re positive it’s not you or the equipment, change it up. The combo just doesn’t like the marriage. At Apex, we have a Pressure Trace II that we use internally. It allows us to see the pressure curve over time. It’s been incredibly enlightening in so many ways. Only one time have I ever seen really good traces with very poor accuracy. In fact, I started checking my equipment after that string, lol. Usually, those always line up perfectly with each other. If the traces are wild and erratic, so are the groups. The point is that, those traces rely on a mechanical/chemical combination. If that combo stinks, you’re just not going to fix it by shooting more. Save yourself the frustration, and try something else.

Well, I hope some of these tips help. Trying to keep it simple is usually best, especially in the beginning. Best wishes!

 

Broz

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Broz, Thank you for the reply. It’s much appreciated. I am a few months into reloading, if you can’t already tell. I would like to hunt in the 800 yard range or so if I cannot get closer. I am having a trouble of a time with my 300 win mag. Very difficult to find something that can get accuracy. I would have loved to have tried the 215 bergers with H1000 or even the 208’s. Just the availability has been hard on grabbing those bullets.
The 215's are showing up pretty regular now if you still want to go that route. They have always shot well in the CA 300 Win Mags with H-1000 for me.

Lets talk about the rifle a bit. Got any group pics? What do you have on it for base, rings and scope?
 

SoTxShooter

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If you want to stick with monos like you are experimenting with, Mark offers some great advice above. He could probably even help you figure out some good starting points with powders, loads, etc.

Broz is your man if you want to run 200+ grain Bergers with H-1000. He'll get you lined out! Welcome to the forum and to reloading!
 

codyadams

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As broz said, if your having accuracy issues I would give the rifle a good look over. Then switch from hammers and get a better long range bullet. With the options available now, even in the monolithic bullet department, there is no reason to use a bullet for 800 yards that has such poor bc.
 

Griz406

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I should of totally come here first before I started my journey on reloading….I’m not going to lie, I have a lot to learn…tons...I hope I’m not offending anyone or taking up your time. I greatly appreciate your responses and knowledge so thank you all.

@Broz - I don’t have any pics, my best group with Barnes 175 LRX was 70gr H4831sc .020” off was 1.290”……started at 68 gr and work up to 73 gr Barnes said 74.4 gr was max…..at 73gr I saw ejection marks. So I stopped. Since then I tried 70 gr (my best group) seating bullet at .020” off all the way up to .100” off.…..nothing was close to .020”off. MV avg 2944, sd 13 es 29……..I do have a work up load with H4350 that is ready to go but haven’t shot. My Rifle has Talley rings and Zeiss conquest 4 24x50 on top.

@Mark Dille - Thank you for the tips and options to look at. I definitely am a rookie. I have a lot to learn so thank you for the work and time you put into that reply to help me. Greatly appreciated.

@SoTxShooter - thank you for the advice…..I’m so outta my league right now lol I have so much homework to do.

@codyadams - I will double check my rifle and optics. After I shot my very first reloads I cleaned the rifle and checked the action screws and scope rings. They were good but will do again To be safe. I have not shot the hammers before, a friend has a sample pack he offered me to try but that’s why I joined here to see if anyone had any experienc with them.
 

Broz

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Well I sure would like to see these groups. But from what we know now, I can take a shot from the hip and say........................ Rings

Based strickty on the number of poor shooting rifles I have seen with Tally's
 

Mark Dille

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No problem! We all have a passion for this stuff and are happy to share and help others out. The key to everything that you do at the bench is one word, "repeatability". You will learn other more advanced things in time. Focus on repeatability first when trying to sift through the sea of information around everything you do as a hand loader and where you should be focusing your efforts, especially as it relates to setup and fixturing. Those are the two areas that get lost in the grey matter and are usually the reasons why something isn't working correctly. You might just find out that you've been overcomplicating things a bit, and the basics of good loading practices are a bit easier than you thought.

We are here to help, and many times seek help ourselves, lol.

As far as your load data with the 175gr LRX above, I definitely think the 4831 series powders are better than the 4350 as far as burn rate is concerned for that bullet in the 300 WM, so where you started is preferred to where you're going, but the velocity does seem a tad low for pressure indicators, but Nosler brass does pressure up rather quickly. You mentioned cleaning your rifle. Ensure you get absolutely every last bit of cleaning fluid, especially gun oil out of the chamber area or on your cases from the reloading process. Oil in the chamber will appear to pressure up significantly faster than bare and dry. While the internal chamber pressure isn't actually different, the coefficient of friction from case to chamber wall is drastically reduced, increasing case head thrust on the bolt, so the effect is the same. You don't want that.

Now, I haven't asked about shooting form, or bench setup. I'm assuming you have an established, rock-solid setup, and your issues are specifically with your own hand loads. Factory ammo doesn't experience this issue. If this is wrong, please let us know, as we can help in that regard to. While I have plenty of tips in that regard, I will sit back and let the serious shooters/competitors provide the best advice. They will definitely chime in to help you out.

Lastly, I mentioned my Pressure Trace II and how I use it. To provide perspective, here's a three shot group with my 300 WM, the 153gr Afterburner, IMR 4350, Federal 215M primers, and ADG brass. Velocities were 3388, 3392, and 3391 fps for an ES of 4. With my "not fun to shoot at the bench" 7 lb, 26" barreled, fully scoped mountain rifle, these were all in one hole. If I flinched, at least it was all the same direction three times in a row, lol.

1681411735034.png
 

MECA

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The 215's are showing up pretty regular now if you still want to go that route. They have always shot well in the CA 300 Win Mags with H-1000 for me.

Lets talk about the rifle a bit. Got any group pics? What do you have on it for base, rings and scope?
I'M RUNNING RL26 IN MY 300 WM BUT WITH THAT AS NONEXISTENT AS IT IS, WILL BE SWITCHING TO H1000!
HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE GUYS ON GOIN TO SLOWER NOT FASTER POWDERS FOR HEAVIER BULLET WEIGHTS.
THE 175LRX SHOOTS LIGHTS OUT IN A 300 RUM I JUST FINISHED. NOT SUPER FAST IN THAT PARTICULAR GUN BUT RUNNING SUB 2" GROUPS AT 400! WITH ANY OF THE BARNES BULLETS, START AT LEAST 50 OFF AND MOVE BACK. I'LL BE TRYING THE 190 AND 208 LRX'S AS WELL AS 215 BERGERS IN A 300 RPC AS SOON AS THE AG GOMPOSITES STOCK ARRIVES.
GOOD LUCK AND KEEP SHOOTIN!!
 

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My backup lapua was not shooting well yday and I look at the Mark V scope with Leupold 4 screw rings and sure as heck its slid almost 1/2” in the rings! Time to add rosin or bed it.

Mark - ref that pressure trace - are you looking for loads with pressure lines stacked on one another?
 

Mark Dille

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Mark - ref that pressure trace - are you looking for loads with pressure lines stacked on one another?
In a nutshell, yes. There's more to it, of course. You want to look at shot start and see a nice rise there. That far left section of the graph is the most important by far, and repeatability is paramount.

After that, you look for consistency and smoothness of the pressure curve and hope not to see secondary pressure rises. They're more common than most would believe. Most are small and inconsequential. I wouldn't even consider the slight bump in the graph above a secondary event, even though the calculation is showing that slightly. Others can prove to be very significant, and the largest contributor to a bad combination.

Depending on calibration, the OBT markers may or may not be in correct spot for muzzle exit times. Luckily, I have the rifle shown above dialed in fairly well with the calculation of that with the graph as it relates to real life. I always let the results speak for themselves, but for sure, a strong trend exists there as well and is useful.

Originally, the purpose of the Pressure Trace II was to help launch Apex Outdoors bullet lines and to provide measurable certainty for some of our patented claims. It's served that purpose and will continue to provide context for new and continued bullet releases, but really the emphasis there is far less important now than what it was in the beginning, as all Apex Outdoors bullets will behave predictably the same. The ones with longer tails that intrude the powder more will pressure up a little quicker than the long-nosed sleek ones, but behavior will be the same, i.e. almost no copper fouling and low friction allowing slightly higher velocities than comparably weighted bullets.

Now the purpose is almost entirely around helping to identify winning combinations. We won't get into doing loaded ammo here at Apex. Rather, we will keep it at the component level, but if we were a small ammo manufacturer, the Pressure Trace II would be immensely helpful in finding very consistent loads, and while it's impossible to actually "calibrate" without a SAAMI test barrel, shooting factory ammo from reputable, large firms that actually do pressure testing provides a good benchmark. I do believe the graph shown above is within plus or minus 2%, based on loads seen shot with pressure equipment (to include our Afterburner) and associated published data/pressures/velocities.

Let me show you the difference between a good load workup (1gr increments between shots) and a bad one. See below. The first one is all the same component combo as the example above, except the powder was H4350, and stepped in 1gr increments, of course. The second is the same 1gr stepped sequence with the powder being V-N550. This isn't saying anything bad about N550. In fact, it appeared to burn quite a bit faster in general. That doesn't show in the graphs below per se, but the case fill was lower by a fair bit. My guess is, if this powder actually does work in this "large case, light bullet" scenario, it needs a primer that is less hot. That would potentially settle the inconsistency at shot start, because I think the powder needs more of a chance to control the front end. I feel like the primer is pushing the combo out ahead of its skis, so to speak, and that would also contribute to the secondary hump seen at the end. This doesn't mean I'm correct, it's just what I'd try if I wanted to mess with N550 in this combo again. The results on the target between the two were obvious as well.

H4350 - 1gr increments between shots
1681580113480.png

V-N550 - 1gr increments between shots
1681580196057.png
 
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FEENIX

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I should of totally come here first before I started my journey on reloading….I’m not going to lie, I have a lot to learn…tons...I hope I’m not offending anyone or taking up your time. I greatly appreciate your responses and knowledge so thank you all.

@Broz - I don’t have any pics, my best group with Barnes 175 LRX was 70gr H4831sc .020” off was 1.290”……started at 68 gr and work up to 73 gr Barnes said 74.4 gr was max…..at 73gr I saw ejection marks. So I stopped. Since then I tried 70 gr (my best group) seating bullet at .020” off all the way up to .100” off.…..nothing was close to .020”off. MV avg 2944, sd 13 es 29……..I do have a work up load with H4350 that is ready to go but haven’t shot. My Rifle has Talley rings and Zeiss conquest 4 24x50 on top.

@Mark Dille - Thank you for the tips and options to look at. I definitely am a rookie. I have a lot to learn so thank you for the work and time you put into that reply to help me. Greatly appreciated.

@SoTxShooter - thank you for the advice…..I’m so outta my league right now lol I have so much homework to do.

@codyadams - I will double check my rifle and optics. After I shot my very first reloads I cleaned the rifle and checked the action screws and scope rings. They were good but will do again To be safe. I have not shot the hammers before, a friend has a sample pack he offered me to try but that’s why I joined here to see if anyone had any experienc with them.
I disagree; you came to the right place, and there is no better time. You have gotten excellent advice from good people here. Reloading is a constant learning process; the journey does not happen overnight, so take your time and enjoy the learning process. I have a good selection of lead and lead-free bullets, but the Berger remains my go-to. As Jeff (@Broz) noted, the 215 Berger is a bad arse with a proven record by many end-users. If you have not seen his thread on Berger 215 and the .300 WM, I highly suggest you do. There is a reason why the 215 does not last long on the shelves too long when it is available.

If you must use a monolithic bullet, @Mark Dille is your man. Mark, I want to keep it clean; you know what I mean, so I will leave it at that. L :love:L! Keep up the excellent work, and good luck!

Ed
 

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BEEN DOIN IT FOR 50 YRS AND THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN.
THAT'S WHAT KEEPS IT FUN!!
NEVER GIVE UP!
NEVER, SURRENDER!
 

Griz406

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Thank You ALL again for the help and understanding. Also the encouragement!!! I appreciate your time and taking all the information and absorbing as much as I can. I plan on updating once I get some shooting in. Luckily I have a couple of friends that both close to 40 years of experience to come out and see from start to finish on my reloading to shooting. Hopefully be able to do it soon and show some pictures as well. So again thank you ALL. Just wanted to mention, I farm and ranch up around the Great Falls and Carter area. So I’m sorry for the slow replies.

@Willys - just this afternoon I checked rings and is torque correctly and are good. Action screws were also torque and were good. So far I have not found anything off on rifle or setup….I will have a friend with more experience check it just in case I have missed something.
@Gord0 - Thanks I have been scrolling through more discussions to pick up more info. Much appreciated.
@MECA - With your 175LRX what powder did you settle with and or tried? I have a load set up with 4350 and starting at .050” off to test. May go back to H4832sc, just didn’t have much luck. That was my very first reload, may have not gave it much of a chance. Thank you has well for the encouragement.
@FEENIX - Thanks for replying. I hope to get my hands on the 215 bergers. I think if I want to extend my hunting ranges that bullet would be better suited and seems like many have good luck with many different rifles using them. Plus I like to practice at longer ranges to understand my rifle and also fine tune the operating errors.

Just wondering how long it takes by being a new member to talk on private messages and also on classifieds. I saw some bergers for sale but cannot reply.

Thanks
 

MECA

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Thank You ALL again for the help and understanding. Also the encouragement!!! I appreciate your time and taking all the information and absorbing as much as I can. I plan on updating once I get some shooting in. Luckily I have a couple of friends that both close to 40 years of experience to come out and see from start to finish on my reloading to shooting. Hopefully be able to do it soon and show some pictures as well. So again thank you ALL. Just wanted to mention, I farm and ranch up around the Great Falls and Carter area. So I’m sorry for the slow replies.

@Willys - just this afternoon I checked rings and is torque correctly and are good. Action screws were also torque and were good. So far I have not found anything off on rifle or setup….I will have a friend with more experience check it just in case I have missed something.
@Gord0 - Thanks I have been scrolling through more discussions to pick up more info. Much appreciated.
@MECA - With your 175LRX what powder did you settle with and or tried? I have a load set up with 4350 and starting at .050” off to test. May go back to H4832sc, just didn’t have much luck. That was my very first reload, may have not gave it much of a chance. Thank you has well for the encouragement.
@FEENIX - Thanks for replying. I hope to get my hands on the 215 bergers. I think if I want to extend my hunting ranges that bullet would be better suited and seems like many have good luck with many different rifles using them. Plus I like to practice at longer ranges to understand my rifle and also fine tune the operating errors.

Just wondering how long it takes by being a new member to talk on private messages and also on classifieds. I saw some bergers for sale but cannot reply.

Thanks
GRIZ406
I JUST FINISHED A 300 REMINGTON ULTRA MAG USING THE 175LRX. I WAS USING RETUMBO IN IT BUT THAT WOULD BE TOO SLOW FOR YOUR 300 WIN MAG.
IN MY PERSONAL 300 WM, I USE RL26 BUT RIGHT NOW IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AND MAY BE FOR SOME TIME!
IF YOU WANTED TO EXPERIMENT MORE WITH THAT BULLET IN YOUR RIFLE, I WOULD PICK UP SOME H1000. IT IS RELATIVELY AVAILABLE AND SHOULD WORK GREAT.
START BY SEATING IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SECOND GROOVE. AS ALREADY STATED, MAKE SURE THE RIFLE IS CLEAN AND ALL YOU OPTIC ATTACHMENT POINTS ARE SOLID.
THE RIFLE WILL TELL YOU IF IT LIKES YOUR COMBINATION OR NOT. PERSONALLY, I HAVE HAD GREAT LUCK WITH BOTH STYLES OF THE BARNES BULLETS. ALTHOUGH THE FARTHEST HEAD OF GAME I HAVE KILLED WAS AN AOUDAD AT "ONLY" 534 YARDS, THE 180GR TRIPLE SHOCK OUT OF A 300 WEATHERBY BROKE BOTH SHOULDERS AND IT WENT DOWN IN A HEAP. AND ROLLED ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON.
59 HEAD OF GAME AND I HAVE RECOVERED ONLY ONE BULLET, AND I'VE ONLY HAD TO SHOOT ONE ANIMAL MORE THAN ONCE. ARE THERE BETTER BULLETS FOR LONGER RANGES? I'M SURE THERE ARE. BUT FOR MY HUNTING STYLE, I'LL STICK WITH WHAT I KNOW!
 

Broz

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just this afternoon I checked rings and is torque correctly and are good. Action screws were also torque and were good.
Not to be a pain. But just checking screws for torque is a waste of time most of the time. Those Talley hybrid ring / mounts are know to be problematic. So maybe I am reading this wrong, but if you didn't pull them to look for a wear pattern on the mount bottom or action top. You accomplished nothing. I hope I am wrong and misunderstood. But here is the fact. If everything was "good" the rifle would be shooting bug holes. So we must look under every stone. JMO
 

Griz406

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Not to be a pain. But just checking screws for torque is a waste of time most of the time. Those Talley hybrid ring / mounts are know to be problematic. So maybe I am reading this wrong, but if you didn't pull them to look for a wear pattern on the mount bottom or action top. You accomplished nothing. I hope I am wrong and misunderstood. But here is the fact. If everything was "good" the rifle would be shooting bug holes. So we must look under every stone. JMO
I did not know that, I have no problem breaking it down to fully inspect them…..with them being an issue maybe I should look at a different ring/base setup? I greatly appreciate your advice and I do not think it’s a pain at all. I should do a actual breakdown on rifle scope and setup.
 

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GRIZ406
I JUST FINISHED A 300 REMINGTON ULTRA MAG USING THE 175LRX. I WAS USING RETUMBO IN IT BUT THAT WOULD BE TOO SLOW FOR YOUR 300 WIN MAG.
IN MY PERSONAL 300 WM, I USE RL26 BUT RIGHT NOW IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AND MAY BE FOR SOME TIME!
IF YOU WANTED TO EXPERIMENT MORE WITH THAT BULLET IN YOUR RIFLE, I WOULD PICK UP SOME H1000. IT IS RELATIVELY AVAILABLE AND SHOULD WORK GREAT.
START BY SEATING IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SECOND GROOVE. AS ALREADY STATED, MAKE SURE THE RIFLE IS CLEAN AND ALL YOU OPTIC ATTACHMENT POINTS ARE SOLID.
THE RIFLE WILL TELL YOU IF IT LIKES YOUR COMBINATION OR NOT. PERSONALLY, I HAVE HAD GREAT LUCK WITH BOTH STYLES OF THE BARNES BULLETS. ALTHOUGH THE FARTHEST HEAD OF GAME I HAVE KILLED WAS AN AOUDAD AT "ONLY" 534 YARDS, THE 180GR TRIPLE SHOCK OUT OF A 300 WEATHERBY BROKE BOTH SHOULDERS AND IT WENT DOWN IN A HEAP. AND ROLLED ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON.
59 HEAD OF GAME AND I HAVE RECOVERED ONLY ONE BULLET, AND I'VE ONLY HAD TO SHOOT ONE ANIMAL MORE THAN ONCE. ARE THERE BETTER BULLETS FOR LONGER RANGES? I'M SURE THERE ARE. BUT FOR MY HUNTING STYLE, I'LL STICK WITH WHAT I KNOW!
I got ya, I have some h1000, I may experiment with it. I know I need to start from beginning with the rifle and optics itself to make sure they are solid. I’m sure I’m making this harder and being self taught may be an issue. Thank you for the help.
 

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In a nutshell, yes. There's more to it, of course. You want to look at shot start and see a nice rise there. That far left section of the graph is the most important by far, and repeatability is paramount.

After that, you look for consistency and smoothness of the pressure curve and hope not to see secondary pressure rises. They're more common than most would believe. Most are small and inconsequential. I wouldn't even consider the slight bump in the graph above a secondary event, even though the calculation is showing that slightly. Others can prove to be very significant, and the largest contributor to a bad combination.

Depending on calibration, the OBT markers may or may not be in correct spot for muzzle exit times. Luckily, I have the rifle shown above dialed in fairly well with the calculation of that with the graph as it relates to real life. I always let the results speak for themselves, but for sure, a strong trend exists there as well and is useful.

Originally, the purpose of the Pressure Trace II was to help launch Apex Outdoors bullet lines and to provide measurable certainty for some of our patented claims. It's served that purpose and will continue to provide context for new and continued bullet releases, but really the emphasis there is far less important now than what it was in the beginning, as all Apex Outdoors bullets will behave predictably the same. The ones with longer tails that intrude the powder more will pressure up a little quicker than the long-nosed sleek ones, but behavior will be the same, i.e. almost no copper fouling and low friction allowing slightly higher velocities than comparably weighted bullets.

Now the purpose is almost entirely around helping to identify winning combinations. We won't get into doing loaded ammo here at Apex. Rather, we will keep it at the component level, but if we were a small ammo manufacturer, the Pressure Trace II would be immensely helpful in finding very consistent loads, and while it's impossible to actually "calibrate" without a SAAMI test barrel, shooting factory ammo from reputable, large firms that actually do pressure testing provides a good benchmark. I do believe the graph shown above is within plus or minus 2%, based on loads seen shot with pressure equipment (to include our Afterburner) and associated published data/pressures/velocities.

Let me show you the difference between a good load workup (1gr increments between shots) and a bad one. See below. The first one is all the same component combo as the example above, except the powder was H4350, and stepped in 1gr increments, of course. The second is the same 1gr stepped sequence with the powder being V-N550. This isn't saying anything bad about N550. In fact, it appeared to burn quite a bit faster in general. That doesn't show in the graphs below per se, but the case fill was lower by a fair bit. My guess is, if this powder actually does work in this "large case, light bullet" scenario, it needs a primer that is less hot. That would potentially settle the inconsistency at shot start, because I think the powder needs more of a chance to control the front end. I feel like the primer is pushing the combo out ahead of its skis, so to speak, and that would also contribute to the secondary hump seen at the end. This doesn't mean I'm correct, it's just what I'd try if I wanted to mess with N550 in this combo again. The results on the target between the two were obvious as well.

H4350 - 1gr increments between shots
View attachment 15005

V-N550 - 1gr increments between shots
View attachment 15006
Mark - Amazing info! I have the Pressure Trace but haven’t used it yet. This is a big help.
 

FEENIX

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@FEENIX - Thanks for replying. I hope to get my hands on the 215 bergers. I think if I want to extend my hunting ranges that bullet would be better suited and seems like many have good luck with many different rifles using them. Plus I like to practice at longer ranges to understand my rifle and also fine tune the operating errors.

Just wondering how long it takes by being a new member to talk on private messages and also on classifieds. I saw some bergers for sale but cannot reply.

Thanks
You're quite welcome! Most forums have a transition period of 1-2 weeks and 10+ post counts before they can PM or the ability to post ads. @Broz
 

Gord0

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I would look into a one piece steel rail with a recoil lug, and bed it. I've used nightforce, which are great. I've also used the Burris XTR without issue on a few rifles when I wanted to save some money. Also a good set of rings like Hawkins or Nightforce. The nightforce ultralights I put on my last rifle were very nice. I've used Burris XTR 6 screw rings as well, but they're very heavy, and not as high quality as the first two I mentioned.

One of the biggest things is bedding the rail!
Broz has a good how to video here somewhere.
 

Broz

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I would look into a one piece steel rail with a recoil lug, and bed it. I've used nightforce, which are great. I've also used the Burris XTR without issue on a few rifles when I wanted to save some money. Also a good set of rings like Hawkins or Nightforce. The nightforce ultralights I put on my last rifle were very nice. I've used Burris XTR 6 screw rings as well, but they're very heavy, and not as high quality as the first two I mentioned.

One of the biggest things is bedding the rail!
Broz has a good how to video here somewhere.
^^^^^^^ Nailed it^^^^ Nightforce 20 moa rail bedded on and nightforce or Hawkins rings
 

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@Broz - I took apart the rings and mounts……..you were exactly right!! The front mount was worn down and even can see the marks on the action. It wore enough that there was a little play in them…..definitely enough to have an issue. Just thought I would let you know and will be ordering nightforce rail and rings. Great video by the way too so I can follow along as I do it. Thanks for help and advice.👍👍
 

Broz

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@Broz - I took apart the rings and mounts……..you were exactly right!! The front mount was worn down and even can see the marks on the action. It wore enough that there was a little play in them…..definitely enough to have an issue. Just thought I would let you know and will be ordering nightforce rail and rings. Great video by the way too so I can follow along as I do it. Thanks for help and advice.👍👍
You are more than welcome Sir. I am glad you checked it. Might save some components and a lot of frustration. Nice work!
 

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I ended up going with a Precision Hardcore Gear 20 moa rail and nightforce rings. Super excited to get them on and continue shooting, hopefully have some pics as well from shooting. Again thanks @Broz truly an invaluable place to come and learn from top shooters and hunters. Very thankful to have a great community!
 

SoTxShooter

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Glad you got it figured out Griz! And before wasting a boat load of components and pulling your hair out.
 

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I won't trust any bases or rails or hybrid style rings that are made out of 6061 aluminum. Especially if they're only attached with 4 tiny 6-48 screws. I would possibly trust a rail made out of 7075 with a lightweight scope on top of it as long as it was bedded, and had a recoil lug.
 

Griz406

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I won't trust any bases or rails or hybrid style rings that are made out of 6061 aluminum. Especially if they're only attached with 4 tiny 6-48 screws. I would possibly trust a rail made out of 7075 with a lightweight scope on top of it as long as it was bedded, and had a recoil lug.
That’s good to know. I will remember that when looking at rings and bases. Look at the specs and details of them more closely.
 

Griz406

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Glad you got it figured out Griz! And before wasting a boat load of components and pulling your hair out.
Well if it wasn’t for this forum and you guys I wouldn’t have thought of checking it that closely. It was getting to that point of pulling my hair. I’m still going to have some local guys that have been doing it for 40 years or more to check everything over when I’m reloading and at the range.
 

Griz406

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Update

Just wanted to give an update on how things have gone since I owe all the credit to you guys for the help. After setting my up my rifle and optics correctly and solid. Here are some of the results.

.300 WinMag Christensen Arms Ridgeline 26” 1:10 twist

Barnes LRX 175
H4350 63gr.
.050” OL
100 yards: 5 shot group .510” and another 5 shot group .502”

Since now I switched to the 215 bergers with H1000. Started at 74gr and work to 77gr in .5 increments and stopped there with faint ejector marks. Settled with 74.5gr based off best 3 shot grouping of .641”. I do feel like there is node here and another at 76gr. But went with the accuracy. Then tried adjusting seating depth starting from lands in .010” increments. Here are my results (Pics)

.010” OL .582” group
.020” OL .551” group
Muzzle Velocity 2845-2853 avg
SD 14-22
ES 33-46

Again thanks for all the help you guys have given me. I do need to work on the Sd and Es so appreciate any feedback. Again thank you and it’s much appreciated.
 

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MECA

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I WOULD KEEP PLAYING WITH IT FOR A BIT.
I LIKE TO SEE ROUND GROUPS. TRIANGLES. THE MORE "MICKEY MOUSE" THE BETTER.
DON'T CARE FOR "STRINGING", ESPECIALLY VERTICLE.
AT SOME POINT YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE OFF THAT 100 YARD DISTANCE. IT'S JUST TOO CLOSE TO REALLY SEE WHATS GOING ON!
 

Broz

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Update

Just wanted to give an update on how things have gone since I owe all the credit to you guys for the help. After setting my up my rifle and optics correctly and solid. Here are some of the results.

.300 WinMag Christensen Arms Ridgeline 26” 1:10 twist

Barnes LRX 175
H4350 63gr.
.050” OL
100 yards: 5 shot group .510” and another 5 shot group .502”

Since now I switched to the 215 bergers with H1000. Started at 74gr and work to 77gr in .5 increments and stopped there with faint ejector marks. Settled with 74.5gr based off best 3 shot grouping of .641”. I do feel like there is node here and another at 76gr. But went with the accuracy. Then tried adjusting seating depth starting from lands in .010” increments. Here are my results (Pics)

.010” OL .582” group
.020” OL .551” group
Muzzle Velocity 2845-2853 avg
SD 14-22
ES 33-46

Again thanks for all the help you guys have given me. I do need to work on the Sd and Es so appreciate any feedback. Again thank you and it’s much appreciated.
Nice work. You should be very pleased with your results. I agree to now take it to distance and see what she does.
 

Lil Web

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Hey everyone,

I am new to reloading and Hammer bullets and currently trying to decide on the 180 or 196 hammer hunters. Currently, I cannot find really anything that my rifle likes to shoot. Powders I have on hand are H4350, H4831sc and H1000. Primers are CCI 250, Nosler Brass. Just wondering what I could try with either bullet with what I have or if their is anything I could do. I’m really hoping to find accuracy. Any ideas, thoughts or reviews would be greatly appreciated.

Rifle
Christensen Arms Ridgeline .300


The Barnes TSX may be a good choice. They are largely the bullet most likely to be very accurate, least fussy about seating depth, and should work well with H4350, or IMR4350. Magnum primers aren't necesary.
Depending on your rifles' twist, I would try 165Gr and 180 Gr TSX.
 

Griz406

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Awesome, glad to hear all the feedback! Thanks a bunch and will take them out to longer ranges and see what the target is telling me. Much appreciated!

 

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