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#3177848 - 02/27/13 09:38 AM Another 300 WSM Quest
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Since I can actually seem to get responses here, I have another question about "working up a load". While I'm not new to reloading, I am new to starting a load from scratch.

background. I'm going elk hunting for the 1st time this October, so I picked up a Ruger 300 M77 Mark II 300 wsm. Since shells seem to average around $50 a pop, I got some free hulls & a set of dies.

I researched bullets & narrowed it down to Barnes TSX 165 grain which several people have said shoots good out of their rugers. Nosler Accubond was a close second. 180 grain bullets had mixed results. Some shot good, others didn't, but 165 was pretty consistently accurate and very capable of taking Elk sized animals.

I already had some IMR 4350, which is supposed to be a good Short Mag powder.

Now to the questions. How do "you" go about working up loads? Do you start at min? Start in the middle? Do you move up in 1/2 grain increments? i'm not one of those who believe I must shoot max.

The min-max listed on barnes site for this bullet is 61.0 min, and 68.0 max (compressed with 108% case capacity).

Thanks !
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#3177867 - 02/27/13 09:57 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
KPH
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I would advise to start at the bottom and work up. Now that being said I normaly start in the middle and work up, it just seems to work out for me. 1/2 grs is about right.
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#3177912 - 02/27/13 10:34 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: KPH]
EastTNHunter
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Rule of thumb is to start off 10% off max and work up, looking for pressure signs.
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#3177914 - 02/27/13 10:35 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: KPH]
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i start 3 grains be low max and work up if .5 grain increments till the last grain before max the i do it in .2 grains


in your case

65 65.5 66 66.5 67

67.2 67.4 .6 .8 68
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#3178040 - 02/27/13 12:09 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Deer Assassin]
WGK
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Goof advice from all. I start 2 grains below Max.
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#3178096 - 02/27/13 01:10 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: WGK]
mr.big
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I start 10% off book max and load one round in one grain increments until I see pressure,from this I try and figure what the max safe load will be which is usually 2-3% below where I can see pressure,,

then with the max safe load I shoot for accuracy and work down,,I like the fastest load I can get that is accurate and this process seems to get me to that load using the least amount of components,,

68 grs is listed as max in your example,,I would load one round at 61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70,71,,

I would shoot those looking closely at the fired brass and bolt lift ,primers and everything,,take it slow and shoot each round with cold barrel for consistant test data,

the first round that showed me excess pressure or velocity spikes I would stop and back down 2-3 grains and start trying for accuracy..
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#3178120 - 02/27/13 01:35 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
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very good info... keep it coming \:\)

mr.big. Why do I "want" to shoot until I see pressure signs? Just get get max velocity ? Wouldn't I just want to stop once I got good groups? Shooting till I see pressure dangers, scares me, but remember, I'm new to this \:\)

One person suggested to test for pressure increases, I need to measure the base of the shell, and once I see increases of .003 to back off (that number may be wrong, as its off the top of my head)


I was going to load up about 5 rounds in each increment, seeing what shot best. Once I got a good group, stick with it \:\)

Again, thx for the comments.
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#3178153 - 02/27/13 02:07 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
mr.big
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if you are happy with just accuracy by all means just start at 62 or so and shoot groups until you get the results you want,,sometimes you will run into pressure before you get accuracy or reach book max loads though,,

thats when you reach for a different powder or bullet,,
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#3178185 - 02/27/13 02:31 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
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Well, i am happy with accuracy, but do you get better bullet performance the faster you push it? What are teh reasons to load for max..
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#3178192 - 02/27/13 02:36 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
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OAL question..

Are the benefits of sizing your rifles shells to "just off lands" really that beneficial, or will the books published "max OAL" suffice ? A good "load" for me would be a 2" to 2.5" group at 200 yards.. I think that would suffice to kill an elk ..
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#3178290 - 02/27/13 04:11 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
mr.big
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I just like to hit an animal with as much force as possible ,,I have never been on an elk hunt but if I did I would want all the energy I could get,,
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#3178296 - 02/27/13 04:19 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
Jcalder
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I'm with mr big on this. Get all the speed you can without sacrificing too much accuracy. A 2" group at 200 yards is great in my book. As far as seating the bullet, there are tests you can do to see if your gun likes the bullet seated on the lands all the way to having a bit of jump. Personally I want mine as close as possible without touching. Book oal means little to me.
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#3178371 - 02/27/13 05:13 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
gtk Moderator
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 Originally Posted By: mr.big
I just like to hit an animal with as much force as possible ,,I have never been on an elk hunt but if I did I would want all the energy I could get,,


I agree, but how much difference in energy would a grain or 1/2 make overall? Guess i could answer my own question by running it through a ballistics calculator....

Again yall, thanks for the answers. I have read my reloading manual over & over, but there is nothing like "real world" experience. I visit a lot of forums, but this thread has given me more insight than all the other reading i've done yet.
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#3178402 - 02/27/13 05:38 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
Jcalder
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I've read on other forums and possibly in my manual that you can get to a point where a full grain of powder will only increase your fps by a 100 or less. To me that's wasted powder with no result. I wish I had a chronograph to to help compare my loads. But for now I make up loads until I have exceptable groups. I've switched powders and since I haven't had nothing exceptable. I like mr big's way of finding loads. Sounds more efficient and safer than my way of finding the right load.
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#3178425 - 02/27/13 06:05 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
mr.big
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if you shoot the one grain increment loads at the same target you should be able to see the sweet spot also,,when you see two or three different charges start grouping together you are on the accuracy node,,say if 64,65 and 66 grs are in a close group with the others stringing ,you will find a good shooting load around 85 grs,
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#3178582 - 02/27/13 08:25 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
Model70Man
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I have found with shooting Barnes bullets that seating the bullets just off of the lands is not very good for accuracy. For some reason Barnes bullets are more accurate seated deeper. In my 300 WSM's, I have found that Varget gave me the best velocity and accuracy for the 165 grain TTSX seated down to the last ring showing. I tried all sorts of seating depth's and got on the various shooting forums and they pretty much all said that seating the bullets deeper gave them the best accuracy, and they were right.
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#3178601 - 02/27/13 08:49 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Model70Man]
Jcalder
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Model7man. I load Barnes ttsx for a friend and with 44.6 grains of varget under that 165 grain bullet in a 308 is awesome out of his gun. And I have 2 rings showing. I guess it's all in the difference in guns.
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#3178612 - 02/27/13 09:01 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
Model70Man
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 Originally Posted By: Jcalder
And I have 2 rings showing. I guess it's all in the difference in guns.


That is true. Some rifles are throated deeper than others. What rifle are you loading for?
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#3178615 - 02/27/13 09:03 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Model70Man]
ewc
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So much bad info above, I don't know where to begin. Big is correct and M70man is close.

Barnes data is hotter than most. Reaching "their" max with "their" bullets is almost impossible, but that is besides the point.

Start by touching the lands. Your test loads are at max pressure here.

If you can't reach the lands, load to mag length. Your test loads are still at max pressure here.

You see if you start long (OAL) and work up to pressure, you're always safe to lessen oal.

Starting .10 off lands is stupid beyond belief. Let your gun tell you where pressure is. Not a book or not a poster on tndeer.

Good luck.

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#3178634 - 02/27/13 09:18 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: ewc]
ewc
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FWIW, I shoot a lot of Barnes.

tsx and ttsx

When possible (mag length constraints), I load them jammed 0.100 into lands.

Most of the time, a powder charge difference puts them into tiny groups without varying oal.

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#3178638 - 02/27/13 09:21 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Model70Man]
Jcalder
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Not sure where the bad info is.
Model70. I load the Barnes for a savage model 11 hog hunter. The 44.6 grains of varget in my gun (savage mod 10) works well with sierra gameking bthp. But I load a bit under published oal to get off the lands.

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#3178640 - 02/27/13 09:21 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: mr.big]
ewc
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 Originally Posted By: mr.big
if you shoot the one grain increment loads at the same target you should be able to see the sweet spot also,,when you see two or three different charges start grouping together you are on the accuracy node,,say if 64,65 and 66 grs are in a close group with the others stringing ,you will find a good shooting load around 85 grs,


So add 20 grains of powder to you best shooting group?



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#3178644 - 02/27/13 09:24 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: ewc]
Jcalder
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I do agree with ewc on max loads with Barnes bullets. I don't see how they get all that powder in the case and the bullet seated to their depth.
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#3178646 - 02/27/13 09:29 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
ewc
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 Originally Posted By: Jcalder
Not sure where the bad info is.
Model70. I load the Barnes for a savage model 11 hog hunter. The 44.6 grains of varget in my gun (savage mod 10) works well with sierra gameking bthp. But I load a bit under published oal to get off the lands.


How fast is it going? And why did you load a lesser oal? And why are you nervous about touching the lands? (assuming you can...)

No offense, but if you can't measure some of these things, you are just guessing and reading on the internet.

Please take no offense to the questions, as they are sincere and I am only pointing out mistakes I have made.

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#3178660 - 02/27/13 09:46 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: ewc]
Jcalder
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I'm not taking offense by any means. I believe the published oal for that bullet is 2.750. At 2.740 I'm on the lands. A guy I work with who helped me get started suggested staying off the lands so that's been my rule of thumb. And that load has produced several good groups. Alot of 3 shot groups with 2 holes. All other loads that I've produced have generally been longer than published oal. I'm not against touching the lands if it shoots well and no pressure issues have developed. Not sure what my velocities are. I know I'm over max according to the sierra manual with the varget load
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#3178670 - 02/27/13 09:55 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
ewc
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You are touching lands at 2.740" ?

I'm pretty certain I can't touch lands and I load to mag length @ 2.860".

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#3178677 - 02/27/13 10:04 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: ewc]
Jcalder
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I touch the lands with a 165 sgk bthp at 2.740. I load a 165 sgk btsp to 2.890 I believe and Barnes ttsx to 2.860.
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#3178679 - 02/27/13 10:05 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
Jcalder
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I think my next investment is gonna be a bullet comparator so I can refine some of the differences
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#3178681 - 02/27/13 10:06 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
Jcalder
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Sorry. The btsp is 2.790
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#3178702 - 02/27/13 10:40 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
ewc
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I don't think you are touching the lands with either load.

I think you are measuring your mag length. Look up the max col.

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#3178836 - 02/28/13 06:56 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: ewc]
Jcalder
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I'm not sure what you're referring to as mag length and max length, but I know I'm not on the lands. Oal according to sierra is 2.750. Not sure if thats min or max. But I seat my bullet until I can close my bolt without it getting in a bind. I also look at the bullet and see it the lands make any marks.
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#3178962 - 02/28/13 08:38 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
gtk Moderator
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Both of my reloading manuals say do "NOT" touch the lands, because increased pressure can occur?

My manual says max OAL is 2.860. I started my dummy load out there, and couldn't even begin to shut the bolt. I kept slowly seating it deeper until I could close the bolt with no "sticky" feel.

Then I put magic-maker on the bullet and chambered the round, and it left a noticeable ring. So I seated it deeper in .001 increments until it left no ring.

The OAL ended up being just what Barnes publised @ 2.820
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#3178976 - 02/28/13 08:48 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
Jcalder
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It's possible my manual states the minimum oal. But the way you done it gtk is similar to what I do to seat my bullets. Without doing the marker trick
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#3179052 - 02/28/13 09:54 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Model70Man]
gtk Moderator
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 Originally Posted By: Model70Man
I have found with shooting Barnes bullets that seating the bullets just off of the lands is not very good for accuracy.

I did some more reading on this, and the consensus on the interweb agrees (and if its on the internet, it must be true) \:\) . Everyone thinks its something to do with Barnes bullets being so hard & seating further off the lands allows it to build up more pressure.


Just how far are you seating off the lands?
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#3179140 - 02/28/13 10:53 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
MUP
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Crap, now I'm confused...I thought that not having some distance between bullet and lands was what would increase pressure?
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#3179352 - 02/28/13 02:37 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: MUP]
Hunter 257W
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If all else is the same(i.e. case, primer, powder) you will get higher pressure if you seat a bullet against the rifling than if you seat it a bit deeper.

That's why if you are going to seat the bullet against the rifling, you should start load development with the bullet against the rifling. Never work up a MAX load with the bullet seated deeper and then seat it out further to touch the rifling. I like to work up in 1 grain increments looking at primers and feeling for an increase in bolt lift force required to extract the case. When you find iether of these back off a grain. If you are working up the load in cold weather to use in hot weather you might want to back off 2 grains.

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#3179358 - 02/28/13 02:40 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Hunter 257W]
Hunter 257W
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Of course this assumes you are loading for a bolt action rifle that operates at high enough pressures for primers to flatten and obviously you get no feed back on extraction force with other action types. With lesser pressure cartridges/guns, I go conservative as living through the experience with all my fingers trumps another 100 fps. \:\)
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#3179398 - 02/28/13 03:19 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Hunter 257W]
gtk Moderator
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 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
With lesser pressure cartridges/guns, I go conservative as living through the experience with all my fingers trumps another 100 fps. \:\)

that is my goal. I would like to keep all my extremities !
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#3179452 - 02/28/13 04:08 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
Hunter 257W
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 Originally Posted By: gtk
 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
With lesser pressure cartridges/guns, I go conservative as living through the experience with all my fingers trumps another 100 fps. \:\)

that is my goal. I would like to keep all my extremities !


And considering that you are going on an Elk hunt, which I assume if you are like me, is not something you get to do often(I've never been) - I'd stay relatively conservative with pressures so you don't have to worry about getting a case stuck in the chamber 1,000 miles from home an a hunt of a lifetime. Same for seating bullets into the rifling. It's very unlikey to happen but it would be my luck to have a bullet jam into the rifling and pull it from the case while unloading the rifle on a special hunt like that. I'd still want good accuracy but an elk is a big animal. 1 1/4 groups should be easy to get and plenty good enough. I get aggravated at myself for ever deviating from my old 25-06 load with 115gr Nosler Partitions. It killed faster than any other load I've used on average but I stopped using it just because I couldn't get that magical 1 moa. It would shoot 1 1/4 - 1 5/16" consistently and kill any deer I shot at though if I could just forget that extra 1/4" spread at 100yds. I guess the Varmint hunter in me is to blame for that.


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#3179878 - 02/28/13 11:21 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Hunter 257W]
skynimrod
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Reloading, and Elk hunting I go for accuracy not speed. In fact I'm very happy when I'm not pushing the envelope & find my sweet spot in the middle range load ups. I load 5 rounds in .5 grain increments starting from the bottom of my hottest list book, I have several & working up for accuracy, and the max for notes if I reach it. I will go 1 grain over my highest list. I go just a hair off the lands most of the time.

I killed a bull elk at over 400 yds with a 1 shot drop using my most accurate load for that gun at the time. I needed it & had time to load it. Believe it or not it was a Nosler ballistic tip 150 gr 7mm Mag with H870 smoking hot, but it had time to slow down a little for a bang flop. I carried partitions usually for close work with that rifle.


Edited by skynimrod (02/28/13 11:23 PM)
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#3180061 - 03/01/13 08:32 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: skynimrod]
gtk Moderator
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With the IMR 4350 & Barnes 165 bullets, I'm going to have to stay below max. I really don't want to get into the "compressed" loads and barneds suggests the same. if I load max it will be 106% capacity
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#3189822 - 03/11/13 02:07 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Jcalder]
Cull Buck Hunter
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I have shot the Barnes 168gr TSX for a while and they tend to run a little higher on pressure than other similar loaded/weight bullets due to bullet length. I shoot .005 off the lands in my .308's and 300WSM and I measure the chamber of each gun using the dowel rod method. I load my 308win with 45gr of Varget when using a TSX and 46gr when using 165 NBT's or 165 SST's and get almost identical results, Barnes for critters and the others for paper.

Edited by Cull Buck Hunter (03/11/13 02:13 PM)
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#3189870 - 03/11/13 03:03 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Cull Buck Hunter]
gtk Moderator
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I loaded 5 rounds of 61 grain, used two just to get on target
Then I loaded 3 rounds each from 61-66 grains. I think i'll try 65.5 grains just to "see" what it does. I should be getitng 3074 fps with 65 grains.

I had two cases split with the 65 & 66 grain loads (one each), and one split with 66 grain. I don't know if this was because it was "once fired brass" that was originally shot in a different rifle, or it was pressure related. There was no other sign of pressure.

@ 100 yard






Edited by gtk (03/11/13 03:04 PM)
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#3190811 - 03/12/13 02:06 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: gtk]
elkman
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If you cant get satisfied with these loads, buy you some Winchester 180 grain ballistic silvertips. I have taken 2 elk and a bear with mine and NONE have left their tracks. We also practice from 200-600 yards before going hunting every year, and i can tell you that this bullet will shoot closer than i can hold it, LOL. But, hitting a 2" dot at 600 is pretty good, even for me.
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#3191162 - 03/12/13 09:06 PM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: elkman]
Hunter 257W
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I don't associate split necks with high pressure. Sounds like the chamber of the other rifle these cases were previously fired in must have been on the large side of the tolerance range and they were excessively sized/worked. Sometimes too you just get a batch of cases with hard necks that split easy.

All your groups look good enough accuracy wise. Is there any way you can honestly say that 64 grain group flyer was your fault and not the fault of the load?

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#3195971 - 03/18/13 09:30 AM Re: Another 300 WSM Quest [Re: Hunter 257W]
gtk Moderator
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I backed my FL die out 1/8th of a turn, loaded up another batch, and didn't have a single split.
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