150 gr vs 180 gr bullets


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ChronoCube
April 8, 2009, 04:11 PM
What's the difference when shooting them out of ordinary rifles? E.g. .308, 7.62x54R, .303... For both range shooting and hunting.

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Zak Smith
April 8, 2009, 04:20 PM
For target shooting, accuracy and BC are more important.

For hunting, bullet construction and accuracy are more important.

Mass can have an effect on terminal ballistics. Bullet construction including mass has an effect on BC. Bullet type/construction along with mass affects terminal ballistics.

adobewalls
April 8, 2009, 04:30 PM
Velocity, momentum, energy, sectional density and ballistic coeficient.

For the older cartridges the lack of velocity was made up by using heavier bullets. With modern powders, that is probably not needed any more.

For today, the best bullet depends on your shooting objectives.

For instance, the 175 gr. SMK will stay supersonic for a longer distance than the 168 gr. SMK, outrunning the 168 SMK after 600 yards or so. BUT, now that there are 155 gr. VLD's, that can be fired at higher velocities and retain that velocity longer, and are superior to both the 175 and 168 - if you are looking for distance.

If you are looking for flat out hard hitting, the 175 gr. SMK will hit dern near as hard as a 160 out of a 7mm RM, while the 168 and 155's splatter on the steel.

So by anecdote, if you were looking for a hunting bullet where you need bullet cohesiveness and penetration, then odds are the heavier bullet is usually better - however its a bit more complicated than that because the advance in bullet technology means there are lighter weight bullets that can hold together and penetrate like the heavier ones do.

Third, if you are after accuracy, there is an element that depends on your rifle and its rifling twist. Longer bullets need a tighter twist to stabilize.

Again, which bullet you choose depends on what your shooting objectives are, AND how much do you want to spend.

Zak Smith
April 8, 2009, 04:32 PM
the 175 gr. SMK will hit dern near as hard as a 160 out of a 7mm RM, while the 168 and 155's splatter on the steel.
To be clear, all these bullets splatter when they hit armor steel.

WardenWolf
April 8, 2009, 04:34 PM
Honestly, not a hell of a lot. People tend to prefer a heavier weight bullet, though, not realizing how little effect bullet weight actually has. It's the same thing as the caliber war, only on a smaller scale.

Dr.Rob
April 8, 2009, 05:10 PM
Drop at 300 yards is substantially different, which is important when hunting. I used to swap between 150 gr for antelope to 180 for elk. If I recall correctly the difference in drop at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero was 9 inches for the 180 bullet and 5-6 inches for a 150 gr bullet. At 300 yards thats like the width of a crosshair. Maybe not a big deal if you are punching paper but certainly makes a difference when trying to make a clean kill on big game. I finally switched to a 165gr bullet for all big game (deer elk antelope) which seems the best compromise (in a 30-06 at any rate) in power and velocity and flat trajectory out to 400 yards.

ArmedBear
April 8, 2009, 05:32 PM
Wait... You're saying that, between you and your rifle, in field conditions, you can shoot groups that come in well under 1 MOA?

Because the difference in drop at 300 yards that you're talking about is just about 1 MOA.

Zak Smith
April 8, 2009, 05:37 PM
Even if he couldn't his group would be centered 1 MOA higher.

ArmedBear
April 8, 2009, 06:24 PM
Well, yeah, but I'm not sure that "substantially different" is what I'd use to describe a difference in drop that's less than the practical accuracy of the firearm in question.

I'd think that the choice would be based more on different factors.

Dr.Rob
April 8, 2009, 07:35 PM
I'm saying since an antelope's heart is no bigger that my fist and LOW in the chest the difference between a 5 and 9 inch drop at 300 yards is significant. What a 150 will hit at 300 with the same hold a 180 could shoot under (when you are talking about a 4 legged critter).

Not trying to brag about my ability to hold a shot, I've killed a lot of antelope with both bullet weights at range.

The original poster asked 'whats the difference?' Just trying to be illustrative.

Closer in, out to 200 yards, put the sights on the heart and squeeze the trigger, there's really not much difference in accuracy or trajectory. (Think I sighted 180's 1.5 inches high at 100 yards, the 150 an inch.)

hinton03
April 9, 2009, 03:24 AM
Not a target shooter but for hunting purposes it is the age old argument of velocity versus mass. I don't shoot much .30 caliber these days so I will simply address light versus heavy.

There is tons of technical information claiming superiority for both and it all depends on whos Kool-Aid you want to drink. My opinion is based on my experience only.

If hunting light skinned game (up to Mule Deer) I fall into the velocity camp and like the 25.06 with 115 grain bullets, when hunting Elk and above I go for mass and normally shoot the 175 Grain 7mm Mag projectiles. With modern designs like the solid copper bullet you can probably lighten up and still get the needed penetration provided by bullets with greater mass, but I stay with I know works and the heavy partition bullets have never failed me.

The question of trajectory normally isn't a issue for me; I don't shoot at game past 250 yards and any rifle I would consider suitable for the game being hunted is generally sighted in to provide point blank hold at that range.

WardenWolf
April 9, 2009, 03:28 AM
Assuming you zero your sights correctly for the bullet weight you're using, there's not a hell of a lot of difference between 150 grain and 180 grain. Fact is, the 150 grain ammo is still enough to humanely kill virtually anything short of an elephant. I might not want to use it for polar bear (I honestly wouldn't want to ever be facing down a polar bear), but it will do it.

moooose102
April 9, 2009, 08:16 AM
at the range, the lighter bullet will give you a flater trajectory (actually, in hunting as well). when hunting, the heavier bullet will penetrate deeper (assuming it is the same bullet, just different weight) than the lighter and if hunting something that may charge you, potentially have more knockdown power. but honestly, the biggest thing about bullets is their construction. the bullet needs to be matched to its purpose. especially in hunting applications.

Art Eatman
April 9, 2009, 10:45 AM
Only hunting bullets, and only longer-barrelled '06s with handloads: The family experience goes back to before WW II, and serious numbers of deer have been taken with 150-grain bullets.

I've probably done more messing around with various hunting bullets than my father or uncle, and even set up a 500-yard range here at the house.

I've found no great difference in trajectory in Sierra boat-tail bullets at 500 yards for 150-, 165- and 180-grain bullets for the same zero for all three. SFAIK, the deal is that 150s are faster, but the 180s have a better BC. Dunno about any in-between distance, since my only other measured distance is 100 yards, where they all shoot at about the same POI. (Shrug)

Through the years, I've gotten about the same MOA from Sierra FB and BT; Hornady Spire Point, and Remington Bronze Point. (All 150 grainers.) Generally, around 3/4 MOA to 7/8 for five shots. All with IMR 4064.

Based on reading, it appears that today's bullet designs have 180-grain bullets giving right at equal performance to yesterday's 220-grain bullets. No first-hand experience there, however.

FWIW, Art

T.R.
April 9, 2009, 06:00 PM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/muley3.jpg

For long distance shooting in rough country, .308 with 150 grain pointed soft tips gets my vote every time. This bullet is super accurate and delivers its energy with predictable results.

Same country, but when elk is the quarry, I typically reach for 180 grain pointed soft tip ammo. The bullet has to penetrate though thicker chest wall to reach the vitals. But when elk hunting, plan to shoot 'em twice.

Dad (1922 - 2004) hunted with round nose 180 grain ammo fired from his 300 Savage lever action. Nope, not 300 win mag. I'm talking about the original short, efficient cartridge cartridge in 30 caliber. Dad took mt. goat in Montana, bighorn sheep, elk, 'lopes, mulies, and whitetails in Wyoming with his 300 and round nosed bullets. He took caribou in Saskatchewan and bear in Manitoba. Dad told me many times that the 180 round nose opened up FAST like a 150 but had the weight and momentum of a 180 to break heavy bones. His trophy room was proof that this wisdom was based upon actual experience.

The 180 round nose bullet has been forgotten by most modern hunters. It shoots as flat as a pointed bullet out to about 225 yards. But beyond this milestone, the pointed bullet has an un-deniable advantage. For this reason, I choose the pointed bullets most of the time.

Good shooting to you.
TR

Geno
April 9, 2009, 08:44 PM
Now don't anyone be telling around THR that I am a closet .30-06-fan! It would destroy my .270 Win closet-fan status!

Here's the poop on a .30-06. I got the data from Sierra's website for the ballistic coefficients, and ran the ballistics through Hornady's website. When you get right down to it, there is precious little difference between the 150, 165 and 180 grain loads for the .30-06. This is especially true when the old gal is loaded to her near-max abilities, and when zeroed at 300 yards (as we always do for all hunting loads). The first box represents the drop at 500 yards for each respective load. More details are available below.

150 = -26.4
165 = -27.5
180 = -26.8


Geno


Sierra 150 grain SBT | BC = .380 @ 2600 fps and above
.30-06 150 gr., .380 B.C.
www.hornady.com
Range (yards)
Muzzle
50
100
200
300
400
500
Velocity (fps)
3200
3068
2940
2695
2463
2243
2034
Energy (ft.-lb.)
3410
3135
2879
2420
2021
1675
1378
Trajectory (300 yd. zero)
-1.5
1.3
3.3
4.0
0.0
-9.7
-26.4
Come Up in MOA
-1.5
-2.6
-3.1
-1.9
0.0
2.3
5.0


Sierra 165 grain SBT | BC = .404 @ 2400 fps and above
.30-06 165 gr., .404 B.C.
www.hornady.com
Range (yards)
Muzzle
50
100
200
300
400
500
Velocity (fps)
3100
2979
2861
2634
2418
2213
2017
Energy (ft.-lb.)
3521
3251
2998
2542
2143
1794
1491
Trajectory (300 yd. zero)
-1.5
1.5
3.5
4.2
0.0
-10.2
-27.5
Come Up in MOA
-1.5
-2.8
-3.3
-2.0
0.0
2.4
5.3


Sierra 180 grain SBT | BC = .501 @ 2700 fps and above
.30-06 180 gr., .501 B.C.
www.hornady.com
Range (yards)
Muzzle
50
100
200
300
400
500
Velocity (fps)
3000
2904
2810
2629
2454
2286
2125
Energy (ft.-lb.)
3597
3371
3157
2762
2407
2089
1805
Trajectory (300 yd. zero)
-1.5
1.6
3.6
4.3
0.0
-10.1
-26.8
Come Up in MOA
-1.5
-3.0
-3.4
-2.1
0.0
2.4
5.1

Harve Curry
April 9, 2009, 09:17 PM
If we are talking 30-06, 303 British, or 7.62 X 54 shooting at bull elk I would want the extra 30 grains of bullet.

Redneck with a 40
April 9, 2009, 10:14 PM
The 180's will hold more energy and lose less velocity, that could matter at 300 yards.

Art Eatman
April 9, 2009, 11:02 PM
I know the Remington 150-grain Bronze Point is good on Bambi to 350, and the 150-Sierra SPBT works to 450. Witnesses tell stories of my father's successes with 150-grain Hornadys at 500. All one-shot DRTs.

Geno
April 9, 2009, 11:08 PM
Common position regarding power to cleanly harvest a whitetail ranges from 1,000 FPE to 1,200 FPE. The following chart details the three aforementioned projectile weights' remaining FPE at 500 yards:

150 grain @ 500 yards = 1378 FPE
165 grain @ 500 yards = 1491 FPE
180 grain @ 500 yards = 1805 FPE

Given that all three weights exceed the commonly held minimum, I doubt Bambi would know the difference. :) Some day, sooooome day, I'll be able to locate myself a nice 26" barrel, Weatherby Mark V in .30-06 Sprg. Some day. <<Sigh>> I had one that I sold about 20 years ago. I've never been the same since.

Geno

Art Eatman
April 9, 2009, 11:32 PM
Sorry, Geno. I loaned mine to Justin, and as long as he sends me elk meat from time to time, you can't have it.

Geno
April 9, 2009, 11:35 PM
Art:

:( I never should have sold mine. I hate myself. :p

Geno

ChronoCube
April 10, 2009, 05:18 AM
Thanks for the information everyone. As someone mentioned, the only major difference is energy. Looking at the numbers Geno provided, the heavier bullet loses less energy downrange. At the extreme of 500 yards, the 180gr bullet has 50% of its muzzle energy. The other two have around 40%.

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