Speed vs Weight


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bluehywy
April 24, 2014, 11:28 AM
Alright, so I know this topic has been debated for all of time, but here is another one. Im looking at getting a bolt .223 for the sole purpose of poking holes in paper. Im also looking at shooting around 1-300 yards. I want to know if shooting light/fast bullets or heavy/slower bullets are going to be a better way to start. Right now Im thinking that light/fast is the way to go. Again, I dont care about kinetic energies at the target.

So basically, in the debate of speed vs weight in regards to distance, is wind drift going to be a significant problem at 1-300 yards? Or do I need to go with a heavy/slower bullet?

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jwrowland77
April 24, 2014, 11:31 AM
Me personally, I'd go with the heaviest bullet I could go with in the twist I have and push it as accurate and as fast as I could. Find a powder that's going to push it accurately but fast. That's what I did with my .308.

Welcome to THR.

Potatohead
April 24, 2014, 11:31 AM
Welcome to THR Blue. Im sure someone will be along soon to help you with your question.

(no offense intended Jwrow, we were typing at the same time)

bluehywy
April 24, 2014, 11:44 AM
'Preciate it, guys.
So it sounds like Im going to need to find (emphasis on find) a powder that suits my needs and then build from there?

jwrowland77
April 24, 2014, 11:46 AM
Yes. I thought the same thing so I was using 155gr in my .308. Well, I switched to a 175gr bullet and found a powder to give me great accuracy without much loss of velocity. With the 155 I was getting 2750fps with the 175 and new powder I tried, I am getting 2709fps.

Just look in the books and find a powder that's going to give you the velocities you want and then do your workup. Heavier bullet won't be affected as much as a lighter bullet.

MtnCreek
April 24, 2014, 11:48 AM
Where are you in GA?

bluehywy
April 24, 2014, 11:57 AM
Alright. It sounds like I need to go hit the books again.
Im in Kennesaw. Ill be in the Blue Ridge area over the summer.

MtnCreek
April 24, 2014, 12:27 PM
It's been a while, but last time I was in Hi Caliber they had a pretty good stock of powders.

At 300 yds and in, about anything will do, assuming it shoots well in your rifle. You'll want to take barrel twist rate into consideration when picking your rifle. ~1:9 and faster will stabilize the heavier match bullets. 1:12 or slower will limit you to the lighter match bullets. That's not a big deal if you're shooting at 300 yds. You may very well have best results with match bullets around 50 to 53 gr. Just make sure you're making a conscious decision regarding twist rate when choosing the rifle.

bluehywy
April 24, 2014, 01:15 PM
Alright. Ill have to look around at what they've got.
Yea, barrel twist could turn up to become a whole new discussion. How well does the 1:9 (or faster) stabilize the lighter stuff? I hear everyone saying that a certain twist will stabilize up to a certain weight, but does it eventually stop being viable with a lighter bullet?

MtnCreek
April 24, 2014, 01:36 PM
1:9 will stabilize 68/69 gr match bullets great and in my limited experience it will also stabilize 77gr smk's.

I've read about 'over stabilization' somewhere, maybe Kriegers site. Much of it was beyond my humble brainpower and I feel certain the affects are not an issue within my shooting capabilities. IMHO, a 1:9 should shoot a light match bullet fine. I have shot some great groups with 52gr smk's in 1:7 barrels.

Bolt guns tend to have a little slower twist than a lot of the AR type rifles. I think 1:9 is starting become the standard, but I'll let someone else help you with that.

Sounds like you may still be a ways off on getting this going. If you have rifle in hand and can't find bullets or powder, shoot me a pm and I can probably help.

NWcityguy2
April 24, 2014, 07:15 PM
For 300 yards and less, you are going to want to shoot what is most accurate in your gun regardless of weight. Even shooting in a significant cross wind at those distances, you are still looking at only inches in different amounts of drift between 55gr, 69gr and 75gr+ bullets.

Robert101
April 25, 2014, 05:31 PM
I get the precision rifle perspective. But punching targets means different things to different people. Not being a bench rest shooter, I find the Hornady 55 grain FMJ to fit 90% of my paper punching needs. It is cheap and for me shooting off-hand, prone, etc. at moderate distances it works fine. Granted it will not group as well as the V-Max bullets but like I said it is easier on the wallet. I'm just giving another perspective to the paper punching theme.

Tony k
April 25, 2014, 11:41 PM
Last weekend I was shooting my .223 ar and my .270 bold action out to 700 yards with about a 15 mph cross wind. I was shooting steel MGM targets, so I was just listening for hits vs misses, not super accuracy.

for the 223 I was shooting 55gr hornady fmbt at about 3000fps
For the 270 I was shooting 140 gr hornady sst at about 2850 fps.

At 700 yards with the 270, I could get consistent hits on a steel sheep silhouette by compensating for bullet drop and aiming at the nose. Solid "GONG!" through the voice activated walkie-talkie. Not sure If I hit it in the rump or the shoulder, but they were solid hits from the get go.

At 700 yards adjusting for bullet drop and aiming at the nose of the sheep target the 55 grain .223 bullets were missing the rump of the sheep by about 2 feet according to my spotter. Once I finally did hit it, the bullet had lost so much energy that the "gong" sound through the walkie talkie was pretty anemic.

Yep, I know it's apples to oranges but the results really illustrated the difference between a heavy bullet and a light bullet in a long range (for me) cross wind situation. I'll take a heavier bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient. Elevation adjustment is relatively easy. "Kentucky windage" is much more challenging.

Next time I'll compare the hornady 55gr fmjbt to the 65gr sierra game king in cross wind situation. I haven't chronographed the 65 grainers, but I hypothesize that it will drift less than the 55 grainer at long distances even if it's muzzle velocity is significantly less.

Cowboy2
April 26, 2014, 01:53 PM
At 300 and under, I'd just use whatever my rifle liked best. Added weight to buck the wind really isn't going to buy you much at that range.

gamestalker
April 26, 2014, 04:01 PM
I'm more of a light fast type of reloader, always have been. About as far as I go is mid weight for a particular cartridge.

Even for my big game hunting needs, I have always gone with a light to mid weight bullet, or higher velocity option.

As for wind drift, the heavier bullet will always be less effected by that element.

GS

flashhole
April 27, 2014, 07:19 AM
My Kimber Longmaster Classic with a 1:9 twist forced me to go with the heavier bullets. Won't shoot mid weight bullets (45 - 60 grains) worth a darn. Does extremely well with Nosler 40 grain Ballistic Tips and any bullets 63 grains and up with the exception of the Hornady 68 grain match bullet (poor performance there too but I think blame for that is more the bullet than the gun since all in-kind bullets from all other manufacturers make one ragged hole).

Point being when you get the gun you will want to try different bullet weights and profiles and not get discouraged with something you thought should work.

Reloadron
April 27, 2014, 09:36 AM
Alright, so I know this topic has been debated for all of time, but here is another one. Im looking at getting a bolt .223 for the sole purpose of poking holes in paper. Im also looking at shooting around 1-300 yards. I want to know if shooting light/fast bullets or heavy/slower bullets are going to be a better way to start. Right now Im thinking that light/fast is the way to go. Again, I dont care about kinetic energies at the target.

So basically, in the debate of speed vs weight in regards to distance, is wind drift going to be a significant problem at 1-300 yards? Or do I need to go with a heavy/slower bullet?
I would think even before you worry about the bullet weight you may want to consider the barrel twist rate of the gun you choose. For example my Remington I built up has a 1:12 twist and while very accurate with 55 grain and lighter bullets it won't shoot the heavier bullets. Not and hit much anyway. :)

Bolt guns like the Savage Axis have a 1:9 twist opening the door for the heavier bullets. Flashhole mentions a good example with his Kimber and a 1:9 twist. So really in my opinion you need to give some thought to what bullet weights you will want to shoot before buying the rifle.

Ron

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