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Bullet choice for elk with 300 mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sam700, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. sam700

    sam700 Well-Known Member

    I’m working on making a good hunting load for my 300 Win mag. Ideally, I’m looking for a 150 grainer for deer and 180s for elk. I pretty much figured I’d have to crimp since this gun kicks pretty hard. To test this theory, I measured a cartage with a dial caliper, and left it in the magazine while I fired four shots. The bullet was pretty consistently driven .002 inches deeper with the recoil of each shot. Although this might not be huge, it’s still more than I would like to see.

    When I switched to soft points, there was some major flattening of the bullet tips. In fact, if you saw them, you would accuse me of being so cheap that I reload recovered bullets from last hunting season! The deformation after one shot was acceptable, but the results after four were not. As a result, soft points will probably not work.

    Essentially, what I’m looking for is a bullet that has a grove for crimping as well as a polymer tip to prevent deformation. The bullet also has to be constructed tough enough for elk. These bullets seem to fit the description. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/productview?saleitemid=705932&t=11082005

    Has anyone else used the Hornady Interlock bullets in the link?
    Is there anything else that fits this description?
  2. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Well-Known Member

    Deformed bullet tips have been shown to have little effect on accuracy (you can learn more about it through a THR search).

    At what ranges will you be shooting, and what kind of group are you and your rifle capable of at 100 yards with your current load?
  3. sam700

    sam700 Well-Known Member

    I shoot the gun roughly three times a week at ranges between 1 and 600 yards. Every so often, I get the chance to play at longer ranges, but 600 is usually the max. Without a large amount of wind, it usually isn't a big problem to hold sub minute of angle off a bipod at that range. I would say that the max range I would plan on shooting an elk would be 400 yards.

    As far as the bullet deformation, but the bullet tip is nearly the diameter of the base. The jacket is actually just starting to split! I do have to admit that these were some cheaper soft points that I bought for practice and a better constructed bullet would probably do better. I guess I could test out some smashed rounds and see how they shoot.

    As far as crimping, if the bullets are driven into the case a max of .008 after four shots, do you see crimping as being necessary?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
  4. Stinger

    Stinger Well-Known Member

    I have never crimped a bottleneck rifle cartridge...

    But with the deformation you are talking about, I most certainly would.
  5. Chief 101

    Chief 101 Well-Known Member

    Sam, most of my wapiti kills have been one shot and never with any firearm with near the power of what you are planning to use. My only suggestion is to make everything as simple as possible. With the problem you are having I would simply load 2 rounds in the magazine and when you are ready to shoot chamber round #1 and don't miss. You will have a second shot in case you do miss. Good luck and shoot straight. Chief aka Maxx Load
  6. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Well-Known Member

    Nosler Partition

    These are what I like. I like the 150 gr. mostly but you can get a 180 from nosler. Go to www.nosler.com and nose around. Also like the Accubond spitzer which is available in a 200 gr. I have not loaded the Accubond, just purhased out right, but they are pricey!

    Attached Files:

  7. suemarkp

    suemarkp Well-Known Member

    As crazy as this sounds, there was just an article in Handloader about how well Berger VLD's perform on game. It wasn't designed for this, but they seem to work well -- penetrate about two inches and then expand and make a huge wound cavity.

    These are designed for long range shooting (have a very high ballistic coefficient) and have a small hollowpoint nose which may survive better than exposed lead. In .308 caliber, they are available in 155, 168, 175, 185, 190, and 210 grain.
  8. phonesysphonesys

    phonesysphonesys Well-Known Member

    I use Sierra and Noslers in my .300. I only shoot 180 gr. I also keep the velocity at just over 2800 fps. The .300 is my elk gun. I have not had any of the problems you mention. I have it sighted in to shoot to point of aim at 300 yards. I would check my loads. Sounds like they are hot.

    Semper Fi
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    "...but 600 is usually the max. Without a large amount of wind, it usually isn't a big problem to hold sub minute of angle off a bipod at that range"

    <6" @ 600yds is ok for elk

    "...but the bullet tip is nearly the diameter of the base."

    the above with a wadcutter/semi-wadcutter you should be great.

    SUBMOAS Well-Known Member

    Lived in Colorado for 11 years and hunted everyone of them. Why don't you just split the difference and shoot a 165gr Nosler Partition. You won't have to worry about two different grain weights.
    The 165gr will have more than enough engery for the Mule Deer and be just fine fot the Elk.
    You might want and think twice about a shot over 300 yards for Elk.
    Just my .02
  11. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    SUBMOAS beat me to it. I shoot just one bullet in my 30-06 for both elk and deer, 165 grain Hornady BTSP. This bullet has never failed me and all the deer and elk I've shot have gone right down.

    If you use one bullet for everything, then there's no guessing about what your load will do. I've shot everything from ground squirrels to elk with the 165 grain bullet and nothing has complained yet about being killed by the wrong bullet.

    Hope this helps.

  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    The August issue of Handloader has a write-up on a new bullet. Take a look at Berger's new VLD bullet. http://www.bergerbullets.com/ Read about "Very Low Drag Bullets" design under the "Information" tab on top and watch the video linked in the Hunting Bullets info. The VLD bullet specs are under "Products" "Big Game."
  13. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Well-Known Member

    I'm using either the 180gr Partition or the 180 Barnes TSX from my 300 Weatherby.

    I like the Partition because I got a killer deal on the 180gr Partition protected point last year and bought 500 of them. Plenty to practice with.

    The Barnes bullet is super accurate and super expensive.

  14. sam700

    sam700 Well-Known Member

    Having some trouble with my camera, but I did manage to take a picture of the bullet with a camera phone so the quality is not great. Again, these were relatively cheap soft points that I bought for practice so I'll have to try the experiment with some better ones. As far as crimping, is there anyone else who has been able to get away from it in something like a lightweight 300?

    The 165 grain for everything idea sounds tempting.

    Attached Files:

  15. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
  16. Fire1

    Fire1 Well-Known Member

    When I was working on my 300 mag load I was also worried about the bullet moving under recoil, so I decided to use the Lee factory crimp die to get a good hold on bullets without a crimp groove. I have been very happy with the results. I now use that on several of my rifle calibers, including .308 loads for my AR-10.

    If you decide to look at 165gr bullets there are lots of good choices. I have have good performance with the Sierra Gameking HPBT. Very accurate in my guns, no soft point to deform, and very effective on game.
  17. carnaby

    carnaby Well-Known Member

    I've read in more than one place that the lighter bullets aren't so good for dear in a .300 win mad. Up close, they just come apart apparently. They're good for deer if you expect to be shooting a long way, flatter trajectory and all that.

    I took my buck this year with a hand loaded .300 win mag 180gn Sierra Game King at 30 yards. I don't think it mattered what bullet I used on that shot. Put the bullet right in the neck and DRT. Unless I was likely to have a shot past 200 yards, I'd just stick with the 180 grain bullets for deer or elk. Work up the best load in that bullet weight and run with it.
  18. sam700

    sam700 Well-Known Member

    That's correct, they were winchester soft points. I've shot a few bullets from the gun, but I usually single load when target shooting and as a result, I didn't notice the deformation. I reloaded some Speer soft points the other night so I'll have to give them a try this weekend.
  19. koja48

    koja48 member

    Back in the days when I was still abusing myself with my 300, I used 165 grain Hornadies for everything, but it was my deer rifle, too. If I had used it solely for elk, I'd have likely opted for 180s.
  20. TimT

    TimT Well-Known Member

    I used to use only 180 grn. X bullets out of my 300 win mag. shooting Ak. Moose or Grizz-always performed very well. Accuracies were excellent @100yds-clover leafs. I have never crimped my bullets only in tubular magazines.

    The .30-338 that I use now is now loaded only with Woodleighs 240 grn. PP @ 2560 fps avg.-have a couple of boxes of 200 grn TSX but just don't see the need. yet.

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