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Hornady 100 grain round nose in 243

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kalbo, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. kalbo

    kalbo Member

    I bought a savage 243. I shot all kinds of factory loads and hand loads through this gun with many different powders and nothing grouped very well. My hand loads consisted of 85 grain barns triple shocks to 100 grain hornady BTSPs. The only factory ammo that grouped an inch was the federal 100 grain sierra game kings. I shot two deer with this load. Both deer weighed about 110 pounds. The first deer shot was a quartering frontal shot at 40 yards. The bullet broke the shoulder and blew up. The deer ran 30 feet and died. The next was a frontal neck shot at 100 yards. The bullet entered the front of the neck, bounced off the spine and came out the side of the neck. Both deer died but the bullet performance was poor in my book. While dragging both deer out I tripped and tossed my gun down a ditch. Having only a few of these $$$$$ bullets left I cooked up 40 rounds buy using IMR 4350 with a 2.5 lee dipper and 100 grain hornady round nose bullets. I figured they would get me on the paper so I wouldn’t waste my $$$ federals. At the range they all grouped ½ inch at 100 yards. I tossed the federals away and am going to try these hornady round noses. Anyone tried these bullets?
  2. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member


    Have you considered buying a scale to weigh each of your powder charges?

    I have weighed charges thrown with the dipper and found them to be very inaccurate, both in the weight they are supposed to be and in their consistency.

    The Sierra bullts do give excellent accuracy, but my results were not good on game. The Hornady 100HPBT are capable of sub minute groups, While 100 gr Flat Base Hornadys will group a little tighter.

    If you are not shooting long ranges, the round nose will do fine. Accuracy is what you want.
  3. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I got 500 of the Hornady round nose 100 gr .243 bullets when they were cheap in June 2004.

    43.5 gr H4350, 2.615"

    I built two 243s on Mauser actions and I was testing them.

    I went to the range once, and got 2 ~ 3 moa with the round nose.

    I got terrible groups with 87 gr too.

    The same guns were getting 1 moa with 65 gr Vmax.

    I have never gone back to figure out what I am doing wrong.
    Too many guns, too few trips to the range.
  4. kalbo

    kalbo Member


    Yes, I always weighed my charges. I went through four different powders and I was quite frustrated. That’s why I was shocked the dipper loads did so well. I was just planning on using them for getting on the paper. I don’t know if it was just the reduction in velocity that did it or not. The best I can figure they do about 2600 fps. The federals factory loads are doing much more than that. Maybe that explains the bullet failure. I think the hornady round nose is a well built bullet. Has anyone out there used them on game and could you give me an idea on how they worked?
  5. kalbo

    kalbo Member


    Well, I shot a 200 pound hog today. The bullet hit her behind the ear. She dropped like a rock. Bullet didn't exit. Not sure where the bullet went, maybe inside the skull. Pig had a very large head. These bullets are not very fast but they seem to work. I just wonder if she would have run off with a lung shot? Didn’t expect such a large hog. Average size I see around here is 100 pounds. Must keep trying. My confidence in the .243 is building.
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    Your performance with the .243 is, in my experience, typical.

    As a conservation officer for 20+yrs, I had the occasion to necropsy a number of deer shot with a .243 as it was the "night-hunters choice" for many years in my area.

    My own and my nephew's experience somewhat mirror yours.

    The RN Hornady "slowed" down will perform quite well. As range lengthens, penetration will improve as the bullet slows down some. Sounds like you are using somewhere between 38.5 and 40.0gr of powder, about like what I've used for best accuracy in the .243.

    On a lung shot on a 200-300lb pig, at close range, you may not see a bullet exit. At ranges over 150yds, you probably will see an exit.

    I've had much better luck on the pigs with a .30/30 and 170gr Corlokts at about 2,300fps......... Or the .35Rem and 200gr Corlokts at the same speed.
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...found them to be very inaccurate..." Yep. They can vary the charge plus or minus a full grain. They're only good for getting close then finishing with a trickler. "CC's" aren't a standard unit of measure either. Hard to argue with a half inch group though.
    "...Both deer weighed about 110 pounds..." Those are fawns up here. snicker.
    "...never gone back to figure out what I am doing wrong..." What's the rifling twist? Heavy bullets tend to prefer a fast twist. 1 in 9.5 or faster.
  8. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Well-Known Member

    Last year and the year before, my boys took Mule and White tail deer with .243 Nosler 100gnbt. Great performance. Certainly didn't bounce off the spine. Bullet performance was great. This season my youngest hit a doe with a 100gn Sierra. Two ribs. No bullet recovery. But I load them as accurate/as hot as they'll perform through his rifle. I've used Sierra BTSP's in .30cal for years. Not the Game Kings. I've been very satisfied on Whitetail, Black Bear and Mule Deer.

    Otherwise, I really like the Hornady BTSP in .30cal for my magnum rifle. Although I don't have experience with the bullet you mention, I would think it should be fine for shorter range game getting as the ballistic coefficient is quite a bit less than the BT bullets available.

    Other than that, responding to your OP, push your loads a bit in that little .243 and it'll perform a lot better. Work up to an accurate yet high velocity load so you don't get bullets bouncing off of bones.

    Weigh every powder charge too...

  9. kalbo

    kalbo Member

    thanks for the replies

    Thanks for the replies. I wasn’t expecting such a large pig that morning. And yes our deer are a bit small. I think the biggest I’ve seen was 158 pounds. I’ve always been a “big-bore” fan. I do use a 30-30 with 150 grain power points over 32 grains of varget, but the 35 rem and 45-70 have always been my favorites. These larger calibers just seem to crush everything they hit. So, I guess I am a bit of a virgin to the smaller calibers. I have never had a bullet blow up until I tried the sierra 100 grain game kings. I for one will not use them again. I’ll tweak the load for the Hornady 100 grain round noses after hunting season is over. I’ve no time to experiment or time to drive the 60 miles to the range and back. I feel confident the load I have now will work fine for our deer in the interim. I don’t think that boosting these up to high velocity will make me much money. I’ll try a few but I think I’m close to where I need to be right now. Anyway, thanks for the replies, they have been helpful.
  10. thetoad45

    thetoad45 Well-Known Member

    Loading with a dipper produces inaccuracy and inconsistency? I wonder why that was? :confused: I loaded for some years with a dipper. I weighed each dipper and found them to be very consistant every time. Varget was my favorite powder and my 30-30 loved it. :)
    I understand from my Lee Second Edition reloading manual that factory ammo is also loaded by volume rather than weight. If that is actually true, then by all accounts factory ammo should shoot horrible? I have not found that to be the case at all. Every gun has likes and dislikes. Mine do also. I think shooters should look into trying out a variety of bullets and powders, among other things, to solve any inaccuracy problems rather than blame the poor maligned dipper. Dippers have been used succesfully for many decades with outstanding results. I have a $148.00 scale sitting on my bench. I also have a complete dipper set. If it had not been for the simple Lee Loaders with it's dipper I never would have gotten started into reloading all those years ago.
    Kalbo; Looks like you have done your homework and have a winning combo. Hope you have many more productive hunts. Sounds like your going in the right direction. Good Luck!:D

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