Spike Camp

Bullet weight range for caliber

Michiganhunter

  • ***
  • 158
  • Honor is the gift you give to yourself
    • View Profile
Bullet weight range for caliber
« on: July 29, 2017, 01:52:35 PM »
I don't know if there's an answer to the question. Maybe someone in the Weatherby Nation knows.
With each factory loaded ammunition available per caliber there is a low end end and high end bullet weight available. For example; a .300 Wby usually has a 150 gr. as the lightest and 220 gr. for the heaviest factory load. If you handload (I don't) the options can be from 100 gr to 240 gr.
I know rate of twist is a factor in stabilizing specific grain weight bullets. Too slow or too fast and accuracy goes out the window.
Unless a person is building a custom rifle to shoot a specific weight and shape of bullet, factory rifles have a twist rate that coincides with common factory available ammunition.
My .300 Wby has a 1-10" twist. Will one grain weight shoot more accurately than another? Is it common to find a rifle that is more accurate with a 210 gr and not accurate with a 150gr? Should I shoot all weights to find the best option for each individual rifle? I know handloaders can fine tune each bullet weight with the perfect amount of powder to find the best accuracy. I have in the past bought a rifle and then buy 5-10 boxes of factory ammo in a couple different weights and then go with the load that gives me the best accuracy. 30 years ago for my Weatherby 300 there was only 1 or 2
manufacturers with a couple weights. That is no longer the case. Now I have ten or more manufacturers with ten or more variations to choose from. I could end up spending $3-$400 on ammo to find one that is best.
Should I now choose my bullet weight, bullet construction and then buy a half dozen boxes to see which one shoots the best?
Where do I start? Should I choose a caliber with the middle of the range in bullet weight? A 300 with 180 grain or a 338 with 210 grain?
I hope I've explained this right.




If you are arguing with an idiot and someone passes by, they don't know who's the idiot.

PARA45

  • *****
  • 2867
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 02:12:15 PM »
Since you do not reload, you will have to depend on what the manufacturer have to offer, and what your rifle likes.  I think the 300 Wby and the 180 grns bullets are the perfect match, and the 30-06 with a 165 grns bullet.  However, I know rifles will shoot other wight of bullet accurately too. Regardless of what it's written, or what it's said about a particular bullet weight and caliber, it all boils down to what your rifle likes, and what you would consider accurate for hunting. 

Now, if I understand your question correctly, you are trying to find the lightest bullet and heaviest bullet your rifles would shoot accurately, correct?  If that is the case, boy, that can get very expensive very quickly.  I'd have to ask you a couple of questions.  What is the reason for shooting lighter/heavier bullets?  What are you planning on hunting?  What  specific caliber are we talking about here?   I hope I didn't add any extra confusion here.  ;D

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 02:24:57 PM »
I'm with PARA45 here! Most rifles have a preference to what weight bullet it shoots best. IMO. Finding that magical combination is the expensive part. Each rifle, even in the same chambering, has it's own choice. I have one single rifle that "likes" more than one bullet weight.   :)

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 03:04:09 PM »
Agree 100% with Bad and PARA. My heavy barrel 25-06 will not shoot expensive Hornady SST 117 grain ammo worth a hill of beans but is a tack driver with cheap Winchester Positive Point 90 grain ammo..........go figure


Terry
Ontario,Canada........yours to discover

DW5

  • *****
  • 662
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 03:16:38 PM »
Are you trying to simply find the most accurate factory load posssibly available for your gun? Or are you trying to find the factory load that is most appropriate to be using for what you are doing, i.e. hunting white tails or elk?? If you are simply looking for a great load to punch paper, just start experimenting, I'm sure you will find a few different factory loads, probably in a few different weights, that your rifle likes somewhat similarly. At this point, if there is no decernable difference, cost of the ammo might be a consideration.(Then again, I do have a Browning 270 win that really only likes 130s as far as I can tell).

If you know you are going after a specific animal, that would probably give you a good jumping off point as to the different weights/types of bullets you probably want to start with, keeping in mind there is no such thing as too dead. Say if your 300 WBY really likes the 180 Barnes TTSXs the best but you are going after white tails, there really is no reason not to use that load. At this point, as long as you are not sacrificing any significant accuracy, choose the bullet best situated for your quarry that your rifle likes the best. That's what I do anyways.

Hope I didn't completely misunderstand the question and if I did, please disregard my ramblings!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 03:19:17 PM by DW5 »
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 03:34:13 PM »
I'll echo what everyone states above. Generally speaking, every cartridge has a "normal" range of bullet weights that most rifles shoot relatively well. That said, just about every rifle will prefer one bullet weight and will shoot it well...the trick is finding it. Again... for a .300 Weatherby, I would try 180 grain bullets first.
JK

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 03:36:37 PM »
Also...my .338 Ultra Mag really likes 250 grain bullets, but I would also try 225s.
JK

eford

  • *****
  • 2390
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2017, 05:49:26 AM »
Some rifles shoot a lighter bullet with greater accuracy than a heavy bullet and vise versa. You don't know until you've tried. Generally, the heavier the animal, the heavier the bullet should be. The factory 150gn Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets will take mature deer, but I would want a heavier bullet and a tough one for elk, such as an A-Frame, a Partition, or a TTSX.
Buying several boxes of what you know works for you is a smart move. I would start with the heavier bullets and work my way down if I was buying factory ammo.
Forget the fact your buddies use X brand of ammo in their rifles and it does well. It might not be so hot in your rifle. Every barrel is different.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Every man needs to know his limits.

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 06:21:31 AM »
Your problem is one of the main reasons I reload. I save a lot of money finding the ammo my rifles like and I'm not confined to one brand of ammo.
As for the bullet weight stabilizing in a barrel the rate of twist, it is really the length of the bullet that determines which twist you need to stabilize it. Normally a light bullet is short and requires a slower rate of twist to stabilize and the heavier bullets are longer requiring a faster twist. But the bullet style can throw you a curve also like a Berger or mono metal bullet which tend to be longer for weight and require a faster twist to stabilize them.
How a rifle is chambered also effects what bullets your rifle will shoot better than others also.
Shooting your ammo over a chronograph will help you find which brand of factory ammo your rifle likes quicker than anything since it will show you the true velocity. Every bullet has a specific velocity range it prefers to perform at in any given barrel no matter what brand of powder or type as long as you can duplicate that same velocity give or take a few feet per second.
Just pick the bullet brand weight and style you want to use and go from there.
 For larger game I would use a heavy for caliber bullet.
TD

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 07:13:12 AM »
For a 300 =165,168,180 grain
Man of vision

Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 09:26:12 AM »
Agree 100% with Bad and PARA. My heavy barrel 25-06 will not shoot expensive Hornady SST 117 grain ammo worth a hill of beans but is a tack driver with cheap Winchester Positive Point 90 grain ammo..........go figure

Terry

I've had the same results with my Dad's .25-06 which is a Browning B78, the only thing it likes is the Winchester 90 grain hollow points.
Nothing is better than a Weatherby, big bore magnum, or a Colt.

dubyam

  • *****
  • 4461
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »
Great discussion so far. And the advice to match bullet weight and style to the intended use is of paramount importance.

Like Truck Driver, I handload in part so I have more and better options, and in part so I have them more economically. I enjoy the process as much as anything, too.

If I were not a handloader, I'd start with weight and construction suitable for the purpose. Then I'd look toward what is available from reputable brands and costs for those options. Then start with a box or two, or maybe three. Hopefully one of the first or second choices would be gokd, as it would get expensive quickly otherwise.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

zonie

  • *****
  • 6558
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2017, 07:36:15 PM »
Choose the bullet for the game you will be hunting ,  I'm pretty much echoing what everyone else is saying with maybe some slight differences.  I tend to choose the most accurate (acceptable accuracy )  bullet for the size and toughness of the game animal at the greatest range I might be shooting. Once I find that particular bullet  I stick with it and use it for smaller game also.  Here is what I'm getting at I typically hunt elk with a 270 win even though I have many other calibers to choose from.    I've had other bullets fail or not come up to expectation in this and other calibers on elk so I'm not picking on caliber per say.  Bullet construction especially when shooting lightest bullets per caliber OR extreme velocity regardless of bullet weights in such calibers as 6mm's and 257 wby on very large game animals like elk  at close ranges.   Tables on rifling twist are a GUIDE only and you will find the rifle is going to tell you what it likes and dislikes.  Granted I handload for pretty much everything but I also don't turn down decent prices on factory ammo or if some one gives me a bunch of factory ammo ,  I'll take it out and play with it,  and at times use if for hunting.  I actually like Remington factory 300 wby ammo 180 gr core lokt along with factory Wby ammo.  I guess bullet construction , game to be hunted , accuracy, and terminal performance of the chosen bullet at the most extreme range you decide to take a shot at an animal all play a part in bullet selection.   

Michiganhunter

  • ***
  • 158
  • Honor is the gift you give to yourself
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2017, 08:01:20 AM »
Well Nation Members, I listened to your great advice.
I ended up with 3 great loads for my .300.
I have HSM VLD 185 gr. 3 shot groups .95"
Barnes 180 gr. TSX tipped at 1.1"
Hornady super performance 180 gr. SST at .80"
I will use the VLD for Mule Deer out west. Barnes txt for elk and either the VLD's or SST's for whitetails.
I really like the VLD's terminal performance more so than the SST's.
I just have more confidence that the deer drop in it's tracks. I hunt a very dense swamp in Michigan and if there is no snow on the ground it makes it more difficult to track. Not impossible just difficult. With mule deer and the open country of the west tracking has never been a problem. Thanks again for all the info.
If you are arguing with an idiot and someone passes by, they don't know who's the idiot.

DW5

  • *****
  • 662
    • View Profile
Re: Bullet weight range for caliber
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 10:56:07 AM »
Good luck and post pics when you get some of those critters!
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....