Spike Camp

257 Bullet selection for Goats

257 Bullet selection for Goats
« on: July 27, 2020, 10:55:21 PM »
Hey Guys,

I had a pretty ordinary experience recently, looking for some suggestions.

Round 1 -

I was out predator hunting with a 22.250 and unexpectedly stumbled across some goats. The fist target was a nice Nanny, which I dropped on the spot. The second target was the largest Billy in the mob - which soaked up 3 well placed shots before he dropped, the 3rd target was another large billy that I managed to wound and was not able to follow up !!
On reflection, using 55 grain Varmageddons on a 150Kg Billy goat was not a great plan, unfortunately that was the rifle in my hands at the time.

Round 2 - I returned to the same location a month later, this time with the 257 loaded with 110 grain ELDX projectiles. My first encounter was a Large billy at 200m. A solid neck shot and DRT. I managed another shot at the dissapearing mob and rear ended another Billy, that dropped and needed finishing off. Pretty fair outcome.

Round 3 - Same area later that day 257 in hand. Stalked to about 150m from a different mob and sized up a large Billy Bang Thud. Followed up with a second shot into the swirling dissapearing mob - Bang Thud. Closed the 150m gap - no Goat. Checking the area and a large Billy burst out of the scrub 50 feet away, smashed him in the shoulder with an ELDX, and he kept going, followed up with another and he finally dropped, bright red blood in the nostrils indicating lung damage. Pretty sure there is another goat out there with a 257 sized hole in him !

I was stunned - I am belting these Billys with heavy for calibre projectiles, with plenty of velocity.

Q 1 - are 150 Kg Billy goats bullet proof ??
Q 2 - Are the Hornady ELDX projectiles any good (they group well 3/4 MOA) ?
Q 3 - Is 3200 fps at short range too fast for these projectiles and they are fragmenting - not penetrating ? I wasn't keen to cut up a rotten stinking Billy to find out !
Q 4 - Any suggestions for another projectile in the 110 to 120 Grain range that may penetrate ? (But still expand)
Q 5 - should I just use the 308 ?



Ben 257

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Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 04:57:19 AM »
I have tested the ELD-X a lot. They perform best with muzzle velocity 2900 and less or extended range. They worked well with a 6.5-284 @ 3000 muzzle velocity at 250-300 yards.
Close range in that weight range l would suggest the 115 TSX, 110 Accubond. Or the 100 grain TTSX if you drop down in weight. Also 120 grain Northfork if you can find them. 120 grain partition if your gun shoots them. All would work well on Goats.
Mike

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 06:34:12 AM »
+1 on what Mike stated about Partitions, TTSX and the 110 Accubond bullets. I also wonder if shot placement on some of the goats were a little off, it would be interesting to see how the ELD-X performed inside the goats you shot. I don't think you'd gain much by using the 308, every bullet has some limitations. Give the Partitions and Barnes a try to see if your rifle likes them, they will all work well on goats.
Doug

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 06:13:50 PM »
Thanks Guys,

Most shots were taken on the shoulder, in the event that the the Goat was still, I went for a neck shot. The head is generally moving around too much !

Pretty sure the last one, that burst out of the bush was already hit. With at total 3 hits (aiming at the shoulder), there were no exit wounds and it was difficult to see entry wounds. Thats a total of 8000 Ft/Lbs to put him down.

I have tried lighter projectiles, but I have a new 1:9 twist barrel in the rifle, It does not like the 85 grain Nosler BT's. best I could get out of those was a 4" group, the 110 grain ELDX are a solid 3/4 MOA.

I am very surprised by this result - all the reading I had done suggested the ELDX was a good bullet selection for this type of game. I am starting to think that the many of the 25 cal bullets are designed for 25/06 or slower, and the additional velocity of the 257 is causing excessive fragmentation, particularly at shorter ranges.

I appreciate the suggestions and will look at the partitions.
I was also looking at the 117 grain Sierra Pro Hunters and Game Kings - does anyone have any experience with these in the 257 ?
There are some suggestions that the 120 Grain Speer Hot Core bullets could perform well - any comments or experience would be appreciated regarding these bullets.

There are limited bullet selections where I am - so sometimes I have to use the equipment that is available rather than what is best !!!


Ben 257

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Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 06:25:22 PM »
The .257 is going to push cup and core bullets that are not bonded beyond their limits at close range, no matter the brand in my opinion
That's why we are suggesting the bullets that we are.
Some use them with the results they want.
The 100 TTSX, .257 Weatherby, in my opinion are made for each other. The 120 grain Northfork has worked very well for me also
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 06:52:50 PM by .257 »
Mike

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 06:46:46 PM »
On another note,

My Shooting Buddy was using a 260 Rem with ELDX projectiles not sure which ones but in the 120 to 130 grain range.

He had a nice shoulder shot on a Nanny at approximately 100m. DRT through one shoulder and belted up the other side - did not exit.
On cutting up the nanny, we only found fragments.

The Nannys are much smaller than the Billys - This adds some weight to the theory that the 110 Grain ELDX in the 257 are completely fragmenting at shorter ranges, and not penetrating enough to put them down.

Looks like a bullet change and another load development process.
Its a shame as I was really happy with the accuracy of the 110 ELDX.


Ben 257

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 08:09:09 PM »
Thanks Mike,

Looks like I need a bit of a lesson on bullet construction.
My world has been Varmint / Predator hunting where rapid expansion is very handy.
I am just moving into the mid sized game space and plan to look a larger game in the near future.

As I mentioned, bullet selection where I am is limited, ordering in from overseas is prohibited.
Therefore I need to use what is available.
I will try to track down some Partitions and some 100 Grain TTSX Bullets - thanks for the suggestion. Hopefully the 100 grain projectiles play nice in my 1 in 9 twist barrel.

Are any of the Hornady .25 cal bullets worth trying ??? They are generally well stocked in our area.

Ben
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Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 05:45:50 AM »
I do like the 110 interbond. You can go to Hornady's website and compare them. Watch the short video's on the interbond and the eld-x, pay attention to the velocity impact in the gel of both
If the interbond is available for you it may be worth a try
Mike

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 07:25:37 AM »
Bonded or gilded metal is what you need at those distances and at that velocity. No real experience with bonded or gilded,  but the 117 Hornady btsp takes care of in rut large Alberta whitetails quicker than you can look over your scope to see him drt at 200 yds

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 09:29:58 AM »
It's unfortunate that Hornady reduced the size of the .257 GMX to 90 grains, the old size would work great for your goats.
Doug

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Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2020, 04:26:53 PM »
Hi Ben sorry for my late reply, I have not been able to get on here. I have shot quite a few goats over the years with all sorts of rifles and calibers. I have come to the conclusion that for our big chunky billies one needs to use a 100 grain projectile from at least a .243 win. In your .257 I would look at the 100 grain Barnes TTSX. This bullet is of strong construction so you need to aim for a shoulder shot if possible. Try to break both his shoulders. The goats in my area are big mountain dwelling ones that have large bodies and can be tough to put down.
Aussie gun nut.

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2020, 08:36:19 PM »
Hey Guys,

Thanks for your thoughts.
It is clear that the Barnes TTSX and the Accubonds are getting a lot of love out there.

I have tripped over some Siearra 117 Gn Gamekings that I will have a go with.
If they group ok, I will have a crack in the field and see what happens.

You dont need to say it, I am already thinking it.
I am using a premium rifle in a Premium Calibre - I should be using Premium bullets !!!
I will go straight there if the Sierra's dont group !

Ben
Ben 257

Re: 257 Bullet selection for Goats
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2020, 08:50:39 PM »
Ben, go with the bullet your rifle likes the best as long as it's capable of performing on the game your hunting. Good Luck with the Gamekings.
Doug