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Thread: 325 WSM - 200 gr Accubond CT, Nosler or 220 gr Power Max Bonded?

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    Default 325 WSM - 200 gr Accubond CT, Nosler or 220 gr Power Max Bonded?

    My Kimber Montana 325 WSM is still new to me. I will purchase some factory ammo for an October elk hunt. I expect shots will be under 200 yards, perhaps much less at big bulls. I drew this special tag unexpectedly, and will use 1 of my new to me rifles, the 325or 300 WSM. So I'm leaning towards the 325 now and was all set to go with the 200 gr Winchester Accubond CT loading, but now am wondering about their 220 gr Power Max Bonded, which is also rated by them for use on elk.

    At my expected range the more accurate round may not be important, as I expect each would shoot good enough. I understand that this is brush country and I want the bull to go down quick if possible.

    Years back I shot a bull with 250 gr NP at around 175 yards. That bullet really smacked him and he went down right then and there! I understand that the 210 gr NP may be just as good, or even better on elk. So this 220 Power Max in 325 WSM kind of reminds me of the 338 NP... a more standard kind of hunting bullet, but premium?

    Obviously either bullet should work well, and they cost about the same for factory fodder. I hear good things about the Accubond, but has anyone tried the 220 on either elk or moose in AK? What do you think about this 220 325 WSM load?

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I like Accubond bullets and have had great on-game performance with them and use them in several cartridges.

    But basically I don't think it will matter much...the guy behind the trigger will be a much bigger factor than the bullet in the cartridge.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Accubond... Shoots well out of mine and seen the bullet performance first hand...

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    any bullet 8mm across is gonna smack an elk hard enough to ruin his day - 220 Sierra Game King takes care of moose well enough, the Winchester silver box 220's seem to shoot pretty well in the Kimbers but I don't know about the Power max - the 200 Accubonds are proven elk killers though

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    i have used both and will only shoot the accubonds. my savage loves them. the accuracy is unlike any bullet/rifle combination i have ever shot. the power max had the complete opposite result. the accubonds have taken three moose with devastating results.
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    Member GDinAK's Avatar
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    I had a kimber Montana in 325 that I used almost exclusively from 2005-2011 and i shot the Winchester 200 gr Accubonds through it from day one and it absolutely loved them. I shot tons of critters with that load and the bullet performed beautifully. The gun/bullet combo shot sub MOA since day one. I never felt the need to hand load as it loved the ammo and I did not burn through a ton of it because the combo shot so well. Just a couple at the range and I was all dialed in... I sold it so that I could justify buying a Kimber Montana in 280 AI for a sheep hunt and I love that gun as well (140 accubond) but I miss my 325... You know what they say that you should never sell a gun!

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    My Kimber 325 likes the 220s and, as always, bigger is better.

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    I couldn't find the Winchester 325 WSM 220 Power Max Bonded ammo for sale anywhere. Is this something new? I also couldn't find the Federal 300 WSM, Trophy Copper ammo? That's why I ordered the Accubond CT to try in each rifle. I read that the XP3 bullets might be spotty in the accuracy department and that the Power Points may shatter on big bone? The Accubonds sound like a good compromise, but I will want to try the 220 Power Max Bonded.

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    "IF" you are shooting a Kimber 325WSM I guess it's simply hit or miss on the 200's - I have 2 that I have worked extensively with and neither will shoot 200 grain Accubonds better than flat MOA @ 100, I know that will kill moose and elk to a long ways out, I just expect more from my rifle / handload combos, especially when they both will shoot 220 Sierra SBT into 1/2" with several different recipes - as a moose or "AK" load the 220 is pretty hard to beat and for "most" elk hunting as well but for those longer shots I really wish I could coax at least a 3/4" group out of at least one of the two but no way thus far - funny thing, a friend of my son's bought an ABolt comp stalker and it shoots 1//2" groups consistantly with factory W/W 200 Accubonds AND one of our elk camp bunch has a stainless stalker in a Ti B&C stock that does precisely the same ..... go figure

  10. #10

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    Yes it's a Kimber 325, and I'll find out if it likes the Accubonds. I'll be happy with 1" MOA. I just do not see the Kimber as a long range rifle and really would prefer the 220 bonded load. I'm hoping the 325 emulates the 338/210 nosler when it comes to smack-down! To me of all the over the counter rifles, the Kimber just looks like a Real Gun. Quality made and custom. I'll enjoy hunting with it. The Brownings and Tikkas look nice, but not custom. It's kind of like owning an 80s Mustang vs a 65 Poppy Red convertible. The 65 is the real deal. I believe the A Bolts shoot straight, I own a few along with Tikkas. Their fatal flaw to my mind is that both the Browning and the Tikka are too easy to de-cock in the field. With the bolt open- just look at the shroud wrong and the bolt could de-cock! Especially the A Bolt! Just touch it and it easily de-cocks. It happened to me on a moose hunt while working the bolt too fast. Then you need your Leatherman to re-cock and scratch it up it in the field! I'm very picky on rifles and every rifle has it's flaws, even the Kimber. If I do not like a gun, I don't want to hunt with it. Accuracy comes second- within reason... I once had a heavy Weatherby Accumark in 7 Mag that spat the bullets through the same hole all day long. But I sure did not want to lug that hunk of timber all day hunting, so I sold it at a tidy profit! Most of the rifles I buy are used and more often than not I find the action screws are loose. Same with the 325 Kimber. Perhaps the Kimber was sold because it would not shoot the Accubonds well? Well, the action screws should have been checked first. I took a guess and torqued them to 36 inch pounds, front first. I also used a copper solvent to clean out the barrel until the patch came out clean. I'm using 1 piece DNZ scope mounts, that do not need to be lapped. I will also true the scope reticle. A Leupold 4X is on the way, so if I get 1" at 100, I'll be happy! Then too I'm guessing because the Kimber barrel is light it needs to cool down for great groups? Oh, if you're wondering what I do not like about the Kimber... well, the bolt is a little sticky with a fast follow-up. Oil helps, but it still hangs up if too much wrong angle pressure is put on the bolt. I have to cycle the Kimber thoughtfully. Many of my short action rifles tend to do this- except the Tikka T3. The T3 is one slick bolt gun! Then with the Kimber most scopes have to be mounted higher because of the steep bolt throw. I prefer my scopes low and hugging the barrel. I hear some Kimbers really like the Accubonds. If mine does, then that will be my round of choice for this gun from deer to moose.

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    60 inch lbs seems to be the "standard" in the "industry" from my reading AND asking - to imply that another "shooter" would sell a rifle due to inadequate accuracy without first checking the action screws or how to knowledgably clean a fouled barrel seems .... sort of intentionally insulting, don't "you" think ? ........ anyways, you and beartooth have a nice time commisserating - bye bye ......

  12. #12

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    back country- Hi There! Many guys I know never check their action screws, nor their scope mounts. Then they wonder why they miss in the field or get poor groups at the range? I've hunted the world and have seen this over and over again, with even wealthy hunters- plus I offer to correct the problem when I can while in the field- once on a Blaser/Schmidt&Bender combo. My European Grandfather tought me to respect wild game and I find many do not! Some of us are more particular to the little details than others. With some if their gun hits the cardboard they go hunt! I recall an AK moose hunt where an older well to do gentleman was checking his BAR by shooting at rocks in a river, while the rest of us confirmed on paper! Needless to say he did not get his moose! This is not an insult, but the truth. Most of the used rifles I buy, I find the action screws loose. As soon as I tighten them the groups shrink. That makes me wonder how many people sell their guns because they think they're not accurate? To speculate some do and fail to check the obvious or simply do not care to is not an insult, but the way some people are. While you, I and many others here, may care to cover every detail regarding potential rifle accuracy, to say others could care less, is not insulting, but a reality. While exact torque specs may not really matter, I wonder how many hunters own an inch pounds wrench? I knew an anti-hunting wife who hated hunting so much, she made loose the screws on he husbands rifle, which he never thought to check. He missed and now they are divorced! It's not insulting to say some hunters are just not that into guns. That would be like calling me a Rifle Nut insulting. It's not. It is what it is.

    Now for your 60 inch pounds action screw torque. You may be right, but that sort of sounds more in the realm of target rifles? I know that is not the standard for all rifles, because I have emails from several manufacturers. On their fiberglass/plastic stocks Remington says 35 inch pounds. On the Tikka T3, Beretta said to seat action screws by hand, then turn just a tad more but no more- no inch pounds rating here, and they explaind why. I have more of such on file. These are a far cry from your number? I recall once over-torquing the screws on a custom rifle with a Lone Wolf stock. Still way under 60 pounds, the stock cracked! I suspect that each rifle design/stock type is different and I sure would like to know where you get your information- because if you are right, then I'll want to re-torque all my rifles to the industry standard.

    I was unable to contact Kimber to get their torque specs, so I took a guess based on the Remington info I had. Plus, the action screws on the 325 were way loose! Even the bolt worked better after I tightened them- but I would not dare take them to 60 without hearing from Kimber first! Also, despite looking clean the barrel was heavily copper fouled. It took scrubbing and some 20 patches before they came out clean! When I bought the Kimber on line, I read that they are a "crap shoot". Some are inaccurate with problems, while others shoot straight. With a fouled barrel and loose action screws as I said before, I just have to wonder if this Kimber was sold because the former owner could not get it to shoot? If you find this insulting, so be it. None of my guns I choose to sell have loose screws nor fouled barrels. A Kimber Montana is a very nice rifle. Insulting or not, the former owner did not seem to care much. Even the scope base screws were too loose!

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    cabochris - Hi there back at ya - I admittedly did fly off the handle a bit at the end of a long day, sorry 'bout that - I'm not really sure I'm understanding to whom you are talkin' though ? Me ? I've not "hunted the world" but I've been around, CERTAINLY haven't seen it all or done nearly that but I have owned and operated a custom handloading and rifle accurizing service that was moderately "successful" - That said, I too have seen some weird things and encountered some seemingly stupid mistakes in firearms sent to me for "repairs" - I mispoke a bit with the Kimber though as it matters not what the inch/lb torque spec is with a pillar bedded front and rear action as the screws are metal on metal - "if" one were to strip action screws at 60 in/lb though, there would be something amiss as simple plumbing clamps for irrigation plastic piping torque to 65 in/lb with the Rigid wrench - I took offense due to you apparent conclusion that I was to be lumped into your "dummy" list from your experiences - Although I have done some bone headed stunts in my day and most certainly will commit some more before I hear the angels sing I dare say that I am at the very least as careful as yourself when troubleshooting a firearm - Prior to switching to Tikka and Kimber I was a committed Browning ABolt fan and all of my many ABolts were always torqued to 65 inch/lb with a converted Rigid torque wrench ... no problems ever

  14. #14

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    back country- did I happen to buy your 325 Kimber? Just Kidding!!! My guess is the action screws on the Kimber were at most 25 IP, and way too low for my likes. But you are right, I really should call Kimber for their specifications. I'll post here when I find out. So you torque your Tikka/s to 65IP? Even with the Light model?

    A few years back I had a hand full of semi-custom rifles built. Sent them off for accurizing and all that stuff. Paid lots and waited long for mixed results. Used different Smiths and decided it was not worth the effort for average hunting rifles. Because they were not target guns. I expected a six pound rifle to shoot like a 12 pound target rifle. For most of my shooting at BG out to 400 yards, many standard hunting rifles with a good 4X scope will get the job done. But I do feel most any hunting rifle can be brought to MOA, or close with some basics. Why shoot 3 inch groups? That's why I fiddle with the basics and know many hunters do not even do that.

    I must say I was really impressed at a recent outdoor show where a $6,000.00 rifle manufacturer had videos of shooting BG at some 600 to 1000 yards! They were shooting Berger bullets and 1 shot dropped a big moose way out there! Now I have mixed feelings about doing this, but obviously the hardware is up to the task. Besides, I see few opportunities to shoot at BG that far. But perhaps the wealthy can buy such hunts? My longest shot (on the last day) ever was at a moose at an honest 400 yards, and that was a long way! It was my best shot too! So as you must know, hunting rifles can be built to nearly split hairs. I do know for sure though that loose action screws make for bigger groups. Perhaps you have noticed... I think barrel fluting really contributes to accuracy? I once knew a Garage Smith, who cut deep flutes into an otherwise stock 338 stainless Ruger for me. That rifle put 5 shots in the same hole at 100! Factory Fodder! And before- poor accuracy. I was too young and dumb to realize what I had and sadly sold the rifle. At the time I thought it looked too "Star Wars", but now wished it was in my safe!

    I'm hoping my 325 shoots close MOA with factory. My range is a 40 min drive- so when I go it's for the day. My next trip will be with the SXR, Montana and Tikka T3, all 3 shooting the Accubond CT. I suspect the Tikka will be the most accurate? But the SXR is growing on me, even with my expectations of larger groups. And the Kimber, well it just looks like an Elk Gun! I really want to try the 220 bonded load!

    Good Hunting to you!

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    I bought my Kimber 325 when they first came out. Out of the box it shot 200gr AB sub moa and over the chrony they are 2940ish. Pretty good considering factory claims 2950. I have since duplicated that load with my handloads and it shoots like this...



    Here is a 200gr Accubond after shattering a Bull Moose spine at 315yds. It weighs 140gr which is 70% of it's original weight. Nosler claims the AB's will retain 70% of their weight. I figure that's pretty darn good performance considering vertebrae are the toughest bones on a critter. I've killed a couple small meat bulls with the 200AB's as well. Which are probably about the size of a bull elk.



    I would not hesitate Elk hunting with the 200AB load. If I can't get one with my pistol I'll be using it on moose next week. I have also worked up a 220gr Gameking load that is 2800ish fps which would work good also. I killed a small griz with it, complete passthroughs shoulders at 165yds as would be expected. I think Stid killed a griz with his 325 this year as well. Not sure though but I know he has done a ton of load development and the 200gr AB is one of them. It really hits the sweet spot for the 325.
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    Very Good! Beautiful! I sure hope I can get my Kimber 325 to shoot like that! The Accubond seems like a great compromise bullet. Your bullet in the photo looks better or as good as any of my recovered 338 X style projectiles.

    A quick question about your Kimber... When I really try to work the bolt fast on mine, it tends to bind a bit due to angular pressure. I have to slow down a bit and be more deliberate cycling the Kimber. Some oil does help. On the other hand, with my T3 the bolt cycles slick no matter how sloppy I get. I may have to have a Smith polish things up a bit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabochris View Post
    Very Good! Beautiful! I sure hope I can get my Kimber 325 to shoot like that! The Accubond seems like a great compromise bullet. Your bullet in the photo looks better or as good as any of my recovered 338 X style projectiles.

    A quick question about your Kimber... When I really try to work the bolt fast on mine, it tends to bind a bit due to angular pressure. I have to slow down a bit and be more deliberate cycling the Kimber. Some oil does help. On the other hand, with my T3 the bolt cycles slick no matter how sloppy I get. I may have to have a Smith polish things up a bit?
    I don't see the Accubond a "compromise" bullet. I think it's a reliable, accurate, aerodynamic bullet. It's my go-to load. I've put a few of them through moose and sheep.

    Kimber action. It might seem that way a little bit running empty but not with rounds in it. Which is all that matters. It's never been an issue for me and I've had a few hunts where I've fired off a few in quick succession.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabochris View Post
    The Accubond seems like a great compromise bullet.
    I'd have to respectfully disagree... it's a great bullet. Aerodynamic, expands well at distance, holds together well up close- what more can a guy ask for?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Cabochris - I too have spent WAAAY too much money and time on "ideas" of how a rifle "should" perform (but what the heck ! life is all about having fun and "that" was fun to me at the time) There is a definite threshold that you drop below in terms of barrel diameter and rifle overall weight that costs dearly in the accuracy dept. - I had what may have been the last bolt gun barrel that John Noveske has done with a stainless fluted barrel on an Abolt .338 win mag I owned, John never would tell me "who" produced the blank but that gun shot everything I ran through it into one hole out to 250 yards, I got such a kick out of it (no pun intended) that I shot the barrel out unintentionally and then kicked myself over and over for the error of my "ways" - the last BG I took with it fell to a ranged 504yd shot, then sometime not long after the accuracy just went away never to be recovered and John had by then become so busy that he had no time to do it himself - Admittedly, I have not torqued any Tikka's I've worked with the 65 IP but I commonly did with all the Abolts I had (many) with no ill effects, I rigged up a Rigid plumbing torque T-wrench and checked them regularly, even at hunting camp - As a side note, that 338 Abolt weighed in at 7lb 12oz and the extra was in the barrel as I had an ultralight MPI weatherby style stock on it - This new Kimber 84L has been a little "tougher" to squeeze that kind of accuracy out of, it has several times now put 2 shots into one slightly enlarged hole then thrown the 3rd out anywhere from 3/4" to 2 1/2", I've tried barrel pressure variations and some other "tricks" that have worked before to no avail but now I've worked a fairly "hot" load with an Accubond 165 to shoot 2 3/4" groups so far and it it will repeat that feat another couple of times it's goin huntin' with me - Snyd has done alot of work with his Kimber 325, I only wish the 2 I'v been working with would do that ! but then, both my son's and mine do that with 220 SBT's with regularity - I only keep it because my son loves his and I think it's "cool" to have twin rifles but my '06 will do anything I need it to for my remaining hunting "career" I think, I "might" sell it, don't know as yet .... Incidentally, the Nosler Accubond is a darn good bullet, so many "complaints" from hunters of them "blowing up" and yet I have been hearing stories about partitions doing that for decades and Nosler engineered the Accubond to emulate the partition in terminal performance while giving "ballistic tip like accuracy" and it would surely appear that they succeeded in that endeavor - "monolithic" bullets are designed to act completely different and the Barnes do seem to react as advertised for sure - I have shot the new Nosler Etip alot in .30 and 8mm and I've not got them to settle down and give me consistent accuracy (yet) - GMX's seem too long for my tastes - As a closing note for now, I too have "hoped" for 12lb accuracy from a 6lb gun .... how in the HECK does Melvin Forbes do it ??!

  20. #20

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    By compromise I meant a great bullet for all types of game from deer to moose. Shoot a blacktail one day, a bear the next, then a moose... all with the same bullet. Perhaps the wrong word and all-around would have been better? The Accubond seems to be a cross between the features of current bullet technologies, so in my mind a compromise of sorts that works well all-around.

    Based on what backcountry has been saying last night I further torqued the action screws on the Kimber to 47 inch pounds. The bolt seems to function smoother! I've got to call Kimber for their specs. I'll try again today. So far I have not found their email address, but have not looked much.

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