300 WSM Sako Finnlight Handloads?
Howdy all, I'm new to this site and thought I would see if anyone had any good handloads for the 300 WSM, especially for a Sako 85 Finnlight. I used to shoot a 7 MM Rem Mag but my group in that rifle is spreading so i though i would look for something new and got the Sako. I'll be using Barnes TSX Tipped in 130 and 168 grain bullets.
WSM Sako Loads
I've been working on a few loads for that rifle this spring. I'm getting decent results with 110 gr. Hornady V-max, 180 gr. Hornady Interlocks, and 200 gr. Nosler Accubonds. Still in the development stages for all but having fun in the process. Sorry, no help in the Barnes department, no experience there. Good luck with your rifle. Let me know if you would like any specifics on any of those loads.
Thanks DS, that 110 grain V-max must be a smoker. What kind of velocity are ya getting? I might try that sometime in the future but for now i think i will pursue the Barnes 130 and 168. Published ballistics for the 168 put it just slightly behind the 180 for energy and a little flatter. I talked to a rep at Barnes and he uses the 168. My hope is to develop a good 1000 yd deer and elk load if i get the performance and of course conditons are good. What do you use your 300 WSM for?
I have a 300 WSM and would not dream of shotting deer and elk at 1000 yards, with this or any other gun. Most "hunters" have no business shooting at game at 300 yards, let alone 1000. Do yourself and the game you hunt a favor and save the 1000 yard shots for inanimate objects such as paper targets.
Thanks for your concern Dorm, but maybe you didn't fully read my post? I said, "if i get the performance and of course conditons are good." I have taken game out to 425 yds with an "ordinary" Ruger M77 7MM Rem Mag, 120 grain bullet. It was a fairly accurate gun that shot 3/4 inch groups at 100 yds and about 3 - 4 inch groups at 300 yds. I knew my rifle and it's limitations well. If i can consistantly get .5 MOA at long ranges with this gun, and calm conditions, i don't have a problem making a 1000 yd shot, as long as I have proved the capability. I know a "hunter" here who made a 500 yd head shot on an elk with a 300 WSM. Here's an article on long range hunting by Dan Lilja http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles...ng_hunting.htm
If you are questioning me as a "hunter", because i like shooting at long ranges, don't... the closest kill i had with the same 7MM was 15 yds on a a very nice bull elk that I bugled in. I like close up and personal as well as long distance.
Bottom line, if i am confident i can make the shot, then i'll make it... if not, then i won't. If you have any good handload info for me, i would appreciate it.
Mr Montana-I have been hunting, shooting and reloading for 39 years. I have loaded for 38 calibers to date. I have fired many thousands of rounds. I have hunted east, west and north and have NEVER NEVER NEVER found the need to fire at ANY big game amimal past 450 yards.
This is America and you are entitled to your opinion, as am I. I do not believe it is ethical for someone other than an EXPERT with very specialized equipment that has spent time necessary to become proficient with said equipment to be shooting at game at long range. A Sako finnlight while a very fine firearm certainly does not qualify for this level.
I have some very fine loads worked up for my 300 WSM which is a fully custom rig built by Robert Hart & Sons. I also do not believe in just releasing my loads on an internet forum. They are safe and accurate in my guns, but all guns are different. The reloading manuals are chock full of good loads, start slow & work up.
Howdy again Dorm, I really dont want this to turn into some knock down drag out fight about the ethics and morals of long distance hunting shots. You will note that in my previous posts I used the word "if"several times....If i can consistantly get .5 MOA...if i have proved the capability...if i am confident i can make the shot...if not...if I get the performance and of course conditons are good....etc... I wont be taking any long shots before i have demonstrated the ability to do so on the range and then simulated field conditions. And I wont be taking any 300 plus yard shots without a range finder. You are also entitled to your opinion about the capabilities of my rifle. But your opinion is an opinion, the facts and proof will be seen on the range. Ballistically, on paper, it is capable of taking game out to a 1000 yds, but i need to confirm it's performance on the range. I wont shoot any farther in the field than I think me and the rifle are capable of...period. Right now my 7MM shoots about 4 -5 inch groups at 200 yds and I WONT take a huning shot much longer than that with it. And that is why i got the Sako.
The only shot anyone ever *needs* to take is one in self defence.
Although I am not as an expeienced handloader as you, I am an experienced handloader and know the basics of working up loads and checking pressure signs etc. And I am also aware there are numerous published loads for a 300 WSM and as you correctly pointed out about your loads, they are not specifically for my rifle. That is why if you go back to the original post i mentioned my rifle and the bullets i plan to use. If you dont want to release your load info that's fine, i dont have a problem with it. I just figured i might save myself a lot of time and some money if I found someone shooting similar gun and bullets and maybe make a few friends in the process. There are a lot of folks who share load info in these forums. If you dont want to that's cool.
I assure you I am not an irresponsible wacko taking long distance hope or miss shots at game. The bottom line one more time...please read it carefully...it apllies to any shot I make whether at a 100 yds or a 1000.
If i am confident i can make the shot, then i'll make it... if not, then i won't.
I have only lost lost one wounded animal in my life (I am 52) and that was my first deer and i was unable to track it through a residential area that it had run into. And I felt sick about it. With the exception of a bighorn ram I shot, all the game I have taken, I have taken with one shot and most of them dropped in their tracks including the 425 yd antelope shot. The ram was fatally wounded by the first shot which was a clean and perfect lung shot, but did not fall, so I put 3 more into him.
Hey Mr Montana-I will not allow myself to get into a big to do over this issue. We are simply going to have to agree to disagree.
I have the utmost respect for the animals I hunt. They are paying with their life for my reward. You may feel you can make a 1000 yard shot if conditions are right as you put it. In my opinion, those conditions simply never exist in the field, especially with a sporting rifle using a pack for a rest.
Although I prepare for a max 450 yard shot, I have never had to shoot at a big game animal past 300 yards, 293 to be exact measured by a laser range finder prior to firing. Of course I have seen game at longer ranges, however if I can not close the distance I do not have a shot as far as I am concerned.
As an example I see truck drivers driving 70+ MPH on snow and ice covered roads. They may think they are OK too, I do not.
I have played around shooting at 500+ yards, way too easy to blow a shot, perhaps not even by the shooter. It is amazing what a gust of wind does to a bullet at long range. Any mistake is greatly magnified at long distance and I am simply not willing to put a healthy animal in jeopardy to feed my ego.
Go to some ballistic charts and see how low the velocity is at 1000 yards, even with the most effecient bullets. Terminal ballistics have to be questioned. (Terminal ballistics are how a bullet acts after impact). Look at wind drift tables, and remember, the wind will not always be a a specific speed perpendicular to bullet flight path as in the charts.
So the bottom line is, can game ethically be taken at 1000 yard distances? For the expert with the correct equipment under certain field conditions, yes. For the average guy with a sporting rifle, no, not in my opinion.
In closing I wish to apologize for the harshness in my first post. I have seen "hunters" who think they are great shots, but in reality have no business even attempting the shots they take, and leave wounded game in the field. Then they usually blame their poor shot on the gun!!
Dorm, you do make some good points and I have considered all of them. Windage, terminal ballistics, etc. I have checked the ballistic tables and the bullet I want to use (Barnes TSX Tipped 168 gr) leaving the muzzle at 3200 fps is moving about 1600 fps at 1000 yds with about 1000 ftlbs of energy. The bullet would not open up at that speed (minimum performance speed of about 2000 fps) but would penetrate through the lungs of a deer or elk. It would take a little longer to die, but it would die fairly quick. Also, i can hold a rifle just as steady on a pack in the field (if I have the time to set up) as I can on sand bags on a bench. A breeze of 1 mph would move the bullet 6.7 inches at a 1000 yds, so obviously wind is critical and I would only take such a shot on a calm day. I'm putting a Nightforce scope on it, and they have absoutley precise elevation adjustments. And I would have a printed distance and elevation adjustment chart with me. And there are some other factors which I have considered. This is all THEORY for me right now. When i get to the range I may find out that my actual limitation is 700 or 500 yds. But if I can consistantly hit a pie plate size target at a 1000 yds, and do it from resting on a pack then I would do it in the field with the right conditions. Another condition would be the ability to watch my game for several hundred yds in any direction after the shot. As I said in my earlier post, "My ***hope*** is to develop a good 1000 yd deer and elk load". Reality may be less than my hope. Actual trial results will be the deciding factor.
I too have respect for the animals I hunt and kill and I dont like to see or hear about wounded animals that crawl off to die and rot.
These bullets have different ogive geometries. The 165-grain TSX incorporates a shorter tangent ogive into the nose profile. It’s designed for cartridges with short magazines such as the 300 WSM and 300 Win Mag. The 168-grain TSX BT has a tangent ogive which lengthens the nose profile and has shown superb accuracy downrange. It offers the best of both worlds because it’s also a premium hunting bullet offering exceptional terminal performance. It is best suited for cartridges such as the 308 Winchester, .30-06 and 300 Weatherby.
Reloader 19 and IMR 4831 work very well in the 300 WSM.
Hey Bushman, cool pic...yer almost as ugly as me. Thanks for your 2 cents. I'm going with the 168 bullet cause it has a better BC and a Barnes tech rep recommended it (He shoots it). I've been thinking about using RL 19 and IMR 4831, do you have a recommeded starting load? I figure on picking 5 or 6 powders to find a good load.