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Thread: .300 magnum bullet weights? 200gr vs 220gr?

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    Default .300 magnum bullet weights? 200gr vs 220gr?

    I shoot 200gr nosler partitions in my 300 Wthby currently, which it seems to like pretty well. I don't have a chronograph, but according to my books, it should be doing about 3000 fps at the muzzle with the load I use (83.0gr of IMR 7828). That translates to about 4,000 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.

    I was thinking about trying out some 220gr partitions, but according to the Nosler book, I will be lucky to get 2800 fps, which equals about 3800 ft-lbs of energy. (My Lee book actually says I can load it hotter than this).

    I know the general school of thought is that heavier is better, but I wasn't sure if it would hold true in this case with the sacrifice in energy.

    Assuming accuracy is the same, which of these loads would be more effective against a cranky bear? The 200gr or the heavier 220gr (with less energy)?

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    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Weight

    In the 300 WBY or Win the 180 Barnes TSX would be excellet with
    Reloader 22 and Fed 215GM primers

    Better retained weight than Part lets you use lighter bullet weight.

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    I agree completely with dropping the starting weight and upping the retained weight.

    Energy is absolutely useless as anything beyond static in the calculation... Broken body parts kill, not energy.

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    To answer your question about the 2 Noslers, it's been awhile, but when I laid them side by side, it looked like the 220 had more bearing surface, and IIRC was longer. That means more drag along with the extra weight, and if in fact the 220 was longer, deeper seating for less powder capacity.

    Whatever the truth in my aging memory, the 200 Nosler has been my standard 300 Winnie load for something like 30 years. And when I briefly tried the 220, I didn't see any reason to buy a second box. No regrets, and no reason to try anything else. Others might perform as well, but they couldn't have been any better. Perfect track record in my guns- I've never recovered one from game. 100% full penetration with generous exit holes. How can you beat that?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    With the better bullets we have these days I'm beginning to think the 180s are about as big as you really need in any .30...I really view the 220gr as the original "controlled expansion bullet"- just add more lead to peel off and slow it down!

    I've shot both 200 and 220 gr but think they're really kinda of a waste if you can get a 180 to hold together and shoot through from stem to stern.
    I liked 200gr. but disliked the 220s (just did for some reason or other) but of late I've gravitated to 180s (partitions, ABs, TB or TSX) for just everything.

    220s in general have a lot of bearing surface and tend to be slower than you'd think.

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    Default Swift Socciro

    I shoot 180 gr Swift Scirocco II's in my .300 RUM I get about 3300 fps with 99 grains of Retumbo. For my money you cant beat a 180 grain Scirocco. I have seen them take down spring brown bears, spring and fall black bear, deer, mt, goats, moose, caribou. They are absolutely devastating, I think you would be very pleased with them in your .300 WBY.

    I think Partitions are about as expensive as many of the high quality bonded bullets available. I know partitions have probably killed everything that walks and swims on the planet, but for my money these days you can't beat a bonded bullet.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    It seems to me that choosing a 300 Weatherby means that you wanted a rifle with a flat trajectory. There's nothing wrong with the 220 Nosler, but by choosing the 220 NP you give up some significant external ballistics for some meaningless terminal ballistics IMO. I mean that it is easier to hit an animal at 300-350 yards with the 200 grain NP than the 220 grain and the animal will never know the difference between the two once the bullet arrives. However if I were relegated to carrying a 26 inch barreled Mark V through the alders, where the shots are going to be close, then I might choose the 220 grain. This is an unlikely scenario for me as if I felt a need for a 220 grain bullet I would certainly choose a larger caliber rifle, YMMV. If I were using a 300 Weatherby, in all probability I would load the 200 grain Nosler Partition as a kill anything and everything bullet--with no second thoughts.

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    I went through the same thought process with my 300RUM. I my gun shoots the 220's well enough to put them in the field. Other bullets look way better on paper because of the much higher B.C. and have awesome effects on game. If you are worried about a grizzly at point blank and want the 220 grains for penetration, stopping power whatever, you will probably do just as well with a 200g bullet but be better able to take a longer shot.

    I have some numbers for my gun. I calculate the ft/lb of energy for the 220's at about 4300 in my gun. A 200g TSX FB is about 4100 and a 200g Accubond about 4350 (they shoot really well at a max load in my gun without pressure signs). The accubonds really shine in these big bore .30 cal guns. I don't know how they hold up against a big grizzly, but I bet they would change the channel they were watching for sure. They do well on everything else and have a really great BC. .588 vs .351.

    I had some brass that was not going to make it many more loadings and about 20 bullets left over so I loaded up a box to have for whatever. I may use them on a bait stand when I will not be shooting distance. I may just have some buddies shoot them to see how black and blue their shoulders get.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    It seems to me that ... external ballistics ... would certainly ... kill anything and everything ...


    I'm surprised that you would make such a statement, 1Cor.

    In all seriousness, at close range, heavier bullets in the 300 Win Mag on a 1,000-lb+ dangerous animal are, within reasonable limits, generally better.

    More mass generally means more penetration--unless the velocity drops off too much. Penetration depends largely on momentum.

    In my (minority) opinion, you need to get your mass/momentum up enough (within the bullet contruction properties) to ensure enough penetration on a difficult quartering shot on a large animal--and then, and only then, you can increase the impact of your bullet as you increase its energy from there.

    A lot of people hunt large bears with .222-.270s or with an arrow. That bravery and quest for challenge is truly admirable, but a 180-gr 2,960 fps TSX ought to be a better stopper most of the time. But, at close range, a 220gr 300 Wby ought to be even better.

    In .308-cal ("300"), a 200-220-gr at good velocity probably is a better choice than a 180gr bullet for really large NA game.

    If you handload, and these (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=972249) numbers are accurate, you can load a 240-gr Woodleigh 300 Win Mag bullet to 2,600fps/3,600ft-lbs. You obviously can exceed that velocity/energy in a 300 Wby, which would make a good bear stopper.

    I'm not sure if I'm making any sense, but I worked until 4am last night, got only three hours of sleep, and have now drunk at least ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    I'm surprised that you would make such a statement, 1Cor.

    I'm not sure if I'm making any sense, but I worked until 4am last night, got only three hours of sleep, and have now drunk at least ....
    Talk about taking something out of context. . . It must be the late hour or maybe the few too many. Seems that we might have been here before MH, or somewhere close.

    More to the point, IME there is a point of diminishing return in choosing heavier bullets and for my part I think that happens at about 200 grains in the 300 Weatherby for hunting. It is possible that the 220 will penetrate more than the 200--though that is not certain--but the 220 will reduce the external ballistics somewhat--lower velocity and lower b.c, it's a RN. For a hunting rifle, and a 300 Weatherby is a hunting rifle not a stopping rifle, I am quite confident that the 200 NP will provide excessive penetration at a mv of 3000 fps on close range bears and will give the shooter a more advantageous trajectory for hunting big game.

    I've no disagreement that in preparing for a close range, surprise encounter with a bear I would opt for the heavier bullet and said so in my earlier post. However, if this was a concern of mine I would use a different cartridge (maybe a 340 Weatherby or even better, a 35 Whelen). It is not unlike carrying bags of fertilizer in a Ferrari. You can strap some to the deck lid and it will carry them down the road, but an old pickup will carry more bags and is a better (if not better looking) vehicle for the task. I'd say that in this post a 300 Weatherby is a bit like a Ferrari and while it will carry the fertilizer if you're in a bind there are better vehicles/cartridges for that purpose.

    Good to hear from you MH.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Talk about taking something out of context. . . It must be the late hour or maybe the few too many. Seems that we might have been here before MH, or somewhere close.

    More to the point, IME there is a point of diminishing return in choosing heavier bullets and for my part I think that happens at about 200 grains in the 300 Weatherby for hunting. It is possible that the 220 will penetrate more than the 200--though that is not certain--but the 220 will reduce the external ballistics somewhat--lower velocity and lower b.c, it's a RN. For a hunting rifle, and a 300 Weatherby is a hunting rifle not a stopping rifle, I am quite confident that the 200 NP will provide excessive penetration at a mv of 3000 fps on close range bears and will give the shooter a more advantageous trajectory for hunting big game.

    I've no disagreement that in preparing for a close range, surprise encounter with a bear I would opt for the heavier bullet and said so in my earlier post. However, if this was a concern of mine I would use a different cartridge (maybe a 340 Weatherby or even better, a 35 Whelen). It is not unlike carrying bags of fertilizer in a Ferrari. You can strap some to the deck lid and it will carry them down the road, but an old pickup will carry more bags and is a better (if not better looking) vehicle for the task. I'd say that in this post a 300 Weatherby is a bit like a Ferrari and while it will carry the fertilizer if you're in a bind there are better vehicles/cartridges for that purpose.

    Good to hear from you MH.
    Thanks 1Cor.

    Dang, I though I was safe with you recommending a slower/heavier bullet.

    You may be correct about the 300 Wby bullets. For our AK BB hunt that was aborted last Sept (being rescheduled for this Sept), I got my dad shooting 180gr TSXs out of my 300 Win Mag. I wanted to get him a good 200+gr load, but I could not find a good factory one. I wasn't ready yet to go with DT for dangerous game, and my dad and I both have not had good accuracy luck with Remington ammo (they have a 200gr A-Frame load). So, I figured that the 180gr 300 Win Mag would be fine for him, partly because it all-copper, and partly because my guide's 338 WM and my 340 Wby would be nearby.

    As you might suspect, and as a side note, I still don't see the advantage of a 35 Whelen over a 340 Wby, especially if one handloads. Even if you disregard the all-powerful role that the arithmetic kinetic energy formula plays in effective bear defense, the 340 Wby ought to be able to hold its own against the admittedly very good 35 Whelen. My thinking is this: You can load a 275gr A-Frame or a 300gr Woodleigh in the 340 Wby, and do it at any possible 35 Whelen velocity for any bullet. I would not begrudge a 35 Whelen fan of their belief that it's just as good, for all intents and purposes, as a 340 Wby. But I find it really hard to believe it's "better" as a bear stopper--since a 340 Wby shooter can fire the same weight or heavier bullet (up to 300gr) than any 35 Whelen bullet, either at the same precise velocity or faster than the 35 Whelen --at the 340 Wby loader's preference.

    P.S. I've finally found some private land to do fun shooting on, and ASAP I am going to photo and video what the 340 does to a large unfrozen turkey (no relation to me), or something similar, and a 5-gallon water jug, cinderblock, etc …. Just for fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Dang, I though I was safe with you recommending a slower/heavier bullet.
    I didn't mean to contradict you; I think it's a good rule of thumb, "When in doubt, use a bigger hammer!"

    You may be correct about the 300 Wby bullets. For our AK BB hunt that was aborted last Sept (being rescheduled for this Sept), I got my dad shooting 180gr TSXs out of my 300 Win Mag. I wanted to get him a good 200+gr load, but I could not find a good factory one. I wasn't ready yet to go with DT for dangerous game, and my dad and I both have not had good accuracy luck with Remington ammo (they have a 200gr A-Frame load). So, I figured that the 180gr 300 Win Mag would be fine for him, partly because it all-copper, and partly because my guide's 338 WM and my 340 Wby would be nearby.
    This past fall I was with one of my hunting partners that uses a 300 WM for everything. He shot a BB inside 40 yards that took three bounds and died and later had a DRT (CNS hit) with a bull moose at about 75 yards. He used Remington's 200 A-Frame loading and was pleased. I suspect he would have had identical performance from a 180 NP or the like, but he & I both know he is not going to take a shot beyond 200 yards so the external ballistics factor isn't a factor and ammo selection last year was a little thin. I suspect that he is now completely and irrevocably sold on the A-Frame, but with his shot placement a 180 grain Power Point from a 308 Winchester would have produced identical results.

    As you might suspect, and as a side note, I still don't see the advantage of a 35 Whelen over a 340 Wby, especially if one handloads. Even if you disregard the all-powerful role that the arithmetic kinetic energy formula plays in effective bear defense, the 340 Wby ought to be able to hold its own against the admittedly very good 35 Whelen. My thinking is this: You can load a 275gr A-Frame or a 300gr Woodleigh in the 340 Wby, and do it at any possible 35 Whelen velocity for any bullet. I would not begrudge a 35 Whelen fan of their belief that it's just as good, for all intents and purposes, as a 340 Wby. But I find it really hard to believe it's "better" as a bear stopper--since a 340 Wby shooter can fire the same weight or heavier bullet (up to 300gr) than any 35 Whelen bullet, either at the same precise velocity or faster than the 35 Whelen --at the 340 Wby loader's preference.
    That barb was just to get you going MH. I've no idea what my Whelen will do to a turkey or 5 gallons of water, but out to at least 200 yards it kills as effectively with about half the perceived recoil as my 340 and weighs much less to boot. The 340 produces more of everything and when hunting in the thick stuff I'd as soon not have to deal with more everything. Hunting in the flats, where long shots are possible I love my 340, but it is not an ideal carry rifle IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    ... That barb was just to get you going MH. I've no idea what my Whelen will do to a turkey or 5 gallons of water, but out to at least 200 yards it kills as effectively with about half the perceived recoil as my 340 and weighs much less to boot. The 340 produces more of everything and when hunting in the thick stuff I'd as soon not have to deal with more everything. Hunting in the flats, where long shots are possible I love my 340, but it is not an ideal carry rifle IMO.
    I know, but look at it this way: The heavier the rifle, the more exercise you get when hunting. Thus, it's obvious that, not only does the 340 Wby produce more heavenly kinetic energy than the Whelen, but the 340 Wby also is better for the cardiovascular system than the 35 Whelen.

    This is why I bought a 9-lb 340 Wby rifle and put a 22-oz scope and a 19-oz Harris bipod on it. I get lots of fabulous exersize lugging it around and feel very little recoil.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I didn't mean to contradict you; I think it's a good rule of thumb, "When in doubt, use a bigger hammer!"
    Yes, and sometimes a harder (i.e. faster) hammer swing works too.

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    Just my opionion here but the 300 wby with the 180gr bullet is an excellant choice for any big game hunting in alaska. I have killed many an animal with mine using 180 NP with no problem. The question about if you were in brush and waiting for a yogi to jump you is a tough one. I don't intend to mess with yogi but if he wanted to mess with me I would feel confident if I had time to pull up on him that he would fall with a 180 NP. But I do feel that I would be aiming at his shoulders to break him down instead of just a chest shot. If I was hunting in heavy grizz area with thick brush I would probaly grab the 375 just for insurance.

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    For the first 10 years that I hunted in Alaska I loaded 200 gr NP in a 24" barreled Rem chambered in 300 WBY...and was never left wanting. As a side note it takes a pretty hot load to consistently and safely chronograph 3000 fps with a 200 gr NP. I subsequently migrated to 180 gr NP and was rewarded with flatter trajectory and better accuracy and the animals kept falling in their shadows - I couldn't tell a difference. IMO there is the potential to get greater penetration with a 220 gr pill....but will the result be that much different? Last time I checked there was only dead and not dead...no 1/2 dead...or 3/4 dead. A 300 wby with a 200 gr. NP is more than "good enough" for an all occasion rifle/load for Alaska. I consider a 180 gr TSX equivalent to the 200 gr. NP. Either one should serve you well in the bush. Last comment: when dealing with 4 legged critters with halitosis, big teeth and long claws there is no substitute for a bullet with increased cross sectional diameter. Good luck....and shoot straight!

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    Default 300 mag

    I settled in on 180 grain Hornady spire points in the early 70's and have been very happy with that load for everything I have hunted in AK. That being said, I loaded up some 220 grain which I used very successfully on a bison hunt and they did the job with one shot. In addition, I have not hunted brown/grizzly bears, but have taken my share of moose, goats, sheep, etc.

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    Default Bullet choice

    My .308 (300 H&H) gets loaded with a 200g Nosler Partition. It's my do everything and wandering in the bush gun. I've got full confidence in it.

    I did shoot a medium sized BB with a 25-06 this year at aprox. 75yrds with a 120g Nosler Partition hot handload. It was a complete pass through with heart shot. The bear ran 10 yrds and collapsed dead.

    My choice is the 300 H&H with the 200g. I didn't have it available for the bear hunt because the scope was in the shop. So I got a little closer and put the bullet where it should go.

    I don't like to load the 220 because I feel thats the point of diminishing returns.

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