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Thread: My first "predator" hand-loads.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default My first "predator" hand-loads.

    I just worked up my first predator loads for my Marlin XS7 .243. I used once-fired Win. premium nickel plated cases, CCI 200 LR primers, 34 grs. RL 15 and Hornady 80 gr. FMJ bullets.

    I chose RL 15 because it's on the low end of the velocity range for an 80 gr. bullet. The .243 Win. is capable of pushing an 80 gr. bullet to nearly 3500 fps., but I wanted to minimize pelt damage. The powder charge I used is just a half grain above the minimum, and should be around 2950 - 3000 fps. That's also the reason I chose an FMJ bullet. I can't wait to see how they perform.

    Have any of you used a similar recipe for predators?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    ...I wanted to minimize pelt damage...That's also the reason I chose an FMJ bullet. I can't wait to see how they perform.

    Have any of you used a similar recipe for predators?
    It's a sound theory, but I've made awfully big holes in fox and coyote hides with spitzer FMJs. The spitzer becomes gyroscopically unstable quite easily in tissue and often veers off the intended course and makes keyhole exits. For hide bearers I've gone light, fast & fragmenting. They can also make a mess, but are less prone to the problem IME.
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    I would use 70-75 gr hollow points I know Sierra and hornady make them. They should be perfect!

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    Thanks for the replies, based on your recommendations I loaded some more, using Federal Premium once-fired brass, CCI 200 LR primers, 43.5 grs. IMR 4350 and 85 gr. Barnes TSX bullets. The Barnes were the closest weight HP bullets I had to what you recommended. I used the lowest recoil powder I have on hand, based on the load data I have. If I have a chance, I'll compare the two loads and post the results here.

    Velocity for these loads should be around 3050 FPS.

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    I have a chrono if you want use it let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    I have a chrono if you want use it let me know.
    Thanks, I have one though. I find it very difficult to use it however. Most times I go shooting, I take the whole family. I like to make shooting a family activity, to involve my wife and kids. With five kids though, I find I'm fortunate to fire a few rounds from two or three guns, between helping my wife and the two oldest with theirs. Then it's time to pack up and head home. There's just no time for setting up a chrony. For now, I'm satisfied with shooting a known distance to get the trajectory down, and I have enough experience hand-loading that I can be accurate enough in my velocity estimation to be confident with my loads for hunting purposes out to about 200 yards for the .243. When I have more time (read: when I'm retired) I'll break out the chrony and get more precise with my loads. I still use it occasionally when it's just my son and I getting ready for big game.

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    Berger makes a very thin jacket varmint bullet in .243, they are very explosive , I doubt they would exit.

    http://www.bergerbullets.com/Product...20Bullets.html

    http://www.bergerbullets.com/Informa...20Designs.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Berger makes a very thin jacket varmint bullet in .243, they are very explosive , I doubt they would exit.

    http://www.bergerbullets.com/Product...20Bullets.html

    http://www.bergerbullets.com/Informa...20Designs.html
    Thanks for the links, Marshall. I haven't tried Berger yet, but I've heard good things about them. Have you dropped any predators with them yet? If so, what were the results?

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    AKsoldier

    I exploded several golf balls at 300 yards from a .204 Ruger shooting 30gr Bergers. A cow elk had a nice exit hole with 175gr Bergers from a 300RUM. I missed a white tail at 434 yards with my .308, I'm still scratching my head over that one. A few weeks ago I hit an IPSC silhouette at 1800 yards with 300gr Berger Hybrids from my 338LM. I shoot Bergers in all of the above rifles. If you need load data just drop them an email and they will respond. They're nearing completion of a manual, at least that's what I've been told.

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    Thanks again Marshall. Sounds like they work quite well. I'll pick some up and give them a try.

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    ey
    AKSOLDIER:

    Bergers would be perfect for what you want your loads to do. I would also suggest varmint grenades, if Barnes makes them for .243. I would not recommend shooting anything with a potentially valuable hide with a TSX or TTSX. It seems like those leave rather large exit holes, and sometimes entry holes due to the large amounts of hudrostatic shock. Displaced tissue will actually try to escape through the entry hole due to the huge amounts of pressure these bullets create. They kill critters dead, but can be messy. I have shot marmots with a 55 grain berger out of my .223 and had a nice neat little entry hole, no exit hole, and a very dead marmot. The shock from the bullet liquified the entire critter insided the hide. It was like picking up a water balloon or something. If you want to try .20 or .22 cal Varmint Grenades, or Bergers, let me know, and I'll meet up with you sometime at work and give you some. You'll like them.

    The Bergers grouped a little bit better for me than the VG's did, but both were under 1" at 100.

    Good Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sthrcave View Post
    ey
    AKSOLDIER:

    Bergers would be perfect for what you want your loads to do. I would also suggest varmint grenades, if Barnes makes them for .243. I would not recommend shooting anything with a potentially valuable hide with a TSX or TTSX. It seems like those leave rather large exit holes, and sometimes entry holes due to the large amounts of hudrostatic shock. Displaced tissue will actually try to escape through the entry hole due to the huge amounts of pressure these bullets create. They kill critters dead, but can be messy. I have shot marmots with a 55 grain berger out of my .223 and had a nice neat little entry hole, no exit hole, and a very dead marmot. The shock from the bullet liquified the entire critter insided the hide. It was like picking up a water balloon or something. If you want to try .20 or .22 cal Varmint Grenades, or Bergers, let me know, and I'll meet up with you sometime at work and give you some. You'll like them.

    The Bergers grouped a little bit better for me than the VG's did, but both were under 1" at 100.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks bro, but I'll have to pick some up for the .243. I don't yet have a .20 or .22 centerfire. The only thing I came home with today was an Ermine. Not a good day for rabbits. Oh, well. I'll skin and tan it and make a pair of slippers for my newborn. I did get to try my 80 gr. Hornady FMJ's at long distance though. They went exactly to point of aim using the lower dot on my Redfield at an estimated distance of 400 yards. That "cheap" little XS7 continues to amaze me.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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