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Did ya ever wonder...

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  • Did ya ever wonder...

    ...about why it is that when looking at bullet weight choices of typical big players they don't always make sense? For example; in .308 caliber, typically, the heaviest spitzer is 200 gr. and the next step up is 220 gr. which invariably is a round nose. Now, in .338 caliber, they make spitzers up to 250 gr. (again this being the typical bullet companies offering). That's only .03" difference between them and yet 50 gr. weight difference between heavy spitzers. Exactly half way between them is the .323 (8mm) which tops out at 220 gr. for spitzers and from most companies it seems that's it for high end weight too. Shouldn't they be able to build a 235 gr. spitzer and perhaps a 250 gr. round nose in that caliber?

    Another one that perplexed me for a while is the .358 which, even though it's a full .02" larger in diameter than the .338 seems to be limited by most companies to a 250 gr. spitzer as a high end, just the same as its little cousin. I know, Swift has a 270 gr. .338 and a 280 gr. .358 and Barnes does make some heavy for caliber bullets, but even Swift only goes up to 220 gr. in 8mm.

    Just seems kinda weird to me. I s'pose it could be that those two calibers are so unpopular that it didn't pay to tool up for too many choices. Oh well, just thinking out loud again!


  • #2
    Too heavy bullets

    I have always found it interesting finding the optimum bullet weights for specific cartridges. That's actually what you are questioning. For specific cartridges, there is a bullet weight that is the "best" bullet by weight for that cartridge. Sometimes 20-25 more grains can have a surprisingly detrimental effect on velocity, thereby negating, to a large degree, the value of that bit of extra speed. I had some 275 and 300 grain bullets for my favorite hunting gun, my .35 Whelen, and could see no difference in their effect on game over the optimal 250 grain slugs I finally settled on. As to bullet style, spitzer vs. round nose, traditionally and logically, heavier bullets which translate to lower velocity, are used for closer shots, so a spitzer design, meant to increase better aerodynamics for longer shots, is not necessary. Most of the .338 cartridges put out enough velocity/energy, that a spitzer in the 250 grain weight is still useful. In .358, even the more powerful ones, like the .358 Norma Mag, is generally not considered a long range cartridge, not having the ranging capability of the .338 magnums, so even though there are some spitzers available in the 250 gr weight, they don't have the S.D. and B.C. to really travel well. Hope this helps a bit. I need my first cuppa java now.


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