Lighter/Faster vs Heavier/Slower

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by PHOENIX PHIL, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    At the risk of starting something controversial, I'll start this thread. Having hunted Coues deer for the last 6 years in Arizona, I have become a fan of lighter but faster loads. Distance is generally long and the diminutive Coues deer is pretty thin skinned.

    I'm told that even smaller plains game in Africa have thick skin however and shooting distances tend to be under 200 yards. This tends to make me think that speed is less important and heavier bullets more important.

    The primary gun I plan on hunting with is in .300 Win Mag. I'm leaning towards using TSX bullets that I'll be loading myself for my safari next year. I'm debating now between 180 and 200 grain bullets.

    Your thoughts?

    BTW, this safari will be for plains game with Kudu as probably the largest species on the list.
     
  2. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    The 300 Win Mag with 200gr bullets will be a good combination.
     
  3. Thunder head

    Thunder head AH Enthusiast

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    I was under the impression that plains game animals have thin skin. Am i wrong?

    From everything i have read. A 30-06 or .308 is all you need for plains game. Your 300 mag should be plenty of gun.
     
  4. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    30 06 will do just fine. Make sure you use 180gr + bullets for the bigger animals.
     
  5. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    A 300 win Mag will be plenty of gun!! I myself I 've used exclusively a 30/06. From what I've always read & been told was to keep the velocity down so the bullets didn't pass through & possibly wound other animals. In the book "the Perfect Shot" the author Kevin Robertson stresses the 2400 fps mark. I used 180 gr nozler partitions traveling at 2486fps & they all remained under the hide on the bigger animals Kudu, Gemsbuck, and Wildebeest.
    I used 150 gr nozler ballistic tips for the smaller stuff spring bucks, blesbuck, & impala as I knew the bullet was going to pass through regardless. They were going at 2983 fps. The partitions were devestating as they all dropped right in their tracks , but as far as meat they damaged just about the whole thing!!
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I use a 300 Win Mag in a Browning A-Bolt with 190 grain Remingtion boatail...it's a discontinued line of ammo and believe me this load is awesome. Springbok to Eland are not going anywhere with this load and as long as I aim for the lungs...this gun is what I call the "the Thunderstick". Boom and Done!
     
  7. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    This is a topic that we constantly argue about down at the local gasthaus.

    As an American hunter I catch a lot of grief about being over gunned. Truthfully I shoot far less powerful rounds than the average German hunter, because I shoot a variety of firearms and calibers. Federal regulations dictate a minimum bullet diameter/terminal energy that can be used for different types of game here in Germany.

    In another thread I wrote about going to lighter weight solids in my 30-06 for small Reh deer. That has been very successful for me. I stepped down to a lower velocity, lighter solid bullet in the 30-06. The reason was a standard 180gr soft at standard velocities not only killed a Reh deer it usually gutted him regardless of how good a shot. A lot of spoiled meat and mess! Effectively by reducing the overall punch from that caliber it became more effective. So I think there might be some logic that states that lighter vs heavy may not be as overall important as the terminal ballistics. By reducing the velocity and the bullet type/weight I finally found a good solution to ONE hunting problem.

    This wouldn’t work when you are dealing with multiple species. Here is where the new Remington 300 RUM concept might become useful. The latest articles I’ve read on this new family of Remington ammo is that you get the overall effect of anything from 30-06 on the low end to 300 Ultra Mag on the higher end. Three rounds in one rifle with little change in point of impact up to 300 meters. You could stack them in the magazine if you chose to or quickly drop what’s in the chamber for a higher or lower powered round. I like that idea a lot!

    The catch is that they only make a 300 RUM right now. If you could reload any caliber to safely do the same thing the results should be similiar. Pick three bullets/loads that generate the terminal ballistics you are looking for. Call them light medium and heavy. Point blank zero with the middle round. Then very thoroughly check the other two rounds against that zero. The Remington 300 RUM advertises less than a 1 inch shift from 100-300 meters between the rounds. Common sense tells me that if you tried to replicate the bullet weight to load ratios that Remington is using you should be able to get a similiar result.

    I'm not a reloader so my expertise here is limited. What are your thoughts?
     
  8. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    I dont mind at what speed you are shooting or killing your animals as long as they die and leave a good blood trail. More important to me than speed is the bullet.

    As long as you use premium bullets they should do the work exception would be game like eland that has very big shoulder bones. There heavier would work better.

    I really enjoy the new TSX blood and penetration is great and I'm happy for guys with smaller calibers taking on large game if they are good shots.
     
  9. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    165 gn TSX in my .300 SAUM went all the way through ever animal that I shot except the eland. This included a decent-sized zebra shot through the shoulders. Bullet speed was 3060fps.
     
  10. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Here is some food for thought

    .308 165 grain TSX fired at 3140 FPS MV with a 100 yard zero will drop 23.6" at 400 yards with 1841 ft/lbs of energy at impact

    .308 180 grain TSX fired at 3000 FPS MV with a 100 yard zero will drop 25.3" at 400 yards with 1978 ft/lbs of energy at impact

    .308 200 grain TSX fired at 2895 FPS MV with a 100 yard zero will drop 28.2" at 400 yards with 1937 ft/lbs of energy at impact

    I would shoot the 180's. Less than 2" of difference in drop between it and the 165 and it has about 6% more energy.

    The BC on the 200 grains TSX is low because it is a flatbase not a boattail, those little suckers without lead tend to get very long when they get heavy. A better BC on the 200 grains I would probably choose it, as down range performance would be better. I like the heavier bullet.

    Of course if my rifle shot the 165 grain more accurate I would go with it.

    The moral is find a good accurate load, practice, and shoot through the vitals.
     
  11. Gloucester

    Gloucester AH Member

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    African game is generally thought to be tougher that North American and European game. You are right in that your shooting distances are likely to be less than 200 yards.

    I prefer slower travelling bullets and use a 300 H&H when I am not after Dangerous Game: I believe the 300 H&H is the best Plains Game calibre to take to Africa. I shoot 180 grain bullets, hand loaded with Nosler Partition. I also think the 8X68 (S) is a first rate Plains Game rifle.

    I note you will be taking a 300 Win Mag. I have never had one although from what I understand of the ballistics I think that should do the job well. It will push the bullet out faster than the 300 H&H, which I am not sure is necessary, although that is a personal preference. I believe 180 grain would be the better weight to use.

    Happy hunting.
     
  12. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    The 300 magnums are always an excellent choice for plainsgame in Africa and some of them such as waterbuck, Kudu, Zebra and especially Eland can be hard to kill on ocassion..

    Personally I would opt for the 200 gr. Woodleigh or Noslers, trajectory is excellent, they buck the wind well, penetrate well, kill exceptionally well, and your PH will be glad that you didn't do the meat damage that the light bullets do.

    The 200 gr. 30 caliber bullets also retains velocity better at extended ranges, at least to a degree...

    Lots of cartridges will work and work well from the 7x57, 308, 30-06, 270, on up, but the final choice is up to you...I don't always use a long range magnum, but I have since enough to know it certainly gives one an edge, if recoil isn't a factor.
     

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