.300 Win Mag Test Results/ Barnes 180 gr. TSX--and Question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by MikeDeltaFoxtrot, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I currently have 2 .300 WM on hand. I have a good friend that shoots a lot of long range w/ a .300 WM. I have a couple of suggestions for you.
    1) Get some TTSX bullets and try them.
    2) Try some Fed 215 primers if that is not what your using
    3) Try a different powder. H-1000 has been the go to powder for the long range guys. RL-26 also has a following. RL 22 can work well but velocity varies with temperature.
    4) Change your seating depth. Barnes bullets usually like to jump. I had a fantastic load in one of my rifles where they jumped .200 which is a long ways. Once you find a safe velocity that you like start changing seating depths by .025-.030 and when the groups shrink drop to .005 difference to find what your rifle likes.
    5) Bed your action. Bedding often makes a huge difference in how a rifle shoots.
    6) Make sure your action screws are properly torqued as well as bases and rings.
    If this doesn't get you under 1 MOA then you may have a bad barrel. 2 yrs ago I bought a new Rem 700 Long Range in a .300 WM. Wouldn't shoot under 1.5 MOA. When a good gunsmith examined the barrel he said it was a bigger inside diameter in the middle than the ends... and would make a good tomato plant stake. Some barrels will never shoot and just have to be replaced.
    Good luck Bruce
     
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  2. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Re. crimping, I never use a roll crimp. If a crimp is necessary and or helpful I use a Lee Taper Crimping Die or a Lee Factory Crimp Die if that is what is available. Re. copper fouling there are only 2 products that really do the job. Bore Tech's CU +2 and KG -12. All other copper removers are a joke by comparison. And yes, your new rifle can have copper fouling with only 70 shots through it, especially if you did not follow a proper barrel break in procedure.
     
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  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    For me it went like this. Developing a load with the TTSX. Groups are tightening up as vary the powder charge. Start centering in the exact load I want and accuracy goes to crap. Frustration, weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued.

    Get on the good old internet and read about it some. Discover the copper issue. Clean the crap out of the barrel and voila, the accuracy returns. Not being one to let it lie there, I start to characterize just how many shots it was going to take for the accuracy to drop off. I think on the first rifle that was somewhere between 10-20. Took a close look at the muzzle and it looks like a shiny new penny.

    Re-clean barrel and repeat the exercise.... results the same. No doubt in my mind that for me and some of my rifles it's an issue and for other shooters/hunters also.

    But for some like yourself, you've been fortunate to not run into it. Go forth and prosper is all I can say to those who don't see this problem.
     
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  4. crudeoildude

    crudeoildude AH Veteran

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    the ttsx 168 gr is what I feed my 300 several 1 shot kills on elk and deer
     

  5. Doc25

    Doc25 AH Member

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    Here is something I do if I’m having an accuracy issue. Go buy a box of factory rounds and see how they shoot. If the factory rounds shoot better then it’s your loading. If it’s the same then it’s either you or the rifle/scope.
    I shoot h-1000 with a 180 gr accubond. Shoots moa or better.
     

  6. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    I bought a box of 180 gr TTSX and a box of 180 grain Sierra MatchKings for reference. I am going to load 20 rounds of each to the reference length of 3.340". I'll shoot them and report back.
     
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  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to the report.
     

  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    By the way I too had aproblem with copper from TTSX's in my .300 WSM Tika T-3. For me accuracy went south at 12-15 rds. Literally .5 MOA to over 2MOA when I hit that point. Cleaning brings it back. My experience as well as Phil's. I think mine is a rough barrel.....
    Bruce
     
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  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    As others note R22 is a top choice for any .300 mag, long ones at least. I would stick with the 180, I even like 200 in a mag and R22 shines there. I have had good luck with the TSX or TTSX so find the one your rifle likes and use it. If the rifle doesn't settle down and start shooting with some of these suggestions then it may be the rifle itself needs work. Good luck!
     

  10. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    Many good suggestions already posted! To state the obvious, when chasing load development, one is testing and ruling out the variables one by one. Making assumptions is probably not a short cut. Do not ignore any of the variables but it makes sense to start with the bigger/likelier ones and work your way down the list. If you hit gold before testing all the variables, then good for you.

    My 2c - do not be fixated on a pre-determined velocity, particularly at the high end. The one thing I am certain of is that you will be hunting the EC in higher temperatures than you're currently developing your loads in. Operating at max pressure in the cold and then hunting in the heat is unwise at best and unhealthy at worst. I don't know how close you are to max but accuracy is more important than speed.

    I think you need to rule out copper fouling - sometimes a barrel requires fouling of the same type of copper to shoot monos well (haven't experienced this myself but read about it in connection with Barnes a few times - usual internet warnings apply)

    Next I would play with the jump a bit - maybe back off your load a half grain or so and then reduce COL gradually. I say back off the load because deeper seating will reduce the case capacity slightly and increase the start pressure.

    As the gun is new, have you checked all the mechanicals already? Barrel not touching the stock at all, action screws all suitably tight, scope screws torqued correctly etc?
     

  11. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    Just my 2c worth as someone pointed out earlier the mono metal bullets are longer than lead core bullets your 300 WM has 1-10 twist and a 180gr mono may be too long for proper stability. 150gr-160gr in a mono are as long as 180gr lead core. The 180 mono is longer than a 200gr lead core.
    I use monos in two rifles not Barnes because of copper trouble and pressure signs.
    Try a lighter bullet in mono if you want to shoot monos you will probably see a difference.
    Shawn
    Barnes sells a lot of heavy for caliber monos because that is what people want not because they shoot better.
     
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  12. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    BTW, I use Bore Tech Eliminator to clean my rifles, and that is the only solvent I use. I shoot several Weatherby caliber, and they are bore fowlers, and when the accuracy is going south, I give them a good scrub with BTE, and everything goes back to normal. I would clean the bore of your rifle real good, and use some of the suggestions given here.
     
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  13. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    So I managed to fit in a short range trip this afternoon. I started with a clean barrel and fired twenty rounds.

    10 rounds of 180 gr Sierra MatchKings over 69.3 grains of IMR 4350, seated to 3.340". This load produced an average velocity of 2886 fps. Group 1 = 1.425". Group 2 = .878" Average = 1.152"

    10 rounds of 180 gr Barnes TTSX over 69.2 grains of IMR 4350, seated to 3.340". This load produced an average velocity of 2968 fps. Group 1 = 4.367". Group 2 = 2.543" Average = 3.455".

    Here is a photo of the best group using the Sierra bullets. For reference the red dot is .750".
    IMG_0904.JPG
    My conclusions:

    1) There is nothing wrong with my rifle.
    2) Barnes bullets do not seem to work well in this rifle.

    I might make one more attempt using a different powder. I am inclined to try Alliant Reloder 22. Alternatively, I may just scrap the Barnes bullets and go with a lead core bullet. I might try Nosler Partitions, as they are a proven design and readily available. I also wonder if I might try Sierra GameKings, although I have no report on they perform on larger game.

    I am planning to hunt Kudu, Eland, and perhaps Zebra, so I am interested in opinions as to whether the Noslers will get the job done. I have used Barnes bullets for most of my big game hunting the past, albeit from different rifles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  14. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    Nice group! Those are all minute of kudu/Zebra dead. Good luck on the rest of your testing.
     
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  15. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Help me out here, MDF. Why are you using SMKs? They are target bullets with thin jackets and not recommended by Sierra for hunting applications. Now I know there will be people swearing they're the greatest thing since sliced bread for African game but these are not in any way ideal to use for large plains game animals. You kill an animal with hydrostatic shock bullets (partition, swifts, etc.) or the Berger design (bullet enters two to three inches and explodes). As far as the Barnes, from your results, I would say the rifle doesn't like them and to continue experimenting will only result in a very narrow node susceptible to failure from powder temperatures, seating depth and neck tension. I would discontinue using the SMKs, stop beating your head against the wall with the Barnes (which I have found are the WORST bullet for accuracy, I don't care what type is used and if anyone wants to dispute that, show me a match winner in any discipline using them) and go with either Hornady, Swift, Nosler or Sierra hunting bullets. They are tangent ogive bullets, very forgiving of seating depth and neck tension. Take ONE of them at a time. Start with ten percent off of listed max load and go up in .5 increments. Seat them .005 IN TO the lands and shoot three shot groups at a target of 1" dots laid out horizontally. Find two groups that are similar in size and location relative to the dots and then try different seating depths. Split that load, example: 69 gr. and 69.5, load some at 69.2 or 69.3. This is a proven method for finding the most accurate load with a given powder & bullet. I use this method and two trips to the range with just about any rifle and my load work up is finished and I'm ready to shoot accurately at least out to 500 meters in a hunting application.
    Oh, and you don't need 180 grain 30 cal to kill any plains game animal. I shot the zebra in my avatar at 275 yards with a 6.5-284 shooting a 130 br Berger VLD hunting bullet, muzzle velocity 2950. He staggered about five yards and fell over. Same for a blue wildebeest at over 300 yards, one shot DRT with the Berger 6.5 130gr VLD hunting bullet. Been said a hundred times but I'll repeat it anyway. Shot placement is the goal and good ones will kill an animal, no matter the size.

    Oh, just one more thing (Columbo). Let someone else, a proficient shooter, shoot your rifle. I've seen groups improve more than once with another shooter at the trigger, especially with heavy recoiling ones. The target below shows 54.3 as a good group but it fell apart at longer ranges. I settled on 55.1 for this load with a seating depth tweak. It was good at long range. P1000497.JPG

    This is from their website:

    MatchKing Bullets: This is the classification for Sierra's pre-eminent target bullets. The driving motivation for the design of each MatchKing bullet is accuracy. These bullets have very thin jackets drawn to an exacting concentricity standard of 0.0003 in maximum variation, and their weight is held to within ± 0.3 grain. All MatchKing have a hollow point design with a very small meplat for high ballistic coefficient. The majority of these bullets have a boat tail shape to further minimize drag and improve ballistic coefficient. They are manufactured to the very highest quality standards. Their accuracy has been acclaimed worldwide, and they have been used to win more target competitions than all target bullets from other manufacturers combined. While they are recognized around the world for record-setting accuracy, MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: The Berger VLDs are very sensitive to seating depth and unless the reloader is familiar with sorting bullets base to ogive, and weight and has a precision seater die with micrometer head, I would advise using a standard tangent ogive bullet. .002 difference in seating depth can make a difference when shooting these and other secant ogive bullets. Tangent and Hybrids are more forgiving with respect to seating depths.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018

  16. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Agreed, the rifle appears to have good inherent accuracy. That is good baseline data as indicated by the Sierra group. Now to figure a good premium hunting bullet load that is acceptable. I would give the TSX/TTSX bullet one more try but in 150 or 165 grain. And as others have mentioned, the Barnes banded X bullets and similar usually like more jump to lands, maybe .050" or more, while many conventional bullets shoot best at less than .020" jump. A 30 cal 150 - 165 gr monometal is more or less comparable in terminal performance to a 180 gr conventional jacketed lead core and will stabilize similarly (because of OAL) to a 180 gr jacketed lead core. In any case, I would opt for a true premium bullet not just a bullet that has "Game" or "Hunting" in its name or so described by the manufacturer. If your hunt may include hot weather, good idea to not load to max and use one of the "extreme", temp insensitive powders like Varget or H 4831 SC.

    Yes, the Partition will do a good job if it shoots well. I have always gotten good accuracy with Partitions. I would rather use a bullet that is tough and consistent and slightly less accurate than a glorified target bullet that is more accurate. Then it's just a matter of limiting shooting distance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  17. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    I am shooting the SMK's only as a control to validate that the problem isn't with the rifle (or my shooting). I am very much aware that they are not designed as a hunting bullet, and I would not use them to hunt anything other than varmints. I have found, however, that SMK's produce excellent accuracy in most rifles, and I got pretty decent results today--especially given that I did no work up and just loaded them up with the same charge and seating depth I had been using.
     

  18. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Roger, you have good vertical. Your horizontal stringing is likely a rest issue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018

  19. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

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    That makes sense. I was shooting off a sandbag. I need to invest in a lead sled or similar.
     

  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That's good shooting with a sandbag. Have you considered a heavier bullet? With a 10 twist and your rifle liking the Sierras, you could step up to the 200 gr Gameking. I bet your rifle would rock with that bullet, 10 twist is ideal for it.
    Having blathered on here probably too much, I would also advise not pumping round after round through the rifle. This caliber is not easy on throats if fed a rapid diet of rounds downrange. In my barrel burners, I don't shoot more than two rounds in rapid succession. Then I let it cool down to ambient.
     

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