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M700
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Posted: July 23 2017 at 3:00pm | IP Logged Quote M700

.300 Win Mag sniper article

Interesting American Rifleman article re the latest evolution of the .300 Win Mag as a military sniper cartridge. It's up to a 220 grain bullet now, and the overall length has been increased a bit.

Approved only for use in Remington 700 sniper rifles.

Looks like it's quite an improvement over the earlier version of .300 Win Mag ammo, used by Chris Kyle and others.

Having played a small role in the sniper world for some time, I remain fascinated.

Regards, Guy
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Posted: July 23 2017 at 3:22pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Only thing I read about was the Teufelhunden


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Posted: July 24 2017 at 8:30am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I look at the gear in use now for distance work compared to what we used in S.E. Asia and am amazed. What I used to hunt NVA with then next to today's stuff is like a flintlock rifle next to an M1 rifle! Sure, I had plenty of confirms but I was actually using the same gear as a redneck whitetail deer hunter. They've come a long way from the days in the jungle. Just amazing and makes me feel like a dinosaur.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: July 24 2017 at 8:55am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Amazing accuracy potential. Even with a good production rifle with only a bit of modifications, one could likely do some impressive shooting even without a longer range and much more expensive sniper scope.

Using a good accurate hunting bullet with similar weight and characteristics could likely increase the range for humane long range hunting a bit as well. Likely a whole lot farther shot than one really would take in most hunting situations, but it would be nice to know it was capable.

Certainly don't want the meat to spoil before one can hike all the way out to the kill.

Also, it is certainly interesting how the use of that short neck length and the resulting extreme accuracy has disproved the thought of short necks being an inaccurate characteristic. I imagine that precision seating dies can overcome that problem.

Edited by Ham Gunner on July 24 2017 at 9:00am


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Posted: July 24 2017 at 4:35pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I kind of laughed when I read the part about the Sierra bullets key
holing at 800 yds.   When I started shooting longer ranges with the
.308 I was told to dump the Sierras and move to Berger.   The Berger
will go a lot farther then any Sierra I have.

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Posted: July 24 2017 at 5:11pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Very interesting article, thanks Guy.

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M700
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Posted: July 24 2017 at 6:56pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Old Ranger wrote:
I look at the gear in use now for distance work compared to what we used in S.E. Asia and am amazed. What I used to hunt NVA with then next to today's stuff is like a flintlock rifle next to an M1 rifle! Sure, I had plenty of confirms but I was actually using the same gear as a redneck whitetail deer hunter. They've come a long way from the days in the jungle. Just amazing and makes me feel like a dinosaur.


No kidding Old Ranger. I thought the USMC M40-A1 1980's sniper rifle was really something.... It was, but, just a stepping stone to where we are now.

Something the Army really did right, back in the 1980's, was to have their sniper rifles made on the long action Rem 700 action, even though chambered in .308 Win. They knew that those rifles could later be modified to accept long-action cartridges, like the .300 Win mag...

Good thinking!

Guy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: July 24 2017 at 9:31pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

joed wrote:
I kind of laughed when I read the part about the Sierra bullets key
holing at 800 yds.   When I started shooting longer ranges with the
.308 I was told to dump the Sierras and move to Berger.   The Berger
will go a lot farther then any Sierra I have.


Joe, you trying to pull our legs?

Any bullet design has it's limitations, but bullets not designed for longer ranges should not be expected to perform well at those longer ranges.   

At half the price as Bergers, it is no contest for me. I will shoot Sierra bullets. They do make them for almost anything you want them to do, especially for punching holes in paper. You just have to use the correct bullet weight and design for the job.

Where Sierra is lacking, in my opinion, is for heavy hunting use. They have chosen to basically stick to the cup and core type bullet for the most part. There are likely plenty of better performing bullets for use on very large and dangerous animals.

Nothing wrong with Bergers, but there is nothing wrong with Sierra bullets either. Nor Hornady, nor any other brand as long as they are the correct bullet for the job.

To be honest Joe, I have never fired a Berger. No doubt they are very fine bullets and are making a very good name for themselves for no longer than they have been in business. But more long range competitions have been won by Sierra bullets than any other bullet in the world, so I just don't see how anyone can put down a bullet with that history behind it. Unless you are yanking our chains.

Edited by Ham Gunner on July 24 2017 at 10:29pm


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REM1875
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 2:14am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

The 30-40 Krag or the .30 Army loading was standardized
in 1894 using a 220-grain, metal jacketed bullet.
(after brief experimentation with a 230 gr)
Nothing new under the sun?
Course it ended being limited to 2000 fps but......

I bought some for my Krag but have not tried them yet.

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Posted: July 25 2017 at 3:24am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Very interesting and very informative
Even though I am kind limited by skill to 100 yds now
days ......
Might be different if I used a scope though???

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joed
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 3:47am | IP Logged Quote joed

Ham Gunner, I wasn't kidding.    One of the rifles I own is a model
70 Stealth in .308 Win.   I bought it several years ago when I
wanted to shoot long range.     

Through a deal I picked up 2k of Sierra MK bullets.    First trip to
the range people were helpful with tips, but the one tip that was
hard to swallow was lose the Sierras.   I was told they won't go
1000 yds and would only go about 800 yds.    

That was a tough one, I've stuck with Sierra and Nosler through
all the years.    I'm a firm believer in picking a bullet for the task.   
I scoff at the youngsters that only shoot the heaviest match bullet
they can get for hunting applications.    

I've never shot the Sierra MKs past 300 yds so I really don't know
if they will key hole past 800 yds.   But, I've had quite a few
shooters tell me that is their limit.

Heck, all I shoot anymore is Sierra and some Nosler bullets.   
When it comes to ranges to 1000 yds I'll stick with the Bergers.

I've noticed Sierra has come out with a new design for the MK
having a tip on it.   Maybe those will go 1000 yds, I haven't tried
them.


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M700
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 8:16am | IP Logged Quote M700

Re the bullets, keyholing etc...

What Joed has got is a .308 Win, and possibly 168 grain Sierra Matchkings?

Very popular combination. Very accurate. A standard.

And very well known for having major trouble remaining stable at about 800 - 900 yards when they're slowing down and going subsonic.

That particular bullet was designed decades ago for 300 meter competition, and, at .308 Win velocity, isn't known for doing well at 1,000 yards.

I've burned through a bunch of them, and the very similar Nosler, from my .308 Win, and they do an excellent job out to 600 yards. No problem! Very accurate.

There are better choices for 800, 900, and 1,000 yard shooting. Some of those better choices are Sierra bullets, and of course one can turn to the Berger. I've used both, and match bullets from Nosler & Hornady as well.

So, the problem isn't with the Sierra brand of bullets, just with that one bullet Sierra makes, and trying to use it at 900 or 1000 yards from a .308 Win.

Sierra makes a GREAT 155 grain bullet that is intended for "Palma" competition, at 800, 900 and 1000 yards, from the .308 Win.

They also came up with their 175 grain Matchking, to replace the 168 for longer range shooting with the .308 Winchester.

There's a little joke that floats around in long-range target shooting circles "Friends don't let friends shoot 168's at 1,000 yards."

Or a fellow can shoot a .30-06, or a .300 mag, boot that ol' 168 grainer out at higher velocity and do just fine at longer ranges.

Lots of choices. Shooters have just linked the 168 with .308 Win accuracy (for good reason) and are often surprised to learn that it does have some shortfalls, at longer ranges.

This knowledge came from years of long-range prone competition, in which I wore out a few .308 Win barrels.

Regards, Guy
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 9:11am | IP Logged Quote joed

It is indeed the 168 gr mk.    I asked about going heavier with the sierra
bullets and was told again, use Berger. Whenever someone says
something to me twice I tend to follow that advice.

And sierra recommended the 168 gr to me when I bought the rifle.

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M700
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 11:19am | IP Logged Quote M700

Oh yeah, the 168 Matchking is a great bullet for the .308 Win. I still shoot 'em frequently from my .308, as I rarely use it past 600 yards.

There's a 600 yard rifle range at my club, not a 1,000 yard range, so... I don't worry much about using my .308 beyond 600 anymore.

And Berger? Yes, very high quality bullets. I like the VLD's, but they can be a little picky about seating depth for accuracy.

I've used various Berger bullets in my .204 Ruger, .25-06, .308, and .300 WSM. Always ended up with excellent accuracy without working too hard at the loading bench for it.

Regards, Guy

Edited by M700 on July 25 2017 at 11:19am
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 1:53pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I know by studying ballistics that terminal velocity and bullet twist rate makes a whole lot of difference for any one bullet for sure. That is one of the limiting factors for the .308 Win. Just not enough velocity left way on out there unless one has the perfect bullet that can stretch things that far, whereas a cartridge with more powder and velocity might stretch an otherwise unusable bullets stability out a few extra hundred yards if it can get it to spinning fast enough.

To tell the truth, I have not actually attempted 800 yards on very many occasions let alone 1,000 yards. Heck, one needs a scope capable of actually seeing a Volkswagen sized target at 1,000 yards in order to really be serious about it.

Of course, one really needs a rifle that is capable of very fine accuracy to be serious as well and about the only rifle I own in a caliber that could stretch things out there for me with sufficient accuracy is my Finn M-28 Mosin-Nagant with a .3085 Sig medium heavy barrel that I cut down to 25" from it's original 28". I gave $50 for that rifle, but it was not yesterday.

I have a 6x18 Burris on it and using Sierra 155 gr. Palma Match bullets it does well at least to 600 yards which is about as far as I have found to shoot around here. Likely, the Mosin-Nagant would not stretch the range out much farther than the .308 Win. as the powder capacity is only slightly more than the .308 Win. and the twist rate is about the same.

I do have a 30-06 chambered U.S. Model Remington 1917 Enfield with military open sights, but my days of shooting long ranges at Volkswagens without scopes are over I am afraid.

But I do enjoy reading about long range shooting. Even when the truth might involve one of my favorite bullet manufacturers. Of course that was just one instance and one bullet with one apparently unsuitable chambering for the expected result. There are plenty of other stories where a bullets abilities just will not work out due to whatever the shortcoming of both the bullet or the cartridge/twist rate in question. The case of the .244 Remington comes to mind there, thus the introduction of the 6mm Remington. Otherwise we would only need one bullet per caliber and what fun would that be?

Thanks Guy for the article. I know that years ago when it was first introduced, the .300 Win. Mag. took a lot of competitions, but mostly against the 30-06. It was educational to me to see that the short neck has still not outdated that cartridge and placed it on the shelf of history.

I think advances in types of powder and bullets have helped with that continuation of course.

Edited by Ham Gunner on July 25 2017 at 2:23pm


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Posted: July 25 2017 at 3:31pm | IP Logged Quote joed

My Stealth has a 1:12 twist which is probably why Sierra
recommended the 168 gr.    I've probably got 1500 of them left
too. I wanted to try some of the MKs in the .300 H&H Mag but
they really don't have a very high bc, .462 if I remember correctly.
The VLD was .580 but I think they've lowered that now.   

I now shoot the 185 VLD Target out of the Stealth and it does
work with my twist, I didn't think it would.   

The rifle has a 36x Weaver target scope on it and it is the best
shooting rifle I own.   Even cold it will put the bullet in the same
place as when it's warm.   I have no other rifle that will do that.    
And to think I bought this just as it was announced Winchester
was pulling the plug.   Someone did something right.   

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Posted: July 25 2017 at 5:07pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Good stuff right there!

That 1:12 twist isn't as limiting as some would believe. Mine is also a 1:12, and has handled 175's and 180's just fine. I've yet to try my 185 Bergers, but am likely to give it a try.

Guy
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Posted: July 25 2017 at 5:44pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I thought they were nuts when they told me to go to the 185 gr VLD,
but they said I'd be fine as long as I stayed away from the 185 gr
Hybrid. They were right, that Stealth shoots the 185 gr VLD just
fine.

I've yet to shoot it at 1000 yds but I have faith it will make it.

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Posted: July 25 2017 at 6:18pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Now I'm wondering what the .300 H&H could do with a heavy match
bullet.   That cartridge will do anything the Win Mag will do so it has
me thinking.   I just don't shoot it that much anymore, it's punishing.

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Posted: July 25 2017 at 10:18pm | IP Logged Quote M700

The 300 H&H is a long-respected 1000 yard cartridge...

Set records early on. I don't think anyone uses it in matches anymore, but it is certainly capable.

GUY
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