2000 Yard 50% Hit Rate-300 Norma or Otherwise?

nick338

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So I'm gaining a lot of interest in building a long range rifle in 300 Norma off a BAT HR action. Take it for what it's worth but I remember reading a couple years ago that SOCOM introduced a requirement for a cartridge that would allow a 50% hit rate on a man size target out to 2000 yards, and presto the 300 PRC was born. Other than the size of the action and bolt head, are there any real disadvantages of a 300 Norma in this case? I get slightly more recoil and less barrel life but it seems like the shorter, fatter case would be better at running the long, heavy bullets and still feed through a magazine then either the 300 WIn mag or 300 PRC at this point anyway, plus Lapua is making brass now.

Would love to hear from anyone that shoots one (Frank if you're listening) , and if they've compared it to other .30 caliber magnums or 338's. Not at all interested in comparing this to anything in the .375 or larger category or .338 wildcats.

Just want the skinny on what drives you guys to the 300 Norma over the others. Hear a lot of crap about the military abandoning the Norma for the PRC and it sounds like to me it's just the usual internet garbage so maybe you guys can expound on it for me.
 
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Runnineh

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I built a Norma on a stiller and love it. I also have a 300 winmag, can't compare them at all. I wish I could compare it to a 338, but my father-in-law is practically blind, so I couldn't say if its comparable...obviously knowing there's a weak link there. I just got everything stabilized at about 240 rounds. With 230 Sierra's, I'm getting 3040 fps with an Sd of 7 using rl33. It's a laser. The furthest I have shot so far is 1400 yards. After 2 shots for wind corrections, I couldn't not hit, almost too easy. I was going to build a 338, but I wanted something different. I went with Norma and im enjoying it, now looking for a place to shoot further.
 

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My 300 Norma will hit 2K but at sea level it's a stretch. Half the battle in N FL is just seeing what the hell is going on at 2k to make corrections. I guess when mirage isn't terrible and I can spot misses it may be 50%. A lot of times it takes 12 shots just to finally see a splash to make a correction though.
 
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Pretty sure the Army was more interested in the Energy on target at 1500m more so than 2000. But originally they stated the 338Norma was the best on paper option at 1500m. This is what got the ball rolling with the PSR. Then when it morphed to the ASR it changed again, it was all 300NM then 300PRC, and so on.

The 300PRC was part of the 300AI(Accuracy International) because they wanted a US option to the 300Norma. Sorta rebranded, not sure if the specs were 100% the same but pretty close. Again it was about caliber and energy to make these decisions.

2000 is about the bullet for sure. You need to push things hard and far, if it was me I would probably look to David Tubb in this situation. His XC Exosphere is probably the right answer. If I was building something for 2000 yards, I would be turning to Tubb. 33xc maybe.

But there is a lot into this question, however, if you wanted to build it smart, you look at David, if you want to translate things you go a tick lighter on the bullet and heavy on the speed. 300 Norma with a 225, 338 with a 285, stuff like that.
 

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Based on my limited experience with a 300 WM and 338 Lapua mag AI, I believe a 50% hit rate at 2k, on a man sized target, in my humble opinion is very unlikely in many (most?) folks hands. Others may disagree... I thoroughly enjoy shooting ELR, however. With time and experience my hit % at distance should improve.
 

nick338

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Make no mistake, I do not believe I am capable of making a 50% hit ratio on that size target but thought it was interesting that the military came up with a requirement to do so, which is why these cartridges are interesting. I believe the 300 Norma was around before the requirement came about so was wondering what the issue was with it, unless part of it was in fact the case head size and not being able to rebarrel current rifles.

I would love to see what a 250 A Tip in a Norma would be capable of at that range.
 
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Steel head

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That’s a tough requirement in my opinion.
I’d want something even better in the wind than 300NM or 338 lapua.
I be looking at a 33 or 37 XC.
A Person sized target isn’t really very wide and that nice stable wind is pretty rare.

I went 3/5 on a smaller target at 1930 yards one day with my 7 saum but conditions were exceptional and I haven’t even been close to repeating that again
 
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M77

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@lowlight do you still play with your 338NM and whats the furthest you've taken yours ? seen the video with the solids a while back , its one of those cartridges that went away for a good 5 years and now starting to come back with Mil contracts
really having fun with my Norma but wish it was more popular
 

Steel head

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really having fun with my Norma but wish it was more popular
Don’t tell anyone but I consider 338 Norma an Master race cartridge as well.
Sorry
I messed up my original quote.

I 100% agree on how easy it is to load for.
Reminds me of 260.

I’ve shot it out to 1850 yards with good results but that day was exceptional conditions as well and that rifle has a pretty short barrel.
 
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Huskydriver

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I'm only able to push 225s in my 300 Norma about 2950 safely. I shoot at 1 mile pretty regularly and 50% hit probability at 2k I'm saying not happening imo. Maybe 25% on a good day for me

Guys are claiming they are pushing 225s in 300 prc 2900 with 10% less powder.

I can push 225s in my 300 win 2850 np without running crazy pressure with 15-20% less powder than my 300 Norma mag.
 

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300NM is a beast and not overly finicky to load for. The 300 PRC just seems to fill a very small gap between the 300 NM and 300 WM IMHO. If you had a 300 WM based action it would be a no brainer to go with the 300 PRC but if you have a larger action for 338LM bolt face options then the 300NM is a no brainer as well. The internet wars over this will continue as this is a Ford vs Chevy thing. Let your requirements and your $$$ decide for you.

I went 2 for 5 @ 2k yards on a near perfect day with Hornady factory ammo in 300NM. I haven't been able to duplicate it but in all honesty I've only been able to go that long a couple of times since and conditions were not as good.

If I were trying for 50% hit rate @ 2k, I would say that the cartridge itself is less important than the components of the load. Assuming a quality rifle you would want Peterson/Lapua brass, temp stable powder, and copper solid bullets. In this scenario you are taking Frank's advice of going slight lighter on the bullet but at a higher velocity, and with a BC boost to boot.
 
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nick338

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300NM is a beast and not overly finicky to load for. The 300 PRC just seems to fill a very small gap between the 300 NM and 300 WM IMHO. If you had a 300 WM based action it would be a no brainer to go with the 300 PRC but if you have a larger action for 338LM bolt face options then the 300NM is a no brainer as well. The internet wars over this will continue as this is a Ford vs Chevy thing. Let your requirements and your $$$ decide for you.

I went 2 for 5 @ 2k yards on a near perfect day with Hornady factory ammo in 300NM. I haven't been able to duplicate it but in all honesty I've only been able to go that long a couple of times since and conditions were not as good.

If I were trying for 50% hit rate @ 2k, I would say that the cartridge itself is less important than the components of the load. Assuming a quality rifle you would want Peterson/Lapua brass, temp stable powder, and copper solid bullets. In this scenario you are taking Frank's advice of going slight lighter on the bullet but at a higher velocity, and with a BC boost to boot.
So are you guys thinking the 300 Norma with one of the A Tip bullets is a better option than the heavier .338 that can't be pushed quite as fast?

My buddy pushes a 285 ELD at over 3000 from a Lapua improved but I'm drawing a line with recoil and muzzle blast here. 2000 yards is not going to be normal shooting distance for me, just wanted to know if I had the opportunity where I stand on choices.
 

Steel head

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So are you guys thinking the 300 Norma with one of the A Tip bullets is a better option than the heavier .338 that can't be pushed quite as fast?

My buddy pushes a 285 ELD at over 3000 from a Lapua improved but I'm drawing a line with recoil and muzzle blast here. 2000 yards is not going to be normal shooting distance for me, just wanted to know if I had the opportunity where I stand on choices.
I’d do research on a ballistics solver.
See which one is better at wind.
 
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Long Range 338

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Steelhead is correct. We can pontificate and give you our opinions but the ballistics are science. Whether you can handle the recoil from a 338 caliber is a different issue.
 
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Huskydriver

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So are you guys thinking the 300 Norma with one of the A Tip bullets is a better option than the heavier .338 that can't be pushed quite as fast?

My buddy pushes a 285 ELD at over 3000 from a Lapua improved but I'm drawing a line with recoil and muzzle blast here. 2000 yards is not going to be normal shooting distance for me, just wanted to know if I had the opportunity where I stand on choices.
I just started load dev with 230 atips. I'm able to push them 2950 np just like the 225s. I'll get them out at a mile hopefully within the month
 

Diver160651

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So are you guys thinking the 300 Norma with one of the A Tip bullets is a better option than the heavier .338 that can't be pushed quite as fast?

My buddy pushes a 285 ELD at over 3000 from a Lapua improved but I'm drawing a line with recoil and muzzle blast here. 2000 yards is not going to be normal shooting distance for me, just wanted to know if I had the opportunity where I stand on choices.
Try to get away from looking at all the solvers or raw BC numbers. You will get a terrible and incomplete picture if you do not have the experience to weed out the pitfalls.

Here are a couple of things to consider:

1. The 338's recoil on a 16lbs+ with a good brake system seems to be less snappy than a hot 300. The muzzle blast is a bit rougher.
2. *The 338s have plenty of high BC offerings that are very easy to load for and seem to track well even into transonic. Super high BC for form factor can be much more difficult to shoot deep in transonic in general. Granted very fast twists help, but can also have a downside.
3. My 300s loaded hot all had relatively short barrel life compared to a 308 or 338
4. Best solver for the wind? @Steel head It doesn't matter as we "tune or brain and call" to fit the solutions anyway.
5. My 7mm and 300s all made hits out far, but I'd rather shoot the 7mm if recoil were of any concern at all. The only downside to the fast twist 7mm, is barrel life.
6. I've seen several guys having brass issues trying to achieve some of the first reported top velocities in the 300NM.


* Here are some of my old load data for a 338 that routinely shoot 24" plates 2-2.4K. Take the BC of the Flatline of a whopping .894G1 at 3,000 fps and compare it against the much slower, lower BC, the more forgiving shape of the 285. Inside 2000 yards the Flatline hands down were superior, but by 2000 the results seemed a toss-up at 2K plus. Add in a 4mil or 6mil wind hold, and the performance of the 256 trailed the 285. Wind can affect some very high for form factor bullets that seem to be ok transonic, disproportionately.

This is Antidotal but over many hundreds of rounds. What I am pointing out that paper never tells the entire story.

338 LM Deviant 1-9.35 28”PowderGrainsPrimmerCOALOGIVERIFLE LANDSFPS LabRadarFPS FFS/DROP
TRIM Chamber 2.7455COALOGIVE
267 MTAC SolidH100091.5FLR-MAG3.9623.0593.9933.08829152920
285gr A-MAX HornadyH100090FLR-MAG3.6553.6752.87028502850
255.5 FlatlineH100095FLR-MAG30103005
BUMP 2.167 TRIM Neck Bushing 366 NOTE: Anneal 5 secounds ::: MAX MAG 3.77"
 

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* Here are some of my old load data for a 338 that routinely shoot 24" plates 2-2.4K. Take the BC of the Flatline of a whopping .894G1 at 3,000 fps and compare it against the much slower, lower BC, the more forgiving shape of the 285. Inside 2000 yards the Flatline hands down were superior, but by 2000 the results seemed a toss-up at 2K plus. Add in a 4mil or 6mil wind hold, and the performance of the 256 trailed the 285. Wind can affect some very high for form factor bullets that seem to be ok transonic, disproportionately.

This is Antidotal but over many hundreds of rounds. What I am pointing out that paper never tells the entire story.

338 LM Deviant 1-9.35 28”PowderGrainsPrimmerCOALOGIVERIFLE LANDSFPS LabRadarFPS FFS/DROP
TRIM Chamber 2.7455COALOGIVE
267 MTAC SolidH100091.5FLR-MAG3.9623.0593.9933.08829152920
285gr A-MAX HornadyH100090FLR-MAG3.6553.6752.87028502850
255.5 FlatlineH100095FLR-MAG30103005
BUMP 2.167 TRIM Neck Bushing 366 NOTE: Anneal 5 secounds ::: MAX MAG 3.77"
Interesting data and great documentation BTW. I'm not making any accusation but simply asking for knowledge's sake. If this is the case with the Flatlines why are the KO2M and ELR guys shooting solids? I've always read that the solids are superior due to the high BC numbers and the ability to go thru transonic. Are they doing better because they are sticking with heavy for caliber solids?
 

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I say start with the .300NM. Easy to load for, there's some excellent high BC bullet options and quality of reloading components, and you can always scale up to the XC cartridges.

If you want to maximize BC, there's some really good lathe turned solid options - Warner Flatlines, Badland Precision, PVA has some new options - a new 220 grain that looks to be about perfect for .300NM. However, solids generally require a dedicated barrel due to twist rate and short freebore requirements. They don't splash or frag as much, so spotting can be trickier.

While the .300PRC is a good cartridge, if you go that route you've reached the ceiling on cartridges your action can handle. There's no bigger cartridge that I'm aware of that utilizes the same bolt face, so if you find it's inadequate then you are stuck having to build a whole other rifle. With the .300NM, you can grow into the 33 & 37XC cartridges (and I think there is now a 41?), so there is plenty of ballistic potential you can acquire if the .300NM isn't enough, just a barrel change away.
 
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Steel head

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@Steel head It doesn't matter as we "tune or brain and call" to fit the solutions anyway.
Not really sure what your sayin but personally if given the choice I’d take a combination the beats the wind over the flattest trajectory to minimize wind call errors.
Where I shoot you almost never have a steady wind to dial in on.
You get may 2-3 shots then it changes.
Your always chasing or adapting to it.
 

kthomas

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Interesting data and great documentation BTW. I'm not making any accusation but simply asking for knowledge's sake. If this is the case with the Flatlines why are the KO2M and ELR guys shooting solids? I've always read that the solids are superior due to the high BC numbers and the ability to go thru transonic. Are they doing better because they are sticking with heavy for caliber solids?
The big thing with solids is consistency between bullet to bullet. Each bullet is damn near identical. A lot of people seem to use the Cutting Edge bullets, which don't have the highest BC for weight, but very consistent and handles transition well.

I've heard that the Flatlines don't transition well, and were never in fact designed to go beyond transonic. How true this is I don't know, I don't have much experience with the Flatlines yet, and have never shot them transonic. Hopefully others, such as @Diver160651, who seems to have much more experience with them, or @jbailey can comment on Flatline projectiles performance beyond transonic.

Mostly it's a consistency thing.
 
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Diver160651

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I agree with most points mentioned above.

I am a huge fan of the larger caliber Flatlines, CEBS, and other solids I have shot. Consistency not just in the BC, but in the ogive to base that makes SDs lower are key attributes. Lower bearing surfaces also seem to make some like the Flatlines fast for their weight. In the case of KO2M you see many 375+ calibers, and the solids are not crazy BCs for the form factors and twists being used.

That said, when the 123gr 6.5s came out with a whopping .64 ish BC many of us had issues with twist and bore consistency. So the system you have needs to be factored in. On paper, the 198gr 30 with a .855 seems far better than the 180 at .7; but is the 198 in all systems going to be as twist tolerant or transition as well as the 180grn?

My earlier point is that in some cases, high winds seem to contribute to bullet instability during transonic flight. The hint is an otherwise good performer in light winds, suddenly exhibiting much more drop during high winds. Of course, this is for a projectile that might be marginally stable already from the system used.

Another real issue with solids is impact identification. Not only is the mass per BC lighter, but the bullet does not leave anywhere near the frag signature as traditional jacked bullets. So comparing a 180 grain 30 cal solid to a 300 grain traditional bullet on a plate at 2000+yards, is night and day. Solids tend to hit the plate and deflect and traditional bullets explode even with very little energy left. The result is very apparent when trying to spot similar weight & caliber bullets; even worse if you're down caliber for a similar ELR target.
Unknown-3.jpeg


Below are A-Tips and a traditional Berger (the little circle), from 6.5s on a plate about 2k.. But honestly, impacts on bother were impossible to spot. The first A-tip and A-max were in the dirt and did not hit the target; they looked like they could be reshot. Some of the others apparently did impact, and were found in front of the plate.
Unknown-4.jpeg

Look below (if you have patience) for a difference in impact between a traditional 338 at 2400 yards vs a similar weight solid at only 2200 yards. Note that we could see the frag through the scope on the traditional impacts and not at all with the solids even though it was a couple of hundred yards closer.

2200 Yard 338 267 MTAC ColdBore solid Fast Forward to Hit 1min in

2,400 yards - 2.2 Kilometers 338LM 285grn A-max


I am just pointing out that we need to understand all the trade-offs before jumping into a caliber or projectile for transonic flight.
 
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nick338

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The first 3 bolt action rifles I owned were all 338 Lapua, probably a mistake but who knew at the time. Longest I ever took a poke with one was 1000 yards and while everyone else was struggling in the wind with .308's, I was pleasantly bored with how easy I was making hits. I tolerated the recoil because my brain was tricking me into thinking it was normal and if I wanted to play at long distance then what better cartridge to do it with at the time. This was back in 2000 and things have certainly progressed since then. In fact, I feel I would be a much better shooter today had I realized that the tool I was using was incorrect for the job. Many other cartridges I could have enjoyed from 600-1000 yards.

So a few years ago a range opened up with steel targets out to a mile with the possibility of 2100 in the future. I had limited success with a long action 7 SAUM at a mile in very good conditions. Maybe 30-40% hit ratio on a 2 moa plate.

I have struggled to come up with a choice to balance everything out. Acceptable recoil but not too much to the point where I feel I'm getting beat up, quality brass (Lapua, Peterson), being able to magazine feed on an action not larger than the BAT HR, decent speed but not crazy, would like to see 1000 rds on a barrel, large heavy for caliber bullets that fly into transonic well and a slow enough twist to not get crazy with bullet rpm and torque.

After the limited experience I have had at a mile I feel that bullet consistency and shape are a huge part of the equation. I have followed a ton of info on the A Tips and the general consensus is the consistency is outstanding. Berger's seem to be up there as well.

So if most of my shooting is still between 600-1000 but want the ability to stretch out to 2000 occasionally and not have to build 2 rifles to do it I came up with

338 Lapua
338 Norma
300 Norma
300 PRC
300 Win Mag
300 WSM
 

nick338

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I agree with most points mentioned above.

I am a huge fan of the larger caliber Flatlines, CEBS, and other solids I have shot. Consistency not just in the BC, but in the ogive to base that makes SDs lower is key attributes. Lower bearing surfaces also seem to make some like the Flatlines fast for their weight. In the case of KO2M you see many 375+ calibers, and the solids are not crazy BCs for the form factors and twists being used.

That said, when the 123gr 6.5s came out with a whopping .64 ish BC many of us had issues with twist and bore consistency. So the system you have needs to be factored in. On paper, the 198gr 30 with a .855 seems far better than the 180 at .7; but is the 198 in all systems going to be as twist talent or transition as well as the 180grn?

My earlier point is that in some cases, high winds seem to contribute to bullet instability during transonic flight. The hint is an otherwise good performer in light winds, suddenly exhibiting much more drop during high winds. Of course, this is for a projectile that might be marginally stable already from the system used.

Another real issue with solids is impact identification. Not only is the mass per BC lighter, but the bullet does not leave anywhere near the frag signature as traditional jacked bullets. So comparing a 180 grain 30 cal solid to a 300 grain traditional bullet on a plate at 2000+yards, is night and day. Solids tend to hit the plate and deflect and traditional bullets explode even with very little energy left. The result is very apparent when trying to spot similar weight & caliber bullets; even worse if you're down caliber for a similar ELR target.
View attachment 7280503


Below are A-Tips and a traditional Berger (the little circle), from 6.5s on a plate about 2k.. But honestly, impacts on bother were impossible to spot. The first A-tip and A-max were in the dirt and did not hit the target; they looked like they could be reshot. Some of the others apparently did impact, and were found in front of the plate.
View attachment 7280514

Look below (if you have patience) for a difference in impact between a traditional 338 at 2400 yards vs a similar weight solid at only 2200 yards. Note that we could see the frag through the scope on the traditional impacts and not at all with the solids even though it was a couple of hundred yards closer.

2200 Yard 338 267 MTAC ColdBore solid Fast Forward to Hit 1min in

2,400 yards - 2.2 Kilometers 338LM 285grn A-max


I am just pointing out that we need to understand all the trade-offs before jumping into a caliber or projectile for transonic flight.
The biggest reason I have not chosen to base this on solids is impact signature and unknown flight performance. I have read a lot of Bryan Litz's work and do not have nearly enough knowledge on solids to base a platform on them alone.
 

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(1) at 2000yds, you will not need to worry about Flatline's subsonic transition from a 300NM. The 198gr is an absolute beast and it will be still be screaming at 2000yds. You will be launching it at 3100fps or more depending on barrel length.
(2) Focus on MV variation. Low MV = beautiful thing at ELR. Don't fight horizontal and vertical impacts - the horizontal/wind is tough enough.
(3) Solids = beautifully consistent BC and muzzle velocity stability one to the next. Huge advantage as you again have less vertical variation.

I have had the 198gr Flatlines out at as far as 2600yds from a 308. No hits at 2600yds, but it is very accurate at 2000yds if you know approximately what the wind is doing. My 308 (31" barrel, long action, loaded long): 2785fps MV. In Montana density altitudes, this bullet is still sonic at 2000yds.

Seeing impacts with a solid is tougher at 1200yds and in, but past 1200yds, solids vs lead swagged bullets impacts are about the same. And then when you get out at 2000yds and beyond, the solids are carrying a lot more energy, so impacts are easier to see. This is not splash on white targets, but things like dust signature and plate movement.

If you the shooter are up to it, I think you can get 50% hits at 2000yds with a 300NM.
 
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Steel head

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So if most of my shooting is still between 600-1000 but want the ability to stretch out to 2000 occasionally and not have to build 2 rifles to do it I came up with

338 Lapua
338 Norma
300 Norma
300 PRC
300 Win Mag
300 WSM
I do it all with a 7 saum.
On that list for your stated use I’d really consider 338 Norma Or 300Prc
 

nick338

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I do it all with a 7 saum.
On that list for your stated use I’d really consider 338 Norma Or 300Prc
I originally had plans of a long action .284 Win with 190 Bergers or A Tips but wanted more thump at the mile or longer.

Just curious, what made you skip over the 300 Norma with your 2 choices?
 

Diver160651

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but past 1200yds, solids vs lead swagged bullets impacts are about the same. And then when you get out at 2000yds and beyond, the solids are carrying a lot more energy, so impacts are easier to see. This is not splash on white targets, but things like dust signature and plate movement.
How can you say that? Can you show us evidence that is counter to the video I shared?

Please look at the dust signature from the same exact target location on the solid vs the lead bullet.

Explain how a bullet that doesn't not frag or does very little frag in any way creates the same "dust signature".

Please explain how a 3000fps 30 cal is not at Mach 1.2 (the transition area) at 29.9inHg by 2000 yards, when in many cases 1.2 is closer to 1800ish

If you are going to post please back it up with examples and facts. I think that would help us all understand what you are saying.

Again, I am a fan of solids, but they are NOT magic.
 
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DAVETOOLEY

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Anything you want to share? That's certainly info I would be interested in.
I'll start by saying everything is a compromise and you have to decide what compromises you are willing to make. let's rule out money for the moment. Historically 30 cal cup and core bullets have always been more accurate than 338's. I have never seen documented information in regards to accuracy of the solids. As in shot on paper out of many rifles with groups measured. We have new offerings in 30,338,375,41 that will take time to prove out. Depending on your location the use of a large caliber may not be necessary to see impacts at reasonable ELR ranges. Extreme ELR is a different animal. You need the largest bullet without sacrificing to much accuracy. Not sure we have an answer to that. If I build a full on ELR rifle it will be very similar to a 1K BR rifle. Single shot, tight neck chamber, probably in a heavy filled flat bottom stock to help manage torque. Visualize an F-class rifle. That's eliminated some variables. I have one of those in the safe. It's my test mule. Two bolts and a half a dozen barrels. The first two barrels were 338AI and 300AI now the 300 PRC. I've got Norma barrels and a 300WM currently on it. None of those are tight neck chambers as they were/are to test ammo. Just for shits and giggles I'll probably add a 375 some time this year. I'm in the process of setting up a 1900 yd. range.
Now it's cartridge and caliber. The community needs time to evaluate the current new crop of bullets. Twist requirements and the related effects for these bullets need to be sorted out. Then are you starting from scratch, re-barreling an existing rifle. Now money comes into play. Performance costs money. How much do you want to spend.
My advice is find several good bullets that will meet your requirements and design everything around them. Without good bullets nothing else matters.
 

nick338

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I'll start by saying everything is a compromise and you have to decide what compromises you are willing to make. let's rule out money for the moment. Historically 30 cal cup and core bullets have always been more accurate than 338's. I have never seen documented information in regards to accuracy of the solids. As in shot on paper out of many rifles with groups measured. We have new offerings in 30,338,375,41 that will take time to prove out. Depending on your location the use of a large caliber may not be necessary to see impacts at reasonable ELR ranges. Extreme ELR is a different animal. You need the largest bullet without sacrificing to much accuracy. Not sure we have an answer to that. If I build a full on ELR rifle it will be very similar to a 1K BR rifle. Single shot, tight neck chamber, probably in a heavy filled flat bottom stock to help manage torque. Visualize an F-class rifle. That's eliminated some variables. I have one of those in the safe. It's my test mule. Two bolts and a half a dozen barrels. The first two barrels were 338AI and 300AI now the 300 PRC. I've got Norma barrels and a 300WM currently on it. None of those are tight neck chambers as they were/are to test ammo. Just for shits and giggles I'll probably add a 375 some time this year. I'm in the process of setting up a 1900 yd. range.
Now it's cartridge and caliber. The community needs time to evaluate the current new crop of bullets. Twist requirements and the related effects for these bullets need to be sorted out. Then are you starting from scratch, re-barreling an existing rifle. Now money comes into play. Performance costs money. How much do you want to spend.
My advice is find several good bullets that will meet your requirements and design everything around them. Without good bullets nothing else matters.
I have no real data to back this up but after owing several 338's and seeing other people around me shooting 30's, I always thought the 30's were more accurate but the .338's held better in the wind, so there was a tradeoff. Part of it could have been that it's just harder to shoot a .338 as accurately as a .30, just like it may be harder to shoot a .375 as accurately as a .338. And we may be splitting hairs at this point but everything does seem like it's a trade off.

I think there is a real benefit in consistency that the A Tip bullets can bring that no other cup and core bullet can match, at least not at the moment.

To me a 300 Norma and 250 A Tip is an exciting combination, 2 immediate downsides are short barrel life and fast twist. I'm just above sea level and really want to stick with a 9 twist but I'm not sure that will work.

A 338 Norma with a 300 A Tip or 285 ELD may solve the twist issue and possibly be more forgiving at transonic speeds but then be more difficult to shoot accurately

So many compromises and not enough time behind these rifles at these distances to make an educated choice.
 
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bhanley

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for the situation you set out above i would go 300 norma. or set up a switch barrel - spare 338 barrel wont be that much for the days you just want to play distance with the heavy stuff. 338 per bullet is a bit more costly relative to 30 cals (at least the ones i have top of mind)
 

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Diver160651

I found my 338s to be very precise.

I believe when we are talking, benchrests, and F-class skies with eared bags; 30's can be inherently more accurate than a 338 based off their scale. Primarily because they are worried about the difference between .01MOA or similarly small differences. This often comes at a price of NOT using the sleekest bullet available, no matter what caliber is used. Remember that the bench crowd in a long-range 30 cal match might default to something like the Berger 30 Caliber 200 Grain 200.20x; NOT the 230 high BC brother. Just as the 300-yard crew might use flat-base bullets, tradeoffs are made.

For ELR, the fact that a gun shoots .15 or .25 at 100yards is of little difference once the other variables are included. I think most of us are saying the same thing, take the time to understand the choices and tradeoffs.
 
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I originally had plans of a long action .284 Win with 190 Bergers or A Tips but wanted more thump at the mile or longer.

Just curious, what made you skip over the 300 Norma with your 2 choices?
Because you said to 1000 yards was norm with a capacity to go 2000.
A more reasonable option seems like the obvious choice then
300NM is awesome but comes at a price and probably don’t beat the wind of a 338.

338NM and 300PRC are capable and not terrible on barrels.

honestly the reason I haven’t built a 300NM or any 338 yet is I want something with more capabilities than they have.

I’m planning on a 375 something next.
 

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How can you say that? Can you show us evidence that is counter to the video I shared?

Please look at the dust signature from the same exact target location on the solid vs the lead bullet.

Explain how a bullet that doesn't not frag or does very little frag in any way creates the same "dust signature".

Please explain how a 3000fps 30 cal is not at Mach 1.2 (the transition area) at 29.9inHg by 2000 yards, when in many cases 1.2 is closer to 1800ish

If you are going to post please back it up with examples and facts. I think that would help us all understand what you are saying.

Again, I am a fan of solids, but they are NOT magic.
I agree solids don't show much splash on steel, for sure. But for kinetic energy related 'splash', e.g. dust, noise and movement, I have found solids are OK relative to lead swagged bullets the further out you. This is from the higher maintained velocity and resulting energy they provide over the lower form factor swagged bullets. I don't have video of this, as I don't have video of any shooting. This is just my observation from several hundred solids fired at 1500 to 2200 yds over 3 years of shooting them. I have never seen a solid impact at further than 2200yds so I can't comment past that range.

And I said at "Montana density altitudes", e.g. 5000 to 7000 ft. A 300NM fired 198gr is easily doing 3100fps at muzzle will still be screaming at 1500fps at 2000yds ... and still carrying over 1000 ftlbs. You are correct that at sea level, the entire ELR shooting gets harder, and this is for all projectiles, solids and other.

And I would maintain that projectile choice rather than cartridge choice is the key to long range hits.... 300 win mag, 300 wsm, 300 nm, 300 prc etc will all get the bullet moving at a fast enough mv without a lot of variation, with the smith and barrel are good.
 
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Diver160651

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I agree solids don't show much splash on steel, for sure. But for kinetic energy related 'splash', e.g. dust, noise and movement, I have found solids are OK relative to lead swagged bullets the further out you. This is from the higher maintained velocity and resulting energy they provide over the lower form factor swagged bullets. I don't have video of this, as I don't have video of any shooting. This is just my observation from several hundred solids fired at 1500 to 2200 yds over 3 years of shooting them. I have never seen a solid impact at further than 2200yds so I can't comment past that range.

And I said at "Montana density altitudes", e.g. 5000 to 7000 ft. A 300NM fired 198gr is easily doing 3100fps at muzzle will still be screaming at 1500fps at 2000yds ... and still carrying over 1000 ftlbs. You are correct that at sea level, the entire ELR shooting gets harder, and this is for all projectiles, solids and other.

And I would maintain that projectile choice rather than cartridge choice is the key to long range hits.... 300 win mag, 300 wsm, 300 nm, 300 prc etc will all get the bullet moving at a fast enough mv without a lot of variation, with the smith and barrel are good.
what make the frag signature in the dirt when a steel plate is struck?

it is the lead, the solids do not frag the same way into the dirt.

The further you go the more intact a solid will stay. I pull them with most their mass frequently. It’s just how it is, again please go back and see a 338 solid going nearly 3100 compared to the much slower lead core, and the lead core was further at 2400 yard. Forget the plate, watch the dirt.
 

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300NM is awesome but comes at a price and probably don’t beat the wind of a 338.
This has not been my experience. I shoot both with factory loads and the 300NM is far superior in the wind. I am shooting 300gr bullets in the 338LM which is far from optimal - in fact seems to mimic the 308 Win for trajectory. The 338LM is a beast but the wind really starts to get you after 1500 yards where the 300NM can punch thru to a mile in the same conditions.

@Huskydriver should chime in here as he is hand loading for both but if my memory serves he is having better success connecting with the 300NM as well.
 
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Steel head

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This has not been my experience. I shoot both with factory loads and the 300NM is far superior in the wind. I am shooting 300gr bullets in the 338LM which is far from optimal - in fact seems to mimic the 308 Win for trajectory. The 338LM is a beast but the wind really starts to get you after 1500 yards where the 300NM can punch thru to a mile in the same conditions.

@Huskydriver should chime in here as he is hand loading for both but if my memory serves he is having better success connecting with the 300NM as well.
The 300’ really aren’t the best for either 338.
try that with the 285’s.

Hmmm
Now I’m ? how much speed a 285 with take?
 

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The 300’ really aren’t the best for either 338.
try that with the 285’s.

Hmmm
Now I’m ? how much speed a 285 with take?
Yeah the factory ammo with 300s is pretty anemic at best. Now I've got a 338 Edge that will push them bad boys over 3000 fps and its a laser beam to a mile.

ETA: I've really toyed with the idea of doing a 338LM Improved with a little more barrel to take better advantage of the 300s but I have to wear my current barrel out which is going to take a while due to limited use.
 

nick338

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285 ELD .417 bc @2850
230 A Tip .414 bc @3000
250 A Tip .442 bc @2900

300 Norma wins in the wind on paper anyway and is within 50 ft lbs at 2000 yards with the 250 gr
 

Steel head

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Yeah the factory ammo with 300s is pretty anemic at best. Now I've got a 338 Edge that will push them bad boys over 3000 fps and its a laser beam to a mile.

ETA: I've really toyed with the idea of doing a 338LM Improved with a little more barrel to take better advantage of the 300s but I have to wear my current barrel out which is going to take a while due to limited use.
The super 338’s are certainly a nice option.
Edge and 33XC really stomp on 338 lapua and NM.
200+ FPS makes a big difference.
 

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This has not been my experience. I shoot both with factory loads and the 300NM is far superior in the wind. I am shooting 300gr bullets in the 338LM which is far from optimal - in fact seems to mimic the 308 Win for trajectory. The 338LM is a beast but the wind really starts to get you after 1500 yards where the 300NM can punch thru to a mile in the same conditions.

@Huskydriver should chime in here as he is hand loading for both but if my memory serves he is having better success connecting with the 300NM as well.
That is correct. I am more consistent at a mile with 300nm vs 338LM. The 285s didn't shoot any better than 300s that I could tell but I don't push my 338LM like some do which might be why I don't see a diff. I run my 338LM with 300s at 2750 and my 300nm with 225eldms at 2950. The Norma gets to a mile with 2.5 mils less elevation iirm. Getting kids down for bed and don't have my data book handy but I would agree I think my Norma does better in the wind at a mile.

Got my first and only first round Cold bore after a barrel change at mile with the Norma mag and it's on video ?
 

Steel head

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285 ELD .417 bc @2850
230 A Tip .414 bc @3000
250 A Tip .442 bc @2900

300 Norma wins in the wind on paper anyway and is within 50 ft lbs at 2000 yards with the 250 gr
At distance the 285 really is about .395-400ish G7 from my experience.
I’d be interested in what the 30 cal A-tips true up at.


Initial numbers I got for the 190 hybrids at 2900 with 5 data points between 530 and 1930 Yards seem to indicate .378 g7.
 

Steel head

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That is correct. I am more consistent at a mile with 300nm vs 338LM. The 285s didn't shoot any better than 300s that I could tell but I don't push my 338LM like some do which might be why I don't see a diff. I run my 338LM with 300s at 2750 and my 300nm with 225eldms at 2950. The Norma gets to a mile with 2.5 mils less elevation iirm. Getting kids down for bed and don't have my data book handy but I would agree I think my Norma does better in the wind at a mile.

Got my first and only first round Cold bore after a barrel change at mile with the Norma mag and it's on video ?
I’ll never argue it’s not flatter.
I’m talking more about wind.
It kinda stomps the regular 338 in trajectory.

nice FRH at a mile!

a good feeling
 

Diver160651

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That is correct. I am more consistent at a mile with 300nm vs 338LM. The 285s didn't shoot any better than 300s that I could tell but I don't push my 338LM like some do which might be why I don't see a diff. I run my 338LM with 300s at 2750 and my 300nm with 225eldms at 2950. The Norma gets to a mile with 2.5 mils less elevation iirm. Getting kids down for bed and don't have my data book handy but I would agree I think my Norma does better in the wind at a mile.

Got my first and only first round Cold bore after a barrel change at mile with the Norma mag and it's on video ?
it’s had to compare using the loads you’e using. If you dropped my higher BC 256 flatline .862g1 going 3010fps, the results would not be the same.

anyway good info..
 

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it’s had to compare using the loads you’e using. If you dropped my higher BC 256 flatline .862g1 going 3010fps, the results would not be the same.

anyway good info..
I have no doubt that in your case it would be reversed. I have never shot solids period and I'm shooting plain old school 300smk's and nosler CC's in my 338LM.
 
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Long Range 338

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285 ELD .417 bc @2850
230 A Tip .414 bc @3000
250 A Tip .442 bc @2900

300 Norma wins in the wind on paper anyway and is within 50 ft lbs at 2000 yards with the 250 gr
In regards to the A Tips, I have no direct experience but did have a brief conversation with David Tubb at SHOT show concerning bullets and he did not trash talk any bullet directly but simply mentioned that every individual process involved in bullet manufacturing provides another opportunity for negative effect upon said bullet. He was talking about tipped bullets as placing the tip involves more steps. He is most definitely a proponent of solid projectiles for ELR use. Doesn't mean the A Tip is not a worthy bullet, I just thought you might find the insight interesting as I did.
 

Steel head

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In regards to the A Tips, I have no direct experience but did have a brief conversation with David Tubb at SHOT show concerning bullets and he did not trash talk any bullet directly but simply mentioned that every individual process involved in bullet manufacturing provides another opportunity for negative effect upon said bullet. He was talking about tipped bullets as placing the tip involves more steps. He is most definitely a proponent of solid projectiles for ELR use. Doesn't mean the A Tip is not a worthy bullet, I just thought you might find the insight interesting as I did.
I’ve always kinda wondered about that.