The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 9, 2014, 11:45 AM   #1
Roadkill2228
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2014
Posts: 86
26 Nosler claims: do you believe them?

Nosler has fairly recently introduced a new cartridge, the 26 Nosler. It is essentially a RUM case shortened to fit a standard length action (I had hoped that someone would finally base a new round on the immensely practical .375 Ruger case - no functionless belt, no rebated rim). The high bc of many .264" projectiles combined with the scorching velocity of the round no doubt will prove this cartridge to be a superb long range hunting round. However in their advertising they are promoting it as being "flat to 415" (yards) and I personally am not buying that. I think they are seriously stretching the truth by redefining what constitutes maximum point blank range. Correct me if I'm wrong but for hunting is it not generally accepted to be neither 3 inches above not below where you are aiming? If so the .26 nosler is indeed a hot rod but it is definitely not flat to 415 unless I am really missing something here.
Roadkill2228 is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 12:27 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,339
Their claims are easy to (dis)prove.

Yes, you can hold point blank to 415 yards.... if you're ok with being sighted 5" high.

Use any ballistics calculator, their claimed muzzle speed with the bullet they're using and you can see how high you have to be.

Virtually no one ever sights a gun to be 5" high. That's crazy. The norm is no more than 3".

Claims that leave out the variables are silly. A .308 can hold dead on from 0 to 1000 yards... if you don't mind being 9 feet high at 600. Sounds more impressive if I leave that last bit out though.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 12:36 PM   #3
Wyosmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 1,151
There is no free lunch in physics.
The 264 Win Mag is a very fast cartridge. It burns a lot of powder and pushes a lot of gas through a pretty small hole. It has a pretty short life span on its barrel too.

The 26 Nosler is based on a 404 Jeffery shell (case body, with a slightly smaller rim diameter as I understand it. At least that’s what I am told) so it should burn a bit more powder and burn out the throat a bit faster.

I have built several 264s in my life and I have loaded a bit of ammo for them. I have done the testing both for accuracy (which could be excellent with good barrels) and for velocity, which I found to be not as impressive as I’d hoped. I have never gotten 3100 FPS from a 264 Win Mag with a 26” barrel with a 140 grain bullet. I come very close, but I can’t reach it safely.

I have also built a few 6.5-06 rifles and done the same tests with them. They have been about 65 to 75 FPS slower than the 264 as a rule, but just as accurate.

So without looking at the slick advertisement and looking only at the laws of physics, we should be able to come up with a realistic expectation of the performance of the new 26 Nosler. It’s probably going to beat the old 264 Win Mag in velocity by a small margin and its probably going to burn about 6 to 8 grains more powder. If the barrel lengths are equal I doubt it’s going to give us all that much more than the 264 does, but it is going to cost even more barrel life.

The first problem we have with short barrel life is load work-up. To get a rifle ready to shoot long range (say over 600 yards) we need to have the load down pat. We need a very high degree of accuracy and we need to learn the trajectory and wind drifts as well as the holds for shooting at up-hill and down hill angles. Doing all this takes a bit of time and some shooting.
In the learning, we often burn out a barrel or at least come very close to the end of its life for such precision shooting. So we need to look at such rifles with at least 2 barrels. When you refine the load for one barrel however, there is no guarantee that barrel #2 is going to like the same load. If it does, you are good to go, and all the knowledge and experience you gained burning up the 1st barrel will now serve you well in the use of the 2nd barrel. If however you are not so lucky, you need to start all over again. Many rifle barrels do not always shoot their best when you run them at maximum pressure and velocity. So if one barrel requires a slower of faster velocity (or even a different bullet and/or bullet weight) all your research with barrel #1 is of no great value.

This is why I am not enthralled with velocity in and of itself. As a gunsmith I can build what ever I like and the cost to be is identical regardless of what I build. I am not one who will defend what I have just because I have it. I can change it easily at any time if I find something I like better.

So far I have not been impressed enough to change to a “super mag’ in any caliber.
I believe most of it is just advertizing for the purpose of selling products.

I hope to be proven wrong sometime. Better would be better. I am still waiting to see the overall results. Faster by itself is not usually better. Faster means you need a stronger (and more expensive) bullet. Special brass is also expensive. More powder cost more to fire per shot. When it’s all finished, I ask the question;
What’s the mission of this rifle?

If the mission statement is to kill 10-20 animals in the next 20 years I look at the package in a different way than a rifle I shoot a lot and kill everything from prairie dogs to moose with and shoot every month of the year.

I shoot a lot. I don’t like barrel burners for that reason. I also have not seen any advantage in the actual killing of game with bullets that leave at 2900FPS and bullets that leave at 3300 FPS. Faster can do well, but instant death is still instant.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 12:52 PM   #4
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,382
It look like a case near identical to the .264 Win Mag but in a rimless case instead of a belted one.

If it's powder charges are equal to that of the .264 Win Mag for a given bullet and produces the same velocity, I predict its barrel life will be less than 700 rounds if the rifle (and smmo and shooter) start off at no worse than 1/4 MOA at 100 yards. My .264 Win Mag shot about that well (and about 7/8 MOA at 1000) had it barrel go to pot at 640 rounds. Less if high-heat powders are used.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former USA Palma Team Member
NRA High Power Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 01:11 PM   #5
Sierra280
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2013
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Posts: 569
Wyosmith pretty much covered everything I was going to say.

If you wanted to use it STRICTLY as a hunting rifle, I think that would be okay. Because you would shoot maybe 1 or 2 boxes of ammo a year and it would serve your purposes. However for any large amount of shooting, like target use, just plan on burning out that barrel in no time. On that note there are already plenty of hot cartridge, barrel burners out there already that can do the same thing as the the Nosler 26, many of them can do it better.
Sierra280 is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 01:24 PM   #6
Roadkill2228
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2014
Posts: 86
Yeah I figured this was the case. I know it's obviously extremely overbore but I just wanted to double check that I wasn't missing something. I did indeed run the numbers on shooters calculator and also observed the stupidly low hold required at conventional hunting ranges so I figured they were twisting things a little bit
Roadkill2228 is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 01:42 PM   #7
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,095
"Extremely overbore" is definitely a relative concept. To me,the .264 Win mag is about ideal.
reynolds357 is online now  
Old March 9, 2014, 01:50 PM   #8
Unlicensed Dremel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2014
Posts: 979
Yeah, PBR is dependent upon target size, by definition. So unless you're hunting giraffes and giraffes only with a vital zone the size of 4 basketballs, their claims are complete and utter BS. Not to say that it's not a good round; it may very well be.
Unlicensed Dremel is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 04:49 PM   #9
Colt46
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Location: Campbell Ca
Posts: 740
Why not?

Their claims are probably accurate, more or less.

The new cartridge comes at a cost that some will be able to tolerate and most won't want to deal with. It might hang around a while, but I don't think it will be all that popular and be more of a conversation piece than anything else.
Colt46 is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 04:50 PM   #10
Roadkill2228
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2014
Posts: 86
That comment about hunting giraffes made my day there, thanks. I know extreme overbore is a relative thing, what I'm saying is that cartridges like this one are far past the point of diminishing returns as far as how much power is generated compared to how much powder is burned. Wyosmith's experience with getting a 6.5-06 cartridge so close to .264 win mag velocity demonstrates this.
Roadkill2228 is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 05:22 PM   #11
pathdoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2013
Posts: 370
My bet is we'll be looking at a market for custom rifles with loooooooooooong barrels, loads with .50 BMG-suited powders, heavy-for-calibre VLD bullets, and new vistas in long-range hunting and target shooting.
pathdoc is offline  
Old March 9, 2014, 05:54 PM   #12
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,781
I think if you clearly define
Quote:
"flat to 415" (yards)
then I have no problem. A 300 magnum shooting a high BC 150-155 gr bullet will only be 6" low at 400 yards with +3" zero at 100 yards. I think that is reasonable and well within the kill zone of elk sized game, and not that difficult on deer sized animals. I'd rate that "Flat to 400 yards", for that application.

There are a lot of other chamberings that shoot flatter. I haven't really looked at the 26 Nosler, but wouldn't be surprised if it weren't better.
jmr40 is online now  
Old March 9, 2014, 07:34 PM   #13
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,095
The high BC, heavy bullets are not what you want to "shoot flat to 415." You want a light bullet that is screaming. Look at ballistic tables out to 1000 yards or so. The faster, lower bc, bullets drop less to around 450 to 600 depending on factors. The big heavies begin to shine at much longer yardage than 415.

Last edited by reynolds357; March 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM.
reynolds357 is online now  
Old March 9, 2014, 11:00 PM   #14
Roadkill2228
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2014
Posts: 86
In the add they were promoting it as delivering said performance with their new 129 grain accubond long range. But now you've got me thinking a bit here; barnes makes a 100 grain ttsx in .264" caliber. Also a bonus is tht this projectile would really shine at such high speed as far as terminal ballistics go. Hmmm....
Roadkill2228 is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 08:39 AM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,339
Assuming the .26Nosler is about the same as a .264Win Mag... According to QL, the .264 Win Mag can get a 100gr Barnes TTSX up to about 3,600 in a 24" barrel, 3,725 in 28". A 90gr Speer could get close to 3,900 in a 28" barrel.

One wonders, though... if I wanted what the Nosler claims, flat trajectory with a 120(ish)gr bullet, why would I not use a .257 Weatherby Mag instead? Better BC, better fps too and I don't have to buy one of Nosler's ridiculously over-priced guns.

Or the .264Win Mag, or the 7mm Rem Mag and do it with 140s... or the 7WSM... or...
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 09:12 AM   #16
Unlicensed Dremel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2014
Posts: 979
Quote:
The high BC, heavy bullets are not what you want to "shoot flat to 415." You want a light bullet that is screaming.
Right, but such light bullets are not the best for hunting... which makes their claim rather silly/nonsensical.
Unlicensed Dremel is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 09:51 AM   #17
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,357
First off MPBR is set by the intended target size, not a hard and fast 6" (+3"-3") rule. If you're hunting deer a MPBR could be anywhere between 8-12" in diameter depending on the region you live in. If you target is larger than a deer you can set MPBR to the size of the target.

I ran it through a ballistics calculator and get 414 yards MPBR at sea level with the 129 grain LRAB (BC .561) at 3400 fps. That has you sighted in +3" at 100, +5" at 200, +3" at 300, and -4" at 400. That is on a 5" radius target which will give you a little fudge room on most big game animals since they have a little larger kill zone than 10", especially since it isn't perfectly round.

So simply yes I do believe that .26 Nosler can do as claimed, as long as it reaches the speeds they list.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 09:57 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,339
Yes, it CAN do as claimed if you're sighted 5" high. Nobody I know sights in 5" high. That would require that you don't care where your bullet lands inside a 10" circle. Possible? Yes. Likely or common? Not by any means. That gives the shooter virtually zero room for error, at that max high/low distance. Most shooters have some error.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 10:29 AM   #19
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Nobody I know sights in 5" high. That would require that you don't care where your bullet lands inside a 10" circle.
Just because you don't know anyone who does it, doesn't mean that there aren't people who do it. To get to 414 yards you're going to have to be 5" high at some point and for MPBR that is 200 yards. That doesn't mean that you don't care where the bullet lands. MPBR isn't something you have to use, in this case it's just a tool for Nosler to market a new cartridge.

You're right I don't sight in 5" high at 200, but I do know people who sight in 3" high at 100 yards. So I ask what's the difference? I zero dead on at 100 and dial in the range I'm wanting to shoot if I can't get there with simple holdover. However Brian, I'd have no problems sighting in 5" high at 200 yards, if it does the job I intended. That doesn't mean I can't use holdover to still place the bullet where I want at 414 yards.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 10:30 AM   #20
Saltydog235
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2010
Location: Pawleys Island
Posts: 1,090
I read a lot of positive press on the round from media publications. Then you come onto message boards and there is a whole lot of bashing the round by people who have never shot even one round of it. You hear things like barrel burner, fad, can't do this or that. Some of them have some pretty compelling reasoning behind their theories but the truth is no one knows all that much about it.

I find it intriguing and wouldn't mind putting my hands on one to give it a whirl but not at the cost of a $1,600.00 rifle only made by Nosler. To me that is not a good boding for the cartridge long term. I imagine that ammo is going to be expensive and hit a niche market for the short term. Ballistically it is an impressive looking cartridge on paper.

We've had some cutting scheduled on the deer club that is going to make for some possibly long shots. I have a few 7mmMags in nice rifles that I don't particularly relish dragging through the muck and mud. I've been in the market for a longer range round than my 7mm08 gives me, lets face it 30-50" of drop for the round I shoot isn't conducive to getting a solution in a deer blind. I just purchased the Remington Long Range 700 in 7mmMag to give me a bit more range. Before I bought the gun I contacted Remington to see if they were going to offer this cartridge in that platform, their response was "not at this time."

With no major production manufacturers slated to pick the offering up, I'm thinking the cartridge will be short lived and limited in popularity.

It's got my interest but I'm not much for being a guinea pig for the Nosler Marketing Department. Personally I'm in a wait and see mode, I want more data and real world reports. I tend to buy a project rifle every year just to play with, I'll wait and see where it goes in the future, I just don't want to be stuck with something I can't get rid of. A long time standard is saleable, a niche one is not unless you want to take a big loss on it.
Saltydog235 is online now  
Old March 10, 2014, 11:07 AM   #21
Unlicensed Dremel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2014
Posts: 979
Yeah, Brian, everything you say is true, but I have to modify or disagree somewhat.....

First, the part about the vital zone not being round - you suggest that works in your favor, which it can, but it can also work against you on the edges of the zone which are "less than round" if you will, rather than "more than round", as you seem to assume will always be the case.

Next, if one is after pronghorn or up, what you say is true - but what about African Dik-dik or Duiker? They might have an 8" wide vital zone.

Finally, most importantly - and this isn't set in stone by any means but it makes sense - the way *I* personally do things is this when it comes to PBR/MPBR, and target size: I take whatever the vital zone/ target size is actually, and reduce it by 2" (1" on all sides), to account for field conditions. There's theoretical target size at the bench; then there's actual field condition target size. I define "field conditions target size" as actual for the game sought less 2", to account for a tiny bit of human error. You still have to make an excellent / nearly perfect shot if it's long range, but this makes it at least more realistic and more ethical -it safely allows for a slight bit of parallax error due to a weird hold and/or fast shot, and slightly bad hold.

So if say, a moose / elk / deer / pronghorn target size is 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 at their smallest points on the circle (i.e. plus or minus 8 / 7 / 6 / 5), I subtract to 2" to determine my PBR/MPBR for a given rifle/load, or 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 (or plus/minus 7 / 6 / 5 / 4). So I'd find my + or - 7 for moose, down to + or - 4 for pronghorn. BWT, I am a big fan of the PBR / MPBR concept & use.

But regardless, I suppose you're right that their claims aren't actually "fibbing" - they do have a basis in fact; I was wrong. They're perhaps puffery, but well within the range of acceptable puffery for North American large game, rather than fibbery. (unlike most gun industry claims, ha ha)

Last edited by Unlicensed Dremel; March 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM.
Unlicensed Dremel is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 11:20 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,339
The trouble with the "somebody does it" or "what about if..." Is that there's no implication of those things in the claims.

It's an advertising gimmick. Claims shouldn't depend on extraordinary circumstances unless they're specified.

Like I said, a .308 can hold dead on from 0-1000.

Don't tell me you need a 20' target or you don't know anybody who does it. That doesn't matter.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 11:29 AM   #23
Unlicensed Dremel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2014
Posts: 979
Exactly. As I say, their claims are demonstrably true! **

**provided your game is always giraffe.

Kinda like those car dealer commercials with a guy talking 400 words a minute for 10 seconds of disclaimers at the end, un-promising everything they just promised in the main commercial with the good ol' boy talking loud and slow.
Unlicensed Dremel is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 12:13 PM   #24
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,357
Well Brian you can either be 5" high at 200 yards or you can be 8" high at 210 to hit a target at 415 yards. 8" high is what you need for a 415 yard zero, so if you aren't turning knobs and you zero for the farthest point you can possibly shoot while hunting then there's a good chance you'll miss or worse at ranges less than 200 yards.

That is why zeroing for MPBR works well, it doesn't mean that you're slinging lead hoping if falls within a certain distance from point of aim. What it means is that you don't have to think so hard about things out to a certain range if you're a hunter. This doesn't mean that you can't or don't practice and employ a certain amount of other techniques such as turning a knob or holdover/under.

Just because you don't like it, understand it, want to use it, or any combination of all three doesn't mean it isn't for anyone else or doesn't work for other people.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old March 10, 2014, 12:24 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,339
The point is that the claim makes the round seem extraordinary. It isn't.

The claim relies on assumptions that are out of the norm and nonspecific.

No one would be impressed if they said "It's a .264Win Mag with a new name!", so they make extraordinary claims which rely on extraordinary circumstances, without specifying those circumstances, so that it sounds impressive.

In other words, the very fact that they rely on circumstances outside the norm to give their round the appearance of being outside the norm tells the discerning reader that round is in fact NOT outside the norm.

It's ordinary, with ordinary marketing spin.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13559 seconds with 9 queries