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Old May 14, 2000, 05:41 PM   #1
STEVE M
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How much difference does it take to make a difference on game? 100fps, 200fps, 300? I can get a little more out of my reloads but should I bother.
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Old May 14, 2000, 06:13 PM   #2
Paul B.
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Steve. It depends on what caliber rifle you are shooting, and the rifle itself. Let's compare two similar rounds. The 7x57MM Mauser and the 7MM-08 Reminton. The 7x57 is not loaded to it's full potential, due to the fact there are rifles that are considered too weak to hold modern pressures. The cartridge was developed in, I think, 1892. The rifles were built to withstand something around 45,000 PSI.
The 7MM-08, on the other hand is a round that was developed in recent times, and rifles for it are desighned to hold somewhere between 50,000 to 55,000 PSI. (actually C.U.P. Copper units of pressure) don't know the exact figure.
So what happens if you load a 7x57 in a modern rifle such as the Ruger 77, Winchester Mod. 70, etc. to the same pressures as the 7MM-08? Well you have a horse of a different color now. But, you cannot do the same thing with a 7MM-08, because it has been loaded to whatever pressure is considered maximum.
I can think of several cartridges, offhand, that you could pep up a bit. .257 Roberts, 30-06, 45-70, just for openers.
Is it worth it? I used to think so. I still pep up the 45-70, but I have two strong rifles for that one. I load the 06 with 180 gr. bullets to the same velocity as factory anymore. I haven't really decides how hard I want to push my 7x57. fact is, I don't really know if I want to.
In my younger days, I loaded some ammo that was downright scary. That was 45 years ago. Now I like lighter rifles, and don't really feel the need to get bruised at the shooting bench. If I am hunting deer, how much power do I really need? Only enough to place a bullet where it will give as close to an instant kill as is absolutely possible. On elk and bigger game? I'll use a larger and heavier caliber gun. I'm not recoil shy. In fact I think it is kind of fun to master a heavy game rifle. As one grows older though, the old bod deteriorates, and one of my fears is the possibility of a detached retina in one of my eyes. So the hot 45-70 loads, the several .375's, the .338 mag., they all get a bit more neglected. I still shoot them off and on, but nowhere near as often. So I have to sneak a bit closer. After 50 years of deer hunting, I don't feel I have anything to prove. I've averaged 3 deer a year throughout that time frame, so I've gotten my share, and probably more.
Besides, the lighter load is easier on your rifle.
Paul B.
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Old May 14, 2000, 07:07 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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A direct answer would be "Not much". I'll hit the highlights a bit, fully agreeing with Paul B.'s comments.

The whole idea revolves around "clean kill". So, generally, scopes are better than iron sights. For the average shot on the average white tail, a .30-'06 is really more than you need. However, this assumes you don't shoot into a ham, or just break a leg, or gut shoot the deer.

With a heart/lung shot, or spinal hit, even the pipsqueaks will kill a deer. Bigger and faster typically means a shorter time/distance in tracking of a wounded animal.

If you hunt from a stand, and your common range for a shot is 25 to 75 yards, a .30-30 is enough cartridge. If what you own is a .30-'06, you can load down a bit for more comfort when you shoot.

As a generality, there is little point to loading to the max. Lemme say this about that, though: I shoot relatively few hunting loads, which I do load to the max. I won't burn the throat of the barrel with, say, ten or twenty rounds per year of "hot stuff". I hunt in open country, so I want all I can get.

For loads which I shoot a lot, I'm gonna load down just a bit under max, solely to extend my barrel life.

Probably, just sorta guessin', the best load is one which is maybe 100 or 200 ft/sec under max, and gives the tightest groups off the benchrest. After you've determined that, forget the benchrest and start working on your shooting skills from the various common positions. Offhand, sittin' on a rock, a bit awkward in a tree stand, that sort of thing.

Hitting exactly where you're aiming makes up for a lot of feet per second.

Regards, Art
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Old May 14, 2000, 08:02 PM   #4
C.R.Sam
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.405 Winchester, 300gr, +/- 2400 ft/sec, 6.5lb double, neck shot 75yds, dropped instantly.......Whitetail; recoil nearly deadly.

.30/06, 220gr, +/- 2600 ft/sec, M1 Garand, neck shot 110yds, dropped instantly, whitetail; recoil mild to moderate.

.30/06, 220gr, +/- 2600 ft/sec, M1 Garand, heart lung shoulder etc 175yds, ran over 100yds, bad kill, Whitetail; slow and lots of damaged meat.

.22 Benjamin air rifle, max pressure ( bout 60 strokes ), neck shot 7yds, dropped on the spot, large goat, recoil nil.

.20 ga, 3/4oz, 7.5 shot, light skeet load, neck shot 5yds, dropped on the spot, whitetail, recoil mild.

.22 long rifle, from Colt Woodsman, neck shot 20yds, dropped, finished with second through ear hole, whitetail.

Just like real estate...LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Have seen a lot of bad kills/lost game shot with more than adequate cartridge, just bad shot placement.



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Sam I am, grn egs n packin

Nikita Khrushchev predicted confidently in a speech in Bucharest, Rumania on June 19, 1962 that: " The United States will eventually fly the Communist Red Flag...the American people will hoist it themselves."
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Old May 15, 2000, 09:55 PM   #5
bergie
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The other guys covered power and shot placement, so,
I guess my take on your question will cover trajectory. What caliber are you shooting? What game are you hunting? And what range do you anticipate shooting?
As an example, if you are hunting deer in many western states you may be hunting in an area where 300+ yd shots are not that uncommon, compared to eastern, upper midwest, northwest hunting in areas where you cannot even see 300 yds. I don't know what the country you hunt in is like, but if a long shot would maybe be 150 yds, don't worry about it.

I shoot a .270 mostly, and I am working on some 140 gr bullet loads so pulling some data from the Hornady 5th Edition, if I load 140 gr bullets to 3000 (maxed), 2900, 2800 and 2700 fps (dropping 100, 200, 300 fps)and zero my rifle for each load at 200 yds, then at 300 yds the 2900 load would impact .6" lower than the 3000, the 2800 load would drop 1.2" more, and the 2700fps load would drop 1.7" compared to where the fastest load would hit.
SO IF A person is going to be shooting at 300 yds - 100fps is almost negligible, 300fps on the other hand, if safely attainable, in a load that will group well will make a difference.
At less than 200 yds, don't bother trying to get any extra speed just go for the best shooting load you can find.
HTH
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Old May 15, 2000, 11:20 PM   #6
The Mohican Sneak
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I don't think the game could tell a difference either way.

I have yet to see a deer draw up and mutter.. "oooh, weak load! no where near as hot as that other one!"...

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Old May 16, 2000, 11:32 AM   #7
STEVE M
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I'm shooting a 7-08MM loaded with a 154 Hornaday bullet @ 2550fps ( 60deg.) I could possibly get to 2700fps, but I'm at 3/4MOA and don't want to change unless there is a real difference. Game would be mostly eastern whitetails @ 300yards or less. Thanks for the help.
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Old May 16, 2000, 11:49 AM   #8
Al Thompson
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The key muzzle velocity seems to be about 2400 fps. I think your 2550 is fine. May want to think about what your impact velocity needs to be. I like a minimum of 2100 fps. Check your ballistic tables..

Giz
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