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Old October 16, 2018, 07:03 AM   #1
Mobuck
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Bullet recommendation?

I was checking the Nosler site looking for information on the 25/06 E-tip ammo I used for deer hunting in 2017. I found the factory recommendation for the 100 grain E-tips for use on elk and was surprised.
I planned to use the old stand-by 115 Partition as I've seen it work well but I'm leery of the lighter non-lead E-tips. I shot a couple of deer with them last year and it appears the penetration is adequate for use on cow/calf elk. Any first hand experiences with this combination?
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Old October 16, 2018, 07:35 AM   #2
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I don’t personally have any experience with either, but I’m curious: Why would you switch? It seems the partition has a really solid reputation for that sort of application.

I’m not in any way impugning the idea to switch. I’m just academically curious as to why you might.
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Old October 16, 2018, 08:52 AM   #3
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My daughter and both grand sons have killed some elk with 257 Roberts but all were killed with 115 Barnes and 120 grain Nosler Partitions. I don't know if the lighter Solid expanding bullet would exit or not. I also would like feedback on this.

I am 100% sure they will kill an elk, but I always like to see exits on them. For all their size, elk seem to leave less blood on the ground then deer do. In open country it's not a big problem, but I used to hunt and guide in the Selway Wilderness of Idaho, and in that thick stuff I REALLY like to have a lot of blood to follow.

Where is the coming hunt going to be Mobuck?
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Old October 16, 2018, 09:50 AM   #4
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Agree with everything Wyosmith said, and I’m curious as well. The 100gr E-Tip should act just as good as a 117-120 Partition, but if they make a heavier one I’d use it.
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Old October 16, 2018, 01:25 PM   #5
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Factory recommendations about anything are about marketing. Mind you, that 100 grain bullet(they say it requires a 1 in 10 twist) in No$ler ammo is still running at 2300 FPS with 1175 ft-lbs. of energy at 400 yards. Drops 22.4" at 400 with a 100 yard sight in. 9.7" drop at 300.
So a lot will depend on the distance and size of the elk. Typical Rocky Mountain Elk cow runs about 500 pounds. More than twice the size of Bambi. I think I'd want a bit more bullet weight just as insurance myself. I notice Barnes doesn't make any such recommendation too.
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Old October 16, 2018, 03:06 PM   #6
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The E Tip is solid copper. They don't play by the same rules as copper jacketed lead bullets.

For one thing they are longer in the same bullet weights, plus they retain 100% of their weight after impact and give MUCH better penetration. Standard lead bullets lose 50-80% of their weight at impact and even the better premium lead bullets lose around 20%.

That 100 gr copper bullet will still weigh 100 gr after impact compared to a 115 gr lead bullet which will weigh somewhere between 30-90 gr. The 100 gr E-Tip will most likely out penetrate any other 25 caliber bullet of any weight.

You simply don't need the weight in copper to get the same results. In fact heavier copper bullets, if even available, can be a handicap. The negative to copper is that since it is harder it needs to impact faster in order to expand. Usually no slower than 2000 fps. With copper you drop down 1-2 bullet weights lighter than when using lead and try to get the speed up for improved impact speeds.

Where copper is at a disadvantage is at longer ranges where impact speeds are under 2000 fps. Many lead bullets will still expand at 1800 fps, some as slow as 1600 fps. Those bullets would be a better option at extended ranges. But the bullets designed to expand at slow speeds often over expand and don't penetrate at close range. Pick one, understand what it is designed to do and don't ask it to do something else.

If I were hunting elk with a caliber considered borderline too small I'd use copper. If using a larger caliber bullet then copper is less of an advantage.
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Old October 16, 2018, 05:15 PM   #7
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It's not that I'm switching from Partitions, I'm actually considering going from the E-tips I used on deer in 2017 back to the Partitions we used a decade ago on elk. What would be super dooper dandy is if both shot to the same POI w/o adjusting the scope.
We're headed for New Mexico on an antlerless elk hunt so expect the shots to be 200-300 yards at animals in the 250-400# range. No butt shooting or shoulder breaking-just stick one through the lungs and wait for it to fall. The 250# calf I shot last year hardly slowed the 7mm 160 Nosler Partition down and could easily have killed another elk had I not been extremely careful with my shot. In fact, I waited for the animal to step in front of a decent size cedar trunk which caught the expanded bullet after it exited the elk. WAY more gun than the shot required.
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Old October 16, 2018, 06:09 PM   #8
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The 115gr Partition bullet is a great deer killer and they say the same on Elk !!!
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Old October 17, 2018, 06:24 AM   #9
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"The 115gr Partition bullet is a great deer killer and they say the same on Elk !!!"
Hence, my reluctance to change. When we were doing handicapped hunts, the blind hunters killed two good sized bulls with the 25/06. My Son shot his twice(I didn't know or trust the 25/06 as well as I do now) @ 150 yards with one full penetration and one bullet lodged under the offside hide. The other blind shooter killed his bull with a single shot (didn't have the option of a second shot since the guide had only loaded one round)and it fell within a few feet of taking the lung hit.
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Old October 17, 2018, 06:50 AM   #10
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JMR40 said it well.

The only thing I would add is look at pictures of all copper bullets. They will penetrate as they lack the expansion of lead core.

They are a tough bullet. Even hitting some bone, I don’t think they will blow up.

All this said, they are a high velocity proposition. MV should be 3200 FPS or better.
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Old October 17, 2018, 02:23 PM   #11
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Aaaahhhhh, how we forget...
The original Barnes X bullet had 4 petals that sheared off when inside an animal. Worked wonderfully!
Then some writer for a gun rag complained about not retaining weight.
Unfortunately the general public bought the whole weight retention BS.
So Barnes changed their bullets to what they are today( still dang good!).

Cutting Edge bullets(monolith), have 4-8 petals that break off after traveling 3-5 inches in an animal. 2 or 4 legged. (Their pistol bullets do the same).

The original Berger VLD match bullet works wonderfully on game. Goes 3-5 inches in then comes apart. Have only found jacket under off side hide.
Furthest game went has been 20 yards.
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Old October 17, 2018, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Unfortunately the general public bought the whole weight retention BS

There are more than one way to kill an elk. Bergers are good at one, monolithics that don’t come apart are another. They each excel at different shot placements. Although I’d argue that a tough bullet will do anything.

And I don’t think it was the general public pushing for weight retention. Barnes is nowhere near the most popular hunting bullet maker in North America. It was a desire to maximize both expansion and penetration on big heavy animals.
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Old October 19, 2018, 12:37 AM   #13
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Don't hunt elk. Honestly. It cost to much. Trip_ non-resident license_ room & board_guide> if you want to be assured of taking a Elk home.

Overwhelmingly expensive! U-bet especially if you happen to harvest a one- in-a-lifetime trophy.
Little doubt in my mind bushwhacking Elk as a non-resident is near the cost of filling your freezer with Kolbe beef.

So I hunt the next best tasty eating game. (Whitetail)

OK trying to stay on point.
I'm all about speed & 200 yard accuracy. As we know speed governs energy. The more the better. Although I've shot deer with 117 & 122 gr H.Ps I actually prefer a 100 gr spire soft point for the purpose.

Than again if I felt the need to shoot the heaviest bullet weight in any caliber I'd switch up to a bigger caliber that nearly overlaps the 25-06 heavy weight bullets. Hello to my little friend >270 Win. 130 gr and its 3200 fps air speed.

Frankly speaking if I were unable to use my 270 deer hunting. Little doubt its substitute would be its little cousin the 1/4 bore 06. Its 100gr projectiles clipping along at 3600 fps so flat shooting I can make head shots all day long out too 150 with a tight sight hold on my quarry's noggin. From muzzle to 200 where ever the cross-hairs place rest-assured that is where the bullet will terminate at.

Only disappointment at that velocity its little 100 gr bullet is surely shorting my rifles barrel lifespan. No mater. I got options so to bring it back to its good shoot'in again.
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Old October 19, 2018, 04:48 AM   #14
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"Hello to my little friend >270 Win. 130 gr and its 3200 fps air speed."
That's a "no go" with me. Last 270 that crossed my door step was won in a raffle and didn't get out of the box until it was traded away.

"the 1/4 bore 06. Its 100gr projectiles clipping along at 3600 fps "
I must be missing something as I can't reach that number with a 257Wby and feel safe pulling the trigger. My 24" 25/06 gives an honest 3200-3300 with 100 grain BTSP. The Nosler 100 grain E-tips are in that 3200 range.
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Old October 19, 2018, 10:42 AM   #15
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"Weight retention" is a means to an end.
That being full penetration.
It is not the goal but the means to a goal, and that is often forgotten.

There are situations where a bullet breaking up to a large degree is a desirable trait.

Examples can be;
Shooting game in neighborhoods, or areas where many buildings are the norm.
Shooting fur-bearers and not wanting an exit.
Shooting bad guys in a house or in crowded cities.
Shooting varmints where ricochets are to be avoided.

Weight retention for general big game hunting is seldom a bad thing, but if you have a bullet that always gives you an exit and still sheds 60% of it's weight, retaining more weight does nothing more for you. Exits are the goal!

So if your rifle and load goes clear through, the rest of the details are largely unimportant and irrelevant.

I remember a man trying to tell me that a Swift A-Frame was a better bullet for hunting elk in his 375H&H then my Nosler Partition was in my 375H&H, because the Nosler "only" retained 75% of it's weight and his Swift retained 95% of it's weight. But I pointed out the mission was to expand and then exit the elk, not impress it with mathematical formulas. So my 375 with my load gives me exits 100% of the time, at any range I have shot, and at all angles I have shot, and NO elk I have shot has gone more then 20 feet with almost all of them falling instantly or within a body length. So............how could another bullet be "better" then that on elk? I am batting 100%. You can't get better then 100%. In fact my old favorite bullet (can be bough anymore) was the Winchester 270 grain Power Point and it was a cup/core bullet, but I never retained one in any animal I ever shot and they killed like lightning.

Is the A-Frame better for Cape Buffalo? Probably.
So what? We were in Idaho Montana and Wyoming. Not Botswana. Once you have a hole as big around as your bore diameter could make and it goes clear through, no amount of power in tow as it hits the ground behind the elk would make any different.............would it?

I believe the bullets that hold together are more reliable killers as a rule. 50+ years of experience using all kinds of bullets have brought me to that conclusion.

Bullets that break up often kill like an electric shock, until they don't! If you have that happen 10% of the time it can be said that you may have to kill 10-15 with the same load before you see such poor performance a few times, or even one time. So many hunters will stand on a track record of 6-8 kills and think they have the information down pat. Such is not always true. That's where having 50+ years of killing game and seeing game killed in several states and in 5 countries has been valuable to me.

The times they don't work well usually are the result of the bullet breaking up in a way that it either (A.) doesn't penetrate deep enough or (B.) it turns off course radically and doesn't go through at the angle you want it to.

Bullets that ball up and hold together often kill instantly too, but some times they give a slower "shock effect" on game, but again, standing on 50+ years of experience, I will say a good fairly straight hole that goes clear through is always fatal to the animal and those hit with such bullets usually do not go very far at all. Some are hit too far back and the bullets only get one lung or maybe even just the liver, but those animals sill bleed out fast and are easy to follow. Not so with bullets that don't exit.

Just 2 weeks ago I saw an exception. One that is in opposition to the above rule, but it is also the only one I have ever seen that was so opposed to that rule that it surprised me this much . It was a 250 grain 9.3MM Accu-Bond fried from my 9.3X57 Mauser that hit a white tail buck as perfectly as you could hope for, and the exit was the size and shape of a chicken egg dead center in the chest on the off side,yet the deer ran over 200 yards.
So there are always exception to the "rules" but the odds favor the bullets that mushroom, don't blow up, and exit.

I have seen many dozens of game animals run very long distances and have had to track them down many times. Most long tracking jobs I have done for clients were the result of less then perfect marksmanship, but many were also the result of bullets that come apart and don't exit. I have seen the same thing ONCE with a bullet that preformed the way I like,........ that being the 9.3MM I just mentioned above.

I am 62 years old now, have been hunting big game since I was 8 and guiding since I was 14. ONE time I have seen a good hit with a bullet that held up the way I'd prefer go farther then about 70 yard. My best guess as to how many times I have dealt with the same kind of long trails (many times much longer)from game hit with bullet that break up would probably be 50-60 times.

But to recap my 1st point, if a bullet comes apart and still goes clear through in a fairly straight line it doesn't matter if it comes apart (other then spoiling some meat)

As for me I have to stand with the odds because there is no such a thing as a 100% certainty in hunting.

I still use bullets that are "unknowns" to me but because I have the luxury of killing 5-14 head of game every year, I can afford to try some bullets that I have no "track-record" with. I like to know, as opposed to just guessing. I do note however, in most cases when I do that, I keep the magazine loaded with bullets I know will work, so if I need a 2nd shot I have one quickly. So far this year I, my Wife and my friends I have hunted with have killed 4 deer, 12 antelope and we still have 2 more deer to get and 4 elk.

In a nut-shell my description of kills with bullets that hold together enough to always exit is about as follows;
40% "bang-flops.
30% Bang,-Run hard for 3 seconds then stagger for 2 seconds and fall.
30% Bang - stagger for 3-5 seconds and fall.

My description of kills with bullets that break up and don't exit, or those that turn off course 30 degrees of more inside the animal is as follows:
70% Bang-flops.
20% Bang- run hard for 10 to 30 seconds and fall.
10% Bang Run hard for 30 seconds to 5 minutes and lay down.

Shots from both types of bullets can and do result in some game running, but in those cases, the ones that run without an exit are A LOT harder to track (much less of a blood trail) and those that have been shot with bullets that break up, if they run, usually will run much longer distances than those that do have exits.

That is why I have concluded that the rounds that give exits are more reliable killers overall, Not always faster killers, but only 1 in 54 years shot with a bullet that held together and left a good exit was hard to find. 50-60 others that were hard to find, some that ran almost a mile, were the ones shot with bullets that break up. (disregarding gut shot or flesh-wounded game regardless of what they were hit with of course)

Last edited by Wyosmith; October 19, 2018 at 11:17 AM.
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Old October 19, 2018, 11:39 AM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyosmith
So my 375 with my load gives me exits 100% of the time, at any range I have shot, and at all angles I have shot, and NO elk I have shot has gone more then 20 feet with almost all of them falling instantly or within a body length. So............how could another bullet be "better" then that on elk? I am batting 100%. You can't get better then 100%.
The bullet that stays intact looks cooler if you dig it out of the tree on the other side of the elk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyosmith
Just 2 weeks ago I saw an exception. One that is in opposition to the above rule, but it is also the only one I have ever seen that was so opposed to that rule that it surprised me this much . It was a 250 grain 9.3MM Accu-Bond fried from my 9.3X57 Mauser that hit a white tail buck as perfectly as you could hope for, and the exit was the size and shape of a chicken egg dead center in the chest on the off side,yet the deer ran over 200 yards.
So there are always exception to the "rules" but the odds favor the bullets that mushroom, don't blow up, and exit.
I have seen such exceptions, myself, over the dozens of deer I've seen killed with 12ga slugs and giant muzzleloader bullets. My uncle shot a button buck that probably weighed 75 or 80 lbs with a Savage ML-10II muzzleloader firing a 250gr Hornady. The distance was maybe 40 yards and we're talking ~3,000 ft-lbs muzzle energy here. The exit wound was the size of your fist and the off-side shoulder was obliterated, literally hanging by skin. That deer took off down the hill and went a solid 50 yards before dropping.

But, that's why they say "The exception that proves the rule."... if it wasn't generally true, the times the rule failed would not be noticeable.
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Old October 19, 2018, 11:31 PM   #17
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I believe the bullets that hold together are more reliable killers as a rule.
So do I. Every bullet has a niche, but a tough bullet will do it all. This is more important on animals larger than deer. It's not the only way, but it's the way I want to do it for the exact reasons you just described.

We used cup and core bullets for 15 years and we killed elk, to be sure. But now that I've seen what a tough bullet will do I'll never go back. The difference is palpable, and for the better. I want an exit hole, and I want everything in between to be busted and broken.
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Old October 20, 2018, 09:56 AM   #18
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If you want weight retention, and think exit wounds are the be all end all, then shoot FMJs.
And let us know what you think afterwards.
I'll take the bullet that dumps all it's energy in the animal.
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Old October 23, 2018, 07:22 AM   #19
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I've decided to go with the Nosler Partition 115 grain. I have those on hand and have shot them from this rifle after it was re-barrelled so I think that is the plan.
The Partition gives better initial expansion vs mono-type bullets and this is fairly important in the hunting style we'll be doing. I want "lungs-of-mush" more than I want a tiny hole and exit.
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Old October 23, 2018, 12:11 PM   #20
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Knock one down Mobuck
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Old October 23, 2018, 01:53 PM   #21
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Excellent choice!
Best of luck!
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Old October 24, 2018, 11:33 PM   #22
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I must be missing something as I can't reach that number (3600) with a 257Wby and feel safe pulling the trigger.
Check out the Weatherby 100 gr and see the published velocity achieved with IMR.
Quote:
"Hello to my little friend >270 Win. 130 gr and its 3200 fps air speed."
That's a "no go" with me."
As I found to be. Everybody reloads to their comfort level. Some are happy matching published Loadings barely above Minimum.
Some home reloaders purposely develop charges beyond Max to which I happen to be one of those individuals. In case you haven't heard? Many consider the: 1/4 bore 06 a > poor mans 257 Weatherby.
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Old October 25, 2018, 06:59 AM   #23
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"Knock one down Mobuck"
Time is getting short. Head out is set for a month from today and I still haven't pulled my rifle out of the case since swapping scopes. Harvest time, lots of work assignments, youth deer season are all stacking up here.
Since I'll be coming off a week's local deer hunting, I'll have sorted my clothes and "stuff' at least 1/2 dozen times and I'm more certain of what I need/don't need for the trip so packing should be more streamlined.
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Old October 26, 2018, 07:45 AM   #24
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I ha ve no experience in th 2506 at all but I saw a comment on the Berger VLD Hunting bullets and had to chime in. I have used Nosler partitions, barnes ttsx, Sierra GK and federal CHP ammo on medium game with great performance. 2 of 4 animals shot with 168 VLD Hunting bullets in .308 were not recovered. One was a dandy 8 point. One of my recovered animals the Berger had not expanded and "penciled" through. So in short I had problems with Bergers not expanding and will never use them again on game. YMMV.
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Old October 26, 2018, 12:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee View Post
Don't hunt elk. Honestly. It cost to much. Trip_ non-resident license_ room & board_guide> if you want to be assured of taking a Elk home.

Overwhelmingly expensive! U-bet especially if you happen to harvest a one- in-a-lifetime trophy.
Little doubt in my mind bushwhacking Elk as a non-resident is near the cost of filling your freezer with Kolbe beef.

So I hunt the next best tasty eating game. (Whitetail)

OK trying to stay on point.
I'm all about speed & 200 yard accuracy. As we know speed governs energy. The more the better. Although I've shot deer with 117 & 122 gr H.Ps I actually prefer a 100 gr spire soft point for the purpose.

Than again if I felt the need to shoot the heaviest bullet weight in any caliber I'd switch up to a bigger caliber that nearly overlaps the 25-06 heavy weight bullets. Hello to my little friend >270 Win. 130 gr and its 3200 fps air speed.

Frankly speaking if I were unable to use my 270 deer hunting. Little doubt its substitute would be its little cousin the 1/4 bore 06. Its 100gr projectiles clipping along at 3600 fps so flat shooting I can make head shots all day long out too 150 with a tight sight hold on my quarry's noggin. From muzzle to 200 where ever the cross-hairs place rest-assured that is where the bullet will terminate at.

Only disappointment at that velocity its little 100 gr bullet is surely shorting my rifles barrel lifespan. No mater. I got options so to bring it back to its good shoot'in again.
All about speed and 200yd accuracy? have you tried a 150gr 270 bullet? I had a 270 years ago but never hunted with it. I liked the 140gr bullet in it. I think for the most part people have a problem as they want speed and then choose to light a bullet to get it. Might consider the 130gr bullet but drop the velocity down to maybe 2900 fps. That's still fast at 200yds, may be more accurate and certainly less recoil!
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