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Old August 14, 2013, 05:01 AM   #1
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260 Rem

I just bought a 260 in a Savage rifle model 11/fcns and hunting season isn't to far away. The twist is 1/8 and would like to use 120gr to 129 gr bullets. Does anyone have experience with this combo? I have IMR 4320, 4350, H4350, 4831, and 4895 on hand.
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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Manufacturers started putting a 1 in 8 twist in .260s because shooters were demanding to stabilize longer (i.e. heavier) bullets. The original factory barrels made by Remington had a 1 in 9 twist. They can stabilize up to about 140 gr but not much more.

Your 1 in 8 should stabilize the 129 gr bullets OK. I don't know about the 120 and lighter though. I've got one batch of 129 gr Hornady SPs that I've tried in my Remington 1 in 9 and it shot very well.
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:57 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Given that the powders you listed are all distributed by Hodgdon, you can use their load data site. They have 120 and 140 grain bullets listed (no 129's, but they will lie inbetween). Note that you have to click on the "Print" button to see the case, primer, and barrel length used in collecting their data. If in doubt, get recommendations from the maker of your particular bullets.

Note that twist rate and bullet weight only relate if the bullets are the same construction and shape. A twist that stabilizes a 140 grain jacketed lead core standard configuration boattail bullet may not stabilize a 140 grain VLD or a 140 grain solid, because these are both longer. Length is more important to stability than weight in terms of the amount of effect from a percent change, but both of them combine with velocity and twist rate to determine what you can stabilize. All else being equal, the longer the bullet, the faster it needs to spin to remain stable.

There is a stability estimating calculator on the JBM ballistics site (last calculator on the calculator page).
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your new Savage. I have an older Remington with the 1:9 twist. Mine will not shoot 140's worth a darn but does pretty well with 120 and 123 gr. bullets. I've never tried 129's. I've tried IMR 4350, Benchmark and IMR 4064. My best groups have been with either bullet, Sierra and Hornady don't seem to vary much, with 45.5 and 46 gr. IMR 4350. As you know, your rifle and twist is completely different so you will need to experiment. If I were you I would try the 140's from Sierra and Berger.
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Old August 14, 2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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I have a reamer and have built 260s in 10" and 260 9" twist.
I have a 94, 96, and 38 Swedish Mausers that I read have 7.5" twist.
But most reloading posts on the internet about the 260 are 8" twist with 140 gr bullets and H4350.

At the range I get good groups with 100 gr Vmax in 10" twist barrel at 100 yards, chronographs at 3,236 fps.
I prefer for hunting 9" twist and 120 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets.
I am experimenting with small rifle primer brass in the 260 so I can to to higher pressures without loose primer pockets.
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Old August 14, 2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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Congrats on the new rifle, and I can tell you from experience it's a great game-getter of a caliber for sure. I have an older Remington 700 with a 1:9 twist. 140 gr. bullets shoot ok in the limited testing I've done with them (only tried Hornady bullets), but my rifle really shines with 120-129 gr. Bullets. The Hornady 129 gr bullets shoot great, but my most accurate load so far has been with the plain-jane Speer 120 gr bullet. Likewise Sierra's (very little difference if any). The load I use for hunting is the 125 gr Nosler Partition. In my rifle that bullet is plenty accurate for hunting, and the penetration is excellent.

The two most accurate powders I have used are RL 19 and H4350. Both of those powders required very little tweaking for peak accuracy, and both produced good velocity. H4350 would be a good choice to start with.

I think with your particular rifling twist, the 140 gr bullets may well produce some stellar groups. My experience has been that this caliber is inherently accurate, and very easy to find a good load for. I'm not into long range shooting or anything like that, so haven't tried any of the bullets especially tailored for that type of shooting. For me, the experimentation with loads in a new rifle is one of the great things about reloading, so have fun.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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I don't shoot the heavy bullets, and found that IMR 4064 worked great with 100 Nosler Ballistic Tips and Reloader 17 (similar to 4350) shot best with the 120 grain Noslers.
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Old August 16, 2013, 04:23 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for your replies.
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