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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:50 pm 
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I've thought about an article like this that wouldn't cause a fuss on line. I'll try to stick to the Basics on my suggestions. First, if you don't have any rifles, I'd suggest looking for any gun ranges in your area that offer rental rifles to try out. That would give you the chance to try out rifles and calibers that interest you. Secondly, I'd suggest that you look for a place to shoot. This may be your property, that of a friend or a gun club that has a range. There are some dealers who have ranges, but, around here, they charge around $20 per day to shoot. (Firearm rentals are extra and they usually want you to buy your ammo from them as well.)

If you don't know how to shoot, a gun range or club usually has people who are certified instructors that can teach you the proper techniques. If you're in this category, I'd suggest that you look at a .22 Long Rifle caliber rifle to learn on, the ammo is very cheap compared to center fire hunting ammo.

The culmination of a hunt is usually to humanely kill your target species. This is best done with a single 'killing' shot. To make this shot, you need to be able to shoot accurately. To shoot accurately, you need a rifle that you can shoot without flinching from the recoil or 'kick.' (This is where the rental rifles can help you decide.) The rifle's weight should be such that you can handle the rifle in an unsupported position, like “off hand,” without straining. The length of pull and fit to your body should feel good to you.

You should think about where you will be hunting, the distances you will be shooting and the species of animal you will be hunting. The vast majority of shots made by hunters are 100 yards or less. Most hunting cartridges are able to shoot efficiently out to the 300 yard range. If you're going to hunt locally, your State laws, sporting goods stores, gun shops, gun clubs and even online hunting shooting forums can help you decide.

Your intended game animals or varmints/ critters should be the major factor in selecting the cartridge you chose while taking recoil into account. There are also State laws in various states that list the minimum required cartridge size, power, bullet energy, etc. Check your hunting area's State requirements if there are minimums you must adhere to.

The next thing to look at is the cost of the rifles you look at. That old adage, “You get what you pay for” is true on firearms. However, there are many 'entry level rifles' that will last for years and shoot well below 'minute of critter.' The average hunter does not need a sub-minute of angle rifle. (That's a rifle that shoots groups under 1” diameter at 100 yards.) The kill zone area on deer and elk is 6 inches in diameter. Most hunting rifles will have a factory ammo combination that will shoot within that area at 200 to 300 yards.

You will also need to consider what sights you will use. Some rifles come with open sights mounted on the barrel. Those that don't are usually drilled and tapped for a scope mount. (As are a lot that come with open sights.) For close in shooting, you usually can get by with open sights, even if you wear glasses. Today, there is virtually an unlimited supply of add-on optics that you can buy. Close range hunters can easily use a 1 x 5 to 6 power scope. The rest of the hunters can use a 3 x 9 power scope well. Remember that you may have very close shots and a 2 power is better than a 3 power for that. If you use 8 to 9 power or higher, you'd better be in a sandbag rest or you'll shake too much to get clean shot placement. I'd suggest the newer 2 x 10 power scopes, but the cost may be beyond your pocketbook if you're on a tight budget. (There's an old rule of thumb that one should spend as much on the optics as the rifle itself. However, I've done well and not spent that much on optics for hunting.) Most rifle scopes are rated on the recoil they can withstand by caliber.

Besides scopes, there are other optics. There are “Dot” sights. These project a dot, usually red in color, but many now offer selective colors like red or green. The size of the dot is important. For a pistol, 4 or 5 minute of angle sized dots are acceptable since shots are close range. For a rifle, look for dots with a 1 to 3 minute of angle dot size. Next would be what I call the 'projection' sights. These sights use a led light to project a sighting retractile on a clear plastic or glass that you look thru. Many have up to 6 sighting retractile patterns and red and/ or green led colors. (The human eye sees the color green more better than other colors.) Red is good indoors and at night out doors. I suggest green as it shows up under sunlight. While not an optic, I'll include laser sights in this section. Red lasers work indoors and at night. They wash out into invisible is sunlight. The green lasers cost a bit more, but they are usable indoors as well as outdoors in sunlight. I have a $20 e-bay green laser sight with momentary press switch that has a weaver/ picatinny scope mount. I have it on a 30-30 rifle and it's visible past 200 yds in strong sunlight.

This section is probably the most open to discussion and that is terminal ballistics. When you hunt humanly, the objective is to get the bullet down range, on target and provide a quick kill. Terminal ballistics is what happens when the bullet hits the target. Here are some basic facts to consider when selecting a bullet for a general distance and used upon a certain sized critter. Most modern rifle bullets require a minimum of 1,800 fps (feet per second) velocity to expand. Newer subsonic expendables can expand around 800+ fps. Old school bullets, like for the 30-30, 35 Rem and the like, can expand down to 1,600 fps. Companies who make hunting bullets publish this requirement so check it out. Ammo manufacturers also publish muzzle velocities of their hunting cartridges. They also show the drop in velocity and drop in trajectory over distances. There are numerous sources to determine the starting velocity of a specific cartridge from a rifle barrel shorter that the factory's ammo test barrel. The distance you shoot and expect expansion from the bullet is easily determined this way. Many States regulate the minimum bullet diameter and or minimum muzzle energy to legally hunt game animals. I'm of the school that wants at least 1,200 ft/ lbs of energy on target and prefer 1,800 ft lbs on target. I shoot .30 caliber and have never had a deer take more than 3 steps when hit close to the target area.

There are 4 classes of expanding hunting bullets as well as target and military bullets. The lightest class of bullets is Varmint bullets. Here you will find bullets for coyote and smaller critters. A review I remember said that the .223 Rem with 55 grain expanding spitzer bullet at 3,200 fs was “good up to and including coyote sized animals out to 300 yards.” Many of these bullets virtually explode upon hitting the target and expend all their energy within a couple of inches. Varmints are thin, side to side, so you want a bullet that dumps all it's energy within the bulk of their body. The next class is Light Skinned critters. This would include deer and antelope. (I would also include feral hogs up to about 200 pounds in this class as well as home defense.) Here, you're looking at expanding bullets that expand within 2 inches of penetration and form an expanded wound cavity from 2” thru 10” expending most of the bullets energy. Shards from the bullet may penetrate thru the other side of the critter. Below expansion velocity, these bullets tend to act like full metal jacket military bullets. The third class would be Thick Skinned Critters. This would include elk, moose, hogs over 200 pounds (due to shield and possible mud covered body,) and bears. Here you want a bullet that can penetrate heavy skin and bones and expand starting from 3” to 4” thru 14” or more and you may want a minimum of 1,800 ft/ lbs of energy or more. These animals can run over 30” thickness, have heavier bones and have a larger organ area to damage. Many of these cartridges are larger than the average deer hunting rifle. The fourth class is Dangerous Game. Here in North America, the only animals we have that would benefit from these cartridges are grizzly or brown bears and possible the American Bison or 'buffalo.' These bullets are designed for penetration or penetration and expansion. Since I don't hunt bear nor bison, the only use I'd have for this class is shooting a retreating big boar hog from rear to head to break down hip and shoulder bones (in one shot.)

Most target bullets aren't built as a hunting bullet. They tend to either act like a varmint bullet or like a full metal jacket. They can be useful in specific hunts where extreme accuracy is required and the bullet performance is known. Some bullet manufacturers are now advertising hunting bullets using their target bullet profiles. Be sure to check the minimum velocity required for expansion at the distances you'll be using it. Old school lead bullets have a sharp corner where the side bearing surface joins the nose of the bullet. This tends to cut a clean hole into paper or critter skin, which makes a good bleeding hole. Some of these bullets have a large flat point or meplat. When the point of the bullet, meplat, is over 6 mm, the point imparts increased damage as the bullet penetrates the critter. This lack of a sharp bullet point reduces the useful range of the bullet, but, makes it a good substitute for a jacked hunting bullet.

Military full metal jacket bullets and military surplus ammo are a class unto themselves. (First, let me discuss “hydrostatic shock.” This is an effect when the speed of a bullet striking a critter creates a hydrostatic shock wave thru the body with shuts down the nervous system for a period of time. I was first introduced to this theory in the 1960s when the Marine Corps introduced the M-16 rifle with a fmj 55 grain bullet at 3,200 fps. The 22-250 fires this same bullet at an even faster velocity. I never saw this effect from the 22-250 on deer or pigs/ hogs. I never saw it in Vietnam either.) The military rounds are designed to wound. The entrance hole is a puncture wound like you stabbed the critter with a Bic ballpoint pen. The tissue, and possibly bone, slow the bullet and cause it to yaw (loose it's straight spin and wobble or tumble.) Being a spitzer bullet, the rear of the bullet is heavier than the front of the bullet. The inertia of the rear of the bullet will cause the bullet to turn around where the rear of the bullet is now leading the penetration. If a bone is struck, the bullet may start to tumble. If the velocity is high enough when the bullet starts to reverse or tumble, the energy may cause the bullet to break at a weak point. This may cause the entire bullet to be destroyed. This usually only happens at ranges under 150~ 200 yards from my experience. Usually, you get a straight line puncture wound until a point to heel bullet reversal. These are not humane hunting bullets in my opinion.

Terminal Ballistic studies show that the wound cavity from an expanding bullet will be up to 12x the diameter of the bullet in the area in which expansion occurs. A non-expanding flat nosed bullet will create a wound channel 6x bullet diameter the length of it's penetration. A non-expanding round nose bullet will create a wound channel 4x to 5x bullet diameter. A non-expanding 'spitzer' style bullet, below the 'hydrostatic shock' velocity, that does not tumble, will produce a puncture wound with a wound channel at or below 4x bullet diameter.

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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Nicely written, with a lot of good information.

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http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:33 pm 
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To continue the selection process suggestions...

You can find cartridge suggestions on the internet based of the critters you want to hunt.

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The hunter's ability to absorb the recoil without flinching is important. As an experienced shooter, I shoot a 30-06, which is said to be about the most rifle the average person can shoot well. A good recoil pad, increasing rifle weight and a muzzle break can reduce the felt recoil from a rifle. From my military experience, I would say that the .308 Win class of recoil is more appropriate for most hunters ability to shoot frequently without developing a flench. Here's a chart that shows the recoil energy from common hunting rifles.

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The heavier the bullet's weight, the slower the bullet will go (relative to that cartridge,) the deeper it will penetrate and shorter the range will be. If you shoot a "premium" bullet, you can usually drop down one bullet weight and still get the performance of the heavier bullet. By the term "premium." I'm referring to the partitioned, or mono metal (like Barnes,) or super bonded bullets. I reload partitioned bullets for the 30-06 (which I find is sometimes cheaper but handloads are definitely more accurate.) Using the 150 grain bullet load, I will show you how to figure how far the load will be effective. I use the bullet manufacturer's secs to get the ballistic coefficient (BC.) The BC is 0.387.

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The load I have should do over 3,000 fps from a 24 inch test barrel; however, my rifle has a shorter barrel in a fully glass bedded mannlicher style stock. I caught a target shooter out at the range when he was using his chronograph and talked him into letting me run 10 rounds of this hand load thru the traps. The 10 round average was 2,820 fs. (You can get close by estimating 20 fps per inch that your rifle is shorter than the test barrel listed on store bought ammo or in the reloading manuals.) You can then use one of the online ballistic calculators that are on line to look at your selected cartridge.

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Using a 200 yard zero on the scope, the rifle is able to shoot to 300 yards without really changing the point of aim The 2nd column is the drop in inches. It shows the bullet drop out to 1,000 yards. The bullet velocity is still supersonic at 1,000 yards so it should still be accurate. However, if you notice the yellow area at 550 yards, you will see that the velocity is at the low end of expansion for this bullet. By 600 yards, the bullet probably will not expand. This load is therefore good only to 550 yards as a humane hunting round.

A little old school history from my perspective... When I started using a scope on a hunting rifle, it was in 1971. That's when I started building the 30-06 above. I bought 2 scopes, a 3x Wever for close range (out to 200~ 300 yards) and a 10x Weaver for longer range shots and target shooting. (Variable scopes were a bit pricey for a Marine Sgt still building a rifle.) Back then, you used a manufacturers published data and converted as need be or you used a reloading manual to get your drop at range in inches and made a 3x5 card and some taped it to the buttstock for field reference. In 1975 I traded a Win .22lr rifle that didn't shoot well to a dealer for a $250 Weaver 3x9 Variable scope w/ "fine" crosshairs (1/4" at 100 yds.) The fine crosshairs made precision shooting much easier and has worked well to present. Yes, we have more shooting gadgets and rangefinders and even scopes with rangefinders built in. They're nice to have. But, you don't really need them unless you are shooting over 300 yards in open areas. An adult whitetail deer is still about 18" from top of back to belly and still has a 6 inch target area for a clean kill.

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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:30 pm 
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More good information. However, I don't see some of the newer and popular AR styled rifle cartridges listed. I'm speaking of 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC II, 6.5 Creedmore, 6mm Creedmore, .300 AAC Blackout, just to name a few. These newer cartridges are predominantly being used in modern sporting rifles, IE-AR15's and AR10's. The cartridges I've mentioned are used by quite a few folks who hog hunt. Some information on them may be quite helpful. If you could put something together like you have above, I think that would be a great resource for new hunters.

And, THANK YOU for your hard work on the information you've provided so far. Good stuff!!

_________________
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Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:26 pm 
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:thumbup: K, Marty, you may want to separate these out into separate posts for ease of search.

The 6.5mm Grendel cartridge

The 6.5 Grendel is unique in that it was developed as a combat cartridge to replace the 5.56mm NATO cartridge in the M-16 platform and deliver improved performance at 200 to 300 yards. The cartridge case is based on the 7.62x39 Russian case with a blown out body to accommodate more powder. (This requires a different bolt head in a 5.56mm ( .223 Rem) AR/ M-16 rifle.) The cartridge can use the same 30 round magazines as an AR/ M-16, but due to the fatter case body, capacity is reduced to 26 rounds. This cartridge, in the civilian market, is good for target shooting, varmint hunting and within it's bullet's performance envelope, deer/ pig hunting in my opinion.

The best bullets for the 6.5 Grendel range from 90 grains thru 130 grains. A barrel twist of 1:8 to 1:9 is best for these bullet weights from the Grendel. The light weight varmint bullets in the 90 grain class can reach up to 2,900 fps from a 24 inch barrel. That will be around 2,700 fps from a 16 inch carbine barreled AR-15 style rifle. The 'deer class' hunting bullets of 128 ~ 130 grains will reach 2,500 fps from a 24” barrel and drop to around 2,300 fps from a 16” carbine barrel. When looking at the energy generated by the cartridge in a 24" barrel, it generates slightly more from a 24” barrel than the standard 30-30 test bullet. When the power is tested on the Grendel with a 16” barrel, it's power is just under the 30-30 out to 200 yards. Since the Grendel uses spitzer or pointed bullets, it has less drag than the 30-30 and is slightly more powerful that the 30-30 from 200 out to 300 yards, it's maximum useful hunting range. Most hunting experts place this cartridge in the same class as the 30-30, 7.62x39 to .243 Win class of cartridges.

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As an example, a 120 grain Barnes TSX with a max load of Hodgdon's H335 will generate just over 2,400 fps from a 24 inch test barrel. Let's assume it gets 2,200 fps from a carbine length barrel. It will shoot well out to 300 yards, but it's lost a lot of energy. The 120 grain reload only shows probable expansion out at 200 yards. From the Barnes website, they show their 100 gr TSX boat tail bullet at a max of just over 2,800 fps from a 24 inch barrel. That should run about 2,600 fps from a carbine. The below graphs were computed using a 16” barreled carbine length barrel.

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The Barnes TSX bullets are a premium bullet and usually give the same damage as a bullet a step heavier. That said, a 100 gr TSX will have less energy and penetrate less that a Barnes 120 grain TSX at the same velocities...

Note that the Barnes bullets should be expanding down to around 1,800 fps. My opinion is based on an expanding hunting bullet and having 1,200 to 1,800 ft.lbs. of energy to deliver to the target. From the above charts and handloading manuals, I would suggest that the 120 grain TSX is good out to 200 yards and the 100 grain TSX is usable out to about 300 yards max for hunting.

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Tom


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:15 pm 
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As a reference, the Ballistics Calculator that I use is free on line at:

http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:43 pm 
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The ACC Blackout aka 300 BLK

This is another cartridge with a military purpose created from the 5.56 x 45 mm NATO cartridge. After the US military adopted the M-16, Special Operations required an additional weapon that generated more energy out to 300 yards and could be also used suppressed and subsonic while delivering more power than the 9 x 19 mm NATO military pistol cartridge. The company, ACC, worked with Remington Defense to develop the round which is listed in the SAAMI as the 300 BLK. The cartridge is formed by cutting the 5.56x45 mm NATO brass back and necking the body down to hold a .308 diameter bullet. This cartridge provides performance very close to the 7.62x39 mm Russian cartridge from the standard M-16 military styled rifles using the standard military 5.56 x 45 mm NATO magazines.

The 300 BLK was designed to perform a different mission than the 6.8 SPC. The 300 BLK was designed to be a close range cartridge that could perform in short barrels (some down to 6 ~ 9 inches) and require only a barrel and gas feed change to an M-16 series rifle. With such a design purpose, it's well suited to use as a suppressed weapon with subsonic use of 200 grain bullets. (FULL Disclosure: My 1st cousin, who was shooting a suppressed 6.5 Grendel and upgrade her upper to a suppressed .223 Valkyrie is married to a LEO who hunts hogs with a suppressed 300 BLK. If you hunt close in, a suppressed subsonic 300 BLK is a very good specialized weapon.) With the right bullet and a barrel at least 16 inches long, this cartridge is usable on critters up to the size of deer/ pigs out to 200 yards in my opinion.

There is a lot of ammunition for this rifle designed and tested from a 16 inch barrel. The premium store bought ammunition may offer better performance than many of the reloading manuals show. For this report, I've used the Sierra Bullets reloading information on line at this time. The 2 bullets that I looked at for this cartridge are the 125 grain spire point which is a good deer bullet at lower velocities. The other is the 200 grain spire point for subsonic load. (Disclaimer: Reloading is dangerous and can kill you if you do not know what you are doing. The presented loads are for a 16 inch barreled AR style rifle by Sierra Bullets Corp. Do not change components or you will create a dangerous condition. Use at your own caution. Neither this forum, it's owners and associates or I am responsible for your actions or the use of the following information.)

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Looking at this data and ballistic calculations for the 125 grain bullet, this reload should be good to out to 150 yards. This load is a little short of the 7.62x39 mm Soviet round performance. However, there are premium bullets and hotter loads to be found which can increase the usable range out to 200 yards.

Now for the 200 grain loads... Subsonic first ...


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Supersonic:

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As you can see, subsonic loads, when zeroed for 50 yards, should be usable to 75 yards. The 8 inch drop at 100 yards from a 50 yard zero is a bit much for the average user to easily compensate for in the field. If you use the supersonic loads, this bullet will work as a non-expanding bullet with good penetration out to about 150 yards. There are currently companies that are offering expanding bullets for subsonic use which would work well to at least 100 yards in this cartridge in a 16 inch barreled carbine configuration.

_________________
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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:50 am 
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The 6.8 SPC/ SPC II cartridge

First, let's address the difference between the two names above. They are the same cartridge. The difference is the chamber of the rifle. When Remington got into helping develop this cartridge, they messed up on their chamber reamer cutter drawing. The difference is that the Remington designed reamer cuts a shorter lead (free bore) in the barrel and can cause higher pressures when firing the “standard” cartridge. From what I've read, most manufacturers are now using the original, correct reamer dimensions and label their barrels as 6.8 mm SPC II. The correct and original chamber specification allows you to fire the maximum power cartridge with a lower pressure. The same maximum powered cartridge in the “Remington” chamber will develop dangerous over pressures.

This is yet another cartridge designed to improve the performance of the M-16 rifle for military use. It was designed at the request of and in conjunction with the 5th Special Forces group, US Army. It was originally designed to shoot bullets weighing no more than 115 grains. Requiring only a barrel change, it offers more performance at longer ranges than the 5.56 x 45 mm NATO ammunition. The 6.8 SPC is basically a .270 short. It gives a larger diameter, heavier bullet than the 5.56 NATO, giving an increase in range and lethality. It is both an efficient case design and an accurate cartridge. There is little difference in hunting performance or accuracy between this cartridge (6.8mm or .270 “) and the 6.5 Grendel (6.5 mm or .264”) except the ballistic coefficients when using the same weight and composition of bullets. Their performance and velocities are virtually identical until you go past 300 yards. At that point, the 6.5 mm diameter bullet's slightly higher ballistic coefficient means it will retain it's velocity slightly better and thereby give a slightly better performance. This cartridge has the same game coverage and is in the same power family as the 30-30 Win, .257 Roberts, 6.5 Grendel and .243 Win. In my opinion, with the right bullet, this cartridge is good out to 300 yards for deer/ pig sized critters.

From a short 16 inch barrel in an AR pattern rifle, the 130 grain bullets around 2,300 ft sec and the 110 grain bullets at around 2,600 fps are the recommended hunting bullets in a 1:10 twist barrel. If I were to reload for this cartridge in an AR platform, I would use the premium Barns 110 gr TSX bullet, B.C. 0.323 at around 2,575 fps (2,600 fps is shown as max ) and see if I can get an accurate load with that. (See chart below.)

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From the chart above, you can see that the rifle, when zeroed at 100 yards, should be good to 250-ish yards without too much compensation. The bullet should expand out to around the 300 yard marker.

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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:12 am 
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Fantastic information Marineboar!! Thanks for posting this. I think it will be helpful information for our members. I'll add, that the TSX and TTSX bullets tend to be a bit longer than regular lead bullets of the same weight. So, seating depth can play a part in reloading and getting the completed round at the correct OAL. There are a bunch of hog hunters that I know who are using the 95grn TSX bullets to good effect, and with proper reloads are getting around 2800fps or so out of good barrels, and without any pressure signs. As always approach any reload data with caution, and use your best judgement. Always start below stated maximums, and work your way up.

Thanks again Tom for posting this information. Good stuff.

_________________
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Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:23 am 
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Tom, there is so much good information in your thread that I made it a sticky in the Wild Boar Guns and Loads section of our forums. Great job on the thread!

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Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:36 am 
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6.5mm Creedmoor

This is a true “target” cartridge. It is named after the historic Creedmoor long range rifle matches of the late 1800's. Those matches were 15 rounds fired at each 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. This cartridge was designed in 2007 by a long range shooter with assistance from Hornady Ammunition. The .264 caliber was selected for the long bullets of very high ballistic coefficient available. The cartridge is optimized for efficiency and it's internal volume was optimized for the volume of the rifle's bore. The parent cartridge is the .308 Win with the shoulder pushed back, shortened and necked down to .264 inches (6.5mm.) This combination delivers a low recoil compared to the more powerful 6.5mm rifle cartridges. This cartridge case is slightly shorter than it's parent .308 Win, so it also works well in short action bolt action rifles. In the AR platforms, it requires the AR-10 size system. The powder charge is optimized for a 24 inch barrel so a shorter barrel will have unburned powder at the muzzle generating more muzzle flash. Hornady Ammunition is selling a Precision Hunter line in this caliber which features a 143 grain ELD-X bullet with a ballistic coefficient of 0..625 with an advertised muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps ! This round is advertised for medium and large game out to 400+ yards. (I would be cautious about taking any angled shots past 300 yards in my experience.) Remember to test the bullets at such ranges to verify their advertising. :)

Currently, this cartridge is manufactured and sold with both large and small rifle primers, that is, different companies may use a different size primer from another company. The use of a large primer on a load developed with a small primer can create dangerous over pressures. Reloaders must be aware of this issue until the market settles on one size primer. Additionally, the SAAMI maximum pressure for this cartridge is 62,000 psi. However, even though the rifles and cases are designed for this pressure, the industry has seen primers blown from their pockets at this maximum pressure. As a result, factory loads are usually between 59,000 and 59,500 psi for customer safety.

I have read that the US Army will start using this cartridge to replace the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO (.308 Win) sniper rifles as this cartridge in a precision rifle is very accurate at 1,000 yards and beyond. (Being adopted by the military should increase civilian market rifles and ammunition sales volume and get prices to drop.) This cartridge was designed for long range competition where you poke a hole into paper. Please, remember that hunting bullets require 1,800 fps or more to expand properly and possibly even more velocity if deep penetration is required into the critter. From reading the 'experts' on elk and big mule deer hunters, their opinion is that this cartridge is good out to 300~ 350 yards. It may work out further on smaller deer within the 1,800+ fps limit on the bullets.

I have included charts below for the Hornady 140 grain SST bullet as well as the 143 grain ELD-X bullets at 24 inch barrel velocities and the 143 grain bullet from a 16 inch barrel.


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Tom


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:40 pm 
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Location: Longview, TX
6mm Creedmoor

The parent case is the .308 Win, going to the .30 Thomson/ Contender to the 6.5mm Creedmoor. The cartridge was developed by Hornady after the introduction of the 6.5 Creedmoor when the long distance shooters asked for a new 1,000 yard 6 mm cartridge traveling under 3,200 fps in 2009. This is another cartridge designed as a target round. The 6mm Creedmoor is basically a slightly shortened .243 Win with the shoulder angle reset from 20 degrees to 30 degrees and running slightly higher chamber pressures. (It is also a 'twin' to the 6mm Rem as well as the 243 Win.) The standard .243 Win barrel runs a twist rate of 1:10 and suggest 1:8 for 100 grain plus bullets. The 6mm Creedmoor barrels are specified at a 1:8 twist for using 'heavy for caliber' bullets. When both cartridges are fired from 24 inch barrels with 100 grain bullets, the velocity difference is about 100 fps. Both cartridges require the AR-10 platform for use. The cartridge uses a short action for the bolt action rifles and is very accurate in precision rifles.

The 6mm Creedmoor, like the .243 Win/ 6mm Rem, is a transitional cartridge from the small bore .22 caliber rounds for varmints (up to coyotes) into the medium caliber cartridges that are able to take deer sized animals. For deer hunting, Barnes and Nosler both offer 90 grain premium bullet as well as the ubiquitous 100 grain deer rounds most bullet manufacturers offer. Like the .243 Win, the 6mm Creedmoor is known for low recoils and is suitable for youth, ladies and small framed or recoil sensitive shooters. Hunting ranges, like the .243 Win, are limited to 300 ~ 400 yards maximum for deer sized critters with optimized shots. The cartridge was designed for 24 inch or longer barrels, so barrel length should be as long as practical for the weapon. This cartridge is one power group lower than the 6.5 Creedmoor and is similar in power to the 30-30, .243 Win, 6mm Remington and .257 Roberts. If you are looking for a Special Precision Rifle class competition class rifle, this may fit the ticket in an accurate AR-10. I'd suggest you get a 1:7 twist barrel as the target bullet makers are now up to 115 grain very long with extremely high ballistic coefficient bullets that require a 1:7 twist. (SPC competition is a 1,300 yard course of fire poking holes into paper.)

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One other thing of note... The drop encountered beyond 300 yards may be an issue if you don't have a range finder and a rifle scope that has external adjustments for Minute of Angle or Mills. Such equipment will also require that you have the time to make the readings and to make the adjustments to make such long shots. Good hunters go for a clean quick kill. Lobbing in rounds at a target is best done with artillery or at the target range in my opinion...

_________________
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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:56 pm 
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Location: Longview, TX
The 7.62 x 39 mm

The 7.62 x 39, aka 7.62 Soviet or .30 Russian Short, is a rimless bottle necked cartridge developed in the Soviet Union in 1943. This intermediate cartridge was adopted in 1944 by the Soviet Military and used in the SKS and AK type rifles and 2 of the Soviet machine guns. The Russians used this cartridge until the 1970s and it is still in use by military and civilians around the world. (It is also one of the hand full of cartridges that I have been on the receiving end. Luckily, they missed. :) ) The mil spec ammunition is good from -50 to + 50 degrees centigrade. The bullet diameter is actually 0.311 inches as opposed to 0.308 inches like NATO countries use. Due to the wide spread of Soviet pattern weapons, this is one of the most used cartridges in the world.

Military spec ammo, as well as civilian ammunition, is manufactured for this cartridge. The most abundant are the 123 ~ 125 grain bullets with some manufacturers producing a 150 grain bullet load for commercial sale. Several years ago I attended a suppressor show at a local range and there was quite a few suppressed 7.62 x 39 rifles using 200 grain and 220 grain bullets with good results. Since most of the rifles for this cartridge are carbines with 16 inch barrels, most ammunition is specified in a 16 inch barrel. The 123~ 125 grain loads usually have a velocity between 2,300 and 2,400 fps. Bullets are Full Metal Jacket, Soft Point Spitzer and Hollow Point. Quality and performance vary greatly and one should research by brand for performance. ( Some brands of soft points and hollow points fail to expand regularly.) Many brands use none reusable brass and some still use corrosive primers. This cartridge is also the cheapest currently on the market, usually in bulk. On the high end of costs, American manufacturers offer good reloadable brass hunting rounds. This cartridge is available in the AR style rifles with the upper receiver using a 7.62 x 39 specific bolt head and the rifles usually use different magazines from the 5.56 mm NATO cartridges.

With a good expanding bullet, this cartridge is usable to around 200 yards with the 123 grain bullets. Subsonic ammunition should work from the 50 to 100 yard range. The power class of this round is the same as the 30-30 Win, .257 Roberts, .300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC cartridges.

Here is a collection of some of the manufacturers' ammunition available:


http://www.ballistics101.com/7.62x39.php


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_________________
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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Location: Longview, TX
The .308 Winchester

(Full disclosure: My first rifle to train with in the Corps was the M-14 (7.62x51mm.) Yes, my “Woodstock” was on an M-14, however, most had a laminated fiberglass type stock. :) We fired for qualification at 200, 300 and 500 yards. The 7.62x51 round seemed to get to the target much sooner than the 5.56x45 mm we were issued later on for Vietnam. The M-14 sights made qualifying as Expert much easier than the sights on the M-16.)

At the end of WWII, the US Military started looking for a .30 caliber battle rifle with a detachable magazine and a smaller case that was able to approximate the ballistics of the 30-06 cartridge. The results from Winchester was the .308 Win cartridge (derived from the 300 Savage case) released to the civilian market. The 7.62 x 51 mm, aka 7.62 NATO, was adopted in 1954. The case was designed to chamber and extract from the chamber of both bolt actions as well a machine guns under adverse usage. The American SAAMI spec's call for a maximum of 62,100 psi chamber pressure in the 308 Winchester which is slightly higher than the NATO adopted spec of 58,000 psi. The 308 Win, in a 24 inch barrel, gives a 150 grain bullet at 2,820 fps and a 175 grain bullet at 2.619 fps. The NATO spec is from a 24 inch barrel with a 147 grain ball round at 2,733 fps and the 173 grain round at 2,580 fps. Military brass tends to be thicker than the civilian brass which reduces the internal volume available. Headspaces are slightly different: The 308 Win chamber headspace is between 1.630 and 1.6340 inches (SAAMI) and the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO is between 1.6355 and 1.6405 inches. Technically, 7.62 NATO should be safe to shoot in a 308 Win rifle. The reverse may be an issue, so check your headspace to verify.

The 308 Win cartridge is shorter than the 30-06 cartridge. The 308 will work in a 'short action' bolt action receiver while a 30-06 takes a 'long receiver.' The 30-06 uses a 1:10 twist rate, which in my experience, works well with bullet weights from 130 grains thru 220 grains. The US military M-14 rifle spec'ed a 1:11 twist and NATO spec's a 1:12 twist. From my experience, the 1:11 twist works well from 110 grain bullets thru 168 grain bullets. (I spent a couple of days trying to get an accurate load with a 180 grain bullet, but failed. But, that was just me working with the wife's brother-in-law on his 308 Win rifle.) The 30-06 has a longer case which allows more powder which gives the 30-06 about a 100 fps faster bullet from factory loads. (Interesting trivia: The USMC sniper rifle spec's dropped the long action bolt actions to currently use only short actions in 7.62x51. The Army still uses sniper rifles with the long action which allows them to switch from the 7.62x51 to the 30-06 or the 300 Win Mag with a barrel change as needed.) The 308 Win is a popular target and hunting cartridge in the USA, the UK, the EU and the Scandinavian countries as well as in Africa for medium and large critters.

Eugene Stoner developed a semiautomatic rifle with Armalite Company. The first rifle was in Win .308 and the rifle was called the AR-10 rifle. (“AR” stands for Armalite Company.) The US military adopted a scaled down version of this rifle in the 5.56 mm x 45 mm cartridge and it was labeled the M-16 pattern rifle with select fire, semi or automatic fire options. The civilian semiautomatic only version was labeled the AR-15 rifle. If I were a young man and looking to buy my first hunting rifle, I would look seriously at an AR-10 with a 20 inch barrel chambered in 308 Win. There are numerous AR-10's now in 308 Win with 16”, 18” and 20” barrels that start around $600 and up. I like the 'flat top' style with an adjustable butt stock with a nice recoil pad. Many also come with a 'muzzle break' which uses the propellant gas redirected to reduce recoil. Couple that with the recoil mitigation of the gas operated semiautomatic action and you're down to .243 Win felt recoil. (If noise is an issue, you can either buy a suppressor or get one of the 'blast redirecting cups' that fit around the muzzle break. A suppressor will also act as a muzzle break all by itself.)

The 308 Win ammunition is available world wide from manufacturers of hunting and target ammunition. Costs are competitive for store bought ammo and reloading can customize the round for your needs. As I looked up store bought premium ammo to compare to reloaded ammo, I find that there is reloading data that puts reloaded ammunition basically at the same velocities as Hornady Superformance line. (They advertise velocities 100 to 200 fps faster than 'standard' commercial loads and only 15 to 16 fps loss per inch of barrel from 24 inches down to 20 inches.) The Hornady ammunition shown is their GMX solid monometal (none lead) expanding bullets that competes with the Barnes' TSX series of bullets. For reloads, I chose the Nosler Partitions with their soft lead nose sections. (Both are premium bullets.) If you think about it, your ammunition is the cheapest part of your hunt. Even if you pay $2.00 USD per shot, you usually shouldn't require more than 2 shots for a kill. Most will spend more on the gasoline to go on the hunt and back home than that. Sight your rifle in for your hunting ammo and then 'plink' with the cheap stuff. This is a true 'hunting' cartridge as you can see by the range and retained energy as the range increases. In my opinion, the 308 Win, with a 20 inch barrel, should be good for hunting out to 375 ~ 400 yards with 150 grain bullets for deer and pigs (if you can adjust for the bullet drop) and hogs, elk and moose with the 165 grain bullet maybe out to 200~ 300 yards. I really like the 130 grain Speer HP for varmints in a 1:10 twist barrel out to 325 yards. ( The 125 grain Spire Point has a better BC; but, I got better accuracy from the 130 grain bullet from my barrel.) And, yes, you can go suppressed and subsonic. The suppressed 308 Win would make a nice close range specialized weapon with the 200 grain bullet like the 300 Blackout discussed above.

Here's a comparison of the bullet drops from the 308 Win, 30-06 and 300 Win Mag.


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For Varmint hunting up to and including coyotes ...


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The 150 grain Medium Game examples...


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The 165 grain bullets for Medium Game and some Large Game ...


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_________________
-------------------

Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:28 pm 
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Location: Longview, TX
“Sub Guns” as an option:

We've touched on various cartridges for AR pattern rifles and carbines. Most of the cartridges are considered as less powerful than a historical hunting or sporting rifle cartridges. There are also weapons which fire pistol cartridges from larger platforms than a pistol. I'll refer to these as sub guns. (Historically, cartridges like the 9x19 Luger and the 45 ACP have been used in the military for submachine gun class weapons.) Companies like Kal-Tec have brought out 16 inch barreled carbines in 9 mm, 10 mm and .45 ACP in AR “looking” carbines. We have also seen companies bring out pistols in quasi-AR patterned designs. I've been reading about Extar's Ep9 6.5” barreled pistol which. Like Kal-Tec, uses Glock magazines. (This gives a readily available supply of 12 to 33 round magazines for those of us living in the Free Zones of the country.) It has the extended pistol wrist brace which the ATF has stated may be braced in one's shoulder when shooting. The unloaded weight is 3.4 pounds in 9mm configuration. They also have their pistols in 9 mm, 10 mm and 45 ACP. This gives a very short and light weight weapon that adapts readily to a suppressed weapon for home defense or hunting out to 100 yards. There are numerous other quasi-AR styled pistols like this available now.

Looking at the 9x19 mm (9mm Luger) cartridge, the 147 grain bullets are about the heaviest available. They are usually subsonic and are rated for self defense and varmints. The 10mm cartridge offers a better solution for hunting as it covers the Class II type of critters up thru Deer ( 50-300 pound class) with the 200 grain bullets that offer good penetration. Looking at the Hornady Bullets, their XTP hollow points are made of pure lead that should open up reliably down to about 800 fps. Neither cartridge offers much energy, but should do well on deer with heart/ lung shots. I would suggest neck shots on hogs. I've included charts for subsonic Hornady XT HP's in 9mm and 10mm. Zeroed at 75 yards, they shoot flat to 100 yards. (The bullets appear to have expansion well beyond a single sight setting.) IMO, the 10mm 200 grain bullet looks like it would be a better hunting cartridge than the 300 Black Out as it offers bullet expansion at much longer ranges.


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_________________
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Semper Fi,

Tom


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Location: Santa Fe, TX
I think most of our experienced members here would agree that using pistol cartridges such as 9mm or .45acp as primary hog hunting cartridges is not a good idea. At best they may be ok to finish off a wounded hog up close. Better cartridges would be in the .44 magnum, .41 magnum class of cartridges and up. My personal choice for a hog pistol is a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44mag.

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Happy hunting,
Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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