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#5673136 - 03/27/15 10:20 PM Light or Heavy Bullet Choice
Gone to Texas Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/05/13
Posts: 2343
Loc: Hurst
This may sound like a dumb question but what are some of the benefits of using a heavier bullet? Obviously it will hit an animal harder but ballisticly what are the advantages of a heavier bullet?

I am handloading 140 gr AMAX's for my 6.5 Creedmoor. My buddy is giving me crap telling me to get a lighter bullet because they shoot flatter. I ran a quick ballistics calculator and the 120 AMAX's do fly a bit flatter but not much.

What are some advantages using a heavier bullet?
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#5673143 - 03/27/15 10:28 PM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
RiverRider Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 6201
Loc: Wise Co.
Since a heavier bullet generally has a higher BC, it will at some point downrange overtake a lighter bullet in terms of trajectory and retained energy. The question becomes whether or not you're going to shoot at distances long enough for any of that to matter. And as to the "energy" concept...well, save that one for another day.
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
God I am hating caliber threads more and more

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#5673150 - 03/27/15 10:35 PM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
bo323 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/24/11
Posts: 706
Loc: Snyder, tx
It all depends on what you're trying to do. So what do you want to do. The only thing I can add to what river said is a higher BC generally will have less wind drift.

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#5673263 - 03/28/15 05:03 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Tell your buddy to leave you alone.

140 A-max means 6.5mm. 400 yards, and in, it will drop just a tad less than a 130 or 120 gr, but when we get out past that the 140 gr will hold up way better than a 120. Ballistic coefficient is the ability to mauntain velocity, and as RR stated, if you ran a drag race of a 120 gr against a 140 gr, the 120 gr will pull out ahead early, but the 140 gr will pass it down range.

The 140 gr will have less wind drift along the way as well.

A 140 gr @ 2800 MV will make a barrel last longer than a 130 gr @ 2950 MV. Wind drift for both is the same, the 140 being a heavier projectile has more retained energy down range.
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#5673354 - 03/28/15 08:52 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4867
Loc: Central Texas
I've talked about this a couple of times, but will do so again. I shoot a 260 mostly these days, having parked my 270 in the safe. The first 260 I bought had a 16.5 inch barrel, which didn't push along the 120 grainers as fast as I'd like, so after a year or two with that bullet, I moved to the 100 grain version of that same bullet (Nosler BT). I wanted ballistics similar to the 270, because after 30ish years with the 270, those ballistics were ingrained in my hunting/thinking. I found that the 100 grainer worked just fine, and I've used it for 2 years now on coyotes, pigs, and deer. My conclusion at this point is that the 100 grainer is fine for deer but the 120 grainer knocked em down noticeably faster, even though it was moving a little slower. The difference isn't large enough to make me move back to the 120's, but I probably eventually will go back to the larger bullet. If I can make a guess, the 140's might be even a little better on deer or larger animals, but do you really need better? It's your call. As for me, I went with the very familiar flatter trajectory of the smaller bullet. That allows thinking about trajectory to be uncomplicated at 400 yards or less.

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#5673357 - 03/28/15 08:54 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
hovercat Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/30/14
Posts: 429
Loc: Pantego, TX
Rifling twist will affect what weight of bullet your rifle can stabilize.
Also, each rifle is different. Your rifle might shoot most accurately with a medium load of ABC powder, 140 gr bullets made by Hornady and Remington primers. Your buddy might get better groups with a max load of XYZ powder, 120gr bullets from Speer, and CCI primers.

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#5673449 - 03/28/15 10:22 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
WileyCoyote Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 4526
Loc: The Dogwood Capital of Texas
banana Clear concise provable information - and not just Opinions - like this is sometimes hard to find, when less experienced folks clutter the conversations with "My Grandaddy said" stuff.

New better boolitz, powders & primers have changed the time worn "Rules" from even as recent as 10-15 years ago. Even us Old Dogs can learn sumthin...IF we pay attention and keep up.
Ron
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Remember Aesops Fables outcome of the "Scorpion & and the Frog's" crossing the river when they get to other side

TooTaToo...We have MET the Enemy...and He is US !!... Pogo

Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it...George Santayana

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#5674138 - 03/28/15 10:24 PM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
It's really a good question. I discuss this with shooters all the time. Take a look at the chart below. It is a 123 A-max @ 2980 fps and a 140 A-max at 2800 fps. These speeds are a realistic amount for the 6.5 CM.

Let's look at each column.

Velocity- The speed of the 123 at 1000 yards has slowed to less than than the 140. The 140 began to surpass it at about 700 yards. But you can see the 123 loses velocity faster than the 140 does. This has to do with BC. The higher the BC, the less it loses it's velocity, and increases it's effective range. The "effective range" is generally defined when the bullet goes transonic, or below the speed of sound. But, the 140 A-max will transition well through the transonic, and will maintain true flight past this, which will increase it's actual effective range.

Energy- The 140 has more energy on target than the 123 does throughout it's entire flight. The combination of high BC, and increased weight allow this.

Elevation- This is one that most shooters get hung up on. The 123 is flatter than the 140, even at 1000 yards. Even at 500 yards, the difference is less than 5 inches. If you are dialing your elevation into a scope, this is easily accounted for by an extra .1 mil or .25 moa or so. I do not look at the elevation as my main deciding factor when comparing bullets. (I look at the wind drift). It's easy to know where your bullet is with elevation. Once you know your rifle and ammo, it is very repeatable.

Wind drift- Immediately the 140 A-max will have less wind drift than the 123 will. At 1K yards in a 10 mph wind, the 140 has 8" less wind drift than the 123. This is where most shooters will miss. The BC on the 123 is actually pretty good, and does not show a significant difference in all areas.

So, your bullet choice can be based on what factors are most important to you. I generally like heavy for caliber bullets for the added BC and added energy on target. But there's nothing wrong with a 123 for hunting close in game, say under 300-400 yards. The 6.5mm has very good bullets with high BC's, and will not show a large difference between the 123 and 140 A-max. But other calibers, like a .308 will.

123 A-max @ 2980 fps
Range Velocity Energy Elev Wind
(yards) (ft/sec) (ft-lbs) (inches) (inches)
0 2980 2425.3 --- ---
100 2793.1 2130.6 0 0.59
200 2614 1866.1 -2.71 2.42
300 2442.4 1629.1 -10.52 5.6
400 2278 1417.2 -24.17 10.28
500 2119.7 1227 -44.53 16.6
600 1967.4 1057.1 -72.64 24.74
700 1822.2 906.8 -109.75 34.92
800 1684.8 775.2 -157.35 47.35
900 1555.6 660.9 -217.23 62.26
1000 1436.2 563.3 -291.51 79.9

140 A-max @ 2800
Range Velocity Energy Elev Wind
(yards) (ft/sec) (ft-lbs) (inches) (inches)
0 2800 2437.1 --- ---
100 2647.1 2178.2 0 0.54
200 2498.5 1940.5 -3.22 2.22
300 2354.5 1723.3 -12.01 5.14
400 2215.4 1525.6 -27.08 9.41
500 2081.4 1346.7 -49.24 15.15
600 1952.2 1184.7 -79.44 22.49
700 1826.8 1037.3 -118.78 31.6
800 1705.1 903.7 -168.55 42.67
900 1587.2 783.1 -230.3 55.92
1000 1473.3 674.8 -305.89 71.6
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#5674284 - 03/29/15 07:36 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19244
Loc: Corsicana
I like to use the bullet weights the round was designed for-at least within a reasonable range. For example, a .30-06 will shoot bullets from 110 to 220 grains, but I would keep it in the 165-180 grain range for that caliber.

The newer well-constructed bullets do allow for lighter bullets with similar performance to a little heavier bullet. But I still like the heavier bullets within the normal design ranges of any given caliber. More weight (within reason) is always better IMO.
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#5674406 - 03/29/15 09:18 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Gone to Texas
This may sound like a dumb question but what are some of the benefits of using a heavier bullet? Obviously it will hit an animal harder but ballisticly what are the advantages of a heavier bullet?

I am handloading 140 gr AMAX's for my 6.5 Creedmoor. My buddy is giving me crap telling me to get a lighter bullet because they shoot flatter. I ran a quick ballistics calculator and the 120 AMAX's do fly a bit flatter but not much.

What are some advantages using a heavier bullet?


6 in 1/2 dozen in the other.... Run the ballistics on both.... Then compare them and then you will go I should just stop stressing smile

I shoot 129 to 140 grain bullets in mine. Those bullet weights also tend to be the most common. I've ran 129 SST, 139 Lupa, 140 amax, 130 vld...... POI under 400 is pretty close on all. To the point they are almost interchanable in my rifle

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#5674437 - 03/29/15 09:45 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
Struggle Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 11/21/14
Posts: 162
Just to try and make sure I am understanding what is being put down:

129 nosler: target/hunting below 300-400yds, more wind drift than the 140s, about the same POI as a 140 elevation wise.
140 Amax: target/hunting to 1k yds, about the same POI as 129.

Now for a couple of questions:

129 & 140, What size game out to what distance? I am just curious to what these bullets can do in capable hands, not necessarily my hands.
140 Berger/Hybrid: What's the difference between the Berger and Amax? Use, experience, etc.
160: Where do these fit into the equation or do they?

I'm trying to figure out what ammo to go with in a 6.5 Creedmore with a 1:8 twist, 26" barrel, No suppressor.

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#5674444 - 03/29/15 09:50 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Struggle]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
The Bergers have a higher BC than the A-max. They're also a dime per bullet more expensive. My experience with them has been find the right powder charge then adjust seating depth. The A-max was less work to make it shoot.

A 6.5 Creedmoor with a 140 A-max even with the lands (as long as it still fits in the mag) will shoot right around 42.0 gr of H-4350. Mine shoots at 42.4 and a good friend's shoots at 42.3, we could swap ammo and still be sub-MOA.
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#5674472 - 03/29/15 10:15 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
That's a lot of questions with some long answers. Basically, it boils down to performance. The higher the BC, the less drop and less wind drift. When comparing 1 cartridge (like the 6.5mm CM in this case) and comparing bullets in that cartridge, there is generally a break even point. For example, take the 338 Lapua. Most shooters want to compare the 250 Sierra Matchking (SMK) to the 300 grain SMK. They want to know which one is better. I ask what will be the primary use or distance you will be shooting. The 250 SMK is flatter and has about the same wind drift as the 300 SMK out to 700 yards. At about 700 yards, the 300 SMK will have less wind drift and begin to shoot flatter out past 700. So, the break even point is about 700. So when they say they want to shoot out to 1K and beyond, the 300 SMK will perform better than the 250 SMK. Inside of 700-800 yards, the 250 SMK is a good choice. Every caliber will have a break even point when comparing different bullets. And it generally works out to be about 700 yards for most rounds anyway. If you plan to shoot inside of 500 yards, the lighter bullets may be what you want for the added speed and flatter shooting.
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#5674594 - 03/29/15 11:59 AM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Struggle]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Also keep in mind "flatter" doesnt really matter. Take my 6.5 Creedmoor against my 7mm-08, both shooting A-maxes, 140 gr in the 6.5mm and 162 gr in the 7mm.

The 7mm has a higher BC but has a much lower MV due to a shortened barrel. At 600 yards the correction for the 6.5mm is 3.6 Mil, for the 7mm it is 3.9 Mil. Big deal! I have to dial in three more tenths on the elevation turret.
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#5674878 - 03/29/15 05:07 PM Re: Light or Heavy Bullet Choice [Re: Gone to Texas]
6.5x47Lapua Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/14
Posts: 518
Loc: dfw
You need to let the rifle decide. Both of my x47 barrels hated the 140 amax. I mean like 1.0-1.5 moa on average.

However, they both loved 123 scenars, 123 amax's, and 130 jlk's.

BC doesn't mean squat if the round doesn't start out accurate to begin with.

Just buy 100 of each bullet you want to try. Do a little load development. Shoot all the good loads at distance.
You will start to see what is working and what isn't.

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