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Been toying withh the idea of dropping bullet weight from 250 gr to 180-ish gr. from my .50 Remington Genesis. The 250 gr TC Shock Wave projectile knocks the sox off whitetails but I would like to try and extend my range. I use 150 gr pyrodex discs. I am consistant with the 250 gr TC's at 175 yards.
Would dropping bullet weight and keeping the same powder charge change the external ballistic characteristics to the point that the terminal ballistics would be that noticable? Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
 

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In general HEAVIER projectiles perform better at longer ranges. You may get much higher muzzle velocity but you will lose 2 important things:

1) Wind drift higher with lighter bullets
2) Retained velocity at downrange distances lower with lighter bullets.

600-1000 yard match shooters use the heaviest bullets in a given caliber, not the lightest [80 gr .223, 173 gr .308, 200 gr .300 mag, etc]

Now 200 yards with a 180 gr may not be far enough to really see these effects but you have to run the ballistics in order to know for sure. The Ballistic Coefficient of a 180 will be MUCH lower than a 250 of same diameter. At 200 yards the velocity difference may be lower than you think.

Also you need to see if the twist rate of your bbl will stabilize the 180 at the velocity it will see - it is the RPMs of the projectile that determine this [ie velocity and twist rate.]

First step would be to buy a few and pattern them at 200. If you cannot get a 4"-6" group at that range then you should not try the hunting shot in the first place.
 

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I wouldn't go lower than 200 gr personally. Try the 200gr Shockwave.....some are getting outstanding accuracy with this load, and it seems to be very effective on deer. Most of the 44 and 45 caliber 180 bullets are horrible ballisticly....you'll get far, far better performance long range from the 250-300gr. loadings from the shockwaves and other bullets with a similar design. I'll take a sleek 300gr projectile over a short fat 180gr projectile for long range shooting everyday of the week. I wouldn't even shoot 180 .40 cal projectiles personally.

If you really want to extend your range, go with the 300gr Shockwave...you would think thats the opposite of what you would want to do, but in this case it is not.....try the 300's.
 

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you have to remember - bullet drop is the most predictable aspect of external ballistics. the quest to shoot flatter is somewhat misleading in that respect. at 200 yards, my bullet will drop 4", and that's really regardless of what the wind is doing.

what then becomes important is actually knowing your range. that same bullet that is 4" low at 200 yards, might be 9" low at 225 yards. big, slow projectiles shed velocity quickly, even while retaining more than sufficient killing energy.

jmoser and others have summed it up well - the heavier the projectile for the bore size, the better the ballistic coefficient, and the better it bucks the wind.

the wildcard in the muzzleloading arena is the sabot. its becoming clear that for most guns and most loads - the thinner the sabot wall, the more accurate the round. as you dip into the 180 - 200 grain bullet weight, you're going to get a smaller diameter bullet with thicker sabot walls.

if i were looking for a long range bullet - it would be an aerodynamic bullet (spitzer tip) in the 300 grain range, traveling at moderately high speeds. that is, if you think you can get your 300 grain bullet up to around 1,900-2,000 fps, you'll have a good long range round. then get yourself a rangefinder, and test the rounds at those distances you'd like to shoot. record the drop, and rest assured that your drop will be consistent when you go into the field.

guys have reported excellent accuracy with the barnes original semi-spitzers in a .458" diameter. there's very few spitzer bullets in the .458 size. much better luck finding them in the .452". then i'd order some mmp sabots, either the short black or the hph12, for 452 bullets. the mmp orange for 458 bullets. shockwaves, sst's, and some of parkers bullets would probably be good test as well.
 

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My Knight didn't like 250's at all. I didn't start getting acceptable groups until I went up in weight. I went to 300 gr .44cal XTP's and since switched over to 300gr SST's. I'm zeroed at 200 yards and feel comfortable at 250 yards. On the bench I'll shoot 300, but I don't feel comfortable shooting 300 at an animal. Remember, temperature has a huge affect on velocity. If you plan on hunting in cold weather and shooting that far, sight you gun in with cold weather. I made that mistake before.
 

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a 250 SST will retain better ballistics than a 300 XTP [with inferior BC]. Not all heavier projectiles have better BCs. That XTP bleeds fast.
An example would be say a 30-06 165 BT vs a 30-06 180 RN.......the 165 is going to shoot flatter and retain more Ftlbs. So not all heavier projectiles are better.
 

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sure, but if you compare the same bullets, the heavier one wins..

a 300 grain sst will perform better downrange than a 250 grain, generally speaking.
 

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rzdrmh said:
sure, but if you compare the same bullets, the heavier one wins..

a 300 grain sst will perform better downrange than a 250 grain, generally speaking.
is either more ft lbs....or flatter trajectory! take your pick. Unless you consider a Barnes copper, which one can shoot lighter weight but drive faster and still get the penetration. The best of both worlds.
 

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Actually, the 300's have a better long range trajectory and more ft-lbs...a win win. At long range those 250's are shedding velocity faster which means they are losing energy and dropping faster. This ofcourse is assuming the bullets have a similar spitzer design etc, etc,
I have some 295 Barnes spitzers that will hopefully shoot well in my gun and give me everything I'm looking for in velocity, trajectory and downrange energy. There is no holy grail of projectiles though, but we'll see how close this load comes.
 

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Huntsman27 said:
is either more ft lbs....or flatter trajectory! take your pick. Unless you consider a Barnes copper, which one can shoot lighter weight but drive faster and still get the penetration. The best of both worlds.
i'm not worried about ft lbs or trajectory.

if the bullet is designed well - 250 or 300 grains is going to get the job done in the energy department.

and again, imo, trajectory is very predictable. if you know your distances ahead of time (with a rangefinder and landmarks) then trajectory is a non-issue.
 

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rzdrmh said:
i'm not worried about ft lbs or trajectory.

if the bullet is designed well - 250 or 300 grains is going to get the job done in the energy department.

and again, imo, trajectory is very predictable. if you know your distances ahead of time (with a rangefinder and landmarks) then trajectory is a non-issue.
And, Im only using a piddly .45 cal Optima with 200 gr SSTs. As we all know, deer are very easy to kill.
 
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