300 WSM Load Development

JBahr

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May 29, 2016
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Last year I took a decent bull using factory Nosler Trophy Grade 180 Accubonds and my 300 WSM CA Ridgeline. I was a little confused with the performance of the AB. My first shot from 175 yards, freehand, was high lungs, shattering the opposite side scapula. The bull took off and disappeared. When we located him 40 minutes later he was still on his feet, standing still. After a few followup shots I had my bull. I know this is more placement than performance, nonetheless I would think the wound cavity created at that range and placement would have killed the bull inside 30 minutes.



Fast forward to this year. I've become slightly obsessed with accuracy and consistency. I've done the research and started to develop a new load for the 300 WSM. It was pretty difficult to find anyone specifically with my setup for some starting points so I thought I'd share and take you guys along with me in case others are looking for similar info.



The rifle is a Christensen Arms 300 WSM, 24" barrel, 1-10" twist with a titanium Slayer brake. I decided to try two different bullets; the 190gr Nosler Accubond Long Range and the 190gr Berger VLD Hunter. I am using once shot Federal brass trimmed to 2.089", CCI large rifle primers, and Alliance Reloader 17 powder. I'm starting with 60 grains of powder across the board for each seating depth, five depths for each bullet. I know the pressure is going to be different for each resulting in different velocities. Will this influence the test too much?



I do not have the right instrument to measure headspace or cartridge base to ogive (CBTO). I did verify the headspace fits nicely after resizing so I'm not terribly worried about that, maybe a future investment, new dies will be required... With the CBTO I just started long and kept shortening until I could just get the bolt to close, I used that COAL as my "in the lands" measurement. For the ABLR's it ended up at 2.980" and the Berger VLD's at 2.953" Important note: These measurements are particular to my rifle, your's may be different.. From there I took each down in 0.030" increments and loaded 5 rounds in each. Only the last few for each bullet would fit in my magazine, the max length for my rifle is about 2.890" which kinda sucks but is not a deal breaker. The COALs for the ALBR are 2.980", 2.950", 2.920", 2.890" and 2.860". The VLD's are 2.953", 2.923", 2.893", 2.863" and 2.833".



Sometime this week I will get out to the range and start the testing. Hopefully I can find a chronograph and start capturing that data too, anyone have one near Denver? I'll be shooting five shot groups at 100 yards. How long should I wait between shots? The rifle has been cleaned recently and I plan on shooting 15 factory rounds before development starts. Any need to clean between groups? Any bets on what will perform best? Any suggestions on other powders I should try?
 

Felix40

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Im very new to reloading but have been reloading for my 300 wsm maybe a year. I found that i need to anneal the brass often to avoid splitting the necks. Maybe thats common knowledge or maybe Im doing something wrong but it drove me crazy for a while trying to figure out why necks were splitting on the 2nd reload. Thats about all I have because I only tried two different combos for my rifle. Im curious to see what works best for you.
 

Hiwayman92

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Apr 24, 2016
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I have cheap federal brass that has been fired 5-6 times, and full length sized each time. I have never annealed.


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Hiwayman92

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Apr 24, 2016
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Reloder 17 is fast but temp sensitive. Any of the 4350 powders or RL-26 works well with the heavies. I really like RL-26 in my 300 WSM.


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wind gypsy

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Sorry to be that guy that tosses shit out there contrary to your plan.. but Berger classic hunter 185s and 200 gr ELDx will help you with your mag length issues and should be less sensitive to jumping.

Hiwayman is correct about rl17 temp sensitivity but plenty of people use it successfully. Rl16 is roughly the same burn rate and more temp stable. H4350 (180s) and H4831sc (200s) will be more stable yet than RL16. RL26 would be neat to try with 200+ grain pills.

Good luck!
 

wind gypsy

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I'd get your barrel nice and fouled and forget about cleaning between groups. Don't bounce back and forth between nosler and Berger though, the different jackets can foul your bore differently.

Not sure how long to cool down with a carbon barrel. With standard sporter profile steel barrels I don't let them get hot enough to where it is uncomfortable to hold the barrel with your bare hand.
 

maninthemaze

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Not sure about the temp sensitivity of that powder. It really depends on the distances you shoot, on its importance. I liked R26 in my 7wsm. It was about 100fps faster than H1000 that I had been using.

About temp sensitivity, here's an email from Alliant when I asked about the powders for my 28 Nosler build.

Eric,
Alliant has three temp stable propellants by their chemistry. These are AR-Comp, Reloder-16 and Reloder-23.* Reloder-26 by its chemistry is not temp stable, but in most applications it behaves much like a temp stable propellant.* The Reloder-33 is not at temp stable propellant. That being said, all of our propellants need to pass, by lot, testing procedures in a wide range of temperatures, wider than any self-respecting human would be hunting or shooting under.
As for load data for the 28 Nosler, Alliant has no tested load data for this cartridge at this time.
I will submit your request to the engineering lab for possible future development. But, there is no timetable as to when this may be looked at for development.
Thanks,
Duane V.
Technical Services Rep
Alliant/Blazer/CCI/Speer

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maninthemaze

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Also, beautiful rifle. What bipod and cheek rest are you running on it?

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maninthemaze

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Better start with the most "jump" rounds first. I could be wrong but I was thinking that with less jump, you get a higher initial spike in pressure. Bullets that are jammed, will produce higher pressures and velocities, than those with a jump, given the same amount or powder charge in both rounds. I'm thinking that the way your doing the test is exactly the way Berger recommends doing load development. Find seating depth first, the work up the powder charge towards maximum.

I'd shoot them at 200 yards, or more, if possible. With a really good rifle, 100 yard groups are hard to distinguish.

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CaNINE

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I've done a fair amount of load development for the 300WSM. Without question, the best combo in my rifle is the 200 grain ELD-X with H4831SC. I did a seating depth study and in my rifle the bullets like to jump, 0.080" in fact. I'm pushing them at 2880 fps and they land in one ragged hole at 200 yards. This set up put some serious hurt on a large Wyoming black bear taken with one shot at 530 yards. Rock solid temp stable too. I tested it at 75 degrees F and with ammo on ice and got consistent performance.
 

wind gypsy

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I've done a fair amount of load development for the 300WSM. Without question, the best combo in my rifle is the 200 grain ELD-X with H4831SC. I did a seating depth study and in my rifle the bullets like to jump, 0.080" in fact. I'm pushing them at 2880 fps and they land in one ragged hole at 200 yards. This set up put some serious hurt on a large Wyoming black bear taken with one shot at 530 yards. Rock solid temp stable too. I tested it at 75 degrees F and with ammo on ice and got consistent performance.
I also run h4831sc (66.9 gr) behind a 200 eldx. Norma brass and 210m primer and she shoots great!
 
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elkguide

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H4831 SC for 180 grainers and WW760 for 168 grain pills here.
Both extremely accurate and consistent powders for me.
 

coop22250

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+1 on W760. Both 300/325 WSM like it. I'm going to try some 414 as you can get a little more velocity, but no testing yet
 

luke moffat

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Thus far I have only used RL26 in my 300 wsm and it's yielded sub MOA for 5 shots with 178 eldx at 3180 fps and seems to line up perfectly for BC and velocity to just beyond 800 yards so far.
 

wind gypsy

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3180 FPS? Wow, how long is the barrel? My accuracy loads with 180s with H4350 were all sub 3000 FPS in a 23" Factory X Bolt.
 

maninthemaze

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R26 creates a lot of velocity without the pressure. In my 7wsm, I could push the 168 Berger's to 3200 and the 180's to 3100. It wasn't as accurate at that load, so I settled on 180's at 2900. But R26 is definitely a good powder. It's not temp stable, but it's a good powder.

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granite7

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I've done a fair amount of load development for the 300WSM. Without question, the best combo in my rifle is the 200 grain ELD-X with H4831SC. I did a seating depth study and in my rifle the bullets like to jump, 0.080" in fact. I'm pushing them at 2880 fps and they land in one ragged hole at 200 yards. This set up put some serious hurt on a large Wyoming black bear taken with one shot at 530 yards. Rock solid temp stable too. I tested it at 75 degrees F and with ammo on ice and got consistent performance.
I'm working up loads for the 300 wsm using 200 grain ELD-X in my Tikka T3 Hunter. I looked, but couldn't locate load data for H4831SC on Hodgdon.com or in Hornady's 10th. How did you come to the loading that you mentioned? Thanks!
 

wind gypsy

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I'm working up loads for the 300 wsm using 200 grain ELD-X in my Tikka T3 Hunter. I looked, but couldn't locate load data for H4831SC on Hodgdon.com or in Hornady's 10th. How did you come to the loading that you mentioned? Thanks!
Hodgdon Lists Data for H4831 online, just not SC. It is the same powder but SC has "Short Cut" granules so it meters better and packs more densely into cases. It shows start load at 63.0, max load is 66.5 with a 200 Gr Switft Soft point @ 2.790 COAL.

This thread prompted me to review my load, it is 2.920" COAL, 66.9 grains. Even with a little longer COAL, I use a drop tube or the powder gets more compressed than I want it to. I assume you'll run into the same with less COAL on the tikka.

I've always wanted to run a tikka as a LA with a short mag and Berger 215s since their magazine lengths are short.
 
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