Really light load or new rifle?

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Really light load or new rifle?

Post by BillL » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:14 pm

Hey guys,

My boy drew a sweet western elk tag for this fall and I'm trying to figure out "the best way" to arm the kid. He's 12 yrs old and on the small side, about 85#. So the rifle weight and recoil are still part of the equation.

We've already got...
1) Tikka lite compact in 243 that is a tack driver (thanks to advice from the guys on this board), but I've decided that 243 is too light for elk.
2) The Garand in 30-06, kinda heavy for the kid to carry.
3) Browning A-Bolt in 300wsm, which generally has too much recoil for the 85#er, but he's OK with the size and weight of the rifle.

I think I'm stuck with either reloading the 300wsm down to 308 energies or buying a new rifle.

So what about loading the 300wsm to fire a 180 gr Partition at about 2400 fps (a medium-light load in 308)?
The Nosler (7) book indicates that a minimum load (60 gr) of IMR 4350 would fill 89% of the case and result in 2736 fps for the 180 gr Partition, which is still 120 fps faster than the hottest 308 load for the 180 gr Partition. There are other loads in the book that fill the case as little as 80%.

Do I try to find a power that has lower density so I can load fewer grains without having a mostly empty case?
Does one use filler materials, like cotton wad to keep the powder stuffed down at the base of the case by the primer?
Is this kind of reloading too close to funky burn behavior and pressure spikes for a 'casual' reloader?

Thanks, BillL

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Re: Really light load or new rifle?

Post by TRshootem » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:46 pm

In my part of the world, the big 30's are popular due to the longer ranges encountered. I grew up in the timber and mountains of NW Montana, the .243 was a very common youth rifle. More important than a specific caliber, can the young person shoot the chosen rifle from various positions, and be reasonably accurate. If drawn for a big western bull Elk, loading down could work on the bigger bore. Again, all kinda prep for him shooting the load used. My first Whitetail was with a 7mm Mauser, at 12 yrs old it was difficult for me to shoot well. Best of luck to your boy :P

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Re: Really light load or new rifle?

Post by Whole Bunches » Wed May 01, 2019 10:11 am

I would think about the .243 with say Nosler Partitian bullets or Barnes copper bullets for deeper penetration and mild recoil. You already posted the .243 has the accuracy.

Note: I've never elk hunted, but have shot hogs and went with the Barnes bullets in the 300 Blackout for deeper penetration on larger boars.

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Re: Really light load or new rifle?

Post by bangbangping » Wed May 01, 2019 5:12 pm

The perfect excuse for a new rifle, twelve years in the making, and you're trying to avoid it? What's wrong with you? :lol:

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Really light load or new rifle

Post by Enfoto » Fri May 03, 2019 5:55 pm

Its nothing to do with 223 vs 5.56. The brass is the same size. If you are using light loads, the brass may not be expanding enough to seal well. What load are you currently using and what chamber do you have?

There are many well-proven service rifle loads. What components are you working with?

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Re: Really light load or new rifle?

Post by 45r » Fri May 03, 2019 6:09 pm

I'd get a 308 and load up with a reduced load using H-4895 and 130 grain ttsx barnes bullets.
Light recoil with ability to penetrate well into vitals.
If using the 243 a 105 VLD hunting bullet from Berger could work with a well placed broadside shot.
Shot placement is the most important thing.
Last edited by 45r on Fri May 03, 2019 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Really light load or new rifle?

Post by rebel » Fri May 03, 2019 10:23 pm

What about threading the 300 WSM and putting a high quality brake on it? Little man would need earplugs for the shot, but with some of the higher quality brakes, we would be talking 223-243 felt recoil. More expensive option, but it's what I would do.
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