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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 13" 7-30 barrel...shoot it well with a load of 35 grains of Win748 and a 120 gr NBT. I am looking at a Monatana Pronghorn Hunt and want to up my load as this is way below max from what I have seen.

Gentlemen who is helping me arrange it says the farther I am comfortable shooting the better. I want my range more limited by my ability than the trajectory of the load I am using.

Would like a recommended load for the longest range shooting on Pronghorn with a 7-30. Let me say that I think my load already is good for 200 yards. I am hoping to stretch that to 300 yards for a Pronghorn and think that is definitely long range for a handgun and an animal with a small vital area like a typicial pronghorn.

I realize I need to work up to it, but am curious what others have found in a similar length barrel.

Will have a 2-7 Burris Scope mounted.

The NBT seems to have about the best BC out there and energy on a Pronghorn might be less of a concern than accuracy I would think...smaller animal.
 

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Can't speak to the load, but I do live in MT and have taken several antelope-even archery hunting. I've never had to shoot further than 200 yds. In my opinion, patience and shot placement is what's key.
 

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:arrow: rimfire,

In my opinion, the Waters is not a 300 yard cartridge when it comes to humane kills on deer-sized game. I have a Contender Super 14 in 7-30 Waters and I can hit my 5.5”x11” steel pendulum at 300 yards from my very good bench rest…Only problem, the pendulum doesn’t move very much!! If you get that 120 grainer going 2300 fps from that short barrel, you probably only have about 700 foot pounds of energy at 300 yards. Ain’t real cool to hit that animal with that amount of killing power…Just my opinion again. The Waters is a 200 yard cartridge for good humane efforts on deer-sized game. Good-luck…BCB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BCB

I respect your comments and this may very well be my conclusion also from the ballistics tables I have looked at so far.

If I shoot a wet phonebook at 300 yards and get pitiful results I assuredly would not want to injure an animal. No...the wet phonebook will not decide it for me...but I have time to work on my opinion between now and next fall.

Thanks.
 

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I've used and recommended the 7-30 round in 14" TC barrels for many years. I've killed a lot of game of various sizes with it and probably talked several hundred folks into buying and using it. I like the round and respect what it does to game. BUT I do not consider it a 300 yard round. Yes I know folks like to think of it as such and some have used it out to about that range and recovered their game. Personally I consider it about a 225 yard round and have been saying that now for several years.

Beyond that the velocity has generally dropped so low you get rather poor expansion of the bullet. On light thin skinned game like the Pronghorn I'd think this even more of a problem.

I have settled on one load now for all of my hunting with the 7-30 and that's the Sierra 130 SSP over 35.5 grains of W748 and I consider that a real max load. Some say they use 36.0 grains but I don't like that much. That will generally push the bullet to about 2300-2350 fps from a 14" barrel. If you want flatter you might try pushing a Nosler 120 BT to about 2450 fps if you can safely do so in your barrel. That is really pushing it and not all barrels can reach that safely.

JD Jones of SSK says if you start off a BT at 2300 it will expand at 300 yards. He has a lot more experience than me and I'll not argue the point but I'd personally not want to be using it at that range from the 7-30.

On a small light critter like the pronghorn I'd go with the Nosler 120 BT pushed as fast as you can safely push it from your barrel. Then shoot it into various expansion mediums from 225 to 300 yards and see if you get decent expansion. I'd not consider just blowing off the plastic tip adequate expansion. IF it won't expand to at least 0.35" across the widest part of mushroom I'd not use it.

Now are you a 300 yard shooter? Can you hit an 8" or 9" paper plate EVERY TIME at 300 yards from FIELD POSITIONS? Not from the bench but from the kind of rests you'd actually have in the field? If not then you aren't a 300 yard shooter and have no business trying. No shame in not being up to it. I'd sure not take such a shot.

GB
 

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I too have used the 7-30 Waters with good success. Each and every Whitetail I took with the 7-30 Waters was taken with a 120gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip. I learned that when the impact velocity was above 1800 FPS (or maybe a little more) bullet expansion was great.

However I did take one Whitetail Buck at long range in which the impact velocity had fallen to around 1700 FPS. In this instance I would have more than likely had to track the Buck had I not hit sufficient bone to expand the bullet. At an impact velocity of 1700 FPS the 120gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip broke the tops of both shoulders, just clipped the very bottom of the spine, and exited leaving about a silver dollar sized exit hole. Had this been a behind the shoulder lung shot I would have had work to do in finding the buck I am sure.

I used Winchester 748 powder with the 120gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip, and was able to work up to the max listed in the Nosler Data. The velocity I obtained from my barrel is a moot point as it was a 10" 7-30 Waters.

In my opinion the accuracy you and your handgun are capable of, and the 1800 FPS MINIMUM for Impact velocity will be the determining factors in your maximum range.

The 7-30 Waters is an excellent cartridge, it's recoil is quite tollerable, it is easy to load for, and delivers quite good accuracy.

Good luck on your hunt.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
long range load

Really appreciate the comments. I work hard to shoot well and even if I was sure I had the energy at 300 yards, the rest/animal position/amount of escape cover/tracking conditions would have to be perfect for me to take such a long shot. Even then...I would also think that I would insist on an accurate reading from a laser rangefinder...and little wind. The chances seem slim I would ever take such a shot anyway.

I guess the way I am thinking about it is that if I work at determining what it will take at 300 yards, practice, and set my absolutel limits whatever they end up...that 200 yard shot will be taken with that much more confidence.

Appreciate the input. I will spend a while confirming my load and gaining absolute confidence at 200 yards from my shooting sticks and relevant field positions and then see wher I am at 250.

Will post results as they arise.

Thanks.
 
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