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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.

Posted same question on the handgun forum...hope that is not a no no.
 

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Range?

OK,
The load is good enough for 200yds. Are you good enough for 200yds? Are you well practiced at 200yds and perhaps beyond? What rest to use?
Do you have your exterior ballistics computed for your load for 200yds? Do you know its wind drift/drop? Do you have a wind velocity indicator? Are you good at computing crosswind component? The wind always blows in pronghorn country!

A pronghorn at 200yds is a mighty small target; much more so at 300yds! All the above computations must be carried to 300yds if you expect to succede to that range! Get a good electronic rangefinder and become proficient with it as it will compliment your exterior ballistics computations. At 200-300yds, you will miss a pronghorn if you are off by only a few yards of range estimation.

Best wishes,
 

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Rimfire....The load I use is a WW fireformed case, Federal 210 LR primer, 36.9 grains of Win 748 powder and the #28120 Nosler BT bullet. This is a maximum load out of the Sierra handgun manual, and is safe with no excessive pressure signs in my 12 inch T/C Hunter barrell. This load chronographs at 2376 average muzzle velocity and 1504 ft/lbs of energy. At 200 yards, it is still going 2041 fps with 1110 ft/lbs energy. At 250 yds, it still is going 1962 fps with 1026 ft/lbs of energy. This load is just barely a 250 yd load when you figure that to get good clean kills a bullet should be traveling at aprox 2000 fps for proper bullet expansion, and be maintaining 1000 ft/lbs of energy for deer/antelope size animals. I don't think there is a 7x30 Waters 300 yard load that will dependably kill an antelope at 300 yards without risking wounding, and, being from MT and having shot many, many antelope, a wounded antelope will take you many miles of tracking, and even then you will be at high risk of losing it in the sage brush. They are one tough animal when wounded. The above load, in which I have killed numerous deer and antelope, is at 300 yards only traveling 1884 fps with 946 ft/lbs of energy. I'm sure a lucky 300 yard shot would kill an antelope if hit right, but the chance of wounding is not worth the shot. And, like the above post advises, the wind during the fall antelope season in MT is ALWAYS blowing and gusting hard, which moves low velocity bullets a long ways from your aim point. You need a dead rest, and you need to find and then stalk your animal to as close as you can possibly get. A 200 yard shot at an antelope with a 13 1/2 inch top of shoulder to bottom of brisket hight is one **** of a long shot in wind that is ALWAYS blowing. So plan on crawling through the prickly pear cactus carefully, and get as close as you can. The above load is the best that I have worked up, and the Nosler 120BT really has worked well for me. My longest shot at deer has been aprox 150 yds with little wind, and antelope at aprox 200 yards on a day when I could shoot directly upwind with little worry of wind drift, using a variable scope at 6x. The deer dropped in his tracks and the antelope ran aprox 20 yards, both shot through the lungs I sight in this load dead on at 190 yards, which puts me 2.5 inch high at 100 yards, -0.66 at 200, and -5.25 at 250. I hold dead on up to 200 yards with this load. Good luck on your antelope hunt, just get as close as you can with a steady rest.
And regardless of what your guide says, you can stalk close to antelope, as I usually shoot them at from 50 to 150 yards, and don't take chancy, unhumane shots. My 2 cents worth.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #4
long range load

Gary...thank you very much for your real world comments. This is consistent with what I heard from several others.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
long range

Questor,

I actually do not have a guide. I am doing a self guided trip to Montana basis significant help from a local in Montana. He is setting me up with a location on public land where sighting of 200-300 animals per day is common. I am very much looking forward to it as this is a totally different type of hunt than I am used to here in the East.

You might check out Varmint Al's website. He has directions for making your own shooting sticks he calls the Bi-fur-pod. I am making a set now. Tried a cheap mock up in light pine and it seems this would work well. Now will make the real thing.

You might also check a product called the snipe pod. I checked their website and the device looks very good.
 

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I have used three aids successfully while antelope hunting with handguns. Harris Bi-pods (Usually the 25C), Underwood shooting sticks (I have added some closed foam to cushion the forend more so it wouldn't move), and my daypack.
Picking up one of the older Bushnell rangefinders(400 yard) will work fine for the distances you are talking about. I would encourage you to chrono your loads then learn what the windrift is out to 250 yards with a 10 & 20 mph crosswind. This will give you a better idea of what your bullet is doing in the field. I would you encourage to intentionally practice in the wind with field rests with a cardboard cutout of an antelope if possible. You will learn beforehand what field rests you like and dislike. I would also encourage getting some heavy leather mittens and kneepads. I have a number of times crawl stalked into range on antelope.
I typically will tape my trajectory and wind drift on the ocular of my scope (50 or 100 yard increments) to give me a ready reference in the field. In other words I try to do everything I can to be prepared for my hunt. The nice thing about antelope hunting is that you can take more than you need compared to packing everything up a mountain on your back.
xphunter
 

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Rimfire,

To explore the raged edge of 7-30 performance you may want to consider having your chamber improved to 7-30 JDJ.

CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD by Barnes says it's "....capable of 300-yard shots on the smaller species," and " ...drives a 140-grain bullet at about the same velocity as the 7-30 Waters will drive the 120-grain bullet."

Extrapolating from that I suppose a 120gr bullet might gain another 200fps, significantly improving long range effectiveness. -- Kernel
 

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I use the same load 37 grains of 748 and a bt nosler. Shoots under an inch in mine.
gary/mt said:
Rimfire....The load I use is a WW fireformed case, Federal 210 LR primer, 36.9 grains of Win 748 powder and the #28120 Nosler BT bullet. This is a maximum load out of the Sierra handgun manual, and is safe with no excessive pressure signs in my 12 inch T/C Hunter barrell. This load chronographs at 2376 average muzzle velocity and 1504 ft/lbs of energy. At 200 yards, it is still going 2041 fps with 1110 ft/lbs energy. At 250 yds, it still is going 1962 fps with 1026 ft/lbs of energy. This load is just barely a 250 yd load when you figure that to get good clean kills a bullet should be traveling at aprox 2000 fps for proper bullet expansion, and be maintaining 1000 ft/lbs of energy for deer/antelope size animals. I don't think there is a 7x30 Waters 300 yard load that will dependably kill an antelope at 300 yards without risking wounding, and, being from MT and having shot many, many antelope, a wounded antelope will take you many miles of tracking, and even then you will be at high risk of losing it in the sage brush. They are one tough animal when wounded. The above load, in which I have killed numerous deer and antelope, is at 300 yards only traveling 1884 fps with 946 ft/lbs of energy. I'm sure a lucky 300 yard shot would kill an antelope if hit right, but the chance of wounding is not worth the shot. And, like the above post advises, the wind during the fall antelope season in MT is ALWAYS blowing and gusting hard, which moves low velocity bullets a long ways from your aim point. You need a dead rest, and you need to find and then stalk your animal to as close as you can possibly get. A 200 yard shot at an antelope with a 13 1/2 inch top of shoulder to bottom of brisket hight is one **** of a long shot in wind that is ALWAYS blowing. So plan on crawling through the prickly pear cactus carefully, and get as close as you can. The above load is the best that I have worked up, and the Nosler 120BT really has worked well for me. My longest shot at deer has been aprox 150 yds with little wind, and antelope at aprox 200 yards on a day when I could shoot directly upwind with little worry of wind drift, using a variable scope at 6x. The deer dropped in his tracks and the antelope ran aprox 20 yards, both shot through the lungs I sight in this load dead on at 190 yards, which puts me 2.5 inch high at 100 yards, -0.66 at 200, and -5.25 at 250. I hold dead on up to 200 yards with this load. Good luck on your antelope hunt, just get as close as you can with a steady rest.
And regardless of what your guide says, you can stalk close to antelope, as I usually shoot them at from 50 to 150 yards, and don't take chancy, unhumane shots. My 2 cents worth.
Gary
 
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