300 Norma Mag Won’t shoot Berger 230 or 215s

#1
I had a custom made 300 Norma Mag made by Elk Meadows in Utah. I wanted the rifle to shoot 230 gr Berger bullets at long range. This is a pure target rifle and it is beautiful. I do load my own Ammo and planned on working with specifically with the Berger 230s. To get started I ordered 100 rounds of Loaded ABM 230s and 215s figuring it would be a good start in breaking in the barrel, sighting in the rifle and give me some brass to work with. I know that these are hot loads and probably get velocity at the high end. I was able to chrono a few shots and shot a slightly higher velocity than Lits put on the box. I also loaded up some 198 Flatlines to play with at longer range. Right when the rifle was delivered, Napa had their terrible fires and my shooting range was destroyed. Needless to say my skills have lost some polish and I struggled to develope my loads and sight in the rifle. Also, I am still without a range to do proper load development.

My groups have absolutely sucked with this rifle shooting the ABM loaded Ammo. I have shot 100 rounds with the rifle exhausting the ABM loaded ammo. The Best group is about 1.5” at 100 yards. I went on vacation and shot to last couple of boxes of ABM Ammo with the group about the same 1.5” figuring it was my degraded skills. I tried some of the Flatlines I had loaded up and shot an unbelievable group if 1/2 inch. I thought the problem was me but after shooting a great group with the Flatlines I am questioning the tooling or maybe the ABM loaded Ammo. I expected the ABM Ammo to shoot really well. When I ordered the rifle I had the reamer made to chamber for the 230s. I actually gave 5 rounds of the 230 gr ABM cartridges for the reamer to be bases on. I’m very frustrated and think the reamer was not cut for the job. Attached is the specs. It shows 130 freebore.

Any help you smart Smith’s can give me would be appreciated. Also, any suggested solutions would be appreciated. I bought 1000 230s to load for this rifle and now I’m at a dead end. Is the ABM 230 Berger Ammo not compatible with my rifle? Will my reloading skills be able to improve on what Litz was able to make for me developing a load as I normally do. Is the chamber not cut properly for the 230s? Why would the Flatlines shoot well and the 230s and 215s not? Is the ABM Ammo experience like most factory Ammo and not as good as I expecteded it to be?

I really need some help, direction, and confidence and hope someone here will be able to point me in the right direction.

Here is the link to the ABM loads. http://www.bergerbullets.com/abm-now-producing-300-norma-mission-ready-ammunition/
 

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bjay

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Oct 19, 2009
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#2
Steve reamer has but too short freebore. When he chambered mine i had to probide my own reamer with 256 freebore..for 230s your fb should works with 210 and the 198 warner
Heres what steve put together for me
 
Likes: Wyldeman
Jun 17, 2009
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#3
That freebore is very short. Reamers for the 230 Berger's usually seem to be around ~0.230-0.240".

Unfortunately, freebore's designed for the 230 Berger's don't seem to work well with the 198 flatlines (too much jump), and vice versa. Seems like you need to have a dedicated barrel for each projectile, to make the most out of each projectile.

You may be stuck with the 198 flatlines, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
 
Likes: bohem
#4
This is what i was thinking as well. Shooting the Flatline was a surprise, maybe a good surprise but I wanted a gun to shoot the 230s. Granted, I want to shoot LONG RANGE and the Flatlines should accomplish this well. Maybe I should just accept this, sell the 1000 230s and buy Flatlines, but I have to hand feed them as they are to long for the Magazine he chose for me. I could also have him recharger the barrel and all is good?

Thanks for your feedback. It is very helpful and is what I was thinking.
 

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#7
I agree that the CF and the McMillan colors do look amazing. Steve built a solid gun and my only disappointment is that it won’t shoot the 230s despite me paying for the reamer and specing the 230 gr Berger. I didn’t know better and him order it but I paid for it. It is the prettiest rifle that I own. Best part, the rifle only weighs 13.1 lbs including Kahles 624 with sling. I was worried about recoil but I had Steve use one of his Titanium muzzle breaks, and a limbsaver recoil pad, and I kicks like my 308. I could literally shoot it all day and no soreness. I am a real pussy when it comes to hard recoiling Rifles but this is a pleasure to shoot.

I have Spartan rebarreling my 308 now and will probably have him adjust the freebore but it is just another thing on my todo list. Any other suggestions as to what Freebore to use or is there any reference material I could look up? What are others using for their 300 NMs?

Thanks for all the help and comments.
 
#8
As a follow up, I was playing with a dummy rounds and sure enough the the ogive was hitting the lands with the ABM factory loads. The ABM 230 were loaded to 3.568 COL. A COL of 3.54 hits the lands. To get a .015 jump, I can reduce the COL to 3.525. I am going to give this a try instead of having the chamber throat recut. With some throat erosion, this problem should go away in time. Anyone see a problem with this thought process?
 

dinmax82

Full Member
Feb 13, 2017
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#9
Some barrels just don't like some loads is how I would look at it. Some of my 6.5s will shot 1 moa and others less then half with the same ammo.
 
Jun 17, 2009
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Houston, TX
#10
Some barrels just don't like some loads is how I would look at it. Some of my 6.5s will shot 1 moa and others less then half with the same ammo.
The .300NM is an incredibly easy cartridge to tune by all reports, and the 230 Berger is a known performer. The OP just needs a gunsmith to take a throating reamer to get the desired freebore and he will start seeing results with the 230's.
 

dinmax82

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Feb 13, 2017
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#11
The .300NM is an incredibly easy cartridge to tune by all reports, and the 230 Berger is a known performer. The OP just needs a gunsmith to take a throating reamer to get the desired freebore and he will start seeing results with the 230's.
Interesting, I hope so for my sake. I have 300NM getting chambered now.
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
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#13
curious what the OP did to fix this issue?


FWIW, I load 230OTMS deep in the case in mag loaded 300wm with an A191 chamber and they shoot great stuffed deep in the case with just a .015-.030" jump. OTMs ogive is a little different than the hybrids, which allows the shorter seating as the length in front of the ogive to meplat is shorter but the G1 is still like .7××. You may pick up a box of OTMs and load them .020" off before you cut the throat.

Shit like this is why I load test with boxes of 100 until I find my load. 1000 230 BHs is a pretty good outlay of cash.
 
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bohem

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Jan 6, 2009
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#14
This is what i was thinking as well. Shooting the Flatline was a surprise, maybe a good surprise but I wanted a gun to shoot the 230s. Granted, I want to shoot LONG RANGE and the Flatlines should accomplish this well. Maybe I should just accept this, sell the 1000 230s and buy Flatlines, but I have to hand feed them as they are to long for the Magazine he chose for me. I could also have him recharger the barrel and all is good?

Thanks for your feedback. It is very helpful and is what I was thinking.
@Tazman308 if you send me a PM with your email address I will send you the doppler for the 198 converted into a "custom drag curve" that is correct. I've been using it with excellent success from my 308 (as well as a few others) past 2000yd.

Your freebore is setup perfectly for the 198, no surprise considering how it's shooting them. My 300NM reamer for 198's is almost identically.

Al Warner of Warner tool setup their reamer (same one I have) to mag feed 198's from the 338 CIP mags that go 3.775 COAL, perhaps @Dan Warner can chime in and let you know exactly what mag it was. They have built several 300NM's specifically for the 198. There is no better bullet to shoot in that cartridge.
 
Likes: CHEYTAC
Feb 11, 2017
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#17
In most cases (barrel length), 3400 is about the top end for the 198 in the 300 Norma. If you are willing to go long on your barrel, as Josh said, you gan get more, but it is always best to find the accuracy node over running top speed too. We recently put one together for a fellow who has posted some results here on the Hide; he used an AI platform. I believe the specific magazine he is using is the AI AX AICS CIP (20400), but I will check for sure. BTW, our 300NM reamer designed for the 198 Flatline is available from JGS, no special permissions needed to order.
 
Mar 20, 2017
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#19
Great thread guys. I'm building a dessert tech with this 300NM. I've been navigating around all my choices. Feedback greatly appreciated!

I'm going to have Mark at SAC set me up with a 28 inch Bartlein but I'm starting out shooting the Nexus loads with the 215gr Berger hybrid. Nexus says Surgeon is shooting these with a 1:9.35" twist rate which allows them to shoot any weight with great success. They have a few ELR match wins with this exact setup. I have an 8 or 10 to choose from. I'm choosing the 1:8.

The 215s , according to Berger, are more stable through transonic speeds when compared to the 230s yet I see so many guys loading & shooting the 230s.....which I was tempted to do as well.
Mark tells me that Berger has recently pushing for excessive twist rates as this extra spin helps the bullet down range and during transonic flight.

I've landed on the following set up.

28in barrel
215 Berger Hybrids Nexus Loads
(Target) Velocity 3100 fps
1:8 twist rate.
Area 419 sidewinder mag brake.

Does the 1:8 twist concern anyone here?
How about that 215gr?
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#20
Great thread guys. I'm building a dessert tech with this 300NM. I've been navigating around all my choices. Feedback greatly appreciated!

I'm going to have Mark at SAC set me up with a 28 inch Bartlein but I'm starting out shooting the Nexus loads with the 215gr Berger hybrid. Nexus says Surgeon is shooting these with a 1:9.35" twist rate which allows them to shoot any weight with great success. They have a few ELR match wins with this exact setup. I have an 8 or 10 to choose from. I'm choosing the 1:8.

The 215s , according to Berger, are more stable through transonic speeds when compared to the 230s yet I see so many guys loading & shooting the 230s.....which I was tempted to do as well.
Mark tells me that Berger has recently pushing for excessive twist rates as this extra spin helps the bullet down range and during transonic flight.

I've landed on the following set up.

28in barrel
215 Berger Hybrids Nexus Loads
(Target) Velocity 3100 fps
1:8 twist rate.
Area 419 sidewinder mag brake.

Does the 1:8 twist concern anyone here?
How about that 215gr?
A friend is shooting the 215 and 230 out to 2k yards with no issues out of a 1/10 twist for what its worth
 
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Jeffd

Online Training Member
Feb 3, 2011
893
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#21
Great thread guys. I'm building a dessert tech with this 300NM. I've been navigating around all my choices. Feedback greatly appreciated!

I'm going to have Mark at SAC set me up with a 28 inch Bartlein but I'm starting out shooting the Nexus loads with the 215gr Berger hybrid. Nexus says Surgeon is shooting these with a 1:9.35" twist rate which allows them to shoot any weight with great success. They have a few ELR match wins with this exact setup. I have an 8 or 10 to choose from. I'm choosing the 1:8.

The 215s , according to Berger, are more stable through transonic speeds when compared to the 230s yet I see so many guys loading & shooting the 230s.....which I was tempted to do as well.
Mark tells me that Berger has recently pushing for excessive twist rates as this extra spin helps the bullet down range and during transonic flight.

I've landed on the following set up.

28in barrel
215 Berger Hybrids Nexus Loads
(Target) Velocity 3100 fps
1:8 twist rate.
Area 419 sidewinder mag brake.

Does the 1:8 twist concern anyone here?
How about that 215gr?
215's and 230's shoot well out of my 1-8 and 1-10 twist barrels.
 

ChadL

Space for Rent
Feb 16, 2017
227
52
28
44
Lincoln, NE
#22
Great thread guys. I'm building a dessert tech with this 300NM. I've been navigating around all my choices. Feedback greatly appreciated!

I'm going to have Mark at SAC set me up with a 28 inch Bartlein but I'm starting out shooting the Nexus loads with the 215gr Berger hybrid. Nexus says Surgeon is shooting these with a 1:9.35" twist rate which allows them to shoot any weight with great success. They have a few ELR match wins with this exact setup. I have an 8 or 10 to choose from. I'm choosing the 1:8.

The 215s , according to Berger, are more stable through transonic speeds when compared to the 230s yet I see so many guys loading & shooting the 230s.....which I was tempted to do as well.
Mark tells me that Berger has recently pushing for excessive twist rates as this extra spin helps the bullet down range and during transonic flight.

I've landed on the following set up.

28in barrel
215 Berger Hybrids Nexus Loads
(Target) Velocity 3100 fps
1:8 twist rate.
Area 419 sidewinder mag brake.

Does the 1:8 twist concern anyone here?
How about that 215gr?
I have a DT with a 300 norma barrel also from SAC. The same barrel specs as you. 1:8 may be a bit fast for the 215's, but will it cause a problem.....hell if I know. I decided to run the 230gr SMKs and Warner 198 flatlines as they require/recommend faster twist barrels. Plus, after measuring the distance to lands you can tell the reamer Mark uses is for long bullets. The base of the Warner Flatlines is at the shoulder neck junction when touching the lands.
 
Likes: bjay
Mar 20, 2017
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#23
I have a DT with a 300 norma barrel also from SAC. The same barrel specs as you. 1:8 may be a bit fast for the 215's, but will it cause a problem.....hell if I know. I decided to run the 230gr SMKs and Warner 198 flatlines as they require/recommend faster twist barrels. Plus, after measuring the distance to lands you can tell the reamer Mark uses is for long bullets. The base of the Warner Flatlines is at the shoulder neck junction when touching the lands.
What would a problem look like if it (spin rate) was to fast?
What do I look for? Just wondering. Thanks for the input.
 

ChadL

Space for Rent
Feb 16, 2017
227
52
28
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Lincoln, NE
#24
I honestly don't know. That's why I said "hell if I know", earlier. :D I've only ever read about it. I've never experienced it. One of my rifles I shoot bullets through, what would be considered, way too fast of twist barrel and I have no observable issues out to distance. Again, only ready about it, haven't observed it. The only issue I can think of is a slight velocity loss with the lighter bullets because of the faster twist. Probably negligible loss of velocity though.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#25
What would a problem look like if it (spin rate) was to fast?
What do I look for? Just wondering. Thanks for the input.
If you spin bullets at too fast of rpm the bullet will come apart. That's not an issue with solid but I will try to find a video of the bullet becoming a grey cloud at about 50 yards. People are having issues with some of hornady bullets lately, there have been a few threads about it recently on here.
 

bjay

Private
Oct 19, 2009
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Aloha state HI
#26
I think 8 twist is bjt too fast for 215..even my 10 twist will shoot 230s even to far distance..i dont see any reason setting up 215 for faster than 10twist unless its solid bullets
 
Mar 20, 2017
70
13
8
#27
Im going to a 10 twist, from my original 8.
Surgeon recommends 10 over 8 and I'll have more confidence in the 10 according to all my research. Thanks all!
 
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