2000 Yard 50% Hit Rate-300 Norma or Otherwise?

DAVETOOLEY

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Yeah the factory ammo with 300s is pretty anemic at best. Now I've got a 338 Edge that will push them bad boys over 3000 fps and its a laser beam to a mile.

ETA: I've really toyed with the idea of doing a 338LM Improved with a little more barrel to take better advantage of the 300s but I have to wear my current barrel out which is going to take a while due to limited use.
Not sure what your current barrel length is but I did that years ago with a 338 Imp 30' shoulder and found you don't gain much going from 30" to 34". Not enough to compensate for the added expense and inconvenience of lugging that beast around.
 

steve123

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I guess everything I have to say here is just opinion but these are some personal observations and stories I've heard from other guys that shot/shoot ELR in a less serious get together way.

12-ish years ago, the 375CT I had, even with the various problems including ignition, etc, launching 350 Hooker tactical solids at 3250 fps, blew so much less in the wind than my 30-375R (very similar to 300PRC), that my 375CT was flat out easier to connect with at ELR distances on 1.7 moa sized steel.

One story of mine goes like this.
I was finalizing load work at 1000Y with my 375CT as my friend was shooting his 6mmBR with 105's at 600Y. Even though it was fairly windy I was able to put two 6" groups on a 19" plate without any trouble.
My friend struggled hard to hit a 1' wide plate. I thought hmmm, let me try it, well darned if I couldn't hit that 600Y plate much either??? BC/high speed vs super accuracy.

Another story.
A friend with his 50bmg Windrunner using 750 Amax at 2650 fps. Me with that same 375CT. We were about even out to 1450Y on hits. We kept moving back in 200Y-ish increments. By 2050Y he could not connect with a 21" plate, whereas I could and often. It just got harder for him to hit at each step in distance from 1450Y on out. High BC/high speed vs high BC and slow speed.

Just a fun story real quick.
Friends and I shooting at 1300Y on a man shaped steel. 300WM, 338L, and 375CT. I shot hitting low right, and when I hit the steel with the 375CT the steel tore off it's welds and fell down, we all laughed, it was kind of slow motion thing when it happened as we watched through our riflescopes. Impact energy!

Had to hold almost twice as far out one time at 1400Y with my 30-375R to hit the same steel as with my 375CT, quite a revelation when I shot them side by side.
Though I won a ELR match with the 30-375R with 230's going 2930 fps. This was against most popular cartridges - excluding 375CT and 408CT which were not represented that day.

Went to visit some guys I met here on SH for some ELR. Had sold the 375CT years before but kept my 30-375R. We shot at 1450Y, 1700-ish, 1900-ish and 2100Y-ish. Present were 6.5 Creed, 7 Saum, 30-375R, 300 Norma-ish wildcat, and 338LM AI. For whatever reason these guys liked plinking at a 13" wide plate which I thought was too small for the distances we were shooting, I was very intimidated by this???!!!
The old 30-375R using 225's at 2935fps, was for whatever reason much more consistent than the other cartridges the first day, almost getting twice as many hits. 2nd day was horrible for me, basically the barrel had burned out! It had 1600 or so rounds down the barrel by then.
The guy that headed up that informal ELR gettogether told me the most hits he had ever seen at that same location on the same steel was with a 284 Win F-class rifle on a very calm day! Interesting and not surprising. There's a reason 284 Win is the go-to in that game, right! Low ES, good BC, decent speed, high accuracy.

My 30-375R weighs 23 pounds, and my 375CT weighed 37 pounds, both braked, and both pleasant to shoot. The 375 just gave kind of a big push but recoil was not hard at all. Both gave much less buck than my friends 338 Edge and 338L that were 14 pounds and 19 pounds.

Serious about ELR it's big cartridges with highest BC going fast - for cheating wind.
Personally I'd go 300PRC and call it good, because longer barrel life and 75 extra fps of 300N isn't huge. Just go with a longer barrel if you have to have that extra speed. Plus the extra blast of 300N is notable.
ON a calm day look out, a 284 Win with heavies might come out on top.

If you won't be walking around with the ELR rifle I say build it as heavy as possible, makes a big difference in felt recoil.
 

Long Range 338

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Not sure what your current barrel length is but I did that years ago with a 338 Imp 30' shoulder and found you don't gain much going from 30" to 34". Not enough to compensate for the added expense and inconvenience of lugging that beast around.
Factory 27" barrel currently. Was considering the Improved with a 30" barrel
 
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nick338

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Might want to give that a look OP. It's a bit old but the key points are still valid. Compare your typical performance to the shooters in the report and ask yourself some tough introspective questions. My thoughts are somewhere between "pipe dream" and "statistical impossibility".
Interesting reading. Would like to see the same data points applied with current platforms, cartridges and bullets that we are talking about.
 

spamassassin

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Interesting reading. Would like to see the same data points applied with current platforms, cartridges and bullets that we are talking about.
Totes ditto man. Totes ditto but I think I can sensibly predict approximately what you'll see... the distances for 90% FRH will grow marginally and the distribution of any number of hits will snug up a little (maybe significantly) but the overall truths that were exposed will not change at all (which is basically, at X distance you and your platform simply lose the ability to reliably make FRH's on small targets). Projectiles themselves are better but not more consistent. Powders have come quite far but not that far. Barrels and Optics have made gains too but still fractional gains. Platforms are improved thanks to modern manufacturing technology but only by decimal points and really, it's the consistency of ability to produce rifles that meet the minimum qualifications to be used anyway that's really improved but not so much the rifles performance. We might have gone from 400m being a long way for a guaranteed FRH to 600m (that is a rectally derived number BTW, just an example) but it's hugely unlikely to go much further because what's happened in equipment is for it to be 1000x (again, a rectally derived example) easier to get hold of equipment of sufficient capabilities by the common man but the peak of capability is subject to a limit so the equations possible results are limited. The peak of performance in equipment driven by the American soldier sniper OR the American civilian rifleman has not made such huge strides but rather fractional improvements. In 1999 sniper rifles were really accurate and a kickass performing civilian oriented heavy barrel off-the-shelf rifle was printing marginally under a minute of angle. In 2019 companies are able to build them to be more accurate on the whole but the difference is in decimal points because there's only so close to zero that you can actually get and the human factor is never going to change, we'll always be the source of error. If I can run out now and get a cheap savage that'll print three-quarter minute groups all day I'm not really surprised but I am if it goes smaller than that. So we'v gone from (again, examples not certified values) .9MOA to .75MOA which is big in one sense but forebodingly small in another and it's promising that future returns will get smaller and smaller and smaller.
 

nick338

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Totes ditto man. Totes ditto but I think I can sensibly predict approximately what you'll see... the distances for 90% FRH will grow marginally and the distribution of any number of hits will snug up a little (maybe significantly) but the overall truths that were exposed will not change at all (which is basically, at X distance you and your platform simply lose the ability to reliably make FRH's on small targets). Projectiles themselves are better but not more consistent. Powders have come quite far but not that far. Barrels and Optics have made gains too but still fractional gains. Platforms are improved thanks to modern manufacturing technology but only by decimal points and really, it's the consistency of ability to produce rifles that meet the minimum qualifications to be used anyway that's really improved but not so much the rifles performance. We might have gone from 400m being a long way for a guaranteed FRH to 600m (that is a rectally derived number BTW, just an example) but it's hugely unlikely to go much further because what's happened in equipment is for it to be 1000x (again, a rectally derived example) easier to get hold of equipment of sufficient capabilities by the common man but the peak of capability is subject to a limit so the equations possible results are limited. The peak of performance in equipment driven by the American soldier sniper OR the American civilian rifleman has not made such huge strides but rather fractional improvements. In 1999 sniper rifles were really accurate and a kickass performing civilian oriented heavy barrel off-the-shelf rifle was printing marginally under a minute of angle. In 2019 companies are able to build them to be more accurate on the whole but the difference is in decimal points because there's only so close to zero that you can actually get and the human factor is never going to change, we'll always be the source of error. If I can run out now and get a cheap savage that'll print three-quarter minute groups all day I'm not really surprised but I am if it goes smaller than that. So we'v gone from (again, examples not certified values) .9MOA to .75MOA which is big in one sense but forebodingly small in another and it's promising that future returns will get smaller and smaller and smaller.
I will agree with you on everything except bullet consistency. Bullet manufacturing and quality control are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were 20 years ago. Very few people were even talking about shooting a mile back then and now it's talked about like 1k was years ago. Hornady A Tips are setting the bar and now Berger with its new line of long range target hybrids have shown that tip consistency is becoming the new normal for shooting at extended distances.

Just for comparisons I would love to see identical platforms chambered in 300 Win mag, one shooting the old 190 Sierra Matchking and the other loaded with a 230 A Tip and compare consistency at different ranges beyond 800 yards.
 

Steel head

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I will agree with you on everything except bullet consistency. Bullet manufacturing and quality control are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were 20 years ago. Very few people were even talking about shooting a mile back then and now it's talked about like 1k was years ago. Hornady A Tips are setting the bar and now Berger with its new line of long range target hybrids have shown that tip consistency is becoming the new normal for shooting at extended distances.

Just for comparisons I would love to see identical platforms chambered in 300 Win mag, one shooting the old 190 Sierra Matchking and the other loaded with a 230 A Tip and compare consistency at different ranges beyond 800 yards.
That would be an interesting comparison.
Bullets
Powder
Brass
Possibly primers
Barrels
Machining
Stocks and chassis
Optics

A lot has changed
 
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Long Range 338

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That would be an interesting comparison.
Bullets
Powder
Brass
Possibly primers
Barrels
Machining
Stocks and chassis
Optics

A lot has changed
I agree and also with spam assassin as well. Its not like the wheel has been reinvented but we have new bullets that are more consistent and have better bc characteristics, newer powders that cater more to our cartridges, barrels made to tighter tolerances with better steel, stocks and chassis are able to fit and provide more stability, optics are much better in all aspects. All of this is incremental as there were ways to work around this, its just more common and better quality. None of it makes the slightest difference if the guy squeezing the trigger can't maximize the potential.
 
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Steel head

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I agree and also with spam assassin as well. Its not like the wheel has been reinvented but we have new bullets that are more consistent and have better bc characteristics, newer powders that cater more to our cartridges, barrels made to tighter tolerances with better steel, stocks and chassis are able to fit and provide more stability, optics are much better in all aspects. All of this is incremental as there were ways to work around this, its just more common and better quality. None of it makes the slightest difference if the guy squeezing the trigger can't maximize the potential.
Don’t disagree

As a civilian there’s a lot more information and training available now that in some aspects might even be better than military training from not long ago.


There’s sites like this.
The time I did on the original hide online training and a few threads here made a world of difference for me.
 
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nick338

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I agree and also with spam assassin as well. Its not like the wheel has been reinvented but we have new bullets that are more consistent and have better bc characteristics, newer powders that cater more to our cartridges, barrels made to tighter tolerances with better steel, stocks and chassis are able to fit and provide more stability, optics are much better in all aspects. All of this is incremental as there were ways to work around this, its just more common and better quality. None of it makes the slightest difference if the guy squeezing the trigger can't maximize the potential.
And how much military sniper ammo was loaded to the kernel of powder 20 years ago? Consistent velocities at distance are as important as the bullets we are slinging out there.
 
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DAVETOOLEY

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True There are many incremental improvements. The old adage it's bullets and barrels is still true today. We've always had good barrels. limited quantities prevented the wide spread use by the general shooting public. There have always been good bullets but not the breadth or consistency across all calibers.
More than anything high quality components are widely available and a larger segment of the general public has embraced quality. It's no longer just the target shooters demanding better quality products. That drives product development across the industry.
 

nick338

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True There are many incremental improvements. The old adage it's bullets and barrels is still true today. We've always had good barrels. limited quantities prevented the wide spread use by the general shooting public. There have always been good bullets but not the breadth or consistency across all calibers.
More than anything high quality components are widely available and a larger segment of the general public has embraced quality. It's no longer just the target shooters demanding better quality products. That drives product development across the industry.
Would like to hear your thoughts/experience on A Tip bullets.
 

DAVETOOLEY

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Would like to hear your thoughts/experience on A Tip bullets.
I haven't shot any yet. I'm setting up a mile range 20 minutes from the shop. Easing into acquiring all the steel. Meaning as soon as some friends can travel I'll have more to put out. I've got a few 6.5-135's to try. I may get a chance to test them tomorrow close in meaning 500 and in.

From doing past developmental work in regards to meplats and BC uniformity, the design is superior to anything we've had in the past. Bullet manufactures have been extending the boundaries for a few years now. The actual process of making a bullet hasn't changed just the ability to make everything longer and maintain tolerances. From the dies used to the cores and
jackets. Consider the difficulties involved in taking a sheet of gilding metal and drawing a jacket the length of the 30-250 Gr ATip and hold tolerances within a few tenths on the wall thickness.

Everyone here pretty much speaks what's on their mind and while they may not have provided the best accuracy in some rifles, I don't think I've seen any really negative comments about them. I think as the weather improves, with more shooting taking place, we'll know more.
 
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Huskydriver

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Would like to hear your thoughts/experience on A Tip bullets.
I'm having a devil of a time getting a decent group on paper at 100 with my 300nm using the 230 atips....... Hopefully sat I will find a combo that will last least do 1 moa at 100
 

spamassassin

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I will agree with you on everything except bullet consistency. Bullet manufacturing and quality control are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were 20 years ago. Very few people were even talking about shooting a mile back then and now it's talked about like 1k was years ago. Hornady A Tips are setting the bar and now Berger with its new line of long range target hybrids have shown that tip consistency is becoming the new normal for shooting at extended distances.

Just for comparisons I would love to see identical platforms chambered in 300 Win mag, one shooting the old 190 Sierra Matchking and the other loaded with a 230 A Tip and compare consistency at different ranges beyond 800 yards.
You don't see the flaw in that line of thinking? I mean, I'll concede the small point about bullets specifically having made strides in the past 30 years that are far ahead of where they've been through most of history in terms of BC but I have to (as politely as one case say) you totally lost the plot on the movie there when you proposed a hypothetical shoot-off.

The issue is initial bullet consistency not in flight performance. In flight performance is something you can affect after the bullet has been purchased through such means as rifling twist rate, rifling design, velocity, etc.... I'll call the thing we're comparing against a production batch's level of "perfection" with the special meaning of: How closely a batch of produced bullets will approach the Platonic notion of the hypothetical "ideal" bullet. Initial perfection at the time of production is not subject to the vagaries of real life, it's an identifiable point in time with a quantifiable state. So what has to be measured then if we want an apples to apples comparison is the initial amount of perfection in production in a statistical sample of bullets. That's a proper measure of improvement since accuracy in the sense that we're using it (the ability to repeatedly land bullets on spot-x from distance Y) emerges from consistency.

Swiss lathes have been around a long time. Cup and core bullets been around a long time. Lathe turned solid bullets are relatively new compared to cup-and-core design and much of the R&D generated gains we benefit from today have come in the form of things like the advent of lathe turned solids and new tip technologies. Cup-n-core have had gains too in terms of new shapes and new materials but those aren't the only bullets out there and we're talking about things at a statistical level so we really have to look at populations of different projectiles, not individual projectiles.

In any event though, the real test would be not shooting bullets from yesteryear vs. today's bullets but rather putting batches of them through highly detailed analysis of things like mass distribution, density consistency, concentricity, length/width/etc.... external linear measurements (including ogive length/shape/etc..), surface smoothness and such and analyzing how closely the produced bullets come to the Platonic ideal. My bet is that the manufacturing consistency has improved but only by decimal points, not wholesale because, the record books just don't show what you seem to be expecting.

I've been recently for other reasons doing an alaysis of Bisley scores through the ages. It's a shining example of what I'm talking about. Thius is a single type of match that's been running since the late 1800's. I'm almost done with it so I'll pop a graph in this thread shortly which will more than make my point.

We see a really big world changing event around the time that WW1 ends which came with huge improvements in arms and armor technology and ammunition technology. From the 30's to the 50's there was a lot of refining but not much progress in any sub-decade time period despite an up and to the right sort of general trend. By the 60's it's hard to be competitive without shooting a 140-class score and it seems that this might be where we had chased all but the last couple of decimal places out. By the 70's individual cleans are being recorded but even into the 2010's there has not been a 100% clean by any team and a competitor can drop 2 shots and maybe possibly still not lose it for their team. I suspect that with technologies that I work with today which aren't really ready for small manufacturers to use (extraordinary complexity and fairly high cost), we'll see another small upward trend which will chase out those last couple of decimal places in the next 10 years. Then Bisley is going to have to change the scoring system to deal with the fact that everyone's shooting cleans.
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Gilly

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I’ve had 300 norma to 2010 yards multiple times with very good results. I think the cartridge with the right bullet on a capable rifle that goal is achievable.

Shooter, ability to read conditions and slight changes are just a few variables that will be the limiting factor.
 

DAVETOOLEY

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And then we can do all the analyzing, measuring, twisty, turny stuff and every barrel is like a woman. Each one likes something different. There's an element in the equation that can't be defined. The target tells all. Always been that way and always will be that way.
 

nick338

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And I will add this. Minor incremental improvements in bullet consistency will tell us more at ranges at a mile and greater. The initial consistency is better now (eg. A Tip and Berger LRHT tips designed for consistency) which translates to better flight performance at these distances.
 
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Gilly

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Share the results!
Rifle is a Surgeon 1581 action 26 inch Bartlien 9 twist built by GA Precision

Lapua brass
N570 powder
Hornady 250 ATip
CCI Primer

I never did hit pressure up to 86.0 and 2934 fps. I didn’t think I’d get that far when loading ladder but found what looks like a couple good places to work with around 2920 and a wider node at 2870 as well. Can’t wait to stretch the legs on this one!

Pic 1 AB ballistic calc for 2010 yards and 5500 DA which is about average here

Pic 2 results from lab radar put into a spreadsheet
 

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Steel head

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Rifle is a Surgeon 1581 action 26 inch Bartlien 9 twist built by GA Precision

Lapua brass
N570 powder
Hornady 250 ATip
CCI Primer

I never did hit pressure up to 86.0 and 2934 fps. I didn’t think I’d get that far when loading ladder but found what looks like a couple good places to work with around 2920 and a wider node at 2870 as well. Can’t wait to stretch the legs on this one!

Pic 1 AB ballistic calc for 2010 yards and 5500 DA which is about average here

Pic 2 results from lab radar put into a spreadsheet
If the 190A tip BC is legit in my 7 saum at your DA with same wind.
F62C8A8D-57DF-41BD-8D85-558DF70F9C25.png
 

nick338

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Rifle is a Surgeon 1581 action 26 inch Bartlien 9 twist built by GA Precision

Lapua brass
N570 powder
Hornady 250 ATip
CCI Primer

I never did hit pressure up to 86.0 and 2934 fps. I didn’t think I’d get that far when loading ladder but found what looks like a couple good places to work with around 2920 and a wider node at 2870 as well. Can’t wait to stretch the legs on this one!

Pic 1 AB ballistic calc for 2010 yards and 5500 DA which is about average here

Pic 2 results from lab radar put into a spreadsheet
Awesome. I was hoping for 2900-2950 out of a 28" barrel but the only decision I'm having a hard time with now is twist. I really want to go 1-9 but I'm just above sea level so I may be asking for trouble with that 250. I remember Frank talking about his 1-10 doing well with Berger 230's but all you guys have elevation on your side.

I know what the twist rate calculators say and honestly I have been leaning towards the less twist is better camp lately.
 
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kthomas

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Awesome. I was hoping for 2900-2950 out of a 28" barrel but the only decision I'm having a hard time with now is twist. I really want to go 1-9 but I'm just above sea level so I may be asking for trouble with that 250. I remember Frank talking about his 1-10 doing well with Berger 230's but all you guys have elevation on your side.

I know what the twist rate calculators say and honestly I have been leaning towards the less twist is better camp lately.
I think N570 powder is the ticket for good velocity in the Norma without pressure. Try getting a hold of that powder, it will be the next powder I try out of my Norma.

I have a 29" Hawkhill barrel on my .300NM, and it seems to be a little slower then most. I use 85.0 grains of Retumbo and that sends out a 230 Berger at ~2950 fps. Much more then that and I'm to close to pressure in the AZ heat.

I've heard the A-tips seem to launch a bit faster before seeing pressure, and some early thinking around that was the shorter bearing surfaces on them. I know one guy on here was launching his 250 A-tips around the same speed as the 230 Berger's out of his .300NM. I've yet to play or get my hands on any A-tips, but if so, that makes them a bit more compelling as a projectile.

You may be okay with 1:9 twist with the 250's, check out the large thread on .300NM recipes, and see what people are using there.
 

Huskydriver

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I think N570 powder is the ticket for good velocity in the Norma without pressure. Try getting a hold of that powder, it will be the next powder I try out of my Norma.

I have a 29" Hawkhill barrel on my .300NM, and it seems to be a little slower then most. I use 85.0 grains of Retumbo and that sends out a 230 Berger at ~2950 fps. Much more then that and I'm to close to pressure in the AZ heat.

I've heard the A-tips seem to launch a bit faster before seeing pressure, and some early thinking around that was the shorter bearing surfaces on them. I know one guy on here was launching his 250 A-tips around the same speed as the 230 Berger's out of his .300NM. I've yet to play or get my hands on any A-tips, but if so, that makes them a bit more compelling as a projectile.

You may be okay with 1:9 twist with the 250's, check out the large thread on .300NM recipes, and see what people are using there.
I also use 85 gr of retumbo and get 2950 fps from my barrel with 230's and can't push more with my level of acceptable risk.
 
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nick338

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I think N570 powder is the ticket for good velocity in the Norma without pressure. Try getting a hold of that powder, it will be the next powder I try out of my Norma.

I have a 29" Hawkhill barrel on my .300NM, and it seems to be a little slower then most. I use 85.0 grains of Retumbo and that sends out a 230 Berger at ~2950 fps. Much more then that and I'm to close to pressure in the AZ heat.

I've heard the A-tips seem to launch a bit faster before seeing pressure, and some early thinking around that was the shorter bearing surfaces on them. I know one guy on here was launching his 250 A-tips around the same speed as the 230 Berger's out of his .300NM. I've yet to play or get my hands on any A-tips, but if so, that makes them a bit more compelling as a projectile.

You may be okay with 1:9 twist with the 250's, check out the large thread on .300NM recipes, and see what people are using there.
That's actually making me laugh. The Vihtavuori powders are usually difficult to find and I recently traded the only 1lb jug I had to a buddy so he could try it in his 338 Lapua. I think I started this thread and decided on the Norma 3 days later.

I also just ordered a Hawk Hill barrel and somehow had to justify to myself that a 1-9 would work so I did something crazy but hopefully not foolish.

I looked up the density per g/cm3 of aluminum vs copper and aluminum is roughly 1/3 as dense as copper.

The 250 A-tip is 1.876" long and the tip is .250"

Taking 1/3 of .250 is roughly .083

Subtracting .250 from 1.876 and adding .083 gave a bullet length of 1.71" which works out favorably for stability factor in a 9 twist. And I understand the overall length affects the distance between center of gravity and center of pressure but I had to do something to feel better about it:LOL: