.300 WSM WOW!

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by ShootDots, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    For the past year+, I have shot nothing but 6mms and 6.5mms at ALL ranges in F-Open. I chose this route because as I age, recoil becomes less desirable. However, losing matches due to light bullets being blown about, especially at 1000 yards, is even less desirable! So I decided to change directions. I built a .300 WSM to shoot either Berger 215 Hybrids or 210 JLKs..

    Out here in the west where the wind is an ever present factor, I wanted something that would cut thru the wind considerably better than 105s and 140s. I have had several "Straight" .284s and Shehanes, which are excellent rounds in their own right. I have had 2 SAUMS which, personally, I think is a better long-range round than the .284 variants. I wanted something that entertains: 1.) decent barrel life; 2.) ease of tuning and 3.) ballistics the NEAR equal of the SAUM. After doing some research and questioning shooters I tend to trust, I settled on the .300 WSM.

    A friend of mine who is an excellent shot as well as a TOP flight loader, decided we were going to capture this round's inherent abilities. John Farraggio, a.k.a. Cognac Jack on this forum, lives near some Arizona BLM land and has set up a 100, 300, 600 and 1000 yard range in the flat desert, complete with a "Shot Marker" target donning "his range".. Since John's "range" is just 5 minutes away from his house he agreed to go back and load after extrapolating loads from what was transpiring on paper.

    Prior to going to John's, I loaded up an initial 30 rounds with VV N165 and some 210 JLKs to get some rounds down the barrel and get the rifle sighted in. We did this at 100 yards. I went from 64.5 to 66.5. The velocities were very low indeed. From about 2730 to 2750! Mind you that is 2 FULL GRAINS of powder and only a 20 ft./ sec. increase in velocity! However, virtually all the groups were "one hole", with the exception of the 66.5 which was 4 shots / 1 hole with 1 right next to the group. I KNEW this rifle was going to be a shooter. BUT>> at what velocity?? I scrubbed the barrel down and started with the 215s and H4831sc using Fed 210 primers. I also was using a seating depth of 20 thousandths OFF the lands. I went from 63.8 to 65.0 grs. This testing was done at 300 yards. At 63.8grs it was going about 2755, however, you could tell we were now in the throes of "Barrel Speed-Up" mode. This load shot very well, however, at a very unacceptable velocity. Up at 65.0grs. we were running at about 2830. Not "up there yet" but accuracy was decent. NOTE: the wind was running about 5m.p.h. which is fine, however, the heat-waves were so bad that even at 300 yards on 42 power, the 1" florescent dots were obliterated! I had to turn the power down to 20! John went back and loaded up 25 more, this time from 65.3 to 66.2grs. At 65.3 we were at 2870 and up at 66.2 we were near 2950. Now we were where we needed to be! The best group was at 65.8 at about 2910. Even in horrifying heat waves and down at 20 power, it grouped a horizontally shaped 1 hole group about 5/8th inch! Vertical was only about 1.5 bullet diameters tall!

    Next John went back and loaded up 2 groups of 10 each at 65.8 and 65.9. These we did with two seating depths. One group each at 20 off and one group each at 25 off. The 65.8 at 20 off was just a shade better. Next we loaded up 2 groups of 15 shots each at 65.6 and 65.8 and "split the difference" and seated them at 22 off. These were shot at 600 yards. The 65.8 was about 3" high vertical and about 3.5 inch horizontal. Not real good IF you just looked at the groups. However, taking into consideration a 5-7m.p.h. wind, horrifying heat waves and a scope set at 20 power, I did not think they were bad for those conditions.

    NEXT: Since I thought the barrel was "pretty much" settled down from speed-up mode, and we had a "decent" load, albeit with a "higher than I care for" e.s. (about 17ft. spread), I decided to drop one tenth of a grain and load up with MAGNUM primers and go shoot a 1000 yard match at Ben Avery Sunday. First match: Fed 215GMs, second match CCI 250s and the last match Win. LRMs.
    OBSERVATION: Match 1 >> For the "sighters" and first 10 rounds, I was still in a little speed up mode. However, from shots 11 thru 20 and ALL matches thereafter, the barrel completely settled down! The first match I lost 4 points, 3 from "speed-up" velocity spikes and on the second half of the match I lost one to a wind call. No more velocity spikes! The second half of the match held a very tight water line! The Fed 215s worked very well. SECOND match: I dropped 5 points and used the entire 10 ring! The CCI 250s were not up to par with the Fed 215s. THIRD match, Scott Harris wanted to coach my wind reading to see just how the .300WSM would perform under his direction: Well the waterline was as flat as a pancake, we lost only 1 point and according to Scott, ended up with a "Boat Load" of "Xs"! His statement at the end of the match was "That thing is a FREAKING laser beam"!

    It has always been stated on here that the .300 WSM is easy to tune.. It took exactly 1 day to find a load and 1 day at a match to settle on a "final" load after testing at 1000 yards! To say I am pleased is a gross understatement! My thanks to John Farraggio and Scott Harris for their indispensable help on this project!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14

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    I think it is one of the easiest to tune there is. It also seems to hold tune very well throughout the season with the changes in temp. It holds records in 1000 yard BR and wins many aggregates and shoots, especially when conditions are present. Matt
     
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  3. Drop Port

    Drop Port

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    I was a little too slow and deleted my post, It was a duplicate of this.
     
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  4. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    This gun and load are going to go with me to Houston, Texas for the TSRA Long Range State Championship at the end of April! It is a difficult range to shoot at and some of the finest F-Class (Both F-T/R & F-Open) shooters anywhere in the country will attend! As a matter of fact, many of the top shooters from around the country will converge on Houston specifically for this match! Great time!!
     
  5. ben_g

    ben_g

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    So what velocity has it ‘settled’ to with the 215’s?

    I am still quite interested in this chambering and wondering if there is much advantage in elevation changes during rough conditions compared to say a 284 shooting 180gr pills.

    Wind drift on the calcs I have done looks to be on par with a SAUM, it if it is easier to keep accurate and barrel life is better it may be an easier option to live with than a SAUM if recoil is tolerable.

    Please keep us all posted with how you go.

    Are you thinking of trying the 230’s?
     
  6. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am getting 2910f.p.s. with the 215 Hybrids. I am not going to give the 230s a chance. Torque with the 230s is a lot MORE to deal with over the 215s.. Recoil is one thing, torque, at least in my opinion, is more difficult to control for accurate shooting than simple recoil. The TOP wind defying bullet is the Berger 195 running out of the SAUM at 2885 or so. But the 215s at 2910 or so comes pretty dang close.

    To give you a true evaluation of how it may compare to a SAUM with 180 /184s I can't say yet>>>>I simply don't have enough experience with the cartridge. There are other things to consider in MY opinion: 1.) ease of tuning; 2.) barrel life extension and 3.) ballistics CLOSE (not quite the equal of) the SAUM and 195s.. Remember this: no bullet is a "Magic Bullet" that will cut thru the wind without worrying about where you are holding! You still MUST read the wind. High HIGH b.c. bullets simply allow for "minor" wind call errors>> with the emphasis on "minor"! "Fishtailing" head OR tail winds is where the REAL advantage is with high B.C. bullets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  7. Rushty

    Rushty Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’ve not chambered for the SAUM yet but the extra barrel life and easy tuning of the 300WSM sounds appealing.. I’ve been happy with the way my straight 284s tuned and shot, if the WSM is just as easy I’m gunna have to seriously consider...
     
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  8. ben_g

    ben_g

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    Yes I agree that you need to be calling the wind no matter what you shoot. In Australia my home range plus a lot of ranges where major comps are held often have very difficult fishtailing winds, terrain is often quite unusual and uneven down the sides of the ranges with flags sometimes blowing in different directions for most of the day. Gullies, breaks in the tree line all conspiring against you!!!

    I am also hoping to do some matchrifle shoots here in Australia (1000,1100,1200 and 1500yard) comps on F-class targets. Lots of fun!!

    If SAUM brass was easier to find that’s what I’d build, WSM brass is easily available here in OZ, barrels are also somewhat hard to come by. It’s the ease of tuning and barrel life that’s most attractive to me.

    For most ranges under 800yards I would stick with my Dasher and 284, over the course of a 3 day major shoot the WSM May save a point here and there at the longs adding up to a difference in the grand aggregate.
    A lot of our comps are moving to ET’s, there is no time delay on them and often there is advantage in running the gun fast, in this situation I have found the Dasher can often be an advantage getting shots away while a fickle condition holds. This tactic may not be so effective with the heavy recoil of the WSM

    The other issue is some states in Australia have quite a restrictive muzzle energy limit which would handicap the WSM severely.

    I need to keep the 230’s under 2865fps and 215’s below about 2960fps to comply with ME limits, it would seem most do not shoot these bullets above these speeds so I should be okay
     
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  9. ben_g

    ben_g

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    Also interested if you or anyone else has given Hornady EDL’s a try in this chambering.

    I have read that the 225’s need a very long FB due to their bearing surface length.

    208’s also look interesting.

    Reason I ask is Berger’s are almost non existent here in Australia and I need to find an alternative that will work.
     
  10. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    No Sir, I have not even considered any of the ELDMs.. It would be nigh on to impossible to beat the Berger 215 for it's inherent level of accuracy, it's astounding B.C. for it's weight to caliber ratio and low torque due to it's very short bearing surface...
     
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  11. TZaun

    TZaun Gold $$ Contributor

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    Great write-up, as usual, Ben.
     
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  12. ben_g

    ben_g

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    Yes you guys have no idea how lucky/easy you have it with component cost and availability.

    Berger 230’s have hit $1 per pill, 180gr 7mm bullets are $0.90each. And that’s if you can find any.

    The 230’s are actually easier to source as not many Aussies shooting 30cal magnums. The 215’s sell out fast to the FTR shooters.
     
  13. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    There must be a way to get on some "waiting list" at a distributor somewhere out yonder.. I do sympathize with you though and wish things were like here in the States..
     
  14. ben_g

    ben_g

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    We do have an excellent boutique bullet maker here in Aus.

    He has a great 103gr 6mm bullet that is very popular.

    I have some of his new 183gr 7mm bullets that I am only just trialling in my 284. They are hot off his new dies.

    The pic attached is Berger VLD, Hybrid and the new Aussie 183gr

    Hopefully it will work well, to not be reliant on dribs and drabs of Berger’s would be great!!!
     

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  15. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    That new 183 looks really good to me!!
     
  16. ben_g

    ben_g

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    Well I got lucky and have managed to snag a chambered WSM barrel which will come with brass, dies and a couple of hundred 210gr JLK’s

    It’s only a 30” long 10twist so I am thinking I should be sticking to the 210/215 weight range.

    Where’s a good starting point for seating depth with the JLK’s??

    Also the only Berger’s that can be bought in Australia at the moment are the 230’s. I wonder if the 10twist is enough for them??
     
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  17. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have found in a 30-06A.I. and in this new .300WSM that the 210 JLKs liked 10 thousandths OFF the lands.. As far as the 230s and a 10 twist, I can not comment, I simply do not know..
     
  18. dragman

    dragman Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am playing with a new WSM (I have had many many of them)
    I have used Berger 190's, 200 hybrids, 210's, 215's, and 230's all in berger
    I have used JLK 210's and Sierra 210's
    I have also used Amax 208 and the new ELDM 208's
    And a few others that didn't do anything for me right away. Now I have tried all these not in the same guns so it's not a factual comparison of any kind just general experiences that I have had.
    -Best 100 yard groups ever I got with the 208 Amax
    -Best 1000 yard setup I ever had was the 200 grain hybrids (set the record at Ridgway with them)
    -Best over 1000 yard groups was the 230's
    -The best over all consistent from 100 yards - 1 mile was the 208 Amax (I believe some of that was that they liked to be pushed a little faster than the bergers)

    And with that being said I am playing with the ELDM at the moment I have 1500 of them with my new WSM and I am going to do my preliminary testing @ 100 yards tomorrow.
     
  19. dragman

    dragman Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yes if you push them fast enough! If you aren't pushing them over 2800FPS they will destabilize before 1000 yards. I have seen them shoot great at 100 and turn into shotguns at distance when not pushed.
     
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  20. JBT

    JBT Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’ve shot lots of 230 Hybrid OTM’s from a 10” twist .300 Win Mag out to 1,760 yards with good results. 10” twist stabilizes the Hybrid OTM’s just fine in my experience.
     

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