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Speer BTSP bullets

08 Sep 2012
@ 04:15 pm

Nathan Foster

From email query:

Hello Nathan,
My name is ........, I was searching the web, found your website and had a few questions about some Speer BTSP's. I just bought a Ruger 77 chambered in 30-338 Win Mag and I am getting a plan together for developing some handloads. At first I wanted to use 208 Amaxs for doing some real long range stuff but then reality set in and I realized that it probably won't happen that often for most of my hunting situations. I came across the Speer 30 cal 165 and 180gr BTSP's and I noticed that their BC's are way higher than most other bullets in their class. I was wondering if you have had any first hand experience with these bullets and if the factory stated BC numbers prove to be accurate. I thought about working up loads for both bullets and using the 165's for deer sized game and 180's for elk and any long shots where the extra energy downrange is needed. They just seemed too good to be true for a traditional soft pointed bullet to have such a high BC.

Replies

08 Sep 2012
@ 04:16 pm

Nathan Foster

Re: Speer BTSP bullets
Hi Clayton, the Speer bullets are true to advertised BC's, I have tested them at long range.

It is quite an incredible thing isn't it. Here are these old BTSP bullets most people ignore these days with both high BC's and frangible jackets for fast expansion/wide wounding in the absence of high velocity. I think even Speer under rate their BTSP bullets. If the Speer company truly understood how good their bullets were and truly understood the current trend towards long range hunting, they would have knocked out a 175-180 grain 7mm BTSP and a 210 grain BTSP by now.

Please bare in mind that the BTSP Speer bullets are fully frangible like the A-Max. They are ever so slightly tougher than the A-Max which means that it is more important to match bullet weights to game weights. I think you are on the right track though, using the 165 grain bullet on medium sized deer. The 210 grain A-Max may be slightly better suited to Elk at long range than the 180 grain Speer simply due to its increased weight and SD. But. The 180 grain Speer makes up for its lighter weight a bit, by having a slightly tougher jacket. The real advantage of the 210 grain A-max is that it will produce fast killing on both light/lean game as well as large game. The 210 grain A-Max does not have to be carefully matched to game body weights.

I should put in a caveat, if the 180 grain Speer is used at long range on lean game (our tough wild goats are a good example), it will produce wide wounding whether the animal is 40lb or 130lb. But there can be a delay in killing on the lighter animals. To some, the slight delay will mean nothing. Its more a problem for example if mountain hunting Chamois where the animal has to be secured on the spot. Another example of the need for fast anchoring is in heavy woods conditions where even though the animal has only covered 100 yards, it has taken hours to locate the animal (usually next morning if its an evening hunt due to loss of light).

One thing about Speer bullets, is that they are easy to get shooting. You couldn't get an easier bullet to work with when looking for extreme accuracy.

The .30-338 is a perfect chambering for your M77 due to the magazine length. Just double check and make sure the bedding is sound (am assuming that it was bedded after custom barreling), make sure the fit is not so tight that its pinched. Make sure the middle screw tension is not stressing the action if this area has not been bedded. Check the bolt lugs- Put marker pen on the rear of the bolt lugs and chamber a fired case, remove the bolt and check that both lugs are touching (hopefully this was taken care of previously but check anyway).

You are on the right track, stick with it.
10 Dec 2012
@ 08:56 pm

Clayton Garber

Re: Speer BTSP bullets
That was my original question Nathan...I have an update on the 30-338 Win I was planning on using them in. I had to ditch the Speer 165's the gun just did not like them. I seated them to max mag length and tried a variety of weights of RL-19 FROM 66-76 grains. The best I could get was 74.5grs around 2-2.5 inch groups at 200yds. I used the same load at the same length, substituted in the 168gr Nosler BT's and presto I had to look no farther. 5 shots at 200yds at around .75 inches. I shot them through the chronograph and got an average of 3243fps. The Nosler's have a BC of .490 so they should be a decent long range bullet for deer. I did just shoot the biggest whitetail buck of my life with it on opening day 2 weeks ago. I jumped him up walking into my stand. Not a long shot...only 80yds but I don't care. The Nosler worked good on the 80yd rabbit hunting style snap shot. I hit him high and spine shot him. He never moved. Exit hole was about 3/4-1 inch in size. He was a nice 4x5 around 200lbs dressed and about 19 1/2 inches inside. A very old deer, hardly any teeth left. He had good mass to his horns so I was very happy.
11 Dec 2012
@ 04:50 pm

Nathan Foster

Re: Speer BTSP bullets
Hi Clayton, glad to hear you have worked out a lod. It is a pity that the Speer bullets did not work out for you, they are usually very easy to work with. If a rifle is finicky, a Speer BTSP or Hotcor will usually settle the rifle down. It is interesting to see the opposite result, just goes to show how each bore needs to be treated on an individual basis.

One thing I would like to ask, you said that the two projectiles were seated to the same COAL. How ddeply do the projectiles sit in the case. Or a simpler question, is the bullet body/boat tail junction of the Nosler sitting deeper in the case than the Speer was. If it is, it may signal a concentricity issue that could have been resolved by seating the Speer into the case neck so that its boattail/bullet body junction was just below the case shoulder/neck junction.

Anyway, not to worry, you have a good load. Just keep an eye on wounding and speed of killing at long ranges. If you find that your local game body weights are not offering enough resistance to initiate full expansion and fragmentation at long ranges (if you intend to shoot out to 700 yards or so), then you may have to switch to a softer bullet. Hopefully everything works out fine.
11 Dec 2012
@ 11:01 pm

Clayton Garber

Re: Speer BTSP bullets
Actually I forgot about the COAL...your comment reminded me about it. They weren't seated exactly the same. The Speers are a shorter bullet than the Noslers so when I started loading them I seated them so the Start of the boatail was seated to the bottom of the case neck or 3.300". The Noslers worked out to be 3.340", max mag length. I was going to try the Speers at the longer length but it wasn't at least one caliber of bullet seated into the neck then. I believe the Noslers will perform fine I didn't really hit much on my deer because of the high hit. Doe season will be in early January and I plan on stretching out its legs a bit. I will keep you posted.
 

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