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8 mm long range bullets

29 Jun 2018
@ 04:32 am (GMT)


Dear Sirs:

I own a 8x64S rifle, and I try to use it for long range hunting. I tried hornady SST 170gr bullets, but I found poor expansión and delayed kills even at a short range. It is not just one or two animals shooted, I am speaking about more than 20 deers shooted with this bullet in a 8x68S, not in a 8x64S, and full load (3150ft/s), with those results.

Has anybody experience with a good long range bullets to be used with 8 mm rifles?

Thank you in advance for your interest


29 Jun 2018
@ 07:40 am (GMT)

Caleb Mayfield

Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Ignacio, can you provide some additional details such as distances you are shooting, animal weight, and shot placement?

What region of the world are you hunting? I am working on developing an 8mm long range hunting bullet for the 8x57JS and 8x68S and I'm looking to refine my design criteria based on current 8mm shooters and what the bullet would be used for.
29 Jun 2018
@ 08:56 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Hi Ignacio. This is very odd, normally it is very difficult to get the SST to remain intact. If you have any necropsy photos, could you please send them to me by email. It would be good to investigate this problem in more detail.
03 Jul 2018
@ 10:41 am (GMT)


Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Dear Sirs

Unfortunately I didn't took photos about those animals, but I can describe detailed the last five ones.

Red deer , female, weight around 50 kg. Shooted with an 8x60 at 2800 ft/s (MV) at 75 m Broadside shoot, at lungs. It didn't felt the round, but runner around 50 m , and fall down. Exit hole around 12 mm.

The second one is similar but shooted at 130 m. Identical response.

I have to say those animals, shooted with hornady 150 gr sp at 2900 ft/s , the would fell down immediately.

The third one was shooted with an 8x68s, a Fallow deer , shooted at 50 metres, MV 3200 ft/s. Runned 30 before to fell down. With a hornady 170gr rn, the effect would be instantaneous.

The fourth one is a male red deer. Broadside shooted with a 8x68s, tat 3200 ft/s at 100 m. The animal runned more than 100 metres till it fall down. Exit hole around 10-12 mm.

The fith one was another red deer . Identical to the other case, but the animal runned only 550 m. I shooted a third one with a 338 wm and Ftx bullet (200 gr) . Similar shoot placement. Fell down immediately on his trucks. I also took a female with the same recipe and the same result, instantaneous dead.

All of those animals were hunted under driven hunting.
03 Jul 2018
@ 11:38 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 8 mm long range bullets
OK, what I was hoping to find out, was where the bullet was dumping its energy.

Very often, a bullet is accused of creating a pin hole wound based on a smaller exit wound. But in may cases, the bullet has mushroomed and dumped its energy with little energy remaining as it exits, therefore producing a small exit wound.

On a driven hunt, the situation is made worse by adrenalised game versus less than ideal shot placement. If the animal is adrenalized and the shot strikes behind the shoulder, the animal may still run a good distance. This could have been a factor with your 8x60 shot. But then the situation can be confused with increased power...

In the magnums, if the bullet is driven very fast, it can meet too much resistance. The resistance at the target overcomes the initial energy of the bullet. I have written about this extensively within the KB. Classic examples of this include the 140gr bullets used in the 6.5 and 7mm Magnums at over 3200fps, the 162gr the A-MAX / ELD-M when used in the magnums on tough game at close ranges. In each of these cases where animals run, there is no interruption of the nervous system, especially if it is adrenalised. Yet the bullet still expands or breaks up completely. Upon gutting the animal, one has to wonder how it was possible that the animal ran so far with such complete damage. But it happens, over and over again. But to understand this in detail, you must gut the animals and it also helps to take photos for future reference.

With the round nosed bullet, you will be losing quite a bit of velocity. This is a key give away for me, it means that there is a definite relationship between your impact velocities versus local game weights. But the given variables will confuse this to some extent.

Caleb, this is where the heavy bullets really come into their own, much more uniform in performance, less effected by either velocities or changes in game weights. I do miss the 198gr HPBT from Norma.

I think there may be three variables at play here, adrenalin, shot placement and impact velocities. I would appreciate it if you could obtain the heavy Sierra match bullet, then lop off the meplat so that it is roughly 2.5 to 3mm wide, then perform further kill tests. This will give you a modern version of the obsolete Norma. Don't get fancy with the meplat / tip for this type of hunting, just grind it off, use a vernier as a quick window caliper for general length. For long range, you will need to be more precise.

It will be interesting to see how additonal weight effects target resistance versus the nervous response.

More notes on meplat trimming and hollow pointing can be found in my Cartridges book.

As an aside, the 6.5 fell under this same description in past years. Folk accused the Interlock of being too hard. But the reality was, the Interlock was doing all it could. The trouble was that the cartridge was simply mild in performance. Those who dropped from the .270's down to the 6.5 due to advertised ballistics were so convinced of the theory of the Swede and later the .260, that they did not look at what was going on right in front of them.

I hope that helps a bit.
04 Jul 2018
@ 10:31 pm (GMT)


Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Hello Nathan

Thank you very much for your answer.

Of course I am not an expert like you, and I aknowledge the advices and background about terminal ballistic. I can only take gross knowledge about what is happening in my conclusions.

With non magnum 8 mm cartridges (8x57, 8x60...) I have used always hornady 150gr sp bullets at 2900-3000 ft/s, for driven hunting of boars and deers, and the results have always been excellent. Instantaneous kills at normal ranges for this type of hunting (20-150m). With hornady 170 grs SST, the results in all the cases worse. On the other side, I used 150 grs SST in my 30-06 at MV of 3000 ft/s with very good results in this type of hunting. Many people are using this combination (30-06 and 150 gr SST) in my country and most of them are very happy with it (driven hunting).

I used magnum cartridges also for this type of hunting, 8x68S and 338WM. With the first cartridge I always used hornady 170gr RN. The result was excellent, instantaneous kills, but with 170gr SST delayed kills.

With the 338wm, I started with 200gr SST bullets at 2950 ft/s, and it was perfect for big deers and boars on raking shots, but for smaller animals and / or broadside shots, I found delayed kills. I changed to a softer bullets, hornady (FTX 200gr) and it kills instantaneously to all the game. A friend of mine is also using this combuination, and I can say after more than 100 animals taken with this combination in driven hunting, we agreeded this is the best recipe we found for this type of hunting.

It looks like crazy, but it seemed SST bullets for 30 caliber are softer than SST bullets for 8 mm or 338 caliber.

Kindly Ignacio Colomer
04 Jul 2018
@ 10:35 pm (GMT)


Re: 8 mm long range bullets
I also would like to ask in this fórum if anybody has expericence with 8mm HPC 196 grs from Sellier&Bellot . I have heard they are very soft , they have a great BC, close to 0.6, and for this reason they may be used for long range bullets.
05 Jul 2018
@ 12:45 am (GMT)

tom winstanley

Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Hi Ignacio

I am interested to hear of your experience with the 170gr SST. My reloading for 8x60S and 8x57IS has been with the SST. I have found them very soft, frequently shedding jackets at close range. Since the core has always exited, and in a fairly straight line in my cases (aiming immediately behind shoulder joint), I haven't worried too much about it. It's soft enough for goats at extended range (for me) of 500m-ish, or closer reds, and emphatic, but these have all been stalked, and calm. I am inclined to think Nathan is right: that the SST is too fragile in your case.

I looked at KnowledgeBase articles on annealing SST/A-Max projectiles wondering about keeping core and jacket together, but the sectional density is so low relative to those mentioned, particularly comments re. 150gr. .270", that I didn't bother experimenting.

I have used the S&B 196gr HPC as loaded ammo. in 8x57IS, but never at any distance. S&B quote a G1 BC of 0.54 for this, but I have never shot far enough with it to test this. I found it soft, but not as fragile as the SST, and it has a lot more momentum, too, making it more suitable for heavier game. I have only used it on reds, all less than 200m. According to their website, it is only available as loaded ammo., not a component. They make 8x64S loaded ammo. with the HPC or SPCE, either of which would be very good for the relatively short ranges of typical driven hunting, where boar or heavier red deer may also be adrenalinised. So would the 196gr Norma Vulcan, as a component, since you obviously reload.

For longer range, stalked shots, say >150m, I think you may find the SST is a reasonable choice. I would be interested to hear how you get on with the HPC at distance, and whether its quoted BC is realistic.

05 Jul 2018
@ 07:24 am (GMT)


Re: 8 mm long range bullets
Hi Tom

It is very interesting to hear your opinión about my case. I saw HPC bullets in the website of Johannsen, and in fact, I have a box of this bullets at home, I intend to use them only for Long range shooting. For driven hunting in my new 8X64, I plan to use Alaska bullets from Norma. I used some years ago Geco 170 grs bullets in my 8X60 and it was a complete disaster. They exploded like grenades. I got a reload with N550 , +2800 ft/s and I think it will work.



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