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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Norma article and general catch up

Norma article and general catch up

07 Nov 2020
@ 01:22 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Hi guys, sorry I have been a bit absent just lately but its all been for a good cause. Here is what I have been up to.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en-gb/norma-academy/dedicated-hunting/ammunition/effective-game-killing

1. Some time ago I was contacted by the management of Norma Sweden. After kindly stating that they were big fans of my research, I was asked if I would like to write something for them in order to help enhance customer education. Somewhat jaded by the current (BS) state of the industry, I sent a curt reply, clearly stating my thoughts about the new generation of manufacturers, fully expecting that I had just burned yet another bridge. To my surprise, Norma came back to me with open arms - We totally agree, so what do you want to write about? 'Well I replied, any educational material needs to be built on a solid platform. The fundamentals have to come first. What I would like to do, is update and rewrite my treatise on effective game killing, using Norma ammunition in my examples. But further to this, I am sick and tired of "miracle" bullets so I would like to show not only the strengths of your ammo, but also the limitations. Its high time we had dome transparency in this game and if you care about your customers, then you will allow me to take this angle. Send...

Again I received another kind and agreeable email. Norma management were just as tired of the modern marketing machine as myself. It was time to cut to the chase, to relight the fire, the passion, that 1960's sense of invention and wonder. And so with Norma's blessing, I wrote an updated and highly in depth version of Effective Game Killing. I hope this conveys my sincere respect toward Norma for their bravery in taking this route and serves as a truly useful educational tool. I hope also that it stands as a source of pride for Scandinavian hunters.

I will continue working for Norma in one capacity or another, whether writing or consulting. It is a great honor and I am taking this position most seriously. I know a lot of you are counting on me to keep the flame burning in this game.

2. I finally took some time to sit down and go over all of my .44 cal data! It is pretty much ready for uploading but I will need to compile the tables for the bottom of the article. When I say ready for uploading, my version of editing is to sit down, pull my notes apart, cross examine myself, retest various elements, put it all back together again and then wonder why there are now more squiggly red lines under the words of my edited document than when I first assembled the data several years ago. So it may just be that the article goes live with a few typos. The .44's will nevertheless contain a pile of information which I am sure you will all enjoy. If I am quick enough, it might also give our U.S readers a small distraction while they wait to see the outcome of their current election.

Well, thats about it for me. I will write another post / blog post once the .44's are live. All the best guys.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en-gb/norma-academy/dedicated-hunting/ammunition/effective-game-killing

Replies

08 Nov 2020
@ 07:21 am (GMT)

Olivier ROUVIERE

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Hi Nathan,

Here in Europe, Norma ammunitions are highly respected and are the reference for most big games’ hunters. Myself currently testing the Tipstrike in Driven Hunting
Great to work as consultant with Norma, hoping they will benefit from all your expertise!
Thanks for the update

From France
OR
08 Nov 2020
@ 07:40 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Norma article and general catch up
After the read I compared the .308 cartridge of the 180 gr Norma Bond strike Extreme to the 178 gr Hornady ELD X.
Not surprising the energy and velocity of the Norma cartridge exceeds the Hornady as the ballistic coefficient is .615 vs .535.
The ELD X bullet is 1.41 inches in length.
The Norma Bond Strike is 1.2 inches length.

Most interesting is the Gyroscopic Stability Factor (GSF) Norma 1.95 and Hornady 1.18.

I've tested for comparison the Barnes 168 gr bullet length 1.416 GSF 1.14 and the Z Max 168 gr length 1.2 GSF 1.84. Both of these cartridges are tack drivers. Hornady is consistently 1 inch higher in shot placement at 100 yards than the Barnes.

At 100 yards the 178 gr ELD X shot placement is 3 inches higher and 1.5 inches to the right of the Barnes 168. When dialed in this cartridge is also a tack driver.

These results are from a 1 in 12 twist 26 inch barrel.

Appears the stability factor greater due to the bullet being shorter.

Question is: Is a wound channel greater with a lower stability factor?
08 Nov 2020
@ 09:52 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Norma article and general catch up
left field question that has bugged me for over 30 years......
shot my first and to date biggest stag with Norma 130grn in the mighty 270 winchester...awesome rounds and back then were fastest/hottest on market...or so my shoulder and higher point of impact told me... when compared to other rounds of same weight,the Norma projectiles looked smaller...way smaller.... the 150grn Norma was shorter and looked skinnier than most other 130grn loadings,the PMC round in particular looked huge by comparison......there is only 2 explanations I can think of...#1 the projectiles are seated way deeper #2 the DENSITY of Norma loads is higher.....what I think is reason.

great to see you have got stuck in Nathan...and good on Norma for sitting up and listening......there may be light ahead in tunnel yet.
08 Nov 2020
@ 09:32 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Hi.

This is really great stuff. Not only the re-write of Effective Game Killing, but the way Norma bullets/ loads were incorporated into it. Well done. Especially I like the intro, pointing a weighty finger towards modern (western) trends of completely departing from reality. But that was pretty unchanged from the previous edit, as I recall it. Just great to see it published to a broader audience. But most importantly, it was great to see such an honest, self critical and scientific article posted on the website of a major commercial player. I think it is a smart move by Norma. Not all hunters are stupid enough to fall for the usual marketing hypes, so honesty is something that will gain trust and confidence, hopefully leading to a stronger market position among the more critical hunters, who in turn have great influence over their less critical hunting buddies.

Also, in these non lead times, it is really wonderful to see this stuff on such a site, showing the limitations (and strengths) of monos.

Let us hope other major (US) manufactorers get inspired and go down this lane too.

Frank: Regarding the Bondstrike 180 BC of 615, I do not believe that one is really verified in a realistic manner. More of a computer modelled BC or something, similar to the fantasy marketing BCs of some ABLR bullets (maybe they have been adjusted now). So far I have read of people getting a BC of around 540 for the Bondstrike 180, when doping the loads. If you lay it next to the Eld-X 178 and compare shapes, that seams like a very reasonnable number. But I have not doped it myself, so that part I cannot testify to. The Bondstrike 6,5 BC is almost identical to the Eld-X 143, so that one is probably much closer to reality.

This nit picking on possibly incorrect BCs may seem like a nerdy, OCD-thing to do, but high BC is all part of the magical marketing hype, so I find scrutiny in this department important, just to try to keep things down on the ground whenever possible. But if Norma is eager to be self critical and honest, they will hopefully correct any inflated BCs as they are verified.


Cheers, M
08 Nov 2020
@ 10:44 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Norma article and general catch up
A comment to my remarks about the Accubond Longrange BCs - I just checked Noslers site, and it seems all those BCs have been corrected, giving average G7 form factors similar to Eld-M/ Eld-X bullets. This was probably corrected years ago, after all the negative reviews about some of the initial inflated BCs (270/150 for example). Apparently it helps to shout out and call BS. Great of Nosler to straighten this out.
09 Nov 2020
@ 10:26 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Magnus: Yes the marketing spin is paramount for introduction of products. Always looking for better and best products for long distance. Will be purchasing, when available in the local market, the Norma 180 BS for testing. Uncertain how doping a load increases the BC though?
Evaluated the 178 ELD X in mildly cold weather. Set the rifle and cartridges on a rack at the range at -10C for an hour. First and two subsequent shots were all in the correct location. [b]
09 Nov 2020
@ 11:10 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Sorry, I was perhaps a bit unclear with that term. What I mean by people doping the load, is testing by shooting at truly long range and verifying actual drop, with a known velocity and freshly zeroed rifle. Then just alter the BC in the calculator till the solution matches the actual drop. Then the BC you end up with is in theory pretty close to actual BC, at least for practical purposes. This is how people are getting around 540, from what I've picked up. A more precise way would be to put a chronograph at the muzzle and one at perhaps 500 meters exactly, then measure the drop in velocity between the two. Do so for 5 shots, then switch the chronos around and do 5 shots, and use the average loss in velocity between all shots. But that's more of nerd thing to do, and not really all that useful at the end of the day.

A source of Inflated BCs that aren't directly untrue (like early lrab BC), is when thdy only publish the BC at very high velocity, which is usually much higher than average BC over the whole velocity spectrum relevant for long range shooting. Maybe you are aware of this from before.

Anyway, I have loaded the Bond Strike 180 for 3 different rifles now in 30-06,and it seems to be a very forgiving bullet to work with, giving pretty good accuracy over a good span of velocity and jump/ coal. Very good accuracy at the sweet spots. So very similar to the Accubond 180 in this regard, which has been my go to bullet for picky rifles.

I have also had good experiences with the correctness of various Eld-X/ M bullets, so that sounds very familiar.
09 Nov 2020
@ 01:14 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Nathan:
It’s refreshing to see a big company hiring someone other than gun-rag-drivel-peddling morons!

Magnus:
I agree that published BC is a marginally-useful guide for hunters, and shouldn’t be inflated for marketing purposes. Although it can be deduced, more-or-less, from empirical bullet-drop tests, it’s still gun-and-load-dependent. (Whether FPS can be interpolated is another story.) By that I mean, bullet-obturation and rifling design surely affect BC. As you point out, BC changes over the bullet’s flight. When I first read that Hornady discovered their plastic tips were melting and deforming, I thought, “How did they catch it?” (Further investigation revealed the answer: Doppler Radar). The nuances of the differences between G1-vs-G7 models don’t particularly interest me. What I want to know is, How fast is the bullet is traveling at 450 yards? After studying Nathan’s work, that seems to be the most important question. I assume he arrived at his minimum FPS requirements for particular bullets by deducing terminal velocities from published G1 BCs. His advice is to verify POI at anticipated ranges, after sighting-in 3” high at 100 yards. Makes more sense than using a phone-app. Still, there’s the lingering question, Do I have enough velocity left for the bullet to expand? We’re dealing in generalities here. I would trust Nathan over Brian Lipshitz, or whatever his name is, although the latter could probably explain to you the nuances of BC better.
09 Nov 2020
@ 04:34 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Nathan, I hope this is as positive a development for you, Steph, and Riley as it seems it could be. Congratulations. Good for Norma - I'll be studying and shopping their product lines much more closely now.
09 Nov 2020
@ 06:09 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Norma article and general catch up
really good read,I look forward to the 2nd installment with updated bits added.
the diagramme with copper projectile at different speeds is awesome,pity its not slightly softer to increase the diameter a little more right through velocity spectrum...or have deeper opening to achieve the same...would make fairly good even better....
11 Nov 2020
@ 09:49 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Thanks for your kind words guys.

Frank, I just tried a new feature on my Vimeo account. Please try the following link (answer to your stability question).

https://vimeo.com/477754889/adb00b9db1
11 Nov 2020
@ 12:09 pm (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Quote:
Thanks for your kind words guys.

Frank, I just tried a new feature on my Vimeo account. Please try the following link (answer to your stability question).

https://vimeo.com/477754889/adb00b9db1


Utterly fantastic! Saves writing a great deal of prose. Appreciate the added knowledge you provided in discussing the GSF. I'm a visual person and with yu crooking your finger to simulate a bending ogive "BINGO". Hahaha. SO for my bear protection .308 I will go looking for a low GSF in a heavier bullet and test accuracy.

Thanks again!
11 Nov 2020
@ 12:18 pm (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Quoting Scott Struif:

Nathan:
It’s refreshing to see a big company hiring someone other than gun-rag-drivel-peddling morons!

Tell us how you really feel Scott.. Haha. I'm with you.

Watched a video of some tobacco chewing cowboy type, hat-jeans-string tie- moustachio- drawling voice like the RAM guy- lining up for his long distance shot. Never show him getting down prone but then watching the boy strut around like an old tom turkey when they show the target being struck dead centre at some beyond reasonable distance. . Bahaha. THat kind of hollywood drivel.
25 Nov 2020
@ 06:48 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Norma article and general catch up
I just finished The Practical Guide to LR Cartridges. Wow, quite an eye-opener about the terminal capabilities of various bullets, especially the frangible ones! The 1800 FPS rule, the 1400 FPS “wall”, etc., all quite interesting. In the book, Nathan demonstrates the “hammer test,” as a way to predict a bullet’s likelihood of upset, and also describes a poor-man’s ballistic-gel test, consisting of a 1” layer of wet newspaper, followed by 8” of compacted lawn clippings, followed by 18” of wet newspaper to catch the bullet for evaluation. But later he says there’s no substitute for testing on game, a statement I can’t argue with. My question, relative to Magnus’s observation that the only way to know for sure what the speed of a bullet is at 500 meters, is to set up a chronograph at that range. “Nerdy”, as he says. Nathan’s testing on game reveals that you must use a bullet capable of fragmenting on a gut shot. That seems like a tall order for most bullets, but I suppose that’s the whole point.
26 Nov 2020
@ 08:05 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Norma article and general catch up
In LR Cartridges, Nathan mentions that although not every bullet/cartridge combination is discussed, the principles can be applied to make informed decisions on LR bullet choice. So, for instance, when Federal announced their new Terminal Ascent bullet, they held it out as a bullet designed for all ranges . . . tough enough to not blow up at close range, yet capable of expanding at extreme range. It’s a high-BC, tipped boat tail, with a solid copper rear end and a lead front core surrounded by a skived jacket designed to peel away on impact, even at low velocity. Unlike the partition, the front lead core is bonded. I was intrigued by their marketing, but after reading Nathan’s book, it now appears that, although this new do-it-all design of Federal’s has the potential to be of some use for shoulder shooting large game at normal ranges, but would be a very poor choice for long range work, in spite of the fanfare surrounding its introduction. Still, it would be nice if there were some reliable way to test bullets, especially at low velocity. Even Nathan’s game tests, while obviously the most realistic, are somewhat misleading. If a bullet slips in between ribs, or, heaven-forbid, into the gut, its performance is likely to be substantially different than if it strikes bone on the way in.
26 Nov 2020
@ 09:32 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Even Nathan’s game tests, while obviously the most realistic, are somewhat misleading. If a bullet slips in between ribs, or, heaven-forbid, into the gut, its performance is likely to be substantially different than if it strikes bone on the way in.

Keep reading and re-reading Scott because you are way off the mark with this!

I have personally shot game with Nathan using marginal & poor placement with non suitable projectiles. Testing the ethics of marketing BS.

Keep reading
26 Nov 2020
@ 11:10 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Norma article and general catch up
Hi Marty. Thanks for your interest/response. With all due respect, I think maybe you misconstrued what I was saying. What I meant was that the marketing engines of the bullet manufacturers would like us to believe that controlled expansion, or, to put it another way, “the perfect mushroom,” is the be-all-end-all of bullet performance. Federal’s hype of the Terminal Ascent is a prime example of this. I can’t easily find the passage, but in the book Nathan says that one company’s going down that path is a shame, because it ignores the benefits of frangibility. I was not questioning all the testing you guys have done on live game. Rather, I was lamenting the fact that that there’s no reliable way to test bullets in inanimate media. Also, I was giving the nod to Magnus for recognizing you can’t simply type a manufacture’s published BC into a ballistics program and know the FPS at a given distance. Also, live game testing, although obviously the proof-in-the-pudding-Rosetta-Stone, has a lot of variables to it. What I got from the book is you have to use a bullet capable of exploding in the gut and taking out the liver, in the event your shot placement is off, due to wind-drift and other factors.
Regards,
Scott
 

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