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MikeI

Reliable subsonic load for 300 Whisper

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After months of trying, I finally got a hand load to cycle reliably in a customer's 300 Whisper!

 

The load is 10.3 grains of A1680, under a 220 grain Sierra Match King. Chronographed at 903 fps. A Remington SRPrimer starts the whole reaction going. (BTW, this load is worth trying if you're shooting a 300 Blackout.) I'm going to slowly work up from 10.3 grains to get him a bit higher velocity while still staying subsonic (1117 fps). Will also be playing around with different bullet weights with this powder, still subsonic, and will share my results with you.

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Looking forward to the results. I've been using N110 and 220 SMK with ok results. Your the second person that has mentioned that powder, may have to give it a try.

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Mustang, I sent an information request to Hornady and here is their reply. (I'm heading out this morning to try 5 each of 10.4, 10.6 and 10.8 grains of A1680 with the 220 grain bullet, and will let you know what happens.)
Mike,
We would suggest you try A1680 with a start load of 10.4gr and a max of 15.3gr and a C.O.L. of 2.250". Start low and work your way up and you should find the most optimal load that will work for you.
Thank you


From: Hornady Manufacturing, Inc [mailto:webmaster@hornady.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:33 AM
To: tech
Subject: "Technical Inquiries" Contact from mike innis

This is a response sent by mike innis using the feedback form on the website. The details of the message follow below:

 

Subject: Technical Inquiries First Name: mike Last Name: innis Email: mikein@verizon.net Address1: 410 Broad Street Address2: POB 1627 City: Mason State: tx Postal Code: 76856 Country: United States Phone: 325-347-1020 Comments:
I am attempting to work up loads for a 300 Whisper and have had difficulty developing a subsonic hand load that will reliably cycle the action on the AR. I friend gave me 5 of your factory loads to try, and they worked quite well! Is the powder you use in your factory, 208 grain AMAX ammunition for the Whisper a proprietary blend, or is it a commercially available powder?

Thanks very much for your help!

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Mustang, just got back from the range, testing those various loads. The highest MV I got out of the batch was 926 fps, so I'm going to keep inching up the powder charge scale, .2 of a grain at a time, to get to a little over 1,000 fps. The increase in MV with each increase in powder charge was quite insignificant, but with the small capacity cases and large projectiles, I think "sneaking up" on the right load is the way to go! I'll let you know what combo finally gets me to 1K fps!

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Good deal. I will have to pick up some A1680

 

 

Thanks for the info

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Went out again today, this time to do some penetration and expansion testing. I was using 220 grain MatchKings and Nosler Partitions, and 200 grain Barnes and Nosler AccuBonds. Range was 50 yards, and the load I was using for all bullets was right at 1,000 fps for the 220's, and right at 1050 for the 200's. I was using a medium of gallon juice jugs full of water and newspaper. NONE of the bullets displayed any expansion whatsoever! Some of them had their noses slightly bent, but, other than the rifling marks, they pretty much looked like what they did when reloaded. The next surprise was that both the 220 grainers penetrated 14 inches, and were turned sideways in the newspapers; indicating to me that they were tumbling. And the last surprise was that the 200 grainers both went completely through 30 inches of medium, out the back of the plastic box I was holding them in, and through a 1/2 inch thickness of marine plywood!

 

I'm going after some Lehigh and Outlaw State bullets to try next. They are reputed to be able to expand at the lower velocities; unfortunately, they're almost a buck and a half a piece, so I'll be testing them rather sparingly!!

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I figured the only chance of expansion was gonna be with the Lehigh or Outlaw State bullets. I'll certainly try them both at some point in the next few months.

Based on some performance with hogs this past weekend (178 gr Amax out of a .308), I think I will also see how the Hornady 208 Amax bullets work at the lower subsonic velocities. Most Amax bullets I've tried seem to have a fairly thin jacket that seems to open readily. I've just never tried the 208 grain bullet. I'm not looking (or even hopeing for 'explosive' expansion) at 1000 fps, just looking for something that expands AT ALL.

You would think that the popularity of the .300 Blackout would have these bullet designers working overtime to field a 180-220 gr. bullet that offers some level of expansion at subsonic speeds.

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Catman, when I talked to Hornady's Tech person, I asked him about the 208 grain AMAX as a hunting bullet. He MOST EMPHATICALLY stated that "Hornady does NOT recommend the use of the 208 AMAX for hunting because of the unreliable expansion characteristics of it!" Rest assured, I'll try it out on hogs if I can ever get my hands on some of them to reload!!

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I wonder if someone might ever make a "varmint" type bullet in 220 grains specifically for subsonic 30 cal use. I would think that at the low velocity, such a bullet would perform much like a "regular" hunting bullet at high velocity. ???

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claysdaddy, check these out:

 

http://www.outlawstatebullets.com/2.html

 

The narrative below the last picture on this page pretty well describes my experience with these bullets. The only varmints I've shot with them were hogs, and at a range of about 50-60 yards. One shot, one kill; great expansion; two of the bullets found under the skin on the "exit" side of the hogs. Other bullets did not exit the animals. The other bullet line to consider is Lehigh. I've not tried any of them yet, because I'm still paying off the Outlaw State Bullets! I'll go into debt again with the Lehighs! http://lehighbullets.com/products.asp?cat=26

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So, is there not enough market for Hornady to make a 220 gr V-Max that would work great on deer and hogs in a sub-sonic 300 BLK?

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claysdaddy, I suggest that you direct your question to the nice folk at Hornady! My experience with them over the years has been that they are generally ahead of the curve on developing the right bullets for the right calibers at the right time. I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear them announce just such a bullet (may not be a VMAX-type because of the velocity needed to get it to open up properly), but a "subsonic Son Of VMAX" projectile that will perform as needed by the shooters of BlackOuts and Whispers. If they sense there's large enough market, you can bet that Hornady will step into the fray with a competitive bullet.

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I have been extremely busy and have been unable to go to the range the past six months. Eventually I will shoot some loads and report back.

 

This is a fun little caliber.

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Just got in some 240 gr SMK's that I'll have to load up and try. So far the 220's have been "so so". I will post the results when I get around to loading and shooting the new loads.

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