The DIY Hunter

X-Bolt 270 WSM 300 Yard Three Shot Group

X-Bolt 270 WSM 300 yard three shot group with 140g Nosler Accubond handloads.

I've been spending a lot of time at the range the past month or so, mostly working on my 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload. Today I shot more 243 WSSM 95g Partitions test loads and I also shot my X-Bolt 270 WSM on paper at 300 yards for the first time. I have this rifle sighted in at 2 1/2 inches high with 140g Nosler AccuBond handloads going 3300 fps and as you can see from the target it is dead on at 300 yards. My three shots are just 1 3/8 inches across... now that's darn accurate if I may say so. My first shot hit the black dot I colored and I could not see the hit even with a spotting scope... kind of thought I missed the whole darn target at first. After my 100 yard groups and now my 300 yard group, I'm completely sold on the accuracy of my X-Bolt and my 140g Accubond handload combination.

With the ballistics of this bullet and this rifle, at right around 170 yards the path of the bullet reaches about 3 1/2 inches high. So from zero to nearing 300 yards I hold for a low shoulder shot and at the 400 yard range I hold for a high shoulder shot. Zero to 400 yards and no hold over. The 270 WSM gives me near 400 yard max-point-blank range hunting.

Some Bushnell Elite 4200 and 6500 Rifle Scope Thoughts
This was my first time shooting this rifle and the Elite 6500 at paper beyond 100 yards. In doing so I found that the adjustable objective settings of my Elite 6500 are a little different from that of my Bushnell Elite 4200 rifle scopes.


Bushnell Elite 6500 Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective

Bushnell Elite 4200 Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective

Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective. Objective is set for no parallax at 300 yards.

Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x  Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective. Objective is set for no parallax at 100 yards.

Since I had one of my Elite 4200 rifle scopes with me, on my A-Bolt 243 WSSM Stainless Varmint Laminate rifle, I started comparing the clarity and parallax adjustment and found the the 4200 has excellent clarity, in my opinion a little better than the 6500 and a larger range to fine tune the adjustable objective (see photos). The increments on the 6500's adjustable objective go very quickly from 100 yards to infinity. On my Elite 4200 rifle scope there is twice the distance for this adjustment range. With the adjustment distance being so small on the Elite 6500 it is a little trickier to adjust the objective for longer shots.

I looked around the web to see what others were saying about the Elite 6500 scopes. I read that the 6500 rifle scopes have the same glass as the Elite 4200 rifle scopes with extra lens thus making them heavier and generating a little less light transmission than the 4200 scopes. I really like the 6500's extra eye relief over the 4200 and the ability to go down to 2.5x is nice but not necessary for my style of hunting. I think the 6500 scopes are excellent rifle scopes but for my style of hunting in the wide open country I really don't need the lower range of optical power and would prefer the slightly higher clarity at long range that I feel the 4200 scopes offer.

After playing around with the scopes today I am thinking I might switch up some scopes and maybe try something different on my X-Bolt. I really been wanting to try one of the long range bullet drop compensating reticles. I have always wanted a good Leupold with the Boone and Crockett reticle... of course Nikon makes some great scopes with their BDC reticle at more affordable prices, get great comments in the online reviews and I love my Nikon Buckmaster 1x20 muzzleloader scope. Hmm...

Update Sept. 25, 2010: I purchased a Nikon BDC scope for my X-Bolt. You can read about it in my Setting Up The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC Rifle Scope On My X-Bolt journal entry.


243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Retumbo Test Handloads

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Test Handloads

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Retumbo test handloads.

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Test Handloads.

243 WSSM Test Handloads
I also shot four more test loads of the 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition load I have been working on. I have burned through one box of 50 bullets and into my next box trying to narrow down the load I like most. Once again I am finding that at least in my 243 WSSM rifles the powder burn rates of the powders, that are recommended in the powder and bullet manufacturer's load data are often too fast of powders. Even though their recommended powders are slow burning powders they just aren't slow enough. I just get too high of pressure with them unless I back way off on filling the case to capacity.

For this bullet it looks like I will be using Hodgdon's Retumbo and believe it or not, it's not slow enough to fill the case to capacity and keep the pressures down where I like them... there aren't many powders much slower than Retumbo(you can see powder burn rates on maybe I could try 50 BMG powder. My favorite load right now that is probably 6 grains below a compressed loads capacity yet it is still going 3250 fps, does not have excessive pressures and has shot sub MOA. I just want to get a few more groups on paper to verify it's accuracy and I'll post this 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload on the handload page.