The DIY Hunter

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition at Shooting Range

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload.


243 WSSM with 95g Nosler Partition on Chronograph

One of the velocities of my first 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload shots.


A-Bolt Stainless Varmint Laminate 243 WSSM with 95g Nosler Partition

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload next to my Browning A-Bolt Stainless Varmint with laminate stock.


Target showing first test loads of 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition

My first test load of a 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload. Now back to the reloading bench for some adjustments to the handload.


270 WSM 140g Accubond Chrony F1 Chronograph

270 WSM 140g Nosler AccuBond handload and the velocity from my 23" barrel X-Bolt.


Browning X-Bolt on shooting bags and bench at the shooting range

When shooting from the bench I like to either place a box under a shooting bag or stack two bags on top of one another. This makes my shooting posture much more comfortable by getting higher off the bench. I then usually stuff a jacket under the rear of the stock to get the rifle a little more stable.


Three shot groups of 270 WSM 140g Nosler Accubond Handloads

Here are two three shot groups from my X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM shooting 140g Nosler AccuBond handloads.


Nikon spotting scope at shooting range

My friend Ryan lent me a Nikon EDG Fieldscope 85-A spotting scope and I brought it with me to the range. I have been glassing one of the mountains I like to hunt from over five miles away. This scope is amazingly clear at tremendous ranges.

I went to the range today to shoot my first test loads I've been working on for a 95g Nosler Partition bullet in a 243 WSSM. A also shot two three-shot groups with my new X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM and measured the velocities.

First I shot five 95g Nosler Partitions from my A-Bolt Stainless Laminate Varmint with a fluted barrel. The first two shots were high and off the target sheet I was aiming at but they were 3/4 of an inch apart. I adjusted the scope some and fired three more shots at the target sheet the first two shots hit on. The third and fourth shot were again right at 3/4 of an inch apart and I was thinking this load might be pretty good right out of the gates but on my fifth shot I got a flier going out about 2 1/2 inches... the barrel was hot, maybe that caused the fifth shot to wander off course. I'll keep tweaking the load.

Oct. 2010: After several trips from the reloading bench to the shooting range I finally have my 243 WSSM 95g Nolser Partition Handload.

After shooting the 243 WSSM I wanted to shoot my X-Bolt in 270 WSM a few times to get more comfortable with it and get some better data on the velocities of the 140g AccuBond that I am shooting out of it. I get a little spoiled with my 243 WSSM rifles and the light recoil, so just after shooting the 243 WSSM I forget that the 270 WSM actually recoils a little. My first shot quickly reminded me of the recoil (I have a long history of getting scope bit... being 6' 7" it helps to have longer lengths of pull), then on my second shot I totally flinched. It was so bad I would have laughed out loud if someone had been there with me. I just anticipated that the trigger was going to break and I flinched in anticipation, then the trigger broke... just totally out of sync. I went ahead and fired a third shot and it was right back next to my first shot.

I made a minor adjustment to the scope and immediately fired another three shots. Again two touching each other, then a slight flier. The barrel was getting pretty warm after 6 shots so maybe that had some to do with this shot being a little off course. Still, this group measures under an inch at right about 7/8 inch.

My Chrony F-1 chronograph was giving better readings today. When I first took my X-Bolt out as there were a lot of passing clouds messing up the readings on the chronograph. Today it was right around 60 degrees and my average velocity was right about 3300 fps.

270 WSM 140g AccuBond Handload Velocities: 3314, 3269, 3240, 3318, 3294, 3314 — average velocity 3292 fps.

August 31, 2010: Shot the X-Bolt with 140g Accubonds with the temperature right around 70 degrees today. 3338, 3309, 3330, 3362, 3347 — average velocity 3337 fps.

WARNING: By viewing this page you accept the terms listed herewith. The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on this website you are doing so at your own risk. I am not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. 

Favorite 270 WSM Handload Bullets

A couple of my favorite 270 WSM loads left to right:
• 130g Barnes Triple Shock
• 140g Nosler AccuBond

My favorite close range load (300 yards and under) is the 130g Barnes Triple Shock. However at longer ranges although very accurate, I just don't get the expansion and performance on elk like I want to see. It's taken one shot kills on cow elk out to 608 yards but it has also required multiple boiler room shots on elk in the 360 to 555 yard range with bullets zipping in one shoulder and out the other, all the way out to 608 yards. I'll bet the MRX and the Tipped Triple Shock expand better at longer ranges. The Tipped Triple shock has done wonders on elk with the 243 WSSM but again, I'm not entirely comfortable with expansion past 350 yards. You can read more about my thoughts on the Triple Shock in my Recovered Barnes Triple Shock Bullets journal entry.

At 300 yards and beyond I'm leaning towards the 140g Nosler AccuBond load. These bullets are equally as accurate as the Triple Shocks however, at closer ranges and at the extremely high velocity from my 28" barreled Model 1885, this bullet has disintegrated. You can read about that in my 2009 Cow Elk Hunt journal entry. Since the AccuBond is going a hundred and fifty feet slower in my X-Bolt it should hold together better at shorter ranges although I still am going to opt for sliding bullets behind the shoulder of elk to be safe. I'm thinking it might be the all-around bullet to drop deer and elk at any reasonable range.

Here are some hunts with the 140g Accubond Handload

Recovered from elk 150 Gr. Accubond LR

Where's the lead? Whats left of a recovered 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullet from Dallen's 2013 Utah bull elk. Isn't the lead supposed to be bonded to the copper?

Here's my experiences with the 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range Bullet

  • See how the bullet performs or should I say disintegrates when Dallen shoots a six point bull during the 2013 Utah youth elk hunt.
  • Dallen shoots a nice mule deer in 2013 with a 270 WSM and a 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullet.

I'm probably just a little too demanding. Or... actually, I think that I just like to tinker. If I shot the same bullet and rifle all my life I would miss out on all the fun experimenting with the different flavors of bullets and rifles. Having vanilla ice cream all the time is a little boring for me. I know the old faithful Nolser Partition is probably the best all-around bullet ever made for taking big game at almost any range but, where would the fun be if I didn't get to experiment with Rocky Road or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough?

With general duplex rifle scopes I like to sight-in my big game rifles two and a half inches high at 100 yards. Depending on the load and rifle listed below, shooting at a 7 inch target I get max-point-blank ranges between 335 and 370 yards. At 600 yards the drop is between 33 and 45 inches low, depending again on the rifle and load. From 0 to 400 yards I can hold on an elk or deer with no hold over required. Now, I do hold on the lower part of the shoulders for basically a heart shot when I am in the 100-200 yard range and I hold for a higher shoulder shot in the 400 yard range.

In 2013 I have been switching my rifle scopes over to Vortex Viper scopes with both hold-over aiming points and target turret elevation turrets. I then sight my rifles in for 100 yards and either use the hold-over aiming marks for quick shots or dial in the exact distance for the conditions using Strelok Android App on my phone. See what my X-Bolt 20 MOA Picatinny Rail and Vortex Viper HS LR Rifle Scope in 2013.

Here's some DIY Hunting Rifle Target Downloads that might be helpful as well.

Bullet Powder Primer COAL Barrel Length Muzzle Velocity Notes
150 Gr Hornady SST
(G7 .245 BC)
67 Gr Hodgdon H1000 WLRM 2.8170 23" 3100 Awesome accuracy! This is my favorite load for my X-Bolt. It performs the better on game and is the most accurate as well. See article: 150 Gr Hornady SST In My 270 WSM X-Bolt
150 Gr. Berger VLD 66.4 Grains, Hodgdon H1000 WLRM  2.7930-2.7950 28" 3130 fps Very accurate. This is my favorite load for my 1885 single shot rifle. Great accuracy for hitting long range steel targets. See article: Rifle Golf with a 270 WSM at Spirit Ridge
150 Gr. Accubond Long Range 58.5 Grains, IMR 4350 WLRM  2.8625-2.8635 23" 3034 fps Sub MOA, The COAL is slightly over the "Max" of 2.86 but it feeds just fine in my X-Bolt. I will never use this bullet. I highly dislike it. See article: 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range — Working Up Loads For My 270 WSM Rifles
130 Gr. Barnes Triple Shock 74.5 Grains, Accurate MagPro WLRM  2.80 28" 3400 fps Sub MOA
Same load as above with Model 70 24" 3275 fps Sub MOA
140 Gr. Nosler AccuBond 74 Grains, Accurate MagPro WLRM  2.787 28" 3460 fps Sub MOA
Same load as above with X-Bolt Stainless Stalker 23" 3330 fps Sub MOA.

 

Favorite 243 WSSM Bullets

Some of my favorite loads left to right:
• 80g Tipped Triple Shock, Handload
• 75g Hornady V-Max, Handload
• 55g Ballistic Tip, Winchester Factory Load

WARNING: By viewing this page you accept the terms listed herewith. The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on this website you are doing so at your own risk. I am not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. 

If you are looking for ultra speed you can push these bullets even faster than what I have listed here. I like to keep my loads away from the highest pressures possible. The loads here are my goto sub minute-of-angle accurate hunting loads. For varmints I either use the 75 grain V-Max or the 55 grain Ballistic Tip Winchester factory load.  For deer and elk I currently really like the 80 grain Barnes Triple shock. That bullet has preformed very well on elk. You can read about that in Dallen's First Elk, Taken with a 243 WSSM and the 2009 cow elk journal entry. I am very comfortable with this 80g TSX bullet on elk out to 350 yards. Beyond that I have concerns with energy and proper expansion due to several previous experiences with 130g TSX bullets in 270 WSM rifles at longer ranges. You can read more about my thoughts on the Triple Shock in my Recovered Triple Shock Bullet journal entry.

Another interesting thing in regards to speed. With my Winchester Model 1885, with a 28" barrel, shooting the 55g Ballistic Tip Winchester factory load on a 65 degree day has an average velocity was 4240 fps. It also consistently shoots this load under an inch at 100 yards. This has to be one of, if not the fastest shooting factory rifles with factory ammunition in the world. It does amazing things to chucks and prairie dogs. Wow!

I'm still looking for a long range deer load (350 yards and beyond). I thought the Hornady 85 grain InterBond might be the ticket. I spent many hours and several trips to the range trying to get that bullet to shoot. I tried four different powders and many different seating depths. The best I could get was three inch groups at 100 yards. On the other hand, every load I tried with the 75 grain Hornady V-Max shot well. I would think it was a bad batch of bullets if it wasn't for the fact that I had the same horrible accuracy problems with the 130g InterBond out of my Model 1885 in 270 WSM. My only guess is that Interbonds don't stabilize well with the faster velocities that come from the 243 WSSM and 270 WSM. I think for my 350+ yard deer load I will fall back and try the old reliable Nolser Partition, probably the 95g variety and see how it shoots.

I'm working on a load for the 95g Nosler Partition. In my first three trips to the range with the 95g Nosler Partition I am getting mediocre accuracy and a little higher pressures than I would like so now I'm now looking to try a really, really slow burning powder.

I found the 95g Nosler Partition load I like... well, maybe I'll tweak it some more in the future but for now I'm happy. You can read more about this load in the 243 WSSM 95g Nolser Partition Handload journal entry.

Oct. 15th 2010: I broke a decapping pin during development of the 95g Partition load and purchased another decapping/Tapered Expander assembly that is one thousandth of an inch larger in diameter. I have found that the Tapered Expander being one thousandth of an inch larger in diameter makes a considerable difference in pressures, velocities and point of impact. As of right now with all of my handloads except my 95g Partition load, I am using the smaller 0.242" diameter Tapered Expander.

Here's some DIY Hunting Rifle Target Downloads that might be helpful as well.

Bullet Powder Primer COAL Barrel Length Muzzle Velocity Notes
105 Gr. Hornady A-Max 45.8 Gr. Hodgdon H1000 WLR 2.3530-2.3560 24" 3070 Great Accuracy! See target groups and more information on this 105 A-Max load.
95 Gr. Berger VLD Hunting 46 Gr. H1000 WLR 2.434 28" 3220

Awesome Accuracy! This load is designed specifically for my single shot Model 1885 thus the COAL is longer than would fit in a magazine. This load was used on these long range shots.
1,200 Yard Shot
673 Yard Shot On A Very Small Target

95 Gr. Berger VLD Hunting 51 Gr. Accurate MagPro WLR 2.434 28" 3330 Great Accuracy! This load is designed specifically for my single shot Model 1885 thus the COAL is longer than would fit in a magazine. See target groups and more information on this load 95g Berger VLD load.
95 Gr. Nosler Partition 46 Gr. Hodgdon Retumbo WLR 2.270 24" 3165-3250 fps Sub MOA, This load shot 3250 three different times at the range with a slightly longer COAL. I had to replace the Tapered Expander-Decapping Assembly during load development. The new one is 0.243 in diameter and my old broken one (Oops!) is 0.242 in diameter. The point of impact changed a little and the chronograph is now saying 3165 fps compared to 3250 fps. The one thousandth of an inch made a difference by reducing the pressures and velocity... I could probably move back up a grain of powder with the .243 expander or go with a .242 expander to get the 3250 fps velocity.
80 Gr. Barnes Tipped Triple Shock 51 Gr. Hodgdon Superformance WLR 2.250 (everything I tried between 2.236 - 2.265 shot well) 22" 3550 fps Sub MOA. View my target groups and information about this load and Hodgdon Superformance powder
80 Gr. Barnes Tipped Triple Shock 52 Gr. Accurate MagPro WLR  2.265 22" 3360 fps Sub MOA. Could probably add a grain or two more of powder as I had no pressure signs with this load. This was one of my first test loads and it shot so well I didn't mess with it any more.
Same 80g TTSX load as above with different rifle 24" 3475 fps Sub MOA
85 Gr. Barnes Triple Shock 52 Gr. Accurate MagPro WLR  2.220 24" 3440 fps Sub MOA
75 Gr. Hornady V-Max 46 Gr. IMR 4350 WLR  2.220 24" 3560 fps Consistently accurate from all three of my 243 WSSM rifles.
70 Gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip 47.7 Gr. Winchester 760 WLR 2.285 24" 3600 fps Sub MOA
55 Gr. Ballistic Tip Winchester Factory Load     22" 4080 fps Sub MOA
Same 55 Gr. factory load as above with different rifle 28" 4240 fps Sub MOA