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New 300WM R1 need ammo adivce


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Hey folks


Just picked up a new R1 in 300WM w/ ComfortTech

I am usually a 308 Bolt-Action and 5.56 AR guy so 300WM is a new cartridge for me and thus no stockpiles of assorted ammo to try through the R1.


I want to use the R1 for deer season in a few weeks but obviously don't have a long time to try different ammo to find what groups the best.


I picked up 2 boxes of the new Fusion ammo from federal (150gr / 3200fps) to try er out. I think the R1 has about the same or less recoil than my 308's but the muzzle rise and muzzle flash still lets you know its a magnum cartridge :D


Anyway...seeing as my time is short, till season, and I know some of you out there have found some factory hunting loads that the R1's in 300WM group well with. I was hoping for some suggestions from everybody.

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Yes, I have started to break the barrel in (and that was what the 40rounds of Fusion were for) However, every barrel is different. My Savage 308 with a factory barrel took 150-200 rounds before it really setteled down. On the opposite spectrum my Rem700 308 with a Mikle Rock Barrel w/ 1:11.25 twist was dead to nuts in one box of ammo (20 rounds).


So I honestly can't say if the barrel is broken in yet. But what I am looking for here is those with experience with the 300WM R1. Given the large number of factory ammunitions available I am looking for what generally works for the R1. Example: 308win 168gr HPBT MatchKing in the Federal Gold Medal. I have yet to meet a bolt action 308 or AR-10 that will not at least shoot "well" with this ammo. This is not to say each one will have a load it does best with I'm just saying that you can be fairly sure you will get decent results with the 168 HPBT's


Now for 300WM in the R1? what I'm looking for is are the 150gr bullets doing well? are the 180gr bullets too heavy for the 1:11 twist? Right now I am leaning towards the Hornady 165gr interlock as I remember a post somehwere about it doing well and have yet to be impressed with the accuracy of the Fusion ammo (but I wasn't trying too hard with the Fusion as I knew I was just going to have to start cleaning after I pulled the trigger)


So does anybody have real world results with factory loads, loaded with a hunting bullet???

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I've tried many different brands and styles of ammo in my 300 WM R1 with lots of different results. The R1 is very selective on what it "likes" 1:11 twist rate and all. I'll sum up my most recent experience at the range with Fusion and Federal Vital-shok Nosler Partitions, um keep in mind I have the Carbine 20" barrel vs your 24".


BTW as an aside, the worst ammo I tried by far was PMC ammunition. It flat out jammed my gun due to oversized cases. Unfortunately it is the only brand I've found that offers the highly accurate Sierra GameKing bullets.


Fusion: 165 grain bullets seem to work better than 150 or 180. Actually the tightest group's (1"- 3/4") I've gotten so far with any ammo have been with Fusion 165's. Moreover, the variance in groups with fusion has been windage alone. Elevation has been dead on! You could attribute that to trigger control. The Fusion 150's gouped much lower and little farther apart -- I had to adjust my scope up almost 2" to hit the same place as the 165's. Funny enough, Federal Nosler 180's use the same scope adjustments as the 165 Fusions.


Federal Nosler: I have boxes and boxes of Federal Nosler partition 180 grain that I practice with and have gotten 1 1/4"- 1 1/2" groupings easily from them. Truth is, the more I shoot the R1 the better my groupings.


In my opion barrel break in and practice are the keys to accuracy with the R1. I've now shot over 300 rounds and it keeps getting better and better. Typically I've found that 165 grains work better for my 20" 300 WM than 150's or 180's with any ammo. Also, you need to shoot with a cold barrel -- leave at least 30-45 seconds between shots. Your first shot at game will always be with a cold barrel; however, follow up shots may not. So, you'll want to spend some time doing rapid follow ups to see where they'll go. In my case they tend to drift Left from 1"-2" and maybe a 1/2" lower.


Good Luck,



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Thanks Glenn


I note on your cold barrel idea: Till now I've always hunted with a bolt action. And as no suprise, that round you chamber when you get in your stand is essentially the same as all the rest. The exception is that you make it nice and hush hush by sliding the bolt foward nice and slow.


Now the debate continues with AR and M14 buffs that a round loaded from the magazine is loaded slightly differently then one droped in the camber and the bolt closed. And again the loading is different from a round that is loaded from a recoil cycle (firing the gun) versus on where you merely let the bolt go (just release the bolt catch)


So now if I believe all of this (which I do tend to lean towards this train of thought) While I zero for hunting, each round should be cold barrel and hand dropped into the chamber and bolt released. Therefore simulating what will occur with that first shot I take at that 16 pointer wandering around our property... :D


Any thoughts or comments on that?

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I don't think the subtle differences of how the cartridge is loaded will be discernable out to 250 or so yards.


It would be more likely that the angle of the muzzle, relevant to the horizon, and temperature variations would have greater bearing on accuracy.


Most larger caliber rifle cases are not completely filled with powder. Therefore, the charge can shift within the case. With the barrel pointed up, the powder settles at the back end, on the primer. With the muzzle pointed down, the charge drifts away from the primer.

These variations lead to slight pressure differences and can affect accuracy, although only very slighlty.

Part of the success of the WSM and WSSM calibers is attributable to the shorter cases giving more uniform burn rates by allowing less shifting of the charge.


Ambient temperature variations can also make pressures go up (when warmer) and down (when colder).


Oh yeah, and elevation (ft. above sea level) affects accuracy because of lower oxygen levels and less dense air, as you move up.


All of these factors contribute - slightly.

By and large, the variations will be negligible, unless you're competing where 1000ths make or break you.


Sight in your weapon at 90 degrees / 50% humidity near the coast, with the muzzle elevated.... Then go hunting in the Rockies at 9,000 ft. and 12 degrees, and shoot down into a canyon ---- Yeah, you could easily miss at 250-300 yards, due to all the variables working against you at the same time.


[ 11-15-2005, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: tucker301 ]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well season is over and I bagged a medicore 9-pointer. Ahh well there will always be next year for getting that monster.


However a note on the Federal Fusion ammo. I sighted in with the 165gr loads and it grouped ~2 - 1.5inches for 5 shots. Not bad, but like a fine wine I'm sure the barrel will get better with age!


But I'm not so sure I will use the Fusion ammo again. I took my deer at 187yds (range finder) and my first shot scewered him through the lungs just missing the heart. He took off at a trot and after he got to about 250yds I put two more in him. He kept going fo abit and dropped. Once I got up to him I saw that all three rounds could be covered by a 6inch circle. OK the rifle did exactly as it should have...good placment for on the move shots (but nothing impresive).


However, my complaint lies with the terminal balistcs of the Fusion bullet. All three rounds passed right through. entry and exit wounds were about the same size, with two broken ribs on the exit side. based on the fact that after taking three solid hits in the vitals this deer still made it 150yd +/- a few yds I'm not all that impressed. It would seem that the fusion bullet isn't expanding quick enough? Or its still moving too fast to expand? I'm just basing this on the fact that a white tail deer is a realitively frail animal (compared to moose/elk/bear/boar...) and a bullet that is marketed as specifically "engineered" for deer hunting should expand a bit faster in soft tissue.


I'm comparing this to bullets, that i've used in past hunts, such as barnes XLC, sierra gameking, winchester balistic silvertip and yes even a hornady AMAX! and every one of these bullets dropped the animals almost immediately. the farthest I've ever had something move after being hit was ~10-15yds. (and yeah that AMAX turned the doe's guts into soupy mess! very cool result!)


So long story short I'll use the rest of the Fusion ammo I've got to finish/continue breaking in my barrel. But next time I go deer hunting I'll use something , above, that I know and trust. And when I go up to Michigan in the spring for one of those 400lb boars I'll stick with a tough bullet like the barnes XLC.

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