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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently killed a cow elk with our 338 Lapua shooting 300gr SMK’s at 2670fps. While I have an elk in the freezer I wasn’t happy with bullet performance. All the loads I have for this rifle use a match style bullet and honestly its more of a hunting rifle than a target rifle, Remington Police with a 24” barrel.

Yesterday I stopped by Sportsman’s Warehouse in town to see what was available locally for a hunting bullet I could make shoot quickly without a lot of range time and tweaking. I remembered seeing the Hornady 230gr eldx on the Applied Ballistic Kestrel app and there was a couple boxes on the shelf so I grabbed one figuring I could probably get the rifle to push them close to 3000fps with good enough accuracy so I didn’t need to take my 25/06AI out after my second elk in a couple weeks. I used the 178gr eldx in my 308 last year and was very pleased.

When I got home and the kids laid down for a nap I loaded a 10 shot ladder test to see if I could get velocity node in hopes it would produce good standard deviations and low extreme spread. Started at 92.0gr of H1000 and went up to 96.5gr with Lapua brass and CCI 250 primers.

This morning set a target at 120 yards and shot 2-5 shots groups while using the labradar to get a velocity readings. The groups were mostly irrelevant to my test I just wanted to make sure they were somewhere close to the bullseye, they were I had a pair of 2.5” groups, the important thing was velocity’s.

When I got home I plotted my data into a spread sheet to get a better look at it. This line graph shows two flat spots in velocity one down around 2913fps with 94.5-95.0gr and one at 2980fps with 96.0 and 96.5gr. This is ment to be a hunting load so I opted to go with the faster node.



I loaded 10 rounds with 96.0gr of h1000, built a gun profile in my Kestrel for the Lapua using the 230 eldx, put some steel in the truck and went back out to chrono more and get data.

I started at 100 yards and shot a 3 shot group to get a zero offset so I didn’t need to rezero from the current 300gr load, chronographing at the same time. I now had a velocity average and an adjusted zero to put in the Kestrel. I backed off to 398 yards set the chrono back up to continue adjusting my average. First shot was 3” higher than my waterline and I realized I didn’t take a wind reading before taking my shot. Sure enough the wind coming from 12 o’clock changed my elevation 2/10 of a mil down second shot was waterline.

Move back to 611 yards set the chrono back up, took my readings let the AB Kestrel do its thing, dialed made two center of waterline hits. Pack up and move back to 743 yards kestrel, chrono, wash rinse repeat.

All in all I took 20 shots to get a load and data. Here’s the 9 shot average of the velocities using 96.0gr. Extreme spread of 11 and a standard deviation of 5.1 I most have gotten really lucky to accomplish that.



Here’s the last 3 rounds at 743 yards in an 11mph breeze, I was holding .5 mil left to make center of plate hits.



I’d say this will probably be just fine for elk hunting.
 

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Thanks for writing this up, very interesting. Sounds like you have landed on an excellent load. I would sure agree, this should do just fine for Elk!
 

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Nice bit o work! A man after my own heart! :D

Only thing left to do graph the trajectory (suggest you also graph changes in offset due to shooting uphill or down hill and graphs for wind offset at various angles*. Then reduce them to ~ 2.5x3", laminate them and tape 'em to the stock.)

* (I use 10 mph as a reference for wind drift - graph NOT shown)

Note: Sample graph (below) generated in Excel using data generated w/ a ballistics calculator and then verified with actual physical POI data gathered in similar fashion in MOA instead of MIL - choice depends on the scope EW calibration [I prefer MOA]. My "waterline" range is 200 yards, but the ballistic program can generate data for graphs using you choice of range yardage (zero) reference.​

Going to this much trouble seems like a lot, most especially to guys that hut in woods** where ranges are often under 200 yards. But, well worth the effort when shooting in the open mountains above the treeline! (Or when needing to make one-shot kills [cuz that's all the PD buggers will tolerate in winter(!)])

**One guy in a group of friends hunting deer in the deep woods of central GA couldn't hit a paper plate nailed to a tree at 50 yards with more than 2 shots in 5.:eek: His skill was sub par, even for that group who never hunted anywhere but those deep woods, but "good enough" (he claimed) for deer.:rolleyes:

I'm sure for them, such pains as we take to handload and document and chart ballistics over long range for PDs or elk in the mountains or wide open plains is beyond what holds interest for (I'd guess) the large majority of shooters. (That was certainly true of the bulk of those I met coming into the gun shop!)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I carry my kestrel and range finder in the field. Having a paper copy doesn't really do anything for me.
 

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I carry my kestrel and range finder in the field. Having a paper copy doesn't really do anything for me.
I'm considering the 5700 Elite myself, and have a range finder. In combination it is truly a giant leap forward for ONE SHOT placement especially in mountain terrains! But, is simple and elegant better than complex and wonderful? I dunno. We'll see!

For SPEED, I ain't ready yet to give up my tried n true simple and elegant charts for complex and wonderful tools...just yet! But, I'm dying to find out!:D

.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have the 5700 elite with applied ballisitcs, it was worth the investment for me. But I live in the desert and sometimes the groceries and I don't agree on distance. I'd much rather shoot everything in the head inside 200 yards but time restraints among other things don't always allow that to happen.

Do what you are comfortable with but I feel the kestrel with live atmosphere updates is more accurate than dope cards for what I do, it's definitely faster for me all the way around.
 

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Sounds like the poor old elk don't stand a chance...lol
Just think...if it was a RUGER, it will be SO simple...just point and shoot...��


Underdog
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I saw Ruger is bringing the Percison rifle out in 338.

I just have never had much luck with Ruger rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well that worked well.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
She made it 40 yards and tipped over only bones it hit were ribs, on her feet maybe 10 seconds. Definitely stay off the shoulder with this combo the exit wound (in the pic) was fist sized. I put an Area 419 hellfire brake on the rifle to replace the factory radial brake after Dad talked me into having it ready for this season, it was an excellent choice from the prone position I was able to see the bullet impact and animal reaction through the 20x optic.

I could see her the whole way in the wide open desert but for curiosity sake I tracked blood from the body back to where she was standing at the shot, she poured buckets out both sides. Lungs were destroyed.

I think this will be my new open ground hunting rifle, if I could get a packing weight 338 Lapua built it would probably become my mountain elk rifle, and I would probably invest in a 338 suppressor
 

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I have the 5700 elite with applied ballisitcs, it was worth the investment for me. But I live in the desert and sometimes the groceries and I don't agree on distance. I'd much rather shoot everything in the head inside 200 yards but time restraints among other things don't always allow that to happen.

Do what you are comfortable with but I feel the kestrel with live atmosphere updates is more accurate than dope cards for what I do, it's definitely faster for me all the way around.
Ya sold me (but then I've got that "OCD" thing too).:D

I'm intrigued by the 5700 Kestrel - and you seem to have a good handle on exterior balistics too. But, faster than a graph specifically generated for the prevailing conditions for THAT DAY? A graph(s) with 'infinite' (linear) MOA data pre-calculated for range, wind, altitude, and LOS angles? (Did I mention wind direction and speed variations - especially in mountainous terrains?)

Suddenly you see it: 560 yards of ~ 20º up angle over open space to THEE elk wandering among the trees on the edge of a tree line. There's a 25 mph wind crossing toward you at 45º. And, you feel you can key all that in (assuming barometric and temp and humidity are already pre-set) , hit the enter (key stroke) plot a solution quicker than glancing at linear MOA graphs on the butt of the rifle for pre-calculated info (rifle already shouldered and pointed) and make the adjustments before the critter puts a rock outcropping between you and him?

I suppose the thing to do, once one gets into his stand, or whatever, would be to calc a number of locations - maybe jot the solutions down on a pad to have them ready. Course, that only works IF the hunter is already in a stationary stand. Someone stalking a trail wouldn't have that luxury.

Can't have too many sources for information. The particular situation would favor one method one time and the other method in different circumstances. More is better. I wouldn't totally accept one method as so superior that I'd be comfortable to dismiss any other method completely...at least not easily! (It's that "OCD" thing again!:D)

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes.

The kestrel has an internal compass that is calibrated, point the back of the kestrel at the target capture the direction in degrees point the back into the wind capture the velocity and direction in mphs degrees put in your distance, range finder already accounted for the angle and gave a shoot to distance. It'll give you a firing solution instantly....all while giving you live atmosphere conditions that are being applied to the data.

It's not slow and likely more accurate than a pre determined charts.
 
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