Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 60

Lock, Stock & Barrel
By Jim Romanelli

A bullet will fly only as true as the limitation of the firearm and ammunition allows. That’s a general statement that is a half-truth, because other factors will bring out a change in bullet flight and accuracy.

Ballistic Variables
ANY FIRST-TIME shooters/ reloaders figure that if a rifle’s action is sound, the barrel is straight and the sights are parallel to the bore, then when the ammunition goes bang, the bullet will hit exactly where we want it to go. In reality, that statement is really kind of a halftruth. Assuming the firearm is well built (as the vast majority are) the bullet will fly only as true as the limitation of the firearm and ammunition allows. By that I mean that any component or material difference will bring about a change in bullet flight and accuracy. Many years ago, before I began seriously reloading, my favorite load for a Savage Model 99G .300 Savage was the factory Winchester 180-grain Silvertip. It would consistently shoot a 1- to 1½-MOA. One year, when I headed off deer hunting with my cousin and brother, I forgot to pack any ammunition. I ended up buying a box of Remington 180-grain round-nose bullet cartridges at a local shop. I figured that 180 grains are 180 grains, and they would shoot where my Silvertip bullets always did. A few days into the season I spotted a buck working around the edge of a cornfield at about 70 yards. Just inside the woods line, I steadied the rifle off my hand against the side a tree and placed my crosshairs high on the deer’s shoulder. At the shot I expected the buck to crumple.
60

M

Instead, he took off in high gear, but I could tell it was hit hard. By the time I worked the action and threw the crosshairs in front of the deer, it had covered 40 yards, faltered and dropped. While field-dressing the deer, I noticed that the bullet had hit about mid-lung, lower than expected. I dismissed the hit to several possible reasons, but after the season I went to the range to compare the Remington and Winchester ammo. At 100 yards the round-nose Remington shot a group similar in size to the Silvertip’s, but a full three inches lower. I had figured that because the bullets were both 30-caliber and 180 grains — and the powder charges had to be similar — that they would shoot the same. Now, though, I realize that I actually had completely different primers, different powders and different weight charges, different cases (weight/volume difference), and different bullet configurations. Technically, it was two different cartridges that fit in the same chamber. That first lesson in ballistic variables taught me that different makes of the same cartridge will have similar, but not identical, ballistics, and will most likely not hit the same mark. Therefore, whenever changing brands of ammunition, the firearm needs to be sighted in again. Throughout nearly 40 years of reloadGAME NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Three Centuries and Counting
A Different Perspective
Trappin’ a Bobcat
Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Looking Back Through Binoculars
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Three Centuries and Counting
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - A Different Perspective
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Trappin’ a Bobcat
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Looking Back Through Binoculars
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover4
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