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Hey guys,
What's the heaviest bullet I can use in my 17s? I was invited to go on a hunt next year and I'm in the research phase. The hunt is for elk, but I'm concerned about possibly running into bear. I'll have my 17s and a S&W 686. Any insight would be highly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
 

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Depends on how long and heavy the bullet and the twist rate of the barrel. Something like the Sierra 180 gr RN prohunter may work, it's heavy for length and will stabilize in barrels with slower twist rates. The all copper bullets like the TSX or GMX are great. With these you can utilize a lighter bullet than normal because it doesn't shed weight at all.

[URL]http://www.shilen.com/calibersAndTwists.html


Quality hand-cast bullets for reloaders, competitors, and recreational shooters - Twist Rate & Bullet Stability Tables

http://www.bergerbullets.com/litz/TwistRuleAlt.php[/URL]
 

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Hey guys,
What's the heaviest bullet I can use in my 17s? I was invited to go on a hunt next year and I'm in the research phase. The hunt is for elk, but I'm concerned about possibly running into bear. I'll have my 17s and a S&W 686. Any insight would be highly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
I wouldn't go above 180gr, and make sure to test for bullet stability even at that weight. The 1:12 twist doesn't like the really long bullets. Hunting/RN style tend to stabilize slightly better, so perhaps you can go higher, but start with 180s and look for bullet yaw on impact at 200m or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all of the responses, articles, website and info. You guys are the best and I'll be sure to keep y'all updated with the progress and research. Pics as well.
 

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:mytwocents0:I THINK THE BEST ROUND FOR ELK WOULD BE THE FEDERAL 180 GRAIN NOSLER PARTITION VITAL-SHOCK AND IT WOULD BE MORE THAN SUFFICIENT FOR BEAR. GOOD LUCK ON YOUR HUNT

Agree....but a 180 grain Hornady SST or 165 grain Hornady GMX will work very well as well!
 

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The 165 game kings work exceedingly well from my scar on North American elk. I use the 180 nosler on moose. Taking down a bear is going to be more a matter of bullet placement than bullet weight, the 180, or even the 165, will penetrate hide\flesh to cause lethal wounds, but nothing you can fire from a hunting rifle will one shot drop a charging bear unless you hit the CNS. The bear will leave you alone if you leave it alone, unless it claims your harvested critter. At that point I tend to take out a camera, take a picture from a little distance, and leave it to the bear.
 

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Barnes polymer tipped 168 gr boat tails. And place your shot well. Dead elk. These rounds flew the best out of my scar. I had some issues with accuracy, especially long shots, with some of the other rounds.

For the bear problem? DON'T SHOOT IT! Back away before it sees you. I agree with Cal, if a bear wants my elk, the bear gets my elk. I try to get a pic so I can tell the game warden and not have to use my tag. Move along. Quietly. Bears are better hunters than we are, they usually know where you are and avoid you.
 

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Didn't a few range reports or someone indicate that putting something more than 180 through the 17S wasn't a great idea?
 

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Its not about the weight its about the penetration of the bullet and it staying together. Look at the partitions, bonded bullets, or Barnes. Stick around the 165's.
 

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There was a link to this page on another thread yesterday, I found it very interesting on the various options for .308 factory ammo.

.308 Winchester (7.62 NATO)

The weight of the bullet has a large effect on velocity (so will the 16" barrel), so going heavy is not always the best solution.
 

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shot scads of elk and deer with federal 168gr BTHP's. one shot one kill UNLESS kritter yardage close. aka the bullet is going so fast and unless you hit vitals or bone the entry hole will be the exact same size on exit. 200 yd shots on deer is when ya really really want to have the crosshairs on vitals. i think FPS is 2800 or so. but i have never had a FTE or FTF with these federal 168's.

dont matter what gun or barrel length:

hk-91
m-14 socom
m-14 super match
m-14 loaded
mcmillian rem 700 m40-a1
scar 17

if ya own a M-14.................stay CLEAR of 180 gr remingtons, guuuurrrranteed to break yer extractor and send it into lower lunar orbit. ask me how i know.

thats why all i buy now is 147 gr plinker rounds and federal 168gr BTHP in bulk for all of mine.

all scopes leupold if scoped, all have 1/2" MOA and i have my comeups taped to all of the stocks for 168gr federal BTHP. it makes it braindead simple once i know range of kritter.
 

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Barnes polymer tipped 168 gr boat tails. And place your shot well. Dead elk. These rounds flew the best out of my scar. I had some issues with accuracy, especially long shots, with some of the other rounds.

For the bear problem? DON'T SHOOT IT! Back away before it sees you. I agree with Cal, if a bear wants my elk, the bear gets my elk. I try to get a pic so I can tell the game warden and not have to use my tag. Move along. Quietly. Bears are better hunters than we are, they usually know where you are and avoid you.
I think you mean the Barnes VOR-TX Polymer Tip 168gr Tipped TSX Boattail :th_071:
 

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Agree....but a 180 grain Hornady SST or 165 grain Hornady GMX will work very well as well!
I wouldn't use the GMX in 165 gr out of the 17s. That bullet design needs high velocity (3k fps or greater) to expand reliably. Stick with the SST, Interbond, Ballistic Tip or the like. Also, if you use the AMAX as some suggest, you will have a lot of bullet fragmentation which could really fubar meat if your shot is off. After reading the link one of the other posters made, I'm not entirely certain anything less than 168 gr out of a 16" carbine is suitable for elk. Maybe the softer Barnes TTSX that can expand at lower velocities than the GMX? Good luck!
 

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The heaviest that I have in this caliber is the 175gr Sierra Match King HPBT (Sierra 2275C) which is what (I believe) is used for the M118LR sniper round.

Excellent out to 800 meters or more depending on the platform.

You could probably go as low at 150gr (I would not recommend for a mid sized to very large Elk) but just about anything in the 170gr to 180gr arena would be better. There are just too many variables to state with certainty what will be the best for you to use.

I know some people who can reach out to 800 meters consistently but change the shooter and some shooters could not hit the broad side of a barn using the same ammunition and platform.
 
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