Last second 375 h&h work

idahohunter8

Beginner
May 7, 2015
119
0
So last Sunday I was able to harvest a nice black bear here in idaho...
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36141

What wasn't shared in that post was that I had a little adventure with my load. The load I had worked up was 1/2-3/4" load - 77.0 of n540, cci 250's and a 260 Partition in Hornady Brass. This load was smoking at 2880 FPS average. Warm load but not hot - or so I thought. Range work was done in the morning when it was cool and while I knew this load was a warm one, didn't think about using it in hot weather.

Well skip ahead to by bear hunt. It was 96-99 degrees for most of the time I was hiking around and looking for a bear. I had my rifle in my pack with direct path to the hot son. Hot enough the metal was almost to hot to touch. When I touch off the round, everything seemed fine until I opened the bolt. Was super tight, almost wouldn't open. When it did open the brass kicked out and the primer had blown. The sun had got the gun/action/round so hot that it made my H&H turn into an UltraMag for that one round. YIKES!!! However, I am taking this rifle on my BC moose/caribou hunt this month and it was good to discover this issue prior to that hunt. (even though its probably not going to be anywhere near 99 degrees up there)

When I got back I pulled the bullets from those and loaded up new rounds. I had developed two great loads for this rifle - one with 72.0 of RE15 and the N540 load. Both shot lights out. I had gone to the n540 load due the almost 2900 FPS while chasing velocity this summer (plus it shot great) Went back to my re15 load which is right in the 2730-50FPS range. Really didn't have any concern switching up loads a week before my big hunt because I knew this had previously shot well in the rifle. Just had to see about scope adjustments for the slower round. As you can see in the pic below, all is good.

I shot the first 3 and they went into 1/2" into the bullseye at 100 yards. I sight my 375 in for 200 so I knew I needed to move up 2.25". However, with all the stuff that is being posted online these days on how bad leupolds are and how bad they track, I thought, WTH lets see what this one will do - a 2-7x33 VX-R. So I raised it 4 clicks and shot round 4 - 1" above the group. So far so good, turned it 5 clicks for final zeroing and shot the last 3 shot group. All 3 bullets in 3/8" group - 2.25" above center.

Now I know this is not a true hardcore tracking test, but for this rifle platform the scope did exactly what I needed it to do as it did in field the week before and as I am sure it will do this next couple weeks in BC. Very happy with this morning range session and this rifle. Now its off on Tuesday for 16 days to traverse the Yukon/BC border to go find a monster moose and caribou!

8w5O3Ip.jpg
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,540
1,037
Ya, guess that load was a tad warm. Good of you to share the experience. Warm temps can certainly have an affect on the pressure & velocity of our ammo.

I've been using 69 grains of RL-15 with the 260 AccuBond. It's only making about 2620 fps, but is accurate and has worked very well. When I used 70 gr, velocity only went up a tad to 2650 fps.

I think that either of your loads will do just fine on your trip North, in cooler temps.

Guy
 

preacher

Handloader
Aug 19, 2012
2,057
14
Surprising! I always though VN powders were temp stable...guess not. I'm glad you worked with other powders/loads and didn't stop when you found that "very accurate" VN load! I'm also glad your 260 AccuBond didn't blow up. I had given a Mod 70 Express to a Missionary friend of mine along with a bunch of 260PT in the mid 90's. He did fine with them until he got to Eland and Blue wildebeest. for some reason, either that new production or Lot#, they blew up pretty bad, made shallow wounds. I would think they are better now.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,540
1,037
idahohunter is using the 260 Partition, and it did a fine job on that bear!

VV powders let me down on a hot day, during a rifle match years ago. My ammo cooked! I lost all the Lapua .308 Win cases I fired that day, enlarged primer pockets. Also rather stiff bolt lift. VV 135? 140? Probably buried in my 20 year old records somewhere. Accurate, but high pressure. They'd been fine on days in the mid 60's - mid 70's.

Guy
 
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