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Can't Hit A Buck With My Tikka


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#1 Woody

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 11:00 AM

Okay guys, as you know from my Smoky Hunt post, I missed 2 nice bucks with my Tikka T3 Lite 308. I am not blaming the gun these were long shots. I have gotten a couple of opinions already, from RedGreen and MD as to what I could/should be doing. Since I am not confused enough yet, I would like more advice and opinions eh! :huh:

Here is my set up on the Tikka, I am shooting 180 gr Nozzler Partitions, sighted in at 100 yds, 2 1/2" high off center. Normally I did not have opportunity to take long shots so no problem.
At Smoky Lake the areas we hunted this year the shots were 200 to 400 yds. Any and all suggestions and input would be appreciated as to what should I do, change guns, change ammo, set up, etc., etc. I only want to own one gun, cause only got room for one in the rolling castle eh! Thanks guys, looking forward to your ideas.

Thanks Fred and Dave for your input, much appreciated. :)
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#2 Monk

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 04:31 PM

I have preference for a 150gr bullet in a .308win, especially for the longer shots you have mentioned. The only advice I could give based on the info given, is to get closer??? :fudd:

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#3 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:34 PM

Woody I am still looking for exactly what I want to answer your question. First of all the 308 is widely known as a very accurate caliber in an acceptable recoil package. At one time many if not most folks shot the 308 in 1000 yd competitions. So what do we have.

1. You have a very accurate caliber.
2. You have a rifle known for its accuracy potential.
3. Nosler partition bullets are proported to be among the best. (I even use them)
So far your equipment seems to be built for accuracy. You did not mention what scope you have on the rifle.
Also no mention of 100 yd accuracy.

I did find factory advertised muzzle velocity at 2620 but a measured 2525 at 3 yds. As with most published factory muzzle velocity figures no one seems to be able to get quite the published figure when using their own chronograph.

The best way to get good at 300 or 400 yds is to practice at those distances. Hitting even a deer sized target at 300 yds is not an easy chip shot. You must do everything just right. One of these days I'll find the chart(s) I am looking for to tell you how much drop you have at those distances.
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#4 Woody

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:59 PM

Hey Paul, At 100 yds, my rifle shoots bang on, no problem. My scope is a Bushnell 3200 Elite 3x9x40. Thanks Paul.

Bart, thanks and sure would like to get close but on a open field or on a cutline it can be tough. I was thinking that I need a lighter bullet or my gun needs resighting. I know I hit low on both deer, cause I didn't range them with my range finder and thought they were at about 200 yds. (according to Fred anyways :) ). Found out that the shot was over 350 yds when I went back with my range finder.
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#5 silvertip-co

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:50 PM

Woody, 180's are a lil heavy for a 308 tho tons of guys use them. Young man I took elk hunting had same prob with his custom Mod 70 in 308. It wouldnt shoot far enough accurately with 180s so I switched him to 165's and he killed a doe the next weeknd. I would switch to 165btsp ammo of your choice for extended range and more accuracy. Good luck.
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#6 ricfirefighter

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:16 PM

just buy a new gun and send that one to me :D

#7 Leo

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:36 PM

Trajectory difference of a 308Win with 180gr versus 165gr at 300yds is probably less than an inch.

Not enough to worry about.

Concentrate more on having a bullet that fits the twist of your barrel more than trying to flatten trajectory by lightening the bullet. Downrange accuracy demands your bullet matches the twist best. You can get away with less than ideal at 100yds but at 300 if the bullet is not stabilized enough by twist you won't hit the broadside of a barn.

With the 30cal Tikkas 165 or 180gr are your best bet.

Partitions are fabulous game bullets but I've often been underwhelmed by their accuracy. Not that I think that was your issue. Sounds like it was clearly range estimation error. The accubonds are supposed to stabilize as well as the ballistic tips and I've got better confidence with BT longrange accuracy than the NPs. If you go with a polytipped bullet the 165s might be a better bet. Same thing is also true if you try Barnes TSXs (165s will probably shoot best). But if you decide to go with Sierra Gamekings or Hornady Interlocks (both good long range bullets) you should probably stick with the 180s.

In general, heavier bullets will perform better downrange if they match the twist right. This is because your biggest enemy reaching out with a bullet is WIND not TRAJECTORY. Trajectory is repeatable. Wind is very much more random. Wind will definitely push the lighter bullets around more and if twist doesn't match you really get problems.
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#8 Whip

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:56 PM

I have a tikka whitetail classic in .270. It is my go-to gun and the most accurate I have in the safe. I have shot the T3 and don't like as much as the whitetail classic because they are staring to move away from the sako design. Lighter to me usually means thinner walls....shorter barrels....and less accuracy. However, tikka's are normally tack drivers. Before making any rash decisions I would tinker with hand loads. Usually a gun-specific load is all that is needed to improve accuracy. I know it took me 4 manufacturers and 7 different brands before I found a factory load that would perform to my standards out of my tikka. My buddy has a T3 in .308.....try hornady SST's (super shock tip)....his will shoot the eye out of a pigeon at 200 yards.
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#9 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 05:04 AM

Woody Like Leo says the drop is predictable but wind drift is not. When shooting long distances, if at all possible, use your range finder first. You will be anywhere from surprised to dumbfounded when you guess and then rangfind a distance. The majority of people will guess a shorter distance than it actually is. If you shot with a 200 yd hold at a deer that was actually 350 yds that bullet may have hit feet short. Now I have to really find the reloading manual that has trajectory charts. I'll keep looking. Your scope is also a great one.
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#10 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 12:53 PM

Ok mister Woody boody I finally found my old printed ballistics tables and here is what I found.

180 Gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2600 2.3" high at 100 0 at 200 9.5" low at 300 and 27.2" low at 400

165 Gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2700 2.2"high at 100 0 at 200 9.2" low at 300 and 26.8" low at 400

150 gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2800 2.0"high at 100 0 at 200 8.8" low at 300 and 25.6" low at 400

According to this info there just isn't much difference between the 180 the 165 and the 150 as far as drop out to 400 yds. The heavier the bullet the better it bucks the wind so there can be an advantage to using the heavier bullets in a crosswind. Doping a crosswind is an artform mastered by no one but a fool. Even the best long range shooters guess at best at what to hold off for a crossing wind. Your best bet is shoot those long shots on a fairly calm day and crawl on your belly to get closer on a windy day.

Hope this helps you out.

Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 08 December 2007 - 01:08 PM.

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#11 Hungry Horse

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:06 PM

Woody; Hello old friend, eh . Ditto all that Pa Ridge Runner has said. The rifle and scope are a good combo. Pratice at the range on 300-400 yd shots until you know you have the confidence to make that a killing shot. But you old sheep hunting guides know this ! Glad you had fun ! Best to you and Patsy. HH in Pa

#12 Leo

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 03:25 PM

Ok mister Woody boody I finally found my old printed ballistics tables and here is what I found.

180 Gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2600 2.3" high at 100 0 at 200 9.5" low at 300 and 27.2" low at 400

165 Gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2700 2.2"high at 100 0 at 200 9.2" low at 300 and 26.8" low at 400

150 gr Bullet
Muzzle velocity 2800 2.0"high at 100 0 at 200 8.8" low at 300 and 25.6" low at 400

According to this info there just isn't much difference between the 180 the 165 and the 150 as far as drop out to 400 yds. The heavier the bullet the better it bucks the wind so there can be an advantage to using the heavier bullets in a crosswind. Doping a crosswind is an artform mastered by no one but a fool. Even the best long range shooters guess at best at what to hold off for a crossing wind. Your best bet is shoot those long shots on a fairly calm day and crawl on your belly to get closer on a windy day.

Hope this helps you out.


1.6 inch difference between the 180gr and 150gr at 400yds. I don't know how much clearer it can get for folks that choosing a lower bullet weight to get a 200fps higher initial velocity isn't helping you one bit.

This will not flatten your trajectory worth a tinker's toot. Yet I hear it over and over. A faster bullet equals flatter trajectory. This equals less misses. This notion is completely suitable for fertilizer and not much else. PA took his example out to 400yds, further by far than most people miss and blame the trajectory of their cartridge. Come on, 1.6inches isn't going make you miss a deer. It's painfully apparent that trajectory difference is the least likely cause of a miss there is.

Find the heaviest bullet that shoots accurately at long range from your rifle and start filling the freezer.
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#13 Monk

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

The difference between the 180gr and 150gr bullets, one should consider Terminal Ballistic. At 300-400 yards, bullet construction, retained velocity, and thin skinned game such as deer, and etc. should be also considered. :stir:
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#14 Leo

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 11:00 AM

Ok, let's do that

From Federal Cartridge's website for 30-06 and compare two bullets of the same type only different weight.

180gr Nosler Accubond

Muzzle velocity = 2700
Muzzle energy = 2913

at 400yds

Velocity = 2037
Energy = 1658

150gr Nosler Accubond

Muzzle velocity = 2940
Muzzle energy = 2879

at 400yds

Velocity = 2137
Energy = 1520

At 400yds the velocity advantage of the 150gr bullet shrinks to 100fps and the energy advantage of the 180gr bullet actually grows.

One might note that the wind drift numbers for both these bullets are unsubstantial. That is because the wind drift numbers they publish only are reflective of a 10mph crosswind. As the wind increases the difference increases proportional to the square of the wind speed. This means that at twice the wind speed the difference will be close to four times as big.
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#15 Monk

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 05:34 PM

:stir: :D
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