Handloads: .300 Winchester Short Magnum

posted on May 4, 2020
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Federal’s new Terminal Ascent bullet traces its origin to the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw developed by Jack Carter back in 1985, with a front lead core bonded to a solid shank of copper.

Federal upgraded the Bear Claw to the Trophy Bonded Tip in 2007 and the Edge Terminal Long Range in 2017, which featured a slender ogive capped with a Slipstream polymer tip and boattail for a high ballistic coefficient. Its tip breaks off on impact, exposing a hollow point designed to cause expansion of the bullet at velocities as low as 1400 f.p.s.

The Terminal Ascent adds a bright nickel coating and, on most of the bullets, a second AccuChannel groove around their shanks to even out shot-to-shot pressure and reduce fouling.

H4350 is a good choice for handloading the .300 WSM, and it performed well with Terminal Ascent 175-gr. bullets. Average velocity was 3001 f.p.s. fired with a 65.0-gr. charge for an extreme spread of velocity of 22 f.p.s. over nine shots.

Magnum cartridges require 10 to 20 grs. of additional propellant to drive .308" bullets just 100 to 150 f.p.s. faster. Five, three-shot groups shot with Ascent bullets varied in size from 0.82" to 1.57" and averaged 1.24" fired with a plain-Jane Winchester Model 70 Featherweight.

Federal states that Ascent bullets also expand down to 1400 f.p.s., which would make 175-gr. Ascent bullets fired from the .300 WSM deadly out to about 1,000 yds. According to a ballistic program, though, shooting that far requires compensating for 22 ft. of bullet drop with bullets hitting 2" above aim at 100 yds. Let’s go with a more realistic 500 yds. with 33" of drop, and call it good.

 

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