By Mark V. Lonsdale, STTU
Whether it’s called social distancing, stay at home, or shelter in place, it doesn’t mean you can’t get to the range. With reduced air travel and postponement of competitions, I have definitely had more time to test bullets, powders, and loads that I don’t routinely use.
Shooting 1,000-yard competitions in the 1990s, my “go to” bullets for .300 Win Mag were Sierra 190 SMK and 220 SMK. In the last three years I’ve also been impressed with the Berger 185 Juggernauts and 215 Hybrids, but recently had the opportunity to test the Sierra 195 TMKs. These green tipped bullets have now found a permanent place on my reloading bench.
Very satisfying results with the 195 TMK bullets, VV N560 powder, and Peterson brass.
Half inch 5-shot group with 195 TMK
Testing the 195 TMKs was also an opportunity to try VihtaVuori’s N560 powder. For those not familiar with this very versatile powder, it falls between H4530 and H1000 for burn rate, and is similar to H4831. It can also be used in multiple popular calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor.
The 2020 VihtaVuori Reloading Guide has a maximum load of 75.3 grains of N560 behind the 190 HPBT for a MV of 2,947 fps, but did not have a recommendation for 195 TMKs. Out of a 24″ Bartlein barrel, 74 grains of N560 pushed the 195 TMKs at just over 3,000 fps and produced sub-MOA groups. However, in the past, I’ve always hit my best accuracy with .300 WinMag in the mid-2900s so will run the 195 TMKs with 72 and 73 grains of N560 next week.
.300 WinMag test rifle used for ammunition testing. Barrel is a 24″ Bartlein Heavy Palma with a 1:10″ twist rate. Stock is the McMillan A6 with 3-way adjustable butt-plate.
Stay tuned for additional testing