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Thread: Ram at 200 yd

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ram at 200 yd

    I'm trying to get ready to start competing in my local club's Lever Action meet. Iron sights at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yds using pistol, 30-30 or 35 Rem. cartridges. The 200 yd. target is a ram. I am using a 35 Rem. and a 200g cast bullet. Can anyone tell me what velocity is necessary to reliably knock over a ram at that distance using that combination, that is, if I can ever manage to hit one at that range.
    Milkman

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Your 200 grain cast bullet at 1800 fps should take it off its feet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks Tatume, I don't have access to the targets between meets, so that info really helps. I was hoping to get by with 1500 fps, that seems to be where I can get accuracy with the least effort, but I have some surplus 335 that will work in the 18k range.

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    Boolit Master
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    H4895 is my powder of choice.

  5. #5
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    I shoot a T/C 14" 30-30 using a Lee 309-150 gr bullet with 19.5 gr of R7 at 200 meter rams at IHMSA matches and have no problem knocking them over, and that's with a handgun. Our ram targets at our range are more like 230 meter due to a target scoring pit at 200yds
    Last edited by ubetcha; 08-08-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    Your 200 grain cast bullet at 1800 fps should take it off its feet.
    Yes! In spades!

    Tatume, you must be durable rifleman!



    For most of us, the recoil of that load in a 40 shot match may make connecting with rams an issue.

    I don't shoot a 35 Rem.

    However, I do shoot the lever silhouette game, so I do know something about the velocity/bullet weight relationship that works.
    Just Connecting with the target is 90% of it. If the rams are on flat stands, in other words, are fair targets; a 30-30Win 170gr bullet driven by only 7grains of unique will give 100% knock down. How fast is that? I can't say. But it ain't much. Also, a 38-55 with a 250 grain bullet when pushed with 8 grains of (again) Unique, is easy on the shoulder and accurate in my rifle. It takes rams just fine.

    Were I you, I would start light and go for accuracy and see how it works out. IF then you ever leave a target standing, which is not likely, you can dial it up a little.
    What I have seen is that, new to the game riflemen reduce there score more by recoil induced shooter fatigue, than ever by leaving targets standing do to (perceived) wimpy ammo.

    It is a fun game! Enjoy!
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 08-08-2018 at 05:58 PM.
    Chill Wills

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    Yes! In spades!

    Tatume, you must be durable rifleman!



    Fir most of us, the recoil of that load in a 40 shot match may make connecting with rams an issue.

    I don't shoot a 35 Rem.

    However, I do shoot the lever silhouette game, so I do know something about the velocity/bullet weight relationship that works.
    Just Connecting with the target is 90% of it. If the rams are on flat stands, in other words, are fair targets; a 30-30Win 170gr bullet driven by only 7grains of unique will give 100% knock down. How fast is that? I can't say. But it ain't much. Also, a 38-55 with a 250 grain bullet when pushed with 8 grains of (again) Unique, is easy on the shoulder and accurate in my rifle. It takes rams just fine.

    Were I you, I would start light and go for accuracy and see how it works out. IF then you ever leave a target standing, which is not likely, you can dial it up a little.
    What I have seen is that, new to the game riflemen reduce there score more by recoil induced shooter fatigue, than ever by leaving targets standing do to (perceived) wimpy ammo.

    It is a fun game! Enjoy!
    I agree with accuracy over velocity
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    How much force is needed to topple the ram depends on a lot of factors. I've been shooting IHMSA handgun silhouette since 1980 and have seen a lot of problematic rams. I once shot at a match where rams were very stubborn. Many were hit that didn't fall. We discovered that the reason was that they had cut the rams from 1/2" plate instead of 3/8" plate.....kinda heavy for a normal load to topple. I've also seen rams with feet larger than spec. Gooey mud on the feet of a ram can "glue" the targets to the stand. I've seen a muddy footed ram stand up to a solid hit of a 175 gr 7MM bullet that was launched at 2400 fps. IHMSA allows rams to be set with the back edge of the foot overhanging the back of the stand. NRA rifle silhouette requires all of the foot of the ram to be on the rail. All of these factors do matter and can, and do cause issues. How competent the target setters are matters too.

    All that being said, I sometimes use a 357 Mag revolver with the RCBS 200 gr rifle bullet. My velocity is nowhere near 1800 fps and I have zero problems knocking down rams.....that is if the target is made to spec and is resting on the rail like it is supposed to.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkman View Post
    I'm trying to get ready to start competing in my local club's Lever Action meet. Iron sights at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yds using pistol, 30-30 or 35 Rem. cartridges. The 200 yd. target is a ram. I am using a 35 Rem. and a 200g cast bullet. Can anyone tell me what velocity is necessary to reliably knock over a ram at that distance using that combination, that is, if I can ever manage to hit one at that range.
    Milkman
    I have only rung a single ram with my 357 maximum handguns in IHMSA competition. Most ram shooting has been done with ~1300 fps muzzle velocity 200s (Speer J words back in the 80s, Lee 200 cast in recent years). I generally have a more shooter friendly "chicken load"

    Every ram I have ever hit in the region most likely to ring (center of mass left-right, but down low) went down. The fail to fall was a center hit and my spotter was opinion that it was "stuck on the hinges" for an unexplained reason.

    About the time I had my one fail to fall (last year), I was also becoming unhappy with with the "rainbow" trajectory.

    This year we have done several rounds with faster, flatter shooting, better BC ammo. My new "custom 160" load did fine with a lot less recoil. More than a few of the hits were in the region where marginal loads become iffy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In 35 cal, you can go quite a bit less than 200 gr, but you need BC and/or muzzle velocity to make up the difference.

    In a lever gun, the velocity needed should be the easy part.

    If you stick with a 200, 1500 fps is probably fine as long as the Rams are not "hard set" or you are shooting into a strong steady head wind (wind can help "prop up" the rams). The biggest advantage with going faster than this is probably more the flatter trajectory than anything else.
    Last edited by P Flados; 08-08-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  10. #10
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    Terrific info !! Using Ubetcha's load data and plugging it into Quickload, I get about 1450 fps for a 150g bullet. I'm getting good accuracy with the Lee 200g over 10.1g of Herco. Thats about 1350fps. I think I will try that and then up it a little if I need to. Also getting pretty good accuracy from 15.7g Blue Dot, about 1530 fps if I disremember correctly. Either should work well. Thanks for all the replies and I am looking forward to embarrassing myself shortly.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    If a .357 Mag with a 170 Keith at 1250 will knock down rams your Herco load should not have any trouble either. Like you said, the trick is hitting them.
    ..

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    I shot IHMSA silhouettes for close to 10-years and the only problem I ever had on rams with a .357 Max Contender was hitting the darn things. Load was a 180 gr. RNFP over a compressed charge of IMR4227 with an MV around 1400 fps and, with a solid hit, took 'em down with 'authority'.

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  13. #13
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    I shot some targets today with the .35, Lee 200g and 10.9g Herco. Only problem was a 6" "group". Those 200 yd rams are looking smaller by the minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milkman View Post
    I shot some targets today with the .35, Lee 200g and 10.9g Herco. Only problem was a 6" "group". Those 200 yd rams are looking smaller by the minute.
    They stop shrinking after you knock a couple of them down

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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Actualy, the rams are just "kinda small" and the "smallness" is top to bottom.

    With rams (& pigs) you can focus on getting the elvation perfect and settle for close on the side to side.

    Them darned turkeys are smaller and the "smallness" is in a diagonal.

    When I shoot IHMSA big bore standing, I tell my spotter that I am shooting "in the general direction" of the tukeys.

    At times, I feel like I am just shooting a nice "near circle" about an inch or two around them

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the advice, it should be a help. The group I will be shooting with seem like really nice guys, so even missing the targets should still be a hoot.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Well a lot of good info and input for sure. I don't recall off the top of my head what my 35 Remington rimmed load is, unique sounds right though. I am a fan of the RCBS 180 Sil bullet myself. Accuracy first before speed.
    I dread turkeys more than I do other targets.
    Keep an eye on your alloy, don't go hard like Lino ,especially if they are hard set or muddy conditions. The hard brittle alloys will shatter rather than give a steady push.
    If targets fall forward, beware you may have your work cut out for you. Falling forward,mi tend to hold towards the flank or ham. That will a lot of times knock the back foot off and pull the rest over.
    A walk down to the ram line before an event begins is one way to have an idea of what you're dealing with.

    Mixed loads for C-P-T-R, I am not a fan. You will have no idea if there is an issue of any kind until you get to the "other" load. And DEFINITELY not a same bullet with a different charge, drop a box of ammo and try to sort it out,don't ask how I know.

    Scope or iron sights, I put elevation in on each distance. There are those that just change hold or POA. That would be fine if lighting was consistent. Cloudy, sunny shadows will change things.

    Keep notes!!! Good notes too. If you use some type of shorthand or abbreviations make darn sure you understand what you wrote. Good notes on your rig will pay back a lot.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkman View Post
    I shot some targets today with the .35, Lee 200g and 10.9g Herco. Only problem was a 6" "group". Those 200 yd rams are looking smaller by the minute.
    Not only do they get smaller, but they seem to get heavier every year too. Must be all the lead they have been eating all these years.
    I'm the King of my castle---anytime my wife's not around
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I used to shoot ihmsa about 30 years ago.
    This load will be a lot different than yours, but may be used as a comparison.
    I used a 7 tcu shooting 139 grain Hornady's with about 24 grains of 4895. This was used in both the 10" and 14" barrels from a Thompson Contender.
    My unlimited gun was an xp100 and originally was chambered for the same round, but was later redone for 7 x 50R Belm with a 14 7/8ths barrel because of throat erosion.
    Both were very effective. As I recall, velocity was somewhere around 1800 fps according to book numbers. Although a long time ago, I don't recall connecting and not going down.

    As someone else said, the turkeys seem to be the problem. I missed one bird out of 60 and put me in 15th place the last time I shot in a match. That was in the 1985 California state match in Stockton. Range no longer shoots silhouette matches and the closet one is now a 2 1/2 hour drive so I have moved on to other things. Besides, my eyes aren't what the used to be. (I want to put a scope on those two someday)

  20. #20
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    I tell my spotter that I am shooting "in the general direction" of the turkeys.
    That's exactly my mode with turkeys when I'm shooting "Hunters Pistol Silhouette". The dot on my K38 dances all over and around those darn turkeys!
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

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