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Posted: 3/14/2011 5:37:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2011 5:39:40 PM EST by AKFF]
Hello all,

I just drew a hunt for the remote Kenai Mountain Caribou Herd. It is a very tough hunt in some rugged mountains where you will end up doing well over 50 miles with a 50+ pound pack. They issue 250 permits per year and only 8 to 12 animals are taken. They have alot of B&C bulls in this herd and I struck out the last time I was awarded the permit. I covered almost 70 miles and didn't see a single Caribou. They move constantly and quickly (compared to humans in that terrain) and it can be tough to get a close shot on a big bull. As a result of the above I am picking apart all my gear including my bullet selection.

I will be taking my 7mm Rem Mag, Tikka T3 Lite w/ leupold VX 4-12x40 in talley lightweight rings. For black bears, I have been loading the 150 gr Barnes Tipped TSX to 3000 FPS (new win cases, CCI LRM, RL22)and am happy with the load for that application.

I am wondering if I should sacrifice some bullet weight to try to get a flatter shooting bullet for hunts like this caribou hunt. I am also thinking of this new load being used for Sheep and Deer hunting. I have no intention of taking a long range shot if I can avoid it, but I may find myself in a position to have to take a 300 or 400 yard shot.

I want to stay with the Barnes Tipped Triple Shock as I have seen what it does to bears and am very, very, very impressed. I am wondering if a lighter bullet is worth the trade off to get more velocity and flatter shooting. The Barnes Tipped TSXs come in the following weights w/ links to midway usa page for reference:

110 gr
120 gr
140 gr
150 gr

Thanks for any opinions, or even any feedback you might have on the lighter weight bullets.

Edited for Clarity
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 12:51:55 AM EST
I generally believe that you can get away with a slightly lighter barnes bullet (or other copper solid) than you would with a lead core bullet due to superior weight retention,. That said, I think I would stay with the 140 or 150 grain in your situation. The .213 sectional density of the 120 grain bullet is on the edge of being too low for good penetration. You could probably get away with it, but if you want to be absolutely sure.....
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 4:58:06 AM EST
I'd feel more comfortable in griz country with a 300 mag and 180 gr barnes bullets, but that's just me.

If I were taking a 7 mag, I would want something cabable of dispatching a bear. I say stay with the 150 gr barnes or look at the 160 partitions or a-frames.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:09:09 AM EST
I've had success with the 140gr on several cow elk out of my 7mm-08. I don't think you can go wrong with the 140's or 150's all the barnes bullets I've used have been meat and bone eaters. All of my shots have been under a hundred yards though so I can't say from my expirence how they will work at longer ranges but I think they should do fine.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 2:13:08 PM EST
If you want to flatten it out shoot the 120gr. The TTSX penetrate so well it will work fine.
Link Posted: 3/15/2011 6:58:20 PM EST
What kind of velocity do you get with those lighter bullets, or have you tried them, yet?

Have you plugged in the numbers @ Hornady's HITS calculator? Might help, dunno.

If you've never seen/used it:

Start here to get velocities at different distances, then plug that into the HITS calculator.

Having said all that, 150 grain bullet @ 3000fps sounds like a winner to me.

Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:17:35 PM EST
Have you considered the 160-grn Barnes MRX?
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