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Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

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Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

Old 06-28-2003, 06:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Columbus, OH
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Default Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

Hey guys,

Is there anything I' m not thinking about after reading these ballistics tables? It seems to me that if the bullet (140gr boattails) holds together and does its job well, this is a heck of a round for somebody taking a .270 out for elk.

Cartridge || MV V@100 V@200 V@300 V@400 V@500
.270 || 3100 2894 2697 2508 2327 2155
.30-06 || 2700 2465 2243 2022 1833 1648
.300Win || 2825 2595 2377 2169 1971 1786

Cartridge || f-lb @100 @200 @300 @400 @500
.270 || 2987 2604 2261 1955 1684 1443
.30-06 || 2913 2429 2010 1650 1343 1085
.300 || 3544 2990 2508 2088 1726 1416

Cartridge || 100 200 300 400 500
.270 || 1.37 -0- -6.32 -18.30 -36.61
.30-06 || 2.1 -0- -9.1 -26.6 -54.4
.300 || 1.8 -0- -8 -23.4 -47.8

Now, this was a comparison with the Safari Grade Remington bullets I could find online, the .30-06 in a 180 grain bullet, the .300 Win Mag in a 200 grain bullet... I figured that plenty of people used these bullets on elk, and I realize that there' s more weight behind the load, but beyond that, the sheer energy numbers say the .270 Light Magnum should be able to hold its own. Beyond the bullet holding together and performing well, am I missing anything?
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Old 06-28-2003, 06:41 PM
  #2  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

They are not as good as they seem.While they do make close to claimed velocities in a few rifles they fall far short in others.They also seem to be very finicky as to which rifles they will shoot well in.They have also shown signs of higher than normal pressure in some guns.
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:23 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

Do you have articles that I can read about these problems? It' d be great to see both sides of the argument - thanks in advance!
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:51 PM
  #4  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

I do not speak from reading articles but from actually chronographing some of these loads and seeing them used in rifles at our local range.These were 270,308 and 30-06 loads in a variety of rifles from A-bolt to remington 721 to remington pump to browning lever.The 30-06 loading in an a-bolt came closest to meeting the advertised velocity and the 721 also in 30-06 was about 50 fps slower. The blr in 308 was nearly 200fps short.A remington pump in 270 was about 100fps short of published velocity but still showed pressure signs.In all cases these loads did produce more velocity than other loads in these rifles but none met published velocities.Only the a-bolt grouped as well as other loads with the light magnums and the blr shot groups twice as large as it' s favorite load with the other two guns in between.What it really comes down to is that if they shoot well in your rifle they will provide additional velocity although not as much as promised.
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Old 06-28-2003, 09:05 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

So if it shoots well in my gun, still probably the best muzzle velocity I' ll get from my .270. Interesting to hear about the pressure problems - anything really serious?

Also, do you know what the bullet performance is like? Thanks for all your help.
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Old 06-28-2003, 09:42 PM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

I have a Tikka 308 that usually shoot 1-1.5" groups. I tried the 165 Light Mags, and it shot about a 8" group. You could say that my gun just doesn' t like them, but I' ve heard other guys have had this problem as well. Maybe they are to good to be true.
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Old 06-28-2003, 10:27 PM
  #7  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

FL/GA Hunter-I can' t tell you anything about bullet performance.The blr and 721 belong to two friends from work that decided to have me work up handloads since the light magnums grouped so poorly.Both delivered an inch or under with handloads which was less than 1/2 the size of the light magnum groups and better than any other factory loads tried in those rifles.The owner of the remington pump decided not to use the light magnums because of the pressure signs which were shiny spots on the case head with sticky extraction.The owner of the a-bolt was a stranger who I have never seen again.
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Old 06-28-2003, 11:06 PM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

I know they are accurate in some of my guns, I guess I haven' t tried them in all of them, but the few that I have have performed well. I' d imagine that the problems come about when people load the lt. mags into guns that have a rifling rate set for either lighter bullets, or slower ones, upping the ante gives unstablized bullets. In most guns, they will give lower velocities than published, but almost ALL rounds will in most guns, specific guns may be dramatically so, they' ve always been the top of the speed-chain in my guns (hand-rolled not included) I don' t think, however, that the double-tripled price of them compared to other premium rounds is worth the increase in velocity. So my .30-06 shoots the same vel' s and energy as a .300win mag, it' s still limited to everything on the continent shy of the great bears, so why pay so much more?

I also can' t give a bullet performance advisory, I' ve tested them on jellies and liquids a bit, but never on game, they did fairly well in my tests, just not so much to the point that I' d choose them over another round over it.
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Old 06-28-2003, 11:10 PM
  #9  
bigcountry
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

I was sorely disappointed in these rounds. I tried the 308win light mags, in three different rifles. One which is a long range tactical rifle. And best groups was 3" at 100 yards. Secondly, I chrono' d these rounds, and couldn' t repeat thier velocity in all three rifles. With the target rifle, with a 26" barrel, it was close, but 70fps slower than advertised.

I say go buy them and post your results to add another opinion.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 04:18 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: arlington texas USA
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Default RE: Hornady Light Magnum cartridges - as good as they seem?

i used the light magnums for years. i always thought the poor performance was due to me .i also had several misfires. i also had some that seemed to be loaded too hot.
i wrote hornady with these problems. they admitted they do not even load their own shells. on the brass it even says frontier.
i sed shell in my .270, 30.06, and 7 mag
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