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August 18, 2008

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Petzal: A Sorrowful Tale of High Velocity

Once upon a time in 2007, there was a hunter who had done very well in phrenology and went to a Wise Custom Gun Builder (hereinafter known as WCGB) and said, “Build me a 7mm STW.”

“Why do you want a 7mm STW?”, asked the WCGB. “Unless you put a 28-inch barrel on it, an STW is just another 7mm magnum, and the only thing a 28-inch barrel is good for is pole vaulting.”

But the Wealthy Hunter (hereinafter known as WH) was like many other men who had done well in life. Because he knew from phrenology, and making money, he thought he knew about guns and hunting as well, and would not listen to the WCGB who had been accumulating knowledge for 40 years but who, after all, had to make a dollar now and then.

They compromised on a 26-inch barrel. The WH took delivery of the rifle, worked up a handload employing 140-grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at nearly 3,600 fps that went into one ragged hole, and went off to practice.

That fall, the WCGB got a call from the WH who said,

“I’m going on a mule deer hunt with an outfitter who guarantees me a shot at a 35-inch buck. It’s $14,000, and I’m taking the STW.”

“But what happens if you get a shot at 100 yards,” said the WCGB, “the Ballistic Tip is a peerless projectile, but at that kind of range with that velocity it’ll blow up. You won’t even break a rib. Use another bullet.”

“What do you know,” sneered the WH. “That rifle shoots ¼-inch groups and I can hit groundhogs with it at 600 yards.”

The WCGB sighed and went back to his lathe; he had heard it all before.

And so a month passed. Then the phone rang in the WCGB’s shop. It was the WH, back from the West.

“*&^*(*&*&&&#@^[email protected]#$,” said the WH.

“Let me guess,” said the WCGB, “you got a shot at 100 yards and you never even broke a rib. You lost your 35-inch deer and they couldn’t find him.”

“It took them three days to find the carcass,” said the WH. “It was completely rotted. They sent me the antlers. *#&^%&*()&^^%!”

This is a true story; only the names have been changed to protect the silly. I would point out what the morals are, but you can deduce them yourself. Unless, of course, you’ve made a lot of money at something and don’t need any kind of advice from anyone.


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Yaw Yaw ,.. mostly I yust like to sit and listen,..

But,.. I am yust compelled ( which means I feel I should) say to all da guys here .
I been playin around at dis here hunting ting quite a while now,..
Yet I cant claim expertise odder dan dat gained by experiance ,..

Did however manage to punched da ticket on a fair number of da deer over day yeers . (But no bears kinda like bears) and I been cipherin,.. ya know .

And by golly if my cipherin isnt goin on now about fourty yeers .

Finally a few yeers ago I com to a conclusion.

Dat for any ting dat dont bite back or maybe black bear.
If you shoot a bullet (turdy caliber and less) dat weighs 160gr which means it gonna have da good sectonal desity at da speed of 2600 fps ,..
Unless your shootn em in da feet or da tail or da belly ,. you will kill dead right now,.. any ting in nort Amrica ,.. well maybe not da susquatch ,.. but dont run into many of dem unless in da tavrn Ya?

Uffdah !!! dat oughta get da natives restless YUK YUK

Clay Cooper

Federal, who seems to occupy the middle ground in 7mm STW factory loads, claims a MV of 3330 fps and muzzle energy of 3435 ft. lbs. with a 140 grain Trophy Bonded bullet (SD .248). The 200 yard figures are 2850 fps and 2520 ft. lbs. This is probably the best bullet weight for medium size big game animals.


The 7mm STW is a fine round at any reasonable range. Any rifle will perform poorly with a bad bullet choices and anybody whose ever pulled a trigger should know that. The guy got what he deserved by not listening to the bullet advice he was given. The mule deer was done a great disservice! Nosler 160 grain partitions or accubonds in my STW get the job done fine.

Lone Star 45

Nosler 160 (Moose Load) in a 7mm STW for deer?

Can you say, “NUKE STRIKE!”

120 grain Barnes will work just fine!

Are you guys hunting in a Nuclear Experimental range in Nevada or New Mexico on some genetically altered freak deer?

If you must use a bullet of such weight for deer, perhaps you need shooting lessons!!

Lone Star 45

I’m willing to bet WCGB shot thru something before hitting the deer or is just a lousy shot!

Clay Cooper

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

-- Thomas Paine


Told ya ,. and here ve go again some more ,..
7mm ,..160 gr pill at something less than 3000 fps muzle is most stable most powder eficiant , has most retained velocity and down range energy of any sub hyper velocity smoke pole out there.
That weight in standard bullet starting out at 2950 fps dosent
blow up and will puch through a whole lot of meet and bone upclose and personal if you need it. 9 so will turdy oh six and 8mm properly loaded.

But I still maintain after 40 some years,..over 110 whitetails now and counting ,.. turdy cal and less 160-165 gr spitzer sp at
2600-2700 fps is all you need out to 300 yds,.. if you practice.

Problem there is most guys in the field think 300 yds is about 1/2 a mile. Or the reverse 350 yd is 150,.. have seen it all my life.
Like dat Cooper fella says ,. not da indian ya know ,. istda ooops ,..odder way
not da arrow it da Indian Ya?

So they need or think they do,..
a rifle that shoots salt pills in a straight line for 1/2 a mile ,. which leads to trouble when da big deer or da moose shows up close enough to hit with a regulation baseball yuk yuk ,..


grant me serenity to
accept the things
I cannot change
The courage to change for the better the things that I can
and the wizdom
To hide the bodies of the people
I had to kill because they pissed me off .

Yohan da yohan


Yaw yaw
Dat last one yust a little spoof on dat Clay Coper Thomas Paine ( in da,.. ) fella or fellas .

Dr. Ralph

I thought one of those big winged things got you in the Wisconsin woods Yohoho. Ed J says why the .257 Weatherby Mag Ralphy? I'll tell you why. Ol' Roy killed every animal on the planet with one about sixty-five years ago, and I figured if it was good enough for him... Of course that was the good old days when bullets were just bullets and not so specific as to usage. Probably from what I read we were better off with just core-lokts and those Winchester soft points K-mart always had a pallet of for $8.88. Now you actually have to know what you're doing. Plus I'm a gun nut too and one of my buddies has been using a plastic Wally Weatherby in .270 forever and it puts those holes in the paper closer than most people can shoot so when they came out with one for $399 (and that is what I paid) that shoots 3800+ fps guess who was ordering one right away?

Got a picture of the new dog punch my name. Poor quality cell phone picture but whatever. It's a girl and it's yellow but at least my wife got the Lab part right. Training is going well. She (Blondie) now has me out of bed by 6:30 every morning so she can do her business. Chewed up three pair of shoes, one cell phone charger and a lamp so far.


OK, you guys who know so much. I normally take my shots at 200 yds or less with a Wby Vanguard .270 Win. But I was drawn for an antelope hunt and the landowner says 300+ yds is not unusual. So I'm going with 100 gr. Rem pointed soft point. Am I going to be OK if I get surprised with a 50 yd shot with 3000 fps?

Jim in Mo.

Dr. R,
Give that dog a softball (I,m not joking, they love them) and let her know it and it only is to be chewed on. Worked like a charm for me, although labs may be more hard headed.

Clay Cooper

Congratulations on the Antelope hunt!
Antelope are one of the easiest to take down animals I know of and a 22-250 with a 55 grain works great. Remember Joseph, you’re hunting in open country which is prone to high gusty crosswinds and bullet drift is something to think about. You will have to time your shots with the wind at its minimum or lull to take that shot. Carry extra ammo and if you get there the day before or have time, start at the farthest range you know you can hit and when the good hardy crosswind take a few shots to see how much drift you get to compensate, be sure not to over compensate. You’ll also have difficulty in judging distances because you will not have trees etc. A hunter’s moon on the horizon looks monstrous and then shrinks and looks very small directly overhead. If you measured the diameter at the horizon and directly overhead, you will find the moon is the same diameter!

Gotta run!

overkill, overspeed, overclocked, overdone. all means the same thing...too much is not always better.

Clay Cooper

and yes Joseph the 100 will work fine. I would use a 130 or 140 boat tail for the crosswind but if your comfortable with the 100's go for it dude!



I live in eastern Wy, the wind blows almost asmuch as it does on this blog. Main thing is if you can get to a range that has 300 yard capability. Practice at that range, that way your ready for about anything. Out of twenty years, I have only shot two antelope that were over 200 yards away. You might want to try the new federal 110gr barnes loads if you want fast then you can report back to this blog on how they performed.


Hey Ralph ,.. nahh too ornery to get snatched up,..had dream the other nigh tho about the night I spent in the woods yeasr ago after compas got reversd from ore depoits ,..
Some night that was ,..Jeeze that was spooky

Been busy,... trying not to go broke with all the right wing ripoff artits in power. Figured when I heard a few month ago ,.. when questioned as to the present retail price of a gallon of gas our boy Bushy didn know ,. time to get a little defensive as to positions,. stil getting a$$ kicked in bank stock tho

Nice looing pooch ,Ralph Really !!

As I am partial to metric calibrrs so am I partial to Chesapeaks ,..
But somehting about a lab puppy especially a blond lab puppy tugs at my heart strings ,.. Its gonna be a great fall for you Sure you will enjoy her a great deal,..congrats.
As to the 257 or anything close I dont care how fast you shoot it just use "enough bullet" so you dont do the animal wrong.you know what I mean Im sure.

as much as I have in the past cranked on poor ole clay Cooper,. aside from being one of the most opinionated humans I have ever encountered he dos not speak withe forked tounge.
You can't go far wrong with his advise.

I'll be watchin boys

Clay Cooper

JNorris, are you hunting as Lone Star 45 will put it, a radioactive zone with freak Antelope we don’t know about in Wyoming that would explain the use of Barnes bullets? LMOA!

I haven’t priced Federal 110’s, but I bet they are proud of them. You don’t need a heavy constructed bullet like Barnes on antelope! Your shots will be likely 200 or less and over 300 is a rarity but be prepared. Because you can get away with using cheaper ammo on lopes you can get more trigger time on Jacks and yodel dogs etc to hone in your skills like I have. By the way, a lot of times Antelope will lie down until you’re almost on top of them before busting like a covey of quail! If it’s been very dry water holes are may be good to watch if there are plenty of fresh tracks. But I found running fence lines to find busted wire with fresh tracks and watching for them crossing over. Then setting up downwind preferably with the sun at your back is best with a low profile blind or tan colored canvas the color of the grass is a good choice. Remember, there sight is better than Dave’s Zeiss Victory 8x32 T* FL binoculars!

Joseph, the key to busting an Antelope is not with a “NUKE STRIKE” but with a well place shot!! Something else I almost forgot. Make sure the horns are well above the ears. I’ve know too many does mistaken for bucks because of this.

Clay Cooper

Whats the deal with Moose loads on dear with some of you guys!


Like I said the wind sure blows around here..

Clay Cooper


-Alan Ashley-Pitt said it best

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”

Clay Cooper

Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man ever walked.
To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and feel the Lord setting next to me enjoying what God has made.
I may have come home empty handed,
but my mind is full of awesome memories
it is a experience, I'll never forget!


Clay Cooper,
Thats why I am not afraid to offer suggestions or advice even at the risk of getting ridiculed by fellow bloggers. My advice is not far off, although, I agree with you that an antelope is not difficult to put down with a well place shot. I also suggested the barnes because I would like to hear more about it and it would be great for deer etc...

Clay Cooper

You may be right about the wind sure blows around here..but your ideas really suck! Why they suck? You’re not able to backup what you say!!!

Joseph doesn’t have deep pockets and neither do I. Therefore I use what is best at hand and find it to be the best choice. It’s funny in High Power Competition while everyone else used Sierras and Berger’s costing more money, I used Hornady Match bullets. Everyone wanted to know is why am I kicking butt with an old warn out M1 Garand so they tried my Hornady loads and said they were more accurate and had to drop several clicks especially on 600 and 1000 yard line because there flatter shooting and they are cheaper too! And when I upgraded to build a Ultra match M1A... WOW!

Go ahead and follow the crowd JNorris, while I enjoy greater things!

“Greatness is never appreciated in youth, called pride in midlife, dismissed in old age, and reconsidered in death. Because we cannot tolerate greatness in our midst, we do all we can do destroy it.”
-J. Michael Straczinski, creator and arc writer of Babylon 5, from production #309, episode #53, “Point of No Return,” spoken by Lady Morella, the prophetess widow of Centauri Emperor Touranne

Clay Cooper


You have my humble apology Sir!
Sorry if I came at ya!

Tell your Ar Tender, the nxt glass is on me!! :)

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