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Thread: How Far for Hornady LeverEvolution



  1. #1
    Marlin Marksman
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    How Far for Hornady LeverEvolution

    I've been seriously shopping for a 7mm-08 for hunting whitetail out to 300 yards. They're hard to find. It seems the exact model I want from various mfrs is either not chambered in 7mm-08 or is never in stock. 308 is more than necessary and I'm uncomfortable with the down range energy of the light 243 bullets. Currently I hunt exclusively with my 336W. My limit is 220 yards with 170 gr Power Shoks. My 336 is very accurate with them and they perform admirably. I've never tracked a whitetail shot with one. They're DRT or they take no more than a few wobbly steps before collapsing in plain view.

    I hunt in a few places where I could take 600 shots if I could make a shot like that. I would like to extend my range to 300 yards especially for hunting in Maine. There are very few deer up there so most of our hunting is at the edges of fields and cuts where there is a greater chance to even see a whitetail. Last season I was very disappointed when my rangefinder verified just how limited I was with 220 yard shots. Most of what I could see was usually out of range.

    Anyway I've started contemplating becoming an expert with the Hornady LeverEvolution ammo to extend my range with it instead of buying another rifle. It's not really a 300 yard cartridge out of a 20" barrel. Chuck Hawks Optimal Game Weight Table lists it's effective range on 100 lb game as 400+ yards and 200 lb game as 290 yards which means that's the distance it retains enough killing power. I can live with 290 yards but those figures are out of a 24" barrel. Joseph D'Alessandro of Real Guns conducted very interesting testing and comparison of the LeverEvolution ammunition to other 30-30 ammunition out of a pair of rifles with 20" barrels. He measured the velocity of the LeverEvolution ammunition as 1,608 fps at 300 yards and calculated the retained energy as 918 ft-lbs at 300 yards. If 800 ft-lbs is considered a reasonable amount of energy by experts for hunting whitetail then the LeverEvolution ammunition certainly has enough retained energy at 300 yards .

    The limiting factor seems to be the trajectory not the retained energy. The Hornady Ballistics Calculator says the wind drift is 3" at 200 yards with a 5 mph breeze, 7" at 300 yards, and the bullet drop is 14.3" at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero. Hornady calculates the velocity is 1,586 fps and the energy is 893 ft-lbs at 300 yards. Both figures are a little less than what Joseph D'Alessandro measured with his rifles.

    What range do you limit yourselves to hunting whitetail with LeverEvolution ammo with a 20" barrel? Should I stick with being a one gun hunter?
    jake1992 likes this.
    MDT

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  2. #2
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    I surely see no problems with it. With extended ranges, your wound potential goes up. I've shot deer at over 400 yards, and while its really not that hard, you do need to practice extensively with it and carry the gun that is up to it. I've used my 308MXLR for one of those shots, and it performed admirably. I'd say as well as my 270, which I have considered the best for my use. I don't like the potential for not knowing exactly what you are shooting at with the greater distances. I don't like the lack of hunting involved as well. If on the other hand you are meat hunting, its the way to go for sure.(longer range) I've made several shots with a 30-30 at just up to under 200 yards with standard 170gr. core lokt bullets and my loads. With the LEV, I've found I can shoot more accurately further, and this is a definite improvement. The bullet will open up at greater distances and do the job. I wouldn't say everyone would be comfortable making a 300 yard shot with a 30-30. I might be inclined to do it to see how it went, but I usually just take my 308MXLR. It makes it a bit easier. The LEV will work better at the longer ranges with chest shots. Just pony up, buy the ammo and start your practicing. Its the only way to determine if it'll work. If you can consistently place the shots, you should be OK to 250 yards I would think for sure...
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  3. #3
    Marlin Marksman
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    I'm not real comfortable shooting a 30/30 out to 300 yds even with lever bullets. They are recommended to 200 yds.. If you want a gun to shoot 300 to 400 yds. buy a 270. They will shoot at that range with a lot of practice at that distance and every manufacturer makes a gun in that caliber. I have a Remington BDL in 270 and it shoots great. I just am not happy with the knock down power. I've always recovered the deer but I had to track them. That's what got me interested in the 35 Rem.. If that doesn't knock them down I have an 1895 in 45/70 that should do the trick.
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  4. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    While even a standard .30-30 load is certainly capable of killing deer at 300 yards given a well-placed shot, no .30-30 would be my choice if 300-yard shots were going to be the norm, or even a common occurrence. Once in a blue moon, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity under prime conditions, yes; as a matter of course, no way. You cannot dismiss trajectory as a factor, and considering that with a 200-yard zero even a .270 or .30-06 is going to be down 9 or 10 inches at 300, the .30-30 presents a real challenge, and something in at least the 7-08/.308 category is to be preferred.
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  5. #5
    Deadeye
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    For whatever route you plan to take, you must PRACTICE a lot. Get to know your gun and load intimately. The practice will improve your handling and use of the gun and give you the confidence to make the hard shots. On paper, it looks like the LEV rounds should be alright for deer but you need to be able to place the shot at the extended range. You may even find it is too hard to make the long shot with the 20" barrel. It will take a lot of shooting to find your limits anf your gun's limits. That and all the shooting is just plain fun.

    Mark
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  6. #6
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    A hole through the boiler room (2 lungs) is recipe for death expansion or not. Here is my 30-30 buck shot just under 200 yards with common 170gr. hand loads. I would have much preferred to have been shooting at least the leverevolution. With practice, its possible! This was a big bodied buck.

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  7. #7
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    Have you tried to buy one of these? I own a Browning X-Bolt 7mm-08 and I load up Hornady 162gr SST bullets that can go way out beyond 300 yards. It's hard to beat a Browning X-Bolt for quality and value:

    X-Bolt Hunter, Accurate Bolt Action Deer Elk Big Game Varmint Hunting Rifle, Browning Firearms Product
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  8. #8
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    Nice buck Doc!

    All,

    I don't intend to use my 336 and LE ammo out to 300 yards. I'm not comfortable with the accuracy. This thread is to ask hunters like myself who hunt with their 336 and are familiar with the LE ammo with their 336 what range they are comfortable hunting whitetail with this combination. If I get a consensus of what is a reasonable range then I will decide if I want to limit myself to that range or buy a 7mm-08 or 308 so I can extend my range to 300 yards. If I go with my 336 and LE ammo then I will practice with it until I'm confident at that range.

    Dr. A,

    I have a lot of LE ammo. I was one of the early adopters but found the 170 gr Power Shoks much more economical and effective out to 220 yards. I've taken a whitetail at 220 yards off hand with the Power Shoks by sitting down on the ground and resting my elbow on my knee for a steadier hold. My average shot is about 180 yards but usually while resting the back of my gloved left hand on something solid and resting the forearm in my palm.
    MDT

    Marlin 336W w/ Nikon Monarch 2-8x32 BDC
    Marlin 1894C w/ Bushnell Trophy 4-12x40 AO
    Put BSA Catseye FM310x44 scope on 308 BAR
    Savage 10ML-II SS muzzleloader w/ silver Bushnell Elite 3200
    Barnett Quad 400 crosbow w/ scope
    Diamond Outlaw RAK Bow

  9. #9
    Deadeye
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    Have you considered the venerable 30-06? I hunted in Maine with my father and grandfather as a boy and their 30-06 rifles took everything Maine had to offer. Plenty of rifles out there, many ammo choices and 300 yards is well within the cartridge's capability for whitetails.

    Regards, TallGrass
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  10. #10
    Tinhorn
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    I am no expert and am a little confused on why you wouldn't consider a 308 mxlr or mx for that type of range and hunting? I just bought one and the main reason I got it for was the improved ballistics over the 30/30. I won't be shooting 300 yards (probably not over 100) but liked the ability to make longer shots with better accuracy if I need to. I'm not trying to bash onyone but rather am trying to learn more about this stuff.
    MDTrailrider likes this.


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