Go Ballistic - .30 Nosler Review

Nosler has kicked the new year off with a proverbial bang. On January 8, 2016, Nosler announced the third member of their fast growing cartridge family. The 30 Nosler will now join the popular 26 and 28 Nosler both released within the past two years. The proven popularity of its predecessors generated demand for the latest Nosler cartridge release. The 30 Nosler shares the same parent case as the 26 and 28 Nosler cartridges. Nosler succeeded in collecting all the best attributes of currently available 30 magnums and is now combining them all in one cartridge.

According to Nosler new release, the 30 Nosler easily meets the velocity of the 300 Weatherby, headspaces on the shoulder like a 300 RUM, has an efficient powder column like the 300 WSM and fits in the same standard length action of a 300 Winchester Magnum. With the initial launch, Nosler will offer two loads for the new caliber -

1. Nosler® Trophy Grade™ Ammunition - 180gr AccuBond® - 3200fps

2. Nosler® Trophy Grade™ LR Ammunition - 210gr AccuBond® LR - 3000fps.hi73 gb 30 nosler

Hornady's ELD-X Long-Range Bullet


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The author poses with his wilderness bull elk, harvested cleanly with Hornady's new ELD-X bullet.

Opening my rifle bolt in the pre-dawn darkness before opening day, I slid three long cartridges into the magazine. The ruby-tipped projectile was an entirely new offering from Hornady and I was excited to give the magic bullets a try. Any branch-antlered bull elk careless enough to show himself was in danger of becoming test medium.

I’d be hunting one of Utah’s open-bull units where hunter success—even with a rifle—averages less than 10 percent. I’d saddled my horses the day before and packed 15 miles into the backcountry in an effort to escape hordes of hunters who nose their ATVs ever farther into the elk woods. A snowstorm spent its fury on me as I rode my horse above 10,500 feet and set up camp in a slushy patch of woods. Just enough daylight to scout left me delighted to find several bulls in the neighborhood.

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.223 WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum)

223 WSSMThe .223 WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum) was introduced in 2003 by the Browning Arms Company, and Winchester Arms. It is a shortened .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) case necked down to accept a .224 caliber bullet. The .223 designation is a reference to the popular .223 Remington. It is currently the fastest production .22 caliber round in the world with muzzle velocities as high as 4,600 feet per second.

Even before the cartridge was commercially introduced, many were claiming that it would be extremely hard on barrels, a “barrel burner” to say the least, and some still argue that it is a good varmint round for long distances but is very hard on barrels and is not good for medium game any farther than 200 yards.

The Winchester-made Model 70 in .223 WSSM has not been revived in the new Browning-made Winchester Model 70s, but Browning has chosen to use chrome-lined barrels on all of its guns chambered for .223 WSSM and has introduced the .223 WSSM cartridge as a chambering in its A-bolt rifles. Browning rejects the charge that the .223 WSSM round is especially hard on barrels: “The .223 and .243 WSSM cartridges are said to ‘burn up’ barrels in as little as 300 rounds. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

According to Browning, the .223 WSSM offers a 600 ft/s gain, with a 55 grain bullet, over the standard .223 Rem. It also offers a 440 ft/s gain over the .22-250, a popular varmint round. This comes out to a 600 ft·lb of gain over a standard .223 Rem, and a 350 ft·lb of gain over the .22-250.

For those enthusiasts who have a need for velocity and stopping predators dead in their tracks, this caliber is an enticer for sure!  This caliber is a screamer with attitude!