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300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

 
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  #1  
Old 08-15-2013, 04:09 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Norway
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300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

Hello guys.

I am preparing for this years big deer hunt, I have a bag limit of 52 red deer, and have developed some loads for my 338LM. I plan on using 300 grs Berger OTM or/and 300 grs SMK.

I have read alot about the use of these bullets here in the US, and I shot some deer last year with the OTM with good results. But my barrel is loosing speed as it is being worn out, and I am afraid that the bullets will not perform as wanted at long range.

Can anyone tell me which is the better bullet for hunting deer at 1000 yards? I know it depends on shotplacement, but I have never been a big fan of shoulder shots, as they make quite a mess. At normal distances up to 400 meters, I shoot high and clip the spinal cord, which has a good effect, dropping them in their tracks. But at 1000+ it is hard to predict a shot like that, and I'll rather go for a shot in the lungs, worst case mid to high shoulder.

I will do most of my hunting using my 300 winmag and 230 grs Bergers, and maybe there is plenty of energy in that bullet for a 1000 yard shot, but I kind of like to belive that the 338 will do a better job. I guess I'll find out ;)

So if anyone has first hand experience with the two bullets in question, please comment
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2013, 08:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
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Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

I have taken game with the 300 SMK, 300 OTM and 230 OTM. I feel out to 1000 yards you will be fine even with a shoulder shot. I do not use the shoulder for point of aim. I prefer the crease behind. This has been a great placement for putting game down for me. But at longer distances I feel all of the fore mentioned bullets would pass a shoulder hit as well.

Jeff
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Central MT
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Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

I shoot both the 300gr Hybrid and SMK in my 338LM. I only used the Berger for hunting this past season. I have experienced no problems with them putting deer down between ranges of 600 to 1000 yards. I anticipate I will continue to use the Bergers for future hunts and may try the new 300 Nosler Custom Competition just for comparison. Consider buying those bulk boxes with your tag count. Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
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Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

Assuming you have a 1-10 twist I would use the Berger 300 Gen 1 Hybrid or 300 Elite Hunter over the 300 OTM.

I have found the OTM too hard at Lapua/Edge speeds for good consistent terminal performance at range.

If you have a tighter twist that can help terminal performance a little.
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:29 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Norway
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Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

I have 1:10 twist yes, 32" barrel. But it has 4200 rounds through it now, and it has lost about 50 m/sec since it was new.
I only have the 300 OTM gen 2 bullet, and 300 SMK. Is the Sierra harder than the Berger?

I might just stick to my 300 win mag, there is no need to go past 1000 yards to kill the deer I'm hunting for, although I took one at 1254 yards last year. Hit it just behind the shoulder, making a tennisball size exit. It walked 40 yards and was dead.

My average range for shooting deer is about 3-500 meters, and then the 300 win mag will be plenty.
I have the new 220 grs lapua OTM L-Scenar loaded up and verified, it groups better than the Bergers, but the Bc is way lower. I have found it to be .0639 in my rifle. Lapua will release their dopler radar results in September.
The lapua bullets is good for hunting, according to Erkki at Lapua. We'll see ;)
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:50 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
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Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrcan View Post
I have 1:10 twist yes, 32" barrel. But it has 4200 rounds through it now, and it has lost about 50 m/sec since it was new.
I only have the 300 OTM gen 2 bullet, and 300 SMK. Is the Sierra harder than the Berger?

I might just stick to my 300 win mag, there is no need to go past 1000 yards to kill the deer I'm hunting for, although I took one at 1254 yards last year. Hit it just behind the shoulder, making a tennisball size exit. It walked 40 yards and was dead.

My average range for shooting deer is about 3-500 meters, and then the 300 win mag will be plenty.
I have the new 220 grs lapua OTM L-Scenar loaded up and verified, it groups better than the Bergers, but the Bc is way lower. I have found it to be .0639 in my rifle. Lapua will release their dopler radar results in September.
The lapua bullets is good for hunting, according to Erkki at Lapua. We'll see ;)
The Scenars I have used & heard about being used are extremely hard.

Their terminal performance kinda makes the 300 OTM look like an Amax.....

The new ones may be different ?

I found them to be extremely accurate but lacking a wee bit in BC.

Having had that many rounds through it the throat might be rough enough to give the Bergers a bit of a hurry up & make them more aggressive in terminal performance ?

I think the OTM Berger is harder than the SMK , the jacket is thicker on the OTM.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2013, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Norway
Posts: 69
Re: 300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

Thank you, Kiwi Greg.
That was the answer I was looking for. I will load some SMK's tomorrow and go way beyond my previous loads and see if I can speed them up. The Bergers may have to be seated deeper in the cartridge to gain more speed, since the OAL has changed dramatically. When the barrel was new, my max OAL was 97mm with the Bergers. Now it is 103mm. And I am still not in the lands ;) But since the SMK has a different shape, I might hit the lands and speed them up. I will try 93-94 and 95 grs of Viht N570, and measure the head with a micrometer tomorrow, after firing. My accuracy load has allways been 89 grs of 570, giving my 855 m/sec, but now I get 830 m/sec. 93 grs of 570 behind the OTM was only 838 m/sec yesterday, and that is slower than anything I have. Last year they were 883 m/sec, using the same charge.

I have ordered a new barrel, same as this one, but with a 1:9 twist. Lothar Walter, SS, Match, 32" long and 1.10 inches at the muzzle. It will not be ready until december, and then the hunt is over.

Thanks for your input guys, it is allways a pleasure
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