Ok, so I just got back from a pretty bad week of hunting in South Texas. We have a very large low fence place we hunt that is pretty incredible. Normally our shots are not even close to long range due to the heavy density of brush and oak motts. I would say over the past 6 or 7 years I have only shot at 1 animal over 400 yards and the vast majority of the shots are 150yds or under.
Now knowing this I still decided to throw my 338 edge in my Jeep along with my trusty 240 WBY that has literally killed hundreds of animals with normal 100gr factory ammo.
So I arrive on Wed about lunch. Unfortunately the deer are not moving well or coming to our grained roads because we have had a banner acron crop so far. We alsohave Nilgai, hogs, Javelina and tons of turkey. Anyhow it has been pretty slow. So on Thursday morning I am returning to camp and just about the time I am turning on my road back to camp I look South where the road crosses and I about fell out of my jeep! Standing approximately 100 yards away in the middle of the road is a Waterbuck. WE do have exotics from time to time off a ranch south of us but, this is the first Waterbuck I have ever seen. Actually I did not really know what it was when I saw it but, I know now. These are pretty large animals so I opted to grab the Edge and see if I can get in and make a shot. Well after a very short stalk the Waterbuck stops and I take aim and squeeze the trigger. Upon impact the large animal is slammed to the ground only to re-gain footing a few seconds later. I could not get another piece of lead in him because of the heavy cover.
Well I waited a second, marked my location and went to the spot where I shot him and found no blood. SO i returned to camp to grab our tracking dog.
When I returned we found a good sized spot of blood where the animal went down. WE also found hair and blooad approximately 3 ft behind that spot and then NOTHING. Not a spec or any sign beyond this point. Now it is really, really thick brush but, the grass is also pretty tall so we should have seen some blood somewhere I would have thought. We literally searched for several hours and decided to go eat lunch and then returned again for several hours with no luck. At this point we decided to wait and see if the buzzards and Caracara's would lead us to the animal. Well several days later there was never a single bird within miles of where I had shot him. We searched long and hard around all the nearby water holes and anywhere else we could think of with no luck.
At this point I am assuming he is still alive??
Now fast forward to Sat morning. We corned a long sendero that you can literally see over 2000 yards on and it is mostly flat and wide open. We settled in at one end and waited for the deer to filter to the corn. We had a group of does at 712yards. Now we did have some trouble with the Swaro rangefinder as it acted goofy but, we did get mutliple readings of 712 in a row so we called it good. We checked the wind with the Kestrel as well as the rest of the conditions, checked our drop chart and made the required adjustments. There was only 1mph wind so that was not a factor. I got in behind the rifle and got steady and got the cross hairs lined up on the largest doe. My Dad was spotting for me. Well just as the trigger broke my Dad's lab bumped him so he did not see the shot. I got back on target just to see the animals run and see dust. We checked for any signs of a hit and all we can figure is that I shot just over her back. Later we also checkd for buzzards and such with no luck so thankfully I am confident that I completely missed her.
Well we got to wondering if my rifle was still zeroed so we found another doe at close range to check the rifle. This doe was at 200 yards on the other end of the sendero. I dialed in 1.25 MOA and got lined up on her head. At the break of the trigger I saw her do a complete backflip and crash to the ground. Then just as my heart felt good she got up and hauled the mail like she had never been hit. WE had her spot marked perfect where she stood and my Dad walked down first and then I followed him to the spot once he got there. We could see her tracks where she was hit. We could aslo see where she went down and where she got up. Thankfully we are in sand country so it makes some of this pretty easy. WE had the tracking dog with us and he never took up a blood trail. He is a blood only dog as we train them not to just chase deer because we have too many.
So with all of that said, did I just have a terrible week? IS the 300gr SMK just not going to work in my situation (other than the miss obviously)? Do you think the bullet is just not mushrooming or so you think the bullet is not penetrating?
The Waterbuck and this last Doe are the first 2 animals I have considered lost in probably 10 years and I shoot hundreds of animals every year. Actually the long range doe is the first animal I have missed in 10 years or so but, that is to be expected at some point.
I would love to hear any opinions about shooting the SMK at game under 500 yards or so. It appears to work well at long range but, I am thinking at shorter ranges it is not going to work out?
Now I am headed to Kansas on Wed. and I am worried to death about shooting another whitetail with this bullet. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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At the break of the trigger I saw her do a complete backflip and crash to the ground.
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That sure sounds like a hit to me. I probably wouldn't be checking my zero by trying to shoot a doe in the head at 200 yards, that's just me though. I don't know enough about that bullet to comment further but if you're poking right through them you ought to be letting the wind out of 'em and also destroying vitals.
I have nothing but great performance from the 300smk.
On 3 deer between 530 and 550yrds the effects were devastating in both lung/rib shots and partial shoulder shots-none went more than 10yrds.
1 deer at about 430 had an entrance and exit wound the size of your fist.
1 elk at just over 500yrds, hit twice a little high on the top edge of the shoulder. Both bullets went completely through, broke the backbone with fragmentaion also hitting the lung area.
1 deer at 996ydrs hit a little far back slightly quartering me went about 110 yards after being hit. The bullet caught a bit of the lungs and went right through, but it pin-holed and didn't seem to expand that much however it was a small mule deer doe and it only went a little over 100 yrds.
I personaly haven't used the 300 smk but have used several others in 270 through 30 cal, none of them ever failed. Well let me rephrase that last statement, "none of the bullets that hit where I was aiming on the animal failed to bring it down and keep it down."
Now that I've said that, let me just say, that to make the assumption that because you did not recover the animals does not mean the bullets failed. You must understand that just because an animal reacted to the bullet in some way, does not mean that the hit was good, or even that it was a hit at all. I've seen the same thing (doe does a back flip)when my dad shot through both ears on a head shot on a doe. You may ask how I know for certain, well he shot her ears and when she got up off the ground I shot here lungs and shoulder out. Point is we had the carcass to verify any assertions we would have made about what went wrong. She had two nice little 30cal holes half way down each ear lobe.
I've also, pulled a few shots @ close range (150yds), where the initial shot hit real high in the back, knocked the animal down like nobodies buisness. Son of bitch picked its head up, i reloaded, he got back on all fours, I shot him again, dead deer. In this case the first shot hit him high in the back, which i didn't know at the time, and just barely nicked the spine, no shattered bone, just a little half circle punched through the edge of a blade on one of the vertebra, not a mortal wound. Had the same kinda thing, we would have found blood where he was shot the first time but the wound would have stopped bleeding very quickly, and the deer would have dissapeared for ever.
My point here is only that, you should not make the assumption that the bullet failed, when you cannot verify whether or not it was you or possibly the rifle that failed. I'd like to blame something other than myself for the close calls I've had, but when 99.9999 percent of whether or not the bullet has a chance to do it's job or not, depends on where the bullet hits and if it hits at all, it becomes real hard for me to say it was the bullet or the gun or something else. After re-verifing there is nothing wrong with the gun or bullet, the only conclusion I can come to is the shooter just wasn't on the ball that day.
The 300gr SMK is a very devistating projectile. It pretty much destroyed the front half of the buck I shot. We use the 175gr SMK in our 7.62 M24 and M14SDM rifles. Great external and terminal performance....One Shot-One Kill.