I'm new to the forum and was wondering if someone could give me some advice. I don't have any custom rifles, but I do own a few accurate factory guns. One is a heavy barrel 308 that shoots very well. I wanting to find an accurate factory load for whitetail deer. My gun shoots Federal Gold Medal with Sierra Matchking BTHP very well but I know that some people don't agree with using this bullet for hunting. I was considering Blackhills Gold 168 Barns Triple shock. Does anyone have experience with this load or have any load that they would recommend for long shots on deer?
I personally think the SMK's would be OK for hunting at longer ranges. You could possibly develop a load for more conventional hunting bullets at shorter ranges and use the SMK's for longer ranges.
The TSX is a great bullet but not a real good BC. I believe the 308, 168 is designed to open down to 2000 fps and most or all the other TSX's are designed to open down to 1800 fps. Based on that, the TSX's are good to about 300 yds out of a 308 for performance.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of good advice here.
Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 07-31-2008 at 02:11 PM.
Look no further than the 168gr SMK - it will do the job everytime and you will not be tracking deer. I use the 135gr SMK in .270 at ALL distances and have yet to track an animal (except one but that was my fault!!) I have found that at high velocities these bullets break up BUT only once they have penetrated a few inches - this causes massive trauma so while you cannot retrieve any part of the bullet, the buck dies instantly. At longer distances they open well and dump the buck just as well. Ask yourself the question "do you want nicely mushroomed bullets from buck you had to track or do you want to dead buck right there?" (I have never found a use for nicely mushroomed bullets that have been recovered - not even fried with bacon in an omelette - lol!!)
Even though I am a one load per rifle kind of guy Mr. Montana has a good alternative. It sure beats carrying two rifles like I use to, my long range rig and a short barreled carbine automatic for the walk in and out. Yeah laugh it up...but very effective!
I had a bad experience with the 168SMK in a 7mm Mag that convinced me they are not a close range deer bullet. A 30 yard head on brisket shot, flipped the deer on it's back but didn't penetrate to vitals. The deer got up, to my amazement, and was making a very quick get away and required two additional shots to put it down for good. If I was gonna be picking my shots and hitting them behind the shoulder I would use them. But after having the deer of a lifetime stolen (on public land) because it was hit behind the shoulder with a ballistic tip and had enough composure to run a couple hundred yards and into the path of some a-hole who didn't fear severe bodily harm, I want to break them down on the spot and try to break at least one shoulder and still have enough to destroy vitals. The exceptions are heavy for caliber .308 and the .338 SMK's. Those things wreak havoc on whatever they hit. Just my experiences.
I am convinced that any thing in the 150 gr, up will fit the bill for deer. 308 is the cal. Too. I have the howa 308 varmit supreme 1500 that is too heavy to lug through the woods.
But last weekendthis weapon won me a remington 700 in 308 in ms. This is the rifle to take deer hunting. It is as accurate as the howa.
Just remember your weapon is only as good as the scope mounted on it!!
Over the years I've used pretty much nothing but Remington core-lok bullets whether I used the green and yellow box factory ammo or loaded my own. I pretty much used the 165gr bullet in my 308 or 06. If I was going too use my 270 I used the 150gr bullet. I never lost a deer from a bullet not doing it's job just so long as i did my part.