Am currently using 155 smk in my 308 and have shot 12 small roe deer and a couple of foxes with them.
They seem to pass through these thin skinned animals without expanding at all and i have had dissapointing results even with perfect double lung shots just a tiny hole through them.
I have heared of lots of people using them with great success on whitetail deer which are about the same size as are red deer .
DO you think they will work better on a larger animal like a red deer compared to a small roe deer that only weighs 40 pounds.They are so accurate in my rifle and it will be mostly red deer i shoot with them. thanks .
Do you have any pictures of the wound channels?
I seriously dought that the bullets passed through without opening, pointed bullets that do not open have notorious reputation for tumbling. Every animal that I have ever seen shot with a 30 SMK had a large wound channel. Most the bullets that I saw used were the 175 grain SMK.
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
I have found best big game performance with the SMK to come from chamberings that produce a muzzle velocity in the 3000 to 3200 fps range for most calibers. Much under this, expansion seems very inconsistant, much over this and on close range impacts you start to see them come apart if heavy bone is impacted.
The 308 Win starts out pretty slow and down range, the impact velocity will be very low for good bullet expansion. THe SMK seems to need a bit more velocity to get it to expand. Generally, the meplat seems to fold in on itself on impact, then depending on retained velocity, they either punch straight through with little expansion or if they have enough retained velocity, they are forced to open up and mushroom as a conventional bullet will.
My theory is that when the meplate folds in on itself, it actually can act as a protective shell over the soft lead core and unless there is enough velocity to force the bullet to expand further, it won't which I beleive is what your seeing with your results.
Because of this, if your velocity is low, you will generally see a decent amount of penetration before you see any significant bullet expansion resulting in enlarging of the wound channel. On a fox, the bullet will likely be well through the animal before it begins to expand. On larger game you see better results generally if this is the problem. If your velocity is so low that there is no expansion, you will not see improved performance on larger game unless you hit heavy bone to initiate expanision.
Something you can do is get a meplate uniformer and this will slightly increase the diameter of the HP and will promote expansion on impact at lower velocities. You lose a very slight bit of BC but the BC will become slightly more consistant as well. In your case, the improved expansion may be worth the trouble.
For the 308 Win velocity class, you may want to switch to the Berger VLD based on the J-4 jacket in the same or similiar bullet weight. These have MUCH thinner jackets then the SMK and will expand much easier, also, they tend to have slightly higher BC values.
Again, from my experience, you are not seeing anything unusual as far as the performance of the 308 Win. Its a great round, very consistant, very accurate but at extended range, rather anemic in performance at least terminally on big game and your bullet selection needs to be much more focused to get proper bullet performance.
Another option would be the Hornady A-max in similiar bullet weights. Again, a thinner jacket then the SMK and a tip to promote expansion even better then the Berger at longer ranges with similar BC. Only problem is you may run into OAL issues with these two bullets if your using your rifle as a repeater.
You did not mention the ranges you were shooting out to, that will tell alot why your bullets are pin holing through targets are well.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I agree with Kirby , try the 155gr A-max , they have shot better for me that the 155gr SMK's anyway. The Bergers are another good choice as Kirby poited out due to their thin jacket. I have killed deer with a 175 rg SMK out of a 308 out to 600+yds and they opened up hitting a rib but the expansion was pertty low leaving about a golf ball sized exit.
thanks for the in depth reply . am shooting at 300 to 450 yards average and am using a fairly mild load have not lost an animal but they havent droped very quickly with lung shots in fact one deer just kept walking as if untouched but i could see the hole through his lungs a second shot was needed.
Think i will need to change my bullet or aim more for the heart or shoulder area.
if you want something to happen on those 40 pounders, put a 110 gr V-max through their ribs and see if that doesn't get their attention. i agree with the others, a 155 A-max is a real whitetail killer.
we shoot in comp a live goat/sheep runnning @ 400 meters, and most of the guys use smks or a-maxs from different calibers, personally I shoot a 6.5-284 with a 95 grain v-max@3400 so I dont have to lead too much.
every animal taken with the 178 amax(from 308 win) walked a couple of steps and collapsed, also with the 95 v-maxes(from the 6.5)
the few I have taken with the smks colapsed instantly.
what I wouldnt shoot is the federal full metal jackets, those are complete pass through and a friend of mine hit the same animal four times and the animal ended the run, when checked it had the four hits. (just the tiny bit of blood counts as a hit.)
try once, cut with a file the first 1/16 of a fmj, and shoot it to a yellow pages book, you will be amazed, this tip was passed on to me in a survival class.