338 300 grain SMK test results
Well, as some of you know, I have been tinkering with the 300 grain SMK in my 338 thunder just to see what it would do. I found a load that pushes it a tad over 2800 fps with 90 grains of H1000 and put some tidy little 7" groups on the gong at 1k. So I decided it might be worth hunting with it IF it passes my phonebook test. So yesterday I put 60 grains of N170 into the case and fired the bullets into a bunch of paper at 100 yards. They clocked over the Oehler 35 at 2135 fps which when slowed down by 100 yards of atmosphere, they impacted the phonebooks at around 2025 fps. For a side by side comparison, I also loaded up a couple 225 accubonds with the same 60 grains of N170 and shot them right into the same paper. They clocked over the Oehler at 2179. This test would replicate a 1000 yard impact velocity.
Well, I was surprised to see that none of the three SMK's zipped all the way through the paper! And none of the Accubonds did either but I expected that. After tearing into the paper I found that the wound channels were almost identical in size with the AB being just slightly larger. At about 8" into the paper, the bullets had both opened up and started making holes about the size of a quarter. At about 12", they both had holes about golf ball sized. And at about 20", the Accubond stopped and was a nice tidy mushroom with one side of the jacket top sheared off. Final hole size was about the size of a tennis ball. The SMK was still going but only for about another 3". It had a final hole size just slightly smaller than the AB and the mushroom was pretty textbook except for the fact that the core was gone and replaced with a little spitwad that could not be picked from the copper with my finger nail. I searched around for the core and found it in the paper at about 15" depth. It was mangled pretty hard.
So, these SMK's are actually pretty impressive. I would not have a problem launching these at wild animals ( I launched them before at a bison but it was penned in and not really wild) because they performed so well. Quite a contrast to the 250 grain SMK which wouldn't even open up slightly at 500 yards at full speed! In fact, they wouldn't even wiggle a bowling ball off a rock at 435 yards!!! They just zipped through and melted their entry hole shut. BTW, the Accubond launched that same bowling ball off the rock about 2 feet!
I sure would like to have someone explain to me how the 250 grain SMK can be a FMJ and the 300 be so much more explosive. I just don't get that. The sectional density of the 300 is way higher and both bullets are made of the same jackets and I presume the same lead.
As for the 300 SMK, it looks to be a formidable game bullet but at 1500 yards it only has about 450 ft/lbs of energy over the 225 AB and only saves about 20" of wind drift. And it drops about 6 minutes more so I don't know if it really has that big of an advantage over the 225 AB. Plus it is really hard to spot my own shot through the scope whereas I can always see the 225 flying all the way to the target.
So I'm still undecided as to which to use for my moose and antelope hunt. I have to load ammo up tonight for my antelope hunt that starts in the morning and I don't know which to load! Maybe I'll just load up 10 of each and do the eeny meeny miiiny moe trick. I can do that because they miraculously have the same 100 yard POI!
Anyhow, I have some pics of the testing and will try to get them on here soon. As for now, I've got loading to do!
If it's not far, it's boring.
Last edited by goodgrouper; 09-09-2007 at 09:35 PM.