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338 300 grain SMK test results

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Unread 09-09-2007, 09:24 PM
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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!
Find it
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If it's not far, it's boring.

Last edited by goodgrouper; 09-09-2007 at 09:35 PM.
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Unread 09-09-2007, 10:54 PM
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Way to go. You pulled through again. Great test. I'm loaded for elk with 300 SMKs in the RUM @ 2735. ES = 1, SD = ziltch. Accuracy is grate. Drop chart is spot on.

Armed with the additional confidence provided by your test I should feel comfortable w/the any broad side or slightly angling shot that I get.

Thanks a bunch.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 09-09-2007, 11:26 PM
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Goodgrouper ,

The 250gr matchking not opening is odd ,were these findings from one shot only ? Or have you seen the 250 smk act this way under other conditions ?

Good luck on your hunt..-Mike
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 09-10-2007, 12:50 AM
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Appreciate your report. As someone who is jumping into a similar rig with the 300 smk, this gives me plenty of confidence we are on the right track.

Good luck
With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.
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Unread 09-10-2007, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ol mike View Post
Goodgrouper ,

The 250gr matchking not opening is odd ,were these findings from one shot only ? Or have you seen the 250 smk act this way under other conditions ?

Good luck on your hunt..-Mike
GG,tested the 250 SMKs last year and shot quite a few into both wet and dry news paper.........
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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Unread 09-10-2007, 10:05 AM
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Never used any SMK's either 250 or 300's on phone books but have killed a lot of hogs and they all exited and the furthest that any of the hogs ran was about a 100 yards. Ranges were all between about 250 and maybe 600yds.

These were out of my 338 Lapua as well as the 2 338 Lapua AI's that I have. Very impressed with the performance both on the paper and on the hogs. The testing with the AB bullets is very reassuring --THANKS for taking the time to do the tests!!
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Unread 09-10-2007, 01:55 PM
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i'm not smart enough to load the bullets so they can be shot at much slower speeds so just last weekend i shot some 250SMK's into milk jugs with wet magazines at 500 and 1k. muzzle velocity would be around 3125. i lined up 5 jugs and put thick magazines in front and between each jug. put the phone book after the third jug. first was at 1k and the jacket and core completely separated, with the bulk of the lead and 2 other pieces making it into the 5th jug.couldn't find the jacket but the biggest piece of lead has a nice circle on it that i know is the bottom of the boat tail.at 500 couldn't really find any part of the bullet as it just blew the 4th and 5th milk jugs apart so bad i couldn't accurately put them back together. my best guess was about a golf ball size hole with fragmentation on the near side of the 4th jug. the phone book, which again was after the 3rd jug, had about a 1-1.25 hole in it. have heard from several that the 250's work better on game out to1k so i've been planning on using them this year. still waiting on Walt's version of the 338 for next years elk hunt.

GG,i thought the 250's you tested last year were the Lapuas, not the SMK's?

Last edited by davewilson; 09-10-2007 at 02:00 PM.
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