Re: 6.5mm 142SMK
The 142 gr SMK has a much heavier jacket then the 140 gr Berger VLD. They can also handle much more velocity at launch. At your 2800 fps you will not be able to tell much of a difference except perhaps in terminal performance where the Berger may expand easier on game at your lower velocity ranges.
I tested them in my 6.5mm AX and 6.5mm AM. In the AX, I loaded them to 3300 fps with no problems at all. In the AM, I drove them to 3550 fps with no accuracy degrade at all, in fact they seemed to prefer being driven faster.
The Berger by the way shot amazingly well up to 3250 fps in both. Anything over that and accuracy dropped off dramatically. Anything over 3400 fps and it was about 50-50 if the bullets made it to target and the ones that did were not consistant on impact location.
The SMK did not have any problems at all that way.
That is not to say the SMK is a better bullet then the Berger, just that in my extreme case, I was pushing the Bergers faster then they were designed to be fired at.
Accuracy wise, I would say the Berger would have a slight edge but it would be hard to prove that as in a well built rifle, both are extremely accurate, as accurate as the rifle will shoot. From what I have seen, the rifle and shooter will be the limiting factor in how well either of these bullets will shoot.
To answer your specific questions:
1. No, the SMK is much thicker jacket. Better penetration, ability to handle higher velocity but less expansion at extreme range.
2. They will expand. If your under 1/2 mile, I would say you will get good expansion. A SMK will expand more like a premium bullet. Because of their hp design, they will start to expand after 4-6" of penetration unless they are driven vary fast. This is because the HP collapses in on itself before the bullet mushrooms which retards expansion slightly.
3. You will get smaller impact holes but you can still get large exit holes. Remember, a bullet with 2800 fps MV with a 140 gr bullet will likely not be a pelt friendly bullet as they carry enough energy to cause secondary projectiles in the target such as fraged bone to rip large holes in the offside of the pelt.
4. They make fine big game bullets. From what I have seen, they work better on deer size game then smaller game as they need a few inches to get expansion going.
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