Ok, I'm not trying to start up the SMK for hunting debate again, but I do need some help here.
I have been planning to use my Tikka Master Sporter in 308 for deer and antelope hunting
this year. It absolutely loves the 190 gr. SMK's (sub 0.25 moa) and likes the 175 gr. SMK's (usually sub 0.50 moa). I've tried to work up a "respectable" hunting load with this rifle, using the 165 gr SST's and 165 gr SGK's, neither of these shot nearly as well as the SMK's (about MOA, but opened up past 400 yards).
Until recently I was planning to just use the 190 gr. SMK's for the hunt and place my shot well (as always). I'm not much of a trophy hunter and usually end up bagging a fork-horn or small four point.
Now here is the twist...I drew a tag in one of the premier trophy buck areas for the state [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. I am going to put a lot into this hunt and would like to shoot a buck near or over 30" wide. This is definately do-able in this area.
So here is my dilemma:
(1) This means that the body size of my animal will likely be larger than I had originally planned for.
(2) I could get a shot that is truly a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
(3) The shot may be very close, or more likely in this terrain, very far.
So what do I do here? The accuracy of the 190 SMK out of this rifle is exceptional. I am very familiar with the ballistics (drop and wind judgments) for this load. I obviously want to make a clean kill, but do not have much on-game experience with the SMK's. I have heard that the 190 gr SMK out of a 308 is not an ideal hunting combination (something about the bullet weight and the lower velocity). Is this true? Why? Would the 175 gr SMK be that much better? Any other suggestions?
Note that I will probably not have much time to work up, develop, and practice with a new load at this point with work, a summer trip/vacation coming up, then scouting, then antelope season, then archery season, then more scouting (rough life, I know).
My loads are as follow:
190 gr SMK, 41.0 gr RE15, BHA Brass, Fed 210M primers, 2.867" OAL, ~ 2510 fps.
175 gr SMK, 42.6 gr RE15, BHA Brass, Fed 210M primers, 2.851" OAL, ~ 2565 fps.