Re: Hornady a-max vs. SMK\'s
I used a 7mm A-max for three of four deer shot last year at ranges of 525,666, 670 and 690 yards. Terminal velocity was about 2,000 or more if I remember correctly. All were one-shot kills but there were no exit wounds. This fact contributed to my inability to recover the 670 deer through tracking...no blood trail after 80 yards. Found it weeks later only 100 yards away in tall marsh grass. This prompted me to try the MK, hoping for pass-through. I cut open one MK and one A-max to find the jacket on the MK is 1.5 times the thickness of the A-max jacket.
I switched over to the MK in time for my Coues deer hunt in Mexico last January. Accuracy was similar to the A-max. At 666 yards it was a lung shot, deer ran 20 yards. no exit wound again. Didn't get a chance for an autopsy to check inside stuff.
So...since I was thinking about needing a bigger gun for long range elk anyway I recently got one in 30-378. This will shoot a heavier MK (240 vs 162/168) bullet at similar velocity. I think I'll try it for deer out past 600 where I would like to have the added margin for error offered by the 1.5 times higher impact energy...hoping for an exit wound or at least more penetration on good but not-quite-perfect shots.
In any case, the A-max has a superior BC in any caliber at similar bullet weight. This is a huge factor in real-world hunting accuracy where bullet drift is probably the single biggest factor. However, in .308 caliber the huge 240 grain MK has a .711 BC vs the .625 for the 7mm, 162 grain. So this cartridge/bullet combo will be superior in that regard also.
[ 07-14-2002: Message edited by: Len Backus ]