What bullets will you guys be hunting with this season? Right now I do not have one selected. Kirk Kelso's success with Sierra MatchKings in magnum rifles is very appealing - but not recommended for the .308 Win. that I will probably be using.
Since I have put aside my magnum craze (180 Gr. Swift A-Frame at just over 3300 fps from my 25" .300 Weatherby) and returned to the lowly .308 Winchester I will be seeking a good whitetail/caribou bullet for up-coming hunts. Plenty of choices, just have to find a good shooter for shots I hope to make out to five or six hundred yards.
Last year I did not even use handloads - Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silvertips did the job on several critters.
If you don't want to use MatchKings then you might give the Sierra 165 gr GameKing a try for whitetails. I've used it for the last couple of seasons and my father-in-law has used it for the last 30 or so years with the same results- dead deer.
Never hunted caribou but if I was to make an educated guess maybe a 180gr Partition. How big are they? If they're deer sized then the 165 might work also. But I honestly don't know anything about them.
Oh, by the way, the GameKings consistantly group less than .5" out of my Savage 10p Tactical.
I just happened to have rounded up some 165 Game Kings to try. Last year I hunted with 165 Ballistic Silvertips factory loads (made by Nosler I believe) and they were O.K.
I also have been shooting the 165 Scirocco but haven't found a load that groups as well as the 180's in my .308's. Just got some 150 Sciroccos so will try them and also some of the new 168 grain Barnes "X" match bullets that also might make for a good hunting load.
Too many choices, not enough shooting time, but I will give the Sierra's a try at the range. Caribou are about like a really big mulie - they look a lot bigger than they really are.
Let me know how they do.
Been hearing some good things about Swift bullets- but aren't they kinda pricy?
Hope the X-bullets work better for you than they did for me. I tried a box of PMC loaded with 165gr X-bullets and the best I could do was about 1 1/2". I've heard other people say they were really hard to get to shoot well.
Like you said- too many choices and not enough time, money etc etc....
I imagine that you are learning a lot about bullets - and bullet making - at your new job. Hope you enjoy the work and that you and your family are well. There are a lot of super choices, including Warren's products, and we have probably never had it so good. Last year year I ran out of time and went with factories, fact is they did a good job.
We just did a fairly big test (over two cases of ammo) of the .300 WSM and had five shot groups at or under 1/2" at 100 yards with one of George Gardner's superb rifles. That was with Winchester's Supreme ammo in both 180 grain Failsafe and 150 grain Ballistic Silvertip. That is hard to beat, and certainly more than adequate for most hunting. I have never seen Failsafes shoot as well as in the .300 WSM.
You are right learning a bunch at Sierra. I want everybody to know that I wasn't promoting Sierra just because I work there (or was I [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ?!) There are a bunch of really good bullets on the market today- enough different possibilities to make a beginning reloader like myself go crazy. But one thing I do know and I think you will agree is shot placement is far more important than what bullet is used. Too many people think you have to have a super magnum and a premium bullet to kill anything larger than a sparrow. What in the hell did hunters use before they existed? Good old rounds like the 30-30, 30-06 and my favorite the 308. And guess what bullet they were using- Sierra GameKings, Core-Lokts and other "non" premium type bullets. The best thing is they are cheaper to load and easier on the shoulder to shoot than the latest cannon.
I'm not knocking anything than anybody uses but from my standpoint I can't justify stuff like that. But when I go elk hunting next fall in CO- both my 308 and my wife's 243 will be loaded with a "premium" Nosler Partition (just don't tell my boss!!!)
I guess I will promote Sierra since I like the Sierra line for match shooting and for ultra longrange hunting.
When my wife and I go to Colorado for elk, there will be 300 Gr Matchkings in my 338/416 Rigby IMP. As a backup LR gun I will have my 30/378 Weatherby with 220gr or 240Gr Sierra Matchkings and in my carry gun a 7/300 Weatherby that has a 30 " barrel, there will be 168 Gr Matchkings in that one.
Do I like Sierra---Yes
Have my hunting partners and I had success with Sierra bullets out to 2100 yards----Yes we have.
All I can say is, Keep making them Chris and I won't tell ANYONE how good the Matchkings kill game at longrange, honest.