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Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

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Unread 12-06-2005, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: El Reno, OK
Posts: 1,497
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

While I will agree with you Pop that some results from game shot with SMK's is unexceptable, what bullet has ever preformed perfect 100%of the time.
My first buck I shot with a 130gr failsafe from a 270win. The bullet simply penciled straight through with zero expansion.
My second buck I went with a 130gr partition, bullet that many people consider the go to bullet. Same result as the failsafe, 1/4" entry 1/4" exit.
Both bucks were found relativly easily but still the exit wounds surprised me as well as the lack of blood.
After this I switched to shooting a 125gr ballistic tip from a 300 RUM at 3940fps. Now this bullet guaranteed me either a complete devastation of internal organs due to shrapnel and energy dissapation or a exit wound I should be able to stick my foot in.
Bill Bailey shot a buck with this load at 440yds and the bullet did a lot of damage but the exit wound was only 2" wide. Now I know this was longer range and the bullet had slowed down a bit but still this bullet surprised me.

What i am getting is that a enormous task is placed on a bullet manufacturer. They must design item that will preform under a extreem array of velocities. they have to be strong enough to go from a static postion to moving several thousand feet per second and not vaporize yet fragile enough not to simply zip through soft tissue. they must Hit a object and not explode on contact or we will be mad, but then it must penetrate at least into the vitals while expanding or again we will get mad. It must be precisly made enough to deliver repeatable accuracy for the average sportsman, not to mention a bunch of perfectionist jerks like us here [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] And then it must be affordable to all.

That is quite a bit to ask of a little object going several times the speed of sound so I dont think we should be amazed if these little puppies sometimes dont act the way we think they should.

Personally I like Wildcat bullets because I cant call nosler or sierra or hornady and tell them what I want and get a bullet designed for me back, let alone one with match quality BC's built into a hunting bullet. And I like traveling off the beaten path also.

Just my opinion and it probably aint worth the spit I used saying it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

take it easy
Steve Elmenhorst
Third Generation Shooting Supply
"Products for shooters, by shooters"
monday-friday 8:30-5:30 CST
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Unread 12-06-2005, 04:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 230
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

I would be interested to see what the SMK would do on a straight meat hit, no bone contact.

[/ QUOTE ]

864yd 2070 impact velocity, 2280 impact energy, 240MK between ribs going in, between ribs going out. Liver mash in between. Exit shown, entrance cal sized hole.
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Unread 12-06-2005, 08:26 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

As someone new to using SMKs on game this season I just had to weigh in with my experiences.

First to answer the question: I use them because they shoot really well from my rifle(s) and because they have killed in dramatic fashion everything I have shot with them.

I also will correct an error I made in a post a few weeks back about a doe my cousin shot with a 250grn SMK from my 338 Kahn. I said in the post that I got a 6" dia entrance and no exit at 188 yards. Well I was wrong. First the kid shot the wrong deer and I was not looking at it when he shot. He said the side the hole was in was the side he shot. Someone else skinned that part of the deer. I went back a day or two later and looked at the remains. There was an entrance hole on the other side.....just a small caliber sized hole, then the 6" exit on the other side.

Next, I shot a doe with the same setup at 689 yards in about the same place with about the same results. Little hole going in, great big hole going out, chunks of lung and meat scattered around.

Last, for those who wonder about performance when bone is hit. I shot a very large bodied (250lb+) buck in Kansas last week with the same setup. He was broadside at 360 yards. The 250 grain SMK hit him square in the shoulder and exited through the opposite shoulder. The entrance hole was about 1" the exit hole was about 3", both shoulders were were completly devastated. The buck dropped in his tracks and did not even kick.

I have some bullets ordered from Wildcat Bullets and will probably use them next year. But from my experience this season I will not hesitate to continue to use SMKs for at least deer sized game. I don't know about smaller calibers, but 250 grain .338 cal bullet sure packs a punch!
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Unread 12-06-2005, 08:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jackson MI
Posts: 247
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

POP: "Why use them if Sierra says not to..."

Actually what Sierra says is that the MatchKing bullets "are not designed" for hunting. That isn't to say that they won't work. Remember the political realities that Sierrra faces. They provide most, if not all, of the ammo used by the military sniper teams. If they flaunt the devistating effectivness of the round, instead of it's superb accuracy, they could force the government into switching to another supplier for sniper ammo to in order to apeese those who feel we are compeled to kill humanly without undo destruction. That is not in their best business intrest. So they flaunt the accuracy and the terminal effects are downplayed. But rest assured, if they wern't effective, Uncle Sam's Misguided Children wouldn't be throwing them around the big sand lot across the pond.

1) you can't kill what you don't hit,
2) They work according to most who have tried them.
"When working with the public, there are two things you need to remember. - 1. The public is a bunch of ignorant morons. - 2. YOU and I are one of them!"
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Unread 12-06-2005, 10:48 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,519
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

Thanks POP. That is a response a guy can stand behind. I will state again that I have never shot a single animal with a SMK. I have however read many many posts from hunters that I trust to be honest (as I'm sure you are being as well) that have cleanly killed more animals with SMKs than I will ever kill in total. Their trust in the overall performance gives me the confidence to build hunting loads around this brand and style of bullet.

So, in short, even though I don't agree with your assesment of the SMK I can respect your viewpoint. Thanks for increasing your answer. It is after all about sharing information. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
GRAVITY. It's not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
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Unread 12-07-2005, 11:01 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Hermiston, Oregon
Posts: 2,030
Re: Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

I have shot a big black bear with a 200g SMK at about 250 yards with a 300 RUM. The bullet entered behind the front shoulder, and was lodged in the offside hide. The bullet totally lost its jacket, the lead core exploded everything inside. The bear went 4-5 feet only because he slid on his nose at the shot. The bullet ended up weighing something like 30grains. I still have it. It just looks like the cup of a jacket. Pretty poor performance for a bullet if you ask me, but if you asked that 450lb bear, I dont think he would have had anything bad to say about it. Now with that said, I was NOT using that 200g SMK on elk. I can have a shot at elk from 50 yards out to 1000 yards where I hunt. If that bullet broke up that bad and only at 250 yards, without hitting major bone, what do you think would happen to a shoulder shot elk at 100-200 yards?? I dont know, I dont want to find out either. I switched to a 200g AB for elk size game and have not looked back. I do think for varmints, antelope, and deer they are a superb bullet that will cause rapid expansion. At least from my single experience. I wont say I wont use them again, but I wont use them on anything over about the size of a big bear. Oh and the main reason I used that load was it shot a 4 inch group at 800 yards. You gotta be able to hit what your aiming at to kill it.
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Unread 12-07-2005, 11:17 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 460

As far as the smaller whitetails in my region, matchkings will certainly do the job. I don't think I would take a shoulder shot on an elk though. I shot this doe at 7 this morning. 308 175 matchking 260 yards. Deer was moving towards 4:00, bullet entered right in front of its right shoulder then, as you can see, totally devastated the left shoulder.
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