Is a 168gr SMK enough bullet for deer @ 300-400 yds out of a 30-06? If not, what would the maximum range be for correct bullet performance/energy? I'm loading for someone, and am looking for a bullet (that I preferably have) that will work from 0 - 300 or 400 yds. The gentleman who I am loading for probably would have nightmares @ 400 yds, but I'd like to prepare for that distance just in case.
A 168 Match King is enough for deer at that range but, if the furthest your going to be shooting is 400 yards I would suggest using a bullet that will open up better. Now I'm not doggin' the match kings (I use them too) but 300-400 yards isn't all that far and you would be better off with a bullet that will expand more rather than one that will just poke a small hole (unless you hit solid bone). If you want to stick with Sierra bullets I would try a Game King in 165 g. You still have the boat tail and long range performance but in a more expandable version.
I'm loading for someone, and am looking for a bullet (that I preferably have) that will work from 0 - 300 or 400 yds.
What other bullets do you have, that you could to use?
This is what a 168 grain A-max will do to a deer from a 300 WSM at 625 yards.
A 150 or 165 Nosler ballistic tip will get the job done very nice as will a Berger VLD. Most any bullet will work if you shoot them through the spine like the video above. I have killed quite a few deer, around 20, with the 30 cal. 125 Nosler ballistic tips out to 300 yards with my 308 Win at 3050 fps and with my 30X47 HBR at 2850 fps. I have never had a single deer even take a step after taking a front shoulder hit. Bang flop.
That deer wasn't shot in the spine. He was hit directly on the shoulder plate. The bullet took out both front legs and because it hit the bone square it just destroyed the front half knocking hime right off his feet. If you watch closely you can see exactly where the bullet hits. What you see after he falls is the blood running out of the entrance hole, over his body and off his back. Just like you said
I have never had a single deer even take a step after taking a front shoulder hit. Bang flop.
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I have 168 gr. SMKs, 165 gr. Sierra SPBTs, some 180 gr. Sierra SPBTs, and many different types of 150 gr. spitzers. Like I said, I'm looking for a bullets that will work from 0 - 400 yds. if possible. My gunsmith told me to stay away from the Nosler Ballistic Tips, as 100 yds. or under they tend to act like a varmint bullet and fragment.