Originally Posted by ICANHITHIMMAN
Ranges? Short or long its no matter. Im more interested in the bullets performance at a given range.
Well, since Amy and I decided to take the plunge and move in together/blend families, there hasn't been a bunch of time or money to devote to LRH rifle projects. I was able to swap that crappy tupperware stock out for a decent Boyd's laminate, and there was a VAST improvement in group size. My dad (CSPSgt) has a buddy who bought his wife that exact rifle and had really good luck with the 168 SMKs and 41.3gr of IMR 4895. I loaded some up and was able to keep them into about .75" at 100 yards, and this winter after everything settles down and the rifle projects come back on line I'm going to pillar bed it which hopefully will shrink the groups even more. I bought CSPSgt a chrony for his b-day a couple years ago, but it got misplaced during their recent move so I don't know how fast they were going. I'm guessing something in the 2600fps range.
Amy is a bit of a hunting neophyte, but has a great deal of enthusiam and really loves her rifle. We will be working on LR stuff this winter but for now I wanted to keep things reasonable and get her within 300 yards or so. The first one was a stalk down hill on what we thought were two does, which turned out, as often happens in the wilds of the Shirley Basin, to be a herd of about 15. We got REALLY close, much closer than I expected, and Amy was forced to deal with a possible very close shot at about 50 yards before we were busted. As it turned out two does ran to our right up hill and stopped to check us out, at something over 150 yards, which Amy swung around on the bog pod, still kneeling, and put one right behind the shoulder.
The second one was pretty funny to start out, we got mixed in with a herd of cattle and the antelope didn't seem to know we were there. Amy, CSPSgt, and I put a cow between us and them and tried to close the distance. Once the cow moved the antelope had disappeared! I marvel at their ability to do that in a vast prairie with no cover but what is available with ground contour. They actually had gone down into a drainage, and we were able to set up with the bog pod, Amy sitting on a big rock, and a raking shot (as Elmer would call it) at 167 yards. Amy has decided that she's going to wear a hat next year. She couldn't keep the wind from blowing her hair in front of her right eye, so being the dutiful guide I am I held her hair back so she could shoot, and she perfectly placed the SMK through the boiler room.
One thing I will say about the SMKs is that they are simply devastating. One thing I will say about antelope is they are TOUGH. CSPSgt had killed a yearling doe on Saturday with his .300 RUM and a 220 SMK, which seemed to be simply taken off her feet. Not so with Amy's. We had some problems on Saturday with Amy shooting over several backs, so I cranked the Leupold down one MOA and that did the trick. However, on the first doe we could clearly see the bullet strike what looked to be low and behind. Amy turned to me and said "@W%#@! Why can't I hit an antelope!?!?" to which I replied that, "Well, that one up there is running funny and, oh, there she goes, over on her side!" Lots of cheers and hugs. What happened with the SMK is that it went completely through, and left a palm sized exit wound with a splintered rib and some lung material haning out. You can see from the pic that there was a devastating amount of blood loss. What really got all of us was that she ran so far with such a large exit wound. At the kill site it looked like she had sprayed about 3' of lung blood on the ground before she fell over. And that was after she ran about 100 yards up hill!
The second one did exactly what the fist one did, except she ran about 500 yards with the same kind of wound. Perfectly placed shot, hit a rib going out, right through the lungs, devastating loss of blood, and we saw the bullet hit on the far side of the animal. Again, what though animals!
CSPSgt said that he read somewhere how, as we all know, Sierra does not recommend SMKs for hunting because of the iffy terminal performance, but the actual reason has to do with the fact they are made to be devastating to sniper targets. I believe that latter because they make big, bloody holes on the far side of antelope!