Is a 168gr SMK enough bullet for black bears @ 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.
My hunting pard and I tried using the 168 SMK from our .308's on game 12 years ago or so. It didn't work out real well for us. Some complete penetration with what appeared to be zero expansion, others essentially blew up on contact. This was on pronghorn, mule deer and some smaller predators & varmints. Great target bullet but at .308 Win velocity it didn't seem to be a very good hunting bullet. For us. Granted, we didn't use them on black bear.
Yet, I've heard from other guys who have had great results from that bullet.
Personally I'd go with something else, almost anything else. A 165 gr Nosler Partition comes to mind, or one of the many other quality .30 cal 165/168 gr hunting bullets.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: 168gr SMK?
I have used the SMK's on bears and other game, the 168-190 specifically with very inconsistent results.
I would suggest a minimum of 168 ballistic tip. The BC is higher also. Dont over look the 165 ACCUBONDS.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
Sierra specifically says that SMK's are not hunting bullets. Although many use them with great success. There are many of great hunting bullets out there that are equally as acurate.....ballistic tips, e-tips, accubond.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
A 30-06 throwing a 168 grain bullet at 400 yards will work on black bears. Bullet selection is the problem.
Everybody has there own selection on type of bullets. I prefer the vlds, ballistic tips and sst for higher expansion vs the harder bullets that are more consistent for passthrough like accubond, interbond, barnes...