300 Berger or 300 SMK for hunting?

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by Yrcan, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    Hello guys.

    I am preparing for this years big deer hunt, I have a bag limit of 52 red deer, and have developed some loads for my 338LM. I plan on using 300 grs Berger OTM or/and 300 grs SMK.

    I have read alot about the use of these bullets here in the US, and I shot some deer last year with the OTM with good results. But my barrel is loosing speed as it is being worn out, and I am afraid that the bullets will not perform as wanted at long range.

    Can anyone tell me which is the better bullet for hunting deer at 1000 yards? I know it depends on shotplacement, but I have never been a big fan of shoulder shots, as they make quite a mess. At normal distances up to 400 meters, I shoot high and clip the spinal cord, which has a good effect, dropping them in their tracks. But at 1000+ it is hard to predict a shot like that, and I'll rather go for a shot in the lungs, worst case mid to high shoulder.

    I will do most of my hunting using my 300 winmag and 230 grs Bergers, and maybe there is plenty of energy in that bullet for a 1000 yard shot, but I kind of like to belive that the 338 will do a better job. I guess I'll find out ;)

    So if anyone has first hand experience with the two bullets in question, please comment :)
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have taken game with the 300 SMK, 300 OTM and 230 OTM. I feel out to 1000 yards you will be fine even with a shoulder shot. I do not use the shoulder for point of aim. I prefer the crease behind. This has been a great placement for putting game down for me. But at longer distances I feel all of the fore mentioned bullets would pass a shoulder hit as well.

    Jeff
     
  3. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    I shoot both the 300gr Hybrid and SMK in my 338LM. I only used the Berger for hunting this past season. I have experienced no problems with them putting deer down between ranges of 600 to 1000 yards. I anticipate I will continue to use the Bergers for future hunts and may try the new 300 Nosler Custom Competition just for comparison. Consider buying those bulk boxes with your tag count.:D Hope this helps.
     
  4. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

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    Assuming you have a 1-10 twist I would use the Berger 300 Gen 1 Hybrid or 300 Elite Hunter over the 300 OTM.

    I have found the OTM too hard at Lapua/Edge speeds for good consistent terminal performance at range.

    If you have a tighter twist that can help terminal performance a little.
     
  5. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    I have 1:10 twist yes, 32" barrel. But it has 4200 rounds through it now, and it has lost about 50 m/sec since it was new.
    I only have the 300 OTM gen 2 bullet, and 300 SMK. Is the Sierra harder than the Berger?

    I might just stick to my 300 win mag, there is no need to go past 1000 yards to kill the deer I'm hunting for, although I took one at 1254 yards last year. Hit it just behind the shoulder, making a tennisball size exit. It walked 40 yards and was dead.

    My average range for shooting deer is about 3-500 meters, and then the 300 win mag will be plenty.
    I have the new 220 grs lapua OTM L-Scenar loaded up and verified, it groups better than the Bergers, but the Bc is way lower. I have found it to be .0639 in my rifle. Lapua will release their dopler radar results in September.
    The lapua bullets is good for hunting, according to Erkki at Lapua. We'll see ;)
     
  6. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

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    The Scenars I have used & heard about being used are extremely hard.

    Their terminal performance kinda makes the 300 OTM look like an Amax.....

    The new ones may be different ?

    I found them to be extremely accurate but lacking a wee bit in BC.

    Having had that many rounds through it the throat might be rough enough to give the Bergers a bit of a hurry up & make them more aggressive in terminal performance ?

    I think the OTM Berger is harder than the SMK , the jacket is thicker on the OTM.
     
  7. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Kiwi Greg.
    That was the answer I was looking for. I will load some SMK's tomorrow and go way beyond my previous loads and see if I can speed them up. The Bergers may have to be seated deeper in the cartridge to gain more speed, since the OAL has changed dramatically. When the barrel was new, my max OAL was 97mm with the Bergers. Now it is 103mm. And I am still not in the lands ;) But since the SMK has a different shape, I might hit the lands and speed them up. I will try 93-94 and 95 grs of Viht N570, and measure the head with a micrometer tomorrow, after firing. My accuracy load has allways been 89 grs of 570, giving my 855 m/sec, but now I get 830 m/sec. 93 grs of 570 behind the OTM was only 838 m/sec yesterday, and that is slower than anything I have. Last year they were 883 m/sec, using the same charge.

    I have ordered a new barrel, same as this one, but with a 1:9 twist. Lothar Walter, SS, Match, 32" long and 1.10 inches at the muzzle. It will not be ready until december, and then the hunt is over.

    Thanks for your input guys, it is allways a pleasure :)
     
  8. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

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    The 1-9 twist should enhance terminal performance with the gain in RPM.

    My original Edge with its 1-9 & plenty of rounds through it pushes the OTMs very well for the current owner & their terminal performance is superb even on our small Sika Deer out to 1000+, they are being pushed fairly hard :)

    1.10" at the muzzle would make my 375s look like soda straws :D
     
  9. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    Hehe, it is a heavy rifle, it weighs 32 lbs including the silencer. When using the Vektor muzzle brake, it kicks like a 223, and I can easily spot myself and see the trace when I shoot at 500 meters and out.

    I really like it, but would be awsome to have a bit more power. My next barrel will be chambered in 338LM Imp, and throated for 300 grs OTM/Elite Hunter. Will be the one and only here in Norway :D
     
  10. Kiwi Greg

    Kiwi Greg Well-Known Member

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    LOL that is heavy, recoil wouldn't be an issue un braked or suppressed.

    I was getting close to 3100 with my 338 LM Imp with 33" barrel :cool:

    N570 made it go very well, it is back to 3030 now, getting old but it still shoots mint :)
     
  11. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    Oohhh, that is sweet. If I can get close to 3100 fps, I can probably shoot at my 2860 meter target, which is out of reach now :)
    We have big limitations regarding big bore calibers in Norway, and 375 CT and such are hard to get legal. So a pumped up 338 is the way to go, and so far, I have shot it with success out to 2200 meters.

    I won the Norwegian 600 yard UNL Championships with my 338LM this year, it has been a very accurate rifle, with 300 grs Scenar. I have 42 reloadings on my Lapua and Norma brass, using a FL Redding die, my chamber is real tight. Less than 1/100 mm difference on a fired cartridge and a full sized one. Hope the chamber in the Imp will be the same, it is the same smith, so maybe :)

    I was in NZ in 2001 and hunted deer, the guide was not very pro, but I shot a doe in the end, using a 30-30 win with open sights. The original hunting rifle came apart the forst day of hunting. I did not bring my own rifle as I was there on other business. This was on the north island, 3 hours from the ferry. Do not remember the name of the place, but there was some caves with Glow worms, Waitomo or something. Hunting from the horseback was great, cowboy style ;)

    Would like to take a new trip, using my own rifle, and shooting a big red stag. Maybe someday.
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    At your velocity range, the SMK will offer more consistant expansion at ranges over 800 yards and especially at ranges over 1000 yards compared to the OTM. As mentioned the Gen 1 or hybrid hunter may offer a bit more expansion consistency but the OTM is a harder bullet.

    I use them in my 338 Allen Magnum as the standard bullet and have never seen any problems with expansion out to well past 1500 yards but that is with 500-600 fps more velocity at hand which makes a big difference.

    The 300 gr SMK has lost a bit of SEXINESS with the long range crowd but its still a very potent bullet choice, especially for big game hunting at long range.
     
  13. Yrcan

    Yrcan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input, Kirby, I am convinced the 300 SMK is my bullet of choice.
    I have loaded up some ammo, and test shot it out to 1250 meters. Mv is 2933 fps, using 96 grs of Viht N570. That is not too bad.

    Will test some more tomorrow, and try to film some hits at long range. Hunting season starts next sunday, with a bag limit of 52 red deer. I will try to get some kills on video this year.
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    At that velocity you will get very impressive terminal performance for sure!!!

    Have fun.