7mm 168 smk. Who's used this on elk sized game?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Coyboy, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Ive' been on a load development marathon the last 2 days for my 280AI I built this summer. I had some fire forming loads that were shooting into the .2-.3 @ 100yards, but things change fast when you start full power hunting loads.

    160 accu-bonds were at about the 2875 fps range. Groups
    were generally about 2.5 inches at 300 yards.

    150 SMK were in the 2950 fps range. Groups around 1.75 inches at 300.

    Well with 4 formed brass left out of the 50 I started with, I thought I would try the 168smk. I had already done my pressure/velocity testing with the bullet and powder, so I knew were the max was. I backed that down a grain and loaded them up. Velocity ran right at 2750fps.

    I shot 3 at the target, and checked. Only 2 holes, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif closer inspection showed 2 bullets went into the same hole. So I hit the bench and fired the last round. Back to the target, only 2 holes, closer inspection showed that bullet had gone in the same hole as the other 2. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    The 4 holes measured .812" center to center, and the 3 measured .150" center to center. This was at 300 yards. I could hardly believe it. Never shot a group like that before. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    So do I have an effective elk load out to 800 yards? I have a bull tag and plan on shooting a mature animal. This will also be a deer load, but I have no questions about its effectiveness on deer.

    At that velocity should I carry some AB for a closer shot?

    Do I dare try a high shoulder shot? or just ventalate them with a double lung hit?

    (edited)After checking ballistics at JMB, maybe I should try the 162 grain a-max, that 168smk looks pretty pitiful.

    Any advice?
     
  2. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    I just shot a hog at 350 yards neck entrance head exit out of a 7mm STW with the 168 gr SMK. My wife also took a white tail at 326 yards with it using the 168 SMK.

    I know Darryl Cassel has shot Elk out to and beyond 1000 yards with 30 cal SMK.

    I would suggest trying to shoot out to 800 yards and every 100 yards inbetween if possible to get real world data. Some software programs will calculate to a degree the trajectory path but nothing beats real world data.

    Of course bullet placement will play the utmost importence if you take a poor shot you'll end up with poor results.
     

  3. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Im pretty curious as to how the 168g VLD will work on elk and bears myself. Im loading them to 2950fps out of my 7mm RM. They are proving to be .5MOA performers to 700 yards so far. I know they have the energy to bring home elk and bears, I'm just not sure if that bullet is tough enough to get through the shoulders and what not. I might have to shoot behind the shoulder, or try for the high shoulder shot. These 168's seem a little on the frangible side already from what I've seen. I"m not to sure if its gonna be the best bone crushing bullet out there, I just hope it works. I shot a bear with a 200g SMK at 250 yards with, MV 3200fps, the bullet entered point behind shoulder and traveled through the vitals and was lodged in the offside shoulder. That bullet shed a lot of weight, biggest piece found weighed 25g out of 200g to start with. I would say thats horrible performance for a bear hunting bullet, or an elk bullet. That lead me to work up a load around the 200g AB. No troubles with that bullet penetrating. I guess the only way to find out if the 168g will work is to shoot a few animals with them and come up with your own field data. I was looking at all the BC's for 7mm target bullets and it looks as though Berger is about the highest. At least for 168g weight. The SMK does not even come close. The 162g AMAX doesn't have to bad a BC, not to far behind the 168g VLD anyways.
     
  4. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Well I loaded up the 160AB with a different powder and I am going to shoot for groups when the wind fades. It's at the 3000fps mark. I had it up to 3100 with no real apparent pressure problems, but when I'm passing 7mm rem mag velocities, it's wise to back it off.

    I'm just not sold on the 7mm smk for big elk, and I don't want to make this trip an experement. If I was shooting 200smks out of a 30 I would feel fine.

    I'm going to work on this Accu-Bond until I find a combination I like. Or until it hoplessly frustrates me and I give up.

    I scoped my 300win I built just in case, weight is an issue with that gun however.

    rem 25-06, Them bc's is what got me trying to stay with the AB. the 168 smk looks kind of pittiful at .494. I may have to order some 162 A-max, I sure like the 6.5mm 140gr.
     
  5. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    I am probly going to load up the 160g AB for my big bull tag. For spikes and cows, I think pretty much any bullet will work. I am leaning towards you in agreement that the 168g smk or vld for that matter isnt really what I am looking for elk. I can tell you though that a 200g smk is still on the iffy side for me on elk. I would stick with the 220g or 240g. As far as these 168's berger vld's, I think I'll stick with them for a while. I might mess with the 162g amax just to see what I get for accuracy, and there $10 a box cheaper, without sacrificing to much in BC. I always liked red tips anyways!!
     
  6. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    [ QUOTE ]
    That bullet shed a lot of weight, biggest piece found weighed 25g out of 200g to start with.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm curious as to know what happened to the bear and if he is still alive? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Wound channel or not if it killed him it worked didnt it? Hind sight is always 20/20 but after-the-fact considerations hold little value either.

    If the bullet killed him I'd say it worked. Entered around the shoulder and lodged into the other shoulder passing through the crtical vitals. In my opinion shot placement plyed more of a point then bullet performance.

    I'm sure the bear wasnt thinking wow that didnt exit my other shoulder?

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  7. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    This subject has been beat to death here and other places....the answer is you will get 20 different answers, but for my answer....DC, Dave King, myself and several others have shothundreds of animals with MK at close and long ranges with great success....your 168 MK will do the job....especially with that accuracy, your shot placement can be surgical.
    But, shooting is 99% mental. If you don't have confidence in that load, then load something you do.
     
  8. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Cowboy,

    My 280AI shoots the 160 gr AB, 62.0 grs RL22, R-P case, and Federal GM215M primer with excellent accuracy.

    JD338
     
  9. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Chris, my only concern with the smk load was it's low starting velocity. I've done more work with the 168 smk and now have it running 2950fps.
     
  10. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    JD338, I searched some old post and found your load. I loaded up the 160AB with 61gr of REL 22 and WLRM primers.

    I shot a 5 shot group with it last evening at 300 yards, they went into 1.70 inches, @ 3025fps.

    I was pretty satisfied with that, but may tweak it a little to see if it will tighten up.
     
  11. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    I surely would not use the 162 amax on elk. it may work in a lung shot but my opinion is that if you hit a bone, the bullet may well explode and you´ll end up with an injured animal running or limping away.
     
  12. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    Actually the bear is on my wall, so I would say it killed him. Its not exactly what I would call good performance though for a bear bullet, in my opinoin. I dont want a bullet to retain 20% of its weight when it didn't even hit heavy bone. What if I would have hit that bears shoulder? Would the bullet have broke through it and got to the vitals, probly, but who really knows. Im just saying that for the fact that I usually aim for shoulders, only reason I hit this bear behind the shoulder because he was trotting. Me personally, I want a bullet for elk and bears that will be able to break through both shoulders and still exit. To me, thats great bullet performance on those size critters. I just dont want to shoulder shoot an elk with the wrong bullet and let the chase begin.....
     
  13. BillLarson

    BillLarson Well-Known Member

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    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    I`ve shot 168`s out of a 300win.mag.at over 3000 ft/sec.running 5 x 5 bull elk at 225 yds...down with first shot thru the chest...entry hole .3 exit 3"...he was hyped up..tried to get up...thru the neck...in .3 out 5"...I`ve also shot deer thru the chest...killed good...no more meat damage than factory loads.OMHO
     
  14. daveosok

    daveosok Guest

    Re: 7mm 168 smk. Who\'s used this on elk sized game?

    You want a bullet that'll exit both shoulders on an elk or bear...I suggest ya pick a 338/408 or some varient of that combo in 300 grainers or better yet a 50 cal. Asking that of a 7mm or 30 cal in the heaviest of bullet weights is asking for trouble. If you do however manage to make a shoulder shot at 800 the animal will most likely be disabled enough to allow a follow up shot but imo thats still a poor decision to make at 800 yards if a better shot does not present itself.

    Any bullet at 800 yards shouldnt be placed in the shoulders if thats the only shot you have to take then you should wait for a more opportune shot even if it means waiting.

    At 800 yards if placed in the right area the SMK's and Berger's will do what is needed of them.

    This all centers around shot placement and if you have the opportunity to make a good shot.

    If you have a gun that is capable of shooting half moa at 800 then you have enough precision to make a heart/lung crtical shot.

    I recently did some load development with my 300 wsm and shot at 800 yards it was close to moa. With the 190 grain bergers in southern white tail country the shock value if placed close to the vitals will probably net a kill be it some tracking will be involved it would still work.

    However I wont take that shot until I can get it under 8 inches I'd presonally like to see 4 to 5 inches even 6 inches for a more comfortable shot.

    This is just my opinions and I aint calling anyone out on it just an observation and personal preference.

    Dave