Anyone used the Hornady 162gr SST for Elk?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Phillygunner, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Phillygunner

    Phillygunner Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone used the Hornady 162 grn SST for Elk inside of 500 yards? What were your results/observations?
     
  2. Freedom2live

    Freedom2live Banned

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    Surprised no one has replied
     

  3. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    They are outstanding if you are into chasing wounded elk. Use a premium bullet. There is no excuse to use a frangible bullet for elk at any range in my opinion. They are accurate, but don't hold up well.
     
  4. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the bad rap is concerning the SST's. This is my first year in a 7wsm. My elk was taken at 440yrds, broadside shot. One hit stopped him in his tracks behind the shoulder. Passed through the vitals. Found the bullet in the opposite shoulder blade. Second shot busted the front leg bone below the shoulder blade. The recovered bullet weight was 70.5 grs. The surprising part was the lead separated from the jacket and was 1/2" apart. My dad killed his spike at 540yrds with a .270and 140gr sst's. 2 hits in the shoulder. My brother recovered one bullet in the opposite shoulder but threw it out like a retard. I have no complaint with the bullets at all.

    Keep in mind I have killed many elk with sierra hpbt game kings. They explode and never reach the opposite side. I have never tracked an elk and believe the full expended energy into the vitals instead of passing through the animal is an effective way to drop elk in their tracks. I come from the school of saving meat so I aim behind the shoulder in the vitals. Some might not agree but if an elk goes more than 30' walking and is hit in the vitals the bullet has failed my purpose. I have been lucky enough to always hit the vitals and they drop close. My brother buys over the counter ammo for his '06 and always has to track his elk like 1/2 mile or so. Quite rediculous a Spitzer can take out lungs and they still walk off.

    Just my opinion and experience.......
     
  5. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Just a side note, my gunsmith swears by a-max's for elk. Says it works well long and short range. I was almost convinced till I cut one in half next to an SST. I immediately sold my stock of a-max's. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  6. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    An A-max was created as a target bullet pure and simple. It is accurate, but not made to perform on game. Using it on elk is totally irresponsible when there are well-constructed bullets out there.

    The SST is supposedly an Interlock, but evidently that plastic tip makes it dynamite. I really like Interlocks and Hornady bullets in general, but I have seen them absolutely explode at low velocities on small white-tails. They may work OK if you are going to try to prove something by seeing how far away you can get from an animal before shooting it, but they fail at reasonable ranges.

    Bottom line is use whatever floats your boat, but it leaves me scratching my head when people want to use weak bullets on elk when there are such good ones available.
     
  7. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    ***I'm with you from my experience on deer alone using the SST and the statements above on the bullets he's using IMHO should not be followed just like you have stated. Put a good bonded bullet of the proper caliber into the vitals of a big bull and not some frangible SST, HPBT, or A Max that isn't even designed as a hunting bullet!!! I handload Hornady SP and BTSPs for three different calibers for smaller game and go up to their Interbond for elk sized game with perfect results every time. The one deer and one cow elk I shot one year in Wyoming with SSTs showed terrible results, poor penetration, etc.
     
  8. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Topgun, please explain what you would consider a qualified bullet for elk. I loved the results of the gamekings (not a target bullet) but the ballistic coefficient sucked. The 160gr worked excellent to about 450yrds, but lost too much energy past that. I used them on 8 bulls and none of them went more than 30ft. The last couple years I have wanted to be confident out to 600 yrds. The SST has taken the last 3 of my dads bulls quite effectively. This is the first year I have used them and had no complaint. My thoughts are this....if the bullet hits with 1800 lbs of energy and the bullet fragments then not only has 1800 lbs of energy been applied to the animal, but the wound channel is larger than .75". As far as penetration I have never shot an elk with any bullet that did not pass the vitals and continue to be stopped on the other side inside the skin or shoulder. The other school of thought is to keep the bullet intact by a 'mushroom' shape which I have no objection to. By retaining this mass the bullet weighs enough to keep going. Boring a hole maybe 3 times the original diameter through the animal. If the bullet passes the animal with 20% of it's energy then only 1440lbs of energy was applied. And a skinny wound channel.

    Please know I can only fall back on my own 24 years of hunting elk and what I have personally seen with the people I hunt with. If I am wrong in some way I would be interested what I could do or what bullet I can rely on out to 600 yrds out of a 7mm on elk. I have helped track enough elk blood and deer blood to develop a sharp disagreement with the two holes are easier to track crowd. One in particular we tracked what we thought was 25 gallons of blood. I was the only one with the balls (stupidity) to track that animal accross cliffs on my hands and knees to a place I thought the elk would have fallen hundreds of yards, but instead it went uphill where I couldn't and we never recovered that elk. We mapped a mile and a half on a map later. I watched my dad plug a bull 7 times with a 300h&h moving 3200fps. All seven bullets passed clean through and the bull went 50 yards uphill before it fell and died. Those bullets were grand slams. We never shot them at living animals again. Most of my game king kills were 1 shot kills. Some 2 shot kills, but never 3.

    And to be clear I would never hunt with an a-max even though I know people who have success with them.

    So if you have a suggestion for a bullet let me know, I am willing to take a look. I have wanted to try bergers, but every time I think about it I read on here how they failed someone. I am having a gun built and plan on using bergers in it just to see how they do for myself. I am interested in the accubond long range too, but haven't heard much about how they do on elk. So please give your input. I just never want to track an animal I shot, it would ruin my reputation, and my brother would have a hay day giving me crap. Most of his elk have to be tracked, stupid spitzers.
     
  9. Freedom2live

    Freedom2live Banned

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    Excellent post,

    Look under previous post about berger vld hunting bullet 168gr. Fly good but pencil right thru a buck at 225yd in ny this November. Stay away from them. Some folks say I was suppose to use the target version of berger. Anyway that was the last time I hunt with them.
     
  10. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Not to speak for TopGun, but he referred to good bonded bullets. In a 7mm, the 160gr Accubond would be a great choice. The Accubond LR could potentially be a good choice as well, but it would be nice to see more results on big game. However, most of the results that I have seen from them have been very good.
     
  11. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I didn't get back to this thread quicker. The experience I mentioned happened out in Wyoming with my pre 64 Model 70 in 30-06. I'm 66 and can't shoot past about 350 yards now because my eyes are very bad to the point that my Doc is saying I may need corneal transplants in the future. Anyway, I had used 150 grain Hornady Interbonds on elk with no problem out there and had them with me to fill a cow tag. I had been using their SPs for deer, but decided to try the SSTs out to fill the deer tag I drew. The first night we got there we had less than two hours until dark so I hurried out to get in a quick hunt for deer. I was out for well over an hour and you might know that I ran into a good bunch of elk at less than 150 yards. I had the SSTs in the rifle and when I reached into my pocket to grab an Interbond I found that I had left them at camp. I decided that at less than 150 yards on my tripod that I could drill a good cow with the SSTs and did right through her ribs. All hell broke loose and with animals running and all the dust I lost sight of her and couldn't find any blood when I went to where she had been standing. I called my buddy and we looked until after dark with no luck and had to go back the next morning. It took 3 hours searching the area until we finally found her under a big juniper about 200 yards from where I shot her. When I dressed her out the bullet had completely blown apart and hadn't even fully penetrated the near lung. That lung was torn up enough though that she obviously laid down and bled out, but looked like she had been shot at close range with 00 buckshot! Then a couple days later I had a shot at a medium size mulie at about 125 yards quartering to me, which is a shot I don't like, but had to take it before he got over the hill we were on and out of sight. I put one right on the front of his right shoulder area and he went right down and never twitched. However, when I got up to him he had a hole so big I could put my fist in it. That SST had absolutely exploded after it penetrated a few inches just like on the cow and there was nothing but fragments left when we dressed him out. That was the end of SSTs for me and I tossed them out and have stayed with their SP and BTSPs in all three calibers. I reload 100 grainers in my .243 Sako for antelope, their 117 grainer for my Ruger 25-06 for antelope when it's real windy and once in a while for deer. Most of the time I shoot the Model 70 with 150 grainers for deer and move up to the same weight in their Interbond for elk, as the POI is identical so I don't have to worry about rezeroing. Most of the time the Interbonds will expand well and either be near the skin on the far side or a pass through. All three rifles shoot MOA or less if I do my part and have Leupold scopes on them. From that seaon on I decided I shouldn't have changed what wasn't broken in the first place.
     
  12. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I hear of this happening and wonder if it's a certain lot of bullets or what the scoop is. A year ago my dad drilled his bull at 125 yrds twice with his .270 and 150gr SST's. Both bullets found just under the opposite hide. Some day I would like someone to photograph this so I can really get a better idea what it looks like. I stuck with sierra game kings for 12 years because I could group 1.5" at 200yrds. When the group's opened up and became inconsistent I started to change.
    Just a side note: I was able to lay hands on my new barrel today. The action and stock need fitted, but all I could think about all day was testdriving my new baby.
     
  13. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    ***I don't know the poop on what's happened with others, but with what I saw with my own eyes on those two animals, that was enough of the SSTs for me! I really don't think you can beat their Interbond for elk. Hope you can get out and put the "pedal to the metal" soon, LOL!
     
  14. carpetman2

    carpetman2 Well-Known Member

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    Like some of you have already stated, "I can only go on my own experience". We have taken 19 whitetails with SST's, all one shot kills ranging from 60 yards out to nearly 300. I have taken one mature bull at 407 yards, shoulder shot (fast shot) went through the socket and found it against the hind qtr near the hip socket. 180 grain that weighed 87 grains. This bull went 50 yards and piled. My son took a nice mature bull a couple of years ago with his 06 at 307 yards straight on using 180 grain SST, bullet went through the heart and the bull went 30 yards and crashed. This year I took my bull head on at 300 yards, found the bullet next to the tenderloin against the backbone, 180 grain bullet going 3060fps and weighed 104 grains. That bull dropped in his tracks only to get his front feet going and I hit him again behind the shoulder. /That bullet was found in the opp. side hind qtr. Weighing 89 grains. No blood trail and the bull went 120 yards total. This year my son used my new 270 WSM with 150 gr. SST's and shot a big 6 at 160 yards. First shot behind the front shoulder, and the 2nd in the neck. Bull went 10 yards. Lots of damage in the lungs but hard to say how that would have gone down without the 2nd shot. I too am looking for a better controlled expansion bullet with a good BC and sectional density. We are going to try the accubonds, but stay away from the LR accubonds for now and use the Bergers for the really long shots we may encounter. I know they work LR, as I took my last good bull with the 210's @ 787 yards one shot DRT.