Shot placement with SMK and Berger

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by CPerkins, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. CPerkins

    CPerkins Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    For years I have shot the Sierra 165 gr, HPBT in my 300 wm and have switched to the 168 SMK this year. I have a new lease that can offer me a 500 yards plus shot from a few stands and I liked the higher BC. Most of my hunting will be done where shots will be in the 30 - 200 yards range. My question is where should I shoot for on whitetails. Do I need to shoot for the shoulder to make sure the bullet opens up, or should I avoid the shoulder so the bullet has adequate penetration?

    I would also ask the same question in regards to the 115 gr Berger VLD in a 25-06 rem.

    Thanks for your help. I almost chickened out and went to buy a box of the 165s to go back to yesterday. They were out so I guess it will be the SMK this year. Kind of glad they didn't have them. i have seen the results on paper and can't wait to try them in the field. I just want to make sure that I know what to expect from them.
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Don't worry they will open up .

    To avoid to much meat loss I would shoot behind the sholder
    in the chest.

    The SMK will probably loose it's jacket even then but dead is dead.

    Just my 2 cents worth

  3. Eric Stecker

    Eric Stecker <b>SPONSOR</b>

    Jul 27, 2007
    Berger on bone


    During our testing of the Berger VLD (including the 25 cal 115 gr) we wanted to make sure that the bullets would not blow up upon impact with bone at high velocity. To test this we set up several animals that had already been taken so that we could shoot them through the shoulder and hip bones (doing an autopsy on a hip bone shot is no picnic let me tell you).

    All shots were taken from 10 inches to 5 feet away from the animal (to insure highest impact velocity and a good bone hit). In every case the bullet penetrated through the bone and created a wound channel just like it would have if it had not hit bone.

    The one difference was that even though the entrance hole was small (bullet size) the area around the impact of the bone was shattered (about the size of a nickel) and their were bone fragments within the 15" to 18" wound channel cavity. The good thing is that many shots were taken and not one of them blew up on the surface.

    Another good result is the way the Berger VLD works once it gets inside the animal the vast majority of the tissue damage was to the internal organs. There was a blood spot on the other side of the internal cavity and some damage but for the most part the meat was not affected.

    Since these tests we have received several reports from hunters who have hit bone (on purpose or otherwise) and have experienced the same result. I am confident in relaying that with the Berger VLD go for good shot placement (as with any hunting bullet) but squeeze the trigger with the confidence that a bone hit will put the animal down quickly and not destroy a bunch of meat.

  4. Cheyenne19

    Cheyenne19 Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    can I call you Carl?
    I'd stay in the ribs. Both of these bullets have relatively thin jackets and should open up fine.
  5. reltor

    reltor Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    I switched this year to 165 Hornady SST

    I shot a bunch of muleys with 168MK's and last year had one turn 90 degrees inside the animal. It still died promptly, but reduces my confidence on angling shots. I am hoping the SST's are more predictable.