Why do you use SMK bullets for big game?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by rufous, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. rufous

    rufous Well-Known Member

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    First of all I want to say that I am not at all wanting to start a fight or argument or anything of the kind. I am only trying to learn from your experience.

    I have read many posts over the years by those of you who use Sierra Matchking bullets for big game. From what I have gathered you use them predominantly because of their great accuracy and generally high ballistic coefficients relative to most other more typical big game bullets such as the Nosler Partition and Barnes X. You also apparently have found that they kill quite well when placed well.

    I have never used a SMK on big game. I have shied away from it because of a concern of adequate bullet performance. I would hate to wound and lose an animal because the bullet did not adequately penetrate or expand. Despite your years of favorable posts I confess I still am leery about using the SMK on big game. I shoot a 300 Win Mag for deer, elk and black bear. I really like an exit wound and I really like to shoot for the shoulder in order to minimize tracking. I like to put the animal down on the spot as best I can. That is why I have gravitated towards the Barnes TSX. Fortunately they shoot very well in my gun. I think the BC on this bullet is about 0.480 (based on one shooting session at 1000 yards) which compares favorably to the 180 SMK. The Nosler Accubond lists a BC of 0.588 which exceeds that of the SMK 200. So I guess my major question is this: if you had a 300 Win Mag and wanted to shoot a 200 grain bullet for big game at any yardages from 20 to 1000 and the Accubond shot as well as the SMK would you still pick the SMK? If not why not and if so why so? Would the SMK kill as well as the Barnes X at 20 yards while penetrating paunch or busting shoulders? Would the Accubond perform as well at 1000 yards while penetrating ribs? I ran the numbers comparing the 200 Accubond with the 220 SWK assuming the above ballistic coefficients and a velocity of 3000 for the Accubond and 2850 for the SMK and found the difference in wind drift to be only 1” at 1000 yards while the Accubond was flatter by 20” with an initial zero at 250 yards. The velocity at 1000 yards still favored the Accubond but the energy was greater by 75 ft.lbs for the SMK. Basically no real advantage either way, just a question of accuracy and terminal performance.

    Finally I have been hearing glowing reports about the Wildcat bullets. What makes them such a great choice for big game. Again please keep in mind that I am not exclusively a long range hunter. I have one rifle that I use predominantly for all of my big game hunting and I need for the bullet I am using to perform on any and all shots presented (that I feel confident in taking such that I can place the bullets in the vitals). Thanks so much, Rufous.
     
  2. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I have shied away from it because of a concern of adequate bullet performance

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If deer could communicate with each other on this subject then all of them would shy away from this bullet as well. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


    I will not attempt to handle the majority of your questions since many other members here have lots of firsthand experience and knoledge on the subject that far exceeds mine. (I have never shot a single animal with a SMK.)

    I have never shot a single animal with a Wildcat bullet either but I may be able to help a smidgeon with that question.

    One of the things that seems to make wildcats so wonderful in the field is that the maker works personally with many of his customers to put together a bullet that is built for the job it will serve. The exterior design, the interior design, jacket thickness, point shape and many other facets of the bullet are tailored for the customer and what the customer will need it to do. Richard makes so many things possible that lumping all wildcat bullets together is actually incorrect. His 68 grain .30 cal bullet would fail miserably on an elk shoulder and his .065 thick jackets would most likely bore a worm hole in a rockchuck. But when you use the bullets he makes for the game they were designed for at the velocities they were designed to work in you will end up with a consistant high quality missle that does it's part when you do yours.

    In short, if you want a tank he builds you the same tank over and over. If you want a sports car he builds you the same sports car over and over. And the warrantee CAN'T be beat.

    (So I have heard. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif)
     

  3. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    I know alot of people here swear by the matchkings but i've had one good luck spell and two bad ones. I saw a 190gr hit a deer at 75 yrds or so and blew a hole the size of a popcan out the other side. But I saw that same shot different deer and we followed her for 1/2 mile before we lost a blood trail. Same Day I shot a 140 class whitetail at 350 yrds. Also a no finder after following the blood trail for 200 yrds or so with same problem of not being able to find any more blood or deer. But it just came to me that aanother friend of mine are using them out of a 257roberts and he's been having awesome performance. In fact he shot a 151 1/16 in. whitetail at 240 yrds and found him dead as a door nail. Oh those 190 were out of a win mag also.
     
  4. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]


    If deer could communicate with each other on this subject then all of them would shy away from this bullet as well. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif




    [/ QUOTE ]

    This is a great statement. For LRH hunting this year I loaded up 240 gr. SMK's for my 30-378 with a 28 inch barrel and two inch brake. I for one would not want to be on the recieving end of this bullet. It's got 25% more mass than a 180 grain bullet.
     
  5. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    For a long time I believed SMK's shouldnt be used for big game hunting. On a hunt about a week ago I was proven wrong. Bill Bailey shot a decent 8 point buck at 503yds with a 240gr SMK out of a 300rum, the bullet definantly didnt fail. Here is the buck and the exit wound, the bullet traveled from the onside shoulder all the way back to the offside hip and exited.
    [​IMG]

    here is a pic of the final shot, it was broadside through both shoulders
    [​IMG]

    As for the Wildcats I do believe these bullets fill a gap in bullets that needed to be filled. I am constantly amazed at the product Richard Graves turns out and working with him great. I have only shot one animal larger than a pdog with his bullets but I was amzed at the job they did.

    I shot a coyote at 200yds with the 270Allen mag and a 169.5 heavy jacketed ULD RBBT bullet. The bullet struck both shoulder blades and exited in a hole the size of canteloupe. Definantly not a pelt gun /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    As far as the SMK's go I do think there are some instances where the bullets do not preform well, small game at low velocities I think would present a problem.

    Hit bone and thick hide with a little bit of speed behind them and you dont have much to worry about. I would be interested to see what the SMK would do on a straight meat hit, no bone contact.

    take it easy
    steve
     
  6. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with lerch that you need speed and something to force it to open. I just found out that the buck my friend shot was hit in the shoulder along with that other one that left a popcan sized hole was also hit in the shoulder. You hit shoulder and youll probably be safe but I would still lean towards ballistic tips or amax's. Not saying the matchkings wont kill stuff and they can leave nasty exit holes. But I've never had a ballistic tip fail or amax. Of course I dont like exit holes and my favorite load for deer hunting is a 87grain vmax sent down range out of a 243. Both of the deer killed with my gun this year never even thought about moving. One was bedded down at 100yrds and just flopped over and did the funky chicken. The other one was hit at 250yrds and dropped and rolled head over heels for 150yrds down the hill before it got lodged up in a tree. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  7. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I would be interested to see what the SMK would do on a straight meat hit, no bone contact.

    take it easy
    steve

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Zee wish is my command. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Thats going to leave a mark.
     
  9. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Cause ,

    They go where I point them , and I point them at the proper place to bring about rapid expiration. That way I don't have to look for them in extended sessions.

    So far ,my experience says that "if shot through both lungs" my game will expire within 3 to 4 seconds . Yes , I realize that in that seeming small amount of time they can go a long ways ,but , it is not further than a small search will reveal .

    If the meat is not paramount then put one well executed shot in its neck just behind the ear. Then,go load it up. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    At long range it is my intent to drop it where it stands or miss cleanly. Small target zones will aid in this and besides if you are involved to this extent you are probably well versed enough that there is not going to be a " miss '

    Jim
     
  10. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    OUCH!!!!!!!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  11. POP

    POP Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]


    I have never used a SMK on big game. I have shied away from it because of a concern of adequate bullet performance. Rufous.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Smart boy!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
     
  12. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    What amazes me is that last year I would have been on the "SMK's are no good for game" side of this debate. Now after seeing what those 240gr 30cal did to BJ's buck I definantly think there is a place for them in big game hunting. I would still rather use a bullet that is designed for hunting but when a SMK is all that is offered with the high BC's we all want you just have to shoot what you have to shoot. This is where WildCat bullets fill the gap /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    I dont think the SMK is great for people trying to kill varmints at long range. I would think that a 140 6.5 bullet or a 110gr 6mm would simply zip right through a pdog or chuck at 1000yds. But then again I have never tried them at those ranges so I am just guessing. I think Uncle B and GoodGrouper used SMK's for their 1500yd kills, maybe they will tell us if there was any expansion.

    I think as long as you have some decent velocity behind these bullets you will be great on big game, the pics prove it.
     
  13. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Smart boy

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Do you care to share your experiences with a properly placed SMK failing to do its job? Maybe a picture of a deer you had to shoot 3 times to put down that had 3 pencil holes through it or a deer with a softball sized entry wound because the SMK blew up on a shoulder shot and never got inside to break bones.

    By all means expand on your position. Your opinion counts and will be respected but not a jab like "smart boy" after we have had testimony and pictures to back up the other side.

    Lets get it out in the open. This forum is all about sharing information. If there is something we should know then speak up. Why do you feel the SMK is a poor choice. And don't tell me that there are other bullets out there. Tell us why the SMK does not or will not perform well for you.

    Thanks.
     
  14. POP

    POP Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Smart boy

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Do you care to share your experiences with a properly placed SMK failing to do its job? Maybe a picture of a deer you had to shoot 3 times to put down that had 3 pencil holes through it or a deer with a softball sized entry wound because the SMK blew up on a shoulder shot and never got inside to break bones.

    By all means expand on your position. Your opinion counts and will be respected but not a jab like "smart boy" after we have had testimony and pictures to back up the other side.

    Lets get it out in the open. This forum is all about sharing information. If there is something we should know then speak up. Why do you feel the SMK is a poor choice. And don't tell me that there are other bullets out there. Tell us why the SMK does not or will not perform well for you.

    Thanks.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sir:

    From a personal standpoint I can not offer any experiences on Matchkings and their performance. Now as far as my friends go I do have some. Some were acceptable but most were disasters.
    One 5x5 bull elk shot in the shoulder at about 75 yards or so with a Matchking. Have no idea what happened since it was never recovered. Individual gave up after about 3 miles of tracking in knee deep snow. This is one of the unacceptable examples. The other was a Matchking from a 308 on an antelope buck at about 200 yds. The whole jacket was found under the NEAR hide and the lead portion exploded the lungs. This was barely acceptable to the hunter and totally unacceptable to me. My buddy still has the jacket of that Matchking. Again fellas these are just some of the examples that I have seen. Anyway my philosophy is simple. Why use them if Sierra says not to (They should know they make them) and at the same time there is a plethora of phenomenal hunting bullets out there. In my opinion this is just asking for trouble.