YLike to hear more experiences and data collected from the A-tips on big game. I’d love to use them but can’t seem to find much data on them in terms of terminal performance on game. What is the slowest recommended velocity for impact if indeed they are effective on game?
The 156 EOL is another option that will work I know, but I’m looking to eke out the maximum effective range with the 6.5 PRC. 153 A-tips launched anywhere close to 3,000 fps will go a long ways for sure, but I don’t want to develop a load that I can’t use for anything from woodchucks to elk... (Have been using the 147 ELD-M's)
It is miss understood on long range hunting,,,Questions have been raised by many, whether its the importance of the shot, or doing a humane shot..Many years ago, when long-range hunting was a less-understood subject than it is now, long-range hunters used (and encouraged each other to use) the Sierra Match King .308 220-grain bullet to hunt. See for example https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/ammunition_st_matchbullets_200909/100063. This "first generation" of long-range hunters based their use of the SMK for long-range hunting in part on the military's use of the same bullet for the Mk 248 Mod 1 sniper round (see https://www.americanrifleman.org/co...iping-ammunition-from-vietnam-to-afghanistan/).
For the same reasons (back then) I developed a 2,850 fps load for the SMK 220-grain bullet in my 300 RUM (RL-25, 0.3 MOA three-shot groups). Soon enough I shot a mature bull elk through the lungs at 460 yards with that load. The bullet should have arrived with over 2,500 ft-lbs of kinetic energy at well over 2,000 fps, more than enough to initiate expansion. But the bullet evidently did not hit a rib on entering or exiting, because it failed to expand at all. The bull humped up on impact, and then walked slowly away. About 50 yards away he lay down in the snow to catch his breath. I later found a round bullet-hole sized bright-red blood spot in the off-side indentation where he lay in the snow, reflecting the lack of expansion (as well as the through-and-through rib/lung shot).
I shot the bull in the late afternoon. I trailed him in two-foot deep snow, into a growing blizzard. He dragged me over hill after hill, dropping into the snow several times on the way up each hillside, each time leaving that pin-hole red dot in the middle of the indentation. I never caught up to him. I gave up trailing him around 10 p.m., when the blizzard got bad enough that my GPS receiver failed, and I had to walk miles back to my truck on the strength of a compass bearing. I went back after the storm passed, but never found him. I believe I found one of his antlers while scouting the next year. It was a mile or so from where I had shot him.
I discovered and started loading the Berger 210-grain VLD hunting bullet the following year. I've since taken many animals with Berger VLDs and Elite Hunters, at ranges from 25-525 yards. None of these animals has taken more than a couple of steps after I've shot it.
I've read that the SMK has a very thin skin. I haven't cut one open, so I don't know. Perhaps my experience was an anomaly. (I'm a data scientist by trade, and I do believe in thinking statistically about such things.) But I felt really bad about losing that bull. And every time I watch a Berger bullet drop an animal right where it stands, I become more convinced that the best way not to lose an animal is to shoot it with a bullet that will reliably transfer all of its kinetic energy to the animal's insides upon impact.