regarding hunting with sierra match king and 300RUM

Dr. John

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2002
I have a question regarding hunting with the Sierra Match King. I currently shoot these (190gr) in my 300 Remington Ultra Mag Sendero. I get excellent accuracy (haven't even spent time working up loads yet....just straight out of the Hornady manual). I have read that these are excellent for long range hunting. at what range can these bullets be used? What would be the minimum yardage that would make this bullet fail? In other words, I may need to work up some loads for a high performance hunting bullet for shots which may be closer.
I have seen deer taken at 647 yards with the Berger 190 gr bullet out of a 300 Ultra wildcat. A few members on here have taken Elk out to 2000 plus yards with the 200 grain and heavier bullets.
I personally shoot Berger 180 gr 7mm bullets and have had great sucess.
They perform well and work great and they give you extended trajectory that otherwise would be hard to match with conventional bullets.
I had impacts at over 2900 fps with the SMK190 over the past couple of years on whitetail and feral hogs with no complaints.
This was discussed about a year or so ago. If I remember correctly the range for good results ran from 18 yards on a whitetail to about 2900 yards on an elk. As long as you stay between these to ranges you should be good
I beg to differ,...I lost several whitetail at 200-250yds last summer on crop damage permits using the 300RUM with a 200gr matchking. I launched them from a 30" barrel which may account for that,..but until they traveled a ways,..they penciled right through. I could hear them whistling as they passed through the animals,...which always ran. After the buzzards alerted me to their final position,...I conducted a visual inspection,..which showed the POI to be perfect behind the shoulder shots. If I were to shoot them again at those closer ranges,...I would take shoulder shots,..which resulted in clean and lightning quick harvests. Mine left the barrel with far too much velocity to perform. Now,..your 26" barrel may make for a velocity range that works perfectly at 200yds and under. I DO hunt with the SMK,...and am not one of the non-beleivers, take that for what it is worth.

[ 04-08-2004: Message edited by: JustC ]
I plan of hunting with my 338 lapua and 300 SMK's. The MV is only 2700 FPS. I'll probably shoot a whitetail (I know 338 is overkill but I just got the gun!) and maybe moose if I draw a tag.

Any opinions on close range shots with this round??
I shot a whitetail last season with a 168 gr. SMK out of my .308 (26" barrel) at about 60 yds. The deer took off as if I had missed it. Anyway, the bullet blew right through the deer. I believe it left a pretty sizeable exit wound because I found most of its lung on the ground while I was tracking it. That bullet doesn't have the best knockdown power when it's got a head of steam. It's probably better after it slows down. I found some Black Hills 165 grain ballistic tip ammo that track almost like the 168s I'm using. I'm using those for close shots and carrying some SMKs for the long shots.
Dr. John,
Try the Hornady A-Max. They work at any range. I have had some bad experiences with SMK's in the past. I had them zip through a doe, just behind the shoulder, with little damage. I found the doe two days later. I hit another one square in the shoulder and she ran off. The yotes got to her before I did! The A-max laids them right down to the ground. I have never lost a deer to the A-max. Not even when the shot was not so perfect. If your looking for a match bullet to hunt with then the A-max is the best choice. Good luck and let me know how you make out.
I'm a little confused about the SMK's and their terminal performance when fired from magnum rifles.

Some shooters have claimed that when the impact velocity is HIGH, that they "pencil through" deer. This is exactly opposite of what normally happens to a bullet that has an impact speed that exceeds its design intentions. One would expect it to over-expand or disintegrate on impact.

How then can the SMK's expand reliably at low to moderate impact velocities and fail to expand (pencil through) at high velocities? Sounds impossible??????????

Is it possible that the SMK's are just erratic in terminal performance when used on big game?

Uh-oh time to duck.

It very well may be possible, but I'm thinking the same way as well. Who knows, water from my garden hose just bounces off steel, yet they use water to cut steel...

I've often wondered about this while shooting steel plates with the SMK's because they just drill right through like nobodies buisiness up closer, but back away and it seems the plates start to absorb more of the energy, and if you're back far enough they won't penitrate all the way anymore, but they sure are doing one hell of a lot of damage still.

No doubt, slow them down enough and they will not open up at all, I just wonder if at close range they do not have enough time or something to really mushroom out before they exit the off side.

Maybe the rate of expansion increases much "slower" at higher impact velocities than we think, and tissue reacts differently at the higher speed on some bullet designs. Something cut or punctured slowly is often harder to do so than if it's done faster.

I shot a 178gr A-Max at 800 yards out of my 300 Ultra and recovered one in the sand, near the top of the sand too. It was in two pieces, not a whole lot of it left at all, just a jacket and a small piece of lead. That next spring, last year, I shot a Black Bear at 100 yards with that same load. The Bear was facing away from me up a hill and the bullet entered between his shoulder blades and exited his throat with a 1-1/2 to 2" hole, he died instantly. Broke the spine and also traveled through somewhere about 14" of Bear in the process.

As you can see, the terminal velocity was way high, and it wasn't just fur that flew with the bullet blowing up under the skin but, rather it was full penitration and then some, but the exit hole was still not the size of a baseball or grapefruit etc, something more of what I would have expected from good expansion from a hunting bullet is all.

Now I ask myself, did that bullet penitrate all that way, through that nasty spine and all just because it was going so **** fast that the animal offered little resistance in that shorter time frame???

I really wish I had some dead animals to test some of this stuff on, but short of finding a dead one in the field from a poacher or something I doubt I'll get that chance anytime soon. I know there's lots of road kills that have mangled quarters on them that the charities probably just pitch out in the trash. Never really thought of it before but, that might be source of a perfect new test media. I bet a lot of you guys could get access to literally tons of Deer that have pretty much been toasted on the roads down there, not fit to be eaten etc...
I've shot quite a few whitetails with the 190 gr. SMK cronographed at 3200fps out of a 30" barrel 300 WBY, the ranges were 450 to 800yds. and they worked very well. We tested the seirra and the hornady for accuracy and on the average the seirra were more accurate, the guns we used in the testing were 7/300 WBY, 300 WBY, and 30/378 WBY Wolfe. SMK worked very well in the above mentioned calibers.
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