Sierra 168 gr. Match Kings For Deer?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Nimrodmar10, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Anybody using 168 gr. Sierra Match King bullets for hunting? They are BTHP bullets with a good BC. I'm just wondering if they work like the Berger.
     
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Now you've stirred the hornets nest. Get the smoker out and back away slowly!!! No seriously, walk away!!! Just kidding. There are people that use it. It has been a hotly debated issue here on several occasions. If you are comfortable with the bullet, go for it. Personally, I have chosen to go the route of the Nosler Ballistic Tip in 168grn. It has a BC of .490. To 800yds these bullets are going to kill very well. I would think the Berger is also going to be a great option. I know a gun shop owner that used the 168 SMK and had mixed reviews. He said they were unreliable for opening up on deer. He said they switched to Hornady BTHP 168's and never looked back. The 165 SST and 168 A-max would be good ideas also.

    Tank
     
  3. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    The reason I asked was because the Federal 308 Gold Medal Match is loaded with them and they're shooting .25" groups at 100 yards out of my suppressed Rem. 700 Tac.
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Do you reload? If not, maybe look at some Hornady Superformance or custom. Federal has some very good hunting loads for the .308 also. If you keep it within 500yds you should be good to go.

    Here some to maybe try:
    Zombie Max Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain Z-Max

    Match Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain A-Max Boat Tail Box of 20

    Match Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain Hollow Point Boat Tail Box of 20

    SUPERFORMANCE Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain A-Max Match Box of 20

    SUPERFORMANCE Ammo 308 Winchester 165 Grain SST Box of 20

    Match Grade Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain Custom Competition Hollow Point Boat Tail Box of 20 This would be a really good alternative. I have used their 175 Custom Comp in hand loads. They mimic the SMK. They are pretty uniform too.

    Trophy Gold Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain Berger Hunting VLD Hollow Point Boat Tail Box of 20 Benefits of the Berger, but not all HSM work well in all rifles.

    TAP Personal Defense Ammo 308 Winchester 168 Grain Polymer Tip Box of 20 Heard this is good stuff.

    There a ton more. I'm not partial to any of them. I don't use Hornady ammo. I have used their bullets. 168 A-max does a good job on groundhogs.
     
  5. Pons

    Pons Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not the "ideal" hunting bullet as most would consider it, but I've done it. Shot top of heart, bottom of lungs, deer ran about 25 yds, could see the "red mist" after the shot. Have a buddy worked swat, used his work rifle and GMM for deer hunting, worked fine. Again, both of these cases shot placement was not an issue.

    I seem to remember a study somewhere that found these tend to break into 3 pieces upon penetration. These will do damage, as with anything, you don't use a wrench for a hammer, (of course almost everyone does and has ;) ).

    I feel with good shot placement you would harvest the deer, but there are more destructive rounds out there that will have higher odds of lethal / finding your game with more forgiveness for error. It would not be my first choice for a .308 win. I think there are some other threads on this site on this subject.

    Happy Hunting!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  6. Pons

    Pons Well-Known Member

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    Here is that tidbit from the article I mentioned.. (Note, they do not say Sierra Matchking, but they do say 168 gr BTHP)

    From "Shooting Times" "Ultimate guide to Long Range Rifles" (displayed on stands until June 3, 2008), page 82, in an article - "Could the .260 Remington replace the .308 Winchester as the tactical round" written by Sheppard W. Kelly

    ".... Analyzing actual police shootings with the .30-caliber 168-grain BTHP revealed that in 95 percent of the incidents it performed as one might expect. The original intent of the hollowpoint design was not expansion but a function of bullet constructino for ultimate accuracy. Nonetheless, most bullets would break into three parts when they impacted areas such as the head or other body locations that provided resistance to the bullet's passage. What was usually recovered was the bullet tip where the air space was, a portion of the bullet behind the air space, and then the rest of the bullet jacket and core, which almost always bent into a "J" shape.
    We repeated this in ordnance gelatin. But in those instances when a headshot could not be taken we found a number of instances when the 168-grain BTHP match bullet performed just the same as a full-metal-jacketed bullet and penetrated through the target..."

    So, for what it is worth, there are some records of its performance.

    To answer your earlier question "does it behave like the Bergers" the answer is no.
     
  7. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    While developing my own SXR bullets, I did of lot of testing with Sierra, Berger, and several others. The Sierra bullets will not expand as easily as the Bergers! I am not saying not to use them if you want, but to me, it would be defeating the purpose of the high b.c. since they need velocity to work. Why not use one of many good hunting bullets with a little less b.c. that will do a far better job consistently. IMO.......Rich
     
  8. load

    load Well-Known Member

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    what rifle, what velocity, what range?

    from a 300 rum at 100 yrds uhh no at 1000 probably

    from a 308 win at 100 yrds probably:D
     
  9. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Could you clarify this a little? I'm not exactly sure what you mean..........thanks/Rich
     
  10. gunsmith1012

    gunsmith1012 Active Member

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    If I figure out how to get photos on here i can show you what matchkings will do to the whitetail deer. The last two i killed were with the 168 matchking in the 308 palma one being a boone and crocket 220lb animal. Others fell to the 300 gr matchking. As with any shot it is 100% shot placement, nothing else.
     
  11. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone on this forum would question whether or not a SMK will kill a deer. Also, 100% shot placement is not always going to happen; at least by most of us. I would agree that a 300 gr. matchking, obviously a .338, is the way to go if you are going to use a matchking, because even a solid will make a pretty good hole. The point in question being, is it the best choice with all the bullets that are out there?........Rich
     
  12. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    The best of hunting bullets can fail to open or expand on game for one reason or another. Those that are designed to open and expand on game do so with much more reliablity and predictability than bullets that were not designed for expansion. Was the SMK designed for expansion? NO. Do they? At times. They can work and they can make your life misserable. They are unreliable and unpredictable when it comes to expansion on game. To me, it is a gamble. I cant say I have lost any game to the SMK but I certainly have had some messy kills. Also, if there was brush involved, I am sure some would have been losses. Fortunately, all teh game I have taken with the SMK has been in very open country. I owe it to the game I hunt to kill it as cleanly as possible as often as possible. There are no assurances, but I want as many factors in my favor as possible for clean kills. The SMK is rarely a factor in my favor for clean kills, so I dont use them anymore. No bullet is 100% perfect all the time but I will always take the highest odds.

    M
     
  13. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH. I agree completely with you.
    If you want a bullet that is made for game shooting and is as accurate as the Sierra MK give the Sierra 165 BTHP a try.
     
  14. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I was hunting Aoudad using a 300 Win mag. I came upon a goat at about 315 yards who was standing on a mountain top looking over a valley. I was shooting a 190 SMK in my rifle because it shot very well. I set up on the Aoudad and fired, it looked like a complete miss, so I fired again. This time the Aoudad moved a bit, but still did not drop, it looked as if I had missed all three times. I quickly grabbed some 180 Nosler BT's I had on my belt and put them in my rifle and fired, the Aoudad went down. Upon examination, the Aoudad had 3 pencil holes right behind his left leg no bigger around than a softball size group in and out. The Nosler BT left a hole about the size of my fist, lots of damage.

    Needless to say, I never used 190 SMK's again in my 300. However, I have had great luck with them in my 338 RUM and 338 Lapua, but I am using 250 and 300 gains in the former and latter.

    Just my 2 cents worth.