smk at short range


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2001
Walla Walla, WA
I have two loads worked up for my 300 Win Mag. First is with the 200 Nosler Partition at 2950 fps. Second is with the Sierra 220 Matchking. My thought has been that if they will hit close together out at about 250 yards then I would hunt with the rifle loaded with the 200 Partition for close range shots out to about 250. If the animal is further then I would unload and reload with the SMK220, having the rifle actually zeroed for the 220. I would certainly rather use just one load. The 220 is more accurate than the 200 but my concern is that at close range (10 yards to whatever) the 220 MK may come undone before adequate penetration. I have read most of the various posts in the past by users of the SMK for big game. Most of these users are long range hunters who can wait for broadside shots at undisturbed animals where the velocity has dropped off substantially. I hunt on foot and have had more than one shot at big game at 25 yards (I can recall one bear at 20 yards, and four elk at about 25 yards). When animals are taken at these very short ranges one cannot always wait for the animal to turn broadside. So I would very much like to hear from those of you who have taken elk and black bear and bigger game with SMK bullets at under 50 yards. What is the consensus as to whether they would be a good all-around bullet as opposed to just a long range bullet? Thanks, Rufous.
I shot a cull deer with my 300 Ultra at about 30 yard's with the 220 Mk.It killed her.Shot her through the lung's.Broke a rib on the way in and three on the way out.Exit hole was about the size of the bottom of a pop can.
Boyd, too bad you didn't recover the bullet, but the exit hole does say something about the expansion. I plan to use SMKs myself, but I'm still wondering why Sierra is so against the use of them on game. Everywhere you see MK's in the Sierra manual they have a recommendation to not use MK's on game. Maybe, they just want to keep the focus on the MK as a competitive target bullet. It's strange though - considering everybody has good things to say about the MK performance on game.
I killed a bobcat about 200 yds last night with 168 mk in my 308. He came in to my varmint call and the bullet nearly took his shoulder off: 308

Started using the MKs many years ago even in my 308 Win and 280 Remington carry guns.

Kills were from 50 to 400 yards with them.

There were no problems and all animals hit died almost instantly. I believe the number was 31 deer killed at shorter ranges with the MK.
For Longrange it's ONLY match kings for me in ANY caliber we shoot and has been for quite a few years.


Darryl Cassel
Has no one ever shot a black bear or elk or bigger game with SMK bullets at under 50 yards? I really would like to hear from you if you have. Thanks, Rufous.
As few responses as I have had I am rather nervous to try the smk at short range on gave bigger than deer. Noone has mentioned using them at close range on anything but deer and bobcat. I am trying to get some cold, hard facts about there use on elk and black bear at under 50 yards where bullet speed is still very high. Telling me that you shot a deer or bobcat is not helping. I know that the bullet will work on smaller big game at close range and elk sized game at long range but how about elk at close range? Thanks, Rufous.
I'm heading down to Texas the first week in March. I'll be taking my 338 RUM and the 300 Sierra as well as a 300 Win Mag and the 190 Sierra. My hunting partner will be shooting the 175 Sierra from a 308 Win.

We'll be shooting hogs at all ranges and hopefully video the events. I ill try to do some autopsies and retain the recovered bullets. There may also be an exotic or two, I'm leaning toward an Eland.

If you can wait I'll try to get some more close range results for you, and everyone else.
I feel you are right on target with your bullet choices especially for elk. I took a bull some years ago at 30yds using 160gr Partition out of 7mag while he was quartering away. One shot- one bull. I feel the matchking may not penetrate on a quarter shot on elk at close range at magnumn velocities. It will be interesting to hear Dave's report. I plan on using the same bullet combo as you are out of my 30-338 for elk except I will be trying the 200gr Matchking for long range. Mr Jones

It isn't what you asked for but interesting though, we shot the 338/378wby through 3/8" plate steel at 200yds. Velocity with the 300gr Sierra MK is 2975 fps at the muzzle and still over 2730 at 200yds which I'm sure yours is close to also.

The surprising thing about it was the plate was at a 45° angle to us, not 90°. So they penitrated over 5/8" of steel at least. I know that animals offer some resistance, but equal to this? I was pretty amazed. Dave's results will no doubt be devastating, to the animal that is.

Brown bear, well they might be thinking of something else before their ready to die reguardless.
I don't know if I'll be that far south. I'm headed to Knox County, Knox City and O'Brien. There is some talk of heading south for an exotic or two.

Could happen though!

Knox City and O'Brien are about 300 miles from San Antonio. Knox City is supposed to have a real good outfitter there. I think it's called Stanfield Hunting Outfitters. I think they mostly do birds and hogs.

Where are thinking about hunting exotics? I've been to the YO Ranch several times, they are first class.

I have Axis deer on my small place, if you make another trip down here, and want one, let me know. My prices are the best in Texas (free for active or retired military and beer, corn, or labor from everyone else

If we have any Turkey hunters that need a Rio Grande Turkey, e-mail me. We have HUNDREDS on the ranchette, I don't think anyone hunts them around there.

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