SMK on big black bear?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by rufous, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. rufous

    rufous Well-Known Member

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    Jul 17, 2001
    I have a good load worked up with the 220 SMK in my 300 Win Mag. I am using Federal cases and Federal 215 match primers with 77 grains of H1000 which is giving 2870 fps. This is a hot load. Do not try it without working up to it. It is likely well over SAAMI max. I was shooting 76.5 grains and got some great groups but was also getting some shots that were well out. I did not think I was flinching but with a 9.3# rifle the recoil was pushing me around a fair bit. So I had Darrell Holland install one of his muzzle brakes. The recoil reduction is amazing. This is my climb the mountains big game rifle so it has a fairly narrow sporter stock. With the brake it wanted 0.5 grains more powder (I have not tried 77.5 and it may be more accurate but at 77 I am happy). I shot 3 groups of 3 shots each at 100 yards with the 77.0 grain load (bullet is 0.010" off the lands). The largest group was 0.8" and the smallest was 0.63" for an average of 0.75". If I had shot all 9 at the same spot I would have had a 1" group. Then I fired 4 shots at 300 yards and got a 2.1" group. This is not that great for many of you but for me I am quite happy, especially considering that it is a light rifle with skinny stock and max magnification is 9x. I cannot imagine taking a shot at an animal beyond about 600 yards since I will not be hunting from a bench, but rather on foot with just a sling and bipod. So the accuracy is plenty for the type of hunting I do. Now I just need to have the confidence to try these "match" bullets on elk and big black bear at 25 yards. I must admit that I am still nervous about doing that. I would feel much more confident with a 200 grain Nosler Partition. One never knows the distance of the shot he will be offered, nor the shot angle. I know many of you have killed big animals at long range with the SMK bullets with great results. Some of you have even shot some at close range. Still though I am leery about trying it, especially on big bears. I am hoping to do a black bear hunt in SE Alaska next spring and have heard that these bears are big and hard to recover. It is thick rainforest up there and if they are not immediately incapacitated they can be very hard to find. A big exit hole that bleeds would be very valuable in such circumstances. It is recommended that ones partner be ready to fire on the bear after the shooter takes his first shot and keep pouring the lead to it as necessary. That is one good thing about the brake I had installed. Follow up shots will be much quicker. Rufous.
     
  2. No Fear in Accuracy

    No Fear in Accuracy Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2001
    Rufous,

    I'll use 300gr. SMK on 338 Win Mag (borrow my brother's rifle) for Northern Ontario black bear this fall. I'll let you know how it performs. The shot would be anywhere from 50 yards to 300 yards. I wouldn't shoot farther than 300 yards due to the factory barrel. [​IMG]

    -Denny
     
  3. rufous

    rufous Well-Known Member

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    Will you be hunting over bait? Please do let us know the results. Thanks, Rufous.
     
  4. No Fear in Accuracy

    No Fear in Accuracy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'll be hunting over bait. It will be in September. If the 338-300gr. SMK bullet went through both lungs and exit, I may not know how it performed but will give you the specific data how the exit hole looks like and the destruction inside the cavity.

    -Denny
     
  5. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest going to a Berger VLD or a TSX bullet with more weight. You want hydrostatic shock, bones broken and a big exit hole. Good Luck