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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    Match bullets for hunting?

    For you handloaders, what "match only" bullets have you used on critters, at what distance, and what was the result?

  2. #2
    Administrator Ryan Avery's Avatar
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    Berger 230 OTM
    Elk 599 yards DRT
    Elk 80 yards DRT
    Whitetail 606 ran about 50 yards

    Sons gun Berger 168 target?
    Elk 5 yards maybe DRT
    Whitetail 319 yards DRT
    A man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an opinion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    7mm 162 Hornady Amax @ 2920 MV
    Bear @ 125 yards, shoulder hit, penetrated through off shoulder, DRT
    WT buck @ 365 yards, both shoulders, bang flop
    WT doe @ 516 yards, lungs/off shoulder, bang flop

    338 300SMK @ 2900

    Mule deer @ 852, low shoulder, shrapnel in lungs

  4. #4
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    Me & pards have taken several whitetails with the 162Amax @2970 from 5-700yds. Broadsides seemed to blow thru, resulting in a short death sprint & pileup. Quartering shots poleaxe 'em, and the ones I dug out all pretty much look like this last one, from 580-ish, IIRC:

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    Amax is a sweet bullet! I have used the 140/6.5 with great success, too. I have yet to find one intact...nice pic!

    This year I am going to test the 6.5/140 Berger, but will be running the 162 Amax in 7mm again.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TRIPLE's Avatar
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    I used to use 168 Sierra match kings all the time. I shot several large bulls, mule deer and a couple of big black bears with them from distances ranging 100-500 yards. They did have a bit of inconsistency with penetration and deformation but NONE of that matters if the bullet goes when you want it. Looking back only one critter required a follow up (a 340 ish bull), and a second shot ended it immediately.

    I definently think there's better options these days, but they worked good for many years.
    Swaro 'em up, Nightforce 'em down!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    300 grain 338 SMK pulled from a wolf shot at 771 yards.
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  8. #8
    I've used the Amax on one deer... lot of ruined meat but they do some serious damage. Blew an 8" hole out the backside of his neck on a follow up shot... Not sure if I'd use it on an elk or not!

    Mike
    Hells Canyon Armory
    877-311-9508
    www.HellsCanyonArmory.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    This is the 162 AMAX we found on the far side of Jessica's bear, impact velocity 2130 or so. I used the same load on a bear last spring with impact velocity of 2770. The hit was square in a broadside scapula. The bullet basically turned into a ball of lead, copper, and bone and plowed through to the off shoulder and stopped just under the skin. It was nothing but small fragments in the shape of a bullet:-) Very impressive energy dump on that one! I have some pics of the necropsy I'll have to find. We also shot two whitetails, with at least one scapula in each involved, that penetrated through just like a normal hunting bullet would, leaving an exit hole roughly 3x caliber. Velocities on those were 2350 and 2500. I really like this bullet so far in these velocity ranges.

    Jess and I are going to WY at the end of the month for antelope. I will be testing the 6.5/140 Berger at extended distances:-)
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    This is the entry on the bear last year from the 162 AMAX @ 2770.

    This is the exit:
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  11. #11
    My son has a 338 RUM and shoot 250 grain matchkings. He has shot deer and a few yotes with it. He did not have to track the deer or the yotes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    We shot 4 antelope in Wyoming this weekend with Bergers. 2 with a 260 (140 grain) and 2 with a 25'06 (115 grain). All 4 were poleaxed!
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  13. #13
    When you guys refer to SMK or "match" bullets, are you refering to OTM (HPBT) match bullets with a fragmenting design (which is what SMK is)? Or are you refering to a match bonded/soft point bullet?

    I ask because some of the pics of bullet recovery doesn't look like a fragmenting design (OTM/HPBT) bullet...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    SMK= Sierra MatchKing. All of the bullets I have used for long range hunting have been open tip match bullets that weren't deliberately designed to hunt with.

    The Bergers we used this weekend were "VLD Hunting" bullets. As I understand it, the difference between the Berger hunting and match bullets is in the jacket thickness. They are both OTM bullets.
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Millard View Post
    SMK= Sierra MatchKing. All of the bullets I have used for long range hunting have been open tip match bullets that weren't deliberately designed to hunt with.

    The Bergers we used this weekend were "VLD Hunting" bullets. As I understand it, the difference between the Berger hunting and match bullets is in the jacket thickness. They are both OTM bullets.
    So the .338 bullet recovered from your wolf that you posted above is a SMK? I've just never seen SMK's "mushroom" open like that...only fragment or just deform depending on bullet impact velocity. Then again, my only experience with SMKs are with 5.56/.223 77gr SMKs...not sure if that makes a difference when compared to the bigger bore calibers

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sam Millard's Avatar
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    Yes. That is a 300 grain 338 MatchKing. I've shot several critters with that bullet at similar distances. Usually it's a pass through, with the exit hole 2x caliber or so. A couple of them were both shoulders and broke into a few large pieces inside the cavity. That bullet went in between his shoulder blades, traveled down the spine for 6-7 inches, through his paunch, and came to rest just under the hide. He was already dead when it hit him.

    You are correct! The 300 grain bullet is a completely different animal than the 69 or 77 SMK. I have shot a couple animals with a 77 grain Nosler OTM with impact velocity of 2500-2600 fps. They basically fragmented or vaporized inside the cavity. Shot placement is definitely critical!
    Turning rocks into gravel 300 grains at a time

  17. #17
    Senior Member swat8888's Avatar
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    7mm SAUM 180gr Berger VLD- 390yds Dall Sheep. Exit wound pencil thick, blew up heart, broke the far front leg in half. Obviously with the heart shot it was dead instantly.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Huntr's Avatar
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    I have killed 2 elk with the 30 cal 155gr Lapua Scenar and have yet to recover one. Both elk were DRT. I used the 123gr Scenar out of my custom GA Precision 260 on my Dall sheep this year, it also dropped at the shot.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Millard View Post
    Yes. That is a 300 grain 338 MatchKing. I've shot several critters with that bullet at similar distances. Usually it's a pass through, with the exit hole 2x caliber or so. A couple of them were both shoulders and broke into a few large pieces inside the cavity. That bullet went in between his shoulder blades, traveled down the spine for 6-7 inches, through his paunch, and came to rest just under the hide. He was already dead when it hit him.

    You are correct! The 300 grain bullet is a completely different animal than the 69 or 77 SMK. I have shot a couple animals with a 77 grain Nosler OTM with impact velocity of 2500-2600 fps. They basically fragmented or vaporized inside the cavity. Shot placement is definitely critical!
    Thanks for the response Sam, I wasn't aware that SMKs performed like that in the bigger bore calibers. I would have guessed that it had the same wounding mechanism as the 77gr just with larger pieces to wound with. Good stuff!

  20. #20
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    338 edge 300 smk

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