onemsumba, I usually say, "I'll take luck over skill, anyday," but it's good to see skill win out over bad luck.
We had a thread hee a few years back where a Sierra person offered some comments about their bullets. Limited to 30-caliber.
For a comparison between the 150-grain flat-base vs. boat-tail: The jacket of the boat-tail, due to manufacturing process, is a bit thinner. It tends to blow up if driven at or above 3,000 ft/sec and the game is up close. The flat-base is a bit stronger in the jacket, and won't. But, if the BT exits at no more than 2,800 ft/sec, there shouldn't be a problem.
Similarly for the 165-grain bullets.
For the 180-grain, however, the jacket thickness of the BT is gonna be okay. In part that's due to the fact that an '06 won't drive it to near-3,000 ft/sec. The jacket is also a bit thicker. Good elk bullet.
The discussion came about because I had a 150-grain SPBT blow up in a mule deer's neck. 30 yards. My 26" '06 is pushing that bullet at near or a bit over 3,000.
I did a comparison on steel at 500 yards between the 150-grain SPBT, the 165-grain HPBT and the 180-grain SPBT Sierra.
The 150 made a barely noticeable dent. The 165 made a bit more of a dent, with minimal cratering. The 180 gave much more cratering; deeper and wider.
Miscellania: The jacket material of the Winchester FailSafe is harder than the Sierras. Start with a beginning load and work up.
The Federal High Energy loads in .308 and .30-'06 use the Sierra bullets.
If one is not anticipating shots beyond 300 yards, the slightly flatter trajectory of a boat-tail is unnecessary.