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Old January 23, 2001, 11:00 PM   #1
danm
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Can any of you more experienced folks help me out with
some things that I am spending way too much time
pondering?
I am a fairly experienced handloader, including one and
only one loading for a .308 that I have had a while.
It is a .308 Ishy, and I have been making 150 gr SP
loads for it that I am satisfied with. But I must
explain 'satisfied'. The Ishy has crap iron sights, and
with my worn out eyes my handloads have not been my
main concern.
Now, I just got what is likely to be my most accurate
rifle. A Savage 10FP, 24" bull barrel, dunno the
twist. I get it home, browse the Users Manual, and it
says that it was accuracy tested/qualified/designed
(I forget the exact wording) for .308 in 168gr. So I
ordered some Sierra 168gr. bthp Match bullets, which I
don't have yet.
My questions to the more experienced are these:
Is the 168gr bullet recognized as more accurate than
a 150gr SP bt? If so, is it due to the weight, or due
to the hp vs. SP? I am really interested in a very
accurate light-skinned animal hunting type projectile.
I think that the Match bthp does not fit that interest.
Is this a correct prejudice on my part? Do you have
a recommended projectile?

Thanks in advance,
DanM
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Old January 24, 2001, 01:14 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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The longer the bullet, the faster the twist in order for it to stabilize. Most target shooters use bullets around 170 grains. Somebody can correct me, but as example, the odds are that your barrel twist is more likely one turn in nine inches, rather than one in ten.

The boat-tail bullets have a better ballistic coefficient than a flat-base. This lets them hold velocity better at longer ranges--the 500-yard and longer shots--and thus have a slightly flatter trajectory.

I've no idea why the hollow-point bullets are more accurate than an otherwise identical soft-point, but that's apparently what serious target shooters have found out. I do know that target bullets are not designed to expand on game animals, and so are not suitable for hunting.

For the type of hunting you're talking about, any 150-grain spitzer flat-base would do just fine on deer. I've mostly used Sierras, Hornadys and Remington Bronze Points. For varmint shooting, a 110-grain bullet is great. (I use the 110 Hornadys, but mostly because that's what my father used. What the heck, they work.)

Hope this helps,

Art
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Old January 24, 2001, 09:35 AM   #3
Benchrest1000
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Your Savage 10FP has a 1 in 10 twist barrel and will stabilize any 30 caliber bullet you can find, all the way up to and over 200 grains. I have a 10FP in 308 that loves the 190 grain Sierra Match King and will place them all in about 1 1/2 inches at 200 yards all day long. I use 42 grains of Varget in Federal brass with a federal 210GM primer.

I usually shoot the heaviest bullet that my rifle shoots well. It pays off down range in a big way as the heavier bullets may start slower, but they maintain that speed at longer ranges. I know that just about every reloading manual states that match bullets like the Sierra BTHP should not be used on thin-skinned game. However, I don't know how many deer I've taken very cleanly with the Match King. It's quite a few. I took two last year with the above load and rifle. One went about 25 yards, the other fell straight down. All in all, it's still a 30 caliber high velocity piece of lead. Hit the boiler room and they go down just fine. Best of luck.
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Old January 24, 2001, 10:10 AM   #4
Hutch
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I get a newsletter from Sierra every once in a while, and they HIGHLY recommend using the GameKing instead of the MatchKing for hunting. That being said, I've heard several people who've taken game with the MatchKing. My 700VS does about as well with the 165gr BTSP GameKing as it does with the 168gr MK. Same powder/charge.
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Old January 24, 2001, 10:38 AM   #5
Benchrest1000
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Hutch has a good point. I have not personally but I have seen the heavier GameKings shot at paper at very long range. They are indeed very accurate. I think if I were to pick a favorite 'hunting' bullet that will expand, it would be the GameKings followed closely by the Ballistic Tip. Nosler does a good job with that bullet. It's also a tack driver.
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Old January 24, 2001, 12:53 PM   #6
Paul B.
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Dan. I have have excellent results on deer with the Speer 165 gr. spitzer flat base bullet.I would not hesitate to use it on elk as well. Notice that it is only 3 gr. less weight than the 168 gr. match bullets recommened for your rifle. The 165 gr. Sierra would probably work as well, but I have not tried it.
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Old January 24, 2001, 11:12 PM   #7
danm
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Thank you, one and all.
Dan
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Old January 25, 2001, 11:49 AM   #8
Hutch
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I don't know if you're interesting in game bullet performance, but Federal Gold Medal Match is loaded with the Sierra 168gr MatchKing, and most rifles shoot it well.
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Old January 25, 2001, 01:17 PM   #9
Johnny Guest
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MatchKings for Hunting

danm--
Just expanding on comments already made-- I wish I could give exact references on this information--I'll throw it out but have no cites at hand to back it up. Note: The Sierra Bullets toll-free help line has a staff of VERY knowledgable personnel who LOVE to help people out. The people I've talked with there are all shooters--bench resters, hunters, and many who are both. Also, the Sierra newsletter is sent out free and is always very informative.

Match hollow points: The HP has to do with making a perfect bullet base. It has NOTHING to do with expansion. It is easier to form a perfect bullet base with jacket only at the base. This way, there's no junction of lead and jacket exposed to burning porder gases.

The accuracy of the MatchKing is in part due to the EXTREME uniformity of thickness of the very thin jacket--The bullets are so near perfect in their concentricity as to be amazing. John Plaster wrote in his Sniper book of his measurements, and it is FAR more uniform in construction than the vaunted Lake Cities military match ammo.

In game animals, the thin-jacketed Match HP bullet will typically break off the front one-third to one-half of the bullet with very little uniform expansion. The bullet is designed simply for extremely uniform flight, from one bullet to another, and to punch holes in paper.

Law enforcement snipers use this bullet because of the extreme precision. At the typically short ranges where they work, with sandbagged shooting positions and the highly specialized rifles and optics, they can call central nervous system (CNS) strikes almost on demand.

The sniper's mission is immediate incapacitation. This usually means a head shot. If the bad guy is blinded or simply shocked into turning loose of the weapon and/or the hostage, the mission is accomplished. Such a strike with ANY bullet is apt to be very effective--Snipers choose the target bullets simply to remove one additional variable from the equation. But the goal is not a clean, sporting kill--It is precision, right NOW!

The sportsman hunter can certainly make use of the sniper rifle in the hunting field, but in truth, he/she is not called upon to slip a bullet past a hostage. A two inch difference in point of impact usually means little in the hunting field.

A properly designed hunting bullet has good-to-excellent accuracy, but it is set up primarily to ensure a clean kill. A little research will reveal that many long range matches have been won with the Sierra 180 SBT GameKing bullet. Until the past few years, this bullet was preferred by some for extreme ranges, over the 168 MatchKing for this reason. Sierra now offers the 175 Palma Match and the 190 MatchKing, so the 180 GameKing has largely been passed by. I imagine the member Benchrest1000 will bear me out on these comments. (I presume his screen name indicates his primary area of interest.)

Just as the sniper wants all the breaks he can get for extreme precision, so the hunter wants a properly constructed bullet with good expansion characteristics. The hunter may want THAT particular trophy animal, and need to take it at fairly long range. This being the case, the hunter will probably want to take the shoulder or chest shot, rather than hoping that the head/neck will remain perfectly still while the bullet is en route. A good hunting bullet will drive fairly straight through the animal to the vitals without breaking up and wandering off path. In my personal experiments with a sporting .30-06 rifle, I worked up MatchKing 168 loads, and then switched over to the 165 GameKing for hunting. I can only occasionally tell the difference in groups I get at the bench.

Sorry about the rather disjointed reply--No time to edit properly.

All best,
Johnny
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Old January 25, 2001, 04:43 PM   #10
Benchrest1000
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Johnny Guest,

I havent seen any GameKings being used at that range, but I wouldnt doubt it for a second. I have seen them shot from a 300 Winchester Mag into a five shot group of less than 10 inches at 1000 yards. Pretty darn acceptable by anyones standards. My original comments about the MatchKing and hunting were from my own personal observations and the fact that I usually hunt with match grade rifles. I will not shoot any animal unless I can get a good boiler room shot. When I have opened them up, I have found that the matchking does one of two things almost 100 percent of them time. It either sheds it's jacket completely or bends and tumbles. Either way, it makes a mess of anything in it's path as it's still a big chunk of high velocity heavy metal. They also shatter bones just as well as anything else. I shoot my match loads in hunting situations because I am absolutely certain of how they perform with respect to shot placement. However, you can get nearly the same performance with a GameKing, especially at the more realistic ranges found during a hunt. Plus you get a big fat mushroomed bullet. Although I havent seen the GameKing (who know what folks load into the chamber, they are somewhat secretive) shot at those ranges, I have seen Nosler Ballistic Tips win matches. So I have no doubt that the GameKing has spanked a few folks in the past as well.
Regards
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Old January 25, 2001, 04:47 PM   #11
Benchrest1000
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Correction, I don't know of anyone how has shot the GameKing in a competitive relay. I have seen folks test GameKings at 1000 yards (Thus the sub MOA group). I'm certain that the research you have seen is correct. I would not doubt the capabilities of the bullet to accomplish the task.
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Old January 26, 2001, 10:31 AM   #12
Jack Straw
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amprecon...about that Ruger

Rugers can be as accurate as any other factory gun provided that you feed it what it likes. A hunting buddy and I both use .308 MKII's (both are light-weight models)-- he sticks to factory ammo, specifically the Win 150gr, and gets 1.5 inch groups with it whereas I load mine with Sierra 165 GameKings and IMR 4064. When I do my part I get .75inch groups. My point is that your Ruger is most likely just fine (look what mine can do) and the ammo is fine (as per my buddy) it is just a matter of what ammo is good in your gun.

You may not want to try several different brands and weights, but that really is the only way to find out what suits yours wants and needs (it may not even take several tries, the next thing you try could be exactly what you like). Besides, that is a good thing. It means more time with the gun and it is a great way to collect brass for when you do start to reload. On top of that, the brass will be fire-formed to your chamber which means you can neck-size and avoid a bunch of messy case lubing (sorry, just some personal bias bleeding through). Another thing, .308 ammo is plentiful and inexpensive so fnding and affording a variety shouldn't be a problem.

Jack
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Old January 26, 2001, 12:13 PM   #13
Bogie
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My Savage 110FP .308 REALLY likes 165 grain Nosler ballistic tips. Accuracy approaching a target bullet in a package designed for deer hunting...

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Old January 27, 2001, 02:14 AM   #14
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Please take no offence. This is just info past on by a guy that was an Army sniper and worked on a load for years that would work equally as well in bolt and SA weapons.
Winchester Case (preffered) CCI #200 primer, 42 grns IMR4064, Speer #2064 165 grain BTSP all equals 2485 FPS.
Bullet wieght below 163 grains and above 169 grain, accuracy or velocity suffer dearly.
I do know it will (or I can) shot sub MOA at both 100 and 200 yards and I am a rooky.
I don't think the BT has a great effect unless shooting 200 plus yards and that is where it makes the difference. Or so I have read
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Old January 27, 2001, 02:25 AM   #15
Art Eatman
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Karsten, no problem. Sounds like he found "the" load which worked best in his rifle. That's quite common; some rifles are just "pickier" than others.

And, yeah, most folks here agree that boat-tails come into their own, over flat-base, only at the longer ranges.

Regards, Art
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Old January 31, 2001, 12:32 PM   #16
Joey Sanders
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You are correct that the match type bullets like the sierra 168 bthpmk (matchkings) are not recommended by sierra for use as game bullets. The weight and length of the 168 you mention does not make it any more accurate than any other bullet but the fact that sierra calls it a matchking means they take extra pains to make those bullets shoot very well. Probably as well as any mass produced bullet will. For a thin skinned game bullet I don't think you can find anything any better than the Nosler ballistic tips in 150 or 165 grain weights. I've killed close to a dozen deer with these and it's like lightning struck when a deer is hit with one of
these. Hope this helps
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