View Full Version : 168gr HPBT .308 as a hunting bullet?

June 12, 2006, 11:44 AM
Anyone ever use their Sierra MatchKings as a hunting bullet?

Would it take an elk in your opinion?

Anyone here know if the bullet construction is conducive to that type of use?

Reason I ask, is that my M1A is the most powerful rifle I own. I am hoping to get drawn for elk, and would prefer not to buy another rifle this year. If I can't use my standard 168gr HPBT load and I can't exceed 180gr bullets in this rifle, what bullet should I use? Is a 165gr GameKing suitable for Elk? I would assume that dropping to 150gr offerings would be a bad idea.

Am I just best served using my 30-30 with 170gr loads? Or should I just suck it up, take it and buy a new bolt action rifle... 30-06, 300winmag or something like that which can push the 180gr-200gr bullets?

Thanks, guys.

Jim Watson
June 12, 2006, 11:48 AM
Sierra specifically recommends that you NOT hunt with Matchkings.
No doubt somebody will come along and say they do it.

There are all manner of controlled expansion bullets in the 165-180 grain range. Hard to beat a Nosler Partition.

June 12, 2006, 11:48 AM
Yes some use the Matchking but I don't understand why anyone would want to use a bullet that's not designed for hunting !!:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Art Eatman
June 12, 2006, 12:00 PM
The whole idea for a hunting bullet is "controlled expansion". The MatchKing is not designed for that. The GameKing bullets are so designed. The 165-grain and 180-grain SPBT bullets are easily capable of sub-MOA grouping, so they're a much better choice.


June 12, 2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks, guys. I'll find some Nosler Partitions or Sierra GameKings at 165gr for this purpose.


June 12, 2006, 12:40 PM
Try the Federal Premium .308 165 grain sierra sp gameking. It is very accurate in my rifle, and it performs well for deer.

Death from Afar
June 12, 2006, 05:47 PM
As an aside, I have used the 53grain match king as a varmint bullet. Even for that, it sucks.

Al Thompson
June 12, 2006, 08:18 PM
Just to pile on, did witness a deer culling operation by a shooter using MatchKings. If bone was hit (shoulder) it did OK at best, ribs and meat tended to get drill holes, no shock, not much of a blood trail.

For elk, I'd play with some 165 grain Failsafes or another controlled expansion bullet.

Good luck! :)

Dave Haven
June 12, 2006, 11:17 PM
Hollow-point match bullets are designed for accuracy, not reliable expansion.
Use a bullet designed for big game.

June 14, 2006, 07:29 AM
If you never tried the 180gr ACCubond give them a try..loaded for 300WSM......6 whitetail, 1 elk, 1 buffalo and the shooter headed to Newfoundland in October to take a crack at Meese.....I do not hunt anymore, but taught the young fellow who did the hunting how to shoot...lessons took well...all heart lung shots.....IMHO

Art Eatman
June 14, 2006, 11:32 AM
While "hot loads" aren't recommended as a steady diet for op-rod rifles, a few shots won't hurt.

The Federal Hi-Energy stuff with the Sierra 165-grain BTs have been chronographed at the advertised 3,000 ft/sec for an '06. They probably, then, do the same for a .308.


June 16, 2006, 05:48 PM
SPT ot HPBT Serrias for hunting. I have nk problem with them, my hunting loads for 30-06 & .308 will cloverleaf inside the "X" on the SR-C target @200.