View Full Version : Match bullets for predator hunting?

April 9, 2012, 08:49 PM
Anyone use match bullets for coyote hunting? I know they are not recomended for hunting. Just wondering if someone has tried them. Besides Bergers look pretty much like match bullets and people shoot elk with them. Do they fragment on inpact or do they pass right through?

April 9, 2012, 09:25 PM
Why would you waste the money?

April 9, 2012, 09:53 PM
Besides Bergers look pretty much like match bullets and people shoot elk with them.

Keep in mind that Berger does not recommend their match bullets for hunting applications, so looks must be deceiving.

To answer your question I have never shot any living animal with a match bullet. I have read where some like to shoot deer using a Sierra match bullet in 243 caliber, and they report good results. I just feel that match bullets are meant for target shooting and hunting bullets are meant for hunting.

Art Eatman
April 9, 2012, 10:23 PM
I get sub-MOA with almost all Sierras I've ever tried, and I've yet to have a varmint survive any of them. So, why bother with match bullets?

April 9, 2012, 11:37 PM
I use 52gr Sierra Matchking BTHP in my .22-250 for ground squirrels, prairie dogs and coyotes. It does severe damage to coyotes....

April 10, 2012, 07:08 AM
I can't tell you as I haven't used them, but if they expand or fragment in an appropriate manner, then why not.

April 10, 2012, 08:37 AM
Aren't Sierra Match Kings the projectile of choice or issue with the snipers our services deploy? I wouldn't use a match bullet for a game animal that had a thick hide or heavy bone structure but I see no reason not to use them on light skinned game with a proper shot placement. Seiously its got a pointed end and goes above 2000fps, chances are its going to penerate pretty well and do massive damage. Doubtful its going to bounce off.

phil mcwilliam
April 10, 2012, 09:26 AM
Depends on what caliber, but generally match ammunition is best suited to shooting target matches, & surprise, surprise hunting ammunition/bullets are best suited to hunting.
I got caught with 200 rounds of Lapua 150 grain match .308's. These Lapua's were extremely accurate out of my Sako .308, but tended to punch holes in game such as goats & pigs, without the shock normally associated with soft points.
I have used match FMJ .308 for culling water buffalo & for thick skinned game actually found in some cases the FMJ penetrated better than 180 grain "hunting" soft points. But generally speaking keep your match ammunition for targets.
I have no experience in hunting coyotes but have shot numerous wild dogs, dingoes & foxes with .22 centerfires. For head shots it doesnt matter what ammunition you use, the more accurate the better if pest culling under spotlight, but if I'm out stalking/hunting for dogs, I will specifically carry soft pointed varmit ammunition.

April 10, 2012, 10:03 AM
You can use a match type bullet on coyotes, in fact a heavily fragmenting bullet is prefered by many hunters because it does not exit and leaves the pelt in a better condition (if you care about the pelt). That being said, why spend the premium price for match bullets, my favorite bullet at the moment is a nosler balistic tip varmit, goes it and doesnt come back out, very interested to try their varmagedon bullets if they ever get them in stock in the local shops. A coyote is a relativly big target, sub MOA accuracy isn't required, prarie dogs are a differnt story, there you may want to move to a match bullet if you cannot get at least 1/2 MOA with standard bullets.

April 10, 2012, 10:25 AM
Besides Bergers look pretty much like match bullets and people shoot elk with them.

Berger VLD's are not a "controlled expansion" design-they are designed to penetrate an inch or two and come apart. They have a thin jacket which is not chemically bonded to the soft lead core...... Not the best choice for Elk, I would not think, where good penetration is desired ....

Match bullets have no design considerations beyond precision (and sometimes high BC) ..... what happens after the target is hit was not a design concern. Sometimes they expand, sometimes they don't .... in the target game, it does not matter.....

Aren't Sierra Match Kings the projectile of choice or issue with the snipers our services deploy?

Military applications are not real concerned with a "humane kill" ..... they just want a roughly centerline hit somewhere "between the beans and the bean".... whether this kills the enemy or just takes him out of the fight is of no concern to the .mil .....

April 10, 2012, 11:00 AM
Military applications are not real concerned with a "humane kill" ..... they just want a roughly centerline hit somewhere "between the beans and the bean".... whether this kills the enemy or just takes him out of the fight is of no concern to the .mil .....

10-4. I have a couple hundred 130grn .284 bullets I aquired a while back but most of my 7mm guns like a 140 or 150grn bullet better. I tend to prefer the Ballistic tips for my hunting and switching to something like an Accubond doesn't change anything.

My varmint rifle is a Savage 10 .243 Predator using 70grn BT or 90grn BT's if deer are on the slate. Its been an absolutely deady combination on anything I've shot with it.

April 10, 2012, 12:47 PM
My experience with Varmint class bullets on coyotes has shown as long as you hit them somewhere between any two of the four legs, they will drop instantly. I don't know if the match bullets perform the same.

With correct bullets, the coyote will go down quicker than even raccoons. Raccoons sometimes need to be vaporized to die.

April 10, 2012, 02:35 PM
Yes, I use berger match for coyote in my. 17 rem. They fragment, preventing an exit and vresulting fur damage, while providing a quick kill.

That said, I doubt a larger calber would stop in a broadside coyote, and the exit would be nasty.

Art Eatman
April 11, 2012, 09:41 AM
Yeah, Daryl, center punch a coyote with a .243 or '06 and fertilize about a half an acre.

Had a friend who shot a running-away coyote with a .25-'06. Heckuva note: Neither an entrance nor an exit wound. :D

April 11, 2012, 01:25 PM
I think Art has a picture holding a coyote "HULL" LOL

April 12, 2012, 12:40 AM
My old Ruger 77V in 22-250 shot best with SMK 52 grainers. Never shot coyote, we didn't have'em in those days, but they were grim death on groundhogs, showing plenty of expansion. Inside 100 yds, they sometimes just seemed to blow craters on impact.

Art Eatman
April 12, 2012, 08:29 AM
Yeah, I held a bit too low on that coyote. On my way to deer camp. '06, Federal Premium High Energy, 165-grain Sierra HPBT at 3,150. About forty yards, at most 50. Took out a fist-sized amount of chest, right behind the forelegs. Yuck.

April 13, 2012, 07:18 AM
Back in the "old days" when I shot (shot at) lots of coyotes, I used Sierra 70 HPBT match bullets in the 243 Win and Hornady 53 HPFB match in the 22/250. Both resulted in severe damage but quick kills. Most recent use was Nosler 155 HPBT out of .308 with not so good results. Punched through like a FMJ at 350 yards unlike the 165 Speer BTSP I'd been using previously.

April 13, 2012, 12:32 PM
Actually many of the .224 52gr HPBT's excel with predators especially when using the same .223 or .22-250 for both coyote and fox. They'll still tend to expand but don't blow up as bad as the true varmint bullets.


Art Eatman
April 13, 2012, 04:39 PM
FWIW, found the ruint coyote:


April 14, 2012, 11:43 AM
I whopped one a little low with a 7mm Rem mag at close range many years ago. The spine was still holding the front and back halves together. Looked like a chain saw massacre.

April 14, 2012, 06:05 PM
jimbob. You are comparing apples to oranges. For Standard military applications you are correct. For sniper applications you are incorrect. The intent of the sniper is to Kill the target. "one shot one kill".

When using a 30 cal rifle. the match King in 30 cal is the preferred bullet of all of the snipers I have known.

April 15, 2012, 01:34 PM
In military it's not always just to humanely kill. Remember the Vietnamese, shoot someone with a 55 gr FMJ and wound them and then it takes one or two other soldiers to care for the wounded. Now you basically took at least two out or you really crippled them anyhow! But to the operator, I would hunt with a match bullet but if I seem a coyote while target shooting then he may get popped but we do owe it to the game a humane quick kill.

April 17, 2012, 10:05 PM
Wouldnt hydrostatic shock do it at that point?

April 18, 2012, 04:37 AM
Hydrostatic shock takes out a coyote nearly instantly, most just stiffen up and fall over.

Since I uploaded another mini14 defense photo the other day, here's one with an interesting secondary wound. The rear paw pad was torn off by a involuntary jump at the moment of impact. I couldn't figure out why my glove was bloody until i got it into the light. I was toting it by the back leg and it was quartered away when I shot it. Notice the bloody foot in the pic.

Enjoy the gratuitous picture of a pile of dead pigs, totally unrelated to this thread. I pasted the two together for another thread. I seldom slow down enough to get in front of a computer, so, my pics I do upload, get multiple uses.


April 18, 2012, 08:38 AM
I don't even see the point in such questions or discussions.
The match bullets are designed for optimum accuracy.
Hunting bullets are designed for max killing effectivness.
For quick, humane kills the hunting bullet is the obvious choice. Why risk otherwise?

April 18, 2012, 10:56 AM
If I saw a predator and a match bullet was the only thing I had to work with I'd use it. Otherwise I would use a hunting bullet.

April 19, 2012, 12:14 AM
I shot a doe a few years back with a Mosin Nagant using 174gr. S&B ammo that was loaded with Sierra Matchkings. It dropped her on the spot and the bullet went in and out. I know its not recommended but it works. If all I had was match bullets to hunt with I would have no problem doing it again. The bullet passed thru and the exit wound was huge. So much for going in a couple inches and disentergrating.

April 19, 2012, 06:20 PM
Yes they do work sometimes even though not really recommended. I would be worried about making a small hole in and a all hole out and the animal being mamed and never recovered or running into next county and taking hours to lay there and die.

April 20, 2012, 10:27 AM
I use match bullets for groundhog and coyote hunting.

They designed just like a varmint bullet. Very thin jackets and soft cores for rapid fragmentation.

A ricochet at a match with a bunch of people around is a very bad thing and the match bullets are designed with this in mind.

For deer, elk, and the like, a match bullet would be my very last choice.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk 2

old roper
April 22, 2012, 09:23 AM
I use match bullets in some of my varmint rifles shot few coyotes with them never had a problem.

April 24, 2012, 02:05 AM
Military match bullets are of FMJ design. Match Kings are a thin jacketed, boat tailed, HOLLOW POINT. Hollow points are not issued per Haigue agreement.