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Old January 5, 2000, 12:11 PM   #1
Join Date: December 30, 1999
Location: Easton,Pa. U.S.A.
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Would a 168gr. 308 hollow point be effective on an average sized whitetail, put in a vital area? Any range limits?
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Old January 5, 2000, 01:44 PM   #2
Al Thompson
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I have some experiance with this idea. The 168's are not designed to expand. The hollow tip is the result of a manufacturing step.

A wildlife control bunch that I know quite well tried the 168's due to the superb accuracy. The results were dismal. The bullet would sometimes drill a hole straight through the deer and sometimes (if a big bone was hit) tumble/yaw enough for decent results. This bunch was killing about a thousand deer a year and has switched to the 165 Ballistic Tip as loaded by Georgia Arms.

The primary weapon is a .308 PSS with a supressor. Another group has used a .270 with 90 grain varmit bullets with good success.

I think the bottom line is that the bullets designed for expansion give much better results.

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Old January 5, 2000, 02:31 PM   #3
Will Fennell
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Your friends experience mirrors mine with .30 cal 'MATCH' bullets. I've not had particulary good experience with Ballistic tips, but they have always been through higher velocity rounds, like .270, 7mmMag, etc.

Have the animal control guys been using the .308/165ballistictip loads on chest shots, or just head/neck shots? We have had insufficent penetration problems with the higher velocity loadings of other calibers in balllistic tips. Just curious....

So far, Nosler Partitions are my favorites, because of thier consistant expansion AND penetration. But Ballistic Tips generall shoot a little better.....

Best Regards,

Will Fennell
Camillus Cutlery
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Old January 5, 2000, 03:05 PM   #4
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match bullets are poor performers on game but, if my memory swerves me correctly, isn't the Sierra GameKing offered in a 168gr HP?
If I'm right on the grains, I've used them in the past with excellent results in .308
mostly use Noslers now
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Old January 5, 2000, 08:47 PM   #5
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165 HPBT/Gameking/#2140 - FWIW (not too far off the mark, Kingcreek). 168's the Matchking.

& BTW, Sierra's hunting bullets in .30 cal (specifically the 180 Gameking) has turned in some very excellent scores in matches. One hell of a bullet all told & my fave for elk out of the -06 ... excellent groupings & knocks 'em dead. Don't know why it's never mentioned as a "premium bullet" by the gun rags. Probably just doesn't cost enough.

& another aside ... was much discussion in the US armed forces about "allowing" the use of the 168 Matchking for snipers as it was an HP & supposedly not allowed by the Hague Convention (which we never signed BTW) ... many military & LEOs use it as it is so accurate. The consideration for not wounding innocents overrode the Hague concerns.
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Old January 5, 2000, 08:49 PM   #6
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& another BTW ... you dump the slug into the X-ring, it doesn't matter if the bullet expands or not.

Not to condone the use of non-expanding bullets on game (far from it!) - sometimes, it's not a game.
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Old January 5, 2000, 09:15 PM   #7
Al Thompson
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I should have specified "Match" bullets - although I'm not aware of any 168 grain hunting bullets.

Will - the target area of the deer varies with distance. Most are popped at 75 yards or less. Some were getting a dose out to 150 y or so depending on the circumstances. The guys using the .270 were popping them at 50 yards or less. Usually if it's under 75 yards or so a head shot is preferred. Got to remember, this is usually at night with a Q beam.

Another factor is time available. If it's only for a night or two, you may start popping them when you can see them. If they get smart, it may be a matter of hitting them when you can get a shot.

The early Nosler BTs were soft. I am under the impression that Nosler has "toughened" them up. I popped a couple of does last year and had perfect penetration. (shoulder shots)

The impact velocity, as you know, will determine what the bullet does. If you start a bullet designed for a .308/-06 at 3100 fps out of a .300 Weatherby, you may get imperfect results. One buddy of mine used 150 grain Core-Loks out of his .300 and couldn't quite get a handle on why they wouldn't exit a deer. Killed them dead though.

Labgrade - the Matchkings (168 and 175 grains) were approved for use by the military in 1992. The USMC got a ruling on their legitimacy and then the Army followed suit. Those rounds are in combat use today.

FWIW, the Spec Ops folks were approved for fragmenting rounds (JHP for the most part) in any confrontation involving terrorists. Seems the ruling is that terriorists are not soldiers.


"I don't make enough money to buy cheap stuff" - Mark Manning

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Old January 6, 2000, 09:02 AM   #8
Long Path
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Giz, you answered in the precise fashion I was about to answer, having read the question. 168g is always a match bullet, to the best of my experience. If you target-shoot with 168g MatchKings (best of the best match target bullet), you would do well to standardize for hunting on the 165g GameKing hunting bullets. They have surprisingly good BC's, and were used to win long-range matches, like the Wimbledon Cup. The other brands (Nosler, Hornady, etc) also are great, but I've kinda stuck with Sierra. I'd have no problem with the MatchKings for pig, because I've resolved to shoot all my pigs behind the ear, from now on.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


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Old January 6, 2000, 12:36 PM   #9
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I shoot 165 grain Sierra sbt "game kings" BECAUSE that's the CLOSEST softpoint bullet (ballisticly) to the 168gr MATCH bullet used in palma/Camp perry etc matches.

There is no doubt a 168 gr hpbt match king will kill medium sized game if the shot is accurate.. but "war bullets" aren't "hunting rounds". The hollow point is not designed for expansion, and in fact the bullet will act like an FMJ, shooting clean through most game.

A good hunting load should expand reliably, retain its wieght and penetrate deep (in fact it may even exit on an animal in a broadside shot) IF it exits it should be deformed enough to leave a ragged exit wound that bleeds out, rather than a perfect hole that quickly seals and makes tracking the wounded game more difficult.

Shot placement is critical wether hunting or sniping.. BOTH should follow the rule one shot one kill. But using "match" bullets on game is inhumane (in that it may NOT kill outright) and in Colorado match rounds are ILLEGAL for big game since they are non-expanding bullets.

The longest shot in elk camp with the 165 gr. sierra sbt is 60 yards, the record shot with this round in antelope camp is over 300 yards.

hope the info helps,

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Old January 7, 2000, 03:26 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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I've had excellent results on deer with Remington Bronze Points and with Hornady.

For no particular reason, I've used mostly Sierra for some 30 years/whatever. I started with the 150-grain flat-base, and then shifted to the boat-tail whenever they started making those in 150-grain. I've used both the 150-grain SPBT and the 165-grain HPBTs on deer. They both work well, so I generally use the lighter bullet for the slightly lesser recoil.


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