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 Sierra 168 Grain HPBT Matchking ?
KG5S  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:13:31 AM
What is up with this statement , what have I missed ?

I have shot 1000's of these and had great luck with them !

Magpul Dynamics does not recommend students to utilize the Sierra 168 Grain HPBT Matchking projectile for the Precision Rifle 1 or 2 courses. This projectile experiences dynamic instability at extended ranges and does not produce consistent results at transonic flight speed and below. The student should expect activity levels to be low/moderate with most of the time being spent in the prone shooting position. The course will be a balance of classroom lecture and shooting drills that directly reinforce the topics discussed. Students should expect to adopt sling supported and unusual shooting positions as lesson purpose drills. The student should be self-sufficient with an ample water supply and chow for lunch.


This was the first I have heard about a problem with the projectile !
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sauerpauer  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:17:45 AM
My heavy barrel target rifle won't shoot them for shit. Lapua, Nosler Custom Competition, Berger VLD's - all 1/2 to sub 1/2 minute of angle. Not Match Kings.
Just my personal experience with my one target rifle. Not a conclusive sample, but...
Quintin  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:18:18 AM
I dunno how far Magpul shoots in their precision rifle classes, but generally speaking, it's very hard to keep a 168 Matchking supersonic past 800ish yards or so, and they do really fucked up things when they do fall out of supersonic flight.
FlashHole  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:18:19 AM
It's always been my understaning that the 168grn SMKs were not the best option for 1,000 yard shooting. The 175grn would be a much better choice. Have you shot the 168's at 1,000? If so and had good luck then use them. Doesn't sound like they are banned, just not a recommended projectile for the course.
hsvhobbit  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:21:24 AM
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.
KG5S  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:24:28 AM
Originally Posted By FlashHole:
It's always been my understaning that the 168grn SMKs were not the best option for 1,000 yard shooting. The 175grn would be a much better choice. Have you shot the 168's at 1,000? If so and had good luck then use them. Doesn't sound like they are banned, just not a recommended projectile for the course.


Never shot 1000 yrd always 600 or less, we don't have a range for that around here and my private range is only 350.

I just find it strange I have never heard this before , I have a ton of them on my reloading bench.......
Quintin  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:26:07 AM
Originally Posted By KG5S:
Originally Posted By FlashHole:
It's always been my understaning that the 168grn SMKs were not the best option for 1,000 yard shooting. The 175grn would be a much better choice. Have you shot the 168's at 1,000? If so and had good luck then use them. Doesn't sound like they are banned, just not a recommended projectile for the course.


Never shot 1000 yrd always 600 or less, we don't have a range for that around here and my private range is only 350.

I just find it strange I have never heard this before , I have a ton of them on my reloading bench.......


The 168 Sierra is a fine bullet for short/mid ranges. It's just that there are better bullets for distances past 600 yards or so.
FlashHole  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:39:58 AM
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By KG5S:
Originally Posted By FlashHole:
It's always been my understaning that the 168grn SMKs were not the best option for 1,000 yard shooting. The 175grn would be a much better choice. Have you shot the 168's at 1,000? If so and had good luck then use them. Doesn't sound like they are banned, just not a recommended projectile for the course.


Never shot 1000 yrd always 600 or less, we don't have a range for that around here and my private range is only 350.

I just find it strange I have never heard this before , I have a ton of them on my reloading bench.......


The 168 Sierra is a fine bullet for short/mid ranges. It's just that there are better bullets for distances past 600 yards or so.


Exactly. There certainly isn't anything wrong with the 168's. They shoot great out of my gun, but the 175's shoot equally as well. I switched to loading the 175's because some day I will get the opportunity to shoot out to 1,000.

OP, work up a load with the 175's. I bet you'r gun will like them just as well.

TNC  [Member]
5/7/2011 9:46:04 AM
I recommend you load some of each before the class and do your own tests. Use what works for you.

This is the sort of info that falls in the grey area between rumor and hard experience, because different rifles give different results. I've never had easy access to a 1000 yd range to see what works for me.

A long-range shooter told me to reach 1000 with my .308 I'd need to load 175's. He said his son's .308 keyholed at 1000 using 168's, but shot well with 175's. Another shooter I spoke with at an F class match regularly uses .308 168's at 1000 in competition. Who's right? Both of them.

I've also heard that .224 69 gr SMK's are no good for the 600 yd service rifle stage. Yet I shot a whole season with them, and they were not the limiting factor in my score.

IIRC, Palma bullets are 155 SMK's, and are employed at 1000 yd. They definitely break the "long, heavy, high BC bullet" model.

ETA: If I were in your shoes, and couldn't test at long range prior to the class, I'd play it safe and load 175's. Maybe take some 168's for testing during class down time. The heavier bullet should also exhibit less drift due to wind.
Quintin  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 9:58:12 AM
Palma guys shoot 155s because the rules say they have to, and they're doing it with 30" barrels and lots of powder behind that wimpy little pill.

Will a 168 make it to 1000 yards? Sure it will. The thing is though, there's better tools for the job. And I agree, above anything else, experiment and see what happens. Not all rifles are the same.

But you know, they do say friends don't let friends shoot 168s out of a .308 at 1000 yards.
Hard_Rock  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:01:08 AM
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.
Chaingun  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:02:46 AM
Great bullet, my Rem 700 shoots those very well
Wobblin-Goblin  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:06:46 AM
The furthest I've shot my Savage is 600 yards and I've only used 168 Matchkings while doing so. They were fine at that distance. I don't envision ever having to shoot anything past 600, so I'm good with it.
Quintin  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:18:13 AM
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.
Hard_Rock  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:29:08 AM
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.


If you get the proper twist rate, you will minimize the destabilization through the sonic barrier. That isn't to say that you won't have the destabilization but you'll minimize it. While you won't be making the 4" groups at 1000, you'll be able to hit a human sized target lethally at 1000. If you are looking for a bench gun for 1000 yards, I wouldn't choose .308 for the job anyway. There are much more suitable choices out there.

For taking game or bad guys at long range, the 168 and 175 SMK's work just fine.
sinsir  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 10:57:14 AM
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


For out to 500 yds I have no issues with the 168's, past that I like 175 smk's sitting on to of 44.5grs of varget , which has become my standard load..... We are talking .308 right?

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TNC  [Member]
5/7/2011 11:02:45 AM
(regarding 155's at Palma ranges) That's always been my guess. They launch them fast enough to keep them supersonic at 1000. And know the trajectory and wind dope well enough to post consistent scores.

What happens to a projectile as it decelerates through the speed of sound? I've always guessed that the shock wave comes up behind it and kicks it "ass over teakettle", kind of like a motorboat wake if it drops off plane too quickly.

ETA: to clarify, because I fail at quoting

Abakan  [Member]
5/7/2011 11:09:29 AM
My Izzy 98k just loves them.

But then I never shot at distances farther than 500m.
ReconB4  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 11:33:35 AM
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.


I'm pretty sure there aren't any 7.62 that are supersonic out to and past a 1000 yards and it was never meant to be. At least anything with any weight or real use other than shooting at paper with There may be something out there but I'm not familiar with it. You are getting into 300 win mag and 338 lapua territory.
Epraslick  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 11:44:36 AM
Originally Posted By ReconB4:
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.


I'm pretty sure there aren't any 7.62 that are supersonic out to and past a 1000 yards and it was never meant to be. At least anything with any weight or real use other than shooting at paper with There may be something out there but I'm not familiar with it. You are getting into 300 win mag and 338 lapua territory.

There are quite a few .308 projectiles, fired at .308 Win velocities that are supersonic well past 1000 yards. There's been quite a renaissance of bullet design lately.

For example, at sea level in standard conditions, a 185 Berger LR bullet at 2620 FPS (a velocity easily achieved in a 24" bbl) is supersonic to 1125 yards or so.
Orbital-Burn  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 11:48:16 AM
Originally Posted By KG5S:
What is up with this statement , what have I missed ?

I have shot 1000's of these and had great luck with them !

Magpul Dynamics does not recommend students to utilize the Sierra 168 Grain HPBT Matchking projectile for the Precision Rifle 1 or 2 courses. This projectile experiences dynamic instability at extended ranges and does not produce consistent results at transonic flight speed and below. The student should expect activity levels to be low/moderate with most of the time being spent in the prone shooting position. The course will be a balance of classroom lecture and shooting drills that directly reinforce the topics discussed. Students should expect to adopt sling supported and unusual shooting positions as lesson purpose drills. The student should be self-sufficient with an ample water supply and chow for lunch.


This was the first I have heard about a problem with the projectile !


With it you can shoot about 800 to 900 reliably.

With 208 grain AMAX, you can get out to 1600.
Orbital-Burn  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 11:52:18 AM
Originally Posted By ReconB4:
I'm pretty sure there aren't any 7.62 that are supersonic out to and past a 1000 yards and it was never meant to be. At least anything with any weight or real use other than shooting at paper with There may be something out there but I'm not familiar with it. You are getting into 300 win mag and 338 lapua territory.


you would be wrong.

208 grain AMAX with RL17. upwards of 2800 to 2900 fps
(but in your defense, the load has only been out for a couple years or so)
The_Gooch  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 12:01:26 PM

Originally Posted By ReconB4:
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.


I'm pretty sure there aren't any 7.62 that are supersonic out to and past a 1000 yards and it was never meant to be. At least anything with any weight or real use other than shooting at paper with There may be something out there but I'm not familiar with it. You are getting into 300 win mag and 338 lapua territory.
I've never tried the Sierras in my handloads, but I use plenty of the Nosler 168's in my 700 Police, K31 and M1903A3. My 700P does fine with them at 400-600 yds.

I found it amazing that the 198gr 8mm Mauser sS ball in WW2 did not go transonic until past 1000yds when fired from the 23" barrel of the 98k. Pretty damn good performance for a standard issue ball round.
MonkTx  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 12:16:32 PM

Originally Posted By KG5S:
Originally Posted By FlashHole:
It's always been my understaning that the 168grn SMKs were not the best option for 1,000 yard shooting. The 175grn would be a much better choice. Have you shot the 168's at 1,000? If so and had good luck then use them. Doesn't sound like they are banned, just not a recommended projectile for the course.


Never shot 1000 yrd always 600 or less, we don't have a range for that around here and my private range is only 350.

I just find it strange I have never heard this before , I have a ton of them on my reloading bench.......

And that is why you don't know you shouldn't use them for 800+ yards. It is common knowledge among long range shooters. They used to be fine but Sierra changed the angle of the boat tail back in the 60's or 70's and they go subsonic around 800 yards.

If you want to use a 168 for long range, go with a Hornady or VLD type.
patriot73  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 12:17:40 PM
That round prints shotgun patterns out of my M14. I'm glad someone else is finally backing me up on that piece of shit round.
45-Seventy  [Member]
5/7/2011 12:41:10 PM
Originally Posted By Quintin:
I dunno how far Magpul shoots in their precision rifle classes, but generally speaking, it's very hard to keep a 168 Matchking supersonic past 800ish yards or so, and they do really fucked up things when they do fall out of supersonic flight.


That's it in a nutshell. As long as you're shooting them at ranges in which they remain supersonic, you're G2G. Otherwise, better options are available.
50cal  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 12:44:10 PM
I've fired 168's out of my 700 at 1000 yds with decent results. But I would much rather use 175's if I knew I was going to be shooting at 1000 yds quite a bit.

It's expensive, but I would much rather fire my 338 Lapua at extended range. It gets the job done much more effectively with 250 grain MatchKings.
Keith_J  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 12:49:13 PM
The 168 grain MKHPBT was designed for 600 yard work in .30 caliber service rifles, DCM, then CMP.
Old_Painless  [Life Member]
5/7/2011 12:58:21 PM
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
The 168 grain MKHPBT was designed for 600 yard work in .30 caliber service rifles, DCM, then CMP.


Yep.

And my AI-AE shoots them great out to 600 yards.

Sniper Practice

jmarkma  [Member]
5/7/2011 1:05:09 PM
Originally Posted By patriot73:
That round prints shotgun patterns out of my M14. I'm glad someone else is finally backing me up on that piece of shit round.



What a ridiculous statement.
30Caliber  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 2:48:36 PM

Originally Posted By patriot73:
That round prints shotgun patterns out of my M14. I'm glad someone else is finally backing me up on that piece of shit round.

To quote Zediker, if your M14 won't shoot a 168, then it's cursed.



It was designed for 300m international competition. I like them; they always shoot nice. But I seldom pick them. There are better choices in close (less recoil) and better choices at long range (the 155s and 175s will hold the wind better at their nominal velocities).
CavVet  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 2:55:15 PM

Originally Posted By patriot73:
That round prints shotgun patterns out of my M14. I'm glad someone else is finally backing me up on that piece of shit round.

Mine too!






freeride21a  [Member]
5/7/2011 3:04:07 PM
my buddies 20" ltr with them is almost useless past 700. but out to 600 he will shoot sub moa. I shoot 175s out of my 26" @ 2740fps they are still supersonic @ 1000 and shoot better than I can.
henrybaddass  [Member]
5/7/2011 7:58:07 PM
What cartridge? I'm assuming 308?
Keith_J  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 8:03:29 PM
The new Sierra 155 grain Palma (2156) should make it out to 1000 yards, if you have a 22" or longer barrel. Higher BC than the 168 grain (2100) and slightly better velocity.

ReconB4  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 8:11:10 PM
Originally Posted By Epraslick:
Originally Posted By ReconB4:
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Originally Posted By Hard_Rock:
Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
There is no problem with the bullet. ALL bullets exhibit instability when they go transonic. I suspect the courses they're referring to may involve shooting in the 1k yds range. In that range a .308 168gr matchking will generally go transonic and thus won't group as well as say a 175 gr matchking.


Much of this is dependent on the twist rate of the rifle. Most production rifles like Remington and Savage use generalized twist rates like 1:10 or 1:12. This is to allow for a wider range of bullet weights to be utilized in the guns with a reasonable degree of accuracy but none performing superbly. The down side is that the bullets aren't stabilized properly for the length over diameter ratio giving the severe inaccuracy during sonic transition.

On custom rifles most builders will use a 1: 11.25 twist giving a greater degree of stability for the 168 and 175 grain bullets. This is what I use in my builds and the bullets stabilize very well and perform very well over very long ranges. To see Magpul make such a recommendation is quite disappointing to be perfectly blunt.


You could shoot a 168 out of a 1:1 twist, they just don't play nice at 1000 yards. I suppose with enough powder and barrel length, but man, it'd take some seriously stout loads to fling a 168 to 1000 and keep it supersonic, twist rates aside.


I'm pretty sure there aren't any 7.62 that are supersonic out to and past a 1000 yards and it was never meant to be. At least anything with any weight or real use other than shooting at paper with There may be something out there but I'm not familiar with it. You are getting into 300 win mag and 338 lapua territory.

There are quite a few .308 projectiles, fired at .308 Win velocities that are supersonic well past 1000 yards. There's been quite a renaissance of bullet design lately.

For example, at sea level in standard conditions, a 185 Berger LR bullet at 2620 FPS (a velocity easily achieved in a 24" bbl) is supersonic to 1125 yards or so.


I'm thinking past 1000 meters, although 1125 is right there at it.
KG5S  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 8:12:57 PM
Originally Posted By henrybaddass:
What cartridge? I'm assuming 308?


Yep !
53vortec  [Team Member]
5/7/2011 8:17:19 PM
Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Originally Posted By patriot73:
That round prints shotgun patterns out of my M14. I'm glad someone else is finally backing me up on that piece of shit round.

To quote Zediker, if your M14 won't shoot a 168, then it's cursed.



It was designed for 300m international competition. I like them; they always shoot nice. But I seldom pick them. There are better choices in close (less recoil) and better choices at long range (the 155s and 175s will hold the wind better at their nominal velocities).


Glad I kept reading, I was going to use the same quote.
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