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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/30/2002 10:54:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2002 10:55:08 AM EDT by magnum_99]
Looking for a database or article etc. on the performance of so-called "Match" bullets (.308 Sierra 168 gr. HPBT Match for example) on game or gelatin as compared to bullets designed for hunting.

I'm aware that the manufacturers do not recommend using these bullets for hunting but I'm curious as to actual performance.

Is it that they don't expand reliably? Do they break up or suffer from some other characteristic that makes them unsuitable for game? Don't military/police snipers use "match" bullets on their targets? If expansion is the issue, then what is the difference as compared to FMJ ball ammo used by the military?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/30/2002 11:21:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2002 11:23:14 AM EDT by 1911ar-15]
At least regarding the .223 Remington, the Army has been testing the 77gr Sierra MK bullet in Afganistan (with the M4) and is reportedly pleased with the results. It seems that the thing actually fragments (nothing to do with the open tip, as expected). Check out the ammo faq and look for the section about heavy bullets.

As far as I know military snipers do indeed use the open-tip Sierra MK in their .308s, but I don't know how it performs relative to hunting bullets. Since snipers usually make head shots it's kind of a moot point anyway.
Link Posted: 10/30/2002 11:35:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2002 11:36:19 AM EDT by brouhaha]
Match rounds are not designed to expand. Yes, they have a HP, but that is a by product of the manufacturing process. It is not the type of HP that you see in hunting/defensive ammunition.

The difference between match bulets and the FMJ the military uses varies widely, depending upon the bullet you're speaking of.

The 77gr MK mentioned above fragments quite nicely, as does the 75gr Hornady BTHP, the 55gr M193, and the 62gr M855. Fragmentation is what makes is a good battlefield round, not expansion.

In those examples, you would be picking out a fair amount of lead and jacket material from your target.
Link Posted: 10/30/2002 1:04:13 PM EDT
For larger heavier game than humans you normally want a bullet that has good penetration, expands, but retains 100% of its weight. Its just the opposite of a fragmentation round because if you are hunting large game its got a thick hide and you may need the shot you take to punch through the hide, bones, etc in order to get to the vital organs.
Link Posted: 10/30/2002 1:16:21 PM EDT
For hunting the desired bullet has good penetration, expands, but retains 100% of its weight. Lyman published a set of table that list the "Optimum Game Weight" (OGW) for various calibers. OGW allow for the fact that you may take a hard quarting away shot and still make a clean kill.

Here are a couple number from that set of tables.

223 Remington/55gr/3240fps = OGW is 51 lbs

30/30Win/150gr/2390fps = OGW is 460 lbs

308 Win/180gr/2620fps = OGW is 874 lbs

30-06/180gr/2700fps = OGW is 957 lbs

458 WinMag/510gr/2040fps = OGW is 3312 lbs

Link Posted: 10/30/2002 3:17:59 PM EDT
Saw an example of exactly what you mentioned - a .308 [Win] Sierra 168 gr. HPBT Match - last fall on an 8 pt buck. 50 yards, maybe a bit less... running shot. Penetration approx 1 cubit through left rear hindquarters (!) with fragmentation into at least three major parts - parts of jacket and the core, or something like that iirc - all of which pretty much travelled along the same straight path. Obviously this was not a lethal shot though it put the deer down - a follow up heart/lungs shot was required. Slightly better penetration than the Rem 150 gr softpoints in my 30-06. Just don't hit 'em in the hindquarters and these bullets will take a deer no problem. Much more akin to a softpoint than to a conventional fmj - fragmentation seems to do the same job as mushrooming in this case. BUT! Longer ranges & lower velocities might be very different.
Link Posted: 10/30/2002 11:34:38 PM EDT
Found some info on Sniper Country's duty roster. What I've seen here reinforces some of my suspicions about these rounds. Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/31/2002 4:22:44 AM EDT
As said before the hollowpoint on a match king is a result of the manufacturing process. They make a "cup" of jacket material, drop the lead in, and close the cup. The jackets on match bullets are very thin and of uniform thickness. Uneven jacket thickness found in thicker jackets on hunting bullets can cause a bullet to be unbalanced during flight, reducing longer range performance. This thin jacket also means that when the bullet hits the target, there will be jacket separation and fragmentation. If you're hunting deer or larger game, you want the bullet to penetrate and bust through bone as well as expand while stating in one piece. Otherwise you'll have shallow wounds. It's not a good feeling not being able to find a wounded animal.

When it comes to MK's in the hands of military shooters, the bullet is allowed because it doesn't mushroom like the standard softpoints and hollowpoints.
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