i just wanted to know what you guys think about using match shooting bullets as hunting bullets. berger, matchkings, a-max, so on so forth... i do not know how they expand, or if they even do, but i know they can still deliver force downrange. and being that they are made for accuracy, give good bullet placement givin the fact that the gun and yourself do your part.
so, what do you think???
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August 19, 2007, 03:14 PM
Obviously, there is no controlled expansion with match bullets (those I'm familiar with, anyways.) They will generally do one of two things, explode/fragment on impact, or punch completely through without expanding. The former is probably more common. Shallow, potentially superficial wounds are too common with match bullets for most hunters to use.
Having said that, I've seen plenty of deer hit with match bullets fall like they were struck with Thor's Hammer. I'd probably not use them if given a choice, but for those who do, the neck seems to be the target.
August 19, 2007, 04:14 PM
Berger is starting to heavily plug their bullets for hunting. Claim is that the needle point of a VLD spitzer will penetrate a ways before starting to expand or fragment.
August 19, 2007, 08:01 PM
Brian 923--Sierra says, in all their ads, DO NOT use Matchkings for hunting, as they aren't designed to expand. They go on to state that their Gamekings are almost as accurate, and are made to properly expand and do a humane kill.
I've used Gamekings for target practice and for hunting; my experience is that in punching paper, yes, they are almost target bullets, and for shooting animals, yes, they are great at humane kills.
I've switched to Nosler Ballistic Tips, which are a hunting bullet; Nosler advertises them as "the hunting bullet that thinks it's a target bullet." I'm in a benchrest league right now, and using NBT's, and have a lock on second place for the league. I'm not going to catch the guy in first, but it's mostly due to my stock trigger, not the bullets.
The hunting advantage for me of the NBT's over the GK's is that the NBT's have a plastic tip which doesn't deform as easily with recoil in the rifle's magazine. Otherwise, for hunting, it's a wash between the 2.
But whatever bullet you use on game, it must be able to expand and do a humane kill. Matchkings, and most target bullets, don't do that.
I kinda doubt anybody's claim that they need the accuracy of a match bullet to hit game. The kill zone of a whitetail, for example, is far bigger than the 10-ring on a match target at any reasonable range for hunting. Add in breathlessness, adrenaline, lack of a really steady rest, and a live target which may move at any second, and benchrest accuracy goes right out the window.
August 20, 2007, 07:59 AM
Yea, this subject gets recycled here on a regular basis. If you use a little ingenuity, you can do a search on the subject and get all the opinions you could possibly want.
Unless of course, you're just out trolling.
August 20, 2007, 08:08 AM
For hunting, there's not enough difference in group size between hunting bullets and match bullets to matter. So why bother?
My last '06 group with 180-grain Gamekings was 0.4 MOA. I regularly get 0.5 MOA from my .223 with any old bullet I've put through it. I"m not gonna waste the money buying them, nor the time worrying about Match bullets. That's just picking fly-poop out of pepper, which isn't a desireable career.
August 20, 2007, 11:56 AM
Berger has a video on their website of the VLD bullets used for hunting. Pretty impressive results and worth a look.
August 20, 2007, 03:37 PM
I have used Hornaday Match bullets for hunting antelope. Why, that is what I had loaded, I was sighted in for them, they grouped better than anything else I had at the time and hunting bullets just poked through them without anchoring them. I didn't want any long chases.
One example is that I hit a buck behind and below the shoulder. The bullet went in and split. Both pieces went towards the neck. One went down from there and blew through the bottom of his throat. The second went up and tore out 3-4 inches of neck bone. The effect was just devastating. It turned him inside out. Nothing but soft tissue was hit.
I would not use these for any tougher game such as deer because of lack of penetration.
I have a .308 and have it set up for sniping. i just read the other day to stay away from match because of expansion, i guess it depends on what you are shooting, the article was about shooting a human. i would just try a few loads and stay with the best. good luck.
August 21, 2007, 07:29 AM
I have a .308 and have it set up for sniping. i just read the other day to stay away from match because of expansion, i guess it depends on what you are shooting, the article was about shooting a human.
It's good you read. You might try reading "The Ultimate Sniper" by John Plaster. It's a reference book for real snipers.
August 21, 2007, 09:44 AM
Let's stay off the "sniping". That's a whole different deal from hunting ethics on game animals.
August 21, 2007, 12:20 PM
Before I knew better, I used 190 matchkings in my .308 for deer hunting. I shot a doe and a buck with them. Did it kill them? Yup. Would I do it again? Nope. Both were perfect heart shots at about 40 yards. Bullet burned a hole clean through them without expanding. Both deer "mule kicked" and took off running. This was hunting near Statesboro, GA, and the area was pretty thick. Both deer ran between 60-100 yards before expiring. The buck left a very small blood trail, and the doe left none at all. Needless to say it took a very long time to find them, and wandering through thick vegetation and swamp in the general direction I heard them crash was not a pleasant experience. I would not recommend using them when there are so many better bullet choices that will do their job AND shoot almost as accurate as the match bullets at realistic hunting ranges. Hope this helps.
August 21, 2007, 12:29 PM
I know several people who have used 175-190gr SMKs with repeatable success on deer and antelope.
August 21, 2007, 12:39 PM
I wouldn't...match bullets are designed much differently than hunting bullets
August 21, 2007, 02:05 PM
Screwdrivers make lousy chisels. Chisels don't work well as screwdrivers. If a dang ol' wrench-bender can figure out about the proper tool for a job, why can't us oh-so-smart rifle shooters?
August 21, 2007, 06:27 PM
Before I knew better, I used 190 matchkings in my .308 for deer hunting. I shot a doe and a buck with them. Did it kill them? Yup. Would I do it again? Nope. Both were perfect heart shots at about 40 yards. Bullet burned a hole clean through them without expanding. Both deer "mule kicked" and took off running. This was hunting near Statesboro, GA, and the area was pretty thick. Both deer ran between 60-100 yards before expiring. The buck left a very small blood trail, and the doe left none at all. Needless to say it took a very long time to find them, and wandering through thick vegetation and swamp in the general direction I heard them crash was not a pleasant experience. I would not recommend using them when there are so many better bullet choices that will do their job AND shoot almost as accurate as the match bullets at realistic hunting ranges.
Ditto: I have seen this very same thing happen. The Match bullets went right through the deer, like you shot them with monolithic solids. Absolutely no expansion what so ever, just a clean little hole from a .308. I was faced with a similar dilema with my .300 WSM. It would shoot matchkings very well. Then I reloaded some Gamekings and they shot almost identical. From what I understand, the gamekings are very close to performance with the match bullets, but made for hunting. I can not be happier with my 165 gk's for hunting. They are very accurate and work great on deer sized game.
August 21, 2007, 07:21 PM
I'm not sure how they were constructed, but 30 years ago Norma used to refer to the 180gr pointed soft point boat tails they loaded in their 7.62X54R hunting loads as match bullets. Whether they were using the term to describe their accuracy potential, or were actually loading match bullets, I can't say, but They did shoot 3/4" groups from my sporterized Remington Mosin-Nagant...
August 23, 2007, 05:36 PM
seems to me that the consenses ois to ..."use hunting bullets for hunting, and match for, well... match". thanks guys, for all you info. i am thinking that the only huntin i would do with match bullets, if need be, would be coyote huntin. seeing how you say that the bullets went clean through, small little hole, i think thatwould be best on saving pelts. thanks again guys, brian
August 26, 2007, 09:52 PM
Match Bullets for hunting? What are you cheap? The best game bullets will cost less. Buy some of the highly recommended game bullets. They are not the same and using match bullets sucks.