wrong Sierra Gameking bullet?


June 19, 2009, 09:32 PM
I bought a box of 165 gr .308 hpbt Sierra Gamekings (part no. 2140). I didn't know there were 2 styles, a hollow point and a soft point (part no. 2145). Aside from not having a great ballistic coefficient, I'm not really sure what these are intended to be used on. I had heard that Gamekings are a good deer bullet, and was going to use these for a New Mexico mule deer hunt. I hadn't decided if I will use a .30/06 or 300 wsm. Has anyone used these or have an opinion on which one of these bullets is better for deer hunting? Thanks in advance for any info or advice. John

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June 19, 2009, 09:38 PM
I would not use hpbt on deer.

June 19, 2009, 10:05 PM
Are you sure they're not match kings? The match bullet is a hollow point, not designed for expansion. All the game kings I've ever loaded were soft point boat tails, but then, I haven't bought any in a while. I've been shooting nosler BTs in .308 last 10 years or so. I shoot game kings in my 7 mag and my .257 Roberts, very accurate and effective bullet.

I shoot match king 150s in 7mm TCU and 150 game kings in 7mm Rem Mag. The two bullets look the same except for the tip.

June 19, 2009, 11:43 PM
OP is correct. There are 2 types of the 165 gamekings. All I could find were the spbt, but I wanted the hollow points. I had the chance to see what those HPs will do to a deer shot at 150yrds with the 06. It was....impressive. Both are very good deer bullets though. I might even go so far to say that the hps may be overkill.

June 19, 2009, 11:53 PM
Are you sure they're not match kings?

I thought the same thing once I opened them up, but they're labeled "GameKing" and they are shown on the Sierra site http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=rifle&brandID=2&displayAll=1
I should probably call Sierra to be sure.
Thanks, John

June 20, 2009, 02:23 AM
Both gamekings are in my sierra loading manual and they don't make a 165 matchking.

Art Eatman
June 20, 2009, 10:54 AM
I've used most all the Sierra hunting bullets of 150 to 180 grains, messing around with the loads in my '06.

For a while I used the 165-grain HPBTs. I have found them to be very accurate insofar as tight groups.

I only killed one doe with that bullet. About 30 yards, from a tree stand. The bullet ranged downward through the right shoulder blade and totaly blew out the upper end of the left foreleg.

In a discussion of Sierra bullets, a Sierra person joined in with the comment that the 150-grain and 165-grain boattail bullets aren't quite as heavily constructed as are the flat base. You can over-drive them and if at impact they're above some 2,700 ft/sec or thereabouts, they'll come apart. I had that happen on a neck shot at 30 yards with a 150-grain SPBT. (My '06 with its 26" barrel gets a tad more muzzle velocity than the usual 22" barrels--and I load up to .308 pressure levels.)

The boat-tails are a good solution if you commonly expect shots out at 200 yards or more. Less distance and they're answers looking for a question.

However, the 180-grain SPBTs are more heavily constructed, and won't blow up. Granted, it's hard to get a .308 or '06 to drive them above 2,700 ft/sec at the muzzle. :)

Flat base bullets? No problem.

June 20, 2009, 11:13 AM
I've shot them off-and-on for 35yrs. Me and a friend also use the .257 equivalent (120gr BTHP) in our .25's.

Like Art stated, they're a "little" softer than the equivalent ProHunter (flat-base) and GameKing Pointed SoftPoint BoatTail.

But, from a .30/06, there's little difference at ranges beyond 100yds.

The GREAT THING about these bullets is that they're not deformed by recoil and/or feeding through a magazine like the other two "SOFT!" pointed bullets.

Just day-before-yesterday, I took my Colt Lt-Rifle to the range. I'd left it loaded from when hunting with it back in January (Yeah, yeah, I know- but it was still in the case........nothing in the chamber...) The top round bullet nose was jagged/bent/ mishappend from several trips from the magazine to the chamber. The next three were flattened from recoil of the rifle from shooting the buck I took with it two days before the end of the season. (no, I'd cleaned the gun the evening after shooting it...).

Curious to see what the "damage" to the bullets would do to target impact; after shooting some other ammo I was testing, I went back to the 165's. The mangled nose bullet, landed 1.7" low at 100yds (below zero point), and the 3 flattened nose bullets went into a 1/2" group, 1" below zero. Total group was 1.7", but the first shot "flyer opened the group by over an inch.....

Wouldn't have caused a "miss" on a deer inside 300yds, but a "noticeable" difference in performance.

So, now you know why Sierra finds reason to keep the BTHP "GAMEKING" in the inventory. The slight difference in B.C. is really insignificant and changes with velocity regime that it's operating at. Unless shooting over 500yds with UNDAMAGED BULLET TIPS, it wouldn't make any real difference.

Compared to the other bullet I frequently use, the Remington CorLokt, they definitely out perform the CorLokt at extreame range, which is what they were intended to do, anyhow....

I suggest you enjoy your "find" !

June 20, 2009, 11:31 AM
We prefer their Pro-Hunter line of bullets. More accurate and no jacket/core separation when heavy bones are struck.

In my opinion, boat tails are over-rated as hunting bullets. Unless bullet departs the case perfectly, pressure can cause a very slight wobble to the narrow base which affects accuracy. Plain flat base bullets do not share this phenomenon at all.

It's common for non-bonded boat tail bullets to experience jacket/core separation when bones are struck.

An average sized Dakota muley buck weighs in at about 225 lbs but we've taken a few that crossed the 300 lb mark. Yet their chest walls are only slightly thicker than female does which weigh in 100 lbs less. My point is that once the soft tip bullet smashes through the ribs, destruction of the chest organs will occur.

Magazine writers that state a bigger cartridge is req'd for bigger deer are on the "magnum payroll". Chest wall thickness dictates appropriate bullet/cartridge and not simply the weight of animal factor.


June 20, 2009, 02:20 PM
Thank you everyone for the great input. I must say I didn't expect this much solid insight on a relatively mundane topic- this is a great board!

So just to be sure I'm hearing you guys right, this is what I've gathered;

1. If desired impact velocity is about 2700, I should probably not use the 165 gr. HPBT in a 300 wsm that shoots 180's great. I'm asking for trouble and fixing what isn't broken.

2. I could load these up in my 22" barrelled .30/06 and PROBABLY be OK and might even get really good terminal performance depending on how far the shot is.

I'll load some up and if they're noticably more accurate than Hornady SST's, they'll go hunting. Most likely some will be kept in my truck for opportunistic shots on coyotes and the rest might make good reduced loads for my boys.

I guess this is what happens when a guy who over-thinks things as it is only gets drawn for one hunt.

Thanks again,

June 20, 2009, 04:22 PM
I like the 100 grain in .257" in my Roberts, works very well. It can break some bones and still penetrate well. I did have a 150 in the 7 mag blow the off side shoulder nearly off a doe at 50 yards, though, much as Art describes. WOW, that was like setting off a bomb in that deer. I've not shot a hollow point game king, though.

I sorta like the Nosler BT a little better. It basically is a hollowpoint with a plastic tip stuck in it. I've been shooting it in .308 in the 150 grain and am quite impressed with penetration AND expansion with that bullet. I push it at about 2800 fps and it's very accurate.

June 20, 2009, 04:58 PM
mcgunner said:
I sorta like the Nosler BT a little better

In theory, I like them better too. I have some but they didn't shoot as well as Hornady SST's out of my gun. I'll have to see how they do with Reloder 17. I guess thats the fun of any new powder, bullet, barell or gun- starting over. At which point, the wife asks "didn't you do all this last year" and I change the subject.

June 20, 2009, 07:01 PM
They shoot great out of my .308, but then, what doesn't? :D

Art Eatman
June 20, 2009, 08:22 PM
Shifting emphasis a bit: I use the Sierra 85-grain HPBT as a whitetail and coyote bullet. Only neck shots or cross-body heart shots on deer, but they've all been one-shot kills, and no trailing at all. I dunno; 20+, anyhow.

Coyotes? Ruinacious.

I've always gotten sub-MOA from Sierras...

June 21, 2009, 02:25 AM
"...a great ballistic coefficient..." Compared to what? In any case, the ballistic coefficient isn't as important as the accuracy. And Bambi won't care.

Art Eatman
June 21, 2009, 07:36 AM
K-Dirt, your notions for #1 and #2 look righteous to me...

Playing the memory game: A few years back, Matt Guest and I were headed back to hunt camp. Saw a coyote. I was messing with the Federal Premium High Energy for my '06, with the 165-grain Sierra HPBT at 3,150 for muzzle velocity.

The coyote was at maybe fifty yards, standing crosswise. I hit a tad low in the chest. I'd say that about a double-handful of coyote got blown out.

Since my hunting in that area would most probably see shots of over 200 yards, on out to maybe 400 or even more, that bullet would work. In close-up country, however, I'd definitely not want to be a little off on point of impact, however, and get into the eating-meat.

I'd figure that a muzzle velocity of around 2,700 would make that bullet a winner.

June 21, 2009, 08:31 AM
I used the 168 hp gameking in a .308 with excellent results. had a partial box laying around for awhile and played with loading some in .300 winmag (without any prior research) and got exceptional groups. I was going thru an "accuracy was king" phase or sumthing at that time and then I shot a big Minnesota whitetail buck with one of them. straight on shot to the briskit at 160 yards. He dropped like dynamite and sand bags. post mortem showed no exterior sign of damage but the bullet had hit him base of the throat, pulverized 2-3 vertebra between the shoulder blades, total seperation into core and shards, and the bullet core about the size of a broken off #2 pencil lead traveled along the top of the spine under the hide to the base of the tail. dramatic effect, dead deer, but very poor bullet choice in that application.

June 24, 2009, 07:59 PM
Check out this link from Sierra website concerning their GameKing HP.


June 24, 2009, 08:55 PM
Kingcreek said he used 168 gr HP. The only 168 gr HPs are Matchking which are intended for paper, not deer.

The Gameking HP is 165 gr.

June 24, 2009, 11:00 PM
I have used that particular bullet in my antique '70 and in both BAR autos in '06 for way over twenty years with outstanding results............one shot, drop dead right there has been the invariable result on these hyped up dog run Florida bucks as well as the larger variety in the Appalachians.......absolute lighting on piney woods rooters at over 300 pounds too.

I first discovered that bullet after using Sierra's similarly designed soft point.......just got tired of looking at the 'dubbed' recoil induced noses & tried the HPs on a whim...........I have never looked back.

Mine'r stoked with 57.5 of IMR 4350 and runs about 2850 to 2900 out of the longer BBLD '70 and about 1 to 150 less from the autos............Yeah, I know, don't use a slow number like 4350 in 'em.....but I have never had any issues and that load cloverleaves at 100 in my old gun and holds less than an inch in the std and liteweight BARs..........great bullet.

June 25, 2009, 10:56 AM
Kingcreek said he used 168 gr HP. The only 168 gr HPs are Matchking which are intended for paper, not deer.

The Gameking HP is 165 gr.
you are correct. My mistake. they are 165

Mr. T
July 8, 2009, 02:29 AM
I have personally used the Sierra Gameking HPBT's in 165gr in my 30.06 and they are one shot killers provided you put the round in the kill zone. I have shot some nice bucks with them and I only had to shoot them once. This last year I used the Fusion rounds from Federal, because I couldn't find the Gameking HPBT's, and they did OK. I shot two bucks with them and one of them I had to shoot twice. If I would have been using the Gamekings I don't think that I would have needed that second shot. I would not hesitate to recommend the hollow point version; if you shoot the deer behind the shoulder, there shouldn't be much if any meat lost to extensive damage. Using the HPBT with a shot just behind the shoulder you'll take out both lungs and your deer won't run more than 25 to 50 yards if he doesn't just drop right where he stands. That's my 30 years worth of deer hunting opinion though!

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 11:45 AM
The match bullet is a hollow point, not designed for expansion. The match bullet is a hollow point, not designed for expansion. ??

...ever see what a Hornady A-Max will do to a whitetail at 130y. (168gr 30-06)

Might as well have hit the thing with a rifle grenade. SPLAT!:eek:


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