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Match Bullets For Deer Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Keyfer 55, Nov 3, 2022.

  1. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    Good,Bad and the ugly! I believe most match bullets are suitable for hunting applications in the lower 48.
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I would disagree with you. They very often tend to pencil through doing very little damage. A perfect shot with a match bullet will no doubt work. The rub comes with those less than perfect shots. A match bullet results in a lost deer that dies a slow painful death. A quality expanding hunting bullet results in the deer going a modest distance with a good blood trail and the deer is recovered.

    The deciding thing for me was shooting milk jugs at 250 yard with my 6mm Creedmoor using Barnes Match Burner bullets. I thought I was missing the jugs, moved over to the paper target next to the jugs and had good hits. Went down range and the water jugs were empty to the lowest bullet hole. The bullet had passed clean through a 1 gallon milk jug, 6mm hole in, 6mm hole out, and made so little disturbance to jug that we could not see it at 250 yards through a 60x spotting scope.

    There is no reason to use match bullets, there are plenty of good hunting bullet that shoot nearly as well as match bullets and yet have the desired terminal effect to help ensure quick human kills.

    Finally check local laws, depend on the match bullets construction it may or may not be a legal choice. Given many match bullet are consider FMJ they would not be legal in TN were I do most of my hunting.
     
  3. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    Match bullets aren't designed to expand
     
  4. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Definitely not. Match bullets fall apart into little pieces when shot into flesh and bone. They can kill, given the right shot placement (just like FMJ) but there are enough far better options that it's not worth it. I'm embarrassed to say that I'm saying all of this from first hand experience. Killed my elk last year with a 168 gr. Sierra Match King.
     
  5. N555

    N555 Member

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    Match bullets do weird things when they hit animals. Some bullets blow to bits like varmint bullets, others don't expand, some expand unpredictability.
    As far as I can tell the jackets of match bullets usually aren't scored and drawn thin for reliable expansion.
    I think the typical match bullet has too hard/thick of a jacket at the nose, too soft of a core and no provisions to keep the core and jacket together after impact.
     
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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    While I wouldn’t want to get hit by any bullet, if I could choose it would be by a bullet intended for paper vs flesh.

    If I wanted one bullet for everything I would probably shoot paper with a decent hunting bullet vs the other way around.
     
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  7. Risky buisness

    Risky buisness Member

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    While match bullets are technically a ' bullet ' they aren't suitable for a hunting projectile. Much like an FMJ also isnt suitable. Game laws dont allow the use of non expanding projectiles. Ethics shouldn't either.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    As I understand the timeline, somebody discovered that Berger VLD bullets WOULD expand, and abruptly at that.
    Now Berger makes specific hunting bullets with thinner jackets for even more expansion.
     
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  9. N555

    N555 Member

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    That what I did. I bought every 6.5mm hunting bullet I could find tested a couple powders and several different loads until I found 2 great bullets. Sold the left overs.
    For 30-30 I bought the 160gr ftx bullet and just went with it, not that there's any match bullets for 30-30.
     
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  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Any bullet kills deer, soon or later. Are you good at tracking? Sierra makes the core of the bullet from four lead alloys: 6% antimony-4% tin, 6% antimony, 3% antimony, 1 1/2% antimony and pure lead, for a reason. deer2r.gif
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  11. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Illegal and unethical in my state. Only soft point expanding bullets
     
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  12. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I'm with the other guys, I don't use match bullets for hunting, and a lot of bullet manufacturers agree:

    From Berger FAQs:

    https://bergerbullets.com/information/faq-frequently-asked-questions/

    Sierra:

    https://www.sierrabullets.com/product/30-caliber-7-62mm-220-gr-hpbt-matchking/

    Nolser

    https://www.nosler.com/faq

    So I know that a lot of guys know more than the manufacturers do, but sometimes it's better to be on the safe side. Personally I've had quite a few coyotes run off, only to die later when hit with: .223 69 OTMs and TMKs and .243 105 Berger Hybrids. I no longer bother shooting match bullets at living things.

    The MK262 77 OTM load has been used in combat successfully, but humane quick kills aren't a concern.
     
  13. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Actually, match bullets can be and are used very successfully for hunting deer-sized game, proven by hundreds of rifle and handgun hunters. Used in sub-sonic rounds like the .300 BO the right match bullet will tumble in game making a substantial wound with ample penetration. This is not theory, but fact. After all, the original .300 Whisper was designed to kill humans in silenced weapons using match bullets.

    OTOH, used in supersonic cartridges with tight-twist barrels they certainly can behave erratically and are not a good choice. In this instance you have to match the right job to the tool.



    .
     
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  14. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I used 69 grain Sierra Match Kings in a 5.56 to kill several deer. All shots were high shoulder and I never had to track any of them. I didn’t know squat about projectiles back then and I was completely satisfied with my results. That said, I would go a different route if I was using a 5.56 to deer hunt today
     
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  15. 9x56MS

    9x56MS Member

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    That’s akin to using a dry fly for catfish! Not the right tool for the job.
     
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  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Does this matter, design intent? Just curious because we should not be using kevlar ballistic vests if that is the case because kevlar was designed for use in car tires, not ballistic vests. That is what it was designed for, never mind all of the things it is used in and works very well.

    I always go back to Hornady made their AMAX match bullet. It was a match bullet originally noted NOT for hunting in their ads, yet deer hunters found it to be a very good round for deer hunting and eventually Hornady was marketing the AMAX for hunting.

    There are a lot of hunters who happily use the AMAX replacement, the ELD-M for hunting and are quite happy with it. I have shot some hunting rounds, good expanding hunting rounds that would be excellent match ammo, though they were not designed for that. Go figure.

    The bottom line here is that just because a product was "designed for" or "marketed" toward a certain portion of the market does not mean the bullet will necessarily perform well in the area for which it was designed or will necessarily not perform well in some other area. I have tried out some expanding bullets that were sold for hunting (and I assume were "designed for" hunting) that didn't work as well as some match ammo I have tried. You don't know until you try.

    Here is a neat test on ballistic performance in gel between 6.5 CM in 143 ELD-X hunting bullet and 140 ELD-M match bullet. The overall performance is fairly similar with the lighter ELD-M bullet not penetrating quite as far, but getting better expansion of the bullet. Penetration on both may be considered a bit too much by some hunters.



    Of course, ballistics gel isn't the be all to end all of performance testing, but it does give some ballpark ideas about performance, sans bones and changes in tissue densities.

    By and large, if a person didn't know anything else, I would suggest staying away from match bullets for hunting and go with hunting bullets as the hunting bullets are more likely going to be reliable expanders than the match ammo. With that said, I don't think I have fired much in the way of match ammo that didn't expand or fragment inside of animals. The problem for me is that much of it does not seem to perform consistently. Maybe it mushrooms on impact and maybe 6" inside. Maybe it mushrooms or maybe it fragments. I have shot plenty of "expanding" ammo that while it did expand, expanded less than some match ammo I have used. However, if you have done your homework, then you may find 'match' bullets that do very well for the job.
     
  17. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    There’s a lot of evidence that Lapua Scenars do a good job too consistently

    I don’t have any interest in using a match bullet, myself, for a variety of reasons but for the explosive and accurate crowd, there are examples of good crossover. Some things are accidentally good at things they weren’t designed for
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Match bullets are appropriate for shooting rifle matches. If you want to shoot a 600 in an F Class match, you better use match bullets. If you are hunting, you don't get sighter's, you don't have wind flags, and you don't have a re settable electronic target. And, I really, really doubt, whatever additiion intrinisic accuracy of a match bullet is going to make the slightest difference in a hunting situation. Unless you are one of those using bench rest rifles, shooting them off concrete benches, and shooting at animals at ranges beyond any reasonable ethical limits. There are guys who do that, they have rests at locations where they shoot across valleys. At those super long distance shots all the cool kids brag about, the bullets are not expanding. They are moving too slowly to expand. And, it is unethical because I bet these long range types gut shoot about 20 animals for every one they collect.

    Lets say you are shoot out to 300 yards, hunting bullets will do nicely.

    Core Lokts on a windy day:

    Yna1cpc.jpg

    All of these targets were before CMP Talladega put rings in the black. All I had to shoot is some huge black dot, and the best I could do is quarter the thing. With rings, I could hold off on a ring when I notice the wind blowing a bit harder.

    I don't have the scope adjustment in this 6.5 Swede for 600 yard shooting. Opps!

    Hunting bullets

    CxAvvog.jpg

    2u4Glrd.jpg


    kmgedxu.jpg



    this is a great rifle.

    HB9skFG.jpg

    Core Lokt's again

    jzQLKOZ.jpg


    FT1YVAK.jpg


    cracked case necks made a larger error than Core Lokt's

    xYdJUKe.jpg

    not only hunting bullets, pulled hunting bullets

    wgm1Lzh.jpg


    pulled hunting bullets

    X6r738U.jpg

    I think the wide shots were bullets that were tumbling. You have to shoot the things to find out if the bullets tumble at distance.

    CYmKAJ8.jpg


    clearly tumbling at distance. Match bullets also tumble.

    rF1Cj1Q.jpg


    pulled hunting bullets

    yhqoL5d.jpg

    8inhs5s.jpg


    same bullets, different powder charge

    8CvOtfU.jpg

    Can you do better with a hunting rifle at 600 yards? Mind you, I had sighting shots.

    glW9y3a.jpg

    Today's good hunting bullets are more accurate than the old match bullets of yore. Stamping technology and process control are producing the best bullets we ever have had.

    Use the bullets that are designed to expand, shoot them at distances where they still have the velocity to expand. And don't shoot them at distances where you can't keep them all on a dinner plate.
     
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  19. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Hey, this is THR, can we please stick to hunting animals.
     
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  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Add an "e" at the end of human, and the sentence reads entirely differently!
     
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  21. mcb

    mcb Member

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    LOL, my poor spelling/grammar bites me in the butt again. Yes I meant "humane" not "human" in that sentence!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  22. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    TROLL!

    It's obvious that he's looking for controversy. I placed Keyfer 55 in my "ignore" category.
     
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  23. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I would check with the bullet manufacturer about the suitability of using a bullet labled / indicated as a "match" bullet when thinking about using it on big game .
    With emails and the internet getting an answer quickly wouldn't be a problem and sure beats wounding a deer and leaving it to die a slow death ... that's not very good sportsmanship .
    I quickly looked in a Hornady Reloading Manual ...30 cal. 150 gr. ...they show Eight (8) different bullets ... you need a program to tell the players apart ...
    When in dought ... I'm going to ask !
    Gary
     
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  24. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Just because a bullet is designed for match grade accuracy doesn't mean it won't kill game. Just because a bullet is designed to kill game doesn't mean it can't produce match grade accuracy.

    There are SOME match bullets that perform poorly. Some perform just fine on game even though they aren't specifically designed for game. Berger bullets were initially designed for match shooting. But hunters tried them and discovered they worked just fine. Berger, like any smart company, saw an opportunity to sell more bullets so they tweaked the bullet design SLIGHTLY and started marketing a separate bullet as a hunting bullet.

    Hornady used to advertise their A-Max bullets as both a match and hunting bullet. But discovered they were missing sales by not offering 2 versions, one for hunting, one for match use. They no longer recommend the A-Max for hunting even though it is the same bullet they used to recommend for both. They now make the ELD-X for hunting, the ELD-M is their match bullet. Hunters who have shot game with both report the exact same results.

    I have read of unsatisfactory results when using Seirra Match King bullets on game so not all match bullets should be used for hunting.

    The Lapua Scenar bullets are a match bullet but have earned a reputation as a deadly hunting bullet. Here is a thread started about 11 years ago and is still active documenting the use of the Scenar's. I've seen enough that they are now my go-to bullet for my 308 and 6.5CM.

    Deceased via Scenar bullet pix please.. - 24hourcampfire
     
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  25. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    You may be right, but It's just like the "best cartridge for bear" threads. Some of us have already been there, got the T shirt, and formed our own opinions. But newer folks will have the same questions we once had, over and over again.:cool:
     
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