Sierra Game King vs. Hornady Interlock

Savage30L

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My next batch of 30-06 loads will be 165-grain bullets, probably pushed by H380. I'm trying to decide between the 2 bullets mentioned above. For those of you who have shot deer with both bullets, which do you recommend? Ranges will be under 100 yards.
 
Never from a 30 cal, but my 250 savage loved 100gr interlock. They worked great on deer and antelope. I hate that Hornady discontinued them.
 
I use Sierra Gameking 165 BTSP for deer. That bullet is one fine freezer filler. I did try the SGK 165 gr BTHP and didn’t like its expansion and damage it did to a doe. Fist size exit and damaged quite a bit. Hit her at 75 yards and she still ran 50 yards. The BTSP had a little more than a quarter size exit and they drop on the spot.

I load IMR4350 and SGK for my -06.

Only interlock I use is a 100 gr in my daughters .243 and they are consistent on feeling the freezer.
 
I’ve used both in various calibers/chamberings. Loaded hot, the Sierra did great in 270 win, but damage(if meat is a concern) was quite impressive. In 30-06, I have had drt, to 1/2 mile blood trails. Both were double lung shots. One was unpressured, the other was very keyed up. The interlock has held together better in my experience. Also has been just as accurate; I prefer the boatail variant.
 
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I consider the Sierras more fragile than the Interlock. So I generally prefer the Interlock for more predictable performance under a variety of conditions. However I had a rifle that didn't shoot Interlocks well, but shot OK with Sierras.

My son got his deer with the Sierra at about 100 yes. Bullet expansion was excessive but effective.
 
The one that shoots the best out of your rifle. The SGKs gave me better accuracy and never have failed on Whitetail or 150 lb hogs. Good luck finding Sierra stuff as of late. 7mm bullets at least are a tough find...
 
Thanks for the replies, fellows. They were on point; I'm looking for expansion that is sufficient without being excessive, as I'm tired of destroying too much meat. The last three deer I shot (two with Nosler BT, one with a Swift Scirocco II) looked like they'd been hit by a bazooka. So, I guess Hornady it will be.
 
I’ve also been happy with how the 178 gr ELDX has performed in 308 and 06. Animals dropped in their tracks. And the expansion was more what I wanted to see. I know they are touted as more long range, and some rifles don’t like em, but running them slow they still expand. If they stabilize… but I digress from the two subjects at hand. Just another couple cents.
 
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Thanks for the replies, fellows. They were on point; I'm looking for expansion that is sufficient without being excessive, as I'm tired of destroying too much meat. The last three deer I shot (two with Nosler BT, one with a Swift Scirocco II) looked like they'd been hit by a bazooka. So, I guess Hornady it will be.
That’s always the balancing act: a bang-flop w/o wasting meat. I found with the Sierras in .30-06, HP for target and SP for field. For 100yd and over shots when the bucks are rutting I like to use the 180gr RNSP loaded down to around 2400fps with IMR 4064. It works well with minimal loss and is always a thru-n-thru. I will also let anything that isn’t an ideal shot pass by.
 
I'm just going to throw this out there.
For ranges under 100yds, have you considered slowing everything down? Way down. 30-30 or at most 300 savage speeds?
Yes I have, and, in fact, recently loaded 150-grain FP bullets in 30-06 cases with reduced charges of IMR 4895, in an attempt to replicate 30-30 ballistics from a 30-06; and just last week I loaded 170-grain flat points with a reduced charge of IMR 4895 (and I posted about both these loadings on THR, I guess you didn't see the posts). So, I'm exploring every avenue I can think of, also including hunting with .45 Colt or 12-gauge shotgun with slugs. I've killed quite a few deer with the latter, with much less tissue damage to the deer.

Edited to add: Where I hunt, the vegetation is very thick, and I don't anticipate any shots much beyond 50 yards. I'm thinking of putting up a tree stand in a different part of that property, or another property where I have permission, that might, potentially, give me a 100 yard shot, but there wouldn't be anything beyond that range.
 
I'm looking for expansion that is sufficient without being excessive, as I'm tired of destroying too much meat.

Lay off the shoulder. If you don’t shoot through meat, you won’t ruin it.

I went through a lot of bullets over the years, just trying different methods and different designs - and for the last ~15-16 years, I preferentially hunt deer with extremely rapid expanding bullets, and I pick deer out of the dirt where they were short far more often than I did when I was “punching shoulders” and “breaking down deer” or “knocking a wheel off” or “anchoring deer” with more “traditional hunting bullets”…
 
For past 3 years, if you were trying to decide on one or the other you would be using Hornady, as they were consistently on the shelf. Sierra no where to be found. And I have a natural bias towards Sierra as they are made about 50 miles from here. But if you can't buy them you can't load them.

Put another way, all of the rifles I'm loading for are shooting Interlocks......by default. They are available and they work.
 
For past 3 years, if you were trying to decide on one or the other you would be using Hornady, as they were consistently on the shelf. Sierra no where to be found. And I have a natural bias towards Sierra as they are made about 50 miles from here. But if you can't buy them you can't load them.

Put another way, all of the rifles I'm loading for are shooting Interlocks......by default. They are available and they work.
I already happened to have both sitting on a shelf, just waiting for my attention.

By the way, Natchez has had both in stock regularly for the past couple of years, at least in .30 caliber anyway. I've only been reloading for a little over a year and bought those boxes about a year ago.

Edited to add: I just checked. Natchez doesn't show the 165-grain Game King any more but they show the 180-grain for $38.69 per hundred, along with some Hornady Interlocks.
 
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Lay off the shoulder. If you don’t shoot through meat, you won’t ruin it.

I went through a lot of bullets over the years, just trying different methods and different designs - and for the last ~15-16 years, I preferentially hunt deer with extremely rapid expanding bullets, and I pick deer out of the dirt where they were short far more often than I did when I was “punching shoulders” and “breaking down deer” or “knocking a wheel off” or “anchoring deer” with more “traditional hunting bullets”…
I try to do that when I can. In 2022 I shot a young buck at about 40 yards. He was facing directly toward me and wouldn't turn. I aimed directly at the heart area and shot, and the bullet went exactly where I aimed it. It was a Nosler BT and it liquefied the heart and lungs, and also, unfortunately, shredded the entire left shoulder so badly that I had to discard the whole left leg. Experiences like that led me to explore larger, slower bullets, reduced loads, etc.
 
In 2022 I shot a young buck at about 40 yards. He was facing directly toward me and wouldn't turn.

If you hadn’t taken that compromised angle shot, would you still be sitting in the woods 2 years later with that young buck still facing directly towards you at 40 yards, neither of you having moved in all of that time?
 
I try to do that when I can. In 2022 I shot a young buck at about 40 yards. He was facing directly toward me and wouldn't turn. I aimed directly at the heart area and shot, and the bullet went exactly where I aimed it. It was a Nosler BT and it liquefied the heart and lungs, and also, unfortunately, shredded the entire left shoulder so badly that I had to discard the whole left leg. Experiences like that led me to explore larger, slower bullets, reduced loads, etc.
I'm not that guy, but if you are very close range have the velosity, and don't want the bullet to explode, copper might give you better results. The other option is trying a bonded bullet like the Speer gold dot. I know people love the nosler but I'm not independently wealthy.
 
If you hadn’t taken that compromised angle shot, would you still be sitting in the woods 2 years later with that young buck still facing directly towards you at 40 yards, neither of you having moved in all of that time?
I'm not sure I get the thrust of your question (if it's not a jest), but the sun was setting, deer season was winding down, and I didnt' have a deer in the freezer yet.
 
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