I came to that conclusion after testing it during a recent deer hunt. Three whitetails were shot using Federal MatchKing 175 gr .308 ammo (featuring the Sierra MatchKing bullet). All shots were under 100 yards.
The ammo’s performance definitely instilled a great deal of confidence. The first to drop, a buck, was taken through the lungs. How he ever managed to make the two or three leaps he did before piling up face-first I’ll never understand.
The round zapped him like a lightning bolt and you could drive a Mack truck through the wound channel.
Next, two does got similar treatment, and again the match bullet literally turned them inside out. The wounds were cavernous but little meat was lost due to taking them through the hamburger region in the front-lower shoulder. Not much was left of the vitals.
As Gun Digest author Wayne van Zwoll tells us in his Technical Rifleman blog, new concept hunting bullets that disintegrate into tiny particles are being tested and developed by specialty firms.
“We’ve found they kill better than deep-driving softpoints,” says Dustin Worrell, who runs Dynamic Research Technologies (DRT). “In fact, we’ve used them on nilgai.”
While all of my shots were close, McMurchy noted that the match bullets actually performed better at extended ranges on deer. He relates the details of a 685-yard shot:
“Glen’s rifle barked, and his 175-grain bullet traveled in a 10 1/2-foot arc toward the deer. It simultaneously drifted more than 3 feet to the right before penetrating the chest of the bedded doe. Her head dropped and she was still. The other two deer jumped to their feet … Another factory loaded 175-grain Sierra Match King sailed across the valley on its deadly mission. The buck dropped with a broken spine.”
Certainly there is no shortage of great hunting bullets on the market today. And most will perform splendidly at the short and medium ranges at which deer hunters tend to take shots.
But if you’re hunting a field edge or the wide, open spaces of the West, and need an effective long-range hunting cartridge, take it from a guy who filled his freezer with fresh venison: match ammo is absolutely up to the task.
I recommend you check out the new Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Rifles.
You’ll learn about:
- Rifle history
- American and European Rifles
- Rifle Ammunition and Ballistics
- Rifle Sights and Zero
- How to shoot rifles well