Sierra Game King bullets

DOC-404

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I think they are great in the 375 H&H, I tried to buy a bunch years ago and they were always sold out. But I'd load them for plains game in a heartbeat.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have used them for years in my 375, on many hunts, on all plains game up to Eland and on big cats. Hand loaded right, and with correct shot placement, you will have no problems. The 250gr SGK's are good, accurate bullets.
 

enysse

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I was wondering where you were, thanks for backing me up.
 

norfolk shooter

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Splendid I shall place an order next week. Hope to go to the range this weekend and generate some brass :W Sniper:
 

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Just seen this thread now. I have used Sierra game kings in my 375 for sable, bushbuck, puku and waterbuck. All shot between 100 and 200 meters and all of the animals took one shot and dropped within 30 meters of where they were standing. I have had a different experience from people who say they break up and explode upon impact. I recovered two bullets from the waterbuck and sable and each weighed up to 240gr upon recovery.

The destruction they caused within the animal was devastating and it's my bullet of choice as it is very accurate and I can shift it at 2850fps without worrying whether it will hold up or not.
 

matt85

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my only gripe about the .375" 250gr Sierra's is that i couldnt get them to shoot for beans in my CZ 550 375 H&H. otherwise Sierra, Remington, Speer, and even Hornady cup/core bullets are fine for small or medium game. assuming you use the proper size/weight bullet for the job. just dont push them too hard otherwise you can expect core/jacket seperation.

-matt
 

jduckhunter

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Here's a photo of two 30 cal. 165 gr. Sierra GK's we found under the skin on the off side of my daughter's red stag she took in New Zealand a few weeks ago. The stag was quartered toward her and she hit him between the shoulder and the brisket at 150 yds. I don't know that you could have asked for too much more from a bullet.
HPIM0691.JPG
 

Velo Dog

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Howdy fellers,

The old Sierra flat base spitzer I think is now known as their "Game King" bullet, in various calibers (?)
Some GK bullets are still made flat base and some now are made in boat tail configuration (?)
At any rate, standard velocity cartridges (7x57, .30-06, etc) at any typical hunting distances or, "magnum" cartridges for very long range shots at thin skinned game, seem to do very well with Sierra bullets in general (except in hollow point version as I have experienced several failures to expand with same - save those for target shooting).

Generally speaking, I prefer round nose bullets or flat nose bullets for most of my hunting these days.
But back when I used to hunt in Northern California and Northern Nevada, (350 to 400 yard shots were not especially rare) the Sierra flat base spitzer was definitely one of my favorites, in various calibers that I owned then (.222 through .30-06).
They are a very soft bullet but, with the comparatively tame velocities I shot them at, they seemed to hold together well enough on the few larger than coyote size animals I shot with them (mostly feral hogs and only one scrawny deer).

In those long ago times, I traded in and out of several rifles/calibers but I really liked the 150 gr .30-06 for long range shooting and I had a Ruger 77, .257 Roberts that shot very well with 100 gr spitzers at long range also.
More recently, I briefly owned a Remington 722 in .257 Rbts that I shot a pronghorn with at about 30 to 35 paces (crawled a long way at first, then the herd suddenly walked nearly straight at us), using the Sierra 117 gr flat base spitzer.
Bangflop.
I think I might still have that bullet, probably in some box of misc junk, out in my shed or perhaps in the garage.
It is perfectly mushroomed.
That particular rifle/load would put 3 shots into an inch or less at TWOhundred yards from sand bags.
Sierra bullets are accurate.

For Africa, as long as one uses a caliber and projectile weight appropriate for the size and tenacity of "Plains "Game" animals hunted, the Sierra Game King seems like it'd be a fine bullet in places like Namibia, South Africa's Eastern Cape and similar open geography places.
I can't think of a better bullet for vaal rebok, klipspringer, springbok, blesbok and several other - not so huge and tough animals - typically taken at longer ranges than, the Game King bullet (most rifles still tend to group them tighter than most if not all other bullets on the market these days).
However that being said, if there were any larger animal (zebra, etc) available and if my rifle shot the Nosler Partition well, I'd prefer it over the Sierra for long shots on them ... just to be sure.
(Another fine long range/thin skinned game bullet well worth mentioning IMO, is the old Hornady flat base Spire Point).

I have seen photos of Craig Boddington with game up to and including eland, that he reportedly took cleanly with his scoped .375 H&H and Sierra 300 gr boat tail spitzer (presumably "Game King").
Boddington highly recommends this caliber and bullet for Africa's so called "Plains Game", up to and including eland.
That rightfully famous Author is an avid cartridge hand-loader / rifle enthusiast, who also has a staggering number of African hunting trips to his credit.
So I would take his recommendation seriously.

Parting Shot:
I'm also a dreaded hand-loader / rifle enthusiast who has fired about as many shots on rifle ranges and at rodents as most people, and more than some.
And, I have found over the years that, flat base spitzers, including Sierra brand, usually shoot slightly tighter groups in most of the rifles I've owned over my lifetime, than their corresponding boat tail versions.
Boat tail bullets do not shoot noticeably flatter than Flat Base Spitzers either.
If they do, I surely could not tell it.
Out at extreme ranges, perhaps BT bullets have the advantage but, my shooting both styles of bullet at distances out to 4 and 500 yds (targets), has convinced me that dreaded "Boat Tail" bullets are more to the appeal of selling them to hand-loaders than anything else.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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ack

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Found them to be the best deer and antelope bullet around and took a couple elk also but I went with lung shots..Quick killer if you hit 'em in the right spot..Not for bone or muscle .
 

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Velo Dog

Sierra flat base hunting bullets for rifles are Pro Hunters.

Sierra boat-tail hunting bullets for rifles, with various tip styles, are Game Kings.

I have successfully used factory-second #1390 .224 Game Kings in a .223 on goats (because they were half the price) and am currently using 165gr Game Kings in my .30-06, because the barrel is a wee bit tight for flat base bullets.

And ... we both know that boat-tail bullets were invented to extend the range of machine guns (rather than for accuracy) which is why Dave Emary of Hornady and various loading manual editors have asserted that there's no accuracy advantage to boat-tail bullets at ranges up to 300 yards.
 
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Velo Dog

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Velo Dog

Sierra flat base hunting bullets for rifles are Pro Hunters.

Sierra boat-tail hunting bullets for rifles, with various tip styles, are Game Kings.

I have successfully used factory-second #1390 .224 Game Kings in a .223 on goats (because they were half the price) and am currently using 165gr Game Kings in my .30-06, because the barrel is a wee bit tight for flat base bullets.

And ... we both know that boat-tail bullets were invented to extend the range of machine guns (rather than for accuracy) which is why Dave Emary of Hornady and various loading manual editors have asserted that there's no accuracy advantage to boat-tail bullets at ranges up to 300 yards.

Hi ZG47,

Thanks for setting me straight on the proper names of the "Game King" and "Pro Hunter" Sierra bullet styles.

Glad I put a question mark after a couple of my thoughts on this topic, in that earlier post here, whew.

I don't understand what you mean by: "the barrel is a bit tight for flat base bullets", having been an avid hand loader and rifle shooter since the late 1960's, that sounds very strange to me.

Also, you are probably right as to why boat tail bullets were invented, no doubt it is true.

However, the reason I mentioned that rifles I have owned or do own, generally shot or do shoot tighter groups from flat base bullets than from their bot tail counter parts is for those new to hand loading.

I think it is a fairly common misconception that boat tail bullets are more accurate than flat base ones.

When I was new to hand loading, I also thought there must be something to this because most "target grade" bullets were almost always of the boat tail shape.

Upon doing quite a bit of shooting and experimenting with hand loading, I concluded the boat tail shape, target grade or not were generally slightly less accurate than conventional flat base hunting bullets, especially when comparing within the Sierra brand bullets.

No harm in advising new hand loaders to not waste money on what I feel is an inferior product, unless of course they are getting into 1000 yd shooting, and such.

Keep me in line mate, I do tend to wander sometimes.

Regards,
Velo Dog.
 
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ZG47

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Velo Dog

After I bought my .30-06 (ZG47) I purchased 120 rounds of PMP 150gr flat-base ammunition which achieved a 10-shot average measured velocity of 2,671 fps in the 600mm/23.6 inch barrel. I developed accurate handloads with 150- and 165-gr Hornady flat-base projectiles but velocities were somewhat lower than expected.

I was loath to push too far because my rifle appears to have a full size chamber whereas my Hornady New Dimension full-length die (supposedly machined to SAAMI maximum dimensions) sizes the base to less than military dimensions. If you are only shooting to 200m you may as well maximise your case life! :)

I was getting 2539 fps with 55gr of AR2209 (also sold as H4350) and the Hornady #3031 150-gr flat-base but one day I decided to load some Sierra 150-gr Game King factory seconds (and yes they were cheap) with the same seating depth and powder charge. Average measured velocity increased by 140 fps to 2679 fps. Coefficient of variation (sd divided by average/mean velocity) dropped from .98% to .84%.

I slugged the barrel and came up with a bore diameter of .300 and a groove diameter of .3082. When you have traditional rifling with equal width lands and grooves the groove diameter should be in the .309 to .310 range, to avoid pressure issues with flat-base bullets in the .30-06. YES, the 1903 rifle barrels made at Springfield and Rock Island had nominal .308 groove diameters (some were as tight as .3075, the same diameter as every .30 cal bullet I have ever measured) but they also had wide grooves with correspondingly narrow lands which burned out more quickly than the P17 barrels with their equal width 5-groove rifing and nominal .310 groove diameter. If anyone doubts me, read Hatcher's Notebook, Ch. 1 and 2.

I checked the PMP website and found that the factory test velocity from a 24 inch barrel was 2822 fps, 151 fps higher than my measured velocity. I purchased a packet of Federal Power Shok 150-gr boat-tail ammunition and achieved an average measured velocity ( always 10-shot) of 2,859 fps, 51 fps less than the factory test velocity of 2,910 fps.

Yes, I would be happy to try flat-base bullets in a .308 groove diameter barrel with 5R (as in Russian) rifling but my current .30-06 is best suited to boat-tail bullets and that is that!

Boat-tail bullets minimise drag over long distances but, most importantly, reduce disturbance in the transonic zone which causes so many problems with .22lr HV ammunition when you try to shoot past 30m in the wind and ... that really matters with long range reverse slope firing of machine guns. Look at the problems that the British had, trying to use the inadequate 7.62x51 in the Falklands, instead of the .303 Mk VIII 174-gr boat-tail ammunition that closely matched the German sS 198-gr boat-tail ammunition, introduced in late World War One.

Boat-tail bullets are also good for shooters who cannot afford case cleaning kit like a tumbler, because they feed more easily into dirty cases.

And thank you for your common sense and tendency to stir things up a bit! :D
 

Velo Dog

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Velo Dog

After I bought my .30-06 (ZG47) I purchased 120 rounds of PMP 150gr flat-base ammunition which achieved a 10-shot average measured velocity of 2,671 fps in the 600mm/23.6 inch barrel. I developed accurate handloads with 150- and 165-gr Hornady flat-base projectiles but velocities were somewhat lower than expected.

I was loath to push too far because my rifle appears to have a full size chamber whereas my Hornady New Dimension full-length die (supposedly machined to SAAMI maximum dimensions) sizes the base to less than military dimensions. If you are only shooting to 200m you may as well maximise your case life! :)

I was getting 2539 fps with 55gr of AR2209 (also sold as H4350) and the Hornady #3031 150-gr flat-base but one day I decided to load some Sierra 150-gr Game King factory seconds (and yes they were cheap) with the same seating depth and powder charge. Average measured velocity increased by 140 fps to 2679 fps. Coefficient of variation (sd divided by average/mean velocity) dropped from .98% to .84%.

I slugged the barrel and came up with a bore diameter of .300 and a groove diameter of .3082. When you have traditional rifling with equal width lands and grooves the groove diameter should be in the .309 to .310 range, to avoid pressure issues with flat-base bullets in the .30-06. YES, the 1903 rifle barrels made at Springfield and Rock Island had nominal .308 groove diameters (some were as tight as .3075, the same diameter as every .30 cal bullet I have ever measured) but they also had wide grooves with correspondingly narrow lands which burned out more quickly than the P17 barrels with their equal width 5-groove rifing and nominal .310 groove diameter. If anyone doubts me, read Hatcher's Notebook, Ch. 1 and 2.

I checked the PMP website and found that the factory test velocity from a 24 inch barrel was 2822 fps, 151 fps higher than my measured velocity. I purchased a packet of Federal Power Shok 150-gr boat-tail ammunition and achieved an average measured velocity ( always 10-shot) of 2,859 fps, 51 fps less than the factory test velocity of 2,910 fps.

Yes, I would be happy to try flat-base bullets in a .308 groove diameter barrel with 5R (as in Russian) rifling but my current .30-06 is best suited to boat-tail bullets and that is that!

Boat-tail bullets minimise drag over long distances but, most importantly, reduce disturbance in the transonic zone which causes so many problems with .22lr HV ammunition when you try to shoot past 30m in the wind and ... that really matters with long range reverse slope firing of machine guns. Look at the problems that the British had, trying to use the inadequate 7.62x51 in the Falklands, instead of the .303 Mk VIII 174-gr boat-tail ammunition that closely matched the German sS 198-gr boat-tail ammunition, introduced in late World War One.

Boat-tail bullets are also good for shooters who cannot afford case cleaning kit like a tumbler, because they feed more easily into dirty cases.

And thank you for your common sense and tendency to stir things up a bit! :D

Thanks ZG47, and the appreciation is mutual because I always enjoy learning something new when I read your posts.

Also, Witold thank you as well for your wisdom and your votes of confidence.
 
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Russel. G. Keith

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Hi Guys
I have used the Siera Game Kings in 6.5x55 and 8x57 for shooting Bush pig Warthog Bush buck Reed buck at ranges from 7- 180 yds.
I have found the Siera Game Kings more than adequite .
One shot in particular that I recall was on a large Bush pig boar with my 8x57 at about 30 yds the shot penetrated the full length of the pig and came to rest under the skin of its chest well formed sadly I did not weigh it but it "felt" right (if that is anything to go by.)
At standard velocities 2600fps or so I dont think you can do better especialy at the cost but if you intend to go much beyond 2600/2700fps and be pulling close shots look to A frame/ Nozler etc.
Keep safe and hunt well
Russel
 

Waimahana

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For what it's worth, For the last couple of years I have worked a few months each year doing meat recovery in Namibia, mostly shooting free-range oryx, kudu, eland, and zebra. I don't waste time shooting smaller animals. All shots are head shots, or rarely high neck shots to preserve the meat. The other advantage of head shots is animals drop dead on the spot which saves time and effort during recovery. I use a .3006 rifle in Namibia. The 165gr Sierra projectiles are a good projectile and easy to develop an accurate load. However, I found they penetrated too deeply for my purposes and damaged too much meat. The Sierra projectiles would commonly exit an animals head, and if shot front-on, they would usually penetrate into the upper neck damaging too much meat.

I have since changed to the Hornady 165 sst projectiles on top of 55.0 grains of Somchem 365 powder. This is an accurate load and typically shoots 20mm groups at 100m. The Hornadys appear to be much more frangible and of the many animals shot it's rare to have one of the Hornady projectiles exit an animals head, even for side-on shots, but they sure do addle their brains!

I do use the 150 gr Hornady SST projectiles on top of 47.0 gr Varget in a .308 for deer hunting and they work extremely well on chest/neck/head shots. On chest shots the Hornadys often exit and it's rare to have an animal travel more than 10-20m. If head shot, the Hornadys will almost always exit, so I guess deer have smaller and softer heads than their African cousins.

The Sierra 250 gr Game King give exceptional accuracy in my .375H&H and I have recently developed a load that gives 20mm 3-shot groups at 200m using H4895 powder for a velocity of 2800 fps - impressive accuracy! Haven't tried this on large game yet, however, when shot into water filled plastic milk bottles the Sierra held together very well to form a perfect mushroom and gave 657mm penetration with a recovered weight of 212 grains. The Hornady 270gr SPRP projectile at 2700 fps completely came apart and penetrated only 438mm of water, but might be ideal for shooting smaller animals or at longer ranges.

Just goes to show, choose the projectile that suits your particular purpose.
 

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Waimahana, welcome to the forum and thanks for having a go at this now fairly old thread I started some years ago. Always good to see some new blood and ideas. You don't often hear of Sierra bullets digging too deep, often the opposite. But just rereading this thread and seeing several missed posts, there seems to be a general consensus that these are probably better game bullets than for which credit is usually given.
 

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Sestoppelman, Waimahana and others,

There is at least one PH member of this forum (Philip Hennings of "Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris" in Namibia), who uses Sierra 250 grain bullets in his scoped Brno 602 / .375 H&H.
I figure these bullets must work very well for him, pretty much every time or, he would not continue to use them.
He does not load them very fast at all (2600 fps) and no doubt, keeping impact velocity down a bit is a major component to success with any old fashioned lead core expanding bullet, with guilding metal jacket, type of design.
As soft points go, I definitely do prefer the old "cup & core" design bullets, based on the fact that I have never lost any animal hit properly with them, over my lifetime so far (and I am pretty close to being fossilized).

Yours truly after many years of pinching pennies and going without, is booked for a 14 day hunt with Philip, set for next year and I will be renting the above described rifle / ammunition for same.
Afterward, I will have something more to say about this specific bullet.
I hope to write a report on how the 250 gr Sierra / .375 H&H bullet performed for me on common / cape eland, as well as Hartman's zebra, Cape kudu, black & blue guldang willderbeests and smaller critters as well.
I have 100% confidence, that my triumphant return to Namibia in 2017, while using the above mentioned ballistics / bullet, will conclude with heads and skins in the salt, no worries about failed penetration and such.
My Brno 602 is identical to Philip's in every way, except for our difference in scopes - close enough though.
Now, I have mine zeroed at 200 meters with 250 gr Sierras at 2600 fps and have been training-up with same, for this safari.
So, the transition from my rifle / ammunition at home, to that rented one will be just about unnoticeable.
According to the book, I hold 10" over the bull's-eye at 300 and 30" over at 400 meters.
On the rifle range here, I have found the trajectory to be pretty much spot-on with my reloading manual / book.

I do not prefer shooting animals way out at 400 yds / meters but, I have done so perhaps a half dozen times in my life.
Philip assures me that 300 yds is a rather long shot, in the hilly geography of his truly massive hunting area so, that is welcome news.
Having to wait for many months until I can go is killing me.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

enysse

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Rather refreshing view to see someone use a cup and core bullet on safari! I hope you have a great safari Velo Dog!
 

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