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Hornady SST for whitetail--my $.02...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/27/2008 at 21:25
ceylonc View Drop Down
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I decided to try using Hornady SST bullets this year for whitetail in Alabama.  I decided on the 140gr. SSTs out of my .260 Remington.  The bullets shoot amazingly accurate out of my rifle and I have read on other forums that they hold together well for hunting usage.
 
The load I came up with uses H4350 powder and pushes the bullets a little over 2,900fps.  I zeroed the rifle @ 200yds as I felt my shots would run 80-275yds or so.  I've probably shot 100+ rounds of this load practicing this fall so I felt very confident in the rifle and the accuracy of the load.
 
Well, as luck would have it, I'm hunting with this rifle & load Friday evening.  A deer walks out just before I'm about to climb down the ladder at about 40-45 yards.  I took the shot ("double lung" shot aimpoint) and the deer whirled around & fell down in a thud.  It's back legs kicked 4-5 times and then it was still.  I was relieved that a humane kill was made and that I wouldn't have to do any tracking Yippee!  After a few minutes I got down from the stand & went over  to the deer.  The entrance hold was right were I aimed with the hole about the diameter of a .30 caliber bullets.  I rolled the deer over & was very suprised to see that there was no exit wound.  I figured for sure that, being so close, the bullet would be a pass through but this did not prove to be the case.
 
Upon processing/skinning the deer, I found the entrance wound to be as expected with what looked like significant/traumatic bruising down the ribcage for about 3-4 inches.  The opposite side ribcage showed very slight bruising underneath the flesh but nothing that would indicate a bullet wound. 
 
Bottom line: the bullet performed well because the animal was taken humanely.  It inflicted massive trauma to the chest but didn't ruin the meat from either shoulder.  One thing that did concern me was the fact that the bullet didn't exit. I didn't do a full "autopsy" of the chest cavity but I'm going to wager a guess that tbe bullet essentially "exploded" inside the chest cavity.  My guess is that the close proximity (less than 50 yards with a bullet & load developed for longer distances) cause the bullet to impact doing close to 2,900fps.  The SST's jacket is supposedly more durable than that used with the A-Max but it could be possible that running this bullet hot for hunting isn't a good idea if you want an exit wound.
 
Again, I don't want to complain because, on paper, this was pretty much a perfect kill.  However, I can't help but wonder if I got a little lucky.  Had I not hit the animal perfectly (heart/double lung impact) tracking could have been made difficult due to only one bleeding wound being caused.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 00:21
dunagan15 View Drop Down
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That is very interesting, do you think it did not exit because you were so close? or simply just a strange situation?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 07:01
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i bet you pushed it to fast, that bullet is a lot like the ballistic tip, the faster you push it the faster it expandes and im not surprised with the performance after knowing most of the facts you stated, with more and more people moving into rural areas im starting to think that an exit hole isnt always a good thing, this doesnt apply in areas like montana wyoming etc, but in more populated areas keeping the bullet inside is a nice safety feature, as long as the animal goes down soon after the shot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 07:13
ceylonc View Drop Down
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Originally posted by dunagan15 dunagan15 wrote:

That is very interesting, do you think it did not exit because you were so close? or simply just a strange situation?
 
I think being so close was exactly the reason why it didn't exit the animal.  This is only an "educated" guess but I'm reasonably certain that this is the case.
 
As a side note, I've shot 6 deer & 2 hogs with various .260 loads ranging from 120gr Nosler ballistic tips, 107gr. Sierra Match Kings and now 140gr. SSTs.  Not one animal has gone more than 10 feet after being shot.  The ranges have been from under 50yds (the deer I just shot has been the closest) to right at 285yds. Either I've been extemely lucky or the .264 bullets I'm using are very very good at killing animals under 250lbs.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 07:22
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6.5mm bullets are very good at killing animals, there high b.c's and s.d's are comparable with the .308 bullet weighing 190 grs! i shoot two 6.5s an the one i havent shot any animals with but the other one i have and i got the same results!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 08:44
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ceylonc,
 
Tell us a little more about your rifle set-up.  What twist rate?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 09:04
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I have had the same thing happen with Sierra Game Kings on short range shots. The core and jackets have separated. Maybe there is some truth to boat tails not holding up as well as flat based bullets, though the SST has the Interlock. I always have to ask my self where the bullet failed in the animal's demise, just like you.

I second Tip, what is your set up?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 09:23
Bigdaddy0381 View Drop Down
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I shot a buck a few weeks ago between the shoulder blades. I was 20 feet off the ground and he was walking down a hill. It was the only shot I had before he would have finished was shooting a Nosler AB 165gr right around 3000fps.he was 35 yards off. When I shot he hit the ground like a rock. When i went to view the damage I notice a rather big entrance hole. I could put my fist in it. No exit. I’m not saying bullet failure but I must have hit a limb before impact. I have also shot Nosler, BT SST's and Nosler AB’s and had pass thru from 20 yards out to 300 and no exites. I just thought this was an interesting entrance hole.

 

 I do agree with pushing a bullet to fast at short range.

 



Edited by Bigdaddy0381 - January/28/2008 at 09:26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 09:51
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A few years back I took a spike bull elk at about 250 yards (estimate as I did not range him) with a Browning BAR in 7mm using a 162 grain SST.  I was actually very impressed with the internal damage.  I actually hit him a little high as I held over to much so I hit him in the back bone.  I was way above him on the ridge so it went through his spine breaking the bone and down into his body a bit, but it did come out the other side. 

It says in my hornady loading manual that they are good up to 3200 fps, but everyone is probably right about the high speed and close range.  I guess it is also possible that the bullet my not have stabilized completely and the speed you are shooting may not be one the accuracy nodes for that bullet rifle setup and may have yawed coming out of the barrel and it may not have hit him square.  Don't know for sure but I guess that could be a possibility.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 10:47
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Ceylonc,
I'm working up a load for whitetail in .308 and I'm using the 150Gr. SST.  I to, live and hunt here in Bama you guys have given me something to think about, most people tell me I need to load it almost to max load to get nail driver accuracy.  But most shots I take will be more than likely less the 100 yards,  I may  work up  two  loads,  one for grain fields  and one for the treestand. thanks for posting this info. Good to know.  Thunbs%20Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 10:50
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SB,

 

When doing a load I have noticed that you can have pin point accuracy 2 times during the range of charge. One is on the lower side the other is on the higher side. I have found this true for all guns I load for.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 12:57
ceylonc View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Tip69 Tip69 wrote:

ceylonc,
 
Tell us a little more about your rifle set-up.  What twist rate?
 
Interesting discussion going on here.  It's good to read other experiences about bullet performance. 
 
My .260 Remington setup is a custom rifle built by Chris Matthews of Long Shot Rifles LLC in Garden City, MO.  I bought it from the guy who commissioned the build.  The specs are:
--Remington 700 short action trued up, etc.;
--Broughton 8.5-twist .264 fluted barrel (I believe it's either 22 or 24 inches);
--McMillan hunter stock, glass bedded & free floated;
--Badger Ordinance 20mm one piece picatinny scope base;
--Nikon MonarchX 4x16 50mm scope using Burris Xtreme medium rings;
 
The rifle is wicked accurate & makes me look much more competent than I deserve.  Everything I've put through it is sub MOA but it especially likes 139gr Scenars, 140gr SSTs, and 130gr AccuBonds.  The SSTs shoot almost as well as the Scenars out to 300yds.
 
This is much more rifle than necessary for hunting deer but it makes it into the shooting stand/house because it's such a joy to shoot!  Recoil is light enough for a small woman or even elementary school aged child.  It's too heavy to be considered a "carry" rifle in the woods but it's perfect if you're just going to sit a power line or green field.  With the weight consideration in mind, I'm going to build a .260 "carry" rifle off a Stevens 200 this spring. I'm going to try to use the same 8.5-twist with the next rifle barrel but I'm going to keep weight under 8 lbs fully loaded and scoped!
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 17:19
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Ceylonc,
Sounds like you have a really nice setup!
 
I've had the same experiences with the SST -- I usually get great accuracy with it in my rifles, but it seems to be far more fragile than I prefer.  I get essentially the same accuracy with more controlled expansion and consistent exits with the Accubond, so that is now my go to bullet for deer and hogs.  I assume you must not have been able to get it to shoot as well as the SST?  Have you tried the Swift Scirocco or the Hornady Interbond?  Both are very similarly designed bonded core bullets to the SST and Accubond.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2008 at 08:29
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up close shots like that are a good reason to carry a revolver....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2008 at 08:58
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The sst is a fine bullet and should hold up as well, if not better that a nosler bt.  The range and the velocity the deer was taken at is definately going to "tax" any traditional bullet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2011 at 14:28
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  I tried the SST this year, and had good results. The bullet shot a full two inches higher at 100 yards as my old reliable fed premium 250 grain(338 win mag). I tried the 200 grain sst. The lighter bullet supposedly came out at 3030 fps opposed to 2650 from the fed premium. My instincts always go high lung in Alaska since I hunt alone and chasing game even a quarter mile can be a big deal(moose are heavy). The extra 2 inches higher put my slug heavy into the spine of the caribou I shot. When I gutted the animal the spine was completely severed. I was fairly impressed. In spite of the bone hit the blood shot was fairly small.

 Latter in the season I shot a very large moose at 325 yards(further than I have ever shot at a moose). I hit him high lung(fed premium 250 grain), and he did not go down, yet was unable to move his legs without stumbling, and started to collapse three times.. so i assumed he was bleeding to death, and was affected in the spine. 5 minutes later I decided to hit him again.. and went 8 inches lower(should have been double lung).. 5 minutes later a third  to the same place. I reloaded, but did not shoot anymore figuring him dead, and unable to get far. he swung his head slowly trying to access where the threat was.. and somehow turned, and walked.. 500 yard heavy blood trail.. gravel bar covered in bright red frothy blood(where I shot him). Blood trail stopped.. I searched two days.. looked a mile past, nothing. Feeling pretty sick about it. I've shot 20 moose.. never anything like this.. typically one and done. I see I lose velocity and energy at 300 yards, and with the larger animal the high lung shot obviously did not get both lungs. I had the hornady ammo with me, sure wish I had tried it on this guy. I'll be sick about it for a life time, surely a once in a lifetime animal(65 plus inch spread, and heavy).. I'll be shooting a ton this Winter. Might even change ammo.. though the box I shot was the same I bought 10 years ago.. good for 8 moose..all one shot kills. Larger animal, too far.. my mistake really, very sick operator, can't explain why the second two shots did not kill him as they were lower, and should have gotten both lungs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2012 at 23:39
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I have used the sst, corelokt,Accubond,Ballistic Tip,Trophy bonded, Managed recoil Corelokt, Partition, etc. The sst's out of a 06 never exited a single deer I had a cup here somewhere of an sst that had seperated from the core. Ballistic tips definitely have a thicker jacket. That said I now run a Accubond. Not as much trauma but a good through and through and good blood trail. That said I never had to trail any shot with the sst. All DRT. I used them in a 7RM once and they did exit at close range though. I think I took 8 deer that season with the SST in . 06
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2012 at 11:25
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Worthy discussion
 
I do lots of shooting, for the past 5 years almost all informal long range target and varmint using .204's, .224's, .243's and .264's only with Hornady AMax or Vmax bullets.
 
Big game hunting including deer is a big deal for me. Where I live they only let me shoot one per year and I won't pay over $750 for out of state licenses. I have had the same 2 boxes (50 bullets per box) of Barnes bullets now for more than 5 years. Generally, the Barnes bullets pass right through deer or penetrate up to 3 feet on frontal or diagonal shots. 
 
When loading the Barnes bullets I use the same or close to weight as my VMax or AMax loads only seating the bullets somewhat deeper and reducing the powder charge by a grain or so.
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