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Sierra vs Hornady!

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 27,467 Senior Member
edited November 2019 in Hunting #1
Several months ago, me and some buddies were eating at my LGS. It’s one of those outdoor stores that has a restaurant attached to it as well. 

Anyway, I finished eating and walked over to the gun shop to visit my friends that work there. While there, I saw a used Remington with a heavy matte barrel, HS Stock, Leupold R&B, and some cheap Bushnell scope in .308 Winchester. The tag said, “Used Remington 700 SPS - $400”

What the Hell?!?

That was no SPS. That was a Remington 700 PSS. I used to have one and have shot several. I looked at my friend who worked there and said, “That tag ain’t right.”  He said that he knew but that’s what the boss wanted. 

Not needing one, I hurried over to the restaurant and told my buddies that someone needed to go buy that gun before I did. That was an $800 rifle for $400!!!

One agreed that he should do, he did. 

We took it to the range and I shot this group with the rifle wearing a cheap Bushnell scope and some Sierra 168gr MK. 


Fast forward: He had the 26” barrel cut down to 20” and threaded. We installed a Surefire Brake as he intends to get a can in the future, a Leupold VX-3i 4.4-14 w/CCH Reticle, and a Timney Trigger. Then, I worked up handloads with both 165gr Sierra HPBT-Game Kings and Hornady 168gr ELD-Match. Both shot 1/4” groups. 

He was ready for hunting season. 

I received these pics yesterday. 

Buck #1 
165gr Sierra HPBT-GK
100 yrds
Heart Shot
DRT



Entrance:


Exit:




"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #2
    Buck #2
    168gr Hornady ELD-Match
    100yrds
    Double Lung Shot
    Ran 50yrds




    Entrance:



    Exit:




    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    He didn’t send me any internal pics. 

    But, I have compared and tallied the results. 

    And the verdict it?!?







    Two Dead Deer







    Use a good bullet and put it in the right place. It ain’t rocket surgery. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,496 Senior Member
    Glad you took care of a friend-Great price.
    Game Kings have always worked for me, as have the A-Max/ELD-M
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Sierra are the bullet smiths.

    Hornady needs a good slogan if they want to graduate beyond performance.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    That is some good result comparison.  


    I have been slowly switching to bullets other than Hornady lately.  My 6.5 Grendel likes the 120gr Pro Hunter, and I plan in getting some Sierra bullets to try in my .243 (using 100gr Nosler Partition right now).  I am using Speer bullets in my .458x1.8, .350 Legend, and will be using Speer or Sierra bullets in my .358x1.71.  As much as I want to stick to Hornady, they have let me down too much lately.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,144 Senior Member
    Excellent all around
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #8
    mitdr774 said:

    As much as I want to stick to Hornady, they have let me down too much lately.
    I hear that a lot on a handgun forum that I piss people off on (Many there prefer emotion/agenda to science😎). 

    I have been fortunate enough to have dodged that proverbial bullet. That being a Hornady Failure. Maybe my standards are too low. 😁

    Maybe I look inside as opposed to outside. 

    Maybe I’m just lucky. 

    But the beauty of choices is.........we have them. 👍🏻
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    All my Hornady issues have revolved around plastic tipped options.  129 SST in my 6.5x55 at what turned out to be a rather low velocity fragmented and two 325 FTX bullets making unexplained turns half way through not large whitetail deer.  Those are my personal experiences.  My dad has had numerous instances of SST bullets fragmenting and what should have been a good clean kill resulted in animals running further than they should have. A few also had very odd paths through the animal and exited in unexpected places.   His elk ran a good bit after what should have been a good hit from an ELD-X that came apart and lost its jacket all while not mushrooming at all.  Maybe its some recent QC issues?  I will be going back to normal Interlock bullets if I keep using Hornady rifle bullets, assuming I can continue to get them.  The SST are great for paper punching though.  My Grendel loves the 123 SST for grouping.

    I have used Interlock bullets with great success on a variety of game in my 6.5x55, .30-06, and .35 Whelen.  I have only recovered one and it was the .358 250gr I took my Kudu with.  Nice lump on the off side hide and a bullet that held together well.  The Kudu took a step and a half and crumpled.  The PH was surprised especially after all his insistence that we use "premium" bullets over Hornady.

    End of rant.  More bullet options means more reasons to experiment and have range time.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #10
    >270 Win with a 130 grain NBT.

    From a classic heart shot,  hold 6" back and 6" high.

    Game over, every time. 

    Tracking not an issue.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • AccipiterAccipiter New Member Posts: 895 Senior Member
    How do you hold 6” high on a squirrel?
    Apparently free thought is punished, and conformity is required, while peckerless cowards run the show.

    ECHO...ECHO....echo...

    Ah......One savors the hypocrisy!

    Karma.........It’s a bitch.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    All my Hornady issues have revolved around plastic tipped options.  129 SST in my 6.5x55 at what turned out to be a rather low velocity fragmented and two 325 FTX bullets making unexplained turns half way through not large whitetail deer.  Those are my personal experiences.  My dad has had numerous instances of SST bullets fragmenting and what should have been a good clean kill resulted in animals running further than they should have. A few also had very odd paths through the animal and exited in unexpected places.   His elk ran a good bit after what should have been a good hit from an ELD-X that came apart and lost its jacket all while not mushrooming at all.  Maybe its some recent QC issues?  I will be going back to normal Interlock bullets if I keep using Hornady rifle bullets, assuming I can continue to get them.  The SST are great for paper punching though.  My Grendel loves the 123 SST for grouping.

    End of rant.  More bullet options means more reasons to experiment and have range time.
    I have limited experience with the SST options. 
    .25-06 (x1)= Whitetail 117gr SST double lung/ribs/extensive internal damage/DRT

    .243 Win (x1) = Whitetail 95gr SST, heart shot, ran 30yrds, little damage, little blood

    .30-06/.30-30 AI/.308 Win (multiple of each) = Whitetail/Pig 125gr SST, Spine/Lungs/Heart/Neck, massive damage, blood trail, excellent performance. 

    The 125gr .30cal is the only SST that I regularly stock and use. Absolutely love that bullet. 

    I typically don’t like/buy any bullet with a canalure but that 125gr gets my vote. 

    I don’t mind a bullet that fragments after proper penetration. I am a BIG fan of massive internal damage. I do t need two holes or pretty mushrooms. If a bullet wrecks itself causing an internal carnage fest, I’m fine with that. 

    Very few of my recovered bullets look like the gel shot advertisement pics you see. That’s because gel aint realistic. 

    My honest to goodness go to bullet are the A-Max and ELD-M. Medium game perfection..........if you can shoot. 

    The Sierra HPBT-GK is very soft in 6mm that I use but not soft as I like in the .30cal. They shoot darn well, though. 

    Do research and choose the proper bullet for the type of shots you take. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    Blaming unwanted results on “bullet failure” is a typical crutch used to explain away bad shooting or unrealistic expectations in many/most cases. 

    People love to blame equipment for their mistakes or bad choices. It doesn’t hurt their ego as much. 

    Yes, their have been Bullets that didn’t perform how I like. There have been Bullets that I pushed past their performance threshold and “failed” by most folk’s standards. But, I KNEW I was using them out of their parameters, for science. I can’t blame the bullet for either. 

    No company is perfect. But, a company as big as Hornady or Sierra, or any of the large companies realistically have very few “oops”. 

    “Quality Control” failure, another typical excuse used for Bullets not performing as one would like or ones bad decision. 

    My soap box standard is, if you’re gonna complain about something (bullet failure) on the WWW.........document and prove your stance with tangible evidence and data. 

    Otherwise, it’s just hearsay. 

    We learn from complete information. Without it, we have opinion. 

    That’s why my OP is inconclusive and I stated as such in that the comparison only shows two dead deer. There is no internal information. Just external holes. I can’t learn enough from that. So, my post is really about two deer my buddy shot and the gun/Bullets he used. No way to tell which bullet “performed better”. 

    I hope it was realized my tongue in cheek “vs” title. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    Disclaimer: I ain’t fussing or arguing with anyone here. I like mitdr774. I’m just discussing.   👍🏻
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #15
    >270 Win with a 130 grain NBT.

    From a classic heart shot,  hold 6" back and 6" high.

    Game over, every time. 

    Tracking not an issue.

    Mike
    Can you post a pic of that shot placement?  It’s confusing me. What I picture in my head from your description seems awful back and high. Basically the top/back of the lungs. 

    I could just be picturing it wrong in my head. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,986 Senior Member
    Zee said:

    People love to blame equipment for their mistakes or bad choices. It doesn’t hurt their ego as much. 

    True enough. Everything from hunting/shooting to dancing with veils!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Disclaimer: I ain’t fussing or arguing with anyone here. I like mitdr774. I’m just discussing.   👍🏻
    I take no ill will from the post.  I would normally agree with people blaming the bullet for a bad shot.  I initially thought I flubbed the shot with both my 325 FTX results until I got to the animal.  Through the on side lung and heart and then through the gut.  While the animals went down probably within 100 yards of travel, things were messy and unpleasant smelling when it came time to document and clean the animals.  Lots of damage internally, just not clean or expected/predictable results.  I do wish I had been able to recover a bullet to see what happened, but both exited.

    I have made bad shots and have owned up to them.  These however should have been at minimum decent shots.  Maybe I will have a chance to see how the Speer 400gr FP performs in the woods.  Didnt see anything last weekend, so Im not getting my hopes up.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    >270 Win with a 130 grain NBT.

    From a classic heart shot,  hold 6" back and 6" high.

    Game over, every time. 

    Tracking not an issue.

    Mike
    Can you post a pic of that shot placement?  It’s confusing me. What I picture in my head from your description seems awful back and high. Basically the top/back of the lungs. 

    I could just be picturing it wrong in my head. 
    Sorry, I have no pics of them. I haven't shot a deer in 15 years and didn't have a cell phone that took pics back then. But, you're imagining  it correctly. It is a fair amount back and considerably higher up than your classic heart shot on deer.

    Disclaimer, fore and aft....270 Win loaded with 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at 3K fps at launch.

    The bullet usually hits a rib up high where it's thickest. Due to bullet design and velocity, immediate and violent  bullet fragmentation occurs. The fragments "cone out", shredding the top third of the lungs and usually knocking a nice "golf shaped" divot on the underside of the spine. Deer immediately down due to spine trauma, and due to lung damage....dead almost as quickly.

    I discovered this placement by accident, having to thread a bullet through a tangle of vines. Over the years I've shot this placement 29 times and have tracked the victims a total of zero yards.

    Aft disclaimer...270 Win, 130 Nosler Ballistic Tips, MV at 3K or better....at range of out to 400 yards.

    I would not try this with a .30-30, or any rifle (.270 included) using "tougher" bullets such as the Nosler Partition, Swift A Frame, Accubond, or even standard Core- Lockts. Violent fragmentation and precise shot placement is the key.

    Wish I had pics.

    Mike




    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #19
    Ref: mitdr

    Hope you get the chance!👍🏻

    Please document the results. Pics!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    >270 Win with a 130 grain NBT.

    From a classic heart shot,  hold 6" back and 6" high.

    Game over, every time. 

    Tracking not an issue.

    Mike
    Can you post a pic of that shot placement?  It’s confusing me. What I picture in my head from your description seems awful back and high. Basically the top/back of the lungs. 

    I could just be picturing it wrong in my head. 
    Sorry, I have no pics of them. I haven't shot a deer in 15 years and didn't have a cell phone that took pics back then. But, you're imagining  it correctly. It is a fair amount back and considerably higher up than your classic heart shot on deer.

    Disclaimer, fore and aft....270 Win loaded with 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at 3K fps at launch.

    The bullet usually hits a rib up high where it's thickest. Due to bullet design and velocity, immediate and violent  bullet fragmentation occurs. The fragments "cone out", shredding the top third of the lungs and usually knocking a nice "golf shaped" divot on the underside of the spine. Deer immediately down due to spine trauma, and due to lung damage....dead almost as quickly.

    I discovered this placement by accident, having to thread a bullet through a tangle of vines. Over the years I've shot this placement 29 times and have tracked the victims a total of zero yards.

    Aft disclaimer...270 Win, 130 Nosler Ballistic Tips, MV at 3K or better....at range of out to 400 yards.

    I would not try this with a .30-30, or any rifle (.270 included) using "tougher" bullets such as the Nosler Partition, Swift A Frame, Accubond, or even standard Core- Lockts. Violent fragmentation and precise shot placement is the key.

    Wish I had pics.

    Mike




    Roughly here?  Just guessing 6” back and up. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    With the right bullet pushed fast enough, that's pretty much it. I'd aim a very slight tad higher, maybe a half inch.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #22
    It's not exactly a spine shot, nor is it exactly a lung shot. But, with the right bullet and velocity, it's the best of both and yields better results than a pure heart or lung shot. 

    I don't try for pure spine shots. Too much chance to overshoot.

    Meaning....no tracking and minimal suffering.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #23
    I can tell you that a 150gr bullet from s 270win fired into the chest front of an on-coming elk at 50 yards impacts so hard that the sound echoes through the valley.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,467 Senior Member
    It's not exactly a spine shot, nor is it exactly a lung shot. But, with the right bullet and velocity, it's the best of both and yields better results than a pure heart or lung shot. 

    I don't try for pure spine shots. Too much chance to overshoot.

    Meaning....no tracking and minimal suffering.

    Mike
    Physiologically speaking, what you have going for you is the trauma to the nervous system. Being so close to the spine. The back of the lungs is secondary. 

    Meaning, you knock the deer down with a disruption to the nervous system (hydrostatic shock). And wound the lungs in the process. 

    The animal succumbs to the respiratory damage before completely regaining its nervous system. 

    The respiratory damage itself is not as efficient as centering the juncture of both lungs and disrupting ALL oxygen flow. But, the stun to the nervous system affords you time for the respiratory damage to take effect. 

    At least.......my study of death would suggest such. 

    I ain’t a doctor. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    The last deer I shot in Colorado was a spindly horned 4x4 buck.  Distance was slightly less than 200 yards.  Rifle was a .284 Winchester loaded with 139 grain  Hornady Interbonds.  I don't recall the MV of that particular load, but I think it was around 2900 fps. I posted the story of the kill at the time, but don't remember if that was pre or post crash.

    Anyway, bullet placement was high in the shoulder, just below or on the spine.  I didn't do a post mortem, but the person who butchered the deer told me there was considerable damage to that area.

    The deer dropped immediately.  I never saw it move once it hit the ground, so I have to assume it was dead before it hit the ground or shortly thereafter.

    Earlier that same year, I shot a nice antelope buck with the same rifle/load combo.  On that particular animal, though, shot placement was a bit too far back, and the animal ran about 100 yards, stopped, turned away from me, lowered its head, and laid down a few minutes later.  Foolishly, I approached the buck before it expired, and it ran when I was about 20 yards away.  I shot and my bullet cut its throat.  That ruined the cape, but it put an end to the buck's suffering.

    That sums up my experience with Hornady bullets.  I do like the interbond, and figure it's close to a Nosler Accubond in terminal performance, although I have no factual basis for that opinion.

    As for Sierra, the only animals I've shot are prairie dogs using 55 grain BlitzKing bullets in my .222 or 39 grain BlitzKings in my .204.  They are accurate, and terminal performance is about right for long shots at small animals.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,496 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    It's not exactly a spine shot, nor is it exactly a lung shot. But, with the right bullet and velocity, it's the best of both and yields better results than a pure heart or lung shot. 

    I don't try for pure spine shots. Too much chance to overshoot.

    Meaning....no tracking and minimal suffering.

    Mike
    Physiologically speaking, what you have going for you is the trauma to the nervous system. Being so close to the spine. The back of the lungs is secondary. 

    Meaning, you knock the deer down with a disruption to the nervous system (hydrostatic shock). And wound the lungs in the process. 

    The animal succumbs to the respiratory damage before completely regaining its nervous system. 

    The respiratory damage itself is not as efficient as centering the juncture of both lungs and disrupting ALL oxygen flow. But, the stun to the nervous system affords you time for the respiratory damage to take effect. 

    At least.......my study of death would suggest such. 

    I ain’t a doctor. 
    Cool description
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #27
    Zee said:
    It's not exactly a spine shot, nor is it exactly a lung shot. But, with the right bullet and velocity, it's the best of both and yields better results than a pure heart or lung shot. 

    I don't try for pure spine shots. Too much chance to overshoot.

    Meaning....no tracking and minimal suffering.

    Mike
    Physiologically speaking, what you have going for you is the trauma to the nervous system. Being so close to the spine. The back of the lungs is secondary. 

    Meaning, you knock the deer down with a disruption to the nervous system (hydrostatic shock). And wound the lungs in the process. 

    The animal succumbs to the respiratory damage before completely regaining its nervous system. 

    The respiratory damage itself is not as efficient as centering the juncture of both lungs and disrupting ALL oxygen flow. But, the stun to the nervous system affords you time for the respiratory damage to take effect. 

    At least.......my study of death would suggest such. 

    I ain’t a doctor. 
    I completely agree with your assessment. That's been my theory the whole time. Spine trauma is the key to the "anchoring" effect and the shredded third of the lungs leads to a quick death. 

    I've got to back up a bit though. One of those deer was shot at 110 yards with a 140 grain  Hornady SST Light Magnum. The deers reaction was exactly the same, nary a twitch, but upon dressing the animal I found considerably less damage to both spine and lungs than I was used to seeing with the NBT. This led me to the completely unscientific opinion that the SST is a bit "tougher" than the NBT and not likely to provide the fragmentation consistency required for this shot. So I went back to NBT's and they've never failed me when making this particular shot.

    The guy that owned the rights to the leases I usually hunted was a lousy shot. We had to track practically every deer he ever hit, and he shot them with everything from a .308 Win to .300 Wby Mag. You can't learn much from poor marksmanship.

    OTOH, I recall 2 shots where "enough gun" and "shot placement" weren't an issue, but still resulted in long difficult tracking jobs.

    A buddy of mine shot a doe at 80 yard using a .300 RUM loaded with 180 grain Swift Scirrocos (sp?). Perfect center lung shot, but it still ran about 180 yards before it fell into a dry creek bed that it simply couldn't climb out of. Who knows how far it would have traveled were it not for that steep obstacle?

    My Dad shot his biggest buck using a .308 Win with 150 grain Core-Locks. The deer made it 200 yards into a 4 year old paper company planted pine thicket. (Imagine a Texas cedar swamp or a Colorado scrub-oak thicket). Machetes were involved before that long day was over. When we dressed the deer we discovered the bottom half of its heart was missing.

    I'm not a big fan of perfect heart, lung, or spine shots. But, if you can mix a bit of spine with a bit of lung......I'm all over that. ;)

    Mike

    edited for spelling











    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    edited March 2020 #28
    Accipiter said:
    How do you hold 6” high on a squirrel?
    You probably don't need to use a .270 Win. on a squirrel. OK I know I'm gonna catch a heard of jokes for that. But I shot a Cotton Tail with my .270 once and it damn near put it in orbit. Nothing left but the hide.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I've killed a hog with a Hornady Interlock but wasn't thrilled about the performance. A lot of you that can see blood like exit holes. I don't. I can't see blood. And where i've hunted for the last 8 years even with a blood trail I doubt you'd want to crawl through the mess of thorns and snakes off the sendero I hunted. I prefer DRT. I get it with Game King. I wouldn't use a Game King on anything much bigger than a deer because they don't hold together on thick animals. They do great on Hogs but believe me, I kill hogs with a .243 with 100 grain Game Kings with boring regularity. But a hog ain't an elk. An elk is really wide and thick with big bones.
    My other favorite bullet is a Nosler Ballistic Tip. However, the older ones were a little too frangible. I had a failure on a deer I shot on aTexas Parks and Wildlife hunt and shot it at about 60 yards. It was getting dark by the time I got up to go find him. I looked around for a few minutes and a Parks and Wildlife Biologist came to help me. He found where the deer had laid down and there was blood everywhere. But the deer got up, jumped the fence and ran on private land to die. The Biologist and I agreed that the bullet hit a bone just under the skin and came apart. After that I swore off Ballistic Tips for a few years. Then I read where Nosler improved them. I've since killed a couple deer with them with performance as good as the Game King. Seems that Nosler listened to customers and toughened the Ballistic Tip up just enough where it can penetrate moderately thick skin and bone, just like a Sierra is known for. For deer you can't beat those bullets.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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