I was wondering if anyone uses these bullets for big game hunting and if so how they performed with regards to penetration and weight retention. The 180 grainers group very well in my 300 wsm and I was fortunate to kill 4 big game animals in 2005 with them (handloads). All 4 animals dropped in their tracks, the moose and sheep were spine shots and the 2 caribou were basically lung and front shoulder shots. I only recovered the bullet from the moose which was a 60 yard broadside kneck shot. The bullet was lodged on the far side hide and retained 67% of it's weight. I guess that's not too bad considering it was probably traveling about 2900-3000 fps and went through the hide, muscle, vertebrae, and more muscle before stopping.
These bullets shoot very nice and are a whole lot cheaper than the barnes etc, so I am thinking I will just shoot them as my all around AK round for moose, sheep, grizz, bou, etc. I guess I would like to hear other peoples experiences (good or bad) with this bullet. Thanks
Only ever used gamekings in 165 grain .30-06 sprg.
Only used those on fox, groundhog and whitetail.
Most whitetail were 170-220 pound range.
Recovered about 9 outta every 10 in opposite hide on shots of 100-300 yards.(mostly quartering shots)
Boiler room shots with minimum bone.(ribs only)
About 90-110 grains retained weight.
Probably not too good on penetration for dangerous game.
More than good enough (excellent)for a .30-06 for whitetail which was what i wanted.
I always used the gamekings for everything from Blacktail to brownbear and never had any problems. But in the last few years I have changed over to the interbonds and I'm glad I did they shoot out of my rifles just as good and hold together alot better = less meat loss. The interbond mushrooms very good at 06 speeds not at all like the barns X that work like fmj past 150 yards.
Those gamekings were purchased from 1976-1980 I think.
Newer production may be different.
I think that weight retention works out to about 55%-66%.
Wasnt too concerned with weight retention with whitetail.
The whitetails on the run and spooked, pumped full with adrenline took 2 or 3 hits sometimes(boiler room) while flat out scooting across feilds.(they were dead just didnt know it)
Unsuspecting deer dropped like hit by lightning.Kicked once or twice and expired.
I give them 10 stars outta 10 for whitetails.
Things with fangs are another story.
I used them for coyote control in my 300 ultra, 165 & 180gr ultra velocities are too much for use on my bigger than a coyote unless it is beyond 500yds.
Anyone ever use the 220's in an 8mm mag? Or 225's in 338? I have heard that the heavier gamekings have thicker jackets and that the 220 gr 8mm was dsigned for the 8mm mag velocities. I'm thinking about rolling some up for my 325wsm. The specs show pretty decent bc for that 220.
Thanks guys. I don't plan on hunting coastal brownies right now and I think the GK's will perform on interior grizz so I might just stick with the GK's for now. Maybe I am being cheap, but with the price of the premium bullets it just doesn't make sense to shoot alot of paper (practice is good!) and get my gun dialed in with GK's then switch to something else. I just never hear much about them so I thought I would ask. I wonder how many folks handload the good ol rem core-lokt bullets here in AK?
I have loaded the gamekings in 338 win, only shot a whitey at about 50 yards, shot him in the doughnut, broke every single vertibrae, they launched down through the lungs/guts, the bullet was recoverd just under the hide of his chest/throat....I don't remember the weight retension, it was not bad, not call the press good, but it was fair for the trip it took. I carried them still after that, just never took another critter with that gun.
Originally Posted by Snyd
but I wouldn't use even the 180 on anything bigger than deer. They shoot beautifully in almost all my .30 rifles, but beyond punching holes in paper, they're useless to me. I don't care for bloodshot meat, which I've seen plenty of with that exact bullet, I've seen wounded animals with surface wounds run off, just cannot be impressed by their performance. First animal I saw hit with one was a smallish mule deer buck up by Square Butte, in Montana. Friend of mine hit it in the shoulder at around 100 yards, it took a fist sized chunk of hide and muscle out, and Mr. Deer was headed out of there. He dumped it with a neck shot on the run, but otherwise, it'd have gone off to lay down and die in the night.
Your results may vary, but I'd sure consider a different bullet if there's a chance you'll run into an interior griz or big black.
Yes, the heavier gamekings have a harder core, the 30 cal. 200 gr SBT and 338 cal in 250gr SBT. Excellent bullets for our large game up here. I too have used Gamekings for years my favorite the 165 GK HPBT/180 SBT in the 308 and 30-06. The 200 SBT is also a good performer. They loose alot at close range, but out at 200 yards and on they perform excellent.
My experience is much the same as Jeff's. They wouldn't be my choice for dangerous or nondangerous game up close, due to penetration issues on the first and meat destruction on the latter. But as range starts to stretch, they're incredibly good performers. I won't shoot dangerous game at long range, so I'm talking deer, moose and elk here. I would have no qualms using them for sheep and goats, either.
The premiums aren't so hot at longer ranges starting at about 300 yards because all the extra controlled expansion for short range performance is too much as velocities start to drop. Even Noslers are too tough in my mind when you get beyond 400 yards. The other premiums turn into needles due to lack of expansion a lot closer than that in many cases.
In the 200 yard+ territory, Gamekings are tops in my book and perform much like the premiums do at closer ranges- excellent expansion with enough weight retention for good penetration. They kill quick way out there where premiums have given me a heck of a tracking job on more that one occasion- and I'm talking about good. clean lung shots here, not broken legs.
Interesting about these Gamekings. It seems that this thread goes like so many other ones I've read about gamekings. Heavy bullets are tough. Lighter ones (180 on down) are not as tough on larger game. I wonder how many of the negative experiences stem from using the wrong bullet for the job. Like a light very fast bullet at close range. Sierra makes a 200 gr and a 220 gr for the 8mm. The 200gr however is a matchking and Sierra says specifically that it's not to be used as a hunting bullet. When I spoke with Sierra I specifically told them that I intended on using the 220 for Moose and possible Interior griz loaded mv of about 2700fps in my 325wsm (if I can get that). They told me the 220gr 8mm was specifically for 8mm mag and that it would work great for what I intended. If I'm not mistaken that's around a 28-3000 fps mv. Where they just trying to sell bullets? Maybe. I know also that Federal loads (or at least did load) Gamekings along with Partitions and Barnes bullets in thier premium line.
It doesn't seem to me like one can make a blanket statement and say that Gamekings are bad for hunting animals larger than deer. Seems like once again with bullets it depends on other factors as well.
I can buy 50 220 Gamkings for 18 bucks or a 50 Barnes or partition 200 gr for 38 bucks. It it worth twice as much money for the lighter "super bullets"?
The hangup for me is that we can't really predict the range at which our animals will first appear. I'd hate to be caught with a Gameking in the chamber when a moose gives me an an angling shot at 30 yards or worst comes to worst with a big bear. No more than I would want to have the wrong premium in the chamber for a really long shot.
I tend to select my bullets according to terrain as a result. Big open country and I'll opt for the Gameking. If closer quarters are the order of the day I'll usually pass on the Gameking. In a great and wonderful world, my rifle would shoot both well with the same sight-in and I could switch as the situation called.
It's worth noting that in the face of doing both, I usually opt for the Nosler partition. It's not as good as the Gameking way out there, but it's soft enough to be better than the other premiums I usually use. Up close it's maybe not as good as another premium, but it's better than the Gameking.
Fun to play with the ideas, but in the end it boils down to putting the bullet in exactly the right place so you are less reliant on superb bullet performance to make up for poor shooting.
I hear what your saying. I have used the failsafe and shot 2 grizz, a sheep, and caribou. They killed em dead alright, and dead is dead, but they tended to leave small entrance AND exit channels (never recoverd any). These animals were taken from 75 - 300 yards. I figure if they pass through and exit then they aren't expanding much or delivering as much knock down energy as possible. I guess it's like anything, everything is a compromise.
Your right, with good shot placement I bet the GK's will deliver every time. I might just use them until they dissapoint me.
Actually my gun shoots the GK's and failsafes nearly identical so I have the best of both worlds there. With that said, I probably won't buy anymore failsafes (going off the market) but might see if it shoots another premium bullet with the same point of impact as the GK's.
Maybe that's the key, find a really nice shooting bullet that is economical to practice with and then find a premium that shoots similarly. Heck, I guess you could take both into the field, and if time allowed you to choose which would perform under the given circumstance, use that one.
Good post guys. I shoot a lot of hornady interlocks and they have preformed awesome on deer sized critters at varying ranges. Have never tried them on bigger stuff like moose, but feel they would drop a moose on a double lunger like anything else. Sierra bullets have been very accurate in all my rifles, but havent tried them on game. You guys hit the nail on the head when discussing impact velocity. That is what matters. A 300 RUM w/ a cor-lokt at 20 yards, not good. A .308 w/ that same cor-lokt, good to go. 200yds is a long shot for me so I want something good for close to that range, maybe a little more. I think the partition is the best compromise. If you are keeping MV under 2800fps and want to shoot moose sized critters w/ an adequate caliber and dont want to pay premium prices, go heavy w/ standard bullets and you should be good to go.
[quote=Snyd;69222]Interesting about these Gamekings. It seems that this thread goes like so many other ones I've read about gamekings. Heavy bullets are tough. Lighter ones (180 on down) are not as tough on larger game. I wonder how many of the negative experiences stem from using the wrong bullet for the job.
my take on the bullet performance/velocity sort of goes like this:
270win, 338win mag, 243 all of these cals were here long before that hot wildcats of today, bullet makers built the bullets for a velocity window provided by these rounds. I personally have killed a pile of critters with good ol' speer hot cores in 277 130gr. load them in a wby or wsm and failure is sure to follow. I would be sure the other original calibers would aslo show similar results. 30 cal is one that I match the bullet to the case, I would not drive a ballistic tip in an ultra mag for big game, but in a 308 class I would any day. when I spoke with sierra about how a 165 gr bullet at 3700fps would do I was told I will be lucky if the whole thing gets there, it may fly apart at that speed, he went on to say they designed it for a 2500-3000 fps window and they would make me happy in there but overdriving them would be ill advised.
my expierience with barnes is awesome, I personally load them in fast rifles, ultra's, wby's etc. so far great resuls, but I prolly will not change my 270 load as it has worked flawlessly with "cheap" bullets.
Bullets are designed and manufactured, and as such there are design and performance specs. Velocity is one of those specs, and the bullet hasn't been invented yet that performs flawlessly at revovler velocities and +4000 fps, whether the velocities occur at the muzzle or way downrange.
Anyone who tries to sell the one perfect bullet for all velocities and targets should put their ads on the shopping network- right between the get rich seminars and the latest bathroom cleaners.
Good info all.
I'm just getting in to reloading, I have a couple boxes of factory 200 gr accubonds so I think for my first shot at reloading I'll load up some 220 gr GameKings with my once fired brass. If that bullet is good enough for an 8mm mag it should be just fine for my 325.
What's a good easy poor man's non-scientific method of testing bullets? I mean as far as a material to shoot them into at various distances/velocities to get an idea of what the bullet is doing? Maybe I'll compare the 8mm 220 gr GameKing to the 200gr Accubond just for fun.
There's no perfect test medium for duplicating flesh, I think. It's even less informative to me to compare bullets fired into different test mediums. The real value is comparing bullets all fired into the same test medium all the time.
I used to go the wet telephone book/newspaper route, but finally figured out "the heck with it." What a mess! Newspaper pulp scattered to the four winds and dripping on everything I owned, plus it weighed a short ton.
I finally standardized on plain old dry newspapers or phone books bundled into 6" stacks for convenience. The dry version doesn't prove a thing more or less than the wet one, but it's sure a lot easier to use and clean up. Used consistently it lets me compare expansion of, say Noslers and Accubonds and X Bullets in the same caliber, weight and velocity. I can sure learn which is tougher and penetrates best in dry newspaper, but it still doesn't tell me anything about game.
You have to start killing game to make that judgement. But I can do a little "inferring" from newspaper results once I mix in some game for a few of the bullets. If for example my Sierra creates a big "wound channel" in paper and does about the same while stopping under the hide on a deer and the Nosler blows on through but leaves a fair wound channel in both the paper and deer, that tells me something about what the X Bullet is going to do in deer after seeing it's smaller wound channel and much deeper penetration in paper.
I did exactly that comparison, and as a result I've never even bothered to poke a deer with the X-Bullet. Extra penetration and bucks wasted on blue sky behind the deer, in my estimation.
Results would certainly be different with different calibers and game, but you can see where I'm going. You can start to muscle up the velocities, bullet construction and calibers if your newspaper testing tells you a .323 bullet isn't giving any more penetration than a 30 cal Sierra at 06 velocities, to cite a ridiculous comparison.
I would bet my butt if you hit a moose in the chest with just about any rifle from 22hornet up it is going down, when you start hitting bones things change. a shoulder hit is never a good first shot. I would say any bullet you shoot from an 8mag is gonna do you well if you pick your shot. if you wanna go in from the tail end you migh want the toughest bullet money buys you, but if you take reasonable shots at fair ranges and hit vitals not big bones, it is just a matter of going over and picking him up.
as for test medium, well the trip each bullet takes is unique. a deflection off a bone, a few inches through the lungs, a quick pass through the neck......the results are never the same. can't really test for a constant variable.