(.300 member)
04/11/09 08:28 AM
8mm bullets for heavy game


Not sure if this should be on the reloading forum, but I'm sure I'll find the respondents here, too.

In May I posted a question about heavier bullets in the 8mm on the Reloading forum, which induced a good discussion.
Now, just today the mailman brought the latest copy of "Vapentidningen" where 8mm bullets were put to the test in a similar pattern in which they've tested .308, 9,3mm, .375, and .45 cal bullets.
I was plain astounded at the results although they were not too dissimilar to the results of the previous tests.

In brief, the 180grs Lapua Naturalis fared best (as it has been performing very constantly, indeed; pretty much irrespective of caliber and weight so far). Alas, the 8mm bullet has been discontinued by Lapua.
The 2nd best and almost as good as the Lapua was Rhino 185grs.
All the rest fared fairly equally in the penetration test and besides differences in how well they held together they were all fairly equal - and pretty much below the performance standard of the Lapua and Rhino.
What the real surprise was that the lighter bullets penetrated so much better than the 200grs bullets!
The biggest downside with the test was a narrow selection of bullets.

Now to my question:
What bullets have you found to work well on big game and especially if you shoot in a poor angle where a lot of penetration is needed?
I'm interested in 8x57mm or similar velocity loads, and by big game I mean from whitetail deer upwards: elk, moose, bear, wild boar and like.

I intended to do a lot of testing this summer, but I only got my gun back from the 'smith's last Friday so no testing so far (unless Sunday's killed moose cow counts as test ).

I've been thinking of Nosler's AccuBond, and also Norma's Oryx.
The Oryx for sure has a solid reputation and I was surprised at the 8mm test where it fared little better than e.g. the Sako Hammerhead whose bonding seems to be too weak.
In the other calibers the Oryx bullet has shown sterling performance; the Rhino seems to be quite a hard bullet that does not always reliably open on smaller game like roe deer.
Digging in my father's gun cabinet and in my own boxes I found probably some 300 rounds of factory loaded Sako Hammerhead which has so far performed flawlessly, but the shots taken have all been from beneficial angles, pretty much broadside on. This, of course, does not make me very keen on reloading excercises, but the constant not-too-good performance of the Hammerhead makes me somewhat concerned. Not wanting to wound game and make it suffer I wish to find a good bullet.

- Lars/Finland

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