I am new to this forum but not new to reloading. I haven't seen much info on Hornady's SST bullets so I will just post my experience, maybe someone else can benefit. For deer hunting (as well as a lot of other game) I shoot a Win mod 70 Featherweight .30-06 (push feed action) with a 22" barrel. I am shooting Hornady 165 grn SST's, Federal brass, Remington 9 1/2 M primers, and 57.4 grns of IMR 4350. This is Hornady's MAX load in the manual that I have, but I am not sure if it is the most current one as it was published before Hornady invented SST bullets. However, when the SST's first came-out I called Hornady directly and they advised me to use the data from their 165 grn BTSP so that's what I did. My rifle definetely prefers the hotter loads with this bullet, as the max load and one down from it give me 3/4" groups at 100 yards. According to the Hornady manual that I have (can't remember the edition but it's not too old), 57.4 grns of IMR 4350 out of a Win mod 70 with a 22" barrel should give me 2900 fps. I cannot verify this as I've been shooting off the hood of my truck and the Chrony keeps falling off before it can register. However, recoil was about the stoutest of any load I've ever put through this rifle, even counting heavier bullets. I took about a 200 lb 8 pt. whitetail buck with this bullet/load in northern Minnesota on 11/9/02. The buck was about 125 yards quartering towards me when I shot. The bullet entered a little low just behind the left shoulder, took-out the rear corner of the left lung, split the liver almost comepletely in two, and exited just in front of the right hind leg. I thought the deer was more broadside when I pulled the trigger, hence the behind the shoulder shot, but I did not have much time time to evaluate the exact spot to shoot for as he was trotting across a field and was about to disapear into some thick trees & brush. Anyway, at the shot the buck jumped-up, took two more bounds and went into a thicket. I gave it a half-hour and went to find my trophy. The buck had traveled about 50 yards, but there wasn't any bloodtrail until the last 20, presumably beacuse of the bullets exit location. The entrance and exit hole were about 1/2" in diameter. Does this mean that the bullet started to expand as soon as the nose started penetrating the hide of the deer? This is my first time ever using any kind of polymer or plastic tipped bulets on game so I don't know. Has anybody else had this experience? I'm used to caliber-sized entrance holes. When we skinned the deer we also found a few very small blood-shot spots up by the back so I think the bullet may have partially come apart.
The shooting times as well as other magazines have included the sst in their latest bullet tests.In these tests the sst has not lived up to hornady's claims as the sst's have performed identically to ballistic tips.They have not shown themselves to be tougher as advertised and in two of the tests the ballistic tips actually retained more weight than the sst's.
I've only shot one deer with it so far. I used the 165 gr. SST in my .300 Weatherby last year to take a nice 11 point whitetail. The distance was about 25 yards. The deer was slightly quartering toward me and I shot it right behind the shoulder. The entrance was about the size of a nickle and the exit was the size of a silver dollar. There was a considerable amount of blood on the ground from where I shot him to where he fell, which was only about 15 feet away. Considering the rifle I shot this bullet in and the short distance to the deer, I would say this bullet did a really fine job. Since I generally don't use the ribs for anything, I lost absolutely no meat at all.
Just returned from our annual hunt and saw the SST take 5 deer.
Rifle 3006 with 150Gr SST factory load
Doe #1 125 Yards broadside (ave size 150 lbs)
in right rib behind shoulder 1" hole entrance, 3" hole exit left rib. Damage tore right lung in 2 and blew apart left lung. Blood trails was good and constant from hit sight deer traveled 75 yards.(no meat loss)
Doe #2 200 Yards slightly quartering away (ave size 150Lbs)
Hit left side back a a little far, took out liver, entrance was 1/2" and then tore out the right lung, exit was 21/2". Blood trail was poor, due to placement and it was a little high (wound channel seemed to be plugged), deer went 100 Yards (no meat loss)
Buck #1 75 Yards quartering. (ave size 250 lbs 4x4)
right side in through right elbow, bullet sized hole and exited through Left shoulder(massive damage). Lungs were completely trashed. Huge blood on the ground travelled 30 feet.
Buck #2 200 Yards Rear only shot (yeap texas lung) (300 Lbs 4x4)
Bulet entered right ham and exited right ham, entrance was 1" exit was 3". Damage took out hip socket and femral (lucky) deer traveled 100 yards and required a finishing shot. (lost a portion of the right ham for meat loss)
Buck #3 (154 Gr 7 Rem Mag-my deer) - Quartering away 100 yards (350 lbs 5x7)
Entrance was tight behind right shoulder (between rib 1/2" hole) and exited front left shoulder -4" exit wound. The deer dropped in it tracks. Damage was lungs/heart trashed and the left shoulder dam near plucked from it's hide. Meat loss was the whole front left shoulder. Blood was emmense, but he never took a step.
My thoughts on this bullet is the same as stumblejumper, they behave like a Nosler BT, which I have shot for years at deer. So very explosive and damaging, I was pleased with how they performed out of my gun, the damage to the shoulder would have been the same result with just about any bullet style IMO. It did exactly what I wanted it to do and that was get home and put my animal on the dirt asap. So I can't complain. However those who say they are tougher than Nosler BT's are full of it, as I see no difference (except possibly the price). I would shoot them again for deer and recommend them but no more so then BT. So if you like BT and their performance you'll be please with the SST. If not then don't load them, cause you will find no differences in the two.
I used the 180g SST in my 300 Win Mag this year. Killed 1- 3 or 4 year old bull moose, 1 - 120 whitetail and 1 med Caribou bull. The moose took 2 shots as the first was thru the boiler room but he was still standing so I gave him another thru the shoulder.
Moose was 211 yards.
Caribou was 239 yards
Deer was 365. (Shouldn't have shot but missed the first shot and couldn't turn it off)
Each hit seemed to me to be fairly explosive in nature but I didn't recover any of the bullets to see what kind of shape they were in.
The moose was thru the meat on the one side and broke the shoulder on the off side on the second shot.The first hit took out 2 ribs but never passed thru.
The moose was 10 feet from the first shot.
The deer was approx. 40 yards from where he was hit. Hit him low and took out about 6" of breastbone.
The caribou was straight down. Hit him high and took out 4" of spine behind the shoulder. Hope to get this bullet when we skin him this weekend.
I will continue to use them as you can't argue with meat in the freezer.
I also think they act like the Nosler BT but I had BT come apart out of my 300 so I don't use them. The SST hold together and kill just fine.