Hornady A max for hunting big game

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Mr Marksman, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Mr Marksman

    Mr Marksman G&G Newbie

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    I was wondering if the Hornady A max bullets are good killers or not. they are not considered hunting bullets, but will they do the job for deer, elk, and black bears? any personal expirence?
    I am getting 3/4 of an inch at 100 yards with my handloads.
  2. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    Altho I am a fan of Hornady,especially varmint bullets,I believe trying to use Amax,s for hunting is asking for bullet failure and disaster.I advise using them for what they were intended for. sam.
  3. Nathan123

    Nathan123 G&G Newbie

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    I am getting great accuracy using 168gr A-Max in my .30-06 but when an A-Max hits something solid like bone, it will just tear apart. I would use it on smaller game but personally i would not shoot anything with a bit of size or thick skin with it.
  4. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    try the SST's, they work well. i wouldn't try an A-MAX on anything bigger than a coyote.
  5. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

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    I'm going to bump this thread and ask what people would say about using a .308 168gr A-Max on deer (roughly 120-140lbs on average). It's not my ammo of choice, but for this weekend, it might be all that I have, and my rifle is sighted in for that.

    The only reason that I ask is because I've seen reports of it being absolutely devastating on deer, making a minimum of a 1" wound channel all the way through, and leaving the chest cavity looking like a grenade went off. Most reports also say that the deer didn't live to take another step.
  6. sell33

    sell33 G&G Newbie

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  7. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    i'll say again, no dont use it. i have shot a good sized whitetail doe with a 6.5 140gr AMAX, and the bullet suffered complete failure. jacket and core seperated. due to good shot placement the animal died quickly, but had the bullet encountered a bone i am confident it would have suffered badly. target bullets are a bad choice for hunting big game. in my case it wasnt intentional, i grabbed the wrong box of ammo . amax's, and sst's look alike except for the cannelure, but the construcion of the bullets differ greatly.
  8. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

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    The A-Max bullet is great for punching paper, but not big game.
  9. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

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    Define big game...are deer considered big game?

    The only reason that I still am tempted to use this ammo is partially because of how it fragments. A bonded mushrooming slug that leaves the deer moving at high speeds is wasted energy. If this bullet encounters a rib and then explodes within the chest cavity, it's going to create massive damage. In fact, even a slight miss should do so much damage that major arteries are going to me struck (where a bullet that holds its mass may miss an artery completely).

    I know that Hornady doesn't recommend it, but I've seen pictures of these bullets nearly dressing the deer themselves. Plus, their incredibly accurate...possibly the most accurate .308 ammo that I can find.

    I probably will get something better in the future, but for these weekend, I will be taking he A-Max. The odds of me seeing a deer this year are very slim, due to the very few days that I can hunt (being an 1.5 hours from where I hunt doesn't help), and due to the low deer population.
  10. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

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    Let me rephrase what I said earlier, don't hunt anything larger than a coyote with an A-Max! it's asking for trouble.
  11. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    deer are big game, you need a bullet that will guarantee penetration, and the AMAX cant guarantee it. i can not respect the fact that you intentionally want to use a non suitable bullet on an animal. the word unethical comes to mind!
  12. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

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    While I certainly wouldn't recommend using it, we're using worse in the military at the moment on people. Funny how we apply ethics to animals, yet could care less when talking about human beings.

    Also, a grenade to the chest doesn't seem like unethical to me...maybe I'm wrong though.
  13. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    warfare is not the same as hunting. choosing to intentionally use a target, or varmint bullet on a big game animal is piss poor. i dont believe you seriously have any clue about what your talking about! im a vet, so do oyu honestly want to discuss what i think about killing people in war, ITS NOT THE SAME!
  14. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

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    Lefty, I respect your service to our country, and am taking your advice seriously.

    I'm just struggling to understand how a bullet that drops a deer in their tracks on all reported occasions is not ethical. The difference between the A-Max and an SST is a crimp that tents to allow the copper to mushroom rather than explode into shrapnel.

    I'm sorry if my remark about ethics and war offended you, it was not my intention.
  15. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    because if it hits a bone before it gets into the chest cavity, it may fail to penetrate at all, making a superficial wound. between my experience with the bullet, and what hornady recomends its use for, its a very bad choice. theres no guarantee when that bullet fragment, of where the fragments of it might go. you might get alot of small holes in the lungs, but nothing in the heart, and it could take a very long time for an animal to die of numerous small injuries. you are so much better of with a bullet that is constructed to punch its way into the vital organs, than using one that may or may not. much like when the first nosler ballistic tips came out, they typically did not make it into the chest cavity of big game animals, they just made very large superficial wounds. use the right bullet for the job, and you'll be much more successful in the long run.
  16. telkev

    telkev G&G Newbie

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    I have no experience hunting with the Amax's, but I have tried the SMK's, and they failed miserably. Stick with a bullet intended for hunting that will mushroom and penetrate, fragmenting to pieces is not a good thing if it doesn't happen in the vitals. just my 2 cents.....
  17. Bravo

    Bravo G&G Newbie

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    I'm going to take your advice Lefty (and yours Telkev) and buy some better hunting ammo.

    This weekend, I'm not torn between using the 168gr A-Max (which my rifle is sighted in for), or using a 150gr Winchester soft point hunting round...

    I'm thinking that even though my rifle isn't sighted in for the Winchester, it would still be a better choice than the A-Max. What do you guys think? At least until I can buy some 165gr SST's for next weekend.
  18. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    the soft point ammo is a much, much better choice. SST's will be great once you get them, they are my favorite deer bullet.
  19. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    just so you see what a good hunting bullet will do. this is a yearling i popped a few years ago (young ones taste better). about a 40yd downhill shot from a short barreled 7MM-08, using hornady 139gr SST's. thats the exit wound your seeing.

    Attached Files:

  20. aeladd1067

    aeladd1067 G&G Newbie

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    By The way!

    Hey lefty

    Welcome back and thank you for fighting for our country! :unitedstates:
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