Originally Posted by WildRose
Another thought on your wound channel and exit.
Sometimes a bullet which does not expand and is not badly deformed will cavitate after penetration and then either correct or flip over before exit which would still produce a caliber size or even smaller exit. Remember bullets generally don't cut through the hide they push it till it just won't stretch any more and then the bullet pushes through and this can happen both on entry and exit. I've seen lots and lots of entry wounds smaller than the caliber used and some exit wounds as well.
Not sure what you mean by cavitate? But if you replace cavitate with tumble, this is the theory I'm leaning toward. In the case of your bullets peeing back, did they hit bone like this one? I'm finding it hard to grasp that the exposed lead core was not deformed enough after hitting bone not to leave a large hide exit.
My thoughts are that this bullet may have tumbled and when it reached the hide, it stretched it until all the pressure on the hide was being exerted by the point or tail in the tumbling process, then punched through.
OK, so for a recap,
The OP didn't find any bullet frags, but wasn't looking for any and can't say for sure that there weren't any.
Obviously the bullet did not "pencil" through so it either fragmented or tumbled.
The flesh exit and hide exit do not match in size and shape. If the bullet fragmented leaving that large of flesh exit, there should have been bullet frags under the hide which IMO, the OP should have noticed even if he wasn't looking for them. There should have also been small bits of bullet frags in the flesh of the exit hole.
The flesh exit shape is also a little odd in that it is not round which would be more consistent with fragmentation. It is more like a linear tear which is more consistent with an elongated shaped object in a sideways position.
I am not 100% certain but my tentative conclusion is that there was no expansion as there were no frags at all found. Even though the OP wasn't looking for frags, IMO he should have found some, especially under the hide at the exit.