Originally Posted by Hicks
I think the moral of this story is you want the bullet to stay in the animal, expending all it's energy. I would guess, and this is just a guess, that at 200 yards the 117gr GKs are not traveling fast enough to expand enough upon impact to slow down enough to stay in the animal. I would also guess that huge exit wounds, although impressive, show that much energy was not imparted to the animal, and that energy instead followed the bullet out.
Of course I could be blowing a bunch of smoke.
You would have to develop a load for every distance and weight of animal that you may possibly shoot in order to keep the bullet in the animal. I used to subscribe to this theory as well, but physically it is not logical.
The only way to insure a good killing shot, is with full penetration, from a bullet that creates a large permanent wound channel.
As far as the energy goes, there is relatively little of it. If the bullet struck the animal and did not penetrate at all, like hitting a steel target, the energy the same or less than the recoil that hit you in the shoulder. Go punch an elk in the ribs as hard as you can and see if it kills him.
In a nut shell, the bullet must expand in a controlled manner so as to retain enough mass to penetrate fully. The more blunt the shape that the expanded bullet takes the larger and more permanent the wound channel will be. The speed and shape of the expanded bullet are going to be relative to the size of the wound channel.
Having a bullet that partially penetrates is not as good as full penetration.
Perhaps we should start another thread on this subject, this is the stuff that I find fascinating.