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Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

 
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  #1  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:25 PM
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Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

Before we start out, this thread has big potential to get ugly and I do NOT want that to happen. This thread is NOT about the ethics and good/evil of non-expanding bullets vs expanding bullets. Please DO NOT flame anyone for their opinion or experience.

The purpose of this thread is to get opinions and more importantly, experience on the effects of non-expanding bullets on game and not to start a big debate.

I am under the opinion that bullet expansion is important to the reliable, effective taking of game but I would like to hear people's experiences on the subject. I believe that expanding bullets cause much greater hemoraging than non-expanding bullets and lead to much quicker kills. Is this right? Is this necessary? Is it situational, i.e. cal, range, game specie?

Let's have a good discussion and learn something and remember we are all fellow shooters and hunters.

Your thoughts.....

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:56 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

Mark,

"I am under the opinion that bullet expansion is important to the reliable, effective taking of game but I would like to hear people's experiences on the subject."

I agree with this 100%.

There seems to be universal acceptance of the expanding bullet otherwise there would be no expanding bullets manufactured. There are many compromises that must be made when making a bullet. These compromises greatly increase in number and complexity when designing a hunting bullet rather than just a paper puncher.

Is expansion necessary in all cases? From personal experiences I have to say no.

Example 1) Raghorn bull elk @ 120 yds. Cartridge: 223. Bullet 60gr SMK. One shot. a few steps and DRT. Bullet retrieved from very low in the rib cage didn't even get to the skin on the far side. There was no deformation of the bullet except for the rifling.

The tip of the heart was removed opening both chanbers.

The whole deal was a fluke. Kid got the fever. It should have been a muley buck but those antlers looke reasonable for a great buck above the top of the large bush.

Bullet performance is fully documented by the ID F&G.

Example 2) Local high fence operation fills orders for elk meat with a carefully placed neck shot from a 22 LR.


Nevertheless bullet expansion is a great early innovation regarding hunting bullets.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:59 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

My personal experience has been MUCH quicker cleaner kills with bullets that expanded over bullets that did not expand.

I will leave bullet types out of the post to (hopefully prevent any flame) and base the thought of bullets not expanding by a very small exit hole and no major damage to vital organs once gutted.

I have shot and witnessed a few critters get shot with bullets than in the end did not expand. The game in most cases did not act as if it were hit. One was shot (good hit in the vitals) and circumstances did not afford for a follow up shot. It took almost an hour for the animal to expire. It was in open country where we could watch it for the duration of its last hour. To me this is disrespectful to the game which is why I dont use those bullets anymore. Another was my buddy who hit a critter 3 times through the lungs. Again not much reaction and he just would not go down. A 4th round to the shoulder disabled him and again, took a while to expire. Not an hour like the one before him but 10 minutes or so. Again this is cruel.

Of the critters that have been hit with bullets that did expand or completely come apart for that matter, all when hit in the vital area expired VERY quickly. Most within 0-30 seconds with one making it between 30 seconds and a minute. Regardless of impact energy, the critters I have taken with bullets that did expand died very quickly.

I know this isnt scientifec but offers a pattern. It is a widely known fact that in archery an arrow with a field tip will kill an animal. Just not very quickly. When a sharp broadhead is attached the game dies VERY quickly despite there only being enough energy to allow the arrow to penetrate the skin, ribs and vitals. Typically with much less than 100 pounds of energy. It is the cutting and subsequent blood loss and or air loss that causes the quick kill. I apply the same principals with my 308. I dont have near the energy of a 300 RUM but I employ bullets that create alot of damage and subsequent blood loss and or air loss. The critters I have shot even with minimal energy yet recieved a good wound track died very quickly.

As a side note I know of some game and fish departments that do NOT permit the use of FMJ's.

Hope that helps and hope it doesnt recieve any flame as none was intended.

M
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:02 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

Mark,

"I am under the opinion that bullet expansion is important to the reliable, effective taking of game but I would like to hear people's experiences on the subject."

I agree with this 100%.

There seems to be universal acceptance of the expanding bullet otherwise there would be no expanding bullets manufactured. There are many compromises that must be made when making a bullet. These compromises greatly increase in number and complexity when designing a hunting bullet rather than just a paper puncher.

Is expansion necessary in all cases? From personal experiences I have to say no.

Example 1) Raghorn bull elk @ 120 yds. Cartridge: 223. Bullet 60gr SMK. One shot. a few steps and DRT. Bullet retrieved from very low in the rib cage didn't even get to the skin on the far side. There was no deformation of the bullet except for the rifling.

The tip of the heart was removed opening both chanbers.

The whole deal was a fluke. Kid got the fever. It should have been a muley buck but those antlers looke reasonable for a great buck above the top of the large bush.

Bullet performance is fully documented by the ID F&G.

Example 2) Local high fence operation fills orders for elk meat with a carefully placed neck shot from a 22 LR.

Example 3) I recall a story from decades ago where a noted writer wanted to scare a bull moose so a visitor wouldn't see it or something on that order. Maybe it was Col. Townsend. Anyway the moose was a couple of hundred yards away or so. A 22 LR was randomly stuck out the cabin door in the general direction of the moose. Long story short, 1 dead moose.


Nevertheless bullet expansion is a great early innovation regarding hunting bullets.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:08 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

I think that the faster you drop blood pressure the faster an animal will die, assuming you are not taking out the central nervous system.

Just because an animal hit the dirt does NOT mean it is dead....it actually is not dead for several minutes, after enough brain cells die.


For dropping animals I think that fragmenting bullets are probably tops....assuming they reach the vitals
Hit the leg on the way in and you can probably watch your animal run into the sunset.
With that said, I would rather a bullet fail to expand and give full penetration than expand too early and not reach the vitals!

edge.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:55 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

This DRAMATICALLY depends on the type of bullet being used. For a modern, pointed ogive bullet used in rifles, I say certainly for being most effective at "quickly" and "Cleanly" killing big game.

If your talking about a big bore chambering using bullets with wide flat nose designs, its not nearly as critical and in fact, expansion on this type of bullet can actually decrease effectiveness at quickly killing game.

Since we are chatting on LRH, I assume you are referring to the former with sharp ogive rifle bullet designs.

Caliber also has some role to play in this as well.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2010, 04:21 PM
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Re: Is Bullet Expansion Necessary for Effecive Killing of Game

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiftydriver View Post
This DRAMATICALLY depends on the type of bullet being used. For a modern, pointed ogive bullet used in rifles, I say certainly for being most effective at "quickly" and "Cleanly" killing big game.

If your talking about a big bore chambering using bullets with wide flat nose designs, its not nearly as critical and in fact, expansion on this type of bullet can actually decrease effectiveness at quickly killing game.

Since we are chatting on LRH, I assume you are referring to the former with sharp ogive rifle bullet designs.

Caliber also has some role to play in this as well.
Good point Kirby (no pun intended ), I'm talking about pointy bullets.
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