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Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards

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Unread 05-16-2001, 09:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards

Yotebait and you other guys,

Just to muddy the waters here is an intersting shoot (I hesitate to use the term "test" as the sample size is too small) I did on a tough media with a variety of premium bullets. No accuracy evaluation, just wanted to see how they compared into a uniform target. I wanted to find out just how tough some of the premium bullets really are. I had five large tightly wrapped bundles of very hard, stiff cardboard sheets, about 8”x10” that I had to get rid of. So why not see how bullets penetrate such a hard medium. Results are impressive, not too scientific, but a heck of a test as cardboard is tough stuff and tells me which bullet to shoot if I ever have to kill a cardboard critter. By comparing the number of sheets penetrated I can determine how one bullet penetrates compared to another. One strange thing occurred, no bullets exited when the bundles where butted one in front of the other. I wanted to get a second bullet, so I placed the five bundles side by side (not butted in a straight line) and shot each one in order. Every bullet completely penetrated and exited the freestanding bundle - maybe the first shot loosened my bundle or something.

Firearm: SAKO 75 Barrel Length: 24 3/8” Firing Distance: 100 yards indoor

Bundles of 150 stiff cardboard sheets, wrapped in brown wrapping paper, were placed in a single line on the concrete floor, each bundle butting against the next. One .300 Winchester Magnum factory load was shot into each bundle. None of the bullets penetrated a bundle fully. As each round was fired the bundles were rotated forward so that a fresh bundle was always foremost. Shots were fired from the prone position and aimed to strike the center of the bundle, approximately 5” above the floor. The paper wrapping frequently split on a front seam, but all bundles stayed intact. The paper wrapping was then cut open, and the sheets separated to expose each bullet. Care was taken to determine the most forward position of each bullet. Bullets were removed and the penetrated sheets were counted and recorded. The bullets were carefully examined and all visible cardboard was removed with tweezers and a sharp pin. The bullets were then weighed on a reloading scale. Just for interest I added the retained weight and the number of sheets penetrated to get a "score". The little box I am typing in is causing the numbers to go wonky, hopefully they will look better when posted. If not the numbers are:
retained weight, % retained weight, # sheets penetrated and the combined weight/sheets number.

(At the end of the .300 Win. mag. firing a Federal Tactical 165 grain Trophy Bonded .308 Win. round was shot into the bundle containing the .300 Win. mag. Trophy Bonded round.)
Ammunition Recov. Weight (gr) #. SheetsTOTAL (Wt.+#Sheets)
Winchester Failsafe 180 gr. 178.7 (99.3%) 114 292.7
Federal Safari - Nosler Part 180 gr. 120.3 (66.8%) 113 233.3
Federal Safari - Tr. Bonded 180 gr. 133.3 (74.0%) 095 228.3
Federal Safari - Woodleigh 180 gr. 123.7 (68.7%) 095 218.7
Sako Hammerhead 180 gr. 085.5 (47.5%) 101 186.5
Speer Grand Slam 180 gr. 068.8 (38.2%) 102 170.8

.308 Trophy Bonded 165 gr. (Tactical) 124.8 (75.6%) 091 215.8
..all bundles were of equal weight and wrapping
..this test allowed a direct count of penetrated cardboard sheets
..only one round was fired per bullet type
..the TOTAL number is only for interest
..the recovered Winchester bullet was a classic Failsafe profile
..the Sako bullet shed the core and the jacket was tightly packed with cardboard
..the Speer bullet shed the core and was loosely packed with cardboard
..the Nosler peeled back to the inner belt in classic Nosler form
..the Trophy Bonded bullets looked very similar and were excellent mushrooms
..the Woodleigh bullet mushroomed nicely
..did not have factory loaded Barnes or Swift A-Frames - too bad

Warren, this is not scientific, just an interesting little comparison that may or may support opinions on what different brands of bullets do.
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Unread 05-17-2001, 09:16 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,757
Re: Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards


I think the problem when trying to duplicate tissue penitration when testing bullets is,
it is hard to make the test unless like material is used as compared to "Living" tissue.

The bullet will react differently to most any substance. We have found that, jeletin is a very good material to make a close test as to the living tissue on an animal.

We know that, ANY bullet going into bone will react in a different way as compared to going in between the ribs on one side of the animal and exiting the other side in the SAME fashion. Will the bullet expand in this senario? The answer to this question in my experiance, is yes, with the Matchkings.

We have never had a problem with Matchkings expanding on game. We have recovered only two bullets inside of elk over the years. Out of 20 elk (at least) this is quite good considering they were all killed in excess of 1000 yards and the exit holes were unbelieveable. It didn't seem to matter where they were hit. The shoulders, rib cage, top of the back or neck, the exit hole was huge.
The two Matchkings that we recovered were peeled back perfectly with about 3/4 of the lead still intact. The bullets penitrated the far shoulder (in both instances) and were found just under the skin on the far side of the animal.

Just some added information concerning bullet reaction on live tissue that my hunting friends and I have found over the years.

Darryl Cassel
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Unread 07-01-2001, 10:06 AM
Mike C.
Posts: n/a
Re: Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards

I shoot a 7STW @ deer. Have found the factory Rem. core-locs to be inferior out over 300 probably because velocities aren't high enough. Have been reloading Ballistic-tips with better results. The simply open up better at slower velocities. The accuracy of the Noslers seem to work fine too.
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Unread 07-02-2001, 02:44 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: wis
Posts: 104
Re: Bullet performance @ ranges above 400 yards

I have used 180 gr match kings on deer and have great results. besides being very good shooters
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