lerch, With the size of deer you experience, I would agree that you don't need to waste money on an expensive premium bonded bullet. Moose and boar are a whole different story.
The majority of the 60+ whitetail I shot fell to gamekings and ballistic tips. I would say that about 80+% of those bullets also left exit holes. Just last season I had a 180gr BT break the on side shoulder pass and exit through the chest cavity of a 180# buck at 423yards. Seemed like preaty good performance to me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] To answer your guestion I like pass throughs, but you can get them with cheap bullets on whitetails.
I don't need the bullet to exit. Mant exit wounds don't bleed out anyway so I would rather have the bullet dump all its energy in the animal. I don't agree with Dave Wilsion on having a bullet zip right through the animal leaving with the same speed it came in. I think a bullet that stops inside the animal will have more shock than a bullet that leaves the animal still going 1/2 the speed it went in. I tried the barnes X and failsafe bullets on deer and lost 2 of 5 deer shot. I have only lost 2 other deer in 20 years of hunting using bullets that usually stop inside the deer.
You may like the idea of expending all the foot pounds inside an animal but it does not work that way in the real world.
You have so many presentations, at so many different ranges that it is impossible to shoot the same size animal in exactly the same place at the same distance.
Better to "waste" some of those foot pounds on an exit. That, you can do. It's repeatable, within reason.
The stay inside crowd always forgets that they get a surface splash when their animal is too close. The margin for error, between "getting" inside, and "staying" inside is only exceeded by the ultra light, super fast bullet that blows up "before" it gets inside.
It is hard to demonstrate on large game animals, like moose, for instance, because you don't have enough data to compare. However, since I have killed a lot of large predators, over the years, I can tell you that the complete pass-through is the most reliable. Less runners, and a better blood trail when the occasional runner does occur.
Short answer: of course I want an exit, and so should everybody else.
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I would also like to have a exit wound in this case, preferably one the size of a soft ball
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I think this is the key. You want a decent sized exit wound. As a bullet passes through and mushrooms out, it transfers much of its energy to the surrounding tissue resulting a large wound channel.
A bullet that just zips through will cause much less tissue damage. It will have a much narrower wound channel.
The bigger the wound channel will cause more damage to a larger area. Common sense tells me that this is a much better situation.
There is a happy medium between the two. Obviously, the larger the game, the more penetration and less mushrooming you want.
To back Lerch up on this one, with the size of our deer around here, the only way I would use a partition or similar bullet if using a 22 cal.
I would guess almost all of your BT type bullets in the 95+ grain weight will give you an exit wound. Unless of course they were shot at extreme velocity at close range. I would still say that 99% of the time, with a well placed shot, game recovery would not be a problem though.
Just a matter of time before you realize that you've gotta
have a pass through. Dumping all the energy sounds very logical and tempting, but soon one finds out that a pass throght is the way to go!
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I've killed alot of big deer down in Arkansas. I have alot of experience in the feild all over the world. I've seen deer and large game taken down with all kinds of shots. The main point is, I want a bullet that does maximum damage and goes all of the way through. With whitetails, you can use fast expanding bullets and good shooting. So yes, go all of the way through and leave a BIG hole.
The age old debate continues, I have argued for and against each side of the ques. I have killed 72 whitetails in my life time with a gun. I have ended up on the no exit hole side. I have only lost 3(that I can remember) deer that I knew that I had wounded and had used bonded or similar bullets on all 3. I can never remember loosing a deer with the Nosler BT. Of course this argument will never be setteled because of the reasons that have been memtioned. Too many variables, shooter, angles, distances, and repeating shot placement. So to me, it comes down to what shooters and our kind are all about... personal choice and what works for you.