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FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

 
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  #1  
Old 08-25-2010, 01:32 PM
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FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

It's never been an issue but since I may have opportunity to harvest deer at longer ranges this year, I'd like to know.

My rifle is in .308 and I haven't decided on a projectile yet.

Thanks,

Paul
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2010, 05:07 PM
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

There are a lot of variables in play to have a bullet deliver the required energy to the right places to have a dead right there animal.

I use what I think is an accepted standard in the hunting world and that is 1000 ft lbs for deer and 1500 ft lbs for elk. I donít think thatís set in stone but a good starting place.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:40 PM
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

For me a nosler 180 B-tip is one of the best bullets i have used on big game. I push them a bit faster then you will in the 308 but the pack the punch and come apart better then just about any bullet i have ever shot. They are also very well made and shoot great out of any rifle i have ever tried them in. Some it took some work but others took none. I use 42 grains of varget behind them at 2.85" in length for a pet starting load in a 308. I dont how ever use them at close range with the big over bore caliber i have the just blow up to much. I would recommend them for the 200 yards and plus shooting on big game but for dear any yardage should be fine.

bobby
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:35 PM
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

Foot Pounds of energy is a VERY poor way to determine if a cartridge will be effective at harvesting a deer or not. Let me explain, I have taken literally dozens of whitetail deer out to 300 yards using a 22-250 loaded with Hornady 55 gr SP bullets loaded to 3600 fps. At 300 yards this load has roughly 750 ft/lbs of energy but the rifles I used were exceptionally accurate rifles and even at 300 yards, placing my shot anywhere I wanted was very easy shooting from solid stationary positions as the deer fed out in large fields.

Some were neck shots, some were behind the shoulder lung shots, all were one shot kills. I have never lost a deer using that combo but I have also never shot at one over 300 yards.

Another point, I have killed alot of deer with handguns, ranging from the 357 Mag up to the 50 Action Express and pretty much everything in between.

Many of these had impact energy levels at or under 500 ft/lbs and again, I have yet to loose a deer using a handgun. I do not hunt them at long ranges with conventional revolvers, under 100 yards.

Point being, the mount of ft/lbs means very little when it comes to determining if a chambering will be effective on deer size game. What is critical is shot placement, bullet expansion and bullet penetration which needs to be deep enough to pass through the vital zone of the target game being hunted at any angle you decide to take a shot at this game animal.

A bullet can have 2000 ft/lbs of energy but if it does not expand it will not transfer much energy to the target game animal and thus will not quickly harvest that animal. That said, if you put a 30 cal FMJ though both lungs of a deer, it will die relatively quickly but it may be able to cover several hundred yards before it does die.

Now us a bullet like a 150 gr Ballistic tip and that bullet will expand very easily at 308 Win velocity and transfer more of its energy to the target which will damage more vital tissue if in fact thats where the bullet impacts.

Many will say the 308 Win is a 1000 yard rifle. I strongly disagree with that opinion as I have shot this round extensively as well as most of the others in this class building accuracy minded rifles for customers. In fact, the 7mm-08 and 260 Rem will outpreform their larger bore brother at this range.

Because of velocity limits and relatively low BC, the 308 just gets caught up in the wind to much to be a true long range hunting weapon. Now in ideal conditions, certainly its consistant to 1000 yards, no question but the retained velocity at that range is such that many big game hunting bullets simply will not expand, again, if there is not reliable expansion, no amount of kenetic energy in the world will help much.

Again, its all shot placement and having enough bullet weight to penetrate the vitals and also enough retained velocity to cause reliable bullet expansion as the bullet penetrates the target animal.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:45 PM
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

Well put Kirby. Your post reflects all the variables that I relate to in the post above but I think when working up a load or evaluating factory loads the 1000 ft. lb. and the 1500 ft. lb. energy is a good basis to determining how far out the load will perform including FPS for proper expansion. Of course the more accurate the shot placement the less energy it takes. Lots of deer have been taken with a 22 with a well placed shot.
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There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

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Old 08-26-2010, 08:40 PM
ATH ATH is offline
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

Expanding upon Kirby's excellent post, given that you have not decided on the projectile yet your question cannot be answered. IMHO, a lot depends on a) the caliber of the weapon, and b) the lower end of the effective expansion range of the projectile.

For example, if you are shooting a .22cal high power rifle but a hard projectile that will not expand well at low velocity, you may arrive on target with good ft-lbs but the round will pencil through leaving a VERY small wound channel and leave the animal able to travel a long distance. Conversely, if you are shooting a .50cal muzzleloader with a full caliber projectile you may arrive on-target with very low ft-lbs but drill a comparatively large wound channel, putting the animal down pretty quick.

High power rifles in standard calibers now have a wide variety of bullets available, some open easier than others at low velocity. Personally I would be much more concerned with your velocity on-target and how this compares to the low-end expansion velocity of the projectile, than ft-lbs it retains.

I have taken deer at over 300 yards with a muzzleloader and 200gr bullets, around 500 ft-lbs of energy at under 1000 fps on-target. Yet these bullets still expand and none of the deer have taken a step.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:24 PM
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Re: FPE needed to cleanly disptach whitetail deer?

ATH,

Very good point about frontal area. That is why big bore handguns kill big game MUCH more effectively they they really should for their on paper numbers.

Bullet expansion is a funny thing. In smaller calibers, its really critical, the larger the caliber the less critical it becomes but there is no question that the more a bullet expands the more energy is transfered to the game animal.

Expansion also has its limits as well because the more a bullet expands, the less it will penetrate. Its a fine line.

When I used to hunt exclusively with big bore handguns, namely a hot loaded 45 Colt with 355 gr WFNGC, a 480 Ruger with 425 gr WFNGC and a 50 AE with a 440 gr WFNGC bullet. I did extensive penetration tests comparing these handgun chambering against rifle chamberings, namely a 7mm Rem Mag with 160 gr partitions and a 300 RUM with 180 gr Ballistic tips and partitions. At 100 yards, I fired all of them into just about every type of media you could think of and in every case, the handgun bullets, which are heat treated solid alloy lead bullets outpenetrated the rifle bullets.

Even more interesting is that the permanent wound channel created along the bullets penetration paths were always larger with the handguns. Now the rifles had HUGE temporary wound channels which is part of that hydrostatic shock wave that high velocity projectiles impose on target but after that, the wide flat nose of the handgun bullets plowed more material out the way and penetrated deeper.

The interesting thing was the relatively low velocity I was loading the handguns to. 1150 fps for the 45 colt, 1170 fps for the 480 Ruger and an even 1100 fps for the 50 AE.

I also figured that if these loads performed well then higher velocity loads with the same bullets would perform even better. That really did not prove to be the case. I tested the 454 Casull, 475 Linebaugh and a friend 500 linebaugh with the same bullets but in every case, the larger round were averaging 200-300 fps more velocity then the ones I used. The crazy thing is that penetration increased less then 5% with the faster loads. Not worth the nearly double felt recoil with the big handgun rounds.

I went back to the moderate velocity handguns with heavy bullets and have never been wanting for more power.

So, velocity has very little to do with killing game, energy, again not much, bullet design is critical. If you have an expanding bullet, you need enough FPS to give the bullet enough energy to expand on target.

If your using a solid bullet, rifle or handgun, often times, really high velocity can be a bad thing. In handguns, there is a sweet spot of around 1100-1200 fps where big bore handguns perform at their best and penetrate very straight and deep.

In big bore rifles using solids, there is also a sweet spot, generally in the 2200-2400 fps range. That is why the best African stoppers are loaded to this velocity. If you need more power, the stay in this velocity range, just add caliber and bullet mass.

These two types of weapons have nothing to do with long range hunting but it does show how proper bullet design will function over high velocity or energy as far as cleanly taking game.

In our game, we have to know the limits of our bullet expansion, both over expansion at closer range and under expansion at long range. That is why some of the best long range bullets are the Bergers, Ballistic Tips, Accubonds and A-max bullets, especially for long range hunting because they all expand with a relatively low energy level ensuring that at long range we will have effective terminal performance.

A hard bullet such as a barnes TSX is a great bullet for closer range and even out to 600 yards or so with a chambering that can give them a good kick in the pants and keep velocity high. They thrive on velocity but at long range, thats what hurts their terminal performance.

As mentioned, your job now is simply to find the right bullet for your needs. In the 308, ALOT of bullets will work well. Do not get overly heavy, you want to get good velocity and with this round, that can be a challange. I would look at a 165 gr Ballistic tip or Accubond, a 168 gr berger or something similiar in the A-Max, SST or Interbond line from Hornady. All will offer you about the most effective range you can expect to get with a 308.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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