Yep....I can see this blossoming into a giant ******* match.
I guess I would say it is shock value. Say a 338 bullet enters an animal at 2200 fps, failed to open up, and exits at 1900 fps. Lets say said bullet had 2500 lbs energy going in. Now lets take a 243 bullet hitting that same animal at 2200 fps and it does not exit. Said bullet had 1300 lbs of energy. How does the "foot pound" theory work now? The first bullet had a bunch of energy left when it hit the ground on the other side of the animal....did he get 2500 lbs of energy?????.......no.....much, much, less, I think.
My point here is I don't think you can use "energy" values. I think it is shock value. I am not a bow hunter, so I won't go there, but, I have seen my kids hammer quite a few does with my 220 swift and 55 gr balistic tips. All were hit in the chest cavity.....none exited....all of the "important" parts, though not always all hit by fragments, were bloodshot and/or otherwise very unhealthy looking
. Very dramatic kills!!! And the pistol guys....those bullets are designed with very flat tips and are designed to open up at much slower velocitys.....shock value. Any animal who has his "important parts" hit will die, weather or not the bullet zips on through or explodes. But...I think the "dramatic kills (other than spine/brain shots) happen when there is lots of shock, IE..the bullet opening up. I think you should be sure that you are shooting within distances that will allow your bullet to expand. Now, do I always follow this guidline.......nope....I don't. I have taken deer at "extended" ranges where the bullet didn't open up. Unfortunaly, not all were hit in the heart lungs. On these I had some tracking on my hands. I ALWAYS wait at least a couple of hours before I go after the animal if I am not sure of the hit....let them stiffen up.
This is, of course, my opinion. I won't debate it. It is not a scientific, and there will be a million guys who will have the "oh ya...well I saw uncle so n so shoot a deer at......"
I am sure they did......