Originally Posted by mrb1982
You could be right. Of course that is all gonna depend on the game one is shooting also. Like stated in the earlier posts, some of the guys shooting the real big bullets aren't even that worried about it. Seems to me that with some of the smaller ones, if you have enough energy left you still should have fair performance.
Most guys are concerned about good bullet performance, especially with the lighter bullets. To plan for a bullet not to expand is very risky. If they pencil hole all the way through, the animal will take quite a while to expire. The longer high BC bullets are more likely to tumble and do damage, but IMO, the best plan is to have a bullet cause massive damage through proper expansion.
Also, as far as I'm concerned, KE is an abstract measurement of energy and no one can quantify just how that translates to killing power. If you use a solid that arrives on target with 2500 ftlbs of energy and it pencils through, most of the KE leaves on the offside of the animal. Different bullets perform in different ways and some low KE hits can be more damaging than some high KE hits. Also, animals come in different sizes and toughness. A bull elk might be almost twice the size of a cow and to make the blanket statement that you need 1500 ftlbs of KE to kill an elk just doesn't cut it. What you need to kill an elk is a bullet that enters, expands and causes great damage to vital organs. An exit wound is good too, but if you use a 180 7mm Berger that explodes and destroys both lungs, that works just as well.
My personal minimal preference for bull elk is a 308 cal, 180 gr @ 1800 fps or greater and everything would have to be just right for a good double lung shot. For cow elk and deer, I'll go with less.
I look at the animal, the shot presented, the bullet, the expected performance of the bullet and it's impact velocity.