Originally Posted by MMERSS
Interesting discussion. I’ve been shooting Berger bullets for the past few years and mostly happy with shot placement. (all 300 OTMs or 230 Target). They performed as expected with the thicker jackets and in most instances quite well. On one shot this year the Berger connected with a deer just above the shoulder and below the spine. The bullet did not open up due to the short tissue travel distance and penciled thru the animal. The deer ran off but was recovered. I thought a bullet allowing for initial rapid expansion then holding together would have been a more suitable option for the shot placement on this deer. LRABs came to mind. Would the LRAB with rapid expansion cause a spinal injury dropping this deer? I believe much more likely with the LRAB than the Berger. I’m seriously considering loading LRABs for deer and antelope and keeping the OTMs/Targets for the elk guns. I’ll be developing a load for a 7 RUM using the 175 LRABs. Quick initial expansion? I’m expecting this. Will there still be a portion of the bullet left to travel thru the animal after impact? I’m expecting this. I’m not aware of a perfect bullet for every situation and especially the perfect bullet for game sized antelope to elk.
It can help but you still have to be close enough to the spine to get the desired effect. Good expansion will always increase your odds vs one that pencils through.
Bullets that are designed though to give you that rapid expansion however can also shell out completely like little bombs if they hit something solid up close because of the very high level of retained energy.
Neither the LRAB nor the Sirocco's are designed for close shots, they are designed to give you the desired expansion at medium and long ranges.
Again we're back to the "there's no magic bullet" conundrum. I had similar luck with some Sicrocco II 180gr 30 cal's from a 300Rum and 130's from the 260 on sub hundred yard shots. I can't blame the bullets for that, It should have been expected. They didn't explode, they just flattened out completely and didn't exit on WT deer at close range. They did make it into the vitals with massive disruption but had the animals been able to run tracking them would have been awfully tough due to the lack of a blood trail.
What we might as shooters want to consider doing is to adjust our POI depending on range. Go for the Shoulders on the longer shots and go for the behind the shoulders heart/lung shots at shorter ranges with the Sirocco and LRAB's or simply set minimum ranges at which we are going to shoot period.
This is one reason why for most of my shooting I stick to the good old Interbond because I've just not had these types of issues with them at closer ranges.
The other answer is to set our LR rigs up solely for LR and have another handy for the short work and loads appropriate for each.
I know that for myself that's generally how I stay set up with the 6.8spc mini 14 in the truck along with carrying the .264wm, along with one of seven's or 300's.
For the horseback hunts I have planned for the big guys the next few years I've just made my mind up that I'll carry the 45/70 saddle gun at the ready and the 300Rum riding securely on the horse behind me so that I don't find myself in such a situation where I"m genuinely concerned about trying to make a close shot on a monster if it presents itself.