Ive never looked too much into bullet performance or post kill condition. I just started looking into it with these hanloaded hornady 117 gr btsp @ 3242. I've killed numerous white tail and some fallow deer out to 300 yards. All never took a step. I've always noticed the little pin hole entrance and have never gotten an exit. If I hadn't gotten lucky and made perfect shots I always wonder about the deer running off. Is this my bullet selection? I just shot a fallow @ 232yds and recovered this bullet. The core was with the jacket but separate.
Has this bullet failed?
Last edited by rimfiresniper; 12-07-2012 at 03:51 PM.
Nobody likes to hear about jacket separation from the lead core. While the bullet did fail to stay together, I wouldn't call your experience "bullet failure". If the separation occurs early on or midway through penetration, then bad things can happen. Since you found both the core and the jacket together near the off side of the animal, it is a safe assumption that separation occurred at the tail end of penetration. I would say the bullet performed well; especially in light of your previous DRT kills. You just found the limit of your bullet in terms of penetration. If larger animals were in your future, I would step up to a bonded core bullet such as the Nosler Accubond. But then, even those fail from time to time.
We could kick up a firestorm with that question. So with that in mind, this is just my opinion on Barnes:
They are near the top in my book when it comes to terminal performance. Never had a bad experience with bullet performance or losing game when shot. Most of the time, the animals simply drop and expire. My problem with Barnes has been accuracy. Most of my rifles just don't seem to group as well with them. Other shooters can get ragged one-hole groups, but not me.
In hunting where short to medium shots are the norm, I take the gun that likes the Barnes (30-06). I don't care if it groups 1" at 100 yds. That's good enough for 300-400 yd shot. For precision LR shooting, those groups are just too big for my liking.
The other problem (until recently), is that Barnes struggles to get decent BC's out of their bullet designs. They are hamstrung because no lead = lower weight = lower BC. Their new "long range" bullet gets close, but man are they expensive. For LR hunting, 2 of my rigs love the Berger VLD and the third won't have anything to do with the Berger, but loves the Accubond.
Not to bad of a bullet failure if you got the critter and you don't get runners or splash wounds. I whacked a mule deer with a 25-06 and a 100 gr nos bt last year and it didn't do through either, but the thing dropped like I hit it in the head with a hammer. I prefer two holes, but if they don't move after the hit and the whole critter isn't burger, who really cares.
I really like to step up in bullet weight and caliber for complete penetration. A smaller caliber really has a tough time digging through every time unless the bullet weight is really heavy; like a 140 grain 6.5mm.
There are alot of thoughts on what a bullet should or shouldn't do. Stay together, complete pass through, fragment on the interior of an animal, etc, etc, etc. Probably more thoughts on this then where to shoot an animal.
What works for you someone else will think is stupid. And what they do you will think the same of. Results are what count. Animal taken ethically (another trick word), means success.
I bought one of the first factory 25-06's produced by Remington in 1970 and killed a lot of whitetails with it using both 100 and 117 grain Hornadys and they are very good deer bullets. Unless you use bonded or mono bullets, they will all come apart at some point. In fact, even the bonded ones do at times. This is not necessarily a bad thing and the fact that this bullet held up to that velocity says quite a bit. The Hornady interlock system, which that bullet is, has performed very well over the years and has even been used quite successfully even on larger game. It performs a lot like the tried and true Remington corelokt. They are both good non premium priced bullets. You also mentioned that the deer never took a step. This is not bullet failure IMO......Rich