Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics


36 bulls 8 different bullets

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-10-2011, 12:32 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 15
36 bulls 8 different bullets

9 hunters, 36 bulls, 8 different bullets.
With all the different opinions bad advice from writers who would get fired for a bad review of an advertisers bullets and a hunter from the east who has never killed an elk or the guy who thinks you need a 375 RUM to kill an elk.
A few years ago there was a shot very close to me I walked over to find a hunter with his nose glued to the ground looking for blood. He said he had shot a bull with his 300 Win mag and there was no blood. I dropped to one knee to look across the tops of the tall grass and saw a few drops of blood. A long story short after the bull was found he looked like a shotgun was used on him. I retraced the path of the bullet to find three limbs that were hit by the 180 Core Lokt. At first the hunter said it was a good clean shot. Be careful who you listen to about elk bullets and calibers.
I started keeping records of a crew of 7 hunters who I hand load for. These guys all but one started as a boy along side there father and are very good elk hunters today, plus my hunting partner and myself makes 9 hunters. We have used 8 different bullets to take 36 bulls over 9 years, plus a lot of cows with leftover cow tags. All of the techs I have talked to say in 30 caliber 150 grain is the best bullet for deer and because of the thin jacket it should not be used on elk. 165 grain is suited for both elk and deer. 180 is the best choice for elk if the vel. is 2700 fps. or more.
When the custom bullets were recommended by the writers a few of the guys wanted to try them. At first they seemed to do a fair job. Three years later and two bulls with not so clean kills we started to review all kills with the custom bullets. In a 30-06 with a 165 bonded bullet there was very little expansion 5/16 of an inch with 2 recovered bullets from the bulls far leg, this bull ran 200+ yards after a double lung hit. This bullet in a 308 Norma mag at higher vel. did a better job, the bullet was not recovered. In two 30-06 rifles the 165 SST is now doing a real good job with one bang flop on a bull.
A solid copper bullet hit a large leg bone and lost all its pedals but one. After 7 guys and 4 hours of looking the bull was found 1/2 mile away. The 180 grain bullet from the 300 Win mag weighted only 124 grains. Most of the other elk with custom bullets averaged over three times the distance traveled till they went down when compared to standard bullets. This is still only 60 to 80 yards on average but it is clear the customs do not have as much terminal performance to stop the bulls as standard bullets. 50% less damage to organs on all bulls and less blood shock plus the exit hole is much smaller. Customs tend to pass through and take 30% or more bullet energy along with them. All the bulls shot were good well placed shots. No bang flops with any custom bullet. All hunters agreed the only custom bullet they would use was the Nosler Partition plus SST, Hot Cor, Game King and Ballistic Tip FYI none of the guys wanted to try the Ballistic Tip till I cut a 180 in half and recovered 6 bullets from wet phone books that weighed 139 to 168 grains with very nice looking mushrooms. The jacket looks just like a Accubond jacket with no bonding. The 180 Interbond at 3000 FPS. was voted second best custom after the Partition. If you must use a bonded bullet the Interbond did more damage to the engine room and left a larger exit hole plus a faster kill then the other two bonded bullets we used. At 400 yards this bullet may not open much.
We are using the cow tags to try other bullets, the 190 Interlock also works very well. I cut this bullet in half the jacket is 50% thicker than most other standard bullets. It has two bang flops so far and no cow has gone past 10 yards. In one cow it smashed the leg bone made jelly out of the lungs with a two inch exit hole. Guns used were 300 WSM and 300 H&H mag. This year 168 and 185 Bergers will be used on cows. My 300 WSM will be loaded with the 190 Interlock with 63 1/2 grains of IMR 4350 at 2974 FPS. My back up gun is a 30-06 with 165 SST at 2925 FPS. The 30-06 has taken 11 bulls over 30 years of hunting. Last year I left the 300 in camp and killed a nice 6x6 with the old 06.
30-06 still kills more elk then any two other calibers put together. Standard factory ammo also kills thousands of elk each season. Four of the nine hunters worked on this article and the facts are from my records. caliber, bullet used, bullet vel. by a chrony, shot placement, distance traveled after shot, amount of damage done buy the bullet. exit hole size and bang flops. All of the elk were shot in Colorado. If you have 3000 ft. lbs. of energy put it to good use with a good bullet.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 12:52 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

That's a lot to digest.

I'll have to reread it several times to be sure I understand.

I got confused as to what you consider a standard vs a custom bullet. Nor do I see a reason to draw that distinction.

Also, you have lots of "facts". But, they are intermingled within the analysis and it would be nice to simply see the raw data in a separate section following your analysis.

Great job nonetheless!
thanks for sharing
Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 02:21 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,082
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

YIKES! Popcorn is in the microwave

Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 03:05 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 15
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

The two types of bullets I called custom were the solid copper expanding and bonded. These bullets took 8 bulls. The term is used buy the nine hunters when talking about bullets.
All bullets used with good shots killed elk. Bullets that have jackets and lead cores with no bonding have worked better for use. { standard }
I do not know if the Hot Cor is considered bonded. It has a thiner jacket and looses more weight then the others.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:25 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

So, 30-06 with 180 Core Lokt it is. ...just don't shoot through more than 3 tree limbs at a time. ;-)

Do you have a logbook with distance, conditions, cartridge, load data, angle of attack, POA/POI, photos of wound, etc...?

I think the most important thing I gathered was that "All bullets used with good shots killed elk."

As such, pick something decent that your rifle likes and practice so that you can hit what you're aiming at in field conditions.

-- richard
Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:06 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 165
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

A bonded bullet out of my 06 just hasn't performed as well as a non bonded bullet the maybe they would be ok for a faster caliber.
Nosler bullistic tip put a big bull down faster with a less vital shot (kidney) than a Speer Grand Slam did on a spike (double lung) the NBT sent a few shards of shratnal a good 12" into the goodies witch I'm sure would explain why the bigger bull went down sooner. I also shot a mt goat with a failsafe i was extreamly dissappointed in this bullet 3/8" exit hole 15 to 20 minute to expire after a double lung shot.
I am a firm believer in expending as much energy as possable into the animal
I could care less about damaged meat or an exit hole.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 09:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Id.
Posts: 3,356
Re: 36 bulls 8 different bullets

I think most on this forum would agree that heavier jacketed and bonded bullets work best at higher velocities and thinner skinned bullets are better at lower velocities and/or longer ranges. No real surprise! It would be good to see all the ranges the elk were taken at with the terminal velocities and bullet types. As far as the Speer "hot core" goes, in my opinion, it is nothing but a selling gimmick! Unless a bullet is bonded, and the hot core isn't, melting the core first has NO significance as far as performance goes. All the lead core jacketed bullets are swaged with up to 50,000 psi, melted or not. Good post!........Rich
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: 36 bulls 8 different bullets
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Some wintering bulls drahthaar Trail Cameras And Photos 1 03-12-2011 10:43 AM
Some Long Range Bulls.... Sapphire Elk Hunting 15 03-11-2011 10:35 AM
How Many Bulls Can You Count kcebcj Elk Hunting 6 01-25-2010 12:58 AM
Bulls in rut lamiglas Elk Hunting 0 09-12-2009 08:05 PM

Current Poll
Do you archery hunt for elk?
YES - 29.52%
49 Votes
NO - 55.42%
92 Votes
Not yet, but I plan to. - 15.06%
25 Votes
Total Votes: 166
You may not vote on this poll.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC