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Definition of good bullet performance

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Unread 05-19-2004, 06:27 AM
Join Date: May 2001
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Definition of good bullet performance

I wonder how many threads there have ever been on the internet regarding the subject of the terminal performance of this bullet or that bullet . It must be up there in the millions. But so seldom discussed is "what do you define as good bullet performance".

One poster will say "bullet A" is no good because it does "YYY". Another will say bullet "B" is good precisely because it does that same "YYY".

So I think that when someone asks the question of what is a good bullet to use for "this animal", they are not going to get an answer useful to them unless they provide their own definition of preferred performance.

How would you define good performance? What do you want a hunting bullet to do?
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Unread 05-19-2004, 07:47 AM
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Re: Definition of good bullet performance

Personally I would like a bullet to exit and leave a good blood trail if tracking is needed. That said, the last 3 hunts I shot a mule deer, an elk and a javalina with all 3 going down where they were shot. All the bullets exited with the results of meat in the freezer. The deer and the javelina were shot with Ballistic tips and the elk with a Partition. I think for the job each bullet did what it was supposed to but none of the shots were " long range " with the elk the furthest at 250 yds. I'm still waiting to use the SMK's at long range, I always bring a rifle set up for it but have never had the opppurtunity to use it . That said I feel if the bullet used results in the animal going down in a reasonable distance of where it is shot I would say that is good bullet performance ( shot placement considered of course ).
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Unread 05-19-2004, 12:16 PM
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Re: Definition of good bullet performance

My personal needs dictate that my definition of good bullet perfomance is #1 accuracy. All the weight retention or mushrooming or whatever does not do me any good if it wont hit my game. 2nd it must deliver enough velocity and energy to reliably expand at impact range. This means a high BC. Depending on the game I am hunting I like a rapidly expanding bullet for deer size critters and a controled expansion bullet for moose and big bears. I have found that I do not need complete pass throughs on big game. If the bullet does not pass through it generaly is due to the fact that 90% of the energy was transfered to the game itself. Trust me they still leave a heck of a blood trail.

In short, my definition of good performance is that the bullet is accurate, has good velocity retention, and expands reliably. On medium game it does not have to retain 100% of its weight. On BIG game it should retain at least 80%.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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Unread 05-19-2004, 02:39 PM
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Location: Southern Wisconsin
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Re: Definition of good bullet performance

Interesting question. I guess I look at it a little differently. I like the idea of one load for one gun. So when I started reloading for my 300 WM I wanted a versatile bullet, one that performed as well as possible up close as well as way out there. It needed good accuracy, good BC, and good terminal performance(not neccesarily an exit wound). For me it had to be the best compromise of these qualities I could find.
Ignorance can be treated with education, sadly there is no cure for stupidity.
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Unread 05-19-2004, 03:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
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Re: Definition of good bullet performance

Terminal performance wise I want...

Expansion: Say something like 1.5x at least on my sub 45 calibers.

Penetration: To me exit wounds are optimum. But it is penetration that is paramount. I want to be able to reach the heart/lung region shooting from any angle. This doesn't mean I have to or will take that shot. Just that I am not limited.

For me other considerations are placed behind terminal performance. No matter how accurate or sleek a bullet is if it doesn't perform terminally speaking it is worse than a miss. I would rather have accuracy dictate maximum range.

Of course you can overcome some problems by exagerating your inputs. If you increase your bullet weight, speeds, or caliber these terminal performance levels may become less important.

[ 05-19-2004: Message edited by: Birdshooter ]
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Unread 05-19-2004, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
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Re: Definition of good bullet performance

For terminal performance I want:

1. expansion of double the bullet diameter
2. weight retention of 100%
3. maintenance of bullet integrity

And yes, I want this at any practical impact velocity.
Got any suggestions?? [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

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Unread 05-19-2004, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jackson MI
Posts: 247
Re: Definition of good bullet performance

What is good terminal performance? Depends on what is getting terminated.

For a varmint load I want explosive expansion, this makes for a quick kill and reduces the risk of ricochets. For deer I want penatration. I want to take out either both shoulders or both lungs, preferrably with an exit. Both must be accurate enough that I am confident in knowing that I can put it wherever the situation dictates.
"When working with the public, there are two things you need to remember. - 1. The public is a bunch of ignorant morons. - 2. YOU and I are one of them!"
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