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Energy requirements?

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Unread 12-08-2004, 04:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 166
Energy requirements?

I see people post taking deer, caibou, elk ect at ranges out to and over 800yds.

What kind of energy requirements (minimums) are needed to kill a deer, elk, caribou, or moose?

Is there a general guideline or thought on this?

I see post with more mathematical equations than I can keep up with so I thought there must be some type of guidelines used to assure a clean kill at those distances.

Thanks for any input, just curious as to what other feel is the minimum to take such animals.
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Unread 12-08-2004, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: mi
Posts: 991
Re: Energy requirements?

Elk would be around 1000 fpe
Crow Mag
If you think something is not possible move out of the way so the ones that are doing it can
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Unread 12-09-2004, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Energy requirements?

If you held the muzzle of a 1911 in 45ACP loaded with 230gr FMJ ammo against the rib cage of any of these animals and fired, would it cause a lethal wound that would also put the animal down quickly? I hope you said yes. The amount of ft/lbs is around 400 which is pretty small by conventional hunting standards.

Energy rated in ft/lbs is not a good indicator of killing power. That debate has raged for decades.

What I look for is impact vel vs the expansion characteristics of the bullet used.

I want the impact vel to be high enough so that I get reliable bullet expansion of at least 1.25 cal (1.5 is prefered) WITH penetration greater then the distance through the animal's body to reach the vitals. This will create a large enough permanent wound channel to cause a quick death for the game.

I use 6.5 cal and larger, with the heaviest for cal bullets for my LR shooting and feel any accurate conventionally built hunting or match bullet will work IF impact vel is high enough to cause that level of expansion/penetration.

The ft/lbs generated on my calculator really don't tell the tale.

To simplify, bullets like Matchkings, SST, and Ballistic tips should hit going at least 1400fps. Amax and lightly built match bullets might even get down to 1200fps.

Heavy large bore cast bullets can drive through large game with impact velocities under 1000fps. Impact energy is again low but do you really want to try and catch a 500gr 45 cal lead slug coming at you at 950fps? We know this has dispatched many a buffalo which are definitely big game.

Expansion is zero but the cal is large enough, expansion is not necessary.

So ask yourself the question of what game do I want to hunt, at what range? What cal and bullet weight am I planning on using (bigger is definitely better in this game)? What type of bullet am I going to choose? What will the retained velocity be at the furthest range I want to shoot at? How much in game penetration am I likely to get?

With that info, you can predict the maximum effective range of your set up for the game involved. Also, will tell you the type of shot you can and cannot take.

Now you just have to get out there and practise so that you can actually hit at the range you want and go hunting.

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Unread 12-09-2004, 02:40 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,517
Re: Energy requirements?

Jerry, you write so well and sometimes you just make too much sense for the rest of us! Good job. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Unread 12-09-2004, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: tennessee
Posts: 480
Re: Energy requirements?

VERY well written. You are 100% spot on. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Unread 12-10-2004, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 166
Re: Energy requirements?

Jerry thanks for the post and by the response from Len and Charles they agree. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Like Cow Mag I was taught to plan on the 900-1000 ft/pds of energy needed to harvest game cleanly.

Yet my years of shooting and hunting have said different. I am at a point in the game where I think its somehow a combination of the two energy & velocity is needed.

Heres my thoughts and experiences. Ive noticed over the years that if I shoot the average whitetail (which in our area averages 130#) at close range 20-75yds that it don't much matter what cal (30-06, 270, 7 mm, 300 wthy mag) or grain bullet I use it just passes through and some tracking of the amimal is to follow.

Yet if I shoot that same caliber at the same deer but just at a further range of 200-300yds that it normally ends up dumping the thing right there.

The only explanation I have been able to come up with on my own is that the farther ranges reduce the speeds (velocity) of the bullet allowing the bullets energy to create havoc on the bodys organs.

Thus the reason for the question. I figured that with all that goes into getting the bullet to the 800-1k range that maybe there was formula that those of you with that kind of real life experience could pass on.

I did find (and I dont mean it in a bad way) your comment, "Now you just have to get out there and practise so that you can actually hit at the range you want and go hunting."

I live in Vestal, NY a yuppie little town surrounded buy other small towns and cities with the largest being Binghamton, NY.

Basically you can only use shotguns for big game hunting in the lower half of NY which is where I live.If you want to use a rifle you need to go to the east of the state or to the north.

Around here a long range shot is considered 20-50yrds [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

In fact I end up shooting father with my bow than with my guns. Go figure.

The only areas around here to shoot is at the local sportsman's clubs where I teach the NYS Hunters Safety Education Program. Their longest shooting lanes are 200yrds.

To shoot any further I go up north to a friends fathers farm yet 400yd shots are slim pickins.

I would give my right arm to shoot at 800-1k yrds or better. I don't know about you but at age 40 not much really impresses me, yet when I see you guys posting shooting deer at 800yds and caribou at a mile I think thats Very Impressive and makes me very envious.

Although I have always been interested in such long range shooting I have never really had the opportunity to do it. Just speaking of it at most places to most people will get ya called an idiot.

I am glad to see such a place where such talent and experience is share to those of use wishing to do the same. I am, and I am sure I can speak for most others that have not yet done that kind of shooting, thankful to those of you who are willing to share your experiences, thoughts and ideas both good and bad with us. Thanks, Ben [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Unread 12-10-2004, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Energy requirements?

Charles and Len, thanks for your kind comments. Appreciated.

Shadowman, that is the biggest flaw in this style of shooting/hunting. Many want to but fewer actually can. Without practise, all the ballistics programs, wind meters, fancy reticles, gizmos gadgets don't mean spit.

There simply is no way for any program to account for all the variables that happen to make that shot. Plus, you still got to hold them and squeeze them.

Shooting at 200yds, does very little to prepare you for 800yds.

That's too bad about where you live. Hopefully, you will get a chance to travel for a shooting holiday. Maybe a PD hunt out west will give you some trigger time at extended ranges.

Right now I am so blessed because I live in an area where shooting for miles is possible. One of the spots I go to allows me to plink all the way to 1000m. Close enough I can get out during lunch.

Enjoy the knowledge that is on this board. You will find that most here respect and understand the responsibility of launching lead at something 1/2 a mile away. I hope that this info can be offered to others so that the magazine wannabe with the newest super gear won't go out and wound game unnecessarily. Whether that's at 100yds or 1000yds.

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