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Handgun Hunting (Ballistics Question)

 
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:33 AM
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Handgun Hunting (Ballistics Question)

I read in NRA's latest "American Rifleman" (article "An Element of Excitement"), that flat-nose hard cast bullets are traditionally used for boar, deer, etc. hunting.

Why this type of bullet? I know it has more weight and power, but less velocity.
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:50 PM
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Re: Handgun Hunting (Ballistics Question)

They may, or may not have more weight or power.

Hard cast bullets do tend to maintain shape and weight when encountering tough targets. Therefore, you can expect them to penetrate deeper than a typical lead/copper expanding bullet.

I have shot whitetails with them and was totally UNIMPRESSED with the results. I much prefer an expanding bullet. Whitetails that I hit with XTP or similar bullets went down faster and had more physical damage than those hit by hard cast bullets.

A regular poster, who has extensive experience with shooting black bears (and possibly other bears, not sure) with a handgun highly recommends expanding jacketed bullets over the flat-nose hard cast bullets. He says that bears typically react immediately to hits by expanding bullets and often get diverted by the hits, thus allowing you to get off additional shots. He went on to say that bears often bite at the impact site which takes their attention off of the shooter, at least momentarily.

Personally, I find the Partition type bullets (Swift & Nosler) to be the best of both worlds. You get reliable expansion coupled with dependable penetration. I hit a 325lb bore with a 300gr Swift A-Frame bullet. Bullet impact was just behind the shoulder where the gristle plate should be the thickest. Not only did the bullet easily penetrate the gristle plate and pass through the vitals, it sailed right out through the opposite side too. I don't think that a hard cast lead bullet could have improved on that. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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