I had the opportunity to do a little further field testing of the A-Max bullet on whitetails.
Rifle was a semi-custom 7STW Sendero with a Hart 10" twist barrel. I loaded the 162gr A-Max @ a liesurely 3,050 ft/sec, as measured with my Oehler 35.
I went down to North Carolina where you get 6 deer tags on a single license. Luck was with me and I was able to fill all 6 tags. However, longrange shots were far and few between. Here is how they fell:
1. Shot a large doe @ 305 yds. Point of impact was high-shoulder. Deer hit the ground before I recovered from the recoil.
2. Shot an average doe @ 286 yds. Point of impact was just behind the shoulder. Deer went about 15yds dropping a significant amount of blood. Exit hole was the size of a silver dollar.
3. Shot another large doe @ 200 yds. Point of impact was high-shoulder. Deer was DRT.
4. Last doe was hit @ 225 yds. Shot on the point of the shoulder while quartering towards me. Deer dropped to the shot and never moved.
5. A buck (finally) appears @ 469 yds. The deer was facing directly at me while browsing the grass. Light was fading fast so I took the shot with the deer quartering towards me at a steep angle. The A-Max caught the buck just behind the last rib, traveled through the paunch and blew out through the right femur. Blood loss was massive and the buck managed to get about 20 yards before he went down for the count.
6. Last 15 minutes of the last day a 7 point buck appears at 310yds. Point of impact was high-shoulder but a few inches farther back than I would have liked. Buck dropped on the spot. Rear legs quivered for a few seconds and it was all over.
Now I am begining to wonder why I've spent so much money on all the "premium" bullets that I've bought and used to kill whitetails over the years. Particularely because I always shot for the center of the vitals. Deer hit in the chest with premiums often ran a bit before giving up the ghost.
I think I'll hold off on the Partitions, the X Bullets, the Accubonds and the Scirroccos while I continue to do load development on A-Max bullets for a few other cartridges that I use for thin skin game. In this limited test, the A-Max performed exceptionally well.
By the way, I gave 5 out of the six deer to other hunters who were in camp that didn't have any luck. They were all from southern states. Now they know that us northern boys aren't all as bad as they heard. :>)
I shot a 5X5 buck the other day a 236yards with a 208 A-max out of my customized 300win mag. Hit it just behind and below the shoulder joint, the bullet hit a rib going in and did not exit. The damage was extensive but the bullet did not exit. This is not what I expected from a 208gr bullet but he did not make it 10 yards.
Although I didn't think to mention it: several of the deer completely absorbed the 162gr A-Max bullet and there was no exit wounds. But it's hard to find fault with a target bullet that leaves game animals DRT when the shot rings out.
This goes right along with what I have seen and ?studied? about deer and bullets for quite a few years now. I grew up not understanding magazine articles about tracking rifle shot deer; I never had to do it using a 243. I got tired of hearing stuff like, "180gr (insert premium bullet here) in my -06 is a great deer round, no meat damage and the deer only runs about 100 yards!" A DEER SHOULDN'T RUN 100YDS AFTER GETTING HIT WITH AN -06!!!! I have 4 kids and several friends I hunt with and after seeing quite a few deer shot with a variety of different guns and bullets (Montana is pretty liberal with tags) I believe a deer is about like a big varmint and should be shot with big varmint bullets; like the A-Max. Don't read this to mean disrespect for deer, but a deer is only about 14" wide and that's not a lot of time for expantion. Like varmint shooter said, a V-Max for big game...that's about perfect for deer IMO.
Genises 27-3: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison...
Congrats on the fine shooting! I'm glad you had success and was able to help out with the meat distributions.
I have also thought most people use too much bullet for thin skinned animals. Ballistic tips and Amax kill things dead. Period.
I've always thought that using a bullet which leaves a blood trail to follow is kind of like wishing for the worst and preparing for the best. Why want a blood trail when you could just have the deer instead?
i would say for the general public, a bullet that stays together is a better option. i say this because i've seen bullets blow up on contact and not kill. not trying to get the bullet debate going but a bullet that penetrates will kill every time. again, i said for the general public. after seeing what hunters can do or i should say, can't do, i would give them an accubond or sturdier type of bullet, every time. for people that know what they're doing, a thinner skinned bullet will get more dramatic results.