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Needed Energy for killing.... is it a myth??

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Old 11-23-2003, 05:42 PM
LDO LDO is offline
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Re: Needed Energy for killing.... is it a myth??

i personaaly am not on the energy is what kills bandwagon either,i tend to hunt with rather diminutive calibers for the game i hunt,as always shot placement is key and as stated using the right bullet-my 2 -dave
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Old 11-23-2003, 09:51 PM
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Re: Needed Energy for killing.... is it a myth??

The opinions are so varied on the energy thing it's almost laughable. According to a chart in a Lymans reloading manual, my 220 swift doesn't have enough energy at 100 yards to kill a woodchuck!. I've shot deer at over 500 with it and killed em deader'n a stick. So many things come in. The whole match bullet thing is funny too. The main reason companies don't want people shooting game with match bullets is because there's nothing left to eat, not because they won't kill. They kill stuff a lot better. Anyone who has shot a deer with an Amax 22 or Nosler BT Varmint will tell you, there's a lot of trimming done to get past the jello. 100% of the energy ends up in the animal, that's for sure. A larger Amax bullet just wrecks a deer at any range. Especially those old ones with the great big tips on em.
If you have something that you disassemble and reassemble enough times, sooner or later, you'll have two!
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:33 PM
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An energie has nothing to do with a penetration. Shooting my 460WM 500/2725fps into paint 3litre steel cans filled with water would ripped the cans into 6-8 pieces, if a 2-3kg rock was set on the lid it was thrown some 6-10metres into the air and the metal lid would have molded itself around the rock that even the slightest dent/bump of the rock was imprinted to the metal lid as if a cast was taken. Siting the can in the middle of 4x4" softwood 3 feet long and it broke into two.
Repeating the same tests with .375HH 300/2650fps and the results were nowhere as spectacular, yet the .375 penetrated deeper in every medium that we've tested.

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Old 04-06-2008, 06:57 PM
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Needed Energy for killing.... is it a myth??


Page seven in Duncan Macphearson's book "Bullet Pentration Modeling the Dynamics and the Incapacitation resulting from Wound Trauma"

range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:14 PM
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Well like alot of other things, science cannot fully explain what happens in the real world. It can explain parts of any given phenomena, but rarely does it explain the whole thing.

Energy is a good indicator, of terminal performance, provided you're using good bullets designed for your intended use. That's the tricky part for us, since we want our projectiles to perform optimally across a broad range of conditions, and that's one heck of a tall order. The properties that would optimize performance at 200yds @ 2800fps are completely different than the ones needed at say 700yds @ 2000fps. And both those conditions are both likely to be encountered on the same day with the same gun.

What kills is enough trauma to the right place, that takes both energy and placement. I've seen racoons take a cylinder full of .22's right between the eyes and growl, you can't tell me it was poor shot placement, cause we dug a quarter sized hunk of lead out from between his eyes when we skinned him. Sure bullet design played a role, but if that .22 would have been a .22 mag with the same bullet I'd bet my life savings that the coon would've dropped on the spot.

On that note, I'm sure there has been a whole lot of big game taken with a .22 mag in this country. But that is not to say that any .22mag cartridge is an ideal big game killer. But if you punch an animal through the ears at 25yds with one, you got a better than average chance of putting meat in the freezer.

but I digress, the point I'm trying to make here is that energy is a good indicator of lethality because we as relatively informed hunters have a good deal of control over what bullet we're using and our shot placement. So if those two things are relatively equal, a guy who chooses a proper bullet for the game and range he's shooting at, and has done the practice and has the discipline to make well placed shots will be more effective with more energy. Obviously there is a ceiling on this, and you don't need 4000ftlbs to kill antelope. But more importantly there is a floor in that you do need enough energy to penetrate the body cavity from the presentation you have, even if there is large bones in the way on the given animal you're shooting at.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:42 AM
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Let's see Mcphearson states quite plainly that energy is a non factor. Apparently some believe that an Engineering degree from MIT Honors course and doesn't qualify him to understand the different forms of energy and how they are transfered.. Interesting

range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:40 AM
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IMHO,I feel that there is a very important factor that has been lost in all this talk about energy,I don't mean on this forum,but in general,gun magazines etc.
Energy is a wonderful thing,without it,a bullet can't do it's 'work'.
For it to do it's work,it must have a Sectional Density that allows it to 'plough' through animal tissue,with the energy we are talking about to impart as much destruction allowable.Too much,and the bullet may over expand causing the wound to be too shallow,not enough,and the bullet may not expand and pass through with little tissue destruction.
Sectional Density HAS to be the first thing you look at,in any cartridge,to see if it's capable of taking the game you're after.
If you look at the formula used to get energy figures,it is afterall only a mathematcal equation.
It's a hypothetical number that doesn't take into account bullet performance,only it's weight,which really means nothing,and doesn't calculate in the bullet's SD.
All that said,this is my favourite saying:It doesn't matter what you hit 'em with,it's where you hit 'em,and what BULLET you hit 'em with!
The bullet does ALL the work,not the energy imparted to it by the gun.

On a side note,when Roy Weatherby was designing his cartridges,he ran into a lot of problems with bullet failures,the only reason for this was the fact that his cartridges pushed 'em TOO FAST for them to handle it!
This a good lesson we should all take on board.

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