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Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics

View Poll Results: Terminal Ballistics- Which do you prefer
Bullet passes through and leaves a gaping hole on the other side 21 46.67%
Bullet expends all of it's energy inside the animal and cause severe internal damage 15 33.33%
Bullet kills, cleans, and processes the animal exactly like you like it with no damage to the meat 9 20.00%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll


Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

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Unread 12-25-2012, 10:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,668
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

I also prefer passthroughs on broadside shots. The formula I have grown to desire is a heavy for caliber , high sectional dessity bullet that that upsets to create damage but has enough length snd mass to carry it through the animal even if it hits bone. I have had good luck with the Berger Hunting VLD's, which give this type of terminal performance.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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Unread 12-25-2012, 10:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 169
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

The most important thing for me would obviously be a clean, quick kill but I still pick bullets that react differently based on what I'm hunting (which I know most everyone here does). If I am going to hunt something small and light bodied like whitetails I prefer that the bullet dumps all the energy in the deer beacsue I don't feel that alot of penetration or an exit is necessary since it doesn't take much of a bullet to reach the vitals and do it's job in this case. If I were going after elk, moose, or big bears I would go with a bullet that I expect pass throughs with because most likely it will make two holes and if it doesn't I can still be confident the bullet penetrated far enough to get in the vitals. I would prefer a pass through on a large animal beacuse they are more likely to run after the shot than a deer sized animal would be so I would rather them bleed from two holes instead of one.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 01:26 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

It's interesting that the only bullet performance mentioning killing the animal is option 3.

Anyway, I didn't vote.

I prefer a bullet that kills rather quickly, and so far, with only one exception (not the bullets fault) every type bullet I have used has done the job.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 03:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: sw ks
Posts: 1,266
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

It amazes me the attitudes people have towards bullets. I can assure you that most of the guys on here who whine about one brand or another werent reloading(or shooting) 35 years ago. Premium bullets were for cape buffalo not elk.
No bullet will kill every animal perfectly every time at every range.
No bullet no matter how MAGICAL it is will perform well if you throw common sense out and pick the wrong caliber and weight.
Now bullets are manufactured and marketed so that hunters buy a BRAND and not a well picked bullet.
This is LR so use a high bc/sd slug driven as quick as you can and if it is sized per caliber and weight it will be deadly.
Everyone on here should go back and read some articles written before we started using unobtanium in bullets to figure how to correctly size a bullet per the game hunted. Occonnor,Keith and those old farts new a bit about killing stuff.
The idea that its the DESIGN of the bullet that kills has infected our sport, its the sd of a bullet that determines more than anything what it will do.
A 200gr 308 cal made by a 12 yr old child from lead wheelweights in a garage will kill the heck out of whatever and yet a $7 super titanium turbo copper shredder axe murder bullet that weighs 70grs in a 243 will not.
Pick out the right weight then worry about the darn model, nosler berger barnes etc.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 09:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 297
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

Montana Rifleman - I didn't think it would be confusing but to make it clear, though not stated precisely that way, all of the questions were related to the kill. The last one was nonsensical.

I don't think many people here were taking 800 to 1,000 yard shots on Elk 35 years ago. Especially with homemade lead bullets. But I could be wrong. Last year, at the same ranch, another kid insisted on using his .243 to kill some kind of exotic deer, the genetics of which escapes me. He made a good shot on the animal. It took a while to find due to the conditions (heavy, thorny brush) but we found it. It was a lot bigger than a native white-tail. One hole. There was obviously enough internal damage to kill the deer but if "I" had to make the same choice, the .243 would stay in the case.

toddc- The intent of the question wasn't which bullet do you use. That question would get a WHOLE lot more attention than this little thread. The question was (or was intended to be) what do you want the bullet to do- kill with hole all the way through so you can track the blood trail or kill with one hole.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 12:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 3,974
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

I love sectional density, but I believe its only meaningful comparing bullets of the same construction. The kid with wheel weights may do all right, he also may have a bullet that shatters on bone, or flattens like a washer depending on which shop he picked up his weights. In either case penetration may be sufficient, vitals may be disrupted, and he goes home a happy camper. Or he could go home empty handed, and convert them to fishing sinkers. The new bonded core bullets are often recommended at a weight lighter than what was considered usual. I believe this is a mistake and a size heavier works better once the deformation of these bullets begins. I prefer an exit hole.
A sub survey might be interesting, the locale we principally hunt probably effects our preferences. I saw a smaller size bull elk in Wyoming hit poorly, it went 5-600 yards bedded, and was followed up and killed. A sopping wet coastal Roosevelt could be swallowed by grass 6 feet tall in its first jump, and morning or night that persistent rain puts your follow up on a clock. By the way I've seen twice a .375 300 grain Silvertip sd .305 2500fps stopped by elk, and once on a bigger bear. The 2 on elk picture perfect mushrooms, the bear completely destroyed the bullet. Probably better than 3' of penetration on all 3, all 3 very dead. I remember Elmer recommending these, and by no means questioning their adequacy, but if like me you "prefer" exits you might need to rethink what it takes to achieve it in the particular animal, and conditions you're in. In the era of limited tags and $4 fuel, premium bullets earn their keep. A guided hunt can be literally a $10,000 bet on one shot.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,810
Re: Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

I'm looking for a bullet that penetrates then opens aggressively at close range then the farther you step out it blows slower and at 600+ you get consistent exits that are created by multiple bullet and bone frags, not just a bullet hole!
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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