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Meat Damage

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Old 05-02-2013, 11:33 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gila Wilderness,New Mexico
Posts: 121
Meat Damage

OK... The Monkey in the room... SOO, It has been awhile since I hunted with a rifle... My last long range animal was a Coues Deer in Mexico (400 yards, scored 117). ANYWAY, my bullet at the time was a 175 Berger. At the time it was a little heavy but I was able to get it to fly really well for me... SO five years later I am seeing that 200+ grain bullets are the norm or at least there seem to be alot of people using them. I get it, all about the B.C. BUT DANG my 175 grain bullet tore my Coues deer INSIDE OUT...

Those big bullets damage a ton of meat. I know this is kind of no win and ethical but how many of you think about meat damage when building a load? I have a antelope hunt this year and I am thinking about going to 168's???

I know this might turn into a peeing match but do people think about it??

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Old 05-02-2013, 11:46 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gillette Wy
Posts: 323
Re: Meat Damage

I have to agree with you to some degree. Larger frangible bullets can really tear up and animal. So the choices seem to be:
A A different bullet that doesn't open up so fast. Some are hoping the new LR accubond is that bullet.
B Shot selection. Avoid anything beside a broadside shot and stay behind the shoulder. Not overly practical a lot of the time.
C Try a lighter caliber rifle with a lighter bullet. Smaller bullet is usually less damage. That is part of the popularity of the fast 6.5's. 130 or 140 gr bullets. Take deer and antelope easily. Good for elk within reason.
Others may chime in with other suggestions. Bruce
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:13 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 42
Re: Meat Damage

Jason I have killed Coues with a high shoulder shot using the 130 gr. Barnes TSX in my .270. The meat damage is minimal. The same bullet with a heart/lung shot has no meat loss unless you count the heart. I switched from the very accurate 130 Sierra BT bullet which I used for more than 20 years. When I made a less than perfect shot with that bullet there was a lot of meat damage and bullet fragments. I have had the exact same experience with antelope. The Barnes doesn't seem to destroy as much meat unless it encounters a larger bone like a hip. Then the damage seems to be from hydraulic pressure and bone fragments. I have used the 180 gr. Barnes TSX ,in my .300 Win Mag, for mule deer and elk. The same results apply.
Shot placement is the answer in most cases......but you know that already. How often do any of us draw an antelope permit? You aren't hunting antelope for the meat. Use that hard to get permit for a trophy and stay with the bullet and load you have confidence in. Concentrate on the "spot" just like you do every time you stick a Coues with an arrow. Good on you for the antelope permit and kill a big one.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:07 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gila Wilderness,New Mexico
Posts: 121
Re: Meat Damage

I guess that is where I might be battling... I drew a goat and elk tag but I only want to work up one load. I agree it is about bullet placement... On my goat hunt I drew a sold unit so a 85 inch goat is a real possibility... BUT I am a meat hunter..
Thank you for the input..
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:35 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 268
Re: Meat Damage

It might sound crazy, but the 338Win is the cleanest killer I have ever seen.
So shot the deer bounces 10 yards then tips over, the bullet clips clean through, and you can eat right up to the bullet hole.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: WYOMING
Posts: 131
Re: Meat Damage

Bullet placement, That's big to the meat hunters. Stay away from the shoulder bones. One rib in and one rib out. Both lungs, he wont go far. Those new bullets sound like they stay together thru alot any more. You might look at them.
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