A-MAX bullets RULE!

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Varmint Hunter, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,522
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    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. :>)
     
  2. 6mm Shooter

    6mm Shooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    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.
     

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,522
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    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.

    They seem to work like a V-Max for biggame.
     
  4. 257speed

    257speed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    244
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    I also had great luck this year with 105 a-max's out of my 243 ackley. I killed a buck at 310 and my buddy used it to take a buck at 618. 310yds went 20 yds. 618 dropped in tracks.
     
  5. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    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.
     
  6. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,705
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    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?
     
  7. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    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.
     
  8. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,705
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Agreed. Accubonds are a better overall bullet for all applications. But I think people are looking at the wrong end of the problem in "wanting a blood trail for tracking purposes" when if they would have used a more destructive bullet better suited to thin skinned game, there would be no tracking in the first place. It all boils down to where does YOUR bullet reach maximum expansion? On the skin, 4" in, 8" in, 12" in? Then you match YOUR bullet to YOUR game's anatomy. Whitetails in the 100 lb class, coues deer, desert sheep, pronghorn, and some desert mule deer can be cleanly killed like being struck by lightning with even varmint bullets. I saw video of a pronghorn getting shot by a friend of mine using a 22-250 and 60 grain VMAX two years ago and it died faster than the one I shot with my 338 this year!
     
  9. DannoBoone

    DannoBoone Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Down-range ballistics of bullets are interesting, to say the least. A frangible
    bullet hitting an animal at less than 100yds may cause a very severe, but
    superficial wound. The same bullet colliding with an animal at 200 yards
    can result in a DRT kill. As a moderator on another forum, I got into severe
    arguments with an individual who's life experiences were totally different than
    mine because of the above facts. He had used 55gr Hornady SP's @ 3600fps
    under 100yds with absolute bullet failure. My Dad, brother, and I had used
    the same for 35yrs with total success. The difference?......all of our deer
    had been shot over 150-450yds. He didn't need the speed for the range in
    which his shots were being taken.......some at 60yds. We were shooting
    mulies in open country where shots could be somewhat long, for the caliber.
    Remedy?.......use slower loads with frangible bullets if your shots are expected
    to be very short ranges.

    Yet for looong shots..........those shots in which the animal can move a
    few inches to a foot, from the time the primer ignites the powder 'til the
    bullet reaches the target and the POI will NOT hit the perfect killing zone,
    would not a less frangible bullet be wiser?

    Actually, I like both, depending on ranges and that which presents itself.
    That which peeves me, are the individuals who use "premium bullets" to
    compensate for their lack of expertise and/or practice. :mad:
     
  10. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,522
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    I had every expectation that the A-Max would prove to be a very effective bullet with standing-broadside chest hits. I was, however, rather surprised at how effective this fragile bullet was when making direct hits on the deers shoulder. There was more than enough penetration to break bones and destroy vitals for instantaneous kills.

    Normally, I like complete penetration on game animals. However, I am taking on a new opinion regarding this matter. :>) DRT
     
  11. 284stak

    284stak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Sounds like the A-Max bullets are great for deer sized animals from what individuals have been printing on this post and past posts --- does anyone have any experience with A-Max on elk?
     
  12. 30-06 boy

    30-06 boy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    my brother and i use 208 amax in our 300wm's.he busted a whitetail buck at 560 yards.didn't take a step.hit was a hair high in the boiler room/broadside.exit wound 50 cent piece size.they work for us.we are not pushing them hard either.just at the powder charge where they group well.our loads are about 4 grains under listed max loads.jason
     
  13. 257speed

    257speed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    244
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    As much as I like the A-Max for deer, I do not think it is an acceptable Elk bullet. Such a big difference in muscle mass and bone structure. Now some others may have experience or opinions that differ.
     
  14. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    630
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006