APS 6mm-250 w/105 Berger Strikes...........5 times on the same doe

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by bailey1474, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Well, this past weekend concluded another uneventful rifle season. No monsters to take to the taxidermist or even lie about for that matter.

    I did however miss a decent buck @ 650 yds w/the little 6-250 on Saturday morning. She was forced into service when my dumb @$$ somehow managed to loose the last 10 rounds I had loaded for my 300 RUM. I suppose I could have loaded more, if I would have had somemore of those 208 gr Hordady Amax that I have been shooting. Anyway, I first decided to shoot the buck when he was @ 350 yds. Then I managed to breath on my scope lens, completly fogging it over. The fact that it was 7:45 AM and I was looking dead east didn't help any either. By the time I could recover from my own stupidity, he was about 500 yds and walking away. Finally he turned broadside but was now 650 yds and walking very slowly to the south. I yelled but I could not get him to stop. I was fully confident in myself and gear so I put the crosshair on the point of his chest and eased down on the 9 oz trigger.

    After what seemed like an eternity, I saw the bullet impact just infront of the buck!! He was startled and kind of ran a circle and stopped almost perfectly broadside. The Swaro told me he was 681 yds so I made a few clicks and settled the crosshairs just behind the shoulder. Again, I squeezed the trigger and again, I saw dirt kick up just infront of the buck!!! I had missed /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif. TWICE!!!! I confirmed this by going up the where the deer had been and I was able to find both bullet impacts in the snow w/no blood to be found.

    I let the misses eat me up for the rest of the day. In the heat of the moment I had failed to pay attention to the 3-5 mph north wind. It was just enough to carry the bullet a few inches infront of the buck's chest. Ahhhh!!!!! All this practice and then I screw it up when I get a chance /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif!!

    That brings us to Sunday mornings debacle. I set in the same spot on my Varmint Master bench overlooking a large grass field. About 8:00 I started seeing deer. There were about 7 or 8 does feeding along the opposite and farthest timber line from my location. I spotted one that had been standing broadside for quite sometime. I ranged her, 590 yds, dialed, held @ the front of her chest to compensate for the 3-5 mph wind (hey, I learned something), and squeezed the trigger.

    I was able to see the pressure wave fly right into the doe and felt very good about the shot. She immediatly bolted and I lost track of her. The other deer were simply standing around. Where did she go??? Did she go down??? I had no idea. Damn. Where is Lerch when I need him???

    After a few minutes, all the deer began to move off the north and I noticed one doe just standing, not moving a muscle. I watched her for about 5 min and she never moved. This was my doe.

    I kept waiting for her to fall but to no avail. Her back half was obscured by a dead cedar (the best kind of cedar) but I had a clear shot @ the boiler room. I decided to put another one in her and end it. I ranged, 490 yds, dialed and fired again.

    She immediatly bolted and I was not able to see the pressure wave as w/the first shot. I felt I had made a good shot and she only made it about 20 yds and dissapeared into the tall grass. Great!!! She's down!!! I held my position. Waiting for a buck to appear.

    About 30 min went by and I noticed a deer had suddenly appeared in the area where the doe had gone down. I pulled up the binos and noticed that she was limping. It was the saaaaammmmeeee doe. I watched her for a while and noticed that she had a broken leg now. Again, having full confidence in myself and my rifle, I ranged 530 yds (hmmm, that 490 is looking like a wrong range), dialed and sent another little 6mm missle on it's way.

    I clearly saw the pressure wave impact the deer's fron shoulder!!! She ran about 10 yds and, yes, again dissapeared into the grass. Finally!!! She's down!!!! I held my position and waited for that monster buck.

    Another hour goes by and no buck. But guess what??? I noticed a deer in the same area she went down. Looked through the binos and to my amazement, there the saaaammmmee doe stood.

    At this point, I'm questioning the ethics of LRH and my own ethics. I just can't believe that I have managed to screw this up this bad. I don't mean to brag but if there is a prairie dog w/in 500 yds, he had better be right w/his maker cause he's gonna meet him. I began to think that I had gut shot her despite seeing the bullet fly right into her vitals!! While I was beating myself up, I watched the doe bed down and got a bead on her location. I set off carrying my LR, 15# gun to end this deal. Up close and personal.

    I snuck up through the grass and got to a point where I could see the doe's head sticking up above the grass. She was facing away from me @ about 30 yds and had to clue I was there. I hoisted my club in the air and put the crosshair right on the base of her head. Once I steadied out the swaying and shaking the best I could, I let another one fly. The doe leaped to her feet and ran @ breakneck speed straight away from me. She jumped a fence, w/her left from foot flopping about. It was broken about mid shin. If there were any sailors in the area, they would have been blushing!!

    I went and found where she had jumped the fence and tied one of my gloves there. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground (thank goodness) so I was able to follow the blood to all three bedding sights all the way back to the initial hit. I was also able to discover that my 490 yd shot was actually 530 yds. I had ranged the tree infront of her. There was a good bit of blood but not enough.

    All this backward blood trailing took me about and hour so I decided to go in the timber after her and yes, I was weilding a 15# LR rifle as a brush gun. I didn't go 150 yds from where she was bedded the last time and I jumped her. It was impossible to get a shot in the scrub oaks and she just ran away. I could tell that she was much, much weaker though.

    I eased up to the cedar she was bedded under and there was ALOT of blood. Why had she just started bleeding this much. I missed her neck from 30 yds away. Didn't I??? I set down and waited about 20 min while I pondered.

    Now the blood trail was very, very easy to follow. I move very slowly and quietly. I spotted her, bedded down under a cedar about 60 yds in front of me. All I could see was her nose. I tried to ease around and get a good shot @ the base of her neck or vitals to put an end to this, but she spotted me and, again, ran away.

    This time I could see her as she attempted to jump a small ditch. She was really weak as she fell about 3 ft short and fell into the ditch and all went silent. I watched her for about 15 min, thinking that she would just die, but she didn't. Finally, I was able to move around and put one right in the base of her neck to end this cruel chase.

    I had about 400 yds to drag her so I got my knife out and went to work. After opening the chest cavity, I realized that my first shot was about 3-4" farther back than I had wanted. It still went through on lung and part of the liver. Only problem was that the bullet did not expand AT ALL /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif!!!! If that bullet would have done it's job, she would have been dead on the first shot!!!!!!!! It looked like someone had shoved a straw through her. Even the exit was about caliber size.

    The second shot had broken her shin. The range I had was wrong. I should have been a little more thorough w/my LRF.

    The third shot was a good shot. It nailed the bottom of the shoulder and if it would have entered the chest cavity it would have gotten the heart. If, if, if. The bullet was deflected down by the shoulder and simply tore the meat and hide off of the bottom of the ribcage. It didn't even bruise the inside of the ribs. I fully understand that this could have happened w/any bullet. That is one of the problems w/using lighter bullets. They are deflected much easier.

    That brings us to the 30 yd off hand shot. The bullet ripped through the neck, making a quarter size exit out the front but missing the spine. It did, however rip the aorta and superior vena cava. This is why I found so much more blood after this shot. The 5th and final shot hit the base of the neck, and well that was it.

    So, that is my experience using the 6mm, 105 gr Berger. I can tell you that I will NOT be using it on deer again. I'm going to try the 105 Amax b/c I know it will expand. If I can get it to shoot as well as the Bergers, I'll sacrifice a little bc for terminal performance. If not, I guess the little 6-250 will become a varmint and target gun only.

    Also learned that if you are planning on a long shot, have a spotter. I could have easily long that doe if she had went down after the first shot. I also think a spotter could have calmed me down on that buck the previous morning. Although I'm glad I missed. I don't think I ever would have found him. Those bullets suck on deer!!!
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Good story, bad bullet.....

    What in the hell is a "superior vena cava"? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif On which end of the doe is it found? Is is considered in the "vitals"?

    What kind of deer do you have down there, anyway?
     

  3. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What in the hell is a "superior vena cava"? On which end of the doe is it found? Is is considered in the "vitals"?

    What kind of deer do you have down there, anyway?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Guess I had to show that I learned a little in those 8 years I spent getting a bachelors in bioology /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif.

    She was just a run of the mill whitetail doe. Dressed @ about 85#. Average to just below average size.
     
  4. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Bill, excellent writing first off. Its very sad to hear about those bullets. I was reading the story the whole time thinking to myself, "what bullet was he using?" ha ha. You should be contacting Berger about that performance, I would anyways. Glad you got your deer though. Everything dont always work out as planned. How do those 105g VLD shoot out of that 6-250??
     
  5. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Bill Bailey,
    Nice writing. This year my buddy's son shot a nice 4x4 at 360 yards using an older 257 Remington and 105 gr. Berger bullet. The buck dropped on the shot but the entry hole and the exit hole were the same size. We were not too happy with the bullet's ability to expand!
     
  6. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    Good story, thanks for sharing it with us. Here’s to ya’ for all the extra effort made to follow up and graciously finish the kill. I’m sure you will have future opportunities with situations more to your liking. Stories like this are educational and informative, experienced l.r. hunters, such as yourself can save us “newbies” from a lot of grief by sharing your experience of both success and failure. With the actual hunting season only being a fraction of the year it is easy to get caught up in all the technical aspects of shooting such as muzzle velocity, b.c. and groupings. These are all important contributors to accuracy and performance, but in a hunting situation, it’s 1st shot precision and terminal bullet performance that separates success from failure. We can all learn from your experience and improve our odds for success from the lessons learned.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Here is one of my beliefs about shooting animals.

    One of the reasons a lung shot is a good shot is the entry hole and exit hole allow outside air into the chest cavity so the animal cannot get negative pressure on the lungs to draw air in. This is know as a sucking chest wound.

    The down side of the lung shot is sometimes when a bullet just runs through the chest cavity with no expansion the hide will move enough to seal off the holes in the chest cavity so that the lungs do not collapse and the animal can live a considerable length of time.
     
  8. 1doug

    1doug Well-Known Member

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    Bill

    you are not pushing them fast enough. bump that speed up 3-400 fps and they will expand well.

    they reak havoc on the does and hogs i shoot out of my 6-284. I shot a doe @ 590 and she drt with a fist sized exit.

    d-a
     
  9. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    Bill,
    Sorry to hear about your woes, but thanks for sharing. It gives us the opportunity to learn from each other.
    Not sure of your MV or other options, but listed below is what I use in 6mm.
    I use the 115 DTAC (aka-SMK) in my 1-8 Twist Broughton 5C 6-284 XP-100 and it has a MV of just over 2700 fps.
    So far have only taken a medium sized buck with it at 350 yards, but it performed real good at that distance.
    My guess is that the A-max will open up better than the Berger with your MV's.
     
  10. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox Well-Known Member

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    Great story Bill. I thought Berger bullet used J4 jacket, which is thinner thereby will expand readily. I'm wondering what kind of lead alloy the core is. I'm contemplating using the Nosler 168 J4 Competition bullet on my 308 for hunting and I'm wondering if I'm going to have the same problem. I always have misgiving about using target bullet for hunting and this story only reinforced it. Once again thanks for sharing. I learned a valuable lesson on this thread. RJ
     
  11. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Rem2506,

    They shoot great. I have yet to shoot a 5 shot group over 2" @ 400 yds w/them. I really think under perfect conditions they will shoot 1" to 1.5".

    Mtsheep,

    [ QUOTE ]
    Stories like this are educational and informative, experienced l.r. hunters, such as yourself can save us “newbies” from a lot of grief by sharing your experience of both success and failure.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I wouldn't say I'm an experienced lr hunter. Shooter maybe, but I only get apply it for about 2 weeks a year!!

    d-a,

    [ QUOTE ]
    you are not pushing them fast enough. bump that speed up 3-400 fps and they will expand well.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm pushing the right @ 3000 fps w/37 gr of H4350. I don't think I could put enough powder in the case to get another 3-400 fps /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif.

    Desert Fox,

    [ QUOTE ]
    I thought Berger bullet used J4 jacket, which is thinner thereby will expand readily. I'm wondering what kind of lead alloy the core is. I'm contemplating using the Nosler 168 J4 Competition bullet on my 308 for hunting and I'm wondering if I'm going to have the same problem. I always have misgiving about using target bullet for hunting and this story only reinforced it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm hoping that the larger frontal area on the 7mm and .308 bullets will facilitate expansion a little better. The 105 looks kinda like a hypodermic needle!!! Far to many people have used these larger bullets w/good success to just write them off just yet, but I won't be using their 6mm bullets on deer anytime in the future.
     
  12. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    Sorry to hear about the frustrations with the Berger. It really surprised me to hear they didn't expand. Usually, those 105's seem to expand well but this time was a sure stike out. I too would call Berger about it as others have mentioned. They will be interested one way or another.

    I was just watching Berger's new promo dvd the other day and it showed a huge bodied white tail buck going down hard with the 105 VLD out of a 243 wssm and I'll bet it wasn't going much over 3000 fps.

    If the 105's aren't zipping along fast enough to open, you might try the 95 gr. VLD. I have seen it to work great on antelope which aren't much bigger in body weight than your doe.

    Anyway, better luck next time.
     
  13. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    Bill,
    I think you need to get the velocity up a little more with the berger bullets....Out of my 243AI, they cause some pretty good damage. I have now shot deer out to 680 yds, and had some pretty good exit wounds.....around 2" in diameter(guessing, didn't actually measure). Not sure if 3000fps will make them expand at the range you were shooting. When I talked with berger, they said anything over 2000fps should expand. I will say though, that I usually use the high shoulder shot, but I had a bullet drift a little in Montana, and hit just behind the shoulder, it still expanded.
     
  14. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    "It did, however rip the aorta and superior vena cava."

    Sometimes I just do not see how you were born and bred in OKlahoma. A true okie would say, "yea I shot her in the dangd ol neck and cut er water hose plumb in two, get er done!!!" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Hell, at least you had better luck than I did this season. And she will forever be known as the pin cushion deer.

    steve