Min. ft.lbs. for big game kill

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by victorc, May 2, 2009.

  1. victorc

    victorc Member

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    I've seen many opinions given regarding minimum velocity on impact to humanely dispatch big game. I believe the rule of thumb is around 2000 fps. However, the ft.lbs. of energy levels are all over the map depending on the caliber being used. Is it a fair assumption that impact energy is as important, if not more important that impact velocity? What is the rule of thumb when it comes to minimum impact energy in ft.lbs. to humanely dispatch big game?

    Here are some general numbers I came up with for comparison. Impact velocities and energy levels at 1000 yards

    7mm Rem Mag, 168 VLD
    Velocity = 1668
    Energy = 1037

    .300 Ultra Mag, 180 Accubond
    Velocity = 1696
    Energy = 1149

    .338 Ultra Mag, 250 MatchKing
    Velocity = 1681
    Energy = 1568

    .375 Ultra Mag, 260 Accubond
    Velocity = 1448
    Energy = 1210
     
  2. victorc

    victorc Member

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    I just found an article posted back in July of 2001 by, cronhelm. The "related articles" feature is pretty nice, Len.

    Unless there is new and improved information I don't think we need to revisit this topic.
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    As a side note:

    The ACCUBOND as well as the TSX and TTSX bullets are rated to 1800 FPS for reliable expansion. The Ballistic tip is 1600. I have tested the 178 AMAX to 1150 FPS and have had expansion.
     
  4. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I think terminal performance of the selected bullet is far more important than energy, or sectional density.

    Steve
     
  5. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Caliber is the critical issue and not foot pounds on a ballistic chart. Large calibers at slower velocities will have a far greater impact on large game animals than a smaller high velocity caliber. About 30 years ago I liked to use my 35 herret pistol on elk with a 200 grain bullet at about 1800 fps mv. It had a much greater impact on the elk when hit than magnum rifles in smaller calibers even though the ballistics charts show far greater foot pounds with the rifles. I have seen numerous elk shot with 30-06, 7mm rem mags and other equivalent stuff through the years show virtually no visual sign of being hit and many of them lost where if they had used a 35 whelen or 338 winchester the results would have been a lot different. When I was young I was a guru on all the ballistics charts. Then through the years I gained the experience to know what it takes to kill stuff the best. That is much more important.