Not so happy with the Accubonds

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Hicks, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Hicks

    Hicks Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Last weekend I killed an Antelope buck at just a bit under 500 yards with my 7mm Ultra. I'm driving the Accubonds with 92grs of Retumbo at just about 3200 fps. I can consistently land three shots touching each other at 100 yards. The first shot was back a bit far, but did hit a rib going out. After being hit, the buck just stood there. The next shot was a classic Keith raking shot, in behind the ribs and all the way though the front shoulder. No bone was touched with that shot but the Accubond took a bunch of paunch material with it through the shoulder, and the exit wound was just a little hole not much bigger than 7mm. Again the buck just stood there, and after a moment just fell over. He is dead in any case, and will adorn my wall, but did I miss something? I thought the Accubonds were supposed to be pretty thin skinned? The performance of this bullet seems to be quite a bit less dramatic than what I observed two weeks ago whem my dad absolutely flattened an Antelope doe with a far back shot with a 220gr MK out of his 300 RUM. The same thing happened to me last year, at about 367 yards the Accubond sailed right through an Antelope buck, taking ribs both in and out, but certainly didn't seem to shock the animal the way I've seen some other bullets do.


  2. CapDog

    CapDog Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    My experience with the accubonds as only been on deer with the 140gr .277 out of a 270WSM. All the shots were at 150 yards or less. The bullet held up extremely well and there was surprisingly little meat damage which tells me they are a tough bullet. I believe Nosler stated they will still expand reliably down to 1800fps, but they are designed for tougher game so you just might not be getting a lot of energy transfer on antelope. If I was shooting antelope at distance I would opt for the ballistic tips or Hornady SST's

  3. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    I've had one odd experience with the 140 AB from a 270 Win on a mulie buck at short range. Ultimately, I did not recover the buck and shot placement was excellent.

    As much as some would like to control their shot distances, hunting is so variable, you just never know what you will have in terms of distance.

    I'd agree with the above post on longer ranges and Btips, or SSTs. If in fact you are confident that you'd regularly shoot beyond, say, 400-500 yards, by all means, use the more frangible bullets: Berger VLDs, Amax, Btip, SST, Remington Accutip.

    I personally think the Swift Scirocco is a nice compromise. Even though it is also a bonded plastic tipped bullet, it is pure lead, pure copper, so expansion is violent and quick, yet the bullet is still very tough, as I have personally seen with my bears at less than 20 yards.
  4. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2005

    I know that we all think that we never screw up, but if you don't have the animal, then the shot placement has to be questioned!

  5. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Derek M. I know where you are coming from. In shooting well over 200 deer I have seen the same thing happen with heavy constructed bullets. Even with a double lung shot a deer or a speed goat can still go quite a distance before it finds out it is dead. They bleed on the inside and don't leave a good blood trail and can crawl into cover and you would have to step on them to find them. I had the same problem with the 7mm Mag. Try you some ballistic tips or Berger VLD's . It has been my finding that these thin skin animals need a quick expanding bullet that imparts lots of shock and does a lot of damage to the vitals to really put them down hard on the spot.
  6. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004

    The answer to your question is this: distance was 45 yards. The buck was quartering to me. The bullet entered the right lung region as that was the onside lung. The flight path and subsequent region where the bullet should have exited would have been the exact opposite of a quartering away shot with a bow.

    Shot placement was perfect.

    I've killed at least a couple dozen whitetails with the same presentation at closer and further distances with a 270 using btips, partitions, tsx, and aframes with a recovered deer.

    Something was amiss with the AB.

    There are no absolutes in hunting and your implication simply means that since a deer was not found it is my fault. You are wrong. This was a chip shot I've done several times over the past 2 decades.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    My thoughts are that you made a good shot and the bullet did just what it was supposed to do. It put a fatal wound channel through the buck. Not every shot is a bang flop and IMO doesn't have to be. A well placed shot with a well performing bullet will kill an animal quickly. Sometimes a little quicker than other times.

    I shot a bighorn ram once with a 160 gr NP from a 7mm RM at about 150-200 yds. The placement was pefect. Square in the middle of the ribs, through both lungs. He stumbled a couple of steps down hill and stood there while two other rams and a ewe trotted off back into the badlands. I chambered another round and fired again and nothing happened. I chambered a third, same thing, he just stood there. I chambered a fourth and put the crosshairs on his back and he shuttered and reeled a little and fell over. When I got him home and skinned him out I found the first three bullets in a 1" group making about nickel to quarter size exit holes. The fourth had passed through the top of his spine. He was dead after the first shot.

    It's nice to see the animal go right down, but that doesn't always happen. I personally have never seen an antelope that was well hit go very far. 50 yds max and almost all drop quickly.

    As far as bullet terminal performance... The AB, TSX, Etip and I believe also the BT are all designed to open with a minimun velocity of about 1800 fps. The VLD at 1825 fps. I believe all Nosler bullets (not totally sure) are designed to open down to 1800 fps. The more frangible bullets dont open at lesser speeds, they just come apart more quickley and retain much less mass.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  8. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    if you didn't find the animal, its your fault, regardless of your shot. Unless of course you paid a guide who was supposed to track & recover the game. In which case, its still your fault for not finding it yourself and stiffing the guide for a tip...

    A shot in the vitals = dead animal, regardless of expansion, velocity, etc... Its still up to the hunter to retrieve his game.

    I've lost a pig or two myself, in the thick brush at last light. That's my fault. I don't blame the bullet, or anyone else. I shot the game and I didn't come home with it...
  9. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    I think the AB functioned just fine from reading your account. The best way to ensure a DRT hit on an animal as small as an antelope would be to use a lightly constructed bullet at maximum velocity. Such a bullet will produce the lights-out effect more often than not, and also cause a lot of meat damage in the process. Explosive expansion will drop these smaller animals in their tracks. Sometimes even larger animals will succumb the same way with just an explosive hit broadside through the ribs.

    If you want to eat the animal after shooting it, you might forego the DRT experience and track the animal for 50 yds after a hit with the more more sturdily constructed ABs.

    Another good way to drop them in their tracks is to shoot them broadside through both shoulders. Again, you'll lose more meat to bullet caused damage than an equivalent shot through the ribs behind both shoulders.

    If you really want them to drop in their tracks, wait till they turn broadside and shoot through both shoulders about 3/4 the way up from the brisket. Then plan on throwing away 50% of both front shoulders and some of the back straps. That should fold them in their tracks will still offering a pretty big vital zone target.

    If they're close, shoot them in the head. It doesn't get any more dramatic than that, with a bare minimum of meat damage.
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    Here we go again, with the absolutes. If you are referring to me, then I disagree. The bullet was aimed at the vitals, it hit where I was aiming. It obviously didn't make it through the chest. That's not my fault. We followed the buck through a valley and over a ridge which I would guess was about 3/4 of a mile, when we caught up to him moving onto private property.

    No guide, DIY with brother.

    Wow, if everything could really be that simple. Based on that comment, you haven't hunted or killed many game. I love it when folks try to make things always black and white, ignoring all of the grey. A shot in the vitals surely means a dead animal, as you say. The problem is WHEN they die may be a different story. I suspect if the bullet made it to the vitals, which in this case, I don't believe it did, the buck certainly did die...maybe a day or so later, and a helluva long way from where he was shot.

    I can punch a field point from an arrow just anterior to the diaphragm (in the vitals), and I would suspect death would occur. I also think that animal would have the ability to make it a long long ways before it expired, and bleed very little.

    Maybe it was your fault. I have a friend in TX that just punched what he described as a 350 pound boar through the lungs with a 3 blade arrow. As the boar ran off, he saw his broadhead sticking out the offside lung. He followed blood for about 60 yards and it ended. He panned the area where the boar was running into for about an hour and never found it.

    Is it his fault that the boar has so much soft tissue it stopped up the blood trail? From what I know, he seems to be very good at tracking, yet he still couldn't find the boar.

    I have no problem accepting faults when hunting. It's happened to me many times and I've kicked myself, especially when bowhunting, which is what I do most.

    But in this particular case, there's no reason why that bullet shouldn't have exited that buck. We glassed him a few times when we were on his trail and there was no exit wound.

    That's not my fault at all. You can disagree, but it won't change my mind.
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    Nosler has created a great bullet in the accubond but on thin skinned
    game at long range the ballistic tip would be a better choice than the
    accubond but at your velocitys would be devastating at close range.

    I use all three bullets (ballistic tip, accubond and the partition )
    depending on the game and the range hunted.

    Some times you have to make a shot placement choice because of distance
    and the game because as we all know nothing is ever perfict.

    Example=If I were hunting with partitions ,anticipating a hog at 1 to 200yrds
    and a nice buck stepped out at 100yrds I would clip the nearest shoulder to
    force the partition to expand.

    In the 7/08 I like the ballistic tip,and in the 7 STW or the 7 RUM I like the accubond
    on deer or Elk, but on hogs and tough skinned game I use the partition.

    Doin't give up on the accubond, It's a great bullet and if it's what your rifle likes
    try to pick the best shot placement for the shot that presents it's self.

    Just my opinion for what it's worth.
  12. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I choice bullets based on what I want. If I am meat hunting then I go with accubonds because they do not tear up meat. If I want a Bang Flop go for B-tips and expect to lose 1/2 of a deer.

    I have found with Accubonds I can put one through both shoulders and loose less meat then a B-tip placed behind the shoulder.

    I will say most of the b-tip experence was in a 7rm with 150 b-tips.

    I did make the mistake of hitting a buck at 360 really high up behind the shoulder and it went a long way before we found blood. It had to fill the chest cavity before it ran out the holes. When we found blood the deer was no more than 10 yards away.

    My brother the next day took a buck at 400 and hit low chest and it pumped all its blood on the ground imediatly.

    Just my experence, but in a 7 rum I would stick to a heaver constructed bullet. I have seen what a Accubond will do at 3300 fps on deer at 50 yards. Not Pretty!
  13. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    the assuption that a bullet through the chest equal a dead deer is not 100% correct. i have a friend that was in charge of culling deer at a high fence. when they were skinning out a doe that had 2 fawns with her, they realized she'd been shot with a bow at least one year or more before. when removing the heart, a broadhead was 90% embeded in it and scar tissue formed all around the shaft where it entered. when he told me this, i must admit, i didn't believe it. then he said go see for yourself. they have this thing preserved in formaldahide? or whatever sitting in a glass jar. i've seen this with my own eyes and must admit it is still difficult to believe. again this was a very healthy looking mature doe with 2 fawns.
  14. stxhunter

    stxhunter Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    [​IMG]200gn ab 300 rum 3200fps at 176 yd you could see clean through her and she still manage to run about 40yds