Terminal Ballistics of Accubonds

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by trout-n-salmon, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    So here is the deal. I expect animals to drop in their tracks if I put a good shot on them... as we all do. However, I am having a hard time with the terminal ballistics of Accubonds. Over the past two years, I have had some successful hunts, however at the expense of a lot of bullets going into animals that should not required that many. I am shooting 180 grain accubonds out of my 300WM at 3050fps and for the most part am getting through and through wounds on my animals. This weekend was the final deal breaker that is forcing me to look for a new bullet to shoot. I shot a cow elk at ~200 yards quartering away. The bullet went in about mid chest cavity and went right out through the opposite shoulder (through the bone) like their was not even a bone there leaving failry small wound channel and the elk still running. The second shot was high back, just clipping the backbone and the elk was still moving. About 200 yards later it dropped. To cap it all off, there was not even a blood trail in the shin-deep snow we were in.

    Earlier this year, I shot a caribou at 360 yards with a 225 grain accubond out of my 338 Lapua. First shot was high back and went zipping right though. The Caribou did not even flinch. The second shot was quartering away, double lung and a shoulder. Same drill, small wound channel and the animal was still on its feet for over 30 seconds before it tipped over.

    Last year, my bro-in-law and I put 7 and 9 rounds (all accubonds) respectively into 2 mountain goats in Alaska at 375 yards and they just kept sucking up the bullets.

    Oh did I mention the bear I shot at 413 yards this year with the 300WM and 180 grain accubonds. Another quartering shot that the bullet zipped right though leaving a small wound channel and little blood trail. The bear rolled off the rock and I thought he was through. When I got down to the kill sight, all i found was a pissed of bear on his feet and ready to come at me. He lost his life to a face shot

    Am i being overly critical on the bullets and expecting way to much out of the terminal effects? Is this abnormal terminal effects for accubonds? What size of backside hole should I be seeing on average on these animals?

    I find it hard to believe that animals are still on their feet after having their off side should pounded by a 180 grainer, but I have seen it mutiple times over the last couple years. Any advise, comments, or discussion is more than welcome. Also potential recommendations for a new 180 grain bullet for the Win Mag.
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Interesting post. The ONLY animal I lost in my entire firearm experience was to an accubond.

    Just a thought but try the 180 Btip in that 300 Win Mag. One of the guys in Arizona who taught me how to reload used it over 20 years ago and still does today for all of his hunting with his 300 WM. He's never had any problems like you describe.

    Depending on how far you plan on shooting, you may want to try a Barnes bullet. I don't think they'd be that great at long range due to potential expansion problems. But inside of 400-450 yards, I think they will serve you well. But I'd go to a 168 TTSX and push it fast. It's only a 12 grain loss of weight but the length of the bullet matches a lead core 180. I have found the 168 TTSX and TSX to be a flawless bullet in every way possible in my 30.06.

    I would be disappointed in an elk making it 200 more yards too. Have you thought about a 185, 190 Berger VLD? Or a 180 Swift Scirocco?

    Here's the deal on the Scirocco in my experience and opinion: they are a better bullet than the accubond once it reaches the animal. The accubond is better in terms of ease of loading and accuracy. The scirocco is an underdog bullet but one hell of a gamegetter. Every singe animal from deer to bears has collapsed when hit with a 180 Scirocco from my 30 Cal rifles no matter the distance.

    You may consider this. They open up very quickly but are still a bonded bullet.
     

  3. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    I think the only way you can "expect" an animal to drop in its' tracks is to shoot it in the head or spinal column and maybe high shoulder. Your experience with the Accubond is the exact opposite of mine. I've shot over ten elk with them and have never had one go more than 50 yds. I've also shot plenty of deer and a few antelope with them and had excellent results. All this with the 180 grain Accubond out of my 300 WM. But, if you don't trust them, you should stop shooting them.
     
  4. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Derek -
    Thanks for the response. What type of accuracy are you getting out of the Swift Scirocco? I have been looking at the VLDs as well. May switch to that bullet.

    Jumpalot-
    You are right, to drop them in their tracks equals a head, spine, or high shoulder. Bottom line, an animal should not continue movement once hit, especially crossed up through a shoulder.

    Thanks
    DT
     
  5. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    To put it bluntly, accuracy was mind-blowing and boringly repeatable.

    7mag/150 Scirocco/IMR4350 1/2 MOA
    300 RUM/180 Scirocco/Re25, H1000, or Retumbo, 1/2 MOA
    30.06/180 Scirocco/Re22 or 4350 or 4064, 3/4 MOA
    270/130 Scirocco/4831SC 0.2" groups

    These are all 3 shots groups.

    IN EVERY case, it took about 2-3 more trips to the range tweeking this or that to get this accuracy where using a btip or AB did not. I've also had an easier time with the VLD load development, but I stand by the Scirocco game performance as it has never left a single occasion where outcome was even remotely questionable. Of the 3 I have the MOST confidence in the Scirocco.
     
  6. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Finiky is fine as long as they shoot and put 'em down. I will give them a shot on my next couple trips to the range.gun)
     
  7. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to be argumentative, but I'm still not sure what you're getting at. Just because you break their shoulder doesn't mean they they're not going to be able to run.
    My dad used my 270 wsm with a 130 grain Ballistic tip and shot a large mule deer at 225 yds. in the shoulder and the bullet blew up on the near shoulder and the deer ran off. The shoulder was broke but the deer still ran about 500 yds. before laying down and we had to stalk up on it finish it off. I'll never use a ballistic tip again because of this. That's what made me switch to Accubonds.
    Now, here is the weird thing. Every animal I've shot with the 270 wsm and the 140 grain Accubond has dropped in their tracks, all pass throughs. Hardly any of the animals that I've shot with the 300 WM and the 180 grain accubond have dropped in their tracks. Some will stand for a few seconds before falling over and some will walk up to 50 yds before falling over. I've shot them behind the shoulder, through both shoulders and through one shoulder and pretty much all have died in 50 yds or less. I've recovered three Accubonds from my 300 WM. One from a big cow elk, broke far shoulder and she ran about 25 yds and face planted. Two from mule deer. One was running away up a hill and below me at 250 yds. I hit it between the shoulder blades and broke far shoulder. It dropped in midstride. The other was trotting at about 80 yds quartering away. Hit behind near shoulder and broke far shoulder. Deer slowed and walked 10 yds and layed down where I shot it through the neck. All three recovered bullets were perfect mushrooms and retained a little over 60% of weight. The lungs and insides were all mush in all three. Not sure what else to expect the bullet to do.
    A few of the animals I've shot that were pass throughs showed a fairly small entrance and a fairly small exit, but everything in between was destroyed. Again, none went farther than 50 yds.
    I just started using Bergers in a few of my rifles but don't have enough kills to know for sure how they perform on game. From all the reports here, I think they probably work great.

    Bottom line is, if you are doubting the Accubonds, you should try something else. Inevitably, you will have a bad experience and blame the bullet. Find a bullet you like and go forth and kill things. :)
     
  8. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    I just want a bullet that hits hard, shocks the animal, and puts them down. I have better knock down results with my 25-06 and 115 grain BTs than the 300WM.

    You are right, a bad experience, or two (or more) will turn you off to a bullet, whether it is the bullet or not.
     
  9. blipelt

    blipelt Well-Known Member

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    I have been reading alot lately about terminal performance. One thing everyone is forgetting is the animal.

    You have to understand how the compensatory system works(will to live). I have schooling in both engineering and Emergency Medical Technican. I understand the energy exerted on the animal and also the result. One thing we have always been told is to take out the lungs, right. Well what about the blood that is already oxygenated in the system how long can the animal survive before it expires? Some new layperson training in CPR is to forget the rescue breathing and just do chest compression(100/minute). They say the body has enough oxygenated blood in the system to last for about 10 minutes.

    When you are injured the body starts to make the circulatory system smaller and smaller to keep the pressure up to move the blood. It will start cutting out the organs that can do without blood for a time. The skin being the first(result shock) and then digestive system and so on until the last is the heart. It will even cut off blood flow to the brain before the heart.

    Brent
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    And here in lies the problem. High velocity, light frangible bullet with a history of this exact problem when contacting bone. What exactly was your dad expecting? I don't mean to sound argumentative, but this is exactly what not to do with a btip. Ideally, he would have lunged this deer, deflated them, and it may have run some distance but would have been dead on its feet.

    Btips smaller than 30 caliber have been known to do this. They perform best when slowed down in .277. For a WSM, I agree, the AB is a better choice, and IMO, the 130 Scirocco is even better.
     
  11. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    Your right. Therein lies the problem. He didn't mean to hit it in the shoulder. He was "expecting" to hit it behind the shoulder. He missed his mark by about 3". Call it a bad shot. Whatever. That's why I switched to the Accubond. I don't have a problem with that anymore. Obviously you had a bad experience with the Accubond that caused you to not like them. To each their own. I won't shoot Barnes bullets because I've seen a buddy have to shoot a deer too many times before it went down.
    I tried Sciroccos once in my 300 WM. I loaded up some 165's and went after antelope. Shot a nice buck at 532 yds. three times through the chest. Two were a touch too far back (still in front of the diaphragm) and the other was tucked right behind the front leg. That got it to lay down but I still had to cut it's throat to kill it. Won't be shooting those again.
    The point here is that we all have different experiences with different bullets. We can argue until tomorrow about what works and what doesn't work. It boils down to what you trust. I trust Accubonds and until I see something different, I will continue to do so. The OP is doubting the performance of the Accubond and no one will convince him that they work without fail because of his own personal experiences. I keep saying, find something you trust and like and don't look back.
    It doesn't matter what product you post about on the internet. If you like it, someone else won't. If you don't like it, someone else will. Everyone feels that their own personal experience is more "right" then your personal experience. Who knows, I may go out tomorrow to shoot a cow elk and have a bad experience with the Accubond and I will change my opinion about them. But, it will be because of my experience with them and not because of what someone said on the internet.
     
  12. Jumpalot

    Jumpalot Well-Known Member

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    Trout,
    Here is something else I've been thinking about for a few years. When I shot antelope with my 300 regardless of which bullet I was using at the time, I didn't get the "knock down" I was expecting. It' seemed my old 270 Winchester killed better. When I shot deer, they seemed to react more but I still didn't see the "knock down" I was expecting. However, when I shot elk, they had more reaction to the shot. I was puzzled why the larger animals seemed to be hit harder. Maybe and this is just a blind ass guess in the dark, the larger animals absorb more of the energy. Hitting an antelope with 2487 ft. lbs. of energy at 400 yds, how much of that energy ends up in the dirt behind the antelope. Hitting an elk at the same distance, I would guess that the bullet would expend more energy going through the larger elk. Hell I don't know. Just rambling now...
     
  13. Idaho Sawyer

    Idaho Sawyer Well-Known Member

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    you answered your own question! go to the Ballistic tip, it is more fragile and consiquently it is much more devastating!!! under 300 yds shoot behind the shoulder, past 300 shoot em in the shoulder. The BT is a great bullet and will do some serious damage.
     
  14. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Not at all true. I think the AB is a great bullet and I've downed plenty of game with them. Got a bunch on my load bench, like 1000 or so. I just made a factual statement that the only game I've ever lost in my entire firearm hunting history happened to be with an AB bullet.

    Comparing the AB to the Scirocco for me, I've never recovered a Scirocco from anything even after blowing through shoulders on a 300 pound black bear at 8 yards. But I did recover a 225 grain Winchester/Nosler AB bullet from a 338 Win Mag from my biggest black bear at 12 yards. Not that this really means anything because every bear I've killed fell right where it was, pass through or not. But to those who demand an exit hole, the AB was runner-up since the Scirocco blew through each time.

    Like you said, and it is 100% true, we all will trust our OWN experiences and that is human nature and nothing wrong with it at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010