Terminal ballistics- Which would you prefer

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Mike6158, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Bullet passes through and leaves a gaping hole on the other side

    24 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. Bullet expends all of it's energy inside the animal and cause severe internal damage

    21 vote(s)
    38.9%
  3. Bullet kills, cleans, and processes the animal exactly like you like it with no damage to the meat

    9 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    I hunt with a friend of mine that's been on the hunt for "the best bullet" for a couple of years. He likes his bullets to pass all the way through and leave a nice big hole for blood to flow out of. I shot an Axis our last hunt with my 7mm Rem Mag using a 168 Gr Berger VLD at 40 yards (it's painful to post sub 100 yard distances on a long range hunting forum but it is what it was). The bullet went through the front edge of the front shoulder, passed diagonally through the vitals, then stopped just short of exiting behind the opposite shoulder. We found him about 20 yards off of the sendero in thick mesquite. When we opened him up I was pleased with the damage. The deer was not the walking wounded... he was the walking dead. My buddy didn't like the fact that the deer didn't leave a good blood trail because it didn't have a big exit hole and massive external blood loss. FWIW his son borrowed a .300 Win Mag and had the same result on a bigger Axis with Remington factory hunting loads. He didn't like those results either.

    The last option is for the optimists in the group
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I didn't vote yet. One choice does not describe the bullets I choose and prefer. My bullet of choice is a combination of 1 and 2 and it depends on the distance of the shot. I doubt any bullet can be described for consistent results unless the distance is the same for all shots. And even then the same bullet will differ depending on shot angle and placement.

    Jeff
     

  3. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    That's true... I was trying to keep it simple but ballistics isn't a simple topic.

    I've had the same bullet / load combo rip right thru a white tail and knock the animal down almost literally in it's tracks at similar ranges.

    To my way of thinking, if it's an average Texas deer and I don't have to hunt for it after the shot, I'm good
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I strive for. Tracking any animal is risky especially close to dark. I want them DOWN!! If I loose a couple pounds of meat it is way better than the entire animal.

    Jeff
     
  5. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    The same bullet will not react the same every time. It depends on the impact velocity and the placement of the bullet. I don't like to have to track an animal. My big game is white tail deer. I like to place the bullet in the front shoulder and aim to place it in the top 1/3 of the shoulder. That usually gets the spine as well as the lungs/heart. For under 3000 fps impact velocity I like Sierra and Nosler ballistic tip bullets. For the faster magnums like my 264 Win mag I like the Nosler Accubond because when you set up and plan for the long range shots Murphy shows up at 50 yards. The 130 gr Accubond leaving the muzzle of my 264 WM at 3350 fps does exit through the shoulders of a deer and does not blood shot half the deer either.
     
  6. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the bullet to pass through, but as long as it does terminal damage to the vital organs sufficient to quickly put it down. Exit or no.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Hard to argue with that! lightbulb Yet some will:D

    Jeff
     
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I also prefer passthroughs on broadside shots. The formula I have grown to desire is a heavy for caliber , high sectional dessity bullet that that upsets to create damage but has enough length snd mass to carry it through the animal even if it hits bone. I have had good luck with the Berger Hunting VLD's, which give this type of terminal performance.
     
  9. WV Sendero

    WV Sendero Well-Known Member

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    The most important thing for me would obviously be a clean, quick kill but I still pick bullets that react differently based on what I'm hunting (which I know most everyone here does). If I am going to hunt something small and light bodied like whitetails I prefer that the bullet dumps all the energy in the deer beacsue I don't feel that alot of penetration or an exit is necessary since it doesn't take much of a bullet to reach the vitals and do it's job in this case. If I were going after elk, moose, or big bears I would go with a bullet that I expect pass throughs with because most likely it will make two holes and if it doesn't I can still be confident the bullet penetrated far enough to get in the vitals. I would prefer a pass through on a large animal beacuse they are more likely to run after the shot than a deer sized animal would be so I would rather them bleed from two holes instead of one.
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting that the only bullet performance mentioning killing the animal is option 3.

    Anyway, I didn't vote.

    I prefer a bullet that kills rather quickly, and so far, with only one exception (not the bullets fault) every type bullet I have used has done the job.
     
  11. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    It amazes me the attitudes people have towards bullets. I can assure you that most of the guys on here who whine about one brand or another werent reloading(or shooting) 35 years ago. Premium bullets were for cape buffalo not elk.
    No bullet will kill every animal perfectly every time at every range.
    No bullet no matter how MAGICAL it is will perform well if you throw common sense out and pick the wrong caliber and weight.
    Now bullets are manufactured and marketed so that hunters buy a BRAND and not a well picked bullet.
    This is LR so use a high bc/sd slug driven as quick as you can and if it is sized per caliber and weight it will be deadly.
    Everyone on here should go back and read some articles written before we started using unobtanium in bullets to figure how to correctly size a bullet per the game hunted. Occonnor,Keith and those old farts new a bit about killing stuff.
    The idea that its the DESIGN of the bullet that kills has infected our sport, its the sd of a bullet that determines more than anything what it will do.
    A 200gr 308 cal made by a 12 yr old child from lead wheelweights in a garage will kill the heck out of whatever and yet a $7 super titanium turbo copper shredder axe murder bullet that weighs 70grs in a 243 will not.
    Pick out the right weight then worry about the darn model, nosler berger barnes etc.
     
  12. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Montana Rifleman - I didn't think it would be confusing but to make it clear, though not stated precisely that way, all of the questions were related to the kill. The last one was nonsensical.

    I don't think many people here were taking 800 to 1,000 yard shots on Elk 35 years ago. Especially with homemade lead bullets. But I could be wrong. Last year, at the same ranch, another kid insisted on using his .243 to kill some kind of exotic deer, the genetics of which escapes me. He made a good shot on the animal. It took a while to find due to the conditions (heavy, thorny brush) but we found it. It was a lot bigger than a native white-tail. One hole. There was obviously enough internal damage to kill the deer but if "I" had to make the same choice, the .243 would stay in the case.

    toddc- The intent of the question wasn't which bullet do you use. That question would get a WHOLE lot more attention than this little thread. The question was (or was intended to be) what do you want the bullet to do- kill with hole all the way through so you can track the blood trail or kill with one hole.
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I love sectional density, but I believe its only meaningful comparing bullets of the same construction. The kid with wheel weights may do all right, he also may have a bullet that shatters on bone, or flattens like a washer depending on which shop he picked up his weights. In either case penetration may be sufficient, vitals may be disrupted, and he goes home a happy camper. Or he could go home empty handed, and convert them to fishing sinkers. The new bonded core bullets are often recommended at a weight lighter than what was considered usual. I believe this is a mistake and a size heavier works better once the deformation of these bullets begins. I prefer an exit hole.
    A sub survey might be interesting, the locale we principally hunt probably effects our preferences. I saw a smaller size bull elk in Wyoming hit poorly, it went 5-600 yards bedded, and was followed up and killed. A sopping wet coastal Roosevelt could be swallowed by grass 6 feet tall in its first jump, and morning or night that persistent rain puts your follow up on a clock. By the way I've seen twice a .375 300 grain Silvertip sd .305 2500fps stopped by elk, and once on a bigger bear. The 2 on elk picture perfect mushrooms, the bear completely destroyed the bullet. Probably better than 3' of penetration on all 3, all 3 very dead. I remember Elmer recommending these, and by no means questioning their adequacy, but if like me you "prefer" exits you might need to rethink what it takes to achieve it in the particular animal, and conditions you're in. In the era of limited tags and $4 fuel, premium bullets earn their keep. A guided hunt can be literally a $10,000 bet on one shot.
     
  14. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a bullet that penetrates then opens aggressively at close range then the farther you step out it blows slower and at 600+ you get consistent exits that are created by multiple bullet and bone frags, not just a bullet hole!