This is every angle of the bullet, there is only a very small abrasion near the front just under the broken petal, but it is minor. There is however one petal broken off, if you look at the last photo of the front, there should be 5 petals, there are only 4. My guess is maybe that petal is what clipped the vertebrae? However there is logic in your theory, I wish I would have taken more time inspecting and photos of the wound, but I was over 2.5 miles back in fighting daylight, and the trail back went through a bears home, tons of bear scat and a relatively fresh elk carcass, and I didn't want to go through there at night.Been thinking about that bullet off & on today. I don't think the tip of the bullet could end up be so uniformly mushroomed if it hit the vertebrae. The copper tip is too thin to sustain an impact on bone without some distortion. That tip looks like all it hit was hide and water/muscle. Relatively soft matter/media
So I'm suspicious the bullet tumbled shortly after entry, which would indicate insufficient rpms.
Are there ANY marks on the sides or butt of the bullet, as if bone contact scarred the surface of bullet?
I just can't envision the copper tip looking so uniform after plowing into bone. Pull out a magnifying glass and look for surface abrasion?
Know what ya mean!! If you look, you can see where the carbon deposits on the bullet stop at the front of the boat tail on the rear pressure ring, no carbon/gas blow by. You can't really see it in the photos but there is just a small amount of contact around the pressure rings with the bore, I can hardly see it holding the bullet in my hand. Also I believe the bullet obturates slightly when the pressure hits the rear of the bullet forcing it forward, and seals the bore nicely.That's a very sexy bullet. It looks like it will fly well and do some serious damage. I know nothing about reading shot bullets, but, is that bullet making contact and sealing around the entire interior circumference of the bore? From the unmarred looks of the surface of the bullet in some spots, it looks like the bullet is not firmly contacting across all of some of the grooves? Again, I know nothing about reading spent bullets, I am just asking.
What barrel twist rate on your 338 Norma Mag Imp?