Bigger is better theory or truth?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Jeremy R Snyder, Oct 19, 2019.

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  1. del2les

    del2les Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    Generally true and I do love all of a deer, but there have been a few times hunting near thick cut-overs and in small dries surrounded by swampy tickets, running 50 or more yards could mean a lost animal or a incredibly difficult retrieval at best.
    Jeremy R Snyder and jmcmath like this.
  2. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2017
    If you can place a good bullet in the right place your going to kill that animal cleanly. When the distance increases, more variables come into play. No one can read ALL of the wind between you and the game. We NEED all the help we can get from BC and speed. Have you ever missed a target at long range because you missed the wind call? Bigger would have helped that. And if we are being honest, most of us dont practice enough on learning to read wind. Its not about how much gun it takes to kill.
  3. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Oct 19, 2019
    I was told my an older gunsmith that you should "shoot the biggest rifle you can accurately". He built me an Edge and it served me very well.
  4. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2019
    Mentioned before is the SST, this is an awesome bullet when used correctly.

    The 139gr on the 7mm-08 is a fast killer, most are DRT kills.

    For the 7mm Rem Mag the 154gr SST works great but the 162gr is a whole different ball game, fast killer indeed.

    Bullet placement is #1 thing, but the bullet also plays a large role. I've seen partitions pencil through when no bone or hard muscle is hit, I put 3 rounds through the lungs of a coues deer for it to go down, literally pencil size holes.

    Softer bullets drop their energy inside the animal and sometimes dont exit, but usually those animals dont go far if they even go anywhere.

    Shoulder shots is a way to anchor an animal right away, but there goes a large chunk of meat. Lung shots with the right bullet will also drop the animal, but a tough bullet will delay death a bit and in some cases cause a lost animal.

    Some light bullets will blow up at magnum speeds so heavier is better. For Mono's is best to use lighter that get pushed faster to ensure expansion

    After all that talk, it simply depends on what bullet we pick, and which ever we choose we must do our best to put it where it's supposed to go.

    Just my .02
    Jeremy R Snyder likes this.
  5. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2017
    I find wind reading such a perishable skill. If I don’t shoot for a cpl weeks then it’s seems I’m out of tune with making my wind calls. And realistically, some situations you just need to spot ur miss and correct. But when I’m on with making my wind calls I’ve been shooting every day a few long range shots and judging my performance harshly
    Hand Skills likes this.
  6. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Yes - The 162 A-Max performed quite well on whitetail shoulder shots. Probably not much different then a Berger bullet. The bullets dropped whitetails like a hammer but did not exit, if that matters. Broadside hits in the lungs often exited but not always. Either way, deer died quickly when hit with an A-Max bullet at high velocity. Deer were killed from 100yds to about 450yds.
  7. Toolhand

    Toolhand Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2017
    If DRT results is what u are after on whitetail then from my experience bullet placement is the most important factor. Behind the shoulder and they run 99% of the time. High shoulder shot turns the lights out on the spot
    SMK1000plus and Jeremy R Snyder like this.
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Varmint Hunter's experiences mirror mine but using 140gn A-Max in 6.5-284 Norma. I swore by that bullet and was a little discouraged when Hornady "updated" them. I have since used both the 143gn ELD-X and 147gn ELD-M (once) with success.
    I tried the 156gn Berger a couple of weekends ago (same load data as 147gn) and was surprised and very happy. Superbly accurate and precise in my 28" LW and now ......waiting for the right moment to try on local whitetail(s).
    Jeremy R Snyder and Saracen like this.
  9. gvjm

    gvjm Member

    Aug 3, 2012
    The lesson I learned 35 years ago is "speed kills"! I've hunted with the 243, 308, 6.5 CM, 7 RM and 25-06. Of those calibers and many deer nothing drops deer like the 25-06 and the 7 mag. The mag however will destroy more meat. The downside is that both of those stellar calibers require long actions and long barrels which can be cumbersome in the field. I believed that the 25 WSSM was the answer but apparently I was alone!
  10. Saracen

    Saracen Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2016
    I wouldn't dispute your results, as they are what they are, but all chest shot deer ( Fallow deer, as im in the UK) hit with my 300 Win Mag have been poleaxed / drt. That's using either 180 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips, or Berger 230 OTM bullets, at any distance.
    It'll be interesting to hear other people's experiences.
    Having said that, I generally go for head or neck shots within 300 yards.
    Jeremy R Snyder likes this.
  11. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I use a 410 shot gun on tree rats. Not much there in the first place so no point in vaporizing them. My hunting partner makes excellent squirrel stew.
  12. crowduster

    crowduster Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Every squirrel I shot with my .17AH was missing parts and was DRT. The 20gr vmax was explosive. You must have used a bullet that didn't want expand.
    Jeremy R Snyder likes this.
  13. Old rooster

    Old rooster Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    I have always felt its more than just a caliber size that kills well but construction of the bullet and proper placement.
    When I switched from factory loads to reloads where I could use a better constructed bullet every animal went down and stayed down while factory loads were 50/50.
    In the late 60's I started reloading and used the Nosler Partition but they were a bit more expensive but the results were that any animal I shot was drt 99% of the time if the shot was proper.
    Caliber is a personal choice but a quality bullet is the most important part of reloading in my opinion and the part that does the damage.
    Just my 2 cents
    Old Rooster
    fariswm and Jeremy R Snyder like this.
  14. Jeremy R Snyder

    Jeremy R Snyder Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2019
    Absolutely correct, I was using a 25 grain hp I load for fox and Bobcat. Just brought it out cause I find practicing on smaller game helps a lot when it comes time for the larger game! I have 20 grain vmax but they tend to splash on the cats and fox so switched to 25hp. Great point though!