The video was linked because the OP was asking about bullet choices for moose and he was currently set up for 170 gr berger. I thought it was relevant. The shot placements don't look too bad on the first two. The guy who made the video said they didn't reach the chest cavity, I assume that he got a close up view of the situation.
My first comment was snarky. I apologize for that.
I watched the video closely again. In my opinion both shots should have gotten the job done. The 1st shot was identical to my son's first elk. Same distance and shot placement. He was shooting 6.5-06 with 130g Siroccos. His shot was a few inches too far forward as well. The Sirocco went through the biggest part of the shoulder bone took the front of the lungs and then through the big shoulder bone on the far side. We found that bullet in the meat butchering her. The cow pushed herself down the hill on her chest with her back legs for about 30 yards and was dead. She was anchored and had no lungs.
The second shot was in the crease spot on. No two ways about it. I tried to find something wrong with that shot. No brush, as good as a hunting shot gets.
When the 3rd shot was taken you can see the entrance wound from the 1st shot. You can see it in the video after they recover her too. It is right in the meat of the shoulder. Not exactly where I would have wanted it, but should have got it done.
I fully expect to have poor performance from one of our bullets someday. It is just bound to happen. Chit happens when hunting. I expect that the day comes it will most likely be due to a stability issue. This may very well be what happened here. But even an under stabilized bullet on those shots should have tumbled deep enough to make a mess.
I think if there is a lesson to be had here it is that if you are going to use a frangible bullet on elk, the bigger the better. The farther over 200g the better chance you have of getting enough penetration. Get up to a 300g bullet and you get much more forgiveness for the frangibility. The more mass the frangible bullet has the longer it can disintegrate while penetrating.
I remember when I first started reloading I was loading 180 bt's in my 30-06. I was worried about shooting them at elk. The old man that taught me how to reload told me it would be fine. Just keep shooting until it is down. I never shot an elk with that bullet. I shot most of my elk back then with a bow.
I just hate to see a shooter blamed for poor shot placement when it is a real stretch to say so.
The shot in the middle of the left shoulder is the exit from the second shot I think, it's a significant wound, no where prior to the second shot do you see any signs on her left side, she's putting full weight on it prior to the second shot also after the second shot you can see blood all over the snow when she back trails. In the end were all arm chair quarter backing it, there is no picture of any damage and they just knocked the quarter and the back staps of hide on so there is no way to know. Unless I can see the clear wound channel path I try very hard to give any bullet the benefit of the doubt, I know from personal experience that 99% of the time when something goes wrong it's my placement, even with good video we've stood there scratching our heads why the bullet was where it was.
Out of all the 270 I'll see shooting his year most will shoot the Hammers or 170 Berger, I anticipate dead elk
Some things never change. I guess I look at the odds. I have seen 100's of elk go down with one shot from cup core bullets. Its easy to call "fail", when its the bullet you choose to bash to make your choice look better. FACT is, if you gather enough data you will find that things like this either have happened, or will happen with every bullet made. Guess I should have told the story about one I found last year wounded from a solid that went 1/4 mile and was not recovered the night before. In and out with no blood trail and a small exit. Birds and coyotes found it for me. But I realize from experience that these things happen even if we give 100% to try to prevent it. Now don't take this as me recommending using a fragmenting bullet of 170 gr for moose, you all know I would be using a heavier bullet. I cant honestly say what went on in the vid. I don't think anyone can for sure. But hey lets celebrate that its a chance to criticize, bash, make smart *** remarks, and even down people for how they prepare their hunting rounds. Even if they are simply doing all they can to make clean and quick kills. But above all lets, forget all these success stories.
Now let me apologize for my rant. But I just think we all should be more professional. In the end we will ALL look better and maybe even learn something. I have ate crow before, most of us have. Beware, your serving could be coming.
Amen broz! I remember the "foul ( fowl,get it?) taste of the crow I had to eat over my opinion of both the 204 ruger and the 17 HMR! ha Prairie dogs, marmots, potguts and squeaks were super impressed by them, ha. I had a elk calf just stand there, shot at 200yds with a 375 H&H 300 sierra sbt...a second high shoulder shot dropped her. I felt I "had to" because there was this godawful hole of a canyon less than 80yds from her! Another "phlegmatic" critter to me are sheep, from Mouflon to Aoudad!
First shot looked lower and farther forward than I would have been aiming. Didn't look terrible, but I thought it was getting close to the ragged edge of lethal shot placement. I just can't be certain, so it is what it is. Unless I believe the guy that posted this Video had an agenda to make the Berger performance look bad, well - he said it was a perfect hit. If it was a good hit, the first bullet didn't expand, in my opinion.
Second shot looked really good to me. That's not where I target bullet placement on big game animals. I aim just behind the front leg/shoulder meat on broadside shots in order to minimize meat damage. But I've certainly hit them mid-height into shoulder meat just behind the large leg bone before. Again, the bullet didn't expand in my opinion. I hit an animal there and I know they're dead upon my arrival (by the time I get to them), unless the bullet hasn't performed. If I believe the part of the video stating he was shooting the 170gr Berger, then I have no big reason to doubt their statement on shot placement. The guy was obviously disappointed with the performance of both bullets. Biggest doubts are they didn't show the bullet channels and I don't know anything about the two, their experience level or knowledge.
I learn something about bullet performance based on every experience, personal or posted on the internet, no matter where the bullet strikes the animal, the animal profile, and no matter the distance or impact velocity. Makes no difference to me if the hunter selected the right bullet or the wrong bullet for the job. I still learn about that bullet's performance potential and limitations. If I gut shoot an animal and the bullet didn't expand, it's a thumbs down on bullet performance. There's plenty of media to initiate expansion thru the belly. If I learn I have to hit a rib to initiate bullet expansion, then I'm not using that bullet. The arguments to the effect the bullet didn't fail, the hunter did, are often nothing more than distracting background noise in these bullet debates, as far as I'm concerned. The bullet does what it does after it leaves the muzzle. Not all hunters are experts, not all shots are perfectly planned or executed. Bullet manufacturers sell a lot more bullets to non-experts than the experts. Experts or non-expert hunters, they all provide information and opinions. I look at the location the bullet hit and then judge its performance. We all get to rate the credibility of the bullet experience tales - tall or short - based on the information (or lack thereof) provided.
I most value descriptions of incidents from guys I'm certain have lots of experiences in the field. The two in the video seemed to be reasonably capable hunters. I felt the second shooter was really puzzled after the second shot. Couldn't even come up with the words. I think he thought the animal was DOA after his first shot. Then learning the cow was alive and well, he had to shoot the cow again. Still the cow doesn't go down? I've had, and I've observed, similar experiences. I'm sure I had the same facial expression. Probably left some of my hair on the ground in the aftermath - excessive head scratching while I'm trying to sort out what the H__ just happened?
I find I learn more from the relatively limited number of poor bullet experiences I read about, than from the many positive ones. Any bullet worthy of my use will perform well almost all of the time. So I don't expect the majority of bullet impacts to disappoint. When they do under-perform, I want to know more about it; and the who, what, where, when, how, and especially WHY. I really dislike experiences where an expanding bullet fails to expand. My top pet peeve on bullet performances.