Does a heavier bullet kill better?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BoomFlop, Oct 18, 2019.

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  1. BoomFlop

    BoomFlop Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2012

    I know exactly what a mono bullet is and it’s benefits. I do not think a mono is needed on a whitetail or antelope. However, my question doesn’t matter the bullet. All I want to know is does a lighter bullet or heavier bullet kill better. That is all.

  2. idcwby

    idcwby Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2015
    I don’t think there would be much difference on the two animals you listed. A 243 cal cartridge runs a 100gr bullet and kills perfectly fine for what your asking. The advantage of the heavier bullet is if you hit heavy bone like shoulder or hip, it will hold together better and break the bone with the animals you have listed. Go with what’s more accurate and your comfortable with.

  3. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2019
    Yes the lighter bullet is going faster but the heavier weight has more punch. Lool at the ft/lbs on both, almost no difference vs the difference on velocity.

    The heavier bullet will penetrate more with that energy.
    73driver likes this.
  4. Buster Hemlock

    Buster Hemlock Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2019
    Short answer, At those ranges I don't think you will see a substantial difference between the two. I'd lean towards the lighter faster bullet inducing more hydrostatic shock at the ranges your asking about.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019

    FEENIX Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    I ran the numbers with the BC using your velocity for the 200 yards scenario ...

    125 NAB ...

    125 NAB.JPG

    150 NAB ...

    150 NAB.JPG

    "If" I use Nosler's load data ...

    TAC 125.JPG
    125 NAB TAC 125.JPG

    TAC 150.JPG
    150 NAB TAC 150.JPG

    "My" preference is the heavier of the two.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  6. Skimbleshanks

    Skimbleshanks Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    Ive killed deer with 55 grain bullets from a 22-250 going 3650 and with 175s out of a 30-06 going 2700. Some ran a ways. Some dropped where they stood. It's a crap shoot. I used the 22-250 when I was young and didn't have many guns. These days I tend to favor a slightly heavier than necessary bullet. Not because it kills better, but because it can open up shot opportunities that a light fast bullet wouldn't hold up to. Ruins less meat too.
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  7. fiftybmg

    fiftybmg Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2016
    The 150 grainer at a bit lower veclocity will give a bit better penetration than the 125 grainer at higher velocity.

    In a different weight class, namely 500 grainers from big bores, it has been documented that the sweet spot for maximum penetration is 2200 fps. As the velocity increases above 2200 fps, the penetration decreases.

    The question "does it kill better" must be answered negative. Proper shot placement kills better every time.
    Tommo64 likes this.
  8. graywolf

    graywolf Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    If the energy is equal at the impact distance and the bullet diameter is equal I think the only advantage of the heavier/longer bullet is if the tissue or bone impedes penetration.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  9. nksmfamjp

    nksmfamjp Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Somebody has likely answered this, but I will try from a different perspective. I consider these 3 things when looking at bullet effectiveness.

    Bullet Max Effective Range: Most bullet makers have a minimum velocity for acceptable expansion. Often 1800 fps. So, which bullet crosses the 1800 FPS mark farther away?

    BC: which bullet flies better..I.e. highest bc. This will allow you more error and still hit your mark.

    Bullet Weight: Heavier bullets have more potential energy in them meaning they can use more energy on target to expand the bullet which generally leads to better performance through more tissue damage, straighter wound channel, higher exit probability, and higher weight after hitting bone and fracturing a bit off.
    BoomFlop and 73driver like this.
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Not necessarily. Lots of factors play into this. Range, shot placement, type of game, etc. Given bullet expands and penetrates well over the distances I expect to shoot, I will not always choose the heaviest bullet available for a given caliber, looking for a good balance between down range velocity, ballistic performance, delivered energy, and solid terminal performance over a wide latitude of distance.
    LVJ76, Almondgrower and memtb like this.
  11. KyCarl

    KyCarl Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    May 10, 2017
    It just seems the heavier one! I can get a 180 Gr out of my 300 WM at about 2800 or so. But I can get a 250 Gr. out of my Lapua just as fast! Which do you think?
  12. gusd

    gusd Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    I have killed around 100 whitetail deer and have seen almost that many shot by others, we have used many different gun ammo combos. My gun ammo combo of choice for many years was a .338 Win mag 200 grain win silver tips.
    For deer just about anything will work if proper shot placement is used according to caliber choice.I have also used and seen a 22-250 with 45 grain varmint bullets take down yearlings-to a 160" buck with no problem, and a 30-30 with 170 grain bullets do the same
    I would say from my experience lighter faster works better.
    Also I will say whitetail have the most will to live out of any other big game animal I have killed.[Elk, Caribou, Mule deer, Antelope, Black bear, Wild hog ] so getting them to DRT is not common unless you head /neck or pin their front shoulder.
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  13. TheLongRanger83702

    TheLongRanger83702 Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    The "best bullet" is the one that expends its energy in the game... NOT into the dirt in the off side.
    Tommo64, Zeke-BE, ORCON and 1 other person like this.
  14. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2013
    Hand Skills and uncle_motorhead like this.