Does a heavier bullet kill better?

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


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  1. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

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    Hhhmmmm, the 243? JK Lol

    Great point, depending where you hunt you might not be the top of the food chain, better safe than sorry.
     
  2. freddiej

    freddiej Well-Known Member

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    I have hunted with heavy and light slugs. both work depending on muscle mass, amount of muscle to the vital area you want to reach, the hide thickness, the "armoring" of the animal (pigs and bear specifically), and your range. Slow and heavy works well (150 or 170 grain 30-30) fast and light works (125 grain Accu-Bond from a 308 or a 300 W/M). my personal favorite for deer is the 100 to 120 grain slug from my 270 Winchester (Barnes slugs). How many of you remember before the TSX line that Barnes put out a 100 grain X, 110 grain X, and a 120 grain X for the 0.277" diameter bores? I also love the performance of the 338 diameter Barnes in my 338 Win Mag. I have experience shooting game with 257 Rob, 25-06, 270 Win/270 WSM, 30-30, 300 W/M, 338 W/M 45-70, 444 Marlin, and that is it. I never got to use my dad's old 30-06, or my 32 Win Special. but I digress. Copper mono's or Copper jacketed lead do well when properly applied to the situation. we are talking about a deer at what ever range, but with range and velocity/speed becomes a vital variable for picking the differently constructed slugs we have. The slug needs to be constructed at different speeds in order to the most effective job. the farther out the skin of the slug needs to be thinner at the tip than if it was closer to open up faster or at all when hitting either hard tissue (bone) or softer tissue (heavy muscle) what you are asking needs to have more information to it. you can not expect a slug designed to open at 2500 FPS to do the same thing at a yardage it is traveling at 1800 FPS or slower. with mono's (barnes and Hornady or Cutting Edge) those slugs are great for deep penetration and opening up violently upon hitting much of anything harder than moderately heavy muscle at short to moderately long yardages. then you have the copper jacketed lead cores that can be designed to never open up in the case of DG solid jackets (constructed like military ball rounds), then you have them as delicate as a varminting slug that will disintegrate at the hint of a bone. nothing is a perfect slug. there is give and take with each and every slug. you have to pick the slug that matches your particular situation at the time. My go-to slugs are Barnes, Nosler, and Berger. I have yet to find any slugs that perform better at the yardages and on the game I go after. a very long post but i could not condense it. is there anything I left out?
     
    uncle_motorhead likes this.
  3. 5.56×250

    5.56×250 Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly an apples comparison, but before I went bow only for 20 something years, I killed a bunch of whitetails with a rifle. I used 2 calibers almost exclusively, 270win and 308win. I shot 130s in the 270 and 165-180s in the 308. I never drted a deer with the 308
    I drted every deer I shot with the 270. That little 130 running a little over 3000fps caused instant paralysis (figuratively) no matter where the shot placement was. All good lethal shot locations though.
    I believe velocity is the key to drt whitetails.
     
    Frog4aday and Jeremy R Snyder like this.
  4. Jeremy R Snyder

    Jeremy R Snyder Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2019
    Wish I had seen this earlier as I just started a thread about the exact samething. We must have literally been writing at the sametime!!!
    My personal experience has shown the right round for the right animal is key.. 30-06 with a 150-180 grain projectile for whitetail imo is to much. Blowing holes through the animal resulting in the animal bleeding out rather than drt most the time. 243 using a 95 grain sst projectile has been almost everytime a drt situation on every whitetail I have taken. 7mm08 using 129 grain sst.. almost everytime drt but is more forgiving if you place the shot a little too far forward or back than the 243 would be. Imo to large of a round results in a slower expiration of the game. A projectile that blows right through the game does not transfer all of its energy so an unknown kinetic force is questionable. A projectile that penetrates deep enough to destroy vitals and does not exit the animal transfers 100 percent of the energy resulting in better knock down power, in my opinion
     
    Tommo64 likes this.
  5. nicholasjohn

    nicholasjohn Well-Known Member

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    I have shot a boat-load of whitetails with the 308, and have used 150, 165, and 180 grain bullets. Most have been garden-variety soft-points, and the only thing that made any noticeable difference in how fast the deer dropped was whether or not I hit a shoulder bone. Hits involving big bones also killed somewhat more quickly, due to more damage to the internal organs from bone fragments. On rib cage shots, the heavier bullets made smaller holes, but killed just as well as the lighter bullets. On shots from a sketchy angle, one might do well to use a heavier bullet, but you can shoot through most deer that are broadside to the gun with regular soft-points of any normal weight. If you're really interested in seeing different performance between bullets, the construction of the bullet will likely make more difference than an extra 25 or 30 grains of weight.

    I've also shot a lot of deer with bullets designed for much larger animals, and they kill them just as fast as your standard "deer bullet" does. For a while, I used my elk/moose rifle on deer, a 30-06 with the 180-grain Swift A-Frame. Some guys told me that this bullet was going to drill right through deer and not do much damage. While they did make smaller holes than lighter soft-points, none of the dozen or so deer I shot with them ran off. All were dead as a hammer right now. I don't think one has to blow up very much heart & lung tissue to kill a deer handily.
     
  6. Opa-lopa

    Opa-lopa Member

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    I’m a fan of two holes. Heavier Bullets are better at doing that than light ones. Construction matters; IMO solid copper Bullets penetrate way better than cup & core, and don’t spray lead all over your burgers..
     
    uncle_motorhead and memtb like this.
  7. cockednlocked

    cockednlocked Member

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    I have filled two white tail bucks at less than 10 yards with a 7mm mag one using 168 berger vid. And one using 180 vid both drt both almost the same shot placement. Left shoulder pass through both lungs exit the ribs 7mm entry golf ball size exit on both lungs and heart Jello .
     
  8. cockednlocked

    cockednlocked Member

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    I was sneeking into my evening hunting spot and they came busting out of the dark timber chasing doe. Just goes to show somtimes it's better to be lucky than good
     
    436 likes this.
  9. SergeantD

    SergeantD Well-Known Member

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    Your question has too many variables. What’s the purpose of your question? They both will kill.