exploding bullets on impact...is this real or are people guessing?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Nov 13, 2019.


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  1. North Idaho Hunter

    North Idaho Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Yep, years ago i witnessed a 222 launching 52 grain Vmax over 3k FPS hit a deer square between ear hole and eyeball. Shot was less then 50 yards.

    Upon report of the shot the deer went right down (obviously) however when approached it was very apparent this deer wasn’t dead! A quick dispatch with the pistol it was over.

    upon skinning I found the bullet did not penetrate the skull whatsoever! Basically splashed and completely fragmented with zero penetration.

    I would never have believed that if I had not seen it myself.
     
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  2. Riflehunter1776

    Riflehunter1776 Well-Known Member

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    yes, a friend of mine shot a light for caliber ballistic tip. it hit brush, exploded, clipped hair, and left several small shallow cuts from shrapnel, I shot it with a barnes and put it down.
     
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  3. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    Typically it's a mismatch between bullet construction, velocity, and target species.

    1) Shot a yearling deer MANY years ago at 50 yards broadside with a 12ga Barnes Copper Solid slug. I ended up chasing and stalking that deer half a mile to put it down. The copper slug caused a plate sized splash on the shoulder plate and deflected off without penetrating.

    2) Shot a buck with my smokeless ML driving a 200gr Shockwave beyond design velocity. This was the perfect rifle for shots beyond 150 yards, as I typically made in that location, but this buck was 40 yards. Knowing the bullet was soft I shot low in the chest for the heart. The bullet only penetrated about 2 inches, grenaded, and blew the sternum completely out the bottom of the chest. Caught the heart well and it was down in short order. But if I had shot it higher for the lungs or shoulder it may have been a wounding shot. Subsequent to that I often carried a second gun with that one in case I needed to make a shorter range shot.
     
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  4. JohnnieB

    JohnnieB Well-Known Member

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    A lot of bullet failures are shot placement failures imo[/QUOTE]

    -Agreed-
     
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  5. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen them grenade on deer but the only instance where I can say it didn't kill was a mule deer I killed that had a festering wound in its shoulder/neck from a bullet that I found fragments of. Obvouisly I don't know what kind of bullet/range/caliber was involved, but the bullet obviously fragmented and didn't penetrate to kill it.
    Elk on the other hand I have seen numerous instances of. I saw one where a hunter shot an elk FIVE times with a 300 mag shooting ballistic tips (my memory isn't positive of the particular bullet so I won't malign the one I think it was). Old guy in very poor physical condition who shot it just before dark and wasn't positive he saw it go down and not knowing the area went out for help instead of going over to look for the animal. Me and a couple other guys got there at 11:00 that night. He had managed to break both front shoulders, a hind leg, and punch through the guts (how he didn't see it down is beyond me). Approximately 5 1/2 hours after he shot it, it was still alive, although obviously not going anywhere with three broken legs. Although the lungs were bruised like you had hit them with birdshot, out of three bullets into the front shoulders nothing had penetrated to the vitals enough to actually kill it. The gut shot obviously would have, but it wasn't moving much with all its wheels gone and although it was a green mess inside it hadn't really bled much from it.
    I've also in the last two years seen two lions shot with ballistic tip varmint bullets (one 223 and 22-250) that blew up on the brisket with a frontal chest shot at close range (treed with hounds) both lions had to tracked down and killed, they were not going to die any time soon from their wounds. A 22lr or 22 magnum in a solid or even hollow points would have killed both of those in seconds if placed in the same spot.
     
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  6. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Well-Known Member

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    There really isn't one bullet that is magic. Everyone's experience on this site varies quite a bit. The variables are endless. It's hard not to waste barrel life while trying just a handful of cartridge combinations. I guess you have to live and shoot within parameters you expect to be in. Then, accept the outcome. Either DRT, or a long day looking for blood.
     
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  7. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

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    I put the finisher in a mulie a few years back, Hunting for the first time with a couple guys from work. Deer was broadside at a short 50 yards (maybe 45) first shot was from a 6.5-06 with a 140 vld, right on the point of the shoulder. Made a 8” diameter ugly wound on the shoulder, no big fragments made it into the chest cavity to create damage. Only time I have seen a berger “fail” and I think it was more of a fluke. I have shot a couple deer with the same bullet from 6.5-284 and a 260 with no issue, but I prefer to tuck the bullet in tight behind the shoulder. Wish I had a couple pics of the damage, would be a nasty wound to limp around with.
     
  8. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I’ve wondered this also after a friend that is a great hunter smacked a spike bull at 75yds with a 210vld from a 300 rum. He swore up and down he hit it and I had a hard time believing he could have missed.
    However, the physics of 3500+ftlbs of energy can’t simply disappear.....
     
  9. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

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    Ft/lbs of energy on game is quite misunderstood, and misrepresented. I shot an elk at under 50 yards with a 270 grain bullet @ just under 3K, from a .375 AI. He never flinched, merely starting walking faster....then tipped over.
    That same “misunderstood” 3500+ ft/lbs is also absorbed by the shooter. Yes, the rifles weight mitigates it a bit. The shooter rolling with the punch, reduces it somewhat....but physics is physics!

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object!

    You, the shooter received the same energy, minus what the rifle absorbed! And, your still here! memtb
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  10. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Memtb, I understand physics. There is a huge difference between the force propelling the bullet in milliseconds to full velocity using the weight of the rifle and 6sqin of recoil pad as the launch pad and that same energy pushing with a .050”sqin tip into something.

    Example: we feel roughly 25ftlbs of force from the recoil on a 300 wm
    The animal feels 3000ftlbs beginning with a .050” round tip.
     
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  11. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Yep it can happen. Happened to my a hunting partner years back with a large whitetail. Lucky he was able to get more than one shot on it to put it down.
    It makes me wonder if this is part of the Berger Bullets are not for African game conversation. You hear many real life examples of them working great but hear a lot of guides say they don’t like them.
    My guys is one guy can shoot 15 animals while out and they all work while a guide sees hundreds and it may only take one to fail for them to say they would never use it. Kinda like a mechanical broad head.
     
  12. Don A Parsons

    Don A Parsons Well-Known Member

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    It seems that the bullet manufacturer's have their work cut out for them when it comes to perfecting the ultimate bullet and how it's going to perform up close,,, or on out to distance...

    Lots of variables fore sure...

    A long read that I follow along with,,, the 50/50 since there are alway variables that can pop up...

    https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Effective+Game+Killing.html

    Cheers from the North
     
  13. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

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  14. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I’ll check into it.
    The analogy of a bullet being like an airplane makes sense to me. The takeoff puts you in your seat, but the sudden stop into a mountain is a very different “feel” energy wise :)