I’ve caught one hammer shank in the offside hide on a 400 yard mule deer shot. This last year we observed large fragments well into the bands and riflings on our pronghorn. 3 shot with 6.5 hammers. One of which we never found the exit hole. We also never found the shank. Shot was 200 yards right into the center of the shoulder. I believe they recently increased the depth of the hollow point from what I’ve gathered which increases explosive energy and decreases penetration. Like you said you can only penetrate so far and for caliber appropriate game it’s a non issue. The only time the added penetration is needed is light bullets being asked to penetrate a LOT of dense tissue.I see your line of thinking but think it’s lacking.
For the most part u are right. That being said I’ve never been able to catch a shank from a hammer or cutting edge. So penetration is equal and I’ve shot a good amount of African game. Now the real problem is with the way bulldozer and Barnes act at long range. You are correct they petal out. Which I believe at slower speed the hammers will do.
But the badlands has a higher bc. But is a useless bc in my book because they take more FPS to open correctly that bc is meaningless.
Run the numbers on both once. See where the lowest FPS for the bullet puts you. 1800 I believe is it for badlands and Barnes 1600fps for hammer. Now you can tend to drive hammers and cutting edge faster than the other two because of the design. That design lowers bc but adds speed. So between the extra starting FPS and the lower opening speed I bet the hammer still wins as a long range. No if the goal is pigs and other eradication animals or targets sure but a mono just won’t beat a cup core at that game. So I think the hammer still is the best hunting bullet you can get.
The numbers for velocity I had for hammer bullets was 1800 FPS same for the badlands. Though the definitions for opening are different. Like I said terminal performance on anything the shank can fully penetrate edge hammers and cutting edge are obvious winners. I wish the badlands had the bc they do and the terminal design of the hammers. For outright penetration it’s mass with speed that determines that and Barnes or badlands have to penetrate further. Though often not the limiting factor on game but for a big bull elk at 400 yards with a smaller cartridge retaining the extra mass may matter.
I love the hammers. I’ve shot them for the last 4 years and seen them take 10 animals. For me the BC is not about effective range but wind. We have had some wind call misses with hammers. For us the realized BC of hammers have been lower than the estimates and we’ve had to be pretty spot on with wind calls even on moderately breezy days. Extra wind forgiveness is my reason for giving the badlands a shot plus who on this sight has ever left well enough alone