Hammer Hunter Terminal Performance Elk

HammerBullets

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Dec 7, 2021
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Montanna
Paul shot this Cow Elk at 350 yards with a 300 WSM and the 166 Hammer Hunter. He skinned out the exit side, blue is where the shank punched through behind the shoulder, red circles are where the petals exited or made it to the skin on the other side. Great illustration of the Hammer Hunter performance.
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aebhunter

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Oct 31, 2013
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232
Interesting. I shot a cow a few weekends ago, and learned a lesson. I am a big believer in the good old fashioned behind the shoulder shot, through the lungs. For whatever reason, I got a wild hair and decided to try a high shoulder shot on this cow.

Distance was 531 yards, no wind. 6.5 PRC with the 124 HH traveling at 3030 fps. I squeezed off the shot and literally watched the bullet cover my crosshairs, hit exactly where I was aiming. The cow sort of lurched forward, then just stood there locked up for about 10 seconds. I have seen similar results with lung hits, and usually they fall over pretty dang quick. After about 20 seconds she laid down with her head up. She was behind some sage and I didn't really have a good follow up shot. I had to walk up there and put a finishing shot into her, wasn't ideal.

Upon examination, the bullet entered the high shoulder, about 8 inches below the spine. There was a tiny exit of something on the far side. The bullet traveled perfectly transverse through the elk, but there was no spine shock or anything to drop it. Lesson learned. From here on out, I am always sticking with right behind the shoulder, through ribs and lungs. Meat damage was minimal, but I still lost a little. I have shot quite a few critters with the hammers, and appreciated the minimal meat loss on them, but realized that all bullets have limitations, and my shot placement was poor.
 

Zen Archery

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Dec 27, 2012
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1,305
Interesting. I shot a cow a few weekends ago, and learned a lesson. I am a big believer in the good old fashioned behind the shoulder shot, through the lungs. For whatever reason, I got a wild hair and decided to try a high shoulder shot on this cow.
Did same thing on doe 2 weekends ago first time I had one run 25 yards. I literally was like, “I wonder what would happen if…”. Lesson learned.
 

RockyMtnMT

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Mar 25, 2007
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7,293
Location
Montana
Interesting. I shot a cow a few weekends ago, and learned a lesson. I am a big believer in the good old fashioned behind the shoulder shot, through the lungs. For whatever reason, I got a wild hair and decided to try a high shoulder shot on this cow.

Distance was 531 yards, no wind. 6.5 PRC with the 124 HH traveling at 3030 fps. I squeezed off the shot and literally watched the bullet cover my crosshairs, hit exactly where I was aiming. The cow sort of lurched forward, then just stood there locked up for about 10 seconds. I have seen similar results with lung hits, and usually they fall over pretty dang quick. After about 20 seconds she laid down with her head up. She was behind some sage and I didn't really have a good follow up shot. I had to walk up there and put a finishing shot into her, wasn't ideal.

Upon examination, the bullet entered the high shoulder, about 8 inches below the spine. There was a tiny exit of something on the far side. The bullet traveled perfectly transverse through the elk, but there was no spine shock or anything to drop it. Lesson learned. From here on out, I am always sticking with right behind the shoulder, through ribs and lungs. Meat damage was minimal, but I still lost a little. I have shot quite a few critters with the hammers, and appreciated the minimal meat loss on them, but realized that all bullets have limitations, and my shot placement was poor.
Makes me wonder if there was any damage to the meplat from feeding or something else. We have seen this once in a while if the meplat gets damaged a bit.
 

aebhunter

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Oct 31, 2013
Messages
232
Makes me wonder if there was any damage to the meplat from feeding or something else.
I thought the same thing and did a couple of test runs dumping mags and cycling the bolt like a wild man. Other than realizing I need to use some better lube for my titanium actions, I didn't notice anything wrong with the bullets.

I don't think it was a bullet failure or anything. Operator error for sure. I tried to get cute and experienced a less than ideal outcome. Also, animals are unpredictable when projectiles hit them. My buddy shot his cow at the exact same time with the same caliber, just a different bullet. He hit right behind the shoulder, very tight to it. That bullet blew a gigantic hole in it upon entrance, exited, but the cow still took off like a banshee and made it probably 80 yards before it tipped over. If you examined both carcasses after you never would have guessed his made it more than 10 yards.

That was my 4th or 5th elk with the 124 hammer (Also one mountain goat) and all the others have been textbook. All the other critters were shot behind the shoulder though. The one thing I love about these bullets is the lack of meat loss. Even with a shoulder shot I lost alot less meat then I would have with another projectile, which I consider a good thing.
 

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