Hammer Hunter Vs. Sledge hammers? (350 yard max)

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Dec 3, 2018.


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  1. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    If it were me and I was using a 6.5 on white tails, I'd opt for the 110gr or 117 and get them cooking. I load the 152gr sledge hammer in my 300wm for deer at 3350fps. It's a point and shoot proposition out to 98% of the ranges I normally hunt. If I need a little more range, it's an easy holdover from there.
     
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  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Couple questions for you. But 1st I have to say this is not what we are after, so lets see if we can get to the bottom of it.

    What twist is your barrel? 3 years ago we saw this bullet not act well in an elk. It was under stabilized from a 1-8.5" twist. This was the beginning of when we figured out how important twist rate is for terminal performance.

    How old are your bullets? We started using our current copper alloy about a year and a half ago. It is softer and when we made the change in copper we saw much better on game performance.

    Proportionally the 124g Hammer Hunter is a long nosed bullet making it susceptible to tumbling if the stability is not high enough. A report like this makes me start thinking that we may want to design a new version with a bit more weight toward the front of the bullet.
     
  3. SnakeRiverEric

    SnakeRiverEric Well-Known Member

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    Hello Steve: twist is 1-8" , received the box from you in July or August or Sept. The rifles are Kimber Hunter 22" barrel and Howa kuiu rifle 22" barrel. Both have muzzle breaks. The Kimber has a Maven 2.5-15x FFP SHR scope and the Howa a Huskemaw 4-16x scope with a turret I had built for the 124HH (which I shot out to 1025 yards).
    The Kimber load is running 2860, and Howa load 2804. I prefer to shoot the Howa over the Kimber. I really don't like the SHR reticle as the crosshairs are at 200yds and the first hash mark (5MOA down) is over 400yards Too coarse of holdover for me, so my shooting on the first elk could be part of the reason as I could not see my hits. I know one shot was too low (hit sternum) and maybe I missed first shot. I don't think they were tumbling as this should create a larger entrance hole.
    I am all for trying to understand what happened and make improvements. If I understand correctly the design of the bullets is to shed the 3 or 4 petals and for the bulk of the bullet to stay together.
    I do think some animals are just tougher than others and can go quite a ways. I did not see enough damage on the first elk, but 2nd elk I did see enough damage from the first shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  4. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I am sending you a pm. Not that I want to hide anything, just that it is way off from the OP original topic.
     
  5. dougduey

    dougduey Well-Known Member

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    This is what I love about Steve and Hammer Bullets!!! Always trying to improve them and actually paying attention to the results he and his customers are experiencing.
    Elk can be tough animals, that's why I use a 30 cal or bigger on them. 3 years ago I double lunged a bull elk 3 times using a 180gr Accubond in my 300 WSM. He was dead after the first shot but didn't know it. He just stood there and fell over after the 3rd shot. I was amazed at the damage he absorbed.
    Now, back to the Hammer bullets. I used the 213gr Hunter in my 338 Lapua on a Kodiak Island mountain goat in October. Had to shoot him through the front shoulder due to his position. The bullet went through both shoulders and left about a 2 -3 inch exit hole. He stood up, then fell over. We used the gutless method to skin and break him down, so I didn't see what the vitals looked like. What I can tell you was everything was "sloshing around" inside, so it was pretty well destroyed internally.
     
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  6. Buzzsaw

    Buzzsaw Well-Known Member

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    what does the 1-8 twist do with the 117's? seem they would go haywire???
     
  7. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Don’t jump to changing nose shape yet. Lol hopefully it’s just a one off thing that can happen to anyone because animals never act the same.
    I was very impressed with how well it worked without any bone contact on a whitetail I took. Usually that’s the toughest part for a mono.
    I love the idea of the sledge hammer for most hunting rifles. People get to caught up with bc when they in reality the distance can be longer than you should be going for with said caliber. I was guilty of this for a long time. Then after a lengthy conversation with Steve about my goals for my 6.5 and where I should limit my range to the hammers fell right into that.
     
  8. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Actually should be better lighter bullet and it’s shorter so it should stabilize even better. Correct?
     
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  9. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Yes. The twist rates listed for each bullet is a minimum twist. Faster than the minimum aids in terminal performance.
     
  10. Buzzsaw

    Buzzsaw Well-Known Member

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    :)
     
  11. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Been a lot of fussing and discussing going on this morning here. I think we are figuring things out. Not to hijack the thread more. We are checking the actual twist of the rifle used. Assuming it is what it's supposed to be, we have a feeling that we have experienced a variance of the alloy within the lot. No way to know for sure but I think that the petals did not fully shear off causing the bullet to turn.

    Snow

    We would not discontinue the 124g. If we do anything it would be another bullets in the same weight class.
     
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  12. Zen Archery

    Zen Archery Well-Known Member

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    I used a stack of books as a medium (yes I know its horrible medium) but the 124 Hammer Hunters penetrated deeper then the 135 Sledge Hammers. But the depth was nominal and insignificant. I would listen to Steve above and go with what he said. Both have performed incredibly on this skin/boned hogs here in Texas.
     
  13. HunterLV

    HunterLV Member

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    Just another incident on the sheer toughness of elk. Tikka T3 in 300WSM. 180 grain Accubonds. 150 yards. A solid hit on a big 8x7 Nevada bull. He ran 75 yards and tipped over. Recovered the heart and all of the blood vessels were blown off the top of it. No connections at all. Never seen anything like it. Not a drop of blood on the ground along the whole trail 'til he fell. It was like the pump lost all pressure and there was nothing to push the blood out of his chest. Even with that he went 75 yards.
     
  14. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    On track with the OP. Given what has come up in this thread it gives merit to the choice of the Sledge Hammer line of bullets for "normal range hunting". The larger the hollow point the less likely the bullet is to have unusual behavior on impact. In our R and D we had determined that the 1.5mm hollow point that we have on the Hammer Hunter line was the smallest that we could go and still expect reliable bullet performance on game. Until this report of the `124g Hammer Hunter on elk we had never heard nor seen bullet performance that was less than we expected. Another thing that should be taken from this is twist rate for hunting bullets. The twist that was used on the elk with the 124g Hammer Hunters was measured at 8". As it should have been. That puts these bullets at our min recommended twist. After the last couple of years of killing (a lot) of big game animals and testing in media, I set my hunting rifles up with bullets that are as close to 2.0 sg as I can get. The higher the rpm's on the bullet the longer it penetrates nose forward in a straight line. If a bullet is still penetrating but no longer spinning it will deviate from it's original path and become unpredictable. We will be doing some testing to see if we can duplicate these events. I am fairly certain that the nose petals on these bullets did not shear off as quickly as we expect them to. It is an anomaly that I am chalking up to variance in metallurgy within the lot of copper. It happens in all metals.

    Cudos to @SnakeRiverEric for staying on the gun and finishing the job. It is not how we as hunters want things to go down but sometimes have to do in order to finish the job the best we can at the time. Well done sir. Also thank you for helping me answer questions yesterday, I appreciate your help.
     
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