High velocity bullet impact test

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Deleted member 25294

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I see a lot of posts about bullet performance from close range.
I've had a few failures over the years with non bonded bullets over expanding on deer and elk shoulders at close range. I've since moved to bonded bullets for anything inside of 300 yards and here's a quick test showing why.

This isn't intended to trash any bullet brand or type, I hunt with all of the ones I've tested, I just want people to realize what can happen if the wrong bullet is used in the wrong situation.

I shot a 140 Berger VLD, 140 Nosler Partition, and 147 ELD-M into a Ponderosa Pine round at 25 yards from a 6.5 SAUM to measure penetration and retained bullet weight. velocity was 3050 with all bullets tested.

I know this is not the same as shooting flesh and bone but it mirrors my real life experience with each bullet. I've had a Berger completely fail on an elk shoulder, and I've had a 140 partition break the heavy shoulder bone on an elk (not the scapula the big *** bone) and pass through to the off shoulder.
I hope this is helpful
IMG_20190127_100923255.jpg

140 Berger VLD, penetrated 7.5 inches, bullet completely disintegrated.
IMG_20190127_103036044.jpg

147 ELD-M, penetrated 7.5 inches like the VLD, found a little more bullet intact.
IMG_20190127_101015748.jpg

140 Nosler Partition, penetrated 13 inches, bullet was a classic mushroom.
IMG_20190127_103837289.jpg

Left to right, 140 Partition weighed 97.3 grains
140 VLD weighed 9.9 grains
147 ELD-M weighed 21.4 grains
just for comparison a 7mm 175 TSX weighed 160.5 grains, shot at 2900 FPS penetrated over 24"
 

elkaholic

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I wonder how the 143 gr. eld-x would do
Same as ELDM! The above post proves that the copper in the partition is of value for penetration(true) but as stated, doesn't tell the whole story on flesh. I'm not saying that the partition isn't a good, proven bullet, because it is. Flesh vs end grain wood penetration is vastly different, however. What we're looking for is enough penetration to pass through shoulder bone, if necessary, and enough expansion and fragmention to cause tissue damage. Because you mentioned a .308, that moves the scale downward a little towards an easier expanding bullet than you would need for a 300 rum, for example. That's why, IMO, you will get faster killing power in a 308 with a little lighter jacket and still expand at 500 yards or more.
 

laker

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Looks like either would have made things very dead
 

26Reload

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Do a simular test at 100 yards..but use 3" of round and water jugs at end to simulate guts and lungs....probably have a some sort of catch area beyond the water jugs.....or maybe use sand inside the jugs....
Wish I was in an area to try this....sounds and looks like a lot of fun.....and of course extremely informative......and tell wife the new box of bullets is for scientific purposes........
 

laker

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I took an elk femur and put two layers of cardboard on it and then strapped it to water jugs. 140 berger and 143 eldx went through femur and came uncorked in first jug. I’ll see if I can find the post
 

Huntnaz

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I remember that test and that 6.5-06 if its the one you had for sale. I wanted it so bad just no funds.
 

Trnelson

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Same as ELDM! The above post proves that the copper in the partition is of value for penetration(true) but as stated, doesn't tell the whole story on flesh. I'm not saying that the partition isn't a good, proven bullet, because it is. Flesh vs end grain wood penetration is vastly different, however. What we're looking for is enough penetration to pass through shoulder bone, if necessary, and enough expansion and fragmention to cause tissue damage. Because you mentioned a .308, that moves the scale downward a little towards an easier expanding bullet than you would need for a 300 rum, for example. That's why, IMO, you will get faster killing power in a 308 with a little lighter jacket and still expand at 500 yards or more.
A **** fine point. The context of data points is equally important as the absolute data.
 

bigngreen

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A 168 7mm bullet regardless of type stands a good chance of not penetrating an elks front shoulder. I've seen a lot of them infact get through but the one and only 7mm bullet I would shoulder shoot and elk with confidence is the 177 Hammer. Barnes simply won't every time unless the impact velocity is high enough to shear the petals, I've seen to many of them not get into the chest of an elk, the Accubond suffers from the same thing.
I have shot the 140 Berger into a lot of elk and deer and we've recovered very few, none from a deer. The last one I recovered destroyed the heavy bone on cow elk took out multiple ribs and I found it mid way up her neck, about the hardest hit I've ever put on an elk and she was dead in three steps, I put a 140 CEB in the exact same spot and it did make it through but the wound channel was so small it actually past large arteries and didn't cut them so more shooting to kill her. I've had that same shot not get into the chest with a 168 Barnes and a 300 WBY multiple times.
Some friend this year shot a pile of elk with the 140 all one shots and a staggering death within yards, still they read the internet instead of piled up dead elk and they try the 127 Lrx and an other drainage over and some more shooting she finally died.
A guy has to shoot what works for him but guys also have to realize it's not a bullet issue and beleive some guys will have single shot kill after kill with bullets you won't and that does not mean the bullet fails just for what ever reason we aren't good with the same bullets others are.
 

memtb

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Thank You for the time and effort, you put forth into the test. And, as you stated, i’s not not an absolute, definitive test simulating a game animal.....but informative non the less.

It certainly “did not” change my opinion, that in 1993 I choose the best bullet available. And with animals from Fox/coyote, to large moose, at ranges from feet to over 400 yards.....I’ve found absolutely “zero” reason to question my decision. memtb
 

Canhunter35

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I always try to match shot placement to the bullet. I usually like ‘explosive’ bullets like ballistic tips, amaxs, etc and stick em behind the front leg. I usually test bullets by shooting coyotes, if they consistently expand I’m confident in shooting through the rib cage
 

Raudy707

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A 168 7mm bullet regardless of type stands a good chance of not penetrating an elks front shoulder. I've seen a lot of them infact get through but the one and only 7mm bullet I would shoulder shoot and elk with confidence is the 177 Hammer. Barnes simply won't every time unless the impact velocity is high enough to shear the petals, I've seen to many of them not get into the chest of an elk, the Accubond suffers from the same thing.

I've seen you post this in about 5 different forums now and wonder how the hell I've killed over 100 deer and elk and NEVER had one not penetrate a shoulder? Elk after elk, deer after deer I blow through shoulders hearts, lungs and into the the next rib cage or shoulder usually with an exit!?!?! I agree the massive frontal mushrooms of a Barnes X bullet usually allows you to find them in an animal but I have like maybe 8 recovered Accubonds. Out of 140 something animals. Either I'm the luckiest hunter on earth and have always gotten lucky or my elk are extremely soft and easy to kill. I'm not sure? I've killed 7 elk with my 270 wsm with a 140 grain Accubond, 5 with a 160 grain Accubond with my 280 AI and 9 with my 300 win mag with that terrible 180 grain and 200 grain Accubond. 70 yards to 600. A single shot, and always a dead elk seconds later. Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. No bullet rebounds or bouncing off a single animal. So I keep using them. I also have ELD-X, Berger VLD and Nosler LR Accubonds that I've experimented with. No complaints with them either. But with those bullets I rib shoot and wait for good broadside shots. They've all worked as advertised. My son put a 168 grain 7mm Accubond LR through an elk this year at 280 yards. Busted the huge elbow joint, through the heart and came out the armpit with a golf ball size exit. I was also told those bullets were soft and exploded on bone. That's the only elk we've killed with that bullet so far but it did work. I'm not trying to start a debate, but since I've seen you post numerous times on how worthless the Accubond and Barnes bullets are against elk I would like to share my opposite experiences and good fortune with them. So far, so good! Actually, so far...really good!! Happy hunting and good luck this fall.
 

memtb

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bigngreen, Your results with Barnes bullets, though a different caliber vary greatly from our brief (18 years) of experiences. From Fox to moose, we’ve only recovered one bullet (1992). The bullet recovered was the old, original Barnes X Bullet. This bullet went full length (approx. 5 feet of elk) end to end though a mature ( not huge ) bull elk. The shot was at approximately 100 yards, impact velocity approx 2600 to 2700 fps, the bullet route consisted of three hide penetrations, a shattered pelvis, fully penetrating a gut area of compacted feed, through the diaphragm, through the lung, exiting the foreleg arm pit, reentered the upper leg, missing the bone but fully penetrating the large upper leg muscle, with the bullet found beneath the offside hide. The bullet, had one (1) petal broken off. All in all, pretty respectable performance from any bullet. Since that elk, we’ve taken, moose, bears, elk, sheep, deer and antelope, and have “yet” to recover a bullet from one of the deceased animals! In my opinion.....far fromm a bullet failure, due to “lack” of penetration! Merely data points from almost 20 years of hunting experiences by myself and my wife! memtb
 
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