How to blow up a FailSafe

SaskShooter

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We all have that one hunting pal, you know the guy that uses his truck more than his legs for hunting, and "really doesn't care" if his handloaded powder charges vary by 3-4 grains, and thinks that clean kills are optional.

A few years ago I was talking with said hunting buddy about deer rifles, his one and only deer rifle is a custom made 7mm STW on a Sako action with a 26 inch tube, he handloads all of his ammo (poorly). Now I can't remember the exact powder charge but it was very high, even for an STW.

I asked him how fast his loads were going- "Oh, about 3400 FPS."..................................... with a 175 grain Winchester FailSafe.

Of course I immediately thought it was BS, but I just nodded my head and said "Hmmm... that's fast."

I didn't believe a word of it until a week later when he dropped a big 10 pointer at 150-200 yards. I walked over just as he was about to skin it, and there was a 4 inch+ hole right behind the shoulder.

"Holy crap that's quite the exit wound.", I said.

"Nope that's the entry."

Sure enough, he rolled the buck over- no other holes, inside of the buck was messy. He said that was always how the bullets performed under 200 yards. He showed me his ammo, a plastic bag filled with witch's brew handloads in assorted cases (both 8mm Remington and 7mm STW headstamps) loaded around 50/50 with both Nosler Partitions and Winchester FailSafes. He said he shot the buck with a FailSafe.

Ok, let's hear your theories, how on earth did this man push a tough controlled expansion bullet like a FailSafe fast enough to completely blow it up INSIDE a 220~ pound animal?
 

Joe King

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Yup know that guy or used to (not literally). The guy I knew like that killed his best friend because shot at that bull he "heard" in the bushes. I wonder though, does he hit his bolt handle to open it?
 

HARPERC

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SaskShooter;662213 Ok said:
Put me down as skeptical. Given his haphazard approach I'd file it questionable he could say with any certainty what bullet he'd fired. I've chucked Fail Safes in a lathe, and tried to drill into them without much success, meaning busted bits. That steel cup in the middle is a tough nut to crack.
 

Jordan Smith

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I'd guess that he either used a PT without knowing it, or else the FS deflected inside the animal, and ended up travelling lengthwise down the body. Without opening up the animal and finding the bullet/wound path, it's tough to say exactly what happened.
 

SaskShooter

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I'd guess that he either used a PT without knowing it, or else the FS deflected inside the animal, and ended up travelling lengthwise down the body. Without opening up the animal and finding the bullet/wound path, it's tough to say exactly what happened.


Obviously we did open the buck up and find the "wound path" or, more appropriately, impact crater. I know it didn't deflect within the animal because I saw the bullet fragments scattered all over.

Also, he had been shooting FailSafes for years and said he never had one exit, so I doubt it was simple one-time failure.

I suppose it could be possible that he shot it with at Partition but, nonetheless, it would be almost as difficult to cause one of them to fragment as a FailSafe.
 

SaskShooter

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Oh and also yes, I've seen his spent cases, primers- FLATTENED. Bolt handle- STIFF.

I personally think he IS pushing those bullets way too fast, and the only reason he still has his whole face is because of that robust three-lug Sako action.
 

kweidner

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WOW. is the only thing that comes to mind. I sure as heck would be nowhere near him as he let one of those off. Sometimes a little knowledge is more dangerous.
 

Jordan Smith

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Obviously we did open the buck up and find the "wound path" or, more appropriately, impact crater. I know it didn't deflect within the animal because I saw the bullet fragments scattered all over.

Also, he had been shooting FailSafes for years and said he never had one exit, so I doubt it was simple one-time failure.

I suppose it could be possible that he shot it with at Partition but, nonetheless, it would be almost as difficult to cause one of them to fragment as a FailSafe.

Well, it's still a dual-core bullet, so I guess with enough impact velocity it can be ripped apart just like any other tough, premium bullet, but it would take a LOT of resistance to accomplish that. That's the main difference between the mono bullets and bullets like the PT and FS- while both designs can lose their petals/nose, the latter also have a core that can separate from the jacket with enough resistance.
 

davkrat

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A friend was telling me of an acquaintance of his that one day told him about the gear he takes to the range. Including the rubber mallet. You know the one you need to pound the bolt open between shots. Not a friend I would ever shoot or hunt with.
 
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