Hydrostatic shock, what's your opinion?

Old teacher

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May 21, 2012
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I am not sure this is relevant to the topic at hand, but several years ago I shot a doe at 80 yards with a .257 STW, 85 grain bullet traveling at 3900 ft/sec. The bullet completely disemboweled the deer. When I walked up to her, the exit wound was the entire far side of the deer, and all of the organs below the diaphragm were lying on the ground, but intact. The animal was still alive and breathing normally. I was astounded by the wound and even more astounded (and sickened) that the animal was still alive. I immediately dispatched her with another shot, but the experience was disturbing to say the least. The bullet was a Nosler BT, and I believe that that bullet at that speed at that close a range probably caused what you have been taking about. I love NBT's, but they are not good hunting bullets in small caliber guns at close range and high speeds. I have killed many deer at longer ranges and larger calibers with the same bullet and they performed perfectly. I shot a 3 point once at 50 yds with a 300 win mag and a 150 grain NBT. The deer was quartering away, and I hit him right on the last rib. The bullet broke the rib, continued under the skin and broke two more ribs, then entered the throat and shredded the jugular. He was running hard at this point and just short of 300 yards away. I did not know how badly he was hit, so I hit him with a second shot right behind the right ear. That ended the issue. When I was skinning him, the bullet dropped out on the floor, so I weighed it to see how much of it remained intact through its unusual journey. Out of its original 150 gr., it retained 145. I still use NBT's (and they have a hunting version out now), but not in small calibers and very high speeds. A side note here. I live and mostly hunt in WA, and we have an idiotic law which requires a hunter with a live, wounded animal to dispatch it with the same weapon that put it down. Previous to this, I had always carried a small .22 pistol for just that purpose. When I finished off the doe, I obeyed the law and dispatched her with another shot from the .257. The bullet went straight through the deer's chest, lungs, and heart, hit the rocks beneath her, turned around and came back through the shoulders, ruining all that meat, and a piece of it (the bullet) took a small piece out of my left ear. So, why, you might ask, did you not shoot the deer in the head. Very simple. The year before I wounded a doe with a 30-06. I was very close and tried to head shoot the deer, but very unfortunately all I did was blow off its lower jaw. I immediately followed the law, walked up to the deer and shot it in the head, which promptly vanished. I dressed out the deer, but neglected to leave any mammary gland attached to prove sex, since the deer's head was gone. I met a game warden on the way out and he was going to write me a ticket for not being able to prove the sex of the deer. Idiocy abounds. He finally agreed that he could tell that it was a doe, and went on his way with a trail of expletives following him out. I now again carry my little .22 for dispatching wounded animals. Fortunately, I have not had anything but clean, one shot kills since.
 

Code4

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Sep 22, 2010
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127
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Australia
Many years ago I shot a blue wiledeast front on with a bonded 165 grain .308w projectile at less than 100 metres. We found it stone dead 200 metres away almost immediately. The round had not penetrated the sternum (which is like the prow of the Titanic) but had tram lined around the ribs and come to rest under the front right scapula. No blood was lost. We assumed the impact had stopped the heart. Not hydraulic shock but somekind of shock.
 

Orange Dust

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Oct 23, 2015
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Just out of curiosity, why are humans impervious to this type of shock when hit? We generally last for hours if it is not a heart, artery, or brain shot. But there are instances and accounts by snipers that Humans explode on impact. Just wondering. I would imagine there has been instances of stroke. This is and interesting topic. Not trying to sound morbid, just curious.

Tank
I would say it is because very few humans have ever been shot with a large, heavy, bonded bullet from a RUM, Edge, or similar.
 

Orange Dust

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Oct 23, 2015
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1,622
I will put this out there. Having seen my share of game killed, mostly with lung shots, I truly believe it makes a difference on those shots if the animal has lungs full of air or has just exhaled. I've seen the same shot over and over with very different damage. I think this has something to do with some deer dropping in their tracks vs running with the same wound. This seems pretty common with lower powered rifles like a .270 with 130gr bullets or a 30-06 with 150's. Move up to big magnums and this effect seems to go away. A 300RUM with 190ABLR's will kill whitetails like a 25-06 will kill Coyotes. So will an 8MM mag or big .338. Shot a few with an STW. It would do it often, but not every time. Doesn't really matter much if they run a little ways unless there is deep water nearby. Big bullet holes are nice in thick cover though, and a drain hole on the other side is a plus here. Animals can be tough to find without plenty of blood, especially in the dark.
 

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