Pass through or Expended in Target?

Your preference, pass through or remain in body?

  • Yes

    Votes: 21 6.4%
  • No

    Votes: 5 1.5%
  • Inside

    Votes: 82 25.2%
  • Pass through

    Votes: 218 66.9%
  • "I don't care, I'm a perfect shot and they always fall DRT"

    Votes: 21 6.4%

  • Total voters
    326
LongBomber

LongBomber

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Dec 27, 2008
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Fernie BC, Canada
I like a bullet that makes an exit, but still expands enough to make a decent wound channel. An exit wound leaves a much better blood trail, and with a damaged heart and an exit hole an animal does not go far, if anywhere but down.
I also prefer an impact speed over 2200fps, no matter what bullet it leaves a better wound channel.
 
257Tony

257Tony

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Apr 8, 2013
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Utah
Saying that a bullet that passes through does more damage than one that stays in is a very broad statement, and very incorrect. An fmj will almost always pass through, doing little damage compared to a fragmenting bullet that stays in.

I voted "stays in" although that too is a very broad statement. I prefer a Berger type bullet over a Barnes type bullet, but there is lots of middle ground in between that obviously works very well for lots of guys.
 
M

Mostly Tailfeathers

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Oct 17, 2020
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Oregon
I prefer a pass through because I think it increases the chances of a better blood trail. DRT is great but it doesn't always work with big strong animals. Also there has been quite a bit of research done on bullets that break up inside the animal. The amount of really small particles of lead and copper that disperse and are not detected when butchering is surprising. Don't care to eat lead so I shoot non-lead and hope for pass throughs. MT
 
FEENIX

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
Saying that a bullet that passes through does more damage than one that stays in is a very broad statement, and very incorrect. An fmj will almost always pass through, doing little damage compared to a fragmenting bullet that stays in.

I voted "stays in" although that too is a very broad statement. I prefer a Berger type bullet over a Barnes type bullet, but there is lots of middle ground in between that obviously works very well for lots of guys.
Yep! Another advantage for a bullet that expends all it's impact energy inside is no risk on what is behind the intended target.
 
J

Jon Bischof

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740
Location
Paragould, AR
We always like to see our critter drop so fast that there is a tombstone erected with his name on it before he hits the ground. But that being said, it does no good to make a mortal hit if you never find the animal. Without a blood trail, this could happen to you.
So I prefer a bullet that ALWAYS expands on impact, but retains enough weight to pass through and give you that golf ball sized hole to make a stream of blood you can follow even if he runs into a thicket, brushpile or a grown up cuttover.

That is why I like bullets that never lose their jacket (Fusion) or bonded bullets that retain enough weight to punch out the other side.

That's why many like to use mono's. The shank continues to penetrate even after losing petals.

I've never shot a deer with a rifle that I didn't recover, so I'm sticking with complete pass through. That and there's nothing more beautiful than a steaming exit hole.
 
C

Calvin45

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Apr 13, 2019
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1,863
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Foot pounds don’t kill anything in some mathematic formula way where more energy means more dead and if it’s all “transferred”
It’s even more dead. The more ft lbs of energy the more work a bullet can perform. That’s about it. How many foot pounds does a car at highway speed have? Way more than any shoulder fired weapon can generate by a great margin. I’ve seen deer not “DRT” getting hit by a car.

Exit wounds are your friend if you have to track and I believe they cause animals to bleed out faster. They’re not wasted energy.
 
A

ATH

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Oct 7, 2003
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1,379
Location
Lizton, IN
IMHO the perfect bullet will exit, but barely. I want an exit hole for tracking. You shoot enough animals, unless you consistently sacrifice a ton of meat to break the shoulder, they will sometimes travel even with a double lung. In heavy cover a 50 yard dash can be a pain if there is no blood. You can make a perfect shot and if the blood pools under the entry wound you get no trail.

One of my favorite woods guns is a Ruger carbine in 44Mag. With 240Xtps I consistently get exits with the jacket caught under the offside skin, which is enough of an exit to provide a good (and typically short) trail.
 
sp6x6

sp6x6

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NW MT
Ive shot some type of larger 338 for 38 years now.So Ive seen many DRT,and exit holes in elk,many ,many times.I am going to start using a small caliber for me,might shoot a deer with it,probably want a mono for that,but Im loading match bullets for varmits etc.
 
WildRose

WildRose

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N. Texas and S. Africa
Great topic. I generally subscribe to all energy expended in the target but depends on the target. It is a spectacular sight to see a small caliber fast moving Bullet dump it’s energy resulting in lights out

I think for big game we need a bullet designed to penetrate, expand and pass through the target. I need that bullet to be pass through both front shoulders if I desire a anchoring shot due to terrain etc. so I think we like pass through with the nice exit that yields good blood trails that we hope we don’t need.

On the other hand I have found a bullet that expends all its energy into the target creates wider spread damage and is much better when marginal or bad shot placement happens. I have found this to work excellent around here with our small white tails. I am not busting brush and hunting in thickets but more open areas and fields where fast moving fast expanding Bullets get it done. As well as the fur friendly loads for coyote hunters.

They both have a place in our world with so many options. If I only could pick one bullet for everything then it would have to be one that creates an exit every time

Thanks

Buck
Personally I don't like what are essentially frangible bullets. On numerous occasions I've seen them blow up at the surface or just below and watched animals run off horribly wounded as a result.

I shoot hundreds of hogs most years and the earhole shot is not an option often because of range, conditions, foliage etc.

They are incredibly hardy aminals and I've had them run a quarter mile or more with everything in their chest turned to chunky jello.

That's what got me to shooting first Bonded Bullets, namely the Hornady Interbond and Nosler Accubond. Once I did those behind the shoulder shots started resulting in instant kills and if they didn't, having large volumes of blood pouring out of both sides made them very easy to track.

Having now some pretty extensive experience on African Game, long talks with PH's etc I've found the same to hold true.

Often they encourage you to shoot non expanding solids because they want as much penetration as possible and a good blood trail because so much of their game is really tough and will often "run dead" or charge even when fatally wounded.
 
WildRose

WildRose

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Shot placement for me

But then again--- this is all personal preference, which is why people argue over the same thing time after time.
Unfortunately it become to many a matter solely of opinion ignoring the science behind terminal ballistics and what it takes to anchor, medium, large, and dangerous game in their tracks.
 
WildRose

WildRose

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I guess I don't care either, but.... 43 deer and only one pass through. That was a head shot on a bedded deer. The other 42, the perfectly mushroomed bullet was a bulge in the hide on the far side. Only two took a step after being hit and they fell within sight. I've been lucky. Only deer I've tracked were buddy's deer that had pass throughs.
I try to be careful where I hit them and I have no business taking a shot over about 200. Never hunted anything centerfire but deer as far as game goes.
Edit: Do I lose my LRH badge for admitting I shouldn't be shooting over 200 offhand?
I only know a handful of people that can shoot accurately offhand.

Normal humans tend to need a good rest even to hit an 8" paper plate at 50yds five shots in a row.
 
WildRose

WildRose

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N. Texas and S. Africa
I want an exit, but not just falling out. Bullets create shock ONLY when they are going fast enough to create that pressure and force in the tissue. When a little expanding Bullet hits flesh, it immediately Slows down. Most deer caliber bullets cant even create a wide shock path longer than a few inches. Try some ballistics gel and see it. It's a short length of shock, then a pencil thin hole the rest of the way out. Sure that's normally enough to make the kill, but I want 6" diameter+ shock cavity the entire length of the wound channel, regardless of point of impact. Big bores, heavy flat nose bullets, high bullet speed from entry to exit with large frontal area makes lightning fast kills and covers for a lot of my human error at the shot. I use expanding bullets for longer rang, but I still pick a bigger gun than most so I can use a sturdier bullet with softer nose to create the same effect. At least that's my experience
Now that's putting the science of terminal ballistics and physiology together.

With High velocity impacts, even without a frangible bullet there's a tremendous shockwave that literally explodes arteries, veins, and other tissues as it passes through.

I had this proven to me looking at a big hog that was shot a bit far back, complete passthrough but never touched or penetrated the diaphragm yet the liver had exploded from the pressure.
 

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