Same Ft/Lbs at 500 yards, is heavier grain bullet more effective?

WildBillG

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This thread reminds me of some thing I tried to explain to a friend years ago. Shooting 2 diferent bullet weights but same style bullet heavier wins. Yes the lighter one starts out faster and seems impressive to around 3 or 4 hundred yards. How ever as the distance grows the lighter bullet becomes an also ran. In fact if you look the lighter one really isn't flying a whole lot flatter.
 

COBrad

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Sectional density and momentum are little mentioned anymore as we seem to place the emphasis on energy numbers above all. I like high energy for my varmint rounds as it makes them more explosive. For big game, elk mostly, I favor SD and momentum for the deep penetration this combination provides.
 

BrentM

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Sectional density and fps are the things to consider since energy is the same. If the FPS threshold for proper expansion is met in either I'd take the higher sectional density bullet. Impact velocity tends to drive more shock damage if the bullet is able to do all other functions; expand, penetrate.

Often in a same caliber, not comparing different calibers, the sectional density is higher in the heavier bullet and deliver a bit better terminal ballistics. The issue really boils down to if the added weight etc is needed? For example if both bullets exit the animal and both bullets have seemingly same results then was the extra weight needed? On mule deer this season 2 were shot with a 143 and 2 with a 135 and all drt and all very similar distances. The 135 actually showed more devastation then the 143. The 143 has proven to be a very effective bullet so in this case, did or does it matter....
 

rustyshackleford

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The only way the lighter bullet would be more effective is if it were going fast enough to hit at it’s intended impact velocity and the heavier one was not. With the differences you are talking about I’m gonna say probably no difference. You have to remember we’re talking about a few 7000ths of a lb. Like other posters have mentioned bullet construction is probably a bigger factor in your comparison.
 

Shane Lindsey

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At your listed 500 yards, it doesn’t matter. Both bullets are within their opening velocity. Shoot what shoots best in that rifle. You said wind doesn’t matter. I would disagree altogether as that is why I try heaviest for caliber first when building a long range load. If the world dropped off at 501 yards, for ONLY 500 yards, light and fast all day.
 

B-LOT Banga

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I just explained this to my son this past weekend. Imagine being hit by plastic BB from an air soft gun at 600 FPS, then take a steel bb from a air rifle at the same speed 600 FPS. We all know the steel bb is going to hurt more because it’s heavier and more energy is stored that makes it want to keep going. But for a bullet even the same exact brand and design both would act differently because of mass, diameter, length, etc that would make one heavier and one lighter.

My idea of a perfect bullet.... use a Nosler partition core with a VLD tip or ELD plastic tip. It would still expand at longer distances but still hold up on that 50 yd shot through bone at high velocity. This is just my opinion, I might be wrong or crazy lol but I’m not tying to start any drama. Aloha
 

COBrad

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I think currently the closest we have to that tipped partition for close and long ranges is the long range accubond. I’ve read they are more difficult to tune than the regular accubond so I’m still using the original. I have a box of 210 grain lrab’s for a long range 300 WSM so will see first hand when that rifle is done.
 

skipglo

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Lets say you have 2 different bullets that each have 1500 ft/lbs of energy at 500 yards, but one is a 145gr and the other is a 165gr bullet both are .277 caliber I think in this instance the 145gr bullet is traveling like 150-200fps faster than the 165gr bullet.

Which will be more likely to kill an elk?

Lets take out recoil, wind drift. Just assume both bullets make contact on the animal in the same spot.
I'm my humble thoughts I think back to the wooden Bow an arrow...then the flintlock, the 30-30 and will concede here and throw in the 50 Sharps for good measure.....can one stop to just imagine.... the 10's of millions of one of the Biggest Game animals in North America ( weight wise...the biggest) Buffalo that would be alive today....if the hunters all sat around and Said....heck....I need another...just another 20 grains of bullet....or I can't pull the trigger....and the the Indians ....said "HOW" can I continue to survive...Me need heavier arrow? Geeeeeeeeeeeez!
 

steffen707

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I'm my humble thoughts I think back to the wooden Bow an arrow...then the flintlock, the 30-30 and will concede here and throw in the 50 Sharps for good measure.....can one stop to just imagine.... the 10's of millions of one of the Biggest Game animals in North America ( weight wise...the biggest) Buffalo that would be alive today....if the hunters all sat around and Said....heck....I need another...just another 20 grains of bullet....or I can't pull the trigger....and the the Indians ....said "HOW" can I continue to survive...Me need heavier arrow? Geeeeeeeeeeeez!
Very true, but those natives already owned the weapon. I'm buying a new one, want to build it right.
 

Shane Lindsey

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I'm my humble thoughts I think back to the wooden Bow an arrow...then the flintlock, the 30-30 and will concede here and throw in the 50 Sharps for good measure.....can one stop to just imagine.... the 10's of millions of one of the Biggest Game animals in North America ( weight wise...the biggest) Buffalo that would be alive today....if the hunters all sat around and Said....heck....I need another...just another 20 grains of bullet....or I can't pull the trigger....and the the Indians ....said "HOW" can I continue to survive...Me need heavier arrow? Geeeeeeeeeeeez!

We always want bigger and better. Heck I am right now waiting for my RUM to cool so I can keep shooting it.

Yeh but I doubt they were even able to see 500 yards, let alone shoot them that far.
 

skipglo

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Very true, but those natives already owned the weapon. I'm buying a new one, want to build it right.
Lol....I'm just saying... I'm as bad as the next Guy...any excuse to get a new rifle is a good excuse....
We always want bigger and better. Heck I am right now waiting for my RUM to cool so I can keep shooting it.

Yeh but I doubt they were even able to see 500 yards, let alone shoot them that far.
When I was 16-45 and I used binos' or spotting scopes to help see 500 to 1000 yards and didn't care if there was a raging river between myself and the target I would shoot! Now if it's farther than 60 yards....and I can't drive right to it to load it.....I blow the horn.....wave....and drive the hell away.....lmao....that's why shooting rocks at 1000 has become so much fun....I don't have to retrieve THEM!
 

skipglo

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Very true, but those natives already owned the weapon. I'm buying a new one, want to build it right.
Here's just my thinking....you have a good gun...but your thought is...I'd like to make this gun..7.5-10% better....is that REALLY ENOUGH to justify the expense? What happens when you think you might want 20%? For me personally when I lean that way I jump a caliber....or three...got old faithful still...but I've got new faithful that actually can outperform this by a NOTABLE MARGIN....just food for thought my friend...(and this coming from an old fart that has 62 guns...lmao) P.S. and the option to shoot from 32 grain bullets....to 750 gr.
 
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WildBillG

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I think B-Lot Banga explained this best. I did not know the OP was looking to buy a new gun. In this case buy a rifle chambered in a crtrage that will shoot heavy bullets. Make sure the barrel ofsaid rifle is rifled to stabilize heavy for caliber bullets and have fun. Always remember you can't kill your game to dead. In most cases a heavy bullet kills better but damages less meat. What chambering are you looking at for your new rifle.
 

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