When Things Go Bad!

Andy Backus

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Dec 21, 2009
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Andy Backus submitted a new Article:

When Things Go Bad!

WHEN THINGS GO BAD!
BY DARRELL HOLLAND

This article calls for a moment of reflection for all hunters. As many of you know, for the past 4 years I've taken ALUMNI STUDENTS to South Africa for a culling hunt on African Plains Game. This is truly a rare opportunity for many students who like to hunt and have a desire to perfect their hunting skills. Hunt packages vary, but the average number of animals students shoot run between 15-25 critters a week. These include:...
Read more about this article here...
 

LDHunter

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Jun 21, 2001
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647
Location
NW Florida Piney Woods
As usual Darrell Holland gives us some expert common sense insight and advice.

I've been wrestling with magnum vs non-magnum chamberings for my hunting rifles for the last couple of years and this has convinced me that magnums are rarely necessary for whitetail all the way up to and including elk.

The closest I come to true magnum cartridges in my hunting rifles is my 7mmSAUM which is barely a magnum and I don't load it hot but love the 160gr Accubond and it's performance out to 300yds. I haven't been able to shoot any of them beyond 300yds even at paper yet.

Thanks Darrell. I always enjoy and learn from your articles.

LDH
 

The Hock

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Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
271
Location
Colorado mountains
I have personally experienced the "one step". It was years ago as a young man hunting antelope in eastern Colorado. Saw the step just before I lost him in the scope as my 270 recoiled. Long story. I have never taken that sort of a shot again although I am capable. Never needed to is all.
 

WildRose

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Feb 3, 2011
Messages
12,075
Location
N. Texas and S. Africa
Great article Darrell and I'd say it mirrors my experience both as a hunter and as an Outfitter and Guide working with and spotting for my clients.

I'd take issue with one small thing. In addition to the bonded bullets I'm becoming more and more a fan of the Mono's particularly the Peregrine VLR's and Barnes LRX.

After more than thirty years shooting Interbonds and Accubonds almost exclusively I have to admit that the Peregrines are even more consistent and the LRX isn't far behind.
 

HRM Johnny

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Nov 13, 2019
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107
Location
Virginia
I’m relatively new to the long range hunting forum. I just wanted to say thank you for posting all this good information. I feel I have learned a lot in a short period of time from this forum. Thank you for your informative article.
 

nmbarta

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Mar 8, 2014
Messages
591
Location
billings mt
I don't mean to me argumentative, but making generalized statements as far as rage is concerned (650) and then naming specific cartridges (7mm-08,28 nosler) is difficult for me to understand. I don't shoot a 28 nosler, but do shoot a 7x300wm which is basically a ballistic twin. I do shoot a 7mm-08.
I can tell you without a doubt that there is a very real difference. But for conversations sake, I don't care about the cartridge, just the bullet, and the math.
There is a million ways to run these numbers to try to skew one way or the other, but to be more than fair, I'm giving the 7mm-08 a 150 berger at 2900, (different bullet than mentions but doesn't change the point) and the 28 nosler a [email protected] 3100.
At 600 yards
The 28 has about 15" advantage in elevation
The 28 has about drifts about 13" to 7mm-08's 21"
The 28's 180 is still going faster at 900 than the 150 is going at 600,
And finally the 28's energy at 1200 is about the same as the 7-08 at 600.
So in the determining factors, the 28 has a clear advantage in shot angle, range estimation, wind, and even a slight advantage in one-step blunders given TOF is less, though I don't think that is much at that range.

I'm not saying anyone should shoot outside their limits by any means, but if your going to limit a 28 nosler to 650, you can't limit a 7mm-08 to 650 if you care about physics.
The math just doesn't add up.

As far as killing goes, everyone has had mixed results with different bullets, but the fact is when you remove the cartridge and any bias, and just look at impact velocity, the results will remain the same (all other things equal). I do understand that rpm based on velocity and twist rate can and does effect terminal ballistics, but for this I don't think that matters.

Though I only have dozens if not 100's of big game kills to observe, and not 1000's, I simply disagree that (all things being equal) a 7mm-08 kills just as well as a 28 nosler. It's not just the math, but by observations as well. Dead is dead, and given a perfect shot, it probably doesn't matter as much, but "when things go bad" I'll take the big gun.

Again, I'm not looking to stir the pot, I just don't agree with that part.
 

North Idaho Hunter

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Nov 14, 2013
Messages
1,097
Wow, great article backed by a lot of experience!


I enjoyed reading this article. several points I have learned over the years, both from bad experiences and from the help good hunting partners!

thanks again for writing this, I would hope everyone takes the time to read it.
 

Gone Ballistic

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Joined
Aug 25, 2010
Messages
554
Location
Orofino, Idaho
The most common comments or questions usually asked or boasted about always seems to center around what's the best caliber to hunt with. As one who has hunted for over 60 years, with only 2 animals requiring a follow-up shot, my advice is twofold. First, make sure you have a great bullet that gives exceptional performance and penetration. Second, make sure you can shoot the rifle you are using extremely well and know your limitations. Never ever take chance shots at any animal. The animal deserves the respect of a quick clean kill without suffrage.
If you hold yourself accountable to these self imposed rules, your hunting will be a great all-around success.
Exceptionally well written article, thank you!
 

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