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Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

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Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

Old 12-20-2005, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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Default Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

I've been reading a ton of posts here and really enjoy gettin info from everyone.
I've noticed that when many of you post about what bullets you use they are pretty heavy for the calibers they're in. Ex.. a 165 or 180 in a 308 or 30-06. I dont understand why you use such a heavy bullet. I use the lighter if not lightestbullets in any caliber I reload.
I used to be in a hunting club and was the guy who skinned/quartered the deer on the processing line. I got to see a ton of wounds and carnage by different bullets. I got to hear the stories of how far they ran or if they dropped right away. Most of the ones that dropped the guys had the lighter bullets and many of the deer that ran or had to be tracked were the heavier ones. I understand the heavier bullets penitrate further and leave an exit wound and blood trail but If I'm using a rifle Im not expecting to track a deer.

The lighter rounds give less kick and less of a rainbow effect which makes them more accurate.

The only drawback I've heard is they lighter/faster bullets ruin more meat which may be true to a point but if a deer gets away after being shot or just gets wounded with a heavier bullet how much meat does that save.

Lastly I've noticed the more I hunt the more I can't take the deer sufferingbefore they die. I am very confident that when I shootmy Nosler BT's anywhere through theboiler room its lights out,no second shot, no kicking and suffering, Ihave a hard time seeing that anymore.
This opinion is from my experiences hunting and in a hunting club Ive been hunting for about 20 years and have killed/seen many deer killed. Im not saying I know it all, just want tobe enlightened why Im wrong or let me knowmy thinking is correct.

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Old 12-20-2005, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

my theory on all of this... i reload... i choose one bullet to cover all of my applications from deer to bear to moose.. in the 280 that happens to be the 175 partition... this way i don't have 23432423 different bullets in the drawer of my reloading desk.

now for coyote and woodchuck and crow.. the hornady 100 gr hollowpoint does a fine job...

in the 35 Whelen AI it's a 225 BT or a 250 Partition... each get the job done licky split...

and FWIW, i've never lost a deer.. i've never had but one run out of sight and that was a year and a half old doe.. shot broadside at 30 yds.. straight through the lungs with the 280 and a 150 grain nosler BT... her sister was standing 60 yds beyond and i shot her in dang near the exact same spot since she decided not to move after letting her sister have it... and she took about one leap and face planted... the rest have fallen within view or on the spot.. depending upon shot... and i feel it is very foolish to believe that just because you are using a "rifle" that no deer stands a chance and is going to fall like a ton of bricks landed on it. such is just NOT the case.

you have 2 scenarios working here also.. energy and momentum... a small bullet moving super fast has a lot of energy... shock value... very destructive as the bullet expands and comes apart, etc... a heavy bullet has momentum... which means once it hits something it wants to keep moving... plus imparting plenty of it's energy... if that heavier bullet stays within the animal consider it a win win situation....

for me i think of it this way.. would you rather have a half grown teenager hit you 3 times real fast or one big ole burly guy hit you one time...

now for handguns... where velocity is low... you need the momentum theory...


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Old 12-20-2005, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

I shoot 165 in my 308 cause thats what shoots best. I have tried anything from 130 to 168 and 165 shoots well. And it kills.

I wanted 150gr prohunters to work, but they shot poorly.

In my opinion the 308 kicking a 165gr bullet out at 2700fps is the best balance of speed and penetration and works great to 200 yards. If I use a gameking.
 
Old 12-20-2005, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

Lighter Ballistic tip type bullets when shot properly into the vitals kill dramatically compared to a more controlled expansion bullet, in theory. I tend to lean completely the other way myself. I shot my buck this fall ( 225lb ) with a 225 Partition out of a .350 rem mag and with one shot behind the shoulder he collapsed in his tracks stone dead. The other bonus was that with the bullet being so large and solidly constructed you could almost eat to the hole as they say. Meat loss was the least I have seen in a long time. So the point is that there are no rules that can't be broken. I have also taken game with B tips with good results and many hunt elk also with them. Shoot em where you're supposed to and most bullet/caliber combos do the job.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:44 AM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

I use the .243., 6.5mmSwede, 7mm-08 and the .270, it all depends on what I want to take on that day. I also have many, many calibers in the safe!

I have posted the elk and mulie I shot within 3hrs with the .270/ 150gr NP and the moose I shot with the 6.5mmSwede /156gr Norma "Alaska" It works for me!

I normally use the 130gr NPin the .270 and 140gr SuperX-SPin the 6.5mmSwede, 150gr PH in the7mm-08 and 95gr Fusion in the .243.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

"for me i think of it this way.. would you rather have a half grown teenager hit you 3 times real fast or one big ole burly guy hit you one time... "



Yes but I'd rather have you roll a bowling ball at me then shoot a baseball at me out of a cannon.


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Old 12-20-2005, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

"I shot my buck this fall ( 225lb ) with a 225 Partition out of a .350 rem mag and with one shot behind the shoulder he collapsed in his tracks stone dead'


I dont think 225grn bullet is heavy for a 35 caliber. I mainly saying a heavy bullet within that caliber compared to the lighter bullets in the same caliber.
I think the big bores are awesome for deer, I think the lower end wieght for each caliber is the way to go though.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

I think you are confusing bullet weight with bullet design. A heavier bullet in the same caliber and design will give you better momentum for increased penitration and a better ballistics coeficient because it will be longer with the same diameter.

For the same bullet design in order to do more damage you would have to drastically increase velocity, which really doesn't happen with the weights you are talking about.

A lighter more explosive bullet design may do more damage to the vitals with a well placed shot, but the heavier bullet with more controlled expansion will have better penitration with a less than optimal shot if it has to go thru heavy bone or a lot of extra tissue (frontal or severe quartering shot). Or on very large tough game.

Knock down power means nothing in hunting ballistics. It has to do with the wound channel and how much the bullet can damage as it goes thru the animal. Nothing will be absolute as far as knocking a deer down on the spot, especially if you shoot it in the vitals. Maybe if you shoot it in the shoulder and can smash both shoulders and keep it from running. And for that I would go for a heaveir bullet that would penitrate better.

I would rather have the best of both worlds. A bullet that penitrates well and will exit the animal and expand well enough to create a large wound channel and do plenty of tissue damage to the vitals.

Basically a heavier bullet is a bit more forgiving and may off a bit better accuracy at longer ranges. Really depends on your rifle and how you hunt.

Paul
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Old 12-20-2005, 01:16 PM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

ORIGINAL: Paul L Mohr

I think you are confusing bullet weight with bullet design. A heavier bullet in the same caliber and design will give you better momentum for increased penitration and a better ballistics coeficient because it will be longer with the same diameter.
Paul
Our present domestic standard load for the 6.5x55 mm Swede is a 139-gr. or 140-gr. pointed soft-point bullet driven to 2550 fsp.s. muzzle velocity. Although those bullets still retain a high sectional density of about .289, comparable to that of the 160-gr. 7 mm (.283) and 190-gr. .30-cal. (.286), and tend to penetrate well, nowadays the cartridge is recommended only for deer and similar size game. The potential of the 6.5x55 mm is limited by its maximum working chamber pressure being restricted to 46,000 c.u.p. (copper units of pressure), compared to 52,000 c.u.p. for many more modern rounds.


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Old 12-20-2005, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Caliber and bullet choice for Deer. Why so heavy?

I use the lighter bullets per caliber as well. Everything you say in your post is pretty much true. However when you use the lighter bullets, shot placement becomes more important. Poor shot placement will result in excess meat damage and or poor killing power. Heavier bullets get the job done but the lighter bullets give a quicker and more dramtic kill.

That said, I don't go to light. I stay away from bullets lighter than 150 in the 30 caliber because they are intended for Varmits. I wany the SD of my deer bullets to be 200-225. A bit higher yet for elk and moose. If high velocity will be used, then I will up the SD a bit more. The Ballistic tip is about the perfect bullet for deer IMO.
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