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Old 08-22-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default entrance/exit wound myth?

This may be kind of elementary, but out of curiosity, I always hear people saying most bullets ,especially bigger calibers go in small and make huge exit wounds. Does anyone else think this is a myth, like knocking a deer back or down w/ a bullet? IME shooting game w/ 3006,308,7mag,12ga slug,44mag, and 50cal MLs is, the entrance hole is always bigger, Im guessing due to the initial expansion of the bullet under the hide on impact. Sometimes I cant find a exit wound, but when I skin the animal, Ill find a small hole w/ hardly any blood around it and a even smaller hole in the hide where the bullet came out. Even on broadside shots w/ heavy bullets, the exit hole looks barely big enough for the bullet to go through. Does anyone disagree or get a different result?
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:05 PM   #2
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I have had entrance and exit wounds the same size and exit wounds larger before. So it really goes to each individual shot taken. If a bullet encounters bone it can not only expand larger but also blow debris out making the hole larger. Then on the other hand the skin of a deer is very strechy and will retract after a bullet exits. I had a buddy tell me he was having trouple with balistic tips not expanding when he shot several deer in the neck last year. Actually they did expand the hole just streched and close after the exit.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:05 PM   #3
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Somewhat depends on the bullet used. I have had very different results than yours.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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Exit is almost always bigger for me, depending on the bullet MUCH bigger. If the exit is the same size, I would switch to a softer bullet. If there was no exit(maybe from a small handgun?), I would switch to a stouter bullet. The only bullet I've ever seen for long guns that failed to exit was those P.O.S. powerbelt ML bullets. Pretty much every other bullet sold now expands well AND holds together like it should, making a bigger exit.

There seems to be a push for tougher bullets than needed, especially on deer sized game. These bullets make only a slightly larger exit. I suppose that would be better than a bullet that is too soft like a varmint bullet.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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I can use the same gun-caliber, same bullet and get pencil size holes one time and get massive exit wounds the next.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #6
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There are a lot of things that can influence the size of the hole. There is bullet type, speed, bullet size itself and whether or not you hit bone and also how close or far away you are. I shot a doe a few years ago at about 20 yards away with my 270 and 150gr bullet and the entrance wound was only about the size of the bullet, the exit though was the size of a football. I hit a rib and it really tore up the other side of the deer. Lets just say that the deer didn't move a bit after that hit. The reason for the close shot, we met each other at the top of a hill and where both surprised lol.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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Seems like I always get a bigger exit hole. The entry hole is usually bullet sized in any of my rifles but the exit varies alot. Depends on whether you get clean passes or hit bones or the type of bullet used. But never had a smaller exit hole. The bullet doesnt (or shouldnt) expand on impact anyways. It should expand as it passes thru the target or animal. The skin on entry side should be about the size of the bullet but inside the ribcage view usually shows a little sign of expansion on the entry side of the cage and more on the exit side, with a bigger hole thru the skin on exit side.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:02 AM   #8
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Never payed to much attention to it. As was my goal was to kill the animal and if I could gut the animal it was a success...

The only time I noticed it was on 4 deer I killed on an Alabama deer hunt when shooting my .270 w/ 140 gr. silver tip boat tails.
This bullet broke into 4 or 5 pieces on every deer. A few were just a rib that deteriorated the bullet. So I dumped that cartridge once I returned home.

Obviously you want a bullet that expands for the type of game you are trying to kill, but not explode. Bigger bones will obviously make the bullet expand more, as everyone can imagine...

Another deer that I killed with 180gr Nossler out of my .30-06 @ 15 yards passed through the chest cavity on a quartering away shot and the final exit wound was the far shoulder. After recovering the deer the only thing left of that far shoulder was a tendon connecting the the leg to the body. A much better scenario in my opinion.

Sometimes you have to get a real life experience to prove your theories, as the manufactures ALL say they have the "BEST" bullet. Remember, marketing sometimes governs our thought process, but research and experience can prove otherwise!
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:46 AM   #9
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The size of the exit hole, as has been mentioned several times, will be determined by several factors. One that I haven't seen mentioned yet would be the velocity of the exiting bullet. If you're shooting a caliber and bullet combination that could be described as "over kill" on any animal, then one could/should expect larger exit holes than entry holes. For example, a .243 using 80 sp bullets on a coyote. We all know that there is going to be an exit on nearly every shot angle, and it would be expected that the exit hole is going to be large, for sure larger than the entry hole. Then look at the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe described as "under-gunned". I shot several elk with a .270 and of the dozen plus I only every had one exit, and most always found the bullet under the skin on the offside. BUT the one exit that I did get was from a 140 gr. fail safe and that exit, although larger than the entry, was not much larger because the bullet didn't have much energy left to blow a large exit hole.
Look at the extreme spectrum and think about what a .204 shooting a 32 or 39 gr. BK at about 3600-4000fps into a prairie dog, one can expect the exit hole to be astronimical, when compared to the entry hole!
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:07 AM   #10
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The hide is going to stretch quite a bit... its a poor medium for gauging bullet expansion. The old saying "its whats inside that counts" applies here. The displacement of blood..... that will show up on field dressing as a black, bruising, jelly for all practical purposes, is what you can gauge your impact/ expansion by.

I prefer all copper TSX bullets, because they shoot extremely well out of my guns, don't blast lead fragments all through my game, and I haven't had any that I can tell that have deflected off bone. The name of the game for me is shot placement.... and getting that bullet to the vitals I'm aiming at. I've never had one stay in a deer, and I've never had a deer do much more than half a back flip when reacting to the shot using TSX bullets. Knowing how to execute a high spine shot everytime helps tremendously of course.... its a pretty easy shot on any deer sized game from a solid rest like a tree stand rail.
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