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different calibers terminal performance on game

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different calibers terminal performance on game

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Old 12-31-2009, 10:15 AM
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Fork Horn
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Default different calibers terminal performance on game

Ok.....lets take an idea scenario....Mature whitetail buck standing broadside at 150 yards. You line up the crosshairs right behind the shoulder for a double lung shot.
From hunters with more "game taking" experience.....If you were to take a large number of these shots (let's say 100), have you folks experienced any better or worse "terminal" performance on game. More or less DRT's? Deer running shorter distances with one caliber than another? ect....

.270 with 130gr Accubond (AB just used to keep things equal)

.30-06 with 150gr. or 165gr. Accubond

7mm. Rem. Mag with 140gr. or 150gr. Accubond

THE REASON I ASK......I know these 3 calibers (and many other) make excellent deer hunting rounds, and I've used all 3 of them quite a bit.
So far, here's what my personal experiences with them has been.

.270 Win. with 130gr. loads.
Deer seem to almost always run after the shot unless I've caught them through the shoulders. I've had a couple lung shot deer DRT, but the MAJORITY have run 30-50 yards with an "adequate" blood trail to follow.

.30-06 with 150gr. and 165gr. loads.
Seem to get more DRT's. The deer that have run made it about the same 30-50 yard distance before piling up. Blood trails have been heavier than those from the .270. I assume the slightly larger bullet diameter would be responsible???

7mm. Rem. Mag. 140gr. and 150gr. loads.
ALMOST all DRT performance on deer. I've had a couple that have ran 20-30 yards...but that's it. Most have pitched over like lightening hit them.

I very much a believer that shot PLACEMENT is vital....but also placing that shot with an adequate caliber as well.
Since all 3 of these calibers are MORE than adequate for whitetails, can ya'll give me some opinions on why I haven't seen almost identical results from all 3 calibers. Shot placement on all deer I've taken has been anywhere from good to excellent.

Help un-confuse me folks....
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:48 AM
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I've taken most of my deer with a ML so the only deer I've shot with a rifle have been a 300WM. Sure, it puts them down RIGHT NOW but so would an RPG. The meat damage is unacceptable, especially on a shoulder shot. If I had a dedicated deer rifle it would be a 243 or othe 6mm variant for longer range work; for 150 yds and other if I had to choose a rifle and not a ML it would probably be larger caliber but lower velocity.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:50 AM
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:43 PM
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schoolcraft...What bullets were being used???

This makes a huge difference...Some bullets are hard and do less internal damage, some are soft and do massive internal damage and will drop closer to the point where the deer was standing, yet they won't exit as often...

In addition, at longer ranges the bullet doesn't disrupt as quickly so it does less internal damage...
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:27 PM
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I guess I should ask if you folks have found a particular caliber or caliber and bullet combo that's had a higher percentage of DRT performance on deer.
In response to the last question about what types of bullets I've been using..... With the .270 Win. I've mostly used 130gr. CorLoct's.
With the 06', mostly used 165gr. Hornady Interlocks
with the 7mm. Rem. Mag., mostly 150gr. Federal Fusion ammo.

Do any of you folks feel that velocity has a determining factor in terminal performance on deer sized game. It hasn't always been the case, but it seems like a medium to tough constructed bullet that's light for caliber therefore faster has done well.
Kinda got me started thinking about using Accubonds or Barnes TSX bullets (even though I know premium bullets aren't NEEDED to take deer sized game)
any thoughts?
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:43 PM
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Of the three cartridges you listed I'd say that bullet construction plays a bigger part of DRT performance. All three are proven deer cartridges, now comes the question of what's more important, DRT or an exit wound providing for a blood trail. Obviously DRT is nice but you can't depend on it. From my experience with the 30-06 a heavy for caliber rapid expanding bullet like a 180 gr SST or Ballistic Tip produces more consistent DRT performance than a premium bullet like the Accubond or Partition. My 270 WSM all I have taken game with is the 130 gr Ballistic Tip so all I've experienced is DRT. My 35 Whelen has been the 250 gr Hornady RN. This is my first year with the Whelen on game but of the two deer I've shot with it one ran a total of 15 yds and crumpled, the other made it about 30 yds with a massive blood trail that even a blind man can follow. That being said I've yet to have a bullet produce an exit wound.
I would say that the smaller the bullet diameter the more important it is to transfer as much energy inside the animal so my preference would be for a Ballistic Tip or SST providing that they produce the desired accuracy.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolcraft View Post
have you folks experienced any better or worse "terminal" performance on game. More or less DRT's? Deer running shorter distances with one caliber than another? ect.....
This is a hypothetical situation, same deer, same distance and same shot placement, different calibers, and as close to the same bullet type as possible. Hoping for "DRT" performance.
With this shot (double lung area,) my answer would be: forget about "DRT!"
DRT in this case is unpredictable! If it is "DRT" that you are looking for, you have to go for the shoulders or "iffy-er" shots like the spine or head.
DRT shots on a double lung are just too unexplainable! You might think that a faster and/or heavier bullet would have more "DRT's."
But that is not always the case!
I don't mind a tracking job, especially if there is a good blood trail! So, with a double lung shot, "DRT" is out the window!
Say that you find a caliber that gives you 8 out of 10 DRT's. (Ain't gonna happen with this shot, but lets say it does!) Thats still 2 deer that run off. Possibly with little or no blood trail to follow.
Bottom line is:
1. If its DRT you want, take a different shot, with any caliber from .24 on up, with good hunting bullets.
2. Take the double lung shot, with any good caliber, with faster expanding bullets to get a good blood trail, just in case its not DRT!
Believe it or not, my experience is the .24-.26 cals, do better than the larger cals at producing good blood trails! As some of the larger caliber bullets are constructed heavier, to knock through and expand in much heavier game than in the ribs of a 150 lb. deer!
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:52 PM
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I like the way this thread is heading.

Here's one for ya- I've killed 3 hogs this year.
2 were with an AR shooting .223. one boar hog ~150# shot with 55 grain metal case- DRT. the next ~100# boar 60 gr nosler partition- DRT. both shot broadside w/ no exit on either.

The third was a large boar pushing ~200# shot with a .308 pistol shooting 150 gr federal fushions, standing quartering to- this one ran ~ 60 yards and did all kinds of circling & what not before dying.

As far as DRT goes, I like to shoot behind the shoulder to ruin less meat. I know I'll have to track a short distance- unless I shoot a little high & shock the spine (the spine slouches down , somewhat easy to do).

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different calibers terminal performance on game-deeranatomy.jpg
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My wife aims for the shoulder and they usually fold right there.

I'd like to hear what ammo/ style bullets works best as well.

Last edited by DaveC; 12-31-2009 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:18 PM
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Question Does it matter?

With the question you originally posted, I can't believe that the choice of caliber would mean anything at all. All 3 are ample for whitetail. I've use the '06, but I have a few friends who have 7 mags and 270s. All of them have produced "instant" kills, and all have required a tracking job, even with double lung shots. Placement and bullet choice would mean more than caliber. I have killed deer that did not take a step, one that was on a dead run and leaping impressively over blowdowns that pretty much died in mid air. At other times, friends and I have solidly hit deer with good double lung shots, and the deer have run over 100 yards. If a bullet expands pretty quickly to do enough damage, and exits to leave a good blood trail, what else can it do?
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolcraft View Post
Since all 3 of these calibers are MORE than adequate for whitetails, can ya'll give me some opinions on why I haven't seen almost identical results from all 3 calibers. Shot placement on all deer I've taken has been anywhere from good to excellent.

Help un-confuse me folks....
I can help here. Lets take a look at McDonalds cheeseburgers. Sometimes the pickle hangs off the bun, sometimes it's dead center. Other times it's folded in half.

Pretty pointless, right? Kinda like the question. Can the topic of DRT be skull f-ed any more? There are so many variables, who can predict it. If you want a guarantee, shoot them in the head. Then you can open the other can of worms about ethics.

Heads shots on dangerous game, heart/lungs on the rest. If you can't hack it...learn to track.
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