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many discussions concern premium bullets being superior

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many discussions concern premium bullets being superior

Old 05-21-2019, 08:33 AM
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Default many discussions concern premium bullets being superior

many discussions concern premium bullets being superior,
and theres no doubt the nosler partition, northfork, barnes and other brands
are nice bullets, but the standard copper jacketed lead core versions in a reasonable caliber work just fine
for some reason theres a group of hunters that seem enthralled with super fast smaller caliber rifles,
that almost mandate the use of premium bullet designs to get reasonable penetration,
its like a blinding light that draws mosquitoes, sure you can kill deer and elk with a smaller high velocity rifle
but they are no deader than if you use one thats a 50-100 year old design, or one pushing its bullets to under 2700 fps,
example the 6.5mm Swedish rifle with its original loads,
and 30/06 , 7mm mauser and 35 whelen, 375 H&H, , may not be modern designs but they all work just fine

many guys don,t grasp the concept that the projectile design, jacket thickness and just diameter and mass,
has a very pronounced effect on the results, you'll see.
lots of the guys I hunted with used the premium bullets, they would quote chapter and verse on the need for deep penetration,
but over time I realized the guys demanding the deeper penetration were generally using
rifles providing over about 2800 fps, and less than 30 caliber rifles and less than 150 grain projectiles,
the, the guys using the 308 win, and 30/06 and larger caliber rifles with the 165-200 grain bullets rarely had issues with lack of penetration,
or complained about game running off and longer tracking jobs ??
and no one I ever talked to using a 200-400 grain 338-45 caliber rifle seemed at all concerned.
while it was true the guys with the guys using the 308 win, and 30/06 and larger caliber rifles with the 165-200 grain bullets,
and those 338, 358, 375 and 45 caliber rifles, might not have the flattest trajectory on those ballistic charts,
but over time it dawned on many guys they tended to shoot game at under 250 yards where that more curved trajectory was not a major concern.
you seldom have the need to shoot longer ranges if you hunt where the game actually is most of the time,
and thats seldom standing out in open meadows

notice that either choice works fine, if youll seldom get any shot even close to 250 yards,neither rifle has issues with flat trajectory

heres my flat shooting 340 wby I used for decades

heres my late hunting partners 358 win

Last edited by hardcastonly; 05-21-2019 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:30 AM
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You do not need a 165 grain bullet to stop deer quickly w/ a .308. I have probably killed 80 deer with my .308 mod 88 Win with 150 grn Rem Corelocts. Over half of them went right down and the rest maybe 35 -30 yards leaving a blood trail that Helen Keller could have followed. I do not aim for the shoulder either, I shoot behind it.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:38 AM
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Lots of tools for the particular job being discussed, and I think it’s not always logical to use a sledge hammer to do trim work.

For example, I used rounds the last two seasons which cost less for the whole reload than just the BULLET for a 340wby. Less than half of the powder, and 1/3-1/2 of the bullet cost. Nothing “premium” about the bullets, and no argument from the deer killed. And of course, I was also shooting about 8-12ft.lbs. of Free Recoil Energy, instead of 50.

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Old 05-21-2019, 11:54 AM
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no one need agree with my choices, and everyone's certainly free to select what they feel best matches their needs,
no you don,t need a magnum, a 25/06 or 270 win does a great job,
and obviously I'm posting mostly to get people thinking about what they use,
not expecting them to change a damn thing,
but hoping they think about their options.
the bullet selected does all the damage, and a good deal of thought should go into its selection,
its generally a mistake to select the fastest projectile based mostly on speed in any given caliber, in my opinion,
try to find one in the .240-.290 sectional density range that provides decent velocity, designed for the gamer you have in mind,
then do your best to get well under the max range your comfortable, in where you can consistently and accurately place your shots where you intend too.
precise shot placement and a good knowledge of both the games anatomy and your rifles trajectory are the critical factors
but you can,t ignore basic physics, and theres a very noticeable difference in retained inertia and energy in a heavier and larger mass,
mass, retained inertia and accuracy matter.
select a projectile with a similar ballistic shape
grab your 25/06 and compare it to a 340 wby
use similar ballistic coefficient bullets
around .394 in both pushed to about 3000 fps
theres no way to dispute the greater energy retained and potentially more rigid thicker jacket, higher mass and more retained energy of the larger caliber projectile
obviously the larger caliber rifle has increased recoil but if you can handle either option I see advantages in the larger caliber, especially if you don,t get the ideal shot angles.
you certainly don,t need a magnum on deer, a 25-30 caliber bullet of the correct design,at modest impact velocity's , will do all thats required.
a 257 roberts, 270 win or even a 30/30 used under its intended range limitations works fine.



Last edited by hardcastonly; 06-12-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:00 PM
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Rather disappointing to hear a moderator making a case that a 340weatherby makes more sense for a deer hunter than a 25-06, and claiming these other shooters must be ignorant and “blindly drawn” to other cartridges.

If we keep playing an ante-up game, we’d be hunting squirrels with a 500 nitro Express, and nobody would enjoy hunting for the fact they have to tolerate extreme recoil and spend ridiculous ammo costs for incredibly menial tasks of taking game far smaller than for which so much power is warranted. It’s a very strange position to take, and I think not supported well by the hunting community.

Do we really want new users coming to HNI and reading a recommendation for 340wby mag for deer hunters?
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:23 PM
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IMO far too many people give deer and other critters way too much credit for being bullet proof and hard to kill!
the simple fact is, placing almost any center fire caliber bullet fired from same center fire rifle in the vitals and you have a DEAD "X" animal.

The area where I think MOST folks like to add in "WHAT EVER" is the fact in the field many things can happen,(not to mention, most folks do NOT shoot as well as they THINK they do) and that then tends to make many folks THINK larger calibers give more wiggle room, to make a some what poor shot, still end up being a killing shot.
and to be honest I will agree with this line of logic, for MOST hunters.
Lets face it, only a SMALL percentage of hunters, are GREAT marksmen, and spend real time behind there weapons, shooting often and in many field like conditions. and this is doe to the fact MOST people don't have the time, the money, a safe place top do, so, and many NO desire to do so period!
we are now even worse IMO< since urban development has taken over so many places, where folks USED to live more rural and shot more often, grew up shooting from younger ages, and well, lets face it, we also now live ina world where , media sells more things than anyone actually USING something.
Marketing sells things, folks read "X" stat's and then BUY based on what they read, thinking there purchase will lead them to all the hype a marketing agency can print about "X" product.

SO< again, I can see why many folks recommend larger calibers over smaller one's, to a POINT!
I would challenge anyone to go to a public range and spend a few days watching the AVERAGE person shoot there guns at targets, and then come back and tell me HOW accurate most are?
you would be surprised at how some are super accurate and well, MOST are NOT!
and by average shooters I mean folks buying loaded ammo, shooting basic put together hunting rifles,
NOT the guys hand tuning handloads and with with custom rifles!

I have done a LOT of range work, and it can be a scary day at the range LOL
so, having some wiggle room maybe on shot placement, might NOT be such a bad thing for many hunters based on my experience , over having smaller caliber that needs a more accurate shooter behind the rifle!
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:05 PM
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I say it often here - the average hunter can’t shoot worth a [email protected] That’s fair.

But a gutshot with a 458 Lott is still a gutshot. Missing is missing.

I’ve instructed hundreds of new shooters, and I’ll share something which shouldn’t be surprising - magnum rifles cause flinches in poorly practiced shooters. Well practiced shooters hit their targets as the fruit of the labor invested, as big bore shooters learn to manage recoil and mitigate flinch. Average hunters are not well practiced. Missing is missing, and flinching because you followed advice to haul too much rifle for your skill set will cause misses just as readily as anything.

It’s well documented in countless articles by experienced shooters, and corroborated by thousands of instructors the world over - even the moderate 30-06 can be a challenge for new shooters to tolerate, let alone master. Now consider the influence of DOUBLING that recoil (165grn 30-06 vs. a 250grn 340wby)! I’m as recoil hungry as most guys come, and have decades experience shooting safari magnum rifles, but I won’t lie about the difference in the difference in mental preparation I do to shoot a 458 Lott compared to the more casual nature shooting a .30-06, let alone a 243win.

The point can be made, easily, such premium bullets offer no advantage to the average deer hunter, but I feel supporting that argument by suggesting a 340wby makes more sense than a 25-06 due to increased impact energy just doesn’t fit the argument. Not every battle warrants a nuclear option.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:41 PM
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yes all valid points, I fully agree most people don,t practice nearly enough or have near the skills required,
IM certainly NOT suggesting a 340 wby is any thing close to ideal for use on deer size game,
Ive previously suggested a 25/06 and 270 win are much more well matched,

the point I'm trying to make (obviously badly, so far) is that you don,t need a rifle with a really flat trajectory ,
and adding a bit more projectile mass goes a considerable way toward improving penetration.
my late hunting partner used a BLR chambered in 358 win with a 250 speer bullet
that load was 44 grains of imr 4064 and a 215 fed primer and clocked 2350 fps ,
he never had the least problem with deer or elk.
several of the guys I hunt with have tried magnums of various types
the 35 whelen and 308 are now the most commonly seen calibers being used.,
most guys I reload for use a 180 grain in the 308, and a 200 grain in the 35 whelen, or put a bit differently,
dropping a bit in velocity and adding a bit of projectile mass tends to go a long way toward promoting penetration

Last edited by hardcastonly; 06-12-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:05 PM
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just to be clear I wasn't saying , a larger caliber can make a BAD shoot good, I was just saying, some times a larger caliber can lead to a recovered animal from some added damage they can do, shoudl something go wrong and YET still be close to a vital!
where as a very small caliber, that is off or hits a larger bone, might be a lost animal!

I have seen deer shot with all sorts of calibers from .22's up to a 50 BMG and RUN over a 200 yards, some still might be running, and also seen some drop in there tracks too, ., shot placement will always be the factor in killing.
but there is some IMO< added benefit to a slightly larger caliber, than a slightly;y smaller one, as long as one can shoot it well!
I too have trained and instructed and done a lot of range work over the yrs, and I have seen a lot of shooters to know, how many shoot WELL or NOT!, caliber, some times was maybe the issue, but shooting basic's was also a huge missing piece to the bad shouters, not over sized calibers that scared them or made them flinch!
yes it happens for sure, no doubt.

Poor trigger control is a huge factor in ore bad shooters than anything, next will be form, lack of actually knowing HOW to hold a rifle, and don't laugh, many don't know how to properly do so! or have a rifle that FITS them well period.
that was always something I never got, in rifles, how, so many will LIVE with what ever stock is on a rifle, but yet so many shotgun shooters will spend more time getting a gun that fits them! To see the benefits of a well fitting gun can have for them!
Guess its due to shotgunner's are more likely to shoot way more rounds off, and thus, want a more comfortable gun, on the sporting clays/trap/skeet ranges!

best advice is use a decent killing caliber and learn how to shoot it well, know your limits and stick to them!
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:50 PM
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My philosophy has always been to use a caliber/bullet combination that gives me more than enough room for error even if conditions aren't ideal. My personal needs are (for rifles and Encore pistols) a cartridge with enough power to reliably kill a deer out to 300 yards, and a bullet that will hold together and penetrate through to the vitals even with a quartering away, quartering forward, or head-on shot.

Back when I hunted with rifles, my 270 Winchester with 130 grain Remington Core-Lokts was a long range (relatively speaking) deer slayer. Probably the pinnacle of its deer killing ability was a steeply quartering away shot on a 9-point buck at 260 yards. I hit him almost in the hip, but the bullet punched through and exited just behind the opposite shoulder. The buck only made it about 30 yards. I'd since swapped to Nosler Ballistic Tips, and they also performed reasonably well. Killed one buck with a frontal chest shot that broke the sternum and still made it into the stomach.

When I started hunting with my Encore pistol, my preferred setup was my 300 Win Mag barrel. Despite the velocity loss due to the short barrel, it's still roughly equivalent to 30-06 velocities. My first handgun buck, a 4.5 year old giant, fell to a broadside shot with a 155 grain A-Max. The A-Max is a match bullet, about as far from a premium hunting bullet as you can get. Despite not even hitting a rib, the bullet fragmented, nearly separated from its jacket, and didn't even make it through the ribcage on the opposite side. Had the shot been less than ideal, that hunt might not have turned out as well. As a result, I now use 150 grain Barnes TTSX bullets instead. While they don't kill as fast barring a spinal shot, they'll penetrate through to the vitals even on less ideal shots. This is especially important considering my 300 is my fall-back handgun for when my other hunting handguns just won't cut it.
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