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worst shot I've ever taken.

Old 05-13-2013, 07:47 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default worst shot I've ever taken.

So here's my 2012 story:
There I was, sitting in my stand, enjoying the weather, and a Nice doe came walking up the path (with a group of a few other less-desirable-for-harvesting deer). I had a perfect broadside shot down a shooting lane, put the crosshairs behind the R should, fired, and the deer dropped in it's tracks. So I Waited a little, and went to gut it and was thinking about fresh fried tenderloins…
To my shock and horror, I'd discovered I'd hit the deer under the ear…
A little more info: I was aiming with a scoped .270 (that I've shot for years, never having anything resembling accuracy problems…) and this deer was at most ~40 yds from me, slight uphill, shooting through very light brush (the shot was on a cut shooting lane and generally speaking, this I'd call an unobstructed shot). The rife when shot was suppoted on the stable wall of my deer stand.
Let me repeat--I aimed for the heart (with a shot a child could make) and hit the head.

Now, I admit I'm not the world's finest marksman, but I try to make up for it by being very selective with my shots… (been hunting since I was 13 and only one time have I failed to find a deer I shot…) I pride myself on taking one shot for one kill (and it's why I often hunt with a muzzleloader…)

(Background: I like shooting my muzzleloader and do a lot of plinking with it just for fun, but the .270 I've been so confident in, I rarely do any target shooting with it--last time I'd fired it was 1 time ~1 year previously when I'd harvested my 2011 deer and prior to that 1 time ~1 year before that, harvesting my 2010 deer… I haven't done any target shooting with this rifle in ~5 years, but really, didn't see a need to--it hadn't required a second shot since ~2008 when a buck I'd shot and was downed required a final killing shot…)
The only solace I have from this is that I again maintained my "one shot, one kill" belief, and the deer was harvested humanely, but, it certainly wasn't how I intended it…

Anyways, After this (and somewhat horrified by this) I took the gun out for some practice shots, figuring the scope must be off… I was hoping it'd be a foot or so high/right and I could blame it being bumped or what not… Unforunately, It wasn't far off--While I tweaked it a little--only to account for ~1 inch of accuracy issues, it was nothing to explain missing my intended target by, what, nearly >1 foot!

So, I'm puzzled. I'm trying to figure if I can realistically "blame" this on anything other than an unexplainable operator error… ("buck-fever" seems ridiculous--it was a "eatin'" doe nothing I haven't seen/shot many times before…) I realistically can't blame hitting a branch because I don't believe any twig can alter the accuracy of a .270 rifle at 40 yds by that dramatic an amount…

However, I'm wondering
1.) I've been shooting from a box of cartridges that are ~15-20 (possibly more) years old. Do older cartridges go bad or can accuracy be dramatically altered by time? (visibly, the cartridges look fine…)
(in retrospect, I've had 2 deer shot in the past 5 years that had entry wounds where I expected but somewhat odd exit wounds--not where I'd expect if a straight path was taken through the deer)
2.) Is there a such thing as a single defective cartridge I can blame this on?
3.) Anything else you all can think of that could account for this???
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:05 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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1. I shoot a lot of surplus 7.62 x 54r out of my Mosin M44... I don't notice too much of a difference between those and the 7.62 x 54r shells that I buy brand new (other than being a lot dirtier). Those surplus rounds are at least 30 years old, and very probably older than that.

2. Whenever there is a machine or human process of mass production, there absolutely is the chance for defectives. Not sure if this is the case (and you'll probably never know), but it is a possibility.

3. If anything, from reading your post, perhaps it struck a twig or other object that caused it to deviate slightly. That 'very light brush' you mentioned could have easily put the bullet off course by a foot or more if your bullet struck it... no matter how minute it seems when attempting to shoot through it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:39 AM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
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1) No
2) Yes you can have a single defective cartridge but... if there was a short powder charge the bullet would have struck low not higher as in your case.
3) IMHO the bullet deflected up from hitting brush, have seen it myself.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:46 AM
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The unseen twig strikes again. Happens all the time and nothing to be horrified over.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:46 PM
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you hit some brush, thankfully the deer was killed quickly.
-jake
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:43 PM
  #6  
Spike
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So I'm hearing lots of blaming twigs... I can live with that. Thanks for the comments.

"Watch your top-knot..."
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:38 PM
  #7  
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It doesn't take much to deflect a rifle bullet, but at 40 yards I'm surprised it was that much. I use a .270 and a few years ago I started using neck/head shots mainly. Out of the last 18 deer I shot I have had two shoulder shots (distance), two head shots and 14 neck shots. No meat loss and no tracking.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:14 AM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
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40 yards would be my max range.I shoot 3in.00.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:49 AM
  #9  
Fork Horn
 
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I shoot a 270 as well and I have had one time when the cone of a bullet was deformed. It was either from me dropping the box or it came out of the mag wrong one time and deformed on the feed ramp. Either way I noticed it as I put it in my gun and being in a hurry ejected the round and stuck it right back in the box, dumb move I know. I shot at a doe later that season at 60 yards and missed about 3ft low. As I was walking back to my truck I remembered that round and checked the box of ammo and low and behold it was gone.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:08 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by timbercruiser
Out of the last 18 deer I shot I have had two shoulder shots (distance), two head shots and 14 neck shots. No meat loss and no tracking.
No meat loss on the shoulder or neck shots?

Really?
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