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  #1  
Old 03-22-2005, 03:47 AM
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Question What causes a large bullet exit hole?


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What causes a large bullet exit hole? I always thought that it was caused when a bone was struck as the bullet exits a deer. I have only taken 15 deer and have not seen that many large exit holes but I am curious as to what everybody’s thoughts are on what causes it.
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:42 AM
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Lighter bullet construction at high speeds. Some things that are not thought about is the fact that bullet speed and hydrolic shock of hitting an animal are not the only things working on a bullet.

If a bullet is going 2800 fps it may be spinning at 200,000 rpm. That rotational speed works on helping the bullet expand and creating shock out of preportion to the bullet diameter. It's another factor in why small high speed bullets kill out of preportion to their size.

Years ago when bullet construction was in its infency for jacketed bullets you would often find bits of jacket a long way from the bullet path and large exit wounds. This was caused by the bullet opening up while spinning at high speed. Some bullets would, like the 270 for instance, would blow large holes coming out the other side of an animal.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2005, 08:13 AM
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I large bullet has the tendency to create a large exit hole.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:37 PM
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A large bullet exiting.

Next...

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  #5  
Old 03-22-2005, 12:58 PM
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PistolDave:

Predicting exit wounds with modern, high-speed expanding bullets, is difficult; there are so many tradeoffs. If a fully expanded bullet exits quickly, it should leave a large exit wound, but when a bullet expands, the larger frontal area limits penetration. If a bullet doesn’t expand, penetration is good, but exit wounds are reduced.

Bear Tooth Bullets, on the other hand, are mostly of the LBT design, and mostly for revolvers, or rifles using straight-wall cartridges. The LBT design creates bullets that are heavy-for-caliber, and have large, flat points, or meplats. The hard, lead bullets don’t expand at all, which maximizes penetration. The large, flat point cuts a large wound channel, which also results in a large exit wound, as the bullets usually exit. See the Ballisticians Corner on this site for the Permanent Wound Channel calculator. It appears the old-fashioned, slow, lead bullet is more reliable and predictable than the modern, high-speed rifle bullets.

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  #6  
Old 03-22-2005, 01:41 PM
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Get some impossible sized exits...like 3" across...you know the bullet isn't 3" in diameter as it exits.

Bullets transfer motion to the mateial it strikes...with a sharp point or a round nose, that motion is imparted at an angle to the bullet's path. With a flat point or an expanding bullet, once the bullet has opened up, the motion imparted it along the bullet's path...it's pushing a big bow wave ahead of it. If the bullet fragments colse to the surface at exit, then the bits and pieces (if large enough) act like little bullets...each pushing a bow wave ahead of it...short lived, those little bits slow down fast, but if still moving at a good clip at exit, can rip a really large hole (OK...rip lots of small ones that over lap, but it's the same effect).

Even without fragmentaion, if that "bow wave" for a single flat faced or irregular faced (as in expanding bullets) bullet is still being moved along at a good speed when the bullet exits, it tends to tear and rip an exit wound much larger than the bullet itself.

Is how you can have the frong 1/2 a possum with a little .224" hole it it, and have the back half in rags.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 03-22-2005 at 01:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2005, 01:46 PM
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A .458 Speer 400 grain soft point leaves a LOT bigger hole exiting a hog, than the original diameter of the bullet ....
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:04 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback.

Tio, thanks for pointing me to the Ballistician's Corner, Calculators.

Again Thanks!!
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2005, 11:04 AM
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Big, heavy bullets at moderate velocities. Oh, say .375 and up. Or little, ultra-fast bullets on little bitty critters.
Poof... spatter...

Take yer pick I guess.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2005, 07:31 PM
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20mm rounds usually leave a mark... not as well as the 5'' deck gun though, then came the Iowa class battleship firing 16'', 2000LBS. of armor peircing, point detonation, high explosive with a blast radius, not a hole diameter. Careful though the new warden aint too keen on them though.
- ex sailor

Last edited by coyote_243; 03-23-2005 at 07:39 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2005, 03:57 AM
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I have seen 3" to 4" exit holes cause by a 308 Win and was courious as to what might cause them, other than hitting bone.

Thanks for the humor guys.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2005, 05:27 AM
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Picture the wound channel as a 'football'. When the bullet enters it is traveling at 'full' speed and starting to expand and slow. At the point where the dia is the greatest is where it is causing the most damage. After that it begins to slow (loseing velocity and some times mass) and the channel narrows. The length and dia of this 'channel' vary greatly due to MANY variables but if the exit is after the wound narrows, or has compleated most of the 'wounding' it will be a small exit hole. The size of the exit hole doesn't alway reflect the true bullet performance. If the bullet exits while still causing the major wound the hole will be larger (the 'splash' effect of very fast, light, 'exploding' bullets compleat this process in a very short but violent time). It takes alot to exit the far side of a big game animal. The hide is tough and it pulls away from the underlying tissue and acts like a tramoline unless there is enough force to streach it to the breaking point. (that is why many bullets are recovered 'just under the skin on the far side. Also many animals have thick hide and hair and when it 'returnes' form this streach it will appear smaller than the actual exit was) I hope this helps you visulize the process.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:33 AM
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a 40mm DU cone stabilized dart actually doesn't leave too big a hole...but its ticking along at a pretty good rate....


Darrell
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2005, 03:27 PM
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It's all about speed baby. And bullet construction. My .308 now shooting Hornady SST's at 2800 fps are making holes like my .300 Weatherby!
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2005, 03:33 PM
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exit hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolDave
What causes a large bullet exit hole? I always thought that it was caused when a bone was struck as the bullet exits a deer. I have only taken 15 deer and have not seen that many large exit holes but I am curious as to what everybody’s thoughts are on what causes it. :confused:
I beleive that a large exit hole is caused by your bullet expanding Also the rotation of the bullet tearing the meat as it exits.I would also like to hear other imput
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  #16  
Old 03-25-2005, 04:36 PM
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I realize you guys are talking about rifle bullets. I once made up some .38 special Hornady 158 grain powder coated lead bullets. They had gaschecks swaged on the front end, and mounted in the cartridge case backward so that the hollow base became a hollow point facing forward.

These rounds were loaded to propell said bullet a little over 900 fps velocity.

It was a rainny day when test began, fired through 3 wet 2X4's nailed together...bullet went in as .357 diameter and came out over 3.5 inch diameter other side...then went through a loaded 50 gallon drum full of trash debris.

I keep these awsome cartridges for around the house and yard use. Heck of a load.

Amature reloaders don't try this at home, it takes special techniques and equipment to make them up.


gunguy

Last edited by gunguy; 03-25-2005 at 04:39 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2005, 05:27 PM
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Take one of those 148gr. bulles..put it on a dead falt sheet of hard material...beat it nwith a hammer until it measures 3 1/2" across. Step back and take a hard look at that 3.5" sheet of lead...is it reaspnable to assume the bullet ever took that flat-pancake shape at exit? Don 't doubt it made that size exit hole in test material...but was it pure physical contact with the expanded bullet that did it?

Last edited by ribbonstone; 03-27-2005 at 01:12 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2005, 09:20 AM
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Sorry, Pistol. Forgot you were talking about handgun bullets. I believe here that big exits are caused 100% by bullet design, since there isn't enough velocity to make it happen. And where you place the shot. Shoot into the shoulder or front shot into the chest, the bullet ain't gonna exit ever. Indeed, I'm not sure that we can reliably produce exit wounds of any kind in a pistol can we? Much less large ones. . .I picked Hornady XTP's as my bullet choice for the best that I can get. As I think about this, tho', exit wounds and bullet perfomance in a pistol are directly opposed to one another. The best exiter's, if you will, are going to be from non-expanding bullets that can penetrate. The best performer's, tho', are going to be big expansion no-matter-what bullets, that probably won't exit. Quite a conundrum. And personal, since I lost a frontal shot deer from 25 yards where the bullets didn't exit (Nosler JHP's at the time, tho' I don't think it would have made a difference. . .). Maybe it's why I carry the .308 with detachable scope more often now, so that I don't have to use the pistol. I'm interested in hearing solutions to this.
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2005, 11:28 AM
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JR1

Been shooting them pistol bullets for a long time. 19 black bear, piles of deer. Found right off that jacketed pistol bullets in .41 and .44 don't work near as well as hard cast. Never had a deer shot under 75 yards run more than a hundred with a cast Kieth style shot from 1350 to 1500 fps.

It's my understanding that somo of the bullet mfg's are starting to make up jacketed bullets that will perform well now, but I'm not going to mess with success.

You might want to try some cast, they may solve your problem.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:55 PM
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Agreed, never have found a cast bullet, even on end-to-end shots on pigs. They work exactly the same, every time.....
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