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Discussion Starter #1
In the last several weeks I have been doing some reloading of Barnes/Nosler expanding bullets and a few hard bullets that don't expand. Shooting the expanding bullets into gallon water jugs has producted some exciting results. The non expanding bullets I have been shooting are Berry 250 gr. flat nose .451s. The Barnes/Nosler have been in .358 .. By far the Barnes 180 TTSX out penetrated the factory Nosler 225 partition. They both had a great explosive effect on the first 2-3 jugs (ripped) them apart. The Barnes 200 gr. HP in the .451 for my 45 WinMag did great damage to the first 2-3 jugs and penetrated very well.

Here is my issue: The .451 Berry 250 gr. (let's call it a solid) just barely knocked the first jug off the table and the following 10 jugs just sat there with roughly a 45 cal. hole thru them. No doubt the greatest penetrator of all. This would produce a long bone crushing wound channel but not the extreme explosion when impacting the large dangerous game. Should this be considered when a hunter is facing the challenge of his first broadside shot of a 1200 pound brown killer bear? You shoot him inches behind the shoulder bone which slips all the way thru him without hitting a bone... Maybe he acts unhit. If your shot with your big gun/bullet hits his shoulder he is down very soon. Or if he is quartering toward you and your first shot breaks his front right shoulder and keeps passing all the way thru and breaks his rear left hip. I here tooo many stories about some game that peels out early and some that keep running. Maybe your first shot should be a partition type bullet that whumps him good and a solid type bone crusher to break him down.
My jug test proves there is a difference in the way a 45/70 and a 35 Whelen hits an animal.
Did all see my videos earlier?

Any ideas. Any experiences.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I see this as a few questions, and depends on HOW you hunt.
As to the question of "non-expanding" on a killer bear. If you are far enough out, that he doesn't know where you are. I don't think it matters one way, or the other. Personally it has been my experience that game only runs with a fury, when you are close and they know you are around; regardless of bullet placement. IF you are hunting said bear, AND he is in front of you; I would break bone ever time. IF you are 1-200 yards out, I'd aim for vitals.

As to bullet type. I personally don't like the idea of solids/non-expanders on any game. The bigger they are, the longer they can stay on their feet.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Experience with different bullet types? Oh my yes.

Experience has shown, not only for myself, but many, many, many, many other hunters.... that there is no such thing as knock-down. Get the right bullet for the job and put it where it belongs. THAT has been proven to work, every time ;)

There is nothing wrong with solids IF the right nose profile is used. A nice wide flat on the nose does the job. Every time. Fast, slow, rifles, handguns, shotguns.... if you don't have a flat on the nose, the solid will be much less effective.

Expanding bullets are a broad topic and there are a huge number of variables.

But no matter what bullet you use, there is no such thing as knockdown. That is a fact.
 

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Wow there are so many variables in this situation to count. Darkker and Mike G. have the skinny on it but don't put all your faith in the jugs of water. Nice test and really looks impressive, but again just a nice test. Thanks for the info and I didn't get to see the video, wish I could have gotten it, but again don't trust one test. Lou
 

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All you have demonstated is that on water jugs expanding bullets give superior performance -- and furthermore, you defined superior performance as explosive expansion. Sir, I assure you, there are many, many times when superior penetration is the ticket you are after with your .45. Add a flat-nosed, sharp-shouldered bullet shape in to the mix, and you have got something deadly on anything from mouse to grizz.
 

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Experience with different bullet types? Oh my yes.

Experience has shown, not only for myself, but many, many, many, many other hunters.... that there is no such thing as knock-down. Get the right bullet for the job and put it where it belongs. THAT has been proven to work, every time ;)

There is nothing wrong with solids IF the right nose profile is used. A nice wide flat on the nose does the job. Every time. Fast, slow, rifles, handguns, shotguns.... if you don't have a flat on the nose, the solid will be much less effective.

Expanding bullets are a broad topic and there are a huge number of variables.

But no matter what bullet you use, there is no such thing as knockdown. That is a fact.
Agreed with one qualification. I might consider disruption of the nervous system (even with a tiny otherwise ineffective bullet) or of the supporting structure (more than just one leg, shoulder, or hip), both of which will cause an animal to drop immediately, to qualify as "knockdown", even though with the latter the animal may not be DRT. Neither of these will be dependent upon whether the bullet is expanding or solid and the animal is not "knocked down" by the energy, momentum, etc. of the bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Experience with different bullet types? Oh my yes.

Experience has shown, not only for myself, but many, many, many, many other hunters.... that there is no such thing as knock-down. Get the right bullet for the job and put it where it belongs. THAT has been proven to work, every time ;)

There is nothing wrong with solids IF the right nose profile is used. A nice wide flat on the nose does the job. Every time. Fast, slow, rifles, handguns, shotguns.... if you don't have a flat on the nose, the solid will be much less effective.

Expanding bullets are a broad topic and there are a huge number of variables.

But no matter what bullet you use, there is no such thing as knockdown. That is a fact.
Mike, I don't think I used the term "knock-down" ... I did use the term "knocked" the first couple of jugs. I will post my videos in links after this paragraph. There was one mention about damage to the nervous system and I think that is what you get much more with an explosive bullet.

Watch the videos:

http://www.gorowan.com/Glock/videos/Montana_Gold.mov

http://www.GoRowan.com/Glock/videos/250_solid.mov
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well, smackdown, then. Correction accepted!

But the same commentary applies - you don't "smack down" animals. You shoot holes in them and they die from that. They might fall down right away, but it's difficult to predict and impossible to guarantee every time. So, just don't read too much into what happens with water jugs. That's all I meant.
 

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dantana,

You need to check out the information provided by some of the mold makers such as the info available here on the beartooth forum and the beartooth home page, as well as the writting of Veral Smith of LBT.

On your "non-expanding" boolit, speaking here of cast boolits, make very sure your boolit has the WFN (wide flat nose) profile and you will have plenty of shock and a lot of deep penetration.

I am using a 465gr WFN boolit at 1600 - 1700 fps, and it is simply AWESOME in it's game taking ability.

I took a very large and barren cow elk this past year, and that critter simply was not going anywhere.

I haven't done my water jug tests yet, but expect that boolit to go through a lot of water before it stops.

Explosive expansion ---------- Well after what I have seen not only don't I want it, but I sure to goodness don't want any bigger wound channel then that WFN boolit is giving.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Dantana,

A bullet to the CNS has the same effect, whether it's fast and small or slow and large. The end result is the "spectacular" kill shots for which you seem to have an affinity. If you hunt long enough, and kill enough big game, you will be less and less likely to put much stock in these kinds of shots and focus more on putting bullets into the heart/lung region.

Big game animals have a tenacity for life that sometimes defies logic. Sometimes you make a marginal shot and they drop like you yanked the rug out from under 'em, but even more common than that is when you make a PERFECT shot and they go 250 yards. Aside from the very risky head and neck shots, or the dumb luck of a hit to the spine, big game do not consistently drop from the shot. If they do, they are quite often NOT "DRT" (man, I hate that term!) but in fact, they are just stunned or paralyzed and may live just as long after that kind of shot as they do from a heart/lung shot. They just aren't moving during those few short seconds before they expire. A universal truth is that an unalarmed animal is the one most likely to drop from the shot, even if it doesn't disrupt the CNS.

The two most common schools of thought on shot placement for big game basically boils down to shooting them IN the shoulder, or BEHIND the shoulder. Guys who choose the shoulder shot, or high on the shoulder, do so because they prefer the idea that such a shot will "anchor" the animal. Insofar as the shoulder shot usually sends enough shock through the skeletal system to disrupt the CNS, this usually DOES result in an animal dropping immediately. They frequently die from the same lack of blood-flow to the brain.

That's because both types of shots ultimately cause massive trauma to the cardiopulmonary system, dropping blood pressure and depriving the brain of oxygen. This leads to a very quick and predictable result and is more or less exactly the same from either shot. There are two main differences in these shots, but neither will necessarily result in a faster, or more humane kill.

So, do you want a deer that will probably fall right where it was when you shot, but have one or both shoulders largely ruined by bloodshot meat, or do you want to follow an ample blood trail a fairly short distance and have virtually no meat lost from being bloodshot? Get the silly notion of "hammer of Thor" kills out of your head...that's for n00bs and over-compensation efforts. Focus on the simple reality that both shots kill basically the same way, then decide if you're willing to sacrifice a sizable portion of edible meat in exchange for not having to do any tracking.

If it sounds like I lean pretty strongly toward shooting BEHIND the leg, that's because I do. I like wild game meat and I can follow the "red blotchy road" to where the animal I shot expired. Heck, the hunting circles I grew up in, guys would bust yer chops if you shot one in the shoulder! "Well, it looks like your freezer won't be full this year", or "I'd hate to be the guy processing THAT shoulder...be lucky to get a couple pounds of grind out of it" were common jokes thrown at anybody who shot a deer in the shoulder.

"Bang-flop", "DRT", "Hammer of Thor"...whatever. :rolleyes: I hunt because I LOVE to hunt, but I have a deep respect for the animals I harvest and do everything I can to honor them. I value the meat from the animals I kill very highly and will NOT sacrifice pounds of it just to save myself from having to follow a blood trail and maybe face a longer drag back to the truck. I mean, let's be real, here...who's really making the bigger sacrifice?! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
JM, I appreciate your comments and all who have posted. Here in North Carolina very often where we hunt there is another hunter behind the next tree. It usually is very important that you put your victim down pretty quick. Other cases you have thickets so bad that it takes a track dog to find your bear or deer. In fifty years of hunting I have only lost one deer and my son stumbled onto it lying dead with just a little blood. I shot it with a 35 remington 200 grain CL at 25 yards facing me. The buck ran off for about 300 yards. While cleaning it the bullet entered his white throat patch, traveled the rib cage and ended up in his rear hind quarter. I shot one large buck at 40 yards standing broadside with a Winchester silver tip pass through just behind the shoulder. You could barely stick your small finger in entrance/exit holes. Deer was dead when he hit the ground.

Now that I am retired I am planning trips to bear and elk hunt and want to use the guns I have and want to use the best proven bullets I can.

You all have been a great help.:)
 

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The state lands I hunted required a shoulder shot. Punch one through the lungs and the most you will get will be a nice photo at the end of the blood trail of someone gutting your deer. It gets old quick. 3/4 of a deer is better than no deer. Funny how it isn't funny anymore when one of the cognoscenti lose one to a thief who can't shoot his own deer.
All I can say is, maybe I was fortunate to hunt in places with men of higher character. I have twice shot deer that were found by other hunters before I found them. One of them had actually shot at the deer and tried to make a claim on it. Once he saw that the first shot had been from my gun, he did the honorable thing and politely conceded it was mine. The other deer was a very nice 3X3 blacktail that ran right into another hunter's camp, dying not 100 yards from their tent. They were field dressing it when I found it and did not suggest for even a moment that they would try to keep it; they just weren't going to let it go to waste if nobody tracked it down. In fact, they gave me a ride back to my camp in their truck, with a fully gutted deer.

I have heard all of the arguments for shoulder shots, from swampy ground to others stealing their deer. I respect the animals I hunt enough that I'd rather have someone steal a whole deer and use all the meat, than shoot one through the shoulder and lose 25% of the meat every time. That's just my opinion and I'll stick to it.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I try to anchor hogs when hunting in thick areas. They just don't leave a good blood trail like a deer. A mid to high shoulder shot helps and you don't loose much meat on a pig that way. Yes, you can do that on a deer, if you have to.

Honestly, if it was a hunter every 50 to 75 yards (or anything less than one every quarter mile) there's NO WAY I'd be out in the woods. Period! That's just nuts and begging to get shot. Sorry if that's what you have to put up with and lack of any sort of ethics is sadder yet. You might want to look into a lease or at least go where the landowners keep the number of hunters down to a reasonable level.

Good luck.
 

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dantana,

Well I agree with JM a lot, so be that as it may.

Maybe if I knew just what rifle/caliber you were intending to hunt with, I could be a bit more honed in with my answer/thoughts, however -------------------

Considering you are listing elk and bear as possible critters on want to list I think the following applies.

First, pick a worthy caliber, and there are lots of them, suitable for the critter your hunting. The 243 is a great caliber, for example, but simply put it is not a bear or elk cartridge.

Make sure you can handle the rifle well, which means practice.

Then what about the bullets/boolits? Well I come down very hard on bullet integrity.

The Nosler Partition has been the "standard" benchmark for many years. The bullet by which others were compaired.

While we are now blessed with a large number of very good bullets, equal or close to equal the integrity of the Partition, that is the level of quality it is wise to seek.

Do they cost more? Yep, but nothing like the cost of the rest of your hunt. Have ya priced gas lately?

If on the other hand you are using a rifle with cast boolits, well again pick a worthy caliber.

For elk or bear it would be hard to do better then the brought out in 1873, 45/70.

AS for cast boolits, forget hollow points, or two part cast boolit with a soft nose. You just don't need them.

Rather again go with integrity, a boolit cast of a good alloy, and with the 45/70 something over 400gr. Make sure it has the design/profile which includes the wide flat nose (WFN).

I read a lot before I took the plunge to hunting with cast boolits, and noted the many comments about eating right up to the bullet hole on a critter shot with a cast boolit.

But in truth while that may be true, I simply did not expect the boolit hole to be quite so big.

For a non expanding booit, that WFN makes for an awesome wound channel.

From everything I read by those who have been there and done that, and from my limited personal experience, a heavy WFN cast boolit will get the job done and that with no or very little expansion but lots and lots of penatration.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OL-Coot

350 Rem Mag 4-12 power large field deer/bear gun
35 Whelen 1.5- 6 power on my belly bear gun
35 Remington 1.5- 6 power close in deer/bear gun
 

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dantana,

Thanks for the list. The following is my opinion and yes everybody has one.

But even though some folk buy into and use the smaller caliber cartridges with cast boolits, I think you have fantastic cartrides for use with good "J" (jacketed) bullets.

Because I rely on the very large meplat (WFN) of the larger dia. cast boolits, 45/70 for example, to give the very impressive shock they impart to critters, I'd shy away from cast boolits in the .35 caliber for elk and bear.

AS said, my opinion.

I'm guessing that a heavy for caliber cast boolit in a .35 will give lots of penatration, but it is the lesser amount of shock because of the smaller meplat that concerns me.

The three cartridges you list will give very impressive results and with "J" bullets of integrity such as I spoke of earlier, simply will not let you down providing the shots are properly placed.

I know many folk buy into the cup an core designs in "J" bullets, but give me a break here. are they going to nit pick between 25 cent and 60 cent bullets then spend $4.00 per gallon for gas to get to the hunt?

Seems like penny wise and pound foolish to me. Quality/premimum bullets just simply will not let you down in a pinch, and lets face it, in the "pinch" those "when push comes to shove times," the 50 cent difference between the quality bullet and the also ran will be measured in sucess.

Yep, that's the Ol'Coot's opinion and he's stick'in to it! :D :) :D

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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I try to anchor hogs when hunting in thick areas. They just don't leave a good blood trail like a deer. A mid to high shoulder shot helps and you don't loose much meat on a pig that way. Yes, you can do that on a deer, if you have to.

Honestly, if it was a hunter every 50 to 75 yards (or anything less than one every quarter mile) there's NO WAY I'd be out in the woods. Period! That's just nuts and begging to get shot. Sorry if that's what you have to put up with and lack of any sort of ethics is sadder yet. You might want to look into a lease or at least go where the landowners keep the number of hunters down to a reasonable level.

Good luck.
Deer I usually shoot behind the shoulder. Hogs are a whole different story. The majority of my hunting has been hogs down in Florida. I shoot hogs a lot in the shoulder head and neck. Not because they are dangerous or because I am afraid of being charged. I’ve cut more than my fair share apart and I can tell you there anatomy is different from deer. For the most part If a hog is standing still all legs straight down to the ground there heat and lungs are pretty much buried underneath there shoulders. So unless I have a quartering away shot or if I get a picture perfect shot where the hog has stepped forward with its leg towards me exposing its vitals I'm taking out a shoulder. Many deer hunters will miss the vitals of a hog and hit it in the guts, thinking they nailed it because if it was a deer they would have. Many people will argue this with me tooth and nail. I just politely tell them next time they kill a hog shoot it in the head or neck dissect it and look where everything is. Most people are surprised. I have brought a few deer hunters our pig hunting and intentionally made close up head shots to dismantle the pigs to show them where the heart and lungs are.
 

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Experience with different bullet types? Oh my yes.

Experience has shown, not only for myself, but many, many, many, many other hunters.... that there is no such thing as knock-down. Get the right bullet for the job and put it where it belongs. THAT has been proven to work, every time ;)

There is nothing wrong with solids IF the right nose profile is used. A nice wide flat on the nose does the job. Every time. Fast, slow, rifles, handguns, shotguns.... if you don't have a flat on the nose, the solid will be much less effective.

Expanding bullets are a broad topic and there are a huge number of variables.

But no matter what bullet you use, there is no such thing as knockdown. That is a fact.


This post is an accurate summation and is spot on
 
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