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On big game, is there any noticeable difference between a 7mm and a 338 or something like that.

Assuming you double lung them with a reliable bullet like the Swift A Frame or Barnes TSX.
 

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Assuming you double lung your game and you have a pass thru relatively speaking no difference. It will all come down to the bullet construction and the wound channel and shock delivered. Of course as the size of your game and possible less than pleasant dispostion changes to teeth and claw the additional horse power will ensure max penetration is achieved. Your avg mule deer or whitetail will never know the difference. In crease distance, and angle again the edge goes to the heavier caliber. Strictly speaking a double lung shot will be the same result regardless with the assumption your bullet has done its job.
 

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There is no guarantee or implied perfection with ANY round. That is why its called hunting. There is no difference in the effect on game.

Shoot whatever caliber you can shoot accurately.
 

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Mattsbox is correct.

No 2 animals are exactly the same or will react to the bullet the same. I have shot deer that have dropped immediately and then I have shot deer that ran a ways and died. Same bullet placement but different results. I do not think that you will ever be able to tell whats going to happen till you pull the trigger and see.
 

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hit most game in the boiler room by a shot taken when the animal is unaware of your presence,any nearly always drop like they were hit with a mack truck.-spook an animal,chase after it and hit it with a good solid shot,and most times the adrenalin keeps them going to a point where you think,i missed the shot or gut shot it.-its amazing how the animal keeps going.best example-shoot a wild cat with a 22rf.boy they can run on a lung shot.
 

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On big game, is there any noticeable difference between a 7mm and a 338 or something like that.

Assuming you double lung them with a reliable bullet like the Swift A Frame or Barnes TSX.
I think you're on the right track there. Bullet selection is more important than calibre, and shot placement is utmost. Doesn't really matter which big game cartridge you use, as long as the projectile is up to the job and you put it where it counts. No point hitting a deer in the back foot with a 500gn .458.
 

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Some theories:

Here's 4 theories I've come across regarding the double lung shot on big game:


1) "Velocity Kills" - The hydrostatic shock from an expanding bullet musses the insides like a grenade. Some even argue that no pass through helps to put all the bullet energy into the animal.


2) "Hit a Rib" - Part I = Explode a rib going in is also like a grenade. Part II = The higher you hit a rib (in, out or both) will transfer more energy to the back bone thus can shutdown the central nervous system.


3) "Big Hole" - Makes for faster blood loss. Can be combined with 2) as hitting a rib can make a big hole too.


4) "Big bullet" - Larger diameter bullets produce larger wound channels via hydrostatic shock from their larger meta-plates. Kinda combines 1) and 3).


PS: I expect some others here can add more to this list.
 

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kal, after taking over 100 head of big game(deer, elk, african plains) with cals from 243win,7mm rem mag, 308win, 12ga slugs, and some larger cals, all I know for sure is 'some run, some don't'. hit any of them where you should, with a good big game bullet, and it will be time to field dress and drag. see ya, Bill
 

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I agree!

with the responses above. One additional scenerio, the one reason to go with the larger caliber is if you DON'T make the perfect double lung shot!

Let's say you are elk hunting and make a shoulder shot rather than a DL. I would rather have the mass and higher KE of a .338 vs a .270. That's the difference to me. :)
 

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The 338 Win Mag will shoot the same bullet weight faster then a 7mm Mag and it will deliver more energy on target. That said the main thing is bullet placement and how far from the target the shot is taken. All well placed shots will kill and animal and each animal are different of how it will react to being hit. Most hit well will not travel very far but there can always be an exception. The animal is only capable of going so far without lungs, severed main artery, or exploded heart.
 

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Interesting topic, which normally brings LOTS of opinions. A well placed shot, such as heart or lungs, from most any caliber considered adequate will ultimately result in table fare. I think the big differences might lie in what the animal's state is when shot (already mentioned) what kind of terrain one hunts in and what amount of recoil one can easily take.

It's already been mentioned here and in similar other threads that some just don't understand why other's deer don't simply fall when shot, as theirs do. A feeding buck unaware of it's coming demise is a very different target than an alert buck sneaking away from danger, already aware something's amiss, running away, or chasing another buck or doe. They are very different targets, IMO.

That's part of the reason hunters argue so much about the ability of the .223 and .243 on deer, I think. A calm feeding deer is not a tough animal to kill. Personally, I shot way over 50 deer before ever shooting one, actually standing in a field. All previously had been in a woods scenario. A deer unaware to a hunter's presence is an easier deer to drop in place (tracks) than one whose adrenalin is already streaming.

I have found after lots of deer and lots of different calibers used on them that big bullets at medium velocities have given me the best DIT performance. The best caliber I've ever used, one that's never let any deer go out of sight, is the .35 Whelen. Yours may well be different. I've had lots of deer DIT from other calibers, but every deer I ever dropped the hammer on with the .35W, dropped in tracks, or at least in plain sight.

Again, many calibers are great killers of deer. But, only a few I've used are masters at DIT kills and there is a difference for those who might hunt thicker woods and swamps on a normal basis.
 

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Well said!

Assuming you double lung your game and you have a pass thru relatively speaking no difference. Strictly speaking a double lung shot will be the same result regardless with the assumption your bullet has done its job.
That said the main thing is bullet placement and how far from the target the shot is taken. All well placed shots will kill and animal and each animal are different of how it will react to being hit. Most hit well will not travel very far but there can always be an exception. The animal is only capable of going so far without lungs, severed main artery, or exploded heart.
Interesting topic, which normally brings LOTS of opinions. A well placed shot, such as heart or lungs, from most any caliber considered adequate will ultimately result in table fare.....some just don't understand why other's deer don't simply fall when shot, as theirs do. A feeding buck unaware of it's coming demise is a very different target than an alert buck sneaking away from danger, already aware something's amiss, running away, or chasing another buck or doe. They are very different targets, IMO.
I also think that RAY S has 4 really good points. It all comes down to shot placement in my book over caliber. To me a whitetail deer is not what I would consider big game any more..and a 7mm or 338 will work fine! You just need enough gun at a close enough range for you to make a great shot. If you can do it with a .243 or 30-30 great. If your going for the 700 yard shot it might be time to select a different gun or caliber? I always laugh when people explode 'lil deer with giant magnums at under 50 yards! LMAO
I hunt for meat so if I can get close and use a small caliber great, here thats a .243 or 6mm legally (.22lr or .22mags are not). Shoot at a range your comfortable with gun your comfortable and accurate with! MY $.02
 

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a shot in the head placed right stops every thing in its tracks. my old man used fmj's back in the 40's and shot heaps without ruining the head. must hit the brain though.i notice that no one uses them anymore,my self included.
 

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kal, after taking over 100 head of big game(deer, elk, african plains) with cals from 243win,7mm rem mag, 308win, 12ga slugs, and some larger cals, all I know for sure is 'some run, some don't'. hit any of them where you should, with a good big game bullet, and it will be time to field dress and drag. see ya, Bill
+1 -- The only thing I will add is that sometimes you will walk to where the deer dropped and it won't have moved an inch. Other times you will have to find and follow a blood trail. If you used a gun that you shoot well and put a decent quality bullet where it is supposed to go, you may have to follow that trail for some distance, but there WILL be a dead deer at the end of that trail. I can promise you that there is no cartridge you can fire from the shoulder that will guarantee either result.

Some big, strong, guys have glass jaws and some little guys will take an incredible beating and keep on coming at you...never can tell which is which, beforehand.
 

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i agree with others that say there's no way to tell what will happen on any two shots that go off the same. i have shot whitetail (standing, at ease, not spooked or on allert) straight through the heart and watched in amasement as they ran 100 yrds before doing the front chest plow. shot was complete pass through at 40 yrds with a 303 british. then some years later had a similar experiance with a shot again through the heart this time with my 7mm rem mag and at about 70 yrds out. i have shot deer with 30/30. 303 british, 30-06, 7mm rem mag, 243 win and to this day not one was more predictable than the other. the only two drop in their tracks shots i have had was one where i took out the spine (duh) and another at 200 yrds out of my 30-06 with a balistic tip into the boiler room. my two longest runs on deer 100 yrds and about 70 yrds were with at least partial heart hit (the 100 yrd run though had a hole through the middle of the heart) and complete pass through. most deer for me go about 20 yrds or so on average but some just like to buck the trend (pun intended)
 

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Jim H pretty much sums it up. There are so many variables that kal's original question has no practical answer.

Here is a site worth reading.
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/articlegad.html

My experience differs a little from what is reported in the above article but not greatly. At least they made an effort to objectively quantify the effectiveness of shots on deer.

There are lots of very suitable choices for hunting rifles and ammo. Developing hunting skill and maintaining good marksmanship are not given the emphasis they deserve.
 

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As I said in the other thread in Ballistics... I've shot a small doe (~65lbs on the hoof) at full run with a 12ga slug at about 15yds in the boiler room and had it run 50yds. I've shot a nice buck standing in a bottom with a doe he was chasing in the boiler room with a 180gr .30-06 bullet and it ran a couple hundred yards. I've shot other deer in the boiler room with that same .30-06 and had them drop in their tracks. With muzzle loaders (.50cal), too, the same things. One doe at full run from about 8yds fell mid-stride like flipping a light switch when I pulled the trigger. Another doe eating acorns from 25yds ran 100yds or so. I've just been impressed with my .260 so far... four deer with it and (had they all been on flat ground), probably no further run than 20yds :)
 

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Agreed. There are simply too many variables to draw any conclusions, or guarantee any results. Just get as close as you can, place the shot the best that you can, shoot an accurate rifle in an adequate caliber, and learn to track wounded game. Should you ever lose a wounded animal, at least you will know that you did everything right, rather than regretting some critical omission.

Regards,
Schuter
 
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