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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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So..... question for those who like to use kinetic energy as a measure of cartridge effectiveness:

How far would you estimate that a whitetail buck would run, that took 2,300+ ft-lbs of kinetic energy in a vital area, from an expanding bullet? Bullet stayed in the deer so we know for sure that all energy was expended in it.
 

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Ft/lbs mean nothing. Two Ram's slamming their horns together, generate 5400ft/lbs of energy, and they are neither hurt nor dead. It's not the ft/lbs, its the size of the wound channel through the vitals that will accelerate death. A .30 caliber bullet through the vitals will create more bleeding than a .224 bullet, its like pushing chocolate syrup through a coffee stirrer and a milk shake straw. Also, dont forget, two holes bleed better than one.
 

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Kinetic energy certainly does mean something.

While the question is meaningless, kinetic energy is not. Ft/lbs do have a profound effect on the volume of the wound channel created by a bullet.

Kinetic energy is one way (and it is an important way) to measure what makes bullets kill things. Without kinetic energy, nothing at all happens. Kinetic energy is, in fact, the very thing that makes bullets kill, but there are so many other variables in the interactions between bullets and the flesh and bones of animals, as well as their mental state at the time, that no one can make any sort of answer to the OP's question.
 

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So..... question for those who like to use kinetic energy as a measure of cartridge effectiveness:

How far would you estimate that a whitetail buck would run, that took 2,300+ ft-lbs of kinetic energy in a vital area, from an expanding bullet? Bullet stayed in the deer so we know for sure that all energy was expended in it.
Why would you think he would be able to run if hit in the heart or brain the two most vital areas or are you talking about something less than vital?
 

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Why would you think he would be able to run if hit in the heart or brain the two most vital areas or are you talking about something less than vital?
Wooah. I have shot a deer in the vitals, it ran 30 yards, and upon gutting it found the bullet went through the heart splitting it in two like a hamburger bun. Unless its a spine or head shot theres always a chance they will run, even if theyre running dead.
 

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Tongue planted firmly in cheek --

If it was from MY favorite round -- it was DRT.

If it was from that silly round YOU like -- it ran for miles, may still be running....
 

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So..... question for those who like to use kinetic energy as a measure of cartridge effectiveness:

How far would you estimate that a whitetail buck would run, that took 2,300+ ft-lbs of kinetic energy in a vital area, from an expanding bullet? Bullet stayed in the deer so we know for sure that all energy was expended in it.

Anywhere from one inch to ten miles.

Foot-pounds are almost worthless in judging effectiveness of a cartridge. Not totally irrelevant, but well down on the list of relevant factors. I once hit a buck with a '73 Olds 98 going 55 MPH. He absorbed every ft-lb that Olds had to offer, bounced up, and ran away ike his tail was on fire. How many ft-lbs was that? Dunno, but I know it was more than any rifle cartridge offers. It's the work (tissue destruction) that the ft-lbs do, not the number of ft-lbs, that matters.
 

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Way to go, pisgah. Perfectly explained.

(But if that had been a Dodge Magnum, you'd have had a DRT!)
 

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I agree the question has no right answer as it could be anything.

I disagree that the amount of ft/lbs of energy for a bullet traveling at a velocity is meaningless. It's sort of like you getting beaned with a knuckle ball verses a 100 MPH fast ball as it would make a difference. The three factors used in determining ammunition performance has always been Velocity, Kenetic Engery, and bullet expansion. They all work hand and hand with each other and have an affect on the animal when it's hit.
 

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I assume the caliber was .30 - say a .308 - I doubt it was a Nosler Partition. While most here say it does not matter how much energy was absorbed it does matter to a point as some states or countries have minimum "power" requirements to ensure the hunter uses "enough gun." The real question is how far should have the buck have run under the circumstances and the answer is "not far." Which is why many, my self included think you would be as good or better off using a .45 Colt LBT bullet designed by Veral Smith and made by Bear Tooth Bullets and generating about a third of the power or less, say 700 ft pounds, and shot through the buck and stopped him quick. I remember years ago when people started usaing LBT bullets in handgun calibers and stating that the "weak" revolver round killed as good or better than a .300 Winchester mag. The high speed/high power crowd cried about such statements but reality proved them wrong.
 

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"Vital area" is very tough to define.

If you went through the lungs and didn't hit any bones other than a couple ribs, it could run a couple hundred yards in the time it takes to bleed out/suffocate. Roughly how far it can run in the time it can hold its breath.

If you hit it in the heart, no blood will be pumping, so it could start off running, but only run about 5-10 seconds before collapsing. I've hit several deer through the heart with that range of KE, and they either dropped on the spot or ran 30-50 yards at full tilt then dropped.

If you got major bone (spine or shoulder) it probably just stumbled for a ways.

But I believe in KE as a valid measurement to compare rounds. The example of the truck is a bad comparison. The KE of a bullet is concentrated ona frontal area originally around a quarter inch. The truck's energy was over the swhwole side of the deer. Also the truck kept moving; I can't remember the formula, but the energy expended is related to how far the hittee and the hitter moved after the collision. (THat's why the front of a car in a head-on collision is more damaged thanthe rear; the front stops a lot quicker while the rear keeps moving for a while.)

A bullet is moving WAY faster than a truck, and it stops within a few inches inside the animal. All that energy is consumed along a very narrow, short wound channel.
 

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Why would you think he would be able to run if hit in the heart or brain the two most vital areas or are you talking about something less than vital?
I have yet to have to worry about it. Not sure what the kinetic energy is of my 300 Win Mag, but I have yet to have as deer take a step that has been hit as you suggest. The only one I have hit in the head had the head nearly taken off, except for two ears and the bottom jaw (good thing I had an anterless tag because the horns were gone).

Should be an interesting story once you get around to telling it :D
Dan
 

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Mike, the answer is impossible to calculate unless we know the day of the week and time of day the buck was shot. :D

Actually, I always thought energy was an important factor, since kinetic energy is calculated by weight, speed, and mass of the projectile. Isn;t this what causes traumatic shock inside the animal?
 

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Mike, you forgot to factor in those Jack County bucks, not to be confused with Hill Country deer.
No self respecting North Texas buck will go down easy for an Austin Texas Hunter!
 

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Couple of thoughts: Kinetic energy would give you a valid ranking if the bullet, shot placement and entry angle, depth of penetration, and size of the deer were always identical. It's just an extension of the old stopping power formula problem. Shot placement and other circumstances loose most bullet performance ranking criteria in the noise (assuming you don't go to extremes where the projectile has trouble breaking skin, like BB guns).

The last discussion like this took place in the ballistics forum. I think maybe I'll moderate the moderator and move this thread over there and leave the link behind to see it can garner some additional responses that way? Mike will put it back if doesn't like that strategy?
 

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KE is useful in comparison of rounds only in that it is a characteristic that can be quantified. Beyond certain narrow parameters, it tells you nothing of what sort of work the round can do. For instance, I might have my .17 Super-Mach IV Flea Annhilator pushing a 20 gr. bullet at some just-under-lightspeed velocity that would have enough KE to put a .30-30 'way in the shade. But odds are excellent that the ol' thutty-thutty would be better on deer. The typical broadhead arrow lacks the foot-poundage of a .38 Special, but almost no one would say I should choose the latter for big game.

Now, I don't claim that KE is completely meaningless. Certainly, if one is trying to choose a .30 caliber rifle for hunting Kodiak bears the superior energy of a .300 Win Mag would recommend it over the .30-30. But the fact is that the ability to place the bullet precisely and get penetration sufficient to make a hole in vital organs are 'way ahead of mere foot-pounds when it comes to killing game. I'd sooner choose the .30-30 with a good hardcast flatpoint bullet than the .300 WM with a 130 gr. HP.

I repeat, the amount of energy a critter "absorbs" is absolutely meaningless when compared to the damage that the bullet does to vital organs (the work that the energy does). An NFL linebacker absorbs a heckuva lot of foot-pounds during a game, but very few of them are killed by it. If that energy breaks a rib that pierces a lung, he's got trouble, but the total ft-lbs he absorbs is meaningless -- it's the broken rib that does the damage, and the same damage might have been done with far less energy applied.

Another analogy -- at the same time I set off for Tulsa in my '59 VW, my neighbor leaves for the same destination in his Shelby GT Mustang. Assuming neither of us has a breakdown and both of us mind the traffic laws, we both get to Tulsa at the same time. My neighbor has far more energy to spend on hand and, in fact, has expended much more energy than I have -- but he gets no more "work" done than I do, in a practical sense. He has moved a heavier vehicle, but hasn't gotten any further, and the objective, after all, was to get to Tulsa, not to make as much noise as possible getting there.

No, KE is not meaningless, but it is far from the most important element in the equation, and I feel far too much emphasis is put on what is at best a secondary consideration.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I can see Tom is dying to let the cat out of the bag so I'd just as well finish the story....

3 deer got shot at the deer camp this weekend, with 3 different rifles, that I can report facts on. First, let me say, I always find the kinetic energy theories to be amusing. Sort of reminds me of the efforts in the middle ages to justify that the earth was at the center of the universe. Every time the astronomers discovered a new planet or comet, they had to keep adding exceptions to make it fit the theory. Finally, the entire thing collapsed under it's own weight.

"If I shoot a (fill in the animal) with a (fill in the cartridge) with (fill in the amount) ft-lbs of KE, then the animal will collapse right there IF the presentation is (front, side, rear, quartering) and IF the bullet (stays in the animal, or exits), and IF bone (is / is not) hit on the way in, and (is / is not) hit on the way out, and the animal is (inhaling / exhaling / holding it's breath) UNLESS the animal is (spooked / distracted / running / not running) OR it's Tuesday and almost "happy hour" AND the phase of the moon is (waxing / waning / full / new) BUT not if the wind is out of the (north / south / east / west)."

Some embellishment, perhaps, but quite often that's what you start to hear when you pin down someone's theory as not working in a given example.

So, let's start from the end, last animal first.

My son shot a doe with a .250 Savage. Bullet was a 100gr. Speer Hot-Cor ahead of 33 grains of Varget. Quickload predicts ~2,700 fps with a 22" barrel, I have not chronographed the load. Call it good enough and about 1,600 ft-lbs of KE. Bullet went in through the ribs, and clipped part of the shoulder blade on the way out. I am not sure if the bullet broke the shoulder or if I finished breaking it while wrestling it into the truck. I would guess about 110 lbs live weight.

Deer ran 30 or so yards and piled up dead. Range at the shot was maybe 70 yards or so. This bullet will do for pigs, in my opinion, and just fine for deer.

Just minutes before, my wife shot a smaller doe with a 6mm Rem. Load was an old Federal 100gr. "Soft Point Hi-Shok bullet". A gun store gave me a bunch of old factory loads of several brands, evidently they came in with a gun. We've been using them up.

The Federal bullet went in the ribs behind one shoulder and what was left of the jacket broke a piece out of the shoulder blade where it connects to the upper leg bone. This is not really good performance for a deer bullet because it did not hit anything substantial on the way in, in my opinion. These are going to be too light for hogs I think. Again, note that these are older loads in red and white boxes and not the currently produced "Fusion" ammo. I can't find any date code on the box, but the price tag was only 10 bucks.

FYI, previous to the Federals, I had a couple of boxes of 100gr. Cor-Lokts. The 100gr. Cor-Lokts, would go completely through deer and penetrate about 16 inches or so through hogs. Not bad for store-bought, and definitely a sturdier bullet as compared to the Federal Hi-Shok.

Deer fell in it's tracks and died. Let's estimate 3,000fps at the muzzle for a smidge under 2,000 ft-lbs. Range..... 85 yards, measured.

Last.... and here is where the wheels fall off. I shot a larger buck, probably 150lbs, or so, broadside behind the shoulder with a .257 Weatherby. Bullet was a 117gr. Hornady at an estimated (per Quickoad) velocity of 3,000 fps. Deer was hit perhaps 50 yards from the muzzle.

The bullet was barely poking through the skin on the far side, just showing a tiny bit of jacket material. I haven't weighed it yet, but the jacket was folded past the 'interlock' ring with a bit of the core left. I doubt if there is more than half of the bullet left.

With this "perfect" performance (per the KE loving crowd), my buck ran over 200 yards before piling up dead. There wasn't much of a blood trail and it took us quite a while to find him. Those bullets are clearly on the soft side for the Weatherby and if I am going to keep that rifle, it is going to have to be fed a heavy Partition or X bullet or something of that nature.

So.... factor in the day of the week (Wednesday), the phase of the moon, wind direction (I think from the southwest), temp (let's call it 40ish), and you'll have to guess on humidity. Let me know how wrong I am and why the animal shot with the most KE ran the farthest, on lungs that looked like jello.....

True stories, all three, and I have witnesses. Note, I base the weight estimates on how much meat came home. The shoulders, hams, backstraps, neck, tenderloins, and whatever I could get off the ribs and belly of the buck weighed just under 70 lbs. The two does together yielded 80 lbs of meat, with one of them probably 20 lbs heavier than the other, live.

:D :D :D
 

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I can see Tom is dying to let the cat out of the bag so I'd just as well finish the story....

3 deer got shot at the deer camp this weekend, with 3 different rifles, that I can report facts on. First, let me say, I always find the kinetic energy theories to be amusing. Sort of reminds me of the efforts in the middle ages to justify that the earth was at the center of the universe. Every time the astronomers discovered a new planet or comet, they had to keep adding exceptions to make it fit the theory. Finally, the entire thing collapsed under it's own weight.

"If I shoot a (fill in the animal) with a (fill in the cartridge) with (fill in the amount) ft-lbs of KE, then the animal will collapse right there IF the presentation is (front, side, rear, quartering) and IF the bullet (stays in the animal, or exits), and IF bone (is / is not) hit on the way in, and (is / is not) hit on the way out, and the animal is (inhaling / exhaling / holding it's breath) UNLESS the animal is (spooked / distracted / running / not running) OR it's Tuesday and almost "happy hour" AND the phase of the moon is (waxing / waning / full / new) BUT not if the wind is out of the (north / south / east / west)."

Some embellishment, perhaps, but quite often that's what you start to hear when you pin down someone's theory as not working in a given example.

So, let's start from the end, last animal first.

My son shot a doe with a .250 Savage. Bullet was a 100gr. Speer Hot-Cor ahead of 33 grains of Varget. Quickload predicts ~2,700 fps with a 22" barrel, I have not chronographed the load. Call it good enough and about 1,600 ft-lbs of KE. Bullet went in through the ribs, and clipped part of the shoulder blade on the way out. I am not sure if the bullet broke the shoulder or if I finished breaking it while wrestling it into the truck. I would guess about 110 lbs live weight.

Deer ran 30 or so yards and piled up dead. Range at the shot was maybe 70 yards or so. This bullet will do for pigs, in my opinion, and just fine for deer.

Just minutes before, my wife shot a smaller doe with a 6mm Rem. Load was an old Federal 100gr. "Soft Point Hi-Shok bullet". A gun store gave me a bunch of old factory loads of several brands, evidently they came in with a gun. We've been using them up.

The Federal bullet went in the ribs behind one shoulder and what was left of the jacket broke a piece out of the shoulder blade where it connects to the upper leg bone. This is not really good performance for a deer bullet because it did not hit anything substantial on the way in, in my opinion. These are going to be too light for hogs I think. Again, note that these are older loads in red and white boxes and not the currently produced "Fusion" ammo. I can't find any date code on the box, but the price tag was only 10 bucks.

FYI, previous to the Federals, I had a couple of boxes of 100gr. Cor-Lokts. The 100gr. Cor-Lokts, would go completely through deer and penetrate about 16 inches or so through hogs. Not bad for store-bought, and definitely a sturdier bullet as compared to the Federal Hi-Shok.

Deer fell in it's tracks and died. Let's estimate 3,000fps at the muzzle for a smidge under 2,000 ft-lbs. Range..... 85 yards, measured.

Last.... and here is where the wheels fall off. I shot a larger buck, probably 150lbs, or so, broadside behind the shoulder with a .257 Weatherby. Bullet was a 117gr. Hornady at an estimated (per Quickoad) velocity of 3,000 fps. Deer was hit perhaps 50 yards from the muzzle.

The bullet was barely poking through the skin on the far side, just showing a tiny bit of jacket material. I haven't weighed it yet, but the jacket was folded past the 'interlock' ring with a bit of the core left. I doubt if there is more than half of the bullet left.

With this "perfect" performance (per the KE loving crowd), my buck ran over 200 yards before piling up dead. There wasn't much of a blood trail and it took us quite a while to find him. Those bullets are clearly on the soft side for the Weatherby and if I am going to keep that rifle, it is going to have to be fed a heavy Partition or X bullet or something of that nature.

So.... factor in the day of the week (Wednesday), the phase of the moon, wind direction (I think from the southwest), temp (let's call it 40ish), and you'll have to guess on humidity. Let me know how wrong I am and why the animal shot with the most KE ran the farthest, on lungs that looked like jello.....

True stories, all three, and I have witnesses. Note, I base the weight estimates on how much meat came home. The shoulders, hams, backstraps, neck, tenderloins, and whatever I could get off the ribs and belly of the buck weighed just under 70 lbs. The two does together yielded 80 lbs of meat, with one of them probably 20 lbs heavier than the other, live.

:D :D :D
KE doesnt mean much, but neither does a comparison between small does and big bucks


Still i understand your point. comparison is a little off but thats okay.

Btw congrats on the deer.
 
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