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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #1
That's the headline for an article on bullets in the June issue of North American Hunter by Wayne van Zwoll.

It's an interesting article with lots of statements/opinions on various bullets, their performance and myths. Should be good for generating discussions with varying held beliefs.

First thing that backs up my own opinion on moly coated bullets is that they do nothing more than perhaps lay a coating inside the bore to make cleanup a little easier. They don't improve accuracy, extend bore life or other fanciful claims by the makers. That the coating on Barnes bullets probably provides the best coating and that the black oxide coating on Nosler/Winchester bullets is a cosmetic thing only, admitted to by a Winchester technican. My use of moly ended after several years of messing with the nasty stuff, having to increase powder charges to attain similar velocities as standard copper jacketed bullets, and noticing drag spots in the bores when running clean patches through them. Besides, had to wear disposable rubber gloves and still managed to have the equipment slowly turning smudged black!

Another point was the deformed points on spitzer bullets. His contentions is this has little effect on it's performance for normal hunting distances. That he even took dykes and snipped the points from soft points almost to the ogive and still had acceptable accuracy (3 MOA). The points don't matter near as much as damaged or deformed bases. This had another matter of contention - he states the boattail design is more for appearance than need for the again, normal hunting ranges (<300 yds). Flat base bullets are generally best for hunting purposes and target work at these ranges.

Bullet construction is to be considered for types of hunting desired. For most hunting, the plain old everyday soft point offered by Hornady, Speer, Sierra, Winchester, Remington, etc, are plenty good enough for all hunting. The premium bullets really don't offer that much more in the way of performance to warrant the extra cost. He feels the bullet that exits hasn't expended its total energy in shock value to the target, that the non-exiting soft points are best. Also, there's more shock to a lighter faster bullet than the slower heavier ones (there goes my myth of the 45-70 and .45 ACP!).

Anyway - what's your thoughts? I agreed about 70% with him. A few long held beliefs are just hard to part with!
 

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Beartooth Regular
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The only part I disagree with is the bullet exit/energy idea. I put zero stock in energy figures. I have personally shot game with cartridges ranging from .243 to the 7mag and 30-06. The quickest kill I ever got in which the bullet did not hit the spine was with my .308. The bullet went through the lungs and exited, and at the 200 yard range the bullet was probably moving about 2200 fps. The .243 sometimes also killed quickly, despite low energy figures.

Those critters shot with high velocity rounds did not not consistently go down any quicker, regardless of bullet exit or lack thereof.

For me, an exit hole makes a better blood trail and makes a critter easier to find in dense woods. That counts for alot, since you can't count on an instant drop, even with the high speed, frangible bullets.

I can't speak to the part about truly big bores, like the 45 cal, not having shot any game with those.

A good, deep wound channel and hopefully an exit, that's what I like!

I have read quite a bit over the years by Wayne Van Zwoll, and generally I think he's a very informed, down-to-earth guy. I'm sure he's killed, or seen killed, more elk than I have. I know he likes relatively frangible bullets, put in the lungs. I guess you can't really argue with that, either, but it is not my preferrence. IDShooter
 

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When I responded before, I was thinking about centerfire rifles, but, in fact, I have killed game with larger bores - a 50 cal muzzleloader and a 12 gauge shotgun!
I must say that the muzzleloader, with roundballs, did not demonstrate the same killing power as the shotgun. I only shot four deer with it, two ran quite a good distance (over 100 yards), one ran about 25 yds, and the 4th dropped from a spine hit.
The shotgun, on the other hand, was a quick and deadly killer with Brenneke slugs! Complete penetration was the rule, even lengthwise, and every deer I shot went down fast. By that I mean within a few steps, if not immediately. Some struggled to get back up, but none ever did ;) !

IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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My quickest kills (excluding brain/spine shots) have been with my .45 cal Bisley Blackhawk, 340gr. cast bullet, at a little over 1,000fps. Just dropped a couple of pigs in their tracks, and no bones other than ribs were hit. So I think that the energy stuff is utter nonsense for big game. I've broken shoulders on both pigs and deer with a .280 and .30-06 and had them run much farther on 3 legs and lung soup.

Boattails - well they do seat easier than flat-based bullets. That's probably a consideration for some people. Funny Wayne doesn't like them, they tend to come apart in animals and deliver all of their 'energy' which he seems to prefer.

As far as 'regular' bullets vs. premium, my rather casual pig shooting involves a considerable sum of money, relative to the cost of the 1 or 2 shots I might fire, even if I use the most expensive factory ammo made. My cost to fill the gast tank outweighs the cost of a box of good factory ammo!

There are some good 'regular' bullets out there but you don't know that till you've shot a few critters. Fortunately I have wild pigs to experiment on year-round, but not everyone has that luxury. Bottom line.... unless you KNOW and have TESTED your 'cheap' bullets, go with premium for hunting. Not worth the risk otherwise. Practice with the cheap stuff, shoot fabulous groups at the range with the plastic-tipped boat-tails, then go hunting with the Partition, X, or FailSafe.

ID, my father-in-law hunts deer with a muzzleloader. He says that the conicals work a LOT better than roundballs. Might be worth a try. Or load up some of the Beartooth WFNs in sabots - I guarantee that will thump them good.
 

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My own experiance seems to prove Taylor and Linebaugh correct over and over again. Large heavy caliber wins out over smaller - faster every time.

Moly does reduce friction so it does shave a bit of wear off the barrel. Moly coat lead bullets and your cleanup time is a snap.
 

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Mike,
Regarding conicals/sabots in the muzzleloader, I have tried both in my gun and it has too slow a twist to stabilize them. Accuracy with anything but roundballs is very poor. Maybe someday I'll get a faster twist barrel for it, but it's not real high on the list right now.

I'm sure conicals would kill far better.

IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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That's unfortunate. I would definitely advise you to trade to a faster twist barrel, if you can, and you are serious about hunting with your muzzle-loader.

My father-in-law has the #1 muzzleloader mulie in his state (it's also the #3 in the broader catagory of rifle) and he's gotten some other big ones also. Just sold that head to Cabella's for one of their new stores (my wife definitely wasn't going to let it live in our house, even if her father shot it!). Don't think that he's ever lost any with the conicals. Had one bad experience with roundballs (got the deer but it took several shots) and never went back.

Now... if someone wants to challenge themselves with roundballs, or is using a really big cannon like a .66 or 75 cal, by all means go ahead. Just realize that even a .50 roundball only weights around 180 grains. Can't run from the laws of phyisics.....

As an aside, I have every intention of shooting a deer or hog with a cap-and-ball revolver one of these days, but will do so knowing full well the limitations and handicap that it puts on me, as far as range & 'power' (whatever that really is).
 

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I have never killed a deer with a pistol bullet. Only because I have not had the opportunity since I got interested in the big hand guns.
But: I have killed numerous with a rifle; 243, 308, 30-06, 8 mm and 12 ga slug. I have killed more with a bow and traditional sharpen to the point 2 blade broadheads. The broad heads killed by opening a hole app. 1.25 inches wide by 1/4 in high all the way through the deer. Every deer and hog that I killed with a bow was a quick clean kill with a good blood trail.
I like that.
Several of the deer I killed with rifles were not recovered because of small entrance wound, no exit wound and no blood trail. Many of these rifle killed deer were damaged to the point of losing a significant portion of the meat due to bullet detonation. I know some of the unrecovered deer died because I found them days too late for them to be used.
I don't like that.
My understanding of the action of a heavy hardcast bullet, driven at a reasonable speed, with a large meplate is that they open a permanent wound channel one and one half to two times the diameter of the meplate all the way through an animal. The entry wound and exit wound are usualy the same size. This then should produce an "arrow" type wound. Minimum tissue destruction with a good blood trail.
230 grain .411 hardcast Keith out of a Smith 657 at 1350-1400 fps.
I like that.
 

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At close range a large caliber revolver will out perform a smaller rifle cartridge every time especially if you use a round that has a massive metplate to it. I am talking 300g or larger round compaired to a 150g rifle round. I carry a .475 with 412g rounds at this time or my BFR in .450 marlin. I plan on testing my new S&W500 tomorrow if I get the brass in time.

IF i get drawn for deer or elk this year and I have under a 50 yard shot I would use the revolver.

But then again I am a big bore lead pig :p
 

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The upper end of my "big bore" fun ends with 44 cal. The 454, 475 and 500s are more than I wish to inflict on my self. The bullets I'm running out of 41 and 44 mags have .300 meplats. Enough for what I want to hunt. Although I have some trial 270 gr 441s with an enormous meplat. Have to get those loaded for trial.
 

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In my expreience you cannot have to much PENITRATION and the larger the caliber that penitration provides the better. I think that Elmer Kieth was more correct than OConner was in this aspect. I have gone to larger caliber and feel that they are superior to smaller caliber always. Even if the game does run after a solid hit they leave a better blood trail with a bigger hole in and out.

As for the priemium bullets not having and advantage I disagree. Nosler partition. Barnes X, Swift, Winchester failsafe, Speer Grand Slam and several others are quite expensive, but compared to the total cost of any hunting trip they are cheap even if you pay a dollar each. You spend more than than that on a sandwich for lunch. After all your time and hunting the single thing that the whole hunt depends on is a good bullet getting enough penitration to get to the vitals of an animal to kill them. To me the extra price for the premium bullets is cheap compaired to lost game due to a poorly performing bullet. I also believe that heavy for caliber bullets do better even at the expense of flatter tragectory.
 

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Let us all remember what Linbaugh said along with Taylor. Larger heavier bullets have a much better knock down rate then a smaller bullet.

Option A) Get hit with a depleted uranium, jacketed in tungston carbide and copper bullet the size of BB at 7000fps. It goes all the way through you and leaves a hole the size of a BB


Option B) Get hit with a 12guage slug from 50 yards. Only goes in 3/4 of the way and leaves a 70 caliber hole.

For those who always say "shot placement" well I can kill a moose with a hand thrown dart. I better not miss! But why use a dart when you can use a .338/.378 Weatherby and blow a hole the size of a softball thru the moose? :D
 

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Actually, a copper bullet the size of a BB at 7,000 fps PROBABLY will NOT go all the way through. Because of its low momentum it will create a very wide but shallow cavity and then stop.
 

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Wasn't it Elmer Keith that said he prefered large caliber bullets because they "let a lot of air in and a lot of blood out"?

The air part is important because any opening in the thorax has the capacity for causing a collapsed lung, whether it hits the lung or not. As the diaphragm moves down instead of air being sucked into the lung it is sucked through the wound into the thorax thereby collapsing the lung.
 

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ALl I want in a jacketed bullet (alternate title: In praise of the "stupid" bullet).

Is something utterly reliable about a big, dumb, stupid bullet...one that doesn't know how to play tricks and is too lazy to transform itself into somehting it is not. No points to be driven back into cavites to open pre-stressed jackets, no leaving part of itself strewn about as other parts continue to move forward in what is hoped to be a straight line, no color cooordinated hats, internal comberbuns, or molly rain coats. Just a big dumb bullet, jacket and core bonded together.

Long and heavy when it hits, it has the quailities needed to penetrate...all you have to do it place it in line with the internal structure you wish to have a hole through.

All I want is a bullet, once placed on the game's outside in line with the internal parts I want holed, that penetrates and expands along the way...stays in one chunk...and if possible, is found about 1 foot the other side of the critter. that last is near impossible, so rather than making an error in too little pentration, will err on the side of a bit too much.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #18
Well said, ribbonstone! :D
 

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I can agree with most of the original post except about big bore ( big and slow bullets) ! I like big holes on both sides -two big holes leak more then one or two very small holes. Plus I know if needed ( for game that bites back) I can break bones and end the fight.
 

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Energy, shock and a nice mushroomed bullet just under the off side hide mean nothing.

The destruction done to vital tissues by the wound channel, exit or not, means everything.
 
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