Bullet Weight Discussion

EastTNHunter

EastTNHunter

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I’m home from work on sick leave today, and after reading a bunch of differing opinions, and some myths and inaccuracies, about bullet weight, I thought that it may be interesting to discuss some basics of ballistic theory. Not trying to tell anyone that their favorite load/bullet is lousy or won’t kill a deer, but it should make for interesting discussions.

Common comment #1: “I use a lighter weight bullet for better effectiveness at long range.” - Actually, a lighter bullet typically has a lower BC and loses speed/energy/trajectory quicker than a heavier weight bullet, and is affected by wind more. There are some exceptions based on bullet design, but that is the case the vast majority of the time. At the end of the day, none of this really matters to the average Joe, because these effects are not seen until 500+ yards.

Common comment #2: “The heavier the bullet, the more meat that will be damaged/wasted.” - This one’s a little tricky, but the truth lies more in bullet construction and velocity than weight. A slower bullet tends to cause less bullet disruption/expansion, and a bullet that expands less (or less rapidly) tends to cause less tissue disruption. Also, many heavier-for-caliber bullets tend to be constructed with a heavier jacket for larger game, and tend to open less readily in thin-skinned game (Nosler specifically advertises this for their 180gr BTs). Thus, if you shoot a heavier-for-caliber bullet it will likely travel slower and be of a more robust construction, causing less expansion and meat wasted, but give better penetration. If you shoot a fragmenting/rapid-expansion bullet, all bets are off, and you will likely have a lot of meat wasted regardless.

Please feel free to discuss the points listed above, or add your own comments/topics about bullet weight.
 
EastTNHunter

EastTNHunter

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:lol: I figured that you’d bring up the 150s :lol:

No, I just have some sort of cold that my family has had, and I guess it was my turn. My head is heavily congested, but my nose is running like a faucet. With all of the junk going around my boss has asked us to be super cautious about coming in if we are sick,especially in the office environment
 
infoman jr.

infoman jr.

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MUP":f5l0hmmw said:
Sounds like a plug for the 150 gr pills to me! :super:

You don't have the flu do ya buddy?
That depends on the caliber. For 7mm-08, yes. For .300 win mag, no.

The conversation should be centered around heavy-for-caliber bullets instead of just "heavy vs light" bullets. A 90 grain .223 bullet in the .224V will be more ballistically efficient than a 150 grain in a .308.
 
EastTNHunter

EastTNHunter

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The 150gr thing is a bit of an inside joke between us, but MUP definitely likes his 30-06 150gr loads. And why shouldn’t he? They have worked well for him for years, and are plenty of medicine for deer at the ranges that most of us hunt at.

I tend to be a 165gr 30-06 guy, but am playing around with 180s due to an upcoming elk hunt. Due to the 200fps difference in my current loads (I’m about to try RL26 with the 180s, which may give me an additional 100fps), the difference in all practical external ballistics is nil, and the nod will go to the load that consistently gives me the best results at 400yd (although I don’t really want to take a shot that long, the vitals of an elk are about the size of a stop sign, and I will be practicing a LOT between now and then). If the 180 with a higher BC gets up to 2850fps with good accuracy, it will definitely be the better load “on paper.”
 
EastTNHunter

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The “wasted meat” from a heavier bullet thing really baffles me, though.
 
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knightrider

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EastTNHunter":1pt48wlm said:
The “wasted meat” from a heavier bullet thing really baffles me, though.
I stepped up to 180 versus the 150 in 300 win mag and the blood shot meat problem just went away, problem solved
 
DaveB

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If you hit the shoulder bone no matter the bullet weight you are going to get a lot of flesh damage. If you neck shoot you need a steady rest, an accurate rifle, and a firm understanding of your ballistics. The neck meat is tasty and can be dumped wholly into the stew pan but not if you neck shoot the damage is too widespread.

Downrange energy transferred from the bullet to the animal can have lots of different results if you hit big bones or slip one right between the ribs.

What bullet weight you shoot is the one you can shoot into an inch.
 
mr.big

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I was shooting the 180 NBT from a 300 RUM with 96 grs RL25 at 3430 fps that would almost blow a normal sized whitetail in half if shot in the front shoulder,,but when trophy hunting a high shoulder shot with that load was devestating it would break the spine,and blow out the heart and lungs and blow the off side shoulder nearly off,,I killed 4 deer with that load and moved up to the 200 Accubond and about 100 grs Retumbo at 3200 fps and got lots better results,

IMO the best all around bullet for killin deer in their tracks with very minimal meat loss is the mid weight for caliber Nosler Partitions with a muzzle velocity of about 2900-3000 fps,,
 
jlanecr500

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I killed 2 this year with a 40cal 225 Pittman Accumax over 74gr of imr3031 at 2950fps.
Both were double lung shots and the pressures in the body cavity were so great that both deer were PRE gutted. All I had to do was cut the esophagus and around the anus. Everything else was on the ground. I didn't believe it on the first one but the second was exactly the same.

Shot another one with a 40cal 300gr Pittman Hammer similar to barnes tsx over 112gr of RL16 at nearly 3200fps. 230 yards to target, 1" hole thru entrance shoulder and 5" hole in off side shoulder. Also, sternum blown out the front.
All deer DRT.

The most uneventful kill of my season was a 165 partition at 2950fps from a 30-06.
 
MUP

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My daughter took her first buck this season with her .243 using 100 gr partitions over 38.0 gr of AA4350. Heart shot, bang, and literally flop. :)
 
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Mattt

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I second the partition. 180 grain in an 06 at around 2700 is deadly on whitetail. I have been having good results with a 7mm08/140 gr partition, and the accubond seems to duplicate the damage/quickness of kill. Haven't tried the accubond on elk yet.
 
EastTNHunter

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Heaviest bullet that I’ve ever used to kill a deer was a 420gr hardcast bullet out of a 45/70. It usually plugged a clean half inch hole all the way through the deer, and you could eat almost right up to the hole.
 
MUP

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EastTNHunter":1txopeij said:
The 150gr thing is a bit of an inside joke between us, but MUP definitely likes his 30-06 150gr loads. And why shouldn’t he? They have worked well for him for years, and are plenty of medicine for deer at the ranges that most of us hunt at.

I tend to be a 165gr 30-06 guy, but am playing around with 180s due to an upcoming elk hunt. Due to the 200fps difference in my current loads (I’m about to try RL26 with the 180s, which may give me an additional 100fps), the difference in all practical external ballistics is nil, and the nod will go to the load that consistently gives me the best results at 400yd (although I don’t really want to take a shot that long, the vitals of an elk are about the size of a stop sign, and I will be practicing a LOT between now and then). If the 180 with a higher BC gets up to 2850fps with good accuracy, it will definitely be the better load “on paper.”

You know, I've had the 150 gr NAB load worked up for my 06 for going on 3 years now, and have yet to be able to test it on a deer. :? Seems ML season has been the ticket for me the past 3 years and I've not been able to get a shot on a buck with the rifle since I settled on that load.
 
280longshot

280longshot

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MUP":2zgrfbb2 said:
EastTNHunter":2zgrfbb2 said:
The 150gr thing is a bit of an inside joke between us, but MUP definitely likes his 30-06 150gr loads. And why shouldn’t he? They have worked well for him for years, and are plenty of medicine for deer at the ranges that most of us hunt at.

I tend to be a 165gr 30-06 guy, but am playing around with 180s due to an upcoming elk hunt. Due to the 200fps difference in my current loads (I’m about to try RL26 with the 180s, which may give me an additional 100fps), the difference in all practical external ballistics is nil, and the nod will go to the load that consistently gives me the best results at 400yd (although I don’t really want to take a shot that long, the vitals of an elk are about the size of a stop sign, and I will be practicing a LOT between now and then). If the 180 with a higher BC gets up to 2850fps with good accuracy, it will definitely be the better load “on paper.”

You know, I've had the 150 gr NAB load worked up for my 06 for going on 3 years now, and have yet to be able to test it on a deer. :? Seems ML season has been the ticket for me the past 3 years and I've not been able to get a shot on a buck with the rifle since I settled on that load.
What powder you using 4350?

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