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View Full Version : Hunters (Especially Big Game Guys)...Which Bullet Has Performed badly for You


Wildalaska
December 19, 2007, 11:25 PM
When, where, how and why...including caliber.....and the type of bullet please :)

Rifle, twist, range, barrel length, velocity.....:D

WildtheoldbasicallywhatstheworstbulletthreadAlaska TM

taylorce1
December 19, 2007, 11:33 PM
I can honestly say that none of my bullets have ever performed badly. They may not have hit the spot where I thought I was aiming, but they only went where I told them to. Everything that my bullet has struck I've killed might not be with the first shot but as long as I've got the animal the bullet has performed.

I probably don't have the experience that other hunters have as well as truth fully I'm only barely over what I can count using all fingers and toes on big game animals. I don't live in an area where I can easily hunt multiple deer or other big game animals easily or cheaply.

fisherman66
December 20, 2007, 07:29 AM
I've never had to track an animal I have shot more than 100 yards, but between soft-tips and ballistic tips I have had to walk further with ballistic tips. Many of the older ballistic tips have broken up too early upon hitting a rib. They are great for neckshots though.

mikejonestkd
December 20, 2007, 07:53 AM
My experience is contrary to fisherman's, and limited strictly to corn fed farm deer. I like the accutips, combined technology silvertips and the NBTs for deer sized animals, whereas I have found tougher, bonded bullets like partitions and failsafes don't do as much heart and lung damage or leave as large an exit hole. However, I only take full broadside shots, never quartering ones where I'd have to punch through a shoulder, so that is a big reason why I use the ballistic tips.


I've had plain old power points and corelocts zip right through deer without even slowing down and they left only small holes and minimal damage - compared to more rapidly expanding bullets. not really ' bad 'performance, because we still recovered the deer, but just not as impressive as the other bulets types.

edit, most hunting has been done with .308 win, 7mm-08 win and .243 win loaded with 150 grainers, 140 grainers and 100/95 grainers, respectively. Most out of encore pistols. most shots between 50 and 175 yards, a few out to 200 yards or so. sample size of 25+ deer.


just my .02, YMMV

Art Eatman
December 20, 2007, 09:40 AM
Never has happened. Bang, whop, plop, mostly.

whitefish
December 20, 2007, 09:59 AM
You know my experiences with accubonds from "Accubond Performance?".

Other than that, I took a 50-75 yard running shot at a small whitetail doe using a 180gr PowerPoint (factory load) out of the same 300 Win Mag. I hit the back hip and it REALLY exploded. There were chunks of copper and lead all over the place. Basically destoyed the hind quarters.

That said, both of these bullets have performed perfectly at ranges over 125 yards in the past. I think both are good performers at the right velocity/energy. Depending on what gun is used, thats going to translate into range.

Browning A-Bolt II 300 Win Mag - 26" barrel - 1 in 10 twist

paknheat
December 20, 2007, 12:55 PM
I had a siearra 140 gn soft point fail on a whitetail a few years back . It was in 6.5x55 Swed. 18'' barrell, 1in 9.5'' twist.Had to switch to 129gn Hornady SST to finish the job.

Buzzcook
December 20, 2007, 05:48 PM
I use the Hornady traditional 150gr H3031 most of the time.
Remington Core-Lokt a few times.

The only problem I've had was the Hornady not always expanding at close range. The deer still died so I guess not a big problem

Bottom Gun
December 20, 2007, 07:22 PM
A few years ago I watched my hunting partner shoot an elk four times before he finally dropped it with a head shot. All shots were made between 200-300 yd and were fairly well placed.

He was using Federal factory 7MM Magnum ammo which used a plastic tipped bullet. I believe the bullets were Nosler ballistic tips. I don’t know how heavy the bullets were.

When we skinned the elk, we discovered not one of those bullets had expanded. Every single one had simply punched right through with very little tissue damage. He may as well have been shooting armor piercing ammo.

The following morning, we did a little varmint hunting over his gut pile. He shot a coyote with the same 7MM ammo at about 200 yd. The coyote took off at full speed like he was untouched.
I had my crosshairs on him and was just about to pull my trigger when the coyote suddenly dropped in his tracks. He had run about 100 yards. He had been shot right behind the shoulder. It was a good shot.

Curious now, we skinned around the exit hole and found that once again, there had been no expansion and little tissue damage.

After seeing that poor performance, I would avoid ballistic tips for big game.
In contrast, I have loaded the Nosler Partitions for years and have been very pleased with their performance on the half dozen elk I’ve taken with them.

ZeroJunk
December 20, 2007, 08:18 PM
I've told this before, but a couple of years ago I was hunting with a youngster who was becoming interested in the sport. I was using 300 Wby(I know) factory loads with 150 grain Hornady spire points supposedly at about 3500 FPS muzzle. A doe came out about 200 yards away and I squatted down, put my elbow on my knee, and was going to impress this youngster with my shooting skill.I told him to hold his ears as I squeezed one off. Well,the deer took off, ran down a drainage ditch about 200 yards and turned in to the woods.There was one drop of blood about the size of a pea in that entire distance. My hunting partner came up and I told him I would have sworn I made a good shot. Luckily, I saw where the deer went and it was shot straight through both lungs.The fat filled the dime size exit wound up and it took that long for the deer to drown.

My outfitter friend has a theory that a bullet can go through an animal too fast, which I thought was a wacky idea. Maybe not.

FrontSight
December 20, 2007, 09:32 PM
had to shoot a game ranch raised ram 3 times at point blank range with a 7mm remington mag. two shots to the neck (didn't hit bone, tho) and one final one to the ribs before it finally went down. was using remington core lockt, 150gr, pointed soft point

CamoCop
December 21, 2007, 01:25 PM
worst and only bad performer for me was a muzzleloading bullet. 245 gr. Powerbelt with 150 gr of pyrodex pushing it. the bullet completely fragmented and did not exit the other side of a 132 pound 6 point at approximately 60 yards.

jhgreasemonkey
December 21, 2007, 02:17 PM
Remington corelokt softpoint standard green and yellow box (not premium bullets) .270 win. At 75 yards this year my hunting partner hit a large 4x4mule deer broadside in the ribs. The bullet exploded and created about a 4 inch oval entrance wound. The deer died but we keep finding bullet fragments in our deer peperoni:(. Pretty disapointed in these bullets.

crowbeaner
December 21, 2007, 05:47 PM
Nosler 240 JHP. I think the cavity plugged up and the bullet failed to expand. I shot a beautiful big 8 point right behind the shoulder with my Redhawk .44. He ran like a scalded dog with afterburners. It was 40 yards and I heard the WHUP and saw him hunch up. I looked for that deer for 3 days and had to give up because of the snow. I went to hardcast lead and never lost another one. YMMV. CB.

MeekAndMild
December 21, 2007, 07:34 PM
I've had really bad luck with T/C .50 sabots, both jacketed and lead to the point where I quit using black powder for hunting. They just don't go where I tell them to under field conditions greater than about 75 yards. I can sight them in at the range and they do well and if they hit they knock the deer down but a difference of just 20 degrees in the temp or a tiny bit of difference whether there is any grease in the bore or if they are tamped too hard seems to make a big difference where they land in the field.

(That's it! no matter how poor a shot you are if you blame the bullet nobody notices!!!):o

Iosco-Bucks
December 26, 2007, 01:55 PM
I shot a nice buck about 7 years ago with a Ruger M-77 in 30-06. The ammo I was using was a 220 Gr. Winchester Silvertip. Upon impact, behind the front left shoulder, he jumped up and kicked his hind legs and thought he was going to face plant right there. Instead, he took off and took me and my dad on a 5 hour trek.

We never did find that deer, even when we enlisted the help of some of my cousins to track it. In talking with some other hunters, they said that the 220gr. just punched a hole in him and that a lighter bullet would have closed the deal. That's possible, but I'm fairly certain that he died considering the blood trail he left. That box of 220s is still in my ammo box, half-full and I'm hesitant to use them again.

Beretta16
December 26, 2007, 02:32 PM
I shot a nice buck about 7 years ago with a Ruger M-77 in 30-06. The ammo I was using was a 220 Gr. Winchester Silvertip. Upon impact, behind the front left shoulder, he jumped up and kicked his hind legs and thought he was going to face plant right there. Instead, he took off and took me and my dad on a 5 hour trek.

We never did find that deer, even when we enlisted the help of some of my cousins to track it. In talking with some other hunters, they said that the 220gr. just punched a hole in him and that a lighter bullet would have closed the deal. That's possible, but I'm fairly certain that he died considering the blood trail he left. That box of 220s is still in my ammo box, half-full and I'm hesitant to use them again.



All I use is 220 grains in 30-06 and have never had a deer go more than 20 yards, the majority of which have dropped in their tracks. Feel free to ship those silvertips my way :D

Yithian
December 27, 2007, 12:50 AM
Don't use Sierra BlitzKings on anything bigger than a squirrel.

I have a CZ 527 .204RUG, 1:12" twist

The 39gr BK's, even at 3500 fps-impact, refuse to penetrate deeper than a half inch. ~80 yards

The Hornady 40gr V-Max leave a min. 6 inch entry hole on body cavity hits, three inches across in rib-bone "holes", and a minimum 4 inch deep penetration on solid muscle (neck w/bone)(only one inch wide hole). A true performer. ~100+- yards

All of these results are tested on 120Lb-160Lb feral pigs in north-central Texas.

WeedWacker
December 27, 2007, 01:53 AM
PMC .30-06 in my M1903A4. more than 2 MOA 100 yds. But then again it's not even bedded yet (I did shoot some remingtons and they were around 1-1.5 MOA)

taylorce1
December 27, 2007, 08:32 AM
Don't use Sierra BlitzKings on anything bigger than a squirrel.

I have a CZ 527 .204RUG, 1:12" twist

The 39gr BK's, even at 3500 fps-impact, refuse to penetrate deeper than a half inch. ~80 yards

The Hornady 40gr V-Max leave a min. 6 inch entry hole on body cavity hits, three inches across in rib-bone "holes", and a minimum 4 inch deep penetration on solid muscle (neck w/bone)(only one inch wide hole). A true performer. ~100+- yards

All of these results are tested on 120Lb-160Lb feral pigs in north-central Texas.

I'd consider this a failure on your part to properly select a caliber and bullet for the game you were hunting. Why would you use a varmint bullet on something as solid as a pig? The .204 was not designed for this kind of hunting why even try it? I'd say the Blitz Kings performed just as they were designed to do.

onlybrowning
December 27, 2007, 01:23 PM
My experience was similar to CamoCops. I shot a small (87 lbs dressed) 8 point quartering away slightly with a 295grain Powerbelt CVA bullet, and it fragmented, and did not exit. The deer ran about 100 yards on a shot that I have never had a deer run on before. The shot was at about 55 yards. I like bullets that exit.

Yithian
December 28, 2007, 03:13 AM
Thanks for the response taylor. I do it because it still works and they are varmints anyways.

I posted the results because I have concerns about the vast difference between the two projectiles.

I wouldn't even use the BK's on bobcats. They proove that weak.
Not enough penetration to consider reaching vitals more than an inch from the hide.

taylorce1
December 28, 2007, 12:38 PM
Yithan, I definatly understand that wild/feral pigs are varmints. I just don't really think that the .204 Ruger is a good choice on any anmimal that weighs in over 50+/- pounds. I just didn't see your bullets as failing, just being expceted to do more than what they were designed for.

I will agree as well that not all varmint bullets are fur friendly, and it takes trial and error to find the ones that are. I like Sierra 55 grain HP's for saving fur on coyotes, if I can center punch one with my .223 in the chest at the base of the neck I've never had one exit. I do loose a hide every now and then as I don't always get that shot, but I only get around $15 for a whole coyote (I don't like to skin them) so I don't feel bad if it can't be saved. I still get a $3 bounty on the ears so it isn't a total loss, I still get a gallon of gas out of the deal.:D

bclark1
January 2, 2008, 05:39 PM
Eh nevermind my story's not really got a point - I had one bullet blow up out of several used, wrecked up one deer pretty good - but don't really want to say the whole bullet performed badly on account of one deviation from what I expected. Just blowing a lot of time on the boards today and wanted to contribute to an interesting read :P

thallub
January 2, 2008, 08:31 PM
Lost a big cow elk that was shot with my .50 caliber muzzleloader.

Gun: .50 Caliber CVA Magnum Hunter
Powder: 150 grains of Pyrodex RS
Bullet: Thompson Center 300 grain PTX
Range: 85 yards

I shot an elk through both lungs at 7:15 am. Five of us looked all day for the animal. She was found at 6 am the next day about one-half mile from where the blood trail petered out. The elk was taken out by the finder: He later told me that the exit hole was the same size as the entry hole and that very little lung tissue was destroyed.

green-grizzly
January 4, 2008, 10:26 PM
No penetration on pronghorn. The bullet basically blew up upon impact. I shot it a couple times at short range, which did nothing but scare the hell out of it, and then finally had a bullet hold together and penetrate once the pronghorn was about 100 yards away.

I bought like 5 boxes of that ammo on sale, and have not taken it out of the closet since.

Kreyzhorse
January 4, 2008, 10:39 PM
I've hunted using both Remington core-lokts and Winchester ballastic tips and I can honestly say that neither has performed badly if I do my job. By doing my job I mean good shot placement above all else. Regardless of bullet, a bad shot is a bad shot. As Kennedy proved, there is no "magic bullet" that will cure a bad shot.

elkman06
January 10, 2008, 09:43 AM
150gr sivertips out of a 06, will and do blow up on the surface. Only good thing they would be used for is shooting paper at the range..
elkman06

whitefish
January 23, 2008, 01:22 AM
elkman06, is that the regular silvertips or the newer ballistic silvertips.


My dad has had good success with the 180 Silvertips in his 308.

UniversalFrost
January 23, 2008, 01:28 AM
remington core lokt have been the poorest performers from factory loads at all ranges and calibers

I have had good performance with winchester silvertip, but real close shots did not perform well on the faster velocity calibers I shoot (failed to expand).

elkman06
January 26, 2008, 10:51 PM
whitefish,, the last ones I used were in 1975 so I guess the old style. I reload now so not something I would ever load.
elkman

castnblast
January 27, 2008, 04:18 PM
Old Nosler ballistic tips in 7mm rem mag. blew up on the shoulder of a deer shot at 160 yds. Went back to 139 btsps ever since. no problems. Shot several nice Nilgai w/ it. (think elk sized animals)

whitefish
January 27, 2008, 06:49 PM
A buddy of mine wanted me to post this...

A whitetail doe at 75 yards with 7mm Weatherby using Grand Slams. Caught a piece of the shoulder and the bullet went kaboom! This experience essentially sold him on Barnes X (he keeps trying to convince me to switch to them).

gedenke
June 17, 2008, 03:47 PM
I know this thread has all but expired, but I was poking around here and wanted to add my two cents. Besides, with the fall not too far off, many of us will be working on our handloads for the hunt(s), so maybe a revival isn't a bad thing.

By no means is this meant to stir the pot, but last year I took a 200lb Blacktail with regular old 150gr Rem. CoreLokt (the $13/box walmart variety), out of a Savage 30/06 @ 20yds. Now, perhaps the close range was a factor, but the animal took one step (he was in a light trot) and dropped. As for the bullet, it pretty much snapped one rib and ruptured the heart, breaking into two chunks, penatrating about halfway through the chest. However, there was no exit wound.

Sarge
June 17, 2008, 07:12 PM
Ken,

I have used conventional, 60's-era .30 cal (30-30, .308 & '06) 150-180 grain softpoints on several deer apiece and have yet to lose one. Essentially no tracking involved either. I used a Privi Partizan 175 grain 7x57 SP (from an original 7mm rolling block, no less) on a running doe about 20 years ago and flattened her. Granted, 250-300 pound animals are big ones here and the .30's are more than 'up to the task'.

If I had the good fortune to live & hunt in your country, I'd probably trade the 30-30 for a .375 Win, and pick up a .338 WM or .375 H&H for anything beyond that. It's hard to argue with 75-100 grains more bullet when the local fauna can teeter-totter with a fat boy on a Harley Davidson.

The conventional bullets work fine but you have to use enough gun, enough bullet, and then put that bullet where it needs to go.

simonkenton
June 17, 2008, 07:27 PM
Remington Core Lokt in 180 grain with a German Mauser 30-06.
It is a real dog on Georgia whitetail. I killed 20 of 'em with this slug, but never could get it to expand. Damn deer would run 120 yards with holes through both lungs.
I got a .30 entrance and a .35 exit.

simonkenton
June 17, 2008, 07:32 PM
"You know my experiences with accubonds from "Accubond Performance?".

Other than that, I took a 50-75 yard running shot at a small whitetail doe using a 180gr PowerPoint (factory load) out of the same 300 Win Mag. I hit the back hip and it REALLY exploded. There were chunks of copper and lead all over the place. Basically destoyed the hind quarters.

That said, both of these bullets have performed perfectly at ranges over 125 yards in the past. I think both are good performers at the right velocity/energy. Depending on what gun is used, thats going to translate into range.

Browning A-Bolt II 300 Win Mag - 26" barrel - 1 in 10 twist"

Unethical.
I am sorry to see that you shoot deer in the ass at 50 yards.
Please stick to standing still shots henceforth.

gedenke
June 17, 2008, 07:33 PM
Sarge, your last statement is right on. I believe shot placement is much more important then what kind of boolit you fling.

That being said, unlike last year, I'm reloading now, and will be hunting deer with a custom 6.5mm. I've been shooting 140gr Hornady Interlocks with decent results (for an old gun that needs a barrel). I am however, considering using a premium bullet this year, perhaps a Nosler Partition.

I was leaning toward a tipped/bonded like Accubond or Interbond, but reading about how the ballistic tips are "exploding" when hitting bone, now I'm not so sure. Question is, most of those reports are from guys shooting the fast 300's, so, would a slower gun like mine perform a little better with say, an Accubond?

mavracer
June 17, 2008, 07:50 PM
dad shot a ~100 pound antelope with a 130 seirra from a .270 win.while it did its job I was less than impressed the bullet lost its jacket and failed to exit.IIRC the shot was nearly broadside.IMHO it should stay together on such a small animal.

Sarge
June 17, 2008, 11:09 PM
gedenke- thanks. My guess is that your bullet selection for your 6.5 will work out fine.

The standard Nosler BT is probably not the best choice for 'fast 30's' or fast anything, unless severe fragmentation is your goal. I run the 150 BT at 2944 fps from Peggi's '06 and it is still a chest-grenade at 200+ yards. You can actually hear it impact over the report at that distance, and it sounds like it's hitting wet paper or water jugs.

Does it stay together? Nope. I shoot shoulders/spine and they rarely exit. No matter. It is a wicked, deer-slaying machine. Where you shoot 'em is where you find 'em.

It also happens to be exceptionally accurate in her rifle, which is why keep loading it. In terminal ballistics it is not unlike the original 130 grain 270 load that Mavracer mentioned. They were both designed to meet perceived shortcomings in the 30/150 loads I mentioned above- and kill deer as well at 250 yards as the old stand-bys did at 100. This they do, but the price you pay is a little wrecked meat and passed-up Texas Heart Shots.

Sportdog
June 17, 2008, 11:19 PM
Somebody needs to tell the outfitter that I will be using this fall on a black bear hunt that those Corelokt's and Ballistic Tips are no good!:rolleyes: Those are the exact bullets that he recomended to me to load up for close shots over bait, 30-60 yards. Seeing as how this outfitter was recomended to me by one of the leading bear hunters and author of three books on hunting black bears I figure the guy must know what he is talking about. I was all set to load up some Nosler Partitions or Speer Mag Tips but he said no. Go with CoreLokt's or Ballistic Tips so that's what I'm going to do. 8mmMauser, 185 grain Corelokt's @2600fps and 30-06 180 grain Corelokt's @2700fps. If the Good Lord sees fit to let me take a bear, I'll report back with bullet performance.:)

gedenke
June 18, 2008, 03:35 PM
I didn't want to get too far off topic with this one, so I started a new thread on hunting bullet performance, rather than mis-performance, as discussed here. Thanks guys!

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298974

lt dan
June 19, 2008, 09:31 AM
i have never heard of big game bullets giving problems. i guess it is because they know big game can kill the hunter. most favour a 416 rigby for big game due to the penatration and i have never heard about problems. not with reloads or factory ammo.