Bullet failures, especially "blow up" varieties, are almost always shot placement failures.
Those little bits of bullet don't make 90 degree turns doing 3,200fps. They also don't stop in 2 inches from 3,200fps.
Yeah, bullets do fragment sometimes. I've seen a deer shot right behind the front leg that had shrapnel in it's guts, mind you, this is like a 30, 40dg turn, not 90.... but it was dead in very short order.
It's near on impossible to shoot a deer in the vitals with ANY bullet and not kill it in very short order. Now, a bullet that doesn't expand at all makes for a rough trailing job, that's one thing. Bullet that fragment almost always make for very dead deer.
I've seen deer shot with what should be varmint bullets... 55gr Nosler lead free .243 with muzzle velocities pushing 4,000fps, that dropped like a stone.
I've seen quite a lot of deer killed with quite a variety of weapons, bullets and broadheads. I've also talked to guys who have seen a lot more. Most importantly, guys with dogs that track wounded animals. They tell me all kinds of stories about "perfect shots" and "bullet failures", that turned out to be gut-shot, leg-shot, something other than vital zone shot, animals. Interestingly, I have yet to hear a single story from such a dog tracker, wherein the animal was hit in the vitals and the bullet or broadhead failed to perform.
I do like bullets that don't come apart and I also like light and fast bullets. Fortunately, Barnes makes bullets that do both very well... their T/TSX line.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.