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Old June 25, 2006, 04:59 PM   #1
brselman
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How much force to kill a deer?

So, here's a question that will undoubtedly make some of you chuckle.

I have been using my Ruger 308 for benchrest target practice. I am not a fan of recoil, so I have experimented with some reduced loads and have landed on the following: IMR 4895 35g; CCI large rifle primers; 150 grain Winchester or Remington bullet; gives a 5 shot 1 1/2" group at 100yrds with ave of 2150 fps (sd ca. 85 fps for those of you who care). Max load is listed at 45.5 grains with 2850 fps. Thus, my 23% reduced load gives me about 75% of the max fps. The recoil is mild, and I can shoot that all day long (cannot tell you how big my black and blue mark was after shooting 30 rounds at 40+ grains).

So, if I wanted to use this load as a hunting load, would it have enough energy at 100 yds to bring down white tailed deer?
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Old June 25, 2006, 05:43 PM   #2
Ausserordeutlich
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Si.
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Old June 25, 2006, 06:02 PM   #3
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What you have is a light 30-30 power level. You could use this load out to 110yd where your energy drops to 1,000 ft/lb, but not beyond. I highly recomend you use a Remington 150 round nose bullet desgined for the 30-30 and its lower velocity. If you pick a bullet desigined to expand at thoes velocities you should have a solid 100yd load. BTW, your SD of 85 is quite high. Not to say SD is a huge deal at 100yd for a deer gun but better is better. Possible agravated by the light charge, but you probably will see an improvment in SD and possibly accuracy if you try win primers. Also if you could tolorate anouther grain or two of powder and get your velocity up over 2300 fps for the shot or two youll need for hunting, you'd be much better off. You wont feel the recoil when hunting any way. Load up a few with rem 150 rn (speficaly the 30-30 type), win LRP, 4895 is a great choice for light loads. Although any 30-30 bullet is much better than a spitzer at low velocity I recomed the rem 30-30 bullets specificaly becaus they have a lot of exposed lead, are cheap and quite accurate. You shouldn't have to crimp the bullet for your box mag unless you find better accuracy that way.
Let us know how it goes.
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Old June 25, 2006, 06:35 PM   #4
lizziedog1
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Kinetic energy is not force. They have nothing to do with each other. many people see a figure like 1000 foot pounds of energy and think it is some magical power. It is not. It is the theoritical work a bullet could do at any given range.
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Old June 25, 2006, 07:20 PM   #5
45reloader
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My gun dealer handgun hunts with a classic Colt 45.
He uses a 250 gr cast lead bullet only doing 850 fps.
He has stopped 3 deer dead at 35 yards or less with this load.

You don't need to worry about your rifle being under powered.
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Old June 29, 2006, 09:58 PM   #6
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I'll bet that poachers have killed more deer with .22rimfire than all the legal hunting centerfire cartridges put together.
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Old June 29, 2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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At those lower velocities, look at Veral Smith's old work with flat meplat cast bullets. They will likely get you a better blood channel. You will definitely kill deer.

If the full-power loads bruise you up, consider trying a PAST magnum recoil pad on the shoulder and see if you get any more comfortable? I use them with short stock guns just to get the rear sight a little farther from my face, but they take down felt recoil effectively, too. This is one source, but there are others.

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Old June 30, 2006, 07:41 AM   #8
Olaf
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Certainly your reduced load will kill deer, no question. I would be a bit concerned about bullet performance at those velocities, though. A spitzer-type, soft-point hunting bullet designed to mushroom at "normal" .308 velocities may not open up as well at your reduced velocities. This is just something to bear in mind. Would this prevent killing a deer, if your shot was placed well ? No, of course not. However, it could, under some circumstances, lead to loss of a game animal....though a bad shot is a bad shot. I would be careful of the maximum range at which you hunt with these (reduced) loads, if I were you. Also, as someone else already mentioned, using a bullet with a larger meplat, such as a flat-nose or round-nose design, would tend to make up for the lower velocity, as regards bullet performance.

I wish that people would get off of the "1000 ft. lb" argument....and UNDERSTAND what that is all about. It is merely a rough GUIDELINE, or "rule of thumb", as a way to ensure a clean kill. It is NOT an absolute, nor was it ever intended to assert that any projectile possessing less than 1000 ft. lbs of energy at point-of-impact would somehow "bounce off". Nonsense. It was never intended as an all-or-nothing concept. I imagine that this idea was developed and asserted simply to dissuade those that might be tempted to hunt deer or other similar-sized animals with a .22LR....at 350 yards, or some similar stupidity. If understood as intended, the concept does have some validity. That is NOT to say that one cannot kill a deer with a .357 handgun at 50 yards, or something like that. It is done every day. However, that same .357 bullet, at the same velocity, at 350 yards, would NOT offer much prospect of a CLEAN kill, regardless of shot placement. That is a simple, entirely logical argument.
So, what is the problem ? Is that concept too difficult to understand for some ? Taken IN CONTEXT, it makes sense.....as a simple guideline. The world is not absolutely "black or white".....and neither is the field of ballistics, as regards wound dynamics.
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Old June 30, 2006, 09:10 AM   #9
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I get a chuckle out of threads that say how much velocity, power or energy you need to kill a deer. t seems to me that those that bow hunt don't seem to realize that their arrows are really traveling very slow and have almost no energy in foot pounds.
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Old June 30, 2006, 10:53 AM   #10
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I agree but remember, arrows kill by hemorrhage not shock.
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Old June 30, 2006, 10:55 AM   #11
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Not to get on your case, Ruger4570, but I wondered how long it would be before someone (erroneously) dragged the lowly arrow into this discussion. This is a DIFFERENT type of projectile. A hunting arrow penetrates because of kinetic energy ("impact energy"), yes....but mostly because of the sharp broadhead. A bullet penetrates and mushrooms due to kinetic energy, but does not have the advantage of razor-sharp cutting surfaces. An arrow also creates a wound channel in a different way than a bullet - by cutting into the target, whereas a bullet penetrates due to what is referred to as "compression penetration". A bullet and a broadhead- equipped hunting arrow are NOT directly comparable in this regard. So, your point is entirely without merit.

A much more valid comparison could be made between a bullet and an arrow, IF the arrow is equipped with a field point instead. In that case, you'd see how little penetration the arrow would produce.

Apples and oranges do not make for a valid comparison, my friend.

Again, as I stated before, CONTEXT is important.
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Old June 30, 2006, 11:12 AM   #12
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I'd say that'll work fine, and punch meaningful holes through Bucky from about any direction you want to shoot him. Shoot it well and then start selecting vegetables to serve on the side.
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Old June 30, 2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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I agree that bullets and broadheads are not an apples to apples comparison, any more than a tractor trailer hitting a deer as opposed to your Yugo. I was simply trying to make a point about the often quoted 1000 pound MINIMUM foot pounds that have been quoted for years. It has some validity, but it is not absolute by any means. I know exactly how and arrow causes death as I do bow hunt too, along with muzzleloaders. I also use a 45-70 and a 35-284 for game too. I am simply a believer in big heavy bullets going at moderate speeds to do the job. Of course my 35-284 pushes a 225 gr bullet at over 2700fps. I guess I simply ride the line as to matching up the game and the distances I am likely to shoot at with the gun I feel is best for the job at hand. 20 to 40 yards, an arrow will usually do the job,my .54 caliber muzzle loader will for sure and so will a 12 guage deer slug and most any gun made for deer. Anything that will get into the vitals of a deer or whatever game will cause death. I fail to see how the 1000 pound rule, other than a guide, is the total answer. But I guess we need rules for everything. No offence taken either
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Old June 30, 2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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at 20-40 yards a well placed CB short will do the job. It does not take much to kill a deer, it does however require that that "not much" be put in the correct place.
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Old June 30, 2006, 02:05 PM   #15
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Kinetic energy is useful because it is easy to translate powder energy into it, and also it would seem to explain, despite the gun/shooter mass and bullet acquiring equal and opposite momentum from the bullet's launch, why the gun doesn't hurt the shooter as much as the target. The bullet comes away from the event with far higher kinetic energy.

That said, if you give 1000 ft-lb of kinetic energy to three very different projectiles, say a needle, a bullet, and an 85 ton loaded tractor/trailer rig, it becomes apparent that serious damage to a person struck by one of these objects is only certain over a limited range of projectile sizes. The needle weighs one grain and will travel 21,222 ft/s, but whether it would do lethal damage is kind of iffy. It might turn and do damage on entry or break up and act like tiny shot, or it might go straight through soft tissue and, unless it's your eye, hurt like a wasp sting and you'd say "ouch" and go about your business. I put the bullet at 150 grains, and that is 1,733 fps and it will kill you pretty easily. The 85 ton semi would be moving about 0.6 feet per second and should bump you out of the way without serious harm unless you get under a wheel or caught between it and a substantial stationary object. My point is that and object with 1000 ft-bs of kinetic energy might or might not be enough to kill you; it depends on how it is delivered as to whether it is transfered to you or not. It also depends how spread out it is as to whether it does damage or not?

Narrowing down the projectile size range, suppose we give three bullets of different weight the same kinetic energy: it will be found each has different momentum at the velocity that produces that energy. Each of the following bullet/velocity combinations has 350 ft-lbs of kinetic energy; which one will likely have the best stopping power? A 50 grain .224 going 1766 fps, a 125 grain 9 mm going 1123 fps, or a 230 grain .45 going 827 ft/s? The momentum of each has 12.7, 20.1, and 27.2 ft-lb/s, respectively. Would this momentum ranking affect your suppositions?

It gets difficult to tell what means what, doesn't it? This is why the Taylor K.O. formula and other more complex factoring formulae have arisen. Kinetic energy, momentum, sectional density and nose shape all wind up playing a roll, and it gets very difficult to make valid rules off the cuff. Even the complex combinations of factors are debated heavily.

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Old June 30, 2006, 11:54 PM   #16
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Buffalo Bill

I wonder if the old buffalo hunters were preoccupied with ballistic charts and ballistic numbers?
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Old July 1, 2006, 09:16 PM   #17
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Well, I'm sure that they were not concerned. They just tamped an extra-heavy charge of black powder into their muzzle loaders (which sometimes would explode)....and "went for it". Sometimes it worked, other times not. If they made a bad shot and lost an animal, or blew up their rifle from over-loading it, oh well. Now, we have a bit more knowledge of such things, which helps us all. Truly reliable rifles, capable bullets and cartridges....and telescopic sights, among other things. Perhaps some have a romance for the old days....but, just remember - they were hard, bleak, often hungry times. I, for one, appreciate most aspects of the fact that the "bad old days" are over. Perhaps not the loss of freedom to wander beautiful, open country, certainly....but that is the price we pay for a large population and mechanised society.
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Old July 2, 2006, 03:38 PM   #18
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I'm new and love this forum...great info. My 2 cents on this topic would be to consider a lighter bullet, say a 130 gr. in a balistic tip. At those lower velocities, it should open real nice and not blow to pieces. I personally would not use a round nose, as you likely will not get the desired expansion. You should have pleanty of energy and expansion to kill a deer with that round.
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Old September 20, 2006, 11:30 PM   #19
flutedchamber
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I can attest to the fact that a three day old 1991 Harley FXRS traveling at 40 mph can kill a deer jumping across a road instantly, and cover the rider in deer guts and other assorted crap. It was at this time that I was reminded that I am allergic to deer dander, and apparently intestines as well. Kept the bike upright though. Damage: 4 inch cut in right shoulder of leather jacket, headlight bucket, turnsignal, and sissy bar was bent. Oh yes, I had a sore neck for almost a month.
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Old September 21, 2006, 02:51 PM   #20
zeisloft
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pictures, we want pictures!
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Old September 21, 2006, 11:32 PM   #21
flutedchamber
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Pictures

Z,

That accident happened 15 years ago. I have the pictures stored away. If I find them, I will be glad to post them. []
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Old September 24, 2006, 11:50 PM   #22
Kelly J
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brselman, I don't know about the load but it sounds like a 100 Yard Max, that being said I can appreciate your statement about recoil but at the same time I must say that in an actual hunting condition I do not ever remember the recoil of a shot taken a field so I really don't think I would use anything other than a full load for hunting the Game deserves the cleanest most humane kill that we can deliver to it.

As for bench Shooting, for sight in and practice, I used a Past recoil shooting vest for sporting clays, as an example to reduce the punishment of bench shooting, another thing that you will find that helps is when you set up to shoot, do not get so low that you are basically in a prone position to shoot, I have found that getting set up so that your upper torso is very near to that of off hand shooting, you will be a lot more comfortable and the weapon and you will handle the recoil a lot better, just a suggestion.

The vest I spoke about has a decelerator pad in the shoulder area, much like the pad in the browning vest, also Midway I believe still offers a Past Rifle shoulder pad, that I call a Shooting BRA, anywy it works.
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Old September 24, 2006, 11:56 PM   #23
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Duplicated post
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Last edited by Kelly J; September 24, 2006 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Duplicated
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