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Old November 26, 2012, 02:11 PM   #1
WWWJD
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The right bullet? I don't know.

I posted about my weird success yesterday in this thread:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...98#post5300498

Shooting .308 Winchester; 168gr Nosler Ballistic Tip over 43.5 gr Varget; velocity unknown but they group very very well on paper. The shot was inside of 50 yards, and carried enough energy to take down two does. The deer that I hit intentionally had an exit wound about 1.5" in diameter. The bullet continued on to the 2nd doe and did enough damage to take her down as well. I had been playing with 150gr NBTs back in the summer, but I ran out of them before season opened, and figured I'd just roll back to the 168gr that I'd already dialed in.

I feel like this was too much bullet I guess. I would think that ideally, you'd want to dump all that energy into the animal without too much collateral damage to the meat, and without risk of the bullet exiting and going elsewhere in an uncontrolled fashion.

The deer here aren't typically "monsters".. biggest buck ever taken back on the farm where I hunt was 280 lbs. The typical shot distance is inside of 200 yards as well.

For .30 caliber, do you guys think I should maybe go with an even lighter weight like 125gr? Or maybe try a different bullet type all together next year? Or am I just over thinking about it? My cousin shoots 90gr VMax out of his .257 Roberts back there (last year at 400+ yards!) and has never lost a deer.

The .308 is what I'm stuck with for now. What do you guys think?
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Old November 26, 2012, 02:30 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Exit wounds are good.

Ideally, the bullet would drop on the ground out the other side but that ain't the real world.

If your bullet would stop under the skin on a perfect broadside shot, it would lack penetration on a quartering shot.

Deer aren't hard to kill. The 1,000ft/lbs you put in the tree on the other side isn't needed.

The trouble here, and I'm not trying to be a jerk, is that you weren't sure what was beyond your target. While you knew from a pure safety perspective, you didn't know from a wounding and/or potentially legal perspective.

Your bullet did just fine.

No harm done, live and learn.
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Old November 26, 2012, 02:42 PM   #3
WWWJD
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Quote:
not trying to be a jerk, is that you weren't sure what was beyond your target
No offense taken! That didn't set well with me either; I don't know how long it took her to expire laying on that hillside. She had good legs on her for the 150 or so yards she ran for sure. Safety wise, well, yea. Firing down hill into a creek bed / valley didn't have any real risk. That FTF really threw me off; and I knew at that point that she was without a doubt out front of the group. 2nd attempt, I didn't even consider it. Should have.
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Old November 26, 2012, 03:03 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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If that's the worst you ever do you'll be ahead of most of us, including me.
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Old November 26, 2012, 04:06 PM   #5
jmr40
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That is a fairly light load, just above the book starting point. I use 46 gr for around 2750 fps. You are probably around 2600 fps at the muzzle. Pushing the bullet faster would probably give more violent expansion and a litttle less penetration.

I believe you are overthinking the situation. I'd rather have complete penetraton along with good expansion. Looks like it worked perfectly to me.

There are lots of ways to kill a deer. Almost any of the loadings from 125 gr. to 200 gr will work on whitetail. Use what works best for you and your gun.
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:22 AM   #6
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
The trouble here, and I'm not trying to be a jerk, is that you weren't sure what was beyond your target. While you knew from a pure safety perspective, you didn't know from a wounding and/or potentially legal perspective
As Peetza said, not trying to be a jerk either, but your bullet did just fine. I want an exit wound that allows for a lot of bleeding.

I think a 308 in 150gr would be fine if you want to go lighter but really, your current set up is just fine.
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Old November 27, 2012, 08:17 PM   #7
Panfisher
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Your bullet performed flawlessly, unfortunately things happen, sometimes you just can't see everything on the other side. It happens, happend during a special hunt I help with this year, guy shot a buck, (poorly) bullet hit the chest of a doe he hadn't seen on the far side, (much better hit actually). We promptly called the Conservation Agent, fessed up and the deer went to another hunter who had been too sick to hunt most of the time, after a deserved lecture from the officer about being more aware. It happens, make sure the deer gets utilized and not illegally taken.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:57 PM   #8
bamaranger
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heck

I knew a guy who killed 3 deer outright and crippled a 4th, with one 180 gr classic old style Silvertip. He said anyhow. HIs whole pary tagged out on it to make it sort of legal. He said. Anyhow......

Yeah, you're overthinking it. Slugs of 150-165 in .30 cal are typical deer bullets. Old school guys still shoot 180's and heavier, though not so much these days. My family swore by the old .35 Rem 200gr, and '06 RN 180's.

Yoiur load seems fine.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:54 AM   #9
primape
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You are OK with the 165 gr bullets. I will have to try your Varget load. IMR 4064 seems to work the best in my rifle.

For over 10 yrs now all I have ever used is 150g Nosler BT in my 308 with excellent results. All but a few dropped in their tracks and the ones that did run only went about 25 yds.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:08 PM   #10
ltc444
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panfish i applaud your comments of fair chase and sportsman like conduct.

the chief deputy of Pinal county AZ Shot 3 bull elk because he did not like the size of the rack on the first two.

I find slob hunters like him to be only slightly above child molesters on my felony scale.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:03 PM   #11
GeauxTide
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I've had the best luck in the 308 with 150 Sierra or Hornady.
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