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Old September 27, 2006, 05:44 PM   #1
Jack O'Conner
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The Power of a Well Placed Bullet

I'm now over 50 and been on the big game trail since I was 14. Many animals have fallen to my well placed bullets. I've learned a few things but do not know it all. Animal reaction to a well placed bullet is not always as predictable as we assume.

I've watched big mulies topple over in their tracks at 200 yards or so from a 170 grain 30-30 bullet through both lungs. I've also seen 'em bound away as if missed at 75 yards or so, then topple after a few jumps. It is a mystery to me.

I've harvested many coastal blacktails with my 44MAG carbine. Reactions have astounded me. One buck rose up on his hind legs and pawed the air like a stallion. Then he toppled over backward and kicked a few times. Another buck charged away and hit the ground stone dead in mid-stride. His chin plowed a shallow furrow in the dirt. Several blacktails just folded up and fell where they stood.

Antelope nearly always drop in their tracks from a double lung hit from my .243 rifle. These fascinating animals seem fragile compared to other big game animals.

Elk get a lot of press. "Bigger is better" according to so-called experts who write columns for magazines funded by ads by magnum focused gun manufacturers. Am I the only one who noticed that elk are not armor-plated? Please show me a big bull who can stand up to a double lung hit from a 300 Savage, .308, 30-06, 7mm-08 or 6.5mm Swede. Just show me one bull who can get away after such damage? This animal does not exist. Elk are not armor-plated despite what that southern Californian urbanite named Craig Boddington is paid to write!

Animals are killed quickly by well placed bullets that form a mushroom shape, hold together, and punch through hide and ribs. Animals are wounded by poor shooting, inadequate comprehension of basic anatomy, and bullets that fail to penetrate through hide and ribs. The diameter of the un-expanded bullet and velocity are lethal factors to consider but will never make up for poor shooting.

Good hunting to you.
TR
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Old September 27, 2006, 06:13 PM   #2
turkey45
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nice statement...

..ive been around a moon or two,,LOL..
you describe huting to a tee,i myself have placed several
lethal bullets,with lots of different calibers,and witness the same
reaction,i once put a legal double lung hit on a whitetail doe at
30 yards with a 243,100 grain power point bullet,the animal ran 100
yards before dying,and the list goes on,,once put a doulble lung hit
on a 8 pointer,at 100,yards with a 270,130 grain bullet,the buck ran
about 75,yards before falling dead,,so story goes they dont always
drop in there tracks..LOL..
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Old September 27, 2006, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've also seen 'em bound away as if missed at 75 yards or so, then topple after a few jumps. It is a mystery to me.
I suspect that mostly when they bound away they are already alerted and their brain has already sent the fight or flight message.
I also read that large bears hearts only beat about every 9 seconds...even if you blow their heart out, (with lungs) they can do a whole lot with the 9 to 18 seconds they still have left...
Quote:
Please show me a big bull who can stand up to a double lung hit from a 300 Savage, .308, 30-06, 7mm-08 or 6.5mm Swede.
I am unable to "show you" but I can tell you about one...

I saw an elk take a heart-lung shot from a 338 WinMag and run off as if he hadn't been hit at all! I was on high ground and I could see where it ran to...
After about 400 yards of running (uphill) he ducked into a small stand of trees.

The hunter who shot him had no idea where to look for him... I told him where to look and he tagged it...

Perhaps this was one of those times when the elk had taken a breath and his heart had beaten just prior to the hit? Who knows?

I helped track another bull that was shot in the chest with a .308 and also ran off... we took up the search at dawn the next day and found him dead at least 400 yards down the trail... It was a good hit too!

As you already know, I am one of those who believes in the magnums and I have killed elk with 30-06's dropping them on the spot!

I love the '06 and I consider it to be the "budget magnum" and the minimum cartridge for elk sized game... and now you know why.

I have tracked a good many animals shot by others...
When I was young, I had to track one of my own deer "for forever", and I never found it...

I have never since, used anything smaller than a 30-06, and I have never since had to track one of my own kills... "knock on wood"

A friend of mine shot an airborne buck with a 30-30 at 75 yards... the bullet only pushed the deer over the small ridge... another hunter shot it... they dug my firends bullet from between the tail and the pelvis... completely un-deformed!! The deer was not damaged by the bullet but was probably feeling the pain...I believe an '06 would have crippled the animal fast enough to shoot it again and the tag would have been my friend's... He retired his 30-30.
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:52 PM   #4
ZeroJunk
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I posted this on another thread but I'll repeat it FWIW.I shot a whitetail doe straight through both lungs with a 300 WBY 150 grain factory load,and she ran 250 yards at least.Never bled.The only reason I found her is because I could see her for about 90% of the flight.Bullet slipped between the ribs and never expanded.Probably going about as fast after it passed through the deer.I know this is an anomaly,but large magnums can fail too.
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Old September 27, 2006, 09:54 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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"Animals are wounded by poor shooting, inadequate comprehension of basic anatomy, and bullets that fail to penetrate through hide and ribs."

Amen, brother, amen.

IMO, you've listed by order of importance, too.

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Old September 27, 2006, 10:17 PM   #6
rem33
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Animals are killed quickly by well placed bullets that form a mushroom shape, hold together, and punch through hide and ribs

There IS no substitute for a well placed shot.
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Old September 27, 2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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Let me add this to the posting a couple back.I shot a whitetail buck,maybe 160 pounds,with the same 300 WBY.The cartridge came out of the same box.Shot was about the same distance.Anatomically the shots were within an inch or two.Not to get too graphic,but it made a mess and the deer never moved an inch.Difference was hitting a rib on the front side,and making the bullet expand.If all your deer fall instantly dead every time you hit their vitals,good for you.
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Old September 28, 2006, 02:24 AM   #8
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Practice, Practice, Practice

Like the others have said, there is no substitute for a well placed shot. I've dropped a 160 lb 10 pointer with a 223. Wouldn't recommend it, but thats what I had at the time. I also had a friend hunting with me one time that took a large doe with a 30-06, using 165 gr core lokts. When the deer was hit, she didn't even flinch before throwing the flag and taking off. She dropped about 300 yds away. Upon field dressing the deer, the heart was in several pieces. I still can't explain that. I guess some of it just depends on the will to live. This deer was in the middle of a large cultivated field and was easy to see as it ran off and then dropped. However, if it was in the brush and you didn't see it drop, it could have easily been passed off as a miss if you didn't go down and check the area. The bullet apparently performed correctly, it left about a half dollar size exit hole and a large blood trail. The point I'm getting to is, just because you don't get much of a reaction from the animal and it runs off after the shot, don't necessarily pass it off as a miss. Check the area thoroughly before doing so. Use a gun you have confidence in and know what it can do. Theres no substitute for practice.
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Old September 28, 2006, 08:15 AM   #9
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if you shoot go look

You should ALWAYS go look for blood if you shoot at a animal, even if you feel it was a complete miss. Its just kinda mandatory in my book.

Was hunting with another fella once. He shot a deer farther back that he would have liked. the Animal ran a ways away from him but into a perfect view for me, stopped in a sort of braced stance. It was in a plowed field I shot once, deer didn't move and I could see the bullet kick up dust 100 feet or so behind it. Thought ran thru my mind " how did I miss". So I shot again. Deer was knocked flat but I did see the bullet kick up dust again. Upon a closer look Both my bullets were a couple of inches apart, right thru the lungs, but the first one didn't hit a rib, second one did.
You are never sure and should always go take a good look for any sign, blood or hair of a hit.
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Old September 28, 2006, 09:03 AM   #10
mikejonestkd
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Jack,

Well said and right to the point. too many people think animals are bulletproof to anything other than the latest G&A fad "super short ultra long belted whizz bang unbelted magnum".

Iv'e seen deer take multiple 12ga slugs to the lungs and keep on walking, at least for a while. I had the unfortunate experience to watch three yahoos unload their 12ga autoloaders into a single doe one day. She must have taken 5 or 6 hits before she went down. All poorly placed shots and a terrible way to take an animal. made me want to give up hunting that day.

I've seen deer take a single NBT 95 gr from a .243 handgun ( encore ) and drop on the spot.

The truth of the matter is that some animals will run after being shot with a decent bullet in the right spot, and others will drop right there.


Practice, practice, practice!!!!!
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Old September 28, 2006, 09:09 AM   #11
Jack O'Conner
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I sort of have a negative attitude toward Boddington. Vast majority of his articles contain the word, magnum, 5 to 7 times. Count them carefully if you dis-believe me. My opinion is that his Publisher has been told the way it is and Boddington gladly complies.

I can't remember when was the last time that an article in HUNTING, F & S, or Outdoor Life featured a successful hunt with a slide action or automatic. Most lever action hunts seem obligatory with no real passion or commitment.

So it goes.
Jack
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Old September 28, 2006, 09:27 AM   #12
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Jack,

IIRC one of the magazines did a hunt with the benneli R1 autoloader last year.

I suscribe to a few of the magazines and they all look alike after a while. None of them make me want to go out and buy any of the latest wizz bang rifles.

Most are all hype and glossy advertisements for stuff we don't need or ever want to buy...
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Old September 28, 2006, 06:58 PM   #13
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When I used to hunt with clubs I saw many cases of "magnumitis". Asking someone why they need a .300 magnum for a 120lb deer doesn't make you many friends. The ability to shoot well is much more important than the "power" of the rifle. I watched a guy stand on his truck box and unload his .300 mag at a running deer that was at least 400 yards across a field. When he was finished, his nose was bleeding but I don't think the deer was.

I've always done very well with standard cartridges. I currently have a 30/06, a .308 and a .35 remington. I hunted with a .270 for many years. It was an excellent performer at longer ranges but I had problems with bullets "punching through" without expanding at close range, unless solid bone was hit. While I never lost one, I did have to trail a couple much farther than I should have.

My .35 rem performs much better than it should if you look at paper ballistics. Maybe there is something to "big and slow".

I hunt in extremely thick cover, most of the time. When I absolutely need to drop one where it stands, I'll shoot it in the scapula. It ruins the shoulder, but they drop.

Bullet placement is even more important with handgun hunting, but that's another thread.

Good luck to everyone this season.
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Old September 28, 2006, 07:25 PM   #14
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I am not a fan of magnums. In fact, I shoot a cartridge that is 15 years older than the 30-06 (7X57mm), and am very pleased with its performance on game animals over the years. Every animal I have shot with it except one was recovered quickly and with minimal damage to meat. The one that was not recovered was a wild pig on the coast in California, and she went into the brush after she was shot diagonally through the chest (we found her two days later about a half mile away, the Speer bullet had not expanded). Perhaps a magnum would have allowed me to recover that one too (I doubt it), but I agree with Jack that a well-placed shot does more good than foot-pounds. I say "who needs 'em?"
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Old September 29, 2006, 10:24 AM   #15
mikejonestkd
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Scorch,


Jack O' Connor's favorite caliber was the .270 win, and from what I have read the 7 x 57mm mauser was a close second, with the .30-06 a close third. The 7 x 57 has a great history of performance. Nice choice. If I was in the market for a 7mm I would closely look at it or the 7mm-08 which ballistically is almost the same. Just because it is old doesn't mean that it doesn't work anymore...

Shot placement is number one in my book, as long as you have a reasonable caliber for the intended game.

no magnums for me.....ever.
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Old September 29, 2006, 12:03 PM   #16
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Oh, I've owned a few over the years. Trades that were too good to pass up, you know. Had a 7mm Mag BAR (heavy and loud), a Rem 700 in 8mm Rem Mag (rough on the shooter and probably a fire hazard ), and a Mark X 375 H&H that I owned for about one hour. I just keep going back to the old standby, and I've gotten to the point I don't even look at the mags any more.
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Old September 30, 2006, 01:18 PM   #17
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I actually bought the 300 WBY mentioned earlier to Elk hunt with.I sent the rifle to McMillan and had them piller bed it in their stock.When I got it back I loaded it to be in the vicinity of a 30/06 load to deer hunt with,about 3000 fps with 150 grain bullet.Well,it would hardly shoot a 6 inch group loaded down,and I thought something was wrong.I happened to have a box of 150 grain WBY factory ammo.Shot a 3/4 group with it.So,rather than chase my tail I just continued to use it.Obviously too much for deer.
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Old September 30, 2006, 04:56 PM   #18
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I appreciate any of those wise/helpful words from someone like Jack who has BTDT.

I've been cured of "magnumitis" for a few years now (for the most part). The only magnum I want is a .338 lapua, in something like an AR30. But that's for range fun at 600-1,000 yards, not hunting.

My main hunting calibers thus far have been .270, .30-06, 6.5x55, .25-06, .243, .30-30, .45-70, and .45 & .50 cal BP rifles. Principally to be used this year and next are .25-06, .30-06, .45-70, and .45 cal BP. Beyond that, I have some backup hunting rifles in .308, .223, 7.5x55mm, and .454 Casull. Yep, I too sold the two 7 remmags I had. But I agree that both 7x57 mauser, .280 rem, and 7mm-08 are all very fine all-purpose hunting calibers - those 7mms have a good variety of quality bullets, almost up there with .30s.

Oh wait, I wouldn't mind having a .375 HH mag, and .458 Lott someday, and to go on an African trip with them.

I also still have this odd hankering for a rifle in .35 Whelen, but I'm hoping it will pass.
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Old September 30, 2006, 09:51 PM   #19
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My deer rifle was is and always will be a .270 Winchester. I dont need a magnum rifle to take down a big mulie at 250 yards heck i dont need a big magnum to take down anything i hunt because if a .30-06 wont kill it then its on another continent and i cant afford that.

I personally have never lost a deer and I've never had one run away after a hit (call me lucky) but then again ive shot less than ten deer. Usually a single round of .270 in the heart is more than adequate for a clean kill but if you miss the heart and get the guts look out boy cuz its ugly and ive seen it.
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Old September 30, 2006, 10:30 PM   #20
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Well, I've got a 30-06 and a 375 H&H, and a 22lr.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE 375 H&H???

I like to think of it as the most sensible magnum, and, if you load it the way it was designed, 40-50K, it's NOT a magnum, at least by these Weatherby zipgun velocity standards.
If I can't get it done with a 2800 fps 270 grain soft point, I may not want to shoot it...

S
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Old October 1, 2006, 06:51 AM   #21
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Zerojunk
Quote:
I know this is an anomaly,but large magnums can fail too.
Of course they can... that's why you use them... to minimize the odds of failure...

I think the reason your specific shot failed, was probably due to the wrong bullet design/construction for the specific conditions...

You cannot cover for EVERY specific condition... so you have to trim the fat were you can.

Magnums trim the fat...

Jseime
Quote:
My deer rifle was, is, and always will be, a .270 Winchester.
Now that makes good sense!!!
It is an excellent deer cartridge...
Just leave it home for the elk hunt...
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Old October 2, 2006, 09:47 AM   #22
mikejonestkd
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magnums do have their place in certain instances but so few people can shoot them as well as milder rounds.

That is one big reason that rounds like the .243, 257 roberts. .260 rem, 6.5 X 55 swede, 7mm-08 and 7 x 57 mauser seem to be so much more effective than their paper ballistics show. heck, include the good old .30-30 and .35 remington for shorter range work too. They all are easy to shoot and a person can practice more with out flinching and develop real skills with these rounds.

Few people can put 20 rounds of .300 weatherby through a rifle in a trip to the range without noticing a decrease in accuracy by the end of the session.

You can shoot these milder rounds all day and work up real skill.

I would rather hunt with a rifle that I know that I can hit well with than one that is more powerful that I am not 100% confident in.

If you have the time, skill and the ability to learn to shoot your latest fad super wiz bang magnum well then by all means have fun and good luck.

Last year I went up to the Adirondak region and ended up at a local gun shop.
Almost all of the deer rifles were magnums, the shop owner claimed that to use anything less was cruel to the deer, as they would only wound them with lesser rounds like the .270...He claimed that the .300 win mag was the minimum for deer and the .300 weatherby was about right...I laughed as I walked out...
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Old October 3, 2006, 09:14 AM   #23
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A note to you "MAG" shooters...I was/am one to...Bullet choice is everything. The biggest baddest bullet on the market will drop a deer, but thosed designed for max penetration are likely to NOT open and blow through like ball ammo if it does not hit bone. I saw this w/ a guy I used to hunt with. He shot a nice 12 w/ a 338. 220 gr. It never opened. That deer ran 400 yds. +. Had he used a different bullet, that probably would not have happened.
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Old October 8, 2006, 09:51 AM   #24
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amen to mikejonesakd

I have a .300 rem ultra. It took me some time time to master it. I is not a monster, just more than I have been shooting. Mind over matter. It awsome after mastering the recoil and psy effect.
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Old October 11, 2006, 09:04 PM   #25
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oh yes........bullet design and placement does it all. Does not matter how big the boom is if you can't put them in the right place its useless.
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