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Old September 14, 2009, 12:00 AM   #1
Big Caliber
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Trouble with an apparent contradiction...

What am I missing here? I've never hunted due to the lack of opportunity, though I'm sure it would be a good time. Since I started shooting a rifle I have always read and heard that a hunting rifle need not be as "accurate" as a target grade rifle. But yet they say, "Bullet placement is everything!" Doesn't bullet placement rely somewhat on having a load you trust to get to the point of aim accurately? consistantly? Or am I just pikin' nits? I would think that a target rifle would be a good choice for hunting, say, medium size game out to 200yds. Or is the weight of a target rifle an issue? Just wondering.
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Old September 14, 2009, 12:06 AM   #2
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Weight is the issue....
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Old September 14, 2009, 01:01 AM   #3
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Things that make a target rifle accurate, add weight that is not wanted on a hunting rifle.
Two inches from the center of a target and you lose the match. Two inches from the center of the target on a deer and you still have venison.
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Old September 14, 2009, 01:24 AM   #4
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A target rifle is built heavy---heavy barrel, over-sized stock, and so on. It's all about providing the most steady platform to deliver the tightest group on target at prescribed ranges. Now... That being said, accuracy counts big-time with hunting---yes, is all about shot placement. BUT, do you really want to pack that 15-pound percision target rifle that you just spent 4K to build with $1,500 worth of nikon or swarovski optics up and down the mountains in less-than-fun weather/terrain/etc. to get your deer? Didn't think so. Yes, percision counts in hunting. But it's a beast of a different nature. Use the tools that get the job done and you'll do just fine.

My son shoots incredible sub-MOA groups with all my target rifles. This year he's using my Mosin M-91 when we go for elk (a $200 battle-axe that happens to be tight-grouping with his trigger-pull) and I have no doubt there will be meat in the freezer from both of us.
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Old September 14, 2009, 07:15 AM   #5
simonkenton
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On a whitetail deer, your target is the lungs. The lungs are the size of a 10 inch circle, maybe bigger.
Any hit in the lungs and you have a dead deer.

So, the lungs provide a bigger target than you have in target shooting.

On an elk, the lungs are lots bigger.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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I took the rifle I was building into a target rifle hunting with me one time. Never doing that again. As previously stated the added weight is not worth the added accuracy. Now I suppose that comes into play more depending on what you hunt. If I was out west hunting prarie dogs it's alot different than tracking elk up and down mountains. Also prarie dogs are slightly smaller than elk.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:16 AM   #7
Willie Lowman
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On a whitetail deer, your target is the lungs. The lungs are the size of a 10 inch circle, maybe bigger.
Any hit in the lungs and you have a dead deer.
*ahem* The target is the heart. The lungs are just located near by as a courtesy in the event of a near miss of the heart.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:23 AM   #8
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You'll lose more than you gain in accuracy from using a heavy target rifle. I guess it would be OK if you are stricty hunting from a stand. Otherwise, you'll shake more when you try to make a free-hand or other kind of shot in the field from carrying around and holding that heavy rifle than you would from a lighter weight hunting rifle.

Sorry, that's not a very clear post.....
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Old September 14, 2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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*ahem* The target is the heart. The lungs are just located near by as a courtesy in the event of a near miss of the heart.
The target is the boiler room (Heart-lung) area.
With a hit with enough velocity for hydrostatic shock is what I want.
If not enough shock, the blood trail could be a long one.

Quote:
Otherwise, you'll shake more when you try to make a free-hand or other kind of shot in the field from carrying around and holding that heavy rifle than you would from a lighter weight hunting rifle.
Only if you are so tired from carrying the heavy rifle and do not have the strength to get it to the shoulder.
From my experience, the light weight rifles are the hard ones to hold still for a free hand (standing, unsupported) shot.
I like a heavy long octagon front stuffing barreled rifle with a chunk of rock that ignites a wonderful cloud of sweet smelling smoke.
The range has to be very close for the velocity to do what is needed to be done.
But that's just MHO!
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Old September 14, 2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Willie Lowman
*ahem* The target is the heart. The lungs are just located near by as a courtesy in the event of a near miss of the heart.
Many people do not aim specifically for the heart. In fact, many people avoid the heart intentionally due to the risk of ruining one or both shoulders. A few inches back is a double lung and no/less ruined meat. How long can an animal remain conscious with no oxygen and steadily dropping blood pressure?

To the OP...

The others are correct. "Accuracy" is just as important (I would say more so) in hunting as it is in target shooting except that "accuracy" does not have the same meaning. No need for one ragged hole from a hunting gun. "Accurate" may mean a 2,3 maybe 4 inch group. Personally, I want better than that but truthfully I don't NEED better than that.
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Old September 14, 2009, 11:12 AM   #11
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Heavy is your enemy

My first 280 was a 26" heavy sporter contour. It was very comfortable, accurate, and impressive at the chrony. Hunting, however, was misery. Took it once, sent the barrel back to Shaw for fluting, hunted again, and gave it to my son.

Got a Ruger Hawkeye with 22" barrel and love it. Only gives up 100fps in 22".
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Old September 19, 2009, 09:47 PM   #12
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Thanks to all. It all makes sense.
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Old September 19, 2009, 10:22 PM   #13
Lawyer Daggit
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With a target rifle, a win may be decided by a hairs width, with a hunting rifle the target is much less easy to delineate- a bullet anywhere within the 'boiler room' will do the job.

I personally like full wood carbines, generally these are not as accurate as sporter stocked rifles, but the deer don't know the difference.

As has been pointed out, weight and ease of carry is a huge factor as is the round used- a target bullet just needs to cut paper, whereas a hunting bullet needs to have enough retained energy to penetrate and inflict a terminal injury, of necessity the hunting round will kick more and be harder to shoot accurately
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Old September 20, 2009, 02:58 PM   #14
Willie Lowman
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Quote:
Many people do not aim specifically for the heart. In fact, many people avoid the heart intentionally due to the risk of ruining one or both shoulders.
I use shoulders for burger. cutting around a bullet hole before dropping the meat into the grinder never bothered me.

Quote:
A few inches back is a double lung and no/less ruined meat. How long can an animal remain conscious with no oxygen and steadily dropping blood pressure?
In South East Ohio? Just long enough to run down hill and drop dead in a creek bed. I like it better if they take a few steps and drop. Shoulder meat is not worth straining my back.
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Old September 21, 2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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In South East Ohio? Just long enough to run down hill and drop dead in a creek bed. I like it better if they take a few steps and drop. Shoulder meat is not worth straining my back.
Deer shot through the heart do not drop where they stand. I have hit many a deer in the heart, EVERY SINGLE ONE ran at least 40 yards, AT LEAST. One went 150 yards or so.

Shot through the lungs? Every deer ran, usually 40 yards give or take, and a few over 100 yards.

See the difference? There isn't one.

The only way to stop a deer Dead Right There is brain or spine. Neither of which is easy enough to hit consistently to be universally acceptable.

Lung shots are just like heart shots except they ruin less meat, including the heart if you are inclined to eat it.
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Old September 21, 2009, 06:18 PM   #16
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Deer shot through the heart do not drop where they stand. I have hit many a deer in the heart, EVERY SINGLE ONE ran at least 40 yards, AT LEAST. One went 150 yards or so.
I've no dogs in this fight, but that hasn't been my experience at all. Sure, deer CAN run after being hit through the chest, but I think a lot depends on what you hit them with.

By far, the deer I've shot through the chest never took a step after being hit. Bang-flops for me are the norm, rather than the exception. I can only remember one deer that even took a step after being hit, and I shot him again as he walked (quartering) towards me, and again when he turned once again broadside. I doubt the last shot was needed, but I was far enough from the truck that I didn't want to chase him. Since it went into the same spot as the first shot, it didn't damage much more meat (behind the shoulder anyway, so not much to lose).

Other's mileage will vary, I'm sure.

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Old September 21, 2009, 06:40 PM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
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but I think a lot depends on what you hit them with.
It may well.... but the force level of a 385gr 12ga slug fired at 1900fps from a distance of 40 yards or less is near the top of the pile in "knockdown power". The only deer I've EVER hit that fell DRT were hit in the neck, not the spine in particular, but the neck. Hydrostatic shock to the spine or nerves seems to shut off their legs long enough that they're dead before they can get up. As a matter of fact, as else being equal, I'd rather take a neck shot than lungs OR heart.
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Old September 21, 2009, 06:56 PM   #18
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If you are like me and not a wimp, and can travel 15 miles into the wilderness with a 460 wby mag with a bull barrel and a ginormous scope and carry it AND your deer back out, then there is no issue

It's generally only the super serious target guy's that are afraid to hunt with their target gun's that I've ever met. My father & Uncle use theirs. My other shooter friends use their target gun's for shooting game also.

Just get used to carrying it and have a good time.
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Old September 21, 2009, 07:11 PM   #19
Daryl
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It may well.... but the force level of a 385gr 12ga slug fired at 1900fps from a distance of 40 yards or less is near the top of the pile in "knockdown power". The only deer I've EVER hit that fell DRT were hit in the neck, not the spine in particular, but the neck.
Well, I'll grant you that a 12 gauge slug has a lot going for it, but it's basically a large caliber punch press. It'll penetrate large critters as easily as small ones, but it doesn't carry much "shock" when it hits. It simply punches a big hole.

A 100 grain .243 bullet at 3150-3250 FPS at the muzzle usually drops them in their tracks out to 300 yards. A 145 grain 7mm bullet at 3150 fps at the muzzle does the same thing at 500 yards. Or, that's been my experience.

Depending on the bullet used, of course, but that's another debate I suppose.

The neck shot is certainly effective, but I can only remember doing it once. I had a choice between that and a "Texas heart shot" on a coues deer buck at ~10 yards with a 7mm mag, and took the neck shot. Usually, I aim for the chest.



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Old September 21, 2009, 08:36 PM   #20
Brian Pfleuger
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Well, I'll grant you that a 12 gauge slug has a lot going for it, but it's basically a large caliber punch press. It'll penetrate large critters as easily as small ones, but it doesn't carry much "shock" when it hits. It simply punches a big hole.

A 100 grain .243 bullet at 3150-3250 FPS at the muzzle usually drops them in their tracks out to 300 yards. A 145 grain 7mm bullet at 3150 fps at the muzzle does the same thing at 500 yards. Or, that's been my experience.
I suspect that your experience in that regard is an anomaly.... a 12ga at 40 yards carries nearly 3 times the energy of a 243 at 300 yards and darn near double a 7mm at 400 yards.

That "big hole" is a lot bigger than .74 inches, believe me. The only way a bullet makes a hole bigger than it's own size is hydrostatic pressure.

Yes, a 12ga blows right in one side and out the other, almost without exception, but it still imparts one HELL of a lot of energy in the target.

In any case, there is nothing particularly special about blowing a hole in the heart that would cause an animal to DRT. The only logical cause is two broken legs.... which WILL cause an animal to drop on the spot and if there is also a hole through the heart then it will be dead before it can try to get back up. However, now we're back at all kinds of bloody meat which is something that MOST hunters would prefer to avoid.

Also, an animal that runs 100 yards or less and leaves a blood trail 4 or 5 feet wide, which is typical of a lung shot, is not really a problem to recover.
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