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Old March 17, 2012, 12:15 AM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Pig Near Ear Hole Shots - What Did I Hit?

In a previous thread, several of us discussed ear shots and what happens to a pig's CNS and skeletal structure when hit. http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...uditory+meatus

Regardless of what does or does not actually happen, the general consensus seemed to be that any shot (at least from a rifle?) close to the ear hole should bring down the pig. The skull may be hit, the brain may be penetrated, the brain stem may be hit either just inside or just outside the base of the skull, or the hydrostatic shock will be sufficient to drop the pig even without a direct impact on the critical CNS structures. Pigs may be fairly tough animals, but if you overload their little cerebral capillaries with high pressure blood flow from a nearby impact, the usually drop (I have never had one run, anyway).

So back in February, I shot two boars, both fairly young. The first was shot directly below the ear with a .45-70 Leverevolution 325 gr. hollowpoint traveling close to 1800 fps at impact from an elevated firing position (muzzle at about 10 feet, pig at about 30 yards). This little boar weighed about 140 lbs (heart girth estimate). At the time of the shot, this boar was broadside, facing to my right, nose was up, and he was stationary.

The second boar came in later to investigate the first boar. He weighed just over 200 lbs and was nose down sniffing the first boar and was slightly in motion. Everything else was about the same.

Both boars were impacted under their right ears (see pics) and the bullets exited both on the low, left side of the neck. Both boars kicked minimally after being shot. The small boar fell on his left side and the big boar fell on his right side.

My original assessment of both of the shots was that they were well placed in almost the exact same location on both animals and given the slight downward trajectory and locations of the entrance and exits wounds, I had undoubtedly blown through both skulls, apparently hitting the brains. The lack of leg movement probably indicated part of the brain stem was involved (but I figured the shots might have been too high for that).

So this is just for fun, but follows with the previous thread on what you can expect to happen with such a shot. So what do you think the bullets did to the bones and soft tissue? I will give you these hints. Initial assessments were not necessarily completely correct. Also, the entry wound on the large boar was problematic. There were 3 apparent wounds. Two were circular holes that were excellent candidates for being created by the .45-70. One was on the ear lobe and the other just forward of the ear. It would appear that the ear was down when the bullet impacted. The third wound was a slit out which blood would come if the area around it was depressed. I have absolutely no idea about how these three wounds could have been made as a result of the animal being shot just once. Maybe somebody can tell me.

Today, I was able to locate the pigs and the vultures and other scavengers had done a fairly good job of cleaning the skulls. I will post the pictures in a couple of days. Like I said, this is just for fun, but I think there will be some interesting and informative terminal ballistics considerations.
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Old March 17, 2012, 12:16 AM   #2
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last pic...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg x4MG-20120221-00236 Small Boar Exit Wound arrow.jpg (114.0 KB, 112 views)
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Old March 17, 2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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'Other wounds' probably made by bone fragments.
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Old March 17, 2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Curiously, when I used to shoot them with my Enfield, 303 brit of course, I would get three holes with a near ear shot. One in, one out on the other side, and the throat would be blown out.
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Old March 17, 2012, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
So this is just for fun, but follows with the previous thread on what you can expect to happen with such a shot. So what do you think the bullets did to the bones and soft tissue? I will give you these hints. Initial assessments were not necessarily completely correct. Also, the entry wound on the large boar was problematic. There were 3 apparent wounds. Two were circular holes that were excellent candidates for being created by the .45-70. One was on the ear lobe and the other just forward of the ear. It would appear that the ear was down when the bullet impacted. The third wound was a slit out which blood would come if the area around it was depressed. I have absolutely no idea about how these three wounds could have been made as a result of the animal being shot just once. Maybe somebody can tell me.
DNS..Just guessing...I would say..the shot went thru the ear..entered the head..then a fragment of bone..or the jacket shed and made the slit....The bullet then traveled and exited the other side....

When bullets hit bone..sometimes they do funny things....
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Old March 18, 2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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All fine guesses and most along the lines of what I expected. Sadly we are mostly wrong.

The small hog was hit at the base of the ear. The shot took out part of the zygomatic arch (the curved structure on the side under each eye), the ear bones and part of the surrounding bones of the lower right corner of the skull. The bullet didn't cross the brain area as much as blasting through a corner.

Given that the skull is so dark, I have a stick inserted into the bottom of the skull to hold it, in a place where bone should not be missing. I did not find the right side of the mandible, but given that the part of the zygomatic arch where the mandible joins the skull is missing, I assume that the mandible was damaged as well.

On to the big hog.

No damage to the skull. No damage to the mandible. I shot the pig in the head with a .45-70 hollowpoint and didn't hit any boney part of the head with enough force to damage the bone. I don't think I would have believed it had somebody told me about it.

Turns out, the bottom of the fleshy year that we use as an external landmark it close to being at the bottom of the brain case. So below the ear is below the brain. That isn't to say that you can't drop a hog by shooting there as obviously you can, but you may not be getting the direct CNS brain impact that you wanted.

For years I have heard folks suggest head shots be placed at the base of the ear, just below the ear, just forward of the year, and just behind the ear. Well at the base and below may not be as optimal as suggested, though the pig was definitely dropped. The shot can work, just maybe not in the way intended.

I still can't get my mind wrapped around the fact that I hit the head broadside and didn't hit the bones. That just doesn't seem logical, but there it is.
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Old March 18, 2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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I found a few of my skulls, the trapped hogs I can pick out because they have 9mm or .45 hail damage to their rooftops.

The ones I figger is the ones I hunted have no skull damage. The vertebrae, that's another story, I'm gonna need an anthropologists to figger out whose is who's. LOL
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Old March 18, 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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HOLE

Could one of the be made by the polymer tip
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Old March 19, 2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Hmmmmm...They both went in at an angle...

What do U think about the leverrevolution ammo? I have started using some real hot flat nose full metal jackets..350 grn....
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Old March 19, 2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Guessing from your stand the angle puts the bullets traveling hard towards the dirt. That explains missing the brain with a behind the ear placement. Next time try above the ear when they are close, behind the ear when you are on the same level as the pig. Very interesting results though. I would have said both had a little damage to bone. However the soft spot your bullet went through is the same place we cut for a jugular vein on the captive version. I believe the bullet severed the biggest blood vessel in the neck on both pigs. That will lower the blood pressure enough to stop anything.
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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We've butchered a few hogs ourselves and that is where you cut them to bleed them.

I've never hunted hogs, but wouldn't a shot above and in front of the shoulder be a good spinal shot?
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:08 AM   #12
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Cluck..on a big boar pig..the shield is there....
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Old March 23, 2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Guessing from your stand the angle puts the bullets traveling hard towards the dirt. That explains missing the brain with a behind the ear placement.
I understand where you are coming from, but the downward angle is slight, 10 feet high at 30 yards (90 feet) means a one foot drop every 9 feet and the relative elevation may actually be less because the spot where the hogs were is actually slightly up hill from the stand.

Quote:
I've never hunted hogs, but wouldn't a shot above and in front of the shoulder be a good spinal shot?
Quote:
Cluck..on a big boar pig..the shield is there....
Ken is correct in that area would be protected by the shield, but with that round at that distance you are still looking at about 2100 ft lbs. and 1800 fps and so the shield is not a significant issue, big boar or small. However, I do appreciate your optimism, though I don't share it. I shot a hog upside the head and missed the skull and mandible that are nearly run under the skin but shooting forward of the shoulder to hit the spine would just be amazing as the spine isn't going to be right under the skin, LOL.
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Old March 23, 2012, 09:11 PM   #14
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After looking at the three we have right now I see what you mean. I guess it would have be closer to the ear probably.
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Old March 24, 2012, 12:06 AM   #15
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I agree at that distance....
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Old March 25, 2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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The reason a behind the ear shot works so fast is that it severs the brain from the spinal cord. It also destroys the part of the brain that runs the heart and other automatic functions of the body. It is however a very small target. Miss low by an inch and a half, no bones. Miss high by 2 and a half, nothing but hair. Add a little angle and the numbers get larger or smaller. In this case slightly smaller for a low miss. I would guess that the miss was only by a fraction of an inch.
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