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sthrnfryedyankee
May 3, 2005, 09:22 PM
why cant u hunt with a fmj?

Handy
May 3, 2005, 09:35 PM
Well, some places you can. But there are two reasons not to use it:
1) It doesn't kill nearly as well, which is less humane.
2) It is more likely to keep going and hit another hunter after it goes through the deer, or branches, etc. Soft points are safer.

45 Fu
May 3, 2005, 09:51 PM
Handy pretty much nailed it. It's just not going to kill as quickly as something that expands. Although the terms "energy dump" and "hydrostatic shock" make me cringe when talking about handguns, in rifles these things do exist and help in dropping an animal quickly when using expanding bullets.

Killing an animal quickly is hunting. Wounding an animal or letting one die slowly and painfully is cruelty. A FMJ will kill, the expanding bullets usually do it better. Not to mention that, if they do not fall at once, you have a much better blood trail to follow if the expanding bullet exits.

jefnvk
May 3, 2005, 09:59 PM
+1 on both

Sturm
May 3, 2005, 10:21 PM
And, if you ever get a chance to hunt a dangerous game animal, say in Alaska or Africa, an FMJ in very large calibers may be what a guide service recommends for absolute penetration! ;)

30Cal
May 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
Why would you choose an FMJ with so many better bullets available?

Death from Afar
May 4, 2005, 03:11 PM
I have shot pests- goats, wallabies - with FMJ ammo with no sucess at all. Even a good solid hit will often not put the animal down first shot, and you will loose them.

You may here of the old "snipping the end off" a FMJ round. This is a highly dangerous thing to do as the jacket may remain in the barrel and the core shot out the end, leaving a highly dangerous barrel block. Nasty. If you want to shoot surplus military ammo at animals, I pull the projectile on FMJ rounds, and resize a softpoint. This gives you VERY cheap soft point ammo.

Sturm
May 4, 2005, 09:21 PM
You probably wouldn't in .30 cal. Only in dangerous game situations with the Big Boomers where penetration is the key. Alaskan and African guides are not experimenting much to find the best new hi-tech bullet. They use round nose FMJ's that will outpenetrate them in rifles like the .375 H&H, which is usually the recommended minimum caliber for this use and in some cases (Africa), it's the law. A lot of hunters go after Kodiak and Polar bear with the .338 Magnums and they may be fine, especially when the guide is backing them up, and a lot of times using something bigger with a RN FMJ. Even when it's not the law, more than likely the guide service will state their approved minimum, before you get there. And contrary to what some may believe, a RN FMJ, does expand some after striking hard tissue and muscle and it can be reliably counted on to penetrate after striking dense none.

DFA, you didn't tell me that there were dangerous goats and wallabies in NZ, now I'll have to plan on using something bigger! :D

overlordofwar
May 5, 2005, 04:51 AM
I agree, fmj ammo is not going to do what you need it to do for hunting. Stick with the soft points that do the job the way it's supposed to be done.

if fmj ammo is cheaper than soft point, use the fmj for practice then use soft points for your hunting.

Sturm
May 5, 2005, 04:21 PM
I guess I should have been a little clearer. This is a specific case scenario, limited to animals of very large size. The biggest of Bears, Cape Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant.

Everything smaller, a good penetrating SP or SPBT for game. Just wanted to point out that there are cases where, never say never does apply. Most of us may never get to hunt in Africa, but you never know.... ;)

novus collectus
May 5, 2005, 04:32 PM
hmmm...Wonder if they make a softpoint .50 BMG?

brickeyee
May 5, 2005, 04:33 PM
A typical 'solid' for thick skinned African dangerous game is a round nose, not a spitzer. While both are FMJs the similarity pretty much ends there.
This is one case were you want the biggest heaviest bullet and the deepest penetration you can obtain. Mistakes can be rather dangerous.

Sturm
May 5, 2005, 07:31 PM
Round Nose, absolutely. I definitely was not suggesting spirepoints. I also didn't use the term solid, because some manufacturer like Barnes and others do CONSTRUCT a solid bullet from one metal alloy and some manufacturers SELL "solids" that have a very heavy jacket with a lead core. Both are used. The FMJ version is not a TRUE solid and a Solid is not an FMJ. ;)

Death from Afar
May 5, 2005, 07:44 PM
Incidentally, contrary to popular belief it is the not the Geneva Convention that prohibits the use of expanding ammunition in War- it is the Hague convention of 1898.

So there you go.

Sturm- I can only say the more firepower the merrier!

Sturm
May 5, 2005, 09:25 PM
I hear ya! ;)

capnrik
May 6, 2005, 10:11 AM
I've been polite and quiet long enough. There are many fables about killing, and this is one that I find particularly silly.

FMJ bullets are lethal. The soft point supposedly kills quicker because it expands. So what? Anyone would admit that a .25-06 is an excellent cartridge for whitetail deer. If a 25 caliber bullet hits a deer in the lungs, and expands to .30 caliber, how does that make it a better killer than a .30 caliber bullet?

I can promise you that a .30 caliber hole through the heart or lungs of a game animal will kill and quickly. For that matter, so will a Hornady 6mm 80 grain FMJ bullet with an estimated muzzle velocity of 2400 FPS. This comes from personal experience.

Stories of shooting a hog with a giant rifle and not getting a quick kill speak more of placement issues, and less of caliber or bullet performance.

A proper knowledge of anatomy is crucial if you are going to hunt. A hog is built differently than a deer. On a deer, one can line the vertical crosshair up with a foreleg and almost guarantee a killing shot. The shoulder is right there, the lungs a bit high, and the heart is low and just aft of the foreleg.

Take the same shot with a hog and you are asking for problems. His boiler room is forward of the foreleg. If you are looking at him broadside, your vertical crosshair needs to be substantially forward of the foreleg. Aim just aft of his ear, and you will get quick results.

An FMJ bullet will do a delightful job of surgically dispatching any animal on the planet. Hemingway killed all of Africa's Big Five with a .30-06 and 220 grain FMJ bullets.

I can't begin to tell you how many whitetail deer have been killed in Texas with a .22LR rimfire. One bullet in the ear, and they fall over like a rock.

Bottom line...if you don't know where the vital organs of your prey are located, or if you simply can't shoot, it won't matter much whether you bullet has a lead tip or not.

I spent most of my adult life guiding American sportsmen. From whitetail deer to wild hogs, to largemouth bass, from bluegills to blue marlin, the fascination with equipment and the belief that having the right toys is a substitute for ability or knowledge cripples far more game than any "inadequate" bullet.

If a bullet with a full metal jacket is such a disaster, how in the world can you justify archery?
capnrik (http://web.archive.org/web/20000819195210/http://www.rickrulesportfishing.com/)

Gewehr98
May 6, 2005, 11:13 AM
As that Sierra MatchKing passes completely through the deer and out the other side, in a neat little .30 caliber hole?

True, softpoint bullets don't expand a huge amount over their original diameter, but when they do, the expansion tends to put the brakes on, and the bullet dumps it's energy into the deer, instead of heading on through to the next county. Look at the comparative wound channels of FMJ vs. Nosler Partition, etc.

Now, if you're talking Barnes Solids and a critter as massive and solid as a Cape Buffalo, the energy dump is still there. They often find the bullet, heavily deformed, under the skin on the opposite side of the buffalo.


One of my buddies shot a deer with a SierraMatchking loaded in his 6.5-06. He never did find the deer afterwards. I took his rifle's bolt for one year before giving it back to him.

capnrik
May 6, 2005, 11:26 AM
One of my buddies shot a deer with a SierraMatchking loaded in his 6.5-06. He never did find the deer afterwards. I took his rifle's bolt for one year before giving it back to him.

Where did he shoot him? In the ribs? I watched a client shoot a nice buck at about 60 yards with a Remington 7mm Magnum Core Lokt. How's that for energy transfer? The deer ran for almost a mile. We found it the next day, strictly by accident. It was still barely alive.

I watched another client shoot a nice ten pointer with a Pre-64 M70 .243. Handload was a Hornady 80 grain FMJ, gassed down for turkeys. The bullet zipped through the lungs. There was no tracking required.

Energy transfer? I'm talking about taking a rifle and putting a hole in a vital organ.

Jseime
May 6, 2005, 06:07 PM
#1 Unethical: the animals we hunt deserve respect and the quickest most dignified death available and thats not what youll get with FMJ.

#2 Illegal: in canada and id say most of the world FMJ is just not legal to hunt with and if you wonder why look at the above statement.

#3 No need: with all of our wonderful bullets available today if you can shoot a Swift scirocco, or hornady SST and Interbond and any number of high BC accurate bullets why even bother with an FMJ

personally i kind of fell in love with nosler partitions when i had my .243. the gun took four deer and combined the deer took ten steps.

capnrik
May 6, 2005, 08:57 PM
#1 Unethical: the animals we hunt deserve respect and the quickest most dignified death available and thats not what youll get with FMJ.

You don't get it. Shoot the animal in the right place, and he will die quickly. I see you live in Canada. Is it safe to assume that you are opposed to catch and release fishing, which doesn't kill the animal at all? Hell, sport fishing is all about torturing an animal for a long time. I've had clients in a fight with a blue marlin that went on for hours. What is that compared to the seconds it takes to die from a heart shot?

In Canada, your fishing guides make a fair living guiding fly fishing. Flyfishing is all about the struggle, not the kill. And you would take issue with someone who chooses an FMJ bullet, so that they might increase the odds that their bullet penetrates a vital organ?

#2 Illegal: in canada and id say most of the world FMJ is just not legal to hunt with and if you wonder why look at the above statement.

Uh, no. FMJ is not illegal to hunt with in much of the world, and I frankly doubt like hell that it is illegal in Canada.

3 No need: with all of our wonderful bullets available today if you can shoot a Swift scirocco, or hornady SST and Interbond and any number of high BC accurate bullets why even bother with an FMJ

Because they do not destroy hides or meat, and because they penetrate to a vital organ. I carried a rifle for years as a pro, and knew that if I shot, I did not want to blow a 3 inch diameter hole in a client's cape, nor did I want to convert a shoulder into a blood-shot piece of dog food.

personally i kind of fell in love with nosler partitions when i had my .243. the gun took four deer and combined the deer took ten steps.

Good for you; I'm happy that you like the Partition. I find it inaccurate to handload.

If you will look at my post count, and my date of signing up, you will notice that I generally don't have much to say. I prefer to listen.

This time, the truth just wouldn't stay put.

Sturm
May 7, 2005, 02:04 AM
capnrik, in fairness, it might be time to tell the group how many hunts you guide a year! Guys, hypothesis is great, but learn to recognize a professional hunter when he gives advice, and then maybe your own advice won't sound like hyperbole, even my own! ;)

Death from Afar
May 7, 2005, 04:32 AM
Of course you can kill animals with FMJ. I agree though- why would you want to? I have shot a LOT of animals with FMJ ammo ammo, and sure, one shot through the heart with a FMJ is as dead as one shot through the heart with a soft point. BUT if the wound does not go exactly where you want it too- and lets face facts, we all miss- then the expanding round makes the chance of the animal dying immediatly that much greater.

I consider myself no slouch with rifles, but I have had some terrible failures to put animals down with FMJ ammo, shameful ones of which I am not proud of.

You do loose a lot of meat with exapnsive rounds- but that is a lot better than loosing the whole animal.

You do blow big holes in capes, but that is better than loosing the entire cape.

I am not disputing that accuracy counts more than anything- I too am a professional, BUT there is no hiding from the fact that animals go down quicker with a soft nose bullet that a FMJ.

For the record, BTW, I do not use super duper expansive bullets. In my .308 I use Game kings- as they shoot as well as my beloved match kings, in the VS sierra hollow points, and in the Mini 30 Lapua 110 grainers.

Gewehr98
May 7, 2005, 10:25 AM
capnrik, in fairness, it might be time to tell the group how many hunts you guide a year! Guys, hypothesis is great, but learn to recognize a professional hunter when he gives advice, and then maybe your own advice won't sound like hyperbole, even my own!

We have a professional hunter/guide who advocates using FMJ bullets, and he can place a heart shot with that FMJ bullet consistently. That's one data point out of how many hunters?

Game wardens friends of mine point out that certain other professionals use .22 rimfire to poach their intended quarry. Good shot placement, yes. Recommended for John Q. once-a-year Deer Hunter? They're not all Karamojo Bell, dispatching elephants with a 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schonauer or 7x57 Mauser. Hmmm...

As for ethics, I refer back to the Hague Conventions.

perdurabo
May 7, 2005, 12:15 PM
JHP/JSP rifle bullets expand much more than some of you seem to think. A good .308 bullet will expand out to .55-.65 caliber. Most hunters miss the heart, so creating a big wound channel is critical to ensuring that as many arteries as possible are crushed. Also, while I wish people would stop using these meaningless terms like "energy dump" and especially "hydrostatic shock", it is true that an expanding bullet will typically cause more temporary cavitation than an FMJ bullet. However, temporary cavitation is only useful if it compresses the liver or large nerves.

Sturm
May 7, 2005, 03:05 PM
What am I saying? Never Say Never! What I read into capnriks oppinion is that no bullet regardless of it's reputation for stopping ability will take an animal cleanly with a poorly placed shot. An FMJ in the heart lung area will be more effective on a Deer, than a poorly placed Partition. I think that's the point.

I find it a little odd that a game warden would use the terms "poacher" and professional interchahgeably.

Many hunters do only get to hunt once a year, but many of their gun ranges are open 365. So does hunting infrequency justify a poorly placed shot? This is exactly why Karamojo Bell was able to use the 6.5 X 54 MS and the 7 X 57. He knew how to place a shot and he understood the value of the sectional density of his bullets. We should know better, if we can't spend the amount of time hunting these species that he obviously enjoyed. His technique of precision shooting was also more akin to sniping than hunting in relation to the skills of most hunters and evidently he was as cool as a cucumber when his finger was on the trigger.

I frequently see the comments about Texas Whitetail being smaller than in some states and in reality, this varies by regions in the state. What I don't see comments on, is the number of hunters that come down here overgunned because they spent enough money that they don't want to risk losing their trophy so they often use innappropriate calibers that they have very little practice time with. As a youth, I hunted on a very large ranch in SW Texas where Deer are about as small as they get and the variety of spent cases left on the ground would almost provide a lesson in sociology. Well, comedy in some cases, being a youth.

I also see rifle hunters dictating the strict parameters of power, accuracy and range to handgun hunters, when a good number of them should be following their own advice. If you can't hit the heart/lung area of the game animal you are shooting at, handgun or rifle, than you were obviously out of your range when you took the shot and there is no legitimate excuse for a poorly placed shot. Hunt in a group and miss your game and that bigger caliber or super stopper, will have your peers making you, supercilious!

Common sense should apply in all cases, by all means, use an expanding bullet (not an overexpanding one) on thinner skinned game, but saying that FMJ's are always innapropriate is a rather limited view. How many hunters shoot game animals with cast lead bullets? And, aren't they even less likely to expand than an FMJ? They both rely on wound channel after deep penetration! ;)

cracked butt
May 7, 2005, 06:40 PM
If a bullet with a full metal jacket is such a disaster, how in the world can you justify archery?

Ignorant assertion.

Hunting big game with archer tackle requires the use of broadhead arrows. In my state, the minimum cuting diameter is 1 1/2". Most modern broadheads have 3 or 4 razor sharp cutters of this diameter or even bigger, that for the most part unless it hits heavy bone will pass right through an animal. If you hit a lung on a whitetail with a broadhead, it will bleed out and die a lot faster most of the time than if you hit a singl lung with a FMJ from a rifle. I know this from experience.

I agree that hitting a deer in the heart or double lunging them with a fmj will kill them pretty quick, but IMHO opinion, its completely unethical. Being a hunter means that you owe it to the animal that you are hunting to put them down as quickly as possible, not to be out there doing stunt or trick shooting where you try to put a bullet in their ear, where a miss by an inch or two means the deer will starve to death because you just blew their bottom jaw off. In the same vein, if you were hunting with FMJs and the deer took a step or jumped as you pulled the trigger, you have just wounded a deer int he liver or guts, and unless you are very lucky, they will run for miles. Using an expanding bullet does a lot more damage making recovery and a quick kill much more likely.

If you don't believe that you can possibly miss a brain shot or a heart/lung shot on a deer, you are either full of yourself or haven't been hunting very long.

45 Fu
May 7, 2005, 07:42 PM
That you will always be able to make a perfect shot that will always bring down your animal regardless of the weather conditions, condition of the shooter, condition of the animal, time of day, range, humidity, wind, etc. I have yet to see any mere mortal always make perfect shots, and I have seen some good shooters in my life.

The argument on the use of solids/FMJ on large game vs. expanding bullets seems like a non-issue to me as they are used for different reasons, but to reach the same end.

cracked butt, excellent point on archery hunting.

Since we, as humans, are imperfect, it is the epitome of arrogance to either state or imply that you can produce perfect results, or to try to lead others to believe that they can.

oneeyeross
May 7, 2005, 08:24 PM
I read an article titled "Death by Broadhead" once, that discribed in no uncertain terms the hows and whys of using a broadhead for hunting.

I can say, from personal experience, that dropping a deer with a broadhead (assuming a double lung through and through shot) is FAST. I've never had to follow a deer more than 30 yards after shooting it with a broadhead.

Now, hitting a deer with a good soft point SHOULD provide the same type of quick death. That means I have done everything I'm supposed to do correctly. That means I pass up shots that I am not convinced will provide a quick kill. I was taught as a small child to kill quickly and preferably with only one shot.

Do I get a deer every year? No. But, I've never lost an animal in the woods that I've wounded.

Magnum88C
May 8, 2005, 08:57 AM
Capnriks, knows what he's talking about guys.
Expanding bullets are no more lethal than are the various FMJ/solids.etc, not one single bit.
The most frequent thing I see posted here is "if you don't make your shot" = i.e. you miss what you were aiming at, the expanding bullet will kill faster. That's correct, within limits. An expanding bullet increases your margin for error, and nothing else. An expanding bullet isn't magic, a gutshot deer will run just as long no matter if it's hit with an FMJ or a Scirrocco.

Thing is, if you're not accurate enough to drop your animal with a non expanding bullet, you're out of range. You should not use expanding bullets to make up for lack of marksmanship. Either become a better shooter, or a better hunter. A good shooter can take his animal at 400 yards, the good hunter takes his at 40.

And here's where we meest the problem head-on. Too many people buying way overpowered rifles with huge telescopes, who are too cheap to practice. How many average hunters are going to use even one box of ammo durign the entire season? Very, very few. Also, very few bother to even go to a range and make sure their scopes are properly zeroed before hunting season. I guess with the $1000+ gear, liscences, land fees, and possibly guide services (because, honestly, they can't hunt, so they need a guide to bring 'em to the whitetails. . .), that firing a few zeroing shots with their vunderbullets is too much money. Not to mention going to the range and firing a few hundred rounds a year is too much, and God forbid they get dirty practicing from field positions, nope, nothing but a nice clean bench for them.

Now honestly, I'm not telling you not to use premium bullets. But rather, if you think that you couldn't make the shot you're about to attempt with a FMJ round, you probably shouldn't take it with your Partition either. The truly ethical hunter makes sure his shot is the best, not the guy that hand-wrings over his ammo. Oh yeah, you don't need a magnum ANYTHING to hunt deer, people need to stop buying .300 RUMs for whitetail, and get something that they can both afford to shoot and can physically handle.

Re: archery. The whole point (I believe) in comparing to archery was to debunk this nutty idea of the "energy dump" crowd. Energy dump means squat. Destroying tissue, the RIGHT tissue (there's that pesky shot placement again) is what kills. not "energy dump", not "shock". Archery uses a different wounding mechanism than bullets, that's for sure. It slices through the tissue, rather than plowing it out of the way. Funny thing is if you get "good energy dump" out of an arrow or bolt, i.e. the arrow/bolt STOPS before overpenetrating, you get a LESS effective hit, and more chance to lose the animal. JUST LIKE YOU DO IF YOU USE AN OVEREXPANDING BULLET THAT STOPS BEFORE DESTROYING ENOUGH VITAL TISSUE. I've seen far more failures to stop with these explosive super bullets (mostly people using these polymer-tipped varmint bullets on large game), than with a bullet that overpenetrates. I, for one, will go for the bullet that will give complete penetration over one that stops in the animal, whether it's an expanding bullet or not.

impact
May 8, 2005, 11:40 AM
capnrik I'm glad you spoke! I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought bullet selection was the least of my worries. This ethical and unethical kill conversation drives me nuts. People think there is a magic bullet that just takes the life out of a animal. The magic is in the ability to hunt and make well placed shots and knowing YOUR! limiatations.

Thanks to the other people who agree with capnrik. It sounds like you are hunters.

Gewehr98
May 8, 2005, 12:39 PM
Thanks to the other people who agree with capnrik. It sounds like you are hunters.

And invite the person who said that to see what's in my freezer from last year's whitetail and elk season. And the pictures I have from over 25 years of hunting experience. I dare say I am an accomplished hunter, regardless of whether I use FMJ bullets or not. Maybe not to the demi-god status of Capnrik, but then again, he does that stuff for a living, nicht wahr?

A hunter not making a reasonable effort for a quick, clean kill is disgraceful. And somebody who manages to make a Sierra MatchKing sail completely through a whitetail before leaving a 6.5mm or .30 caliber exit hole is not my type of hunter. Sure, penetration's great, but it's got to somehow get that F=M*A working inside the deer, it's not doing any good zipping along after it's left the far side of the animal. That's piss-poor risk management, when a simple change in bullet selection would have better results. Not a magic bullet by any stretch, but one that opens up nicely and transfers energy into the vitals. Shock is your friend. Ever wonder why the Hague Convention banned expanding ammo for warfare, and why state game laws ban FMJ for hunting? Here's one from the Illinois DNR: Non-expanding military-style full metal jacket bullets cannot be used to harvest white-tailed deer; only soft-point or expanding bullets (including copper/copper alloy rounds designed for hunting) are legal ammunition. You suppose they made up those rules for -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-s and giggles?

For the person who asked, if you haven't heard a game warden mention professional poachers, you live a sheltered life. They're out there, they know what they're doing for their money, and they'd just as soon shoot a game warden as look at them.

For the naysayer, I use cast bullets in both my .32 Remington and .45-70 rifles. And they mushroomed quite nicely, thank you.

Magnum88, are you saying that you're not worth sour owl -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- as a hunter if you can't take an elk with an FMJ bullet? That stinks on ice.

I'm very proud of Capnrik, and his bullseye competition level of accuracy on game animals. (ie, heart shots on moving critters regardless of conditions) I'd be more than happy to have him along on my next bison or Cape Buffalo excursion. But when it comes to those big gnarly critters, I will use monolithic bullets, no questions asked. ;)

Magnum88C
May 8, 2005, 01:40 PM
Magnum88, are you saying that you're not worth sour owl -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- as a hunter if you can't take an elk with an FMJ bullet? That stinks on ice.
Before you blow a blood vessel, no that's NOT what I said, nor is it what I'm implying. Although I'll have to remember the sour owl **** line. . .

What I said, and I'll say it again: If you don't think you could make the shot with FMJ (i.e. you can't make a good, accurate shot at a vital zone, but are rather depending on some magical "energy dump" from a premium bulle to make up for that lack -- beit from the target being too far away for your ability to hit a vital zone reliably, or because there is something obstructing the vital zone) then you shouldn't take the shot with your premium bullet either.

Using a premium bullet doesn't make you a better shot, and it isn't going to make shooting through something obstructing a good shot (bushes, branches, etc) any better an idea than it would be using a FMJ.

In short: If you can't place the bullet correctly (for any reason) it doesn't make a damn bit of difference what bullet you use,a bad hit is a bad hit. OTOH, a GOOD hit is a GOOD hit, no matter the bullet used. The premium bullets just increase your margin of error a little bit.

Death from Afar
May 8, 2005, 03:34 PM
I totally agree with you Magnum.

impact
May 8, 2005, 03:53 PM
Game Warden, poachers :confused: and where do you get the idea I like to wound deer? I have no problem filling my freezer and I don't depend on the magic bullet. But good judgment when hunting. I also been at the hunting thing for 25 years and put down many deer.

By the way from time to time I use my 270. I hand load for the gun and made the gun very accurate with other work as well. All my deer kills with 270 were one shot drop kills! My favorite load is with 135gr Sierra match kings! They are HPs! I only use them because of there accuracy

Gewehr98! maybe I call BS on you ;)

45 Fu
May 8, 2005, 09:57 PM
The last time I checked, the vital area on deer in my part of the world (SE United States) was quite a bit harger than my hand. I say that to say this: just how much "accuracy" do some people think they need? Here, 300 yards will be the longest shot you are likely to take. Even at that range, the difference between being able to hold a 3" group versus a 4" group is not going to make that much of a difference, if any. So why would you use a bullet designed to punch holes in paper? Why not use something designed to hold up to hitting an animal?

I don't know. Perhaps I'm just not in the know like some of the Uber Hunters and various and sundry Dangerous Men that seem to be cropping up.

impact
May 8, 2005, 10:52 PM
45 Fu I just like to know that the gun will shoot better than I can. I'm bit of a perfectionest when it comes to my guns and even the way I hunt. Head and neck shots is what I go for. I shot a deer up in Michigan years ago with the 270 and the Sierra Match kings. Well I shot two. I neck shot the first one and for some crazy reason the second ran close to where I was sitting but in some thick young pines. All I could see was the side of the deer and it was a clean shot at about 35 yards. So I took out both lungs. The deer dropped over dead. I thought for sure I was going to have to track a lung shot deer. The SMKs work pretty good for hunting IMHO.

But still I like to hunt with 222 when I'm hunting in Texas. Nothing like sitting in camp with a cleaned deer hanging on the hook and three other guys in the woods till midnight looking for a deer someone shot with a 7 or 300 mag and the deer just ran off with not much of a blood trail. Then the next day there talking about getting a bigger gun or one of the new magnums :rolleyes:.

Shorthair
May 9, 2005, 01:22 PM
In the same vein, if you were hunting with FMJs and the deer took a step or jumped as you pulled the trigger, you have just wounded a deer int he liver or guts, and unless you are very lucky, they will run for miles. Using an expanding bullet does a lot more damage making recovery and a quick kill much more likely.

Forgive me for my inability to visualize exactly how one would still not have a gut-shot deer, regardless of bullet type. I've seen deer gut-shot with expanding bullets drag entrails hundreds of yards, some never to be recovered, simply because the shot was wrong.

I'm rather with the shot placement group on this one, though I use Nosler Partitions or Ballistic Tips for hunting, depending on cartridge. I demand excellent accuracy from any bullet if I'm going to have enough confidence to hunt with them.

I've shot a deer with my Garand and 168 grn Sierra MatchKings, in the lungs, and she went 20 yards tops. Not too messy, just a decent sized hole with shredded lungs. I've also tracked a deer shot from that same stand on my property, at the same distance, with a .30 165 grn Nosler Ballistic Tip, and tracked him for a couple hundred yards before finally putting him down with a neck shot as he attempted to sneak back into cover. He was carrying a vollyball size section of gut outside his body, the bullet blew a fist-sized hole through him just behind his diaphragm and the gut plugged the hole. No type of bullet construction can make up for poor shot placement.

That said, the reason I want a heavier constructed bullet (hunting rather than target construction) is that should that bullet hit bone I want it to penetrate rather than deflect or blow up and "dump its energy" in the first 3 inches of penetration. This is why I use Partitions in my 7 mag, I have shots from 50 - 300+ yards on my property and want the bullet to perform (expand on soft tissue, yet penetrate completely through) at all impact distances. At magnum velocities, Ballistic Tips and other lightly constructed bullets turn shoulders into soup if they hit heavy bone. Though I never shoot if not sure of a certain kill, to guarantee a pinpoint hit on the heart, on moving game at 100 yards, missing the shoulder, in field conditions, is not practical. At slower velocities, from a 7mm-08 for example, the Ballistic Tip works fine, and penetrates bone rather than disintegrate. But again, to disparage out of hand the use of FMJ without considering the right impact velocities, accuracy, placement, etc., misses the point entirely.

Ever wonder why the Hague Convention banned expanding ammo for warfare, and why state game laws ban FMJ for hunting? Here's one from the Illinois DNR:
Quote:
Non-expanding military-style full metal jacket bullets cannot be used to harvest white-tailed deer; only soft-point or expanding bullets (including copper/copper alloy rounds designed for hunting) are legal ammunition.

You suppose they made up those rules for -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-s and giggles?

With all due respect, this says nothing as to why one would prefer one type of bullet over another. It doesn't say why FMJ is banned for hunting, and I can list any number of stupid regs promulgated by the Michigan DNR that make me think it's made up exclusively of mental midgets. (Button bucks can be tagged as antlerless, protection of the cormorant, no use of .22 caliber for deer hunting, check that, its legal now....) Barbara Boxer wants our handguns, but not many of us think that her reasons are sufficient to go along with her. You have a heck of a lot harder time getting a handgun in Chicago, and in Michigan I can find no rule regarding FMJ for hunting.

Maybe they did make the rule for s**ts and giggles. Many major urban PDs for a long time banned LE use of hollowpoints for the same PC stupidity that had nothing to do with reality. Many still do. And military use of HP ammo is not universally banned, its agreed to by signatories that expanding ammo (often configured as HP) is not to be used against each other, in order to avoid excessive suffering. That's why the 168 grn Sierra HPBT Match is currently used by American snipers around the world in counter-terror operations. The legal argument given for its use is that its more accurate, period. And anyone who has seen the internal damage done by this bullet wouldn't hesitate to use it.

One other point. The reg you cite pertains to handgun hunting only, as centerfire rifles appear to be illegal for deer hunting in Illinois. 2004-2005 deer hunting regs from Illinois (http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/Digest/pg36.pdf) All the same, I'm hard-pressed to know why a 230 grn .45 acp at 1000 fps in RN copper jacketed form is much worse than a 250 grn RN hardcast lead .45 colt at the same velocity. I'd certainly want an expanding handgun bullet for hunting, but hardcast non-expanding 240 grn from a .44 mag or special have taken a lot of deer.

Now, if you're talking Barnes Solids and a critter as massive and solid as a Cape Buffalo, the energy dump is still there. They often find the bullet, heavily deformed, under the skin on the opposite side of the buffalo.

The reason one uses solids and heavily constructed lead-core bullets on dangerous game is for penetration, not to dump energy in the animal. The charging buff dies because he has a 6 foot long wound channel running through the length of his body, not because he's absorbed 3 tons of energy. And energy dump doesn't explain how a 300 grn .44 magnum hardcast, after traveling through the vitals of a whitetail or blackbear, killing the animal on the spot, is often recovered with little more damage than the rifling engraved down its sides. The bullet has killed by putting a sufficiently large hole through the parts of the animal that keep it alive. The reason archery is an appropriate part of capnrik's reply is that arrows kill by making blood leak out of large holes, not by dumping energy in the animal's body.

Thing is, if you're not accurate enough to drop your animal with a non expanding bullet, you're out of range. You should not use expanding bullets to make up for lack of marksmanship. Either become a better shooter, or a better hunter. A good shooter can take his animal at 400 yards, the good hunter takes his at 40.

True enough for me. I think an expanding bullet, given similar placement and impact velocities, will kill deer relatively quicker than an FMJ or match bullet, but its not cruel to use them if you can hit what you're shooting at. I don't think anyone is making an argument for using FMJ exclusively, rather than expanding bullets designed for hunting, just that they do work if properly used, and that expanding bullets won't work correctly if they don't get put into vital areas. And we are getting into a ridiculously nuanced area when we start arguing about the degrees of relativity once proper bullet placement has been achieved. Ten steps vs. what, twelve?

Lycanthrope
May 9, 2005, 01:40 PM
Plenty of elephants dropped with copper solids......

In comparison, the .4-.5 inch hole made by these projectiles is very small in comparison to the size of the beast.

Shot placement is 90%. The other 10%, however, can be maximized with a bullet that displaces tissue. Having shot a lot of the Nosler Ballistic Tips, they definately drop deer faster than a Barnes X in a large sample. Both dead.....just that one makes 'em dead faster.

Death from Afar
May 9, 2005, 06:39 PM
And indeed, some FMJ ammo does in fact do the same thing as an expansive bullet.

Let me explain.

The issue 5.45 Soviet round has an air cavity behind the tip of the bullet. This is a rather cynical way of avoiding the Hague conventions prohibition of "rounds that have the jacket that does not cover the entire projectile". It is designed to flatten on impact and thus tumble, inflicting nasty wounds. Its pretty stupid, really, as this captured ammo was used against their own soldiers, but there you go.

The old Mark 7 .303 round was the same, with a tip of bakelite, or towards the end of WW2, compressed paper to achive the same effect. Light tip, more mass at the end to make the bullet tumple.

And of course, the 5.56 mm M109 was in theory supoosed to do the same thing, with enough rifling spin to allow it to fly through the air, but not enough to make it stable. Experince has shown 5.56mm rounds do "keyhole" after having hit something solid.

I also find that very long bullets say a 70 grain 5.56mm tend to inflict bigger holes on their targets, I suspect because the round tends to tumble on impact.

Having said all of that, I try and avoid the use of solid ammo on game. You do tend to loose more wounded animals, so why even run the risk?

Incidentally, the worse ammo of them all is the Chinese stuff in 7.62mm x 39mm. Its a solid steel projectile, and just keeps on going through anything. It leaves smaller exit wounds than the Lead cored russian stuff.

Jseime
May 15, 2005, 06:41 PM
Expanding bullets are no more lethal than are the various FMJ/solids.etc, not one single bit.

Are you trying to tell me that if i shoot a deer with my .270 and the bullet expands to over double its original size and stops just inside the hide on the far side after tearing the heart almost in two that it wont be more lethal than a single .30 hole through the heart.

do the math here, if you hit a deer with over 2000 ft-lbs from a 150 grain soft point .270 at 100 yards and every single bit of energy from that bullet hits the deer its going to die quickly and humanely if you hit it in any vital area

if you hit a deer with a .308 FMJ that barely drops any energy and doesnt leave a wond channel bigger than a pencil that round has to be placed so very precisely to make a half decent kill that its simply not ethical. In real world hunting precise shot placement is all talk nine times out of ten. You owe it to the animal that you shoot to use the right bullet for the job, and no that bullet does not have a full metal jacket.

Capnrik said
and I frankly doubt like hell that it is illegal in Canada.

The FMJ IS illegal to hunt with here and i know that because i took the courses and i know the laws. Even if it were legal to use a full metal jacket i dont know one single person who would even think about not using soft points.

I believe that if im going to kill an animal i at least owe it to that animal to spend a few extra bucks on a box of good ammo and dispatch it as quickly as i possibly can. If that means that i have to spend 30 bucks on a box of ammo that is what ill spend.

flame me for this opinion till im crispy but im stickin to my guns

LAK
May 16, 2005, 02:51 AM
CapnrikI can promise you that a .30 caliber hole through the heart or lungs of a game animal will kill and quickly. For that matter, so will a Hornady 6mm 80 grain FMJ bullet with an estimated muzzle velocity of 2400 FPS. This comes from personal experience. (etc)
And Bell wasn't the only Old World hunter to use solids on medium to large game - and not the least limited to head and heartshots either. Bell wrote in effect that a roundnose "solid" raking an animal from stem to stern or visa versa was about as good as in the bag, and such bullets were reliable penetrators from any angle.

Roundnose "solids" were often the norm as "all-rounders" for hunters, using long-for-caliber roundnose "solid" bullets in medium bore (.30 to .33) rifles in Africa, India etc in the first half of the 20th century.

Fremmer
January 3, 2006, 03:05 PM
Intersting thread.

Everyone agrees that shot placement is very important, and everyone wants a bullet to go where it is aimed.

I use a soft-point on deer. I want a bullet that will expand, but that can still break a shoulder bone and continue to penetrate. The way I see it, controlled (non-violent) expansion is a bonus, and I'll take it if I can get it. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. That bullet expansion will (hopefully) destroy more tissue as it passes through and expands, and then penetrates the animal. I want the round to completely penetrate the animal and leave a good exit wound.

I'm not so hot with physics, so I'll not comment on energy transfer or shock. Like I said, I want tissue destruction consisting of controlled expansion and complete penetration. It is nice to see an exit wound on a doe (from a sp round) that consists of a ragged hole and three broken ribs. Would a fmj round have performed as well (and/or was that type of performance even necessary)? I don't know, but I'll stick with what works for me. :)

support_six
January 3, 2006, 03:59 PM
Just checking in on this old thread. First, my bona fides. I have 20 years experience as a professional game processor. Capnrik takes them out to shoot the beast, I take it from there -- to your freezer. I've seen more dead deer than many of you have seen alive! I've pulled more bullets and broadheads out of animals than most. ...and yes, broadheads do sometimes break off and stay in the animal!

1. Expanding bullets give a slight edge in lethality due to their increased likelihood to "touch" a vital organ.

2. State game laws usually require expanding bullets for the reason above. It makes both the experienced and the "slob" hunter alike, just a little better. They won't make up for a poor shot but just might nick a vital organ -- thus allowing more nerve or circulatory system damage -- where a solid bullet may not. Remember, the edges of an expanding point round are much more jagged than the smooth, cylindrical shape of an FMJ.

3. Archery: I would much rather have my arrow stay in the animal than pass through. Much more damage will be done to the animal, and thus a quicker death, if the cutting surfaces of the broadhead remain to continue cutting as the animal runs or moves.

4. Shot placement is everything. I totally agree with Capnrik and others who state that a good anatomy class is worth everything in hitting the right spot. The kill zone on one animal may only result in a would on another species.

Foxman
January 3, 2006, 04:15 PM
The correct term is energy transfer and the boffins can tell you how much is required to kill what weight/type of animal. If you look at the area of wound where an expanding bullet has hit the flesh is turned to a red gelover an area the size of your hand even with a 243.With a FMj that area is less than an inch in the same cal. So, if you hit the heart in particular it will still give a quick kill. However in the real world with bad weather, difficult position etc etc, the expanding bullet gives a garanteed kill, there are few countries around the world that allow FMJs for hunting for that reason. Big game is a different matter all together as these animals have hide and bone thicknesses that would cause an expanding bullet to do so on the surface before penetrating to the internal organs. It is also a fact that the vast majority of thick skinned game is killed with several shots not just one, particularly cape buffalo will not go down even when lung / heart shot with large calibers on one shot many get as much as 5-6 shots and in particular thePH who does not want to go looking for angry buffs in thick thorn scrub will give one or two "texas heart" shots up the rear as it turns away to make sure ( not my description, theirs !).
This could go on forever, but the fact remains that expanding ammo is far more reliable as method of killing normal game than FMJs which are often turned through 90 degrees when hitting bone. The guy who never misses by a little hasn't been born yet so why take a chance?, accuracy on decent hunting bullets is not even in question, in fact most FMJ stuff in the mil cals is inferior ( except match bullets). This really is a no brainer.

expeditionx
January 3, 2006, 09:34 PM
The world is often in conflicting opinions. The Hague Accord urges the concept that FMJ are more humane than expanding bullets on enemy combatants. Hunting ethics dictates than expanding bullets are more humane than fmj. The situation may dictate which might serve a better purpose. Many American vets suggest that shooting someone with a FMJ .45ACP was a good way to put someone down fast. I have been told by vets that the .45 would penetrate a chest but not exit thereby depositing all the energy and cut a min path of .45 inches wide during forward motion. Lately service people on different forums claim that 9mm fmj is not working effectively when called to do so. The same has been said about .223 fmj.
Expanding bullets do have an advantage over fmj obviously. If the bullet is big enough expansion may not be necessary. Big enough might be the arguing point. Plenty of non-expanding flatpoints are often used for taking big game. Buffalo bore ammo for a 45-70 is mainly flatpoints that do not expand, but because the flat point is .45 inches wide and more disrupting than a spirepoint it does alot of damage. I will argue that a .50 BMG does not have to be flat or expanding to take down a deer or a bear. Smaller caliber bullets might need expansion to do enough damage to drop a deer on the spot but as you size up enough it wont matter. I have hunted squirrels with round nose .22 lr bullets that didnt expand but dropped the tree rats instantly.
A .22 lr is pretty large proportionately to a squirrel when comparing bullet size to intended game. Plenty of indians poach deer with .22 lr and succesfully drop a deer without a long blood trail ( on a reservation where no one will tell them not to ). Full metal jacket can kill theres plenty of dead soldiers that can attest to that. Expanding bullets can cause even more damage. Flatpoint penetrators like Breneke slugs are even more damaging. All three can serve in different senarios.
Heres a great hunting report from a kid using a .50 BMG he doesnt say what kind of bullet he uses but my guess is that hes using surplus FMJ. He claims it just drops the deer even with an mis-intended gut shot.
It was the last day of deer season, so I decided to stay out all day in hopes of getting a deer. I hunted the best spot in the morning with no success. About noon I started to walk and stalk but it was just too hot for the deer to be moving around but I still tried hoping to spook some out of their beds. The sun would be going down soon and I had already covered most of my lease except for one special pasture that I saved for the evening hunt. It is a difficult place to hunt and I needed all the help I could get while hunting this stand because the nearest feeder is 1,021 yards away……..makes for a real challenge. Finally in the last hour a trophy spike walked out not 20 yards away. I thought for a second that I might be over scoped with my XOTIC 4-16x56 mil-dot but I had no problem shooting at that range, the hardest part was getting my head out of the stand so that I could get the proper angle on him. I don’t know if it was buck fever or what but I could not hold the gun steady as I squeezed off the shot. Most deer run off when I hit 'em in the guts but this one just dropped in his tracks…. Heck I didn’t even have to clean him as the .50 cal did it for me. Always go prepared for the worst and hope for the best!!
http://www.riflescopes.com/gallery/entry117.htm

expeditionx
January 3, 2006, 09:34 PM
Double post edit.