View Full Version : bullet to animal weight ratio

November 11, 2000, 09:21 PM
The other day out in the woods squirrel hunting something about the size of bullet to the size of animal struck my curiosity. I can't figure out the math formula myself so here goes.

If you use a .22 to hunt squirrels with and you shoot say a 40 grain bullet what is the bullet weight to animal weight ratio?

I couldn't help but notice the fact that when I shot a squirrel they dropped like a small sack of onions. Of course they were all shot in the head too.

I guess what I'm getting at is, if you use a .22 w/40 grn bullet, then what would that same ratio be in comparision to hunting deer?

Am I the only one out there that thinks up this weird stuff in the solitude of the woods?

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

Al Thompson
November 11, 2000, 09:52 PM
Probably right on the weird stuff. :)

Lemme work on it. Interesting idea.

Art Eatman
November 11, 2000, 10:36 PM
Well, lessee. Folks kill African buffalo--at some 2,000 pounds--with 400-grain bullets. Elephants have been killed with 6.5/7mm bullets of what, 165 grains?

Live weight, I've killed 150-pound deer with 85-grain bullets; 225-pound deer with 150-grain bullets...

And some folks kill deer with 50-grain .22 bullets. Like my first deer, a neck-shot doe at 15 yards with a .222 Remington...

Not that I'd wanna throw any confusion into the world of the weird.

:), Art

Nevada Fitch
November 11, 2000, 10:43 PM
I haven't figured it out, but Read somewhere that the caliber and bullet weight would be way too big to handle from shoulder fired rifles.lets say a squirrel weighs 2lbs and a deer weighs 150lbs devide 150 by 2=75.Multiply 75 times 40grains=3000grains Now that is a big bullet for deer.

November 11, 2000, 10:48 PM
I'm fairly good at math, however I don't know what grains translates into in grams, ounces, or pounds, otherwise I could probably help. I look at it like this. A .22 bullet is about half the size of a squirrels heart. That would be like shooting a deer with a bullet the size of a raquet ball, or an elephant with a bullet the size of a softball. I think about any comparison you use, you're going to find that a .22 is a pretty large chunk of lead to use on squirrels, compared to what we use for big game. Not that it really matters because with head/rib shots, you're not going to screw up an noticeable amount of meat.

November 11, 2000, 11:02 PM
I would think it has more to do with energy transfer and bullet design than just the weight of the projectile. Call me crazy, but there are lots of complicated physics involved in what seems like this simple equation.

Art Eatman
November 12, 2000, 10:45 AM

Keith Rogan
November 12, 2000, 03:01 PM
Not even academic since we shoot a variety of bullet styles from pure lead to copper "X"'s and at various velocities.
To do it right, you'd have to only allow lead, round-nose bullets at .22 velocities.

The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan (http://members.xoom.com/keithrogan)

November 12, 2000, 07:14 PM
I have said many times that a squirrel is the most dangerous animal on earth, pound for pound. Imagine a squirrel the size of a dog- or a horse. Leaping on you, sinking its foot-long teeth into your shoulder and kicking you open like one of those velociraptors. How many times have you unloaded a magazine full of 40 grain .22's into a squirrel only to have it crawl away?

How about a horse-sized squirrel running out in front of your car on the highway? Slam into the side of him and he'll just drag you out through the windsheild by your head and eat you up on some tree branch.

I say we get them before they get us!

November 12, 2000, 07:53 PM
OK I think I've got it now.

I took the weights and converted over to grains. Conversion charts can be found in all reloading manuals.

The bullet to weight ratio 40grns=1 1lb squirrel equals

1/175 grains

The bullet to weight ratio shooting a 150 grain bullet and the deer weighs 125lbs is


I divided the 5833 by 175 then multiplied by the 40 grain to get the comparison and came up with 1333.20 grain bullet!

so I am either shooting squirrels with way to big of a gun or deer with too small of a gun.

Hopefully yall got a little entertainment from this maybe it's something to think about?

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

November 12, 2000, 09:08 PM
Well, lessee...

There are many variables we're not considering:

1. It would be more accurate to compare bullet energy to animal rest energy (i.e. animal mass).

2. It would almost certainly NOT be a linear function. I'd think more like a polynomial with the leading exponent being less than 1.

i.e, it takes about as much to kill a coyote as a man, and men weigh a lot more, so you need a comparatively smaller bullet as target size increases

3. .22 on squirrel is much bigger than is needed. I'd liken it to using 88mm tank gun on a deer or so. Ever gotten a squirrel with a sling-shot or a simple pellet gun? many have. The squirrels I've shot with a .22 have basically resulted in a carcass with nothing but squishy red mess above the front shoulders. It takes a lot to do that to a full-sized mammal...

In any case, it's kind of a moot question. We don't need to look for a theoretic ratio since we KNOW what is needed to kill the game we're after...

Abe Smith,
President of UW-Madison's
Student Alliance for Firearm Education and Responsibility