View Full Version : Ballistics Report

September 25, 2009, 05:55 PM
I've been meaning to get this ballistics report posted for a few weeks now. However, I couldn't find a good, uncopyrighted image to use as my base. So... I sketched together a 'ballpark' antelope. (Ignore the skeletonized skull. I was doing the whole antelope that way, but it interfered with some of the bullet paths. I just didn't fix the skull.)

So, here you have 3 of the 8 animals taken:
(I can't remember exact circumstances and bullet paths for most of the others. I'll get to them, if I can.)

#1 -
Animal: 2 year old Doe Pronghorn
Size: Slightly above average.
Distance: Approx. 400-425 yards.
Presentation: Facing away, laying down, level with shooter. (Until cleaning, we thought she was facing us.)
Wind: 20-25 mph crossing left-right.
Cartridge/Bullet: .270 Win. / Rem 130gr Core-Lokt (Factory load)
Outcome: Full pass through.
Time to death: less than 15 sec.

Bullet entered high, left rear quarter, hit no bones, exited quarter in opening of pelvis - 1.5" continued into digestive tract, intestines and stomach damaged severely, entered chest cavity - top of heart hit, lungs shredded, exploded 1 rib upon exit of animal on right side of chest. Approx 1.75" exit wound. Whether it was the bullet, or the animal tensing up... there was a spray of intestinal and stomach contents all over the sagebrush - inline with the exit wound.
Animal jumped up after impact, spun 360 degrees, fell. Her head bounced into a bush, and never twitched again. (More lung-tainted 'poop' pushed out of entrance and exit wounds.)
Not even a bullet fragment recovered.


#2 -
Animal: Fawn Pronghorn.
Size: Average for a Fawn.
Distance: Approx. 80-90 yards.
Presentation: Broadside, facing right, dead run, 10-15' above shooter.
Wind: Very strong, 30-40 mph, crossing right to left
Cartridge/Bullet: .270 Win. / Rem 130gr Core-Lokt (Factory load)
Outcome: Devastating
Time to death: ~90 seconds

I think I stopped swinging the rifle, upon pulling the trigger; rather than following through with the running animal. Bullet impacted high on the back, just forward of hind quarters. (Rather than the chest I was leading and providing windage for.) Bullet entered backstrap, struck the spinal column, and absolutely exploded the spine, backstrap, tenderloins, and a few inches of the forward pelvis; even on the entry side. There was a 5" hole, from one side to the other. The animal was pretty much dead, but a finisher was put into the bottom of its chin; exiting through the center of the skull top. (Messy)
Not even a bullet fragment recovered.


#3 -
Animal: 1 year old Buck Pronghorn (No cheek patch, tiny horns. Thought he was a Doe.)
Size: Average.
Distance: Approx. 350-400 yards.
Presentation: Broadside, facing left, 75-100 feet below shooter. (running right to left for shots 2+3, finisher for 4)
Wind: 20-25 mph, slightly quartering toward us, crossing left to right. (for first 2 shots. Second 2 shots were after a chase.)
Cartridge/Bullet: .270 Win. / Speer 100gr Hollow Point.(Handload) - .270 Win. / Rem 130gr Core-Lokt (Factory load) - 9mm 124gr Gold Dot HP
Outcome: Interesting...
Time to death: 5-10 min.

Bullet 1: 130gr Core-Lokt... Dropped and drifted farther than shooter anticipated, entered front of left rear leg, above knee, under skin, did not enter muscle; continued under skin, across bottom of belly, between penis and belly (didn't hurt it); entered right leg, under skin, did not touch muscle, exited skin with caliber-size wound.

Bullet 2: We lose track of the animal, as the herd bugs out. We see a
Doe in the back of the herd, with a strange hobble; although still running quite fast. Animal is moving at approx 35-45 mph, right to left, gaining elevation, positioned so only one shooter can fire. A 100gr HP (intended for head shots) happens to be in that shooter's chamber. He decides we should take that Doe, and fires an anchoring shot. (Trying for a broken front shoulder and possible heart shot, but knows the bullet is unlikely to penetrate.)
Bullet hits high on left rear hind quarter. Massive damage to meat and bone. Bullet and fragments enter Anal Cavity via one of the holes in the pelvis and are "eliminated" by animal.

Bullet 3: 130gr Core-Lokt Animal runs to approx 600-700 yards, and lays down. We slowly close the distance to 100-150 yards. Animal jumps up, and hits a dead run; broadside, 35-40 mph, right to left, wind behind us, level with shooter.
Bullet enters center of shoulder, left side, breaks bone, shreds lungs, minor damage to heart, exits between ribs, right side, forward of shoulder, 1.5" exit wound.

Bullet 4: Animal still not dead upon reaching him. Finisher put into spine, at base of skull. 9mm, 124gr Gold Dot HP. Bullet passed through at least 75% of neck thickness; did not exit.

No bullets recovered. No fragments found. (We forgot about the Gold Dot until after the butchered carcass was gone.)


Oh... for the record....
We had all kinds of Factory and Handloaded ammo on the hunt. Everything from Bear Claws, to Fail Safes, to Ballistic Tips, to Partitions, to frangible hollow points. It just worked out that we used Core-Lokts for almost every shot that counted.
I don't know about my brothers, but my faith in the Core-Lokt was made that much stronger. It's an "outdated" design, but it sure does kill stuff just as dead.

September 25, 2009, 06:08 PM

They taste better if you don't shoot them to pieces.

130gr Core-Lokt... Dropped and drifted farther than shooter anticipated,

Distance: Approx. 350-400 yards.

... rangefinders are nice......

September 25, 2009, 06:22 PM
#4 -
Animal: Fawn, buck
Size: Small
Distance: Approx. 100 yards.
Presentation: Facing shooter
Wind: Doesn't matter
Cartridge/Bullet: .270 Win. / Rem 130gr Core-Lokt (Factory load)
Outcome: Wierd
Time to death: Very quick

Fawn turned head, just as shooter was squeezing trigger. Bullet entered front corner of right eye, just chipping the bone, exited back corner of right eye, just chipping the bone. The skull was completely shattered, even though there was maybe 1/8" of impact area with bullet.
Animal hit the ground, never moved. No blood, other than tiny amount around eye.
Not even a bullet fragment recovered.


September 25, 2009, 06:44 PM
good god man, those are deer not varnmints! You shot all 3 in the ASS.

Around here coyotes are Nasty so most everyone will kill anyone, anywhere, anyhow, as long as its dead its all good. But deer, everyone I hunt with has a one shot one kill mentality...finishing shots...on deer :eek: Granted running deer or animals in cover at long range or windy conditions can be challenging shots, but no one I hunt with fires unless they are confident the animal is going down for the count.

Too each thier own I guess....but your "ballistics report" is a rather shocking departure from what I'm used to....excuse me if I caused any offence, I will admit at least you have some varried reports of terminal round performance.

But I have to ask...why shoot fawns, is that typical in your area?????

September 25, 2009, 07:17 PM
Last time I checked, it says "Pronghorn" Antelope. Which is the only surviving species in its Genus. They are, in NO way, related to deer. Their closest living relative is actually a camel. Pronghorn are the fastest land mammal in N. America, and have more endurance than a Cheetah at continuous FULL speed.

Although I fully support the "one shot, one kill" method, it is not always the outcome of a shot. A wounded Pronghorn, now running at 55 mph, will go 3 miles before considering a break. You MUST stop them in any way possible.

Actually reading my post would have given your remarks a little more respect.

For the rest of you... We're working out the other 4 kills. (Mostly single shot kills) they should be posted soon.

September 25, 2009, 08:07 PM
Animal number 3:

Four shots to make a kill.
Obviously, you need to lay off the 400 yard shots, stick to 150 yards so you can make a humane kill.

Brian Pfleuger
September 25, 2009, 08:10 PM
Although I fully support the "one shot, one kill" method, it is not always the outcome of a shot. A wounded Pronghorn, now running at 55 mph, will go 3 miles before considering a break. You MUST stop them in any way possible.

Problem is, shot 1 is supposed to be the stopper. Yeah, bad things happen but what I see here is at least (3) #1 shots that the shooter should not have taken. The situation was not under control, distances were guessed and the shooters (apparently) do not have the long distance experience to reliably make these shots.

I'm sorry if my opinion offends you but it is my opinion.

September 26, 2009, 12:54 PM
Why fawns? Have you ever had a nice piece of Veal? Antelope is tender and lean, to begin with. Add the fawn factor to it, and it's melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Rangerfinder.... Yea, rangefinders are nice. However, in order to buy a rangefinder useable at the distances seen in the area we hunt (400 yards in a close shot); you're looking at well over $1000 for the equipment. (Even semi-'high end' rangefinders are usually only rated for "reflective" objects beyond ~300 yards. Mother Nature doesn't produce many reflective animals, trees, bushes, grasses, or anything else seen in most animal habitats.) Last time I checked, I could pay for 10 years worth of tags and licenses, with what a useable rangefinder would have run.

As for animals #2 and #3 here: Yea, they were a combination of crappy shots. However; they were not taken from a bench, at known distances, with the ability to dope the wind and time to make windage and elevation adjustments to the scope. These shots were taken after long stalks (over 2 miles for #3), in the field, on small targets, in windy conditions. The wind, by the way, was calm for these shots. Some of you may think 35 mph is way too much to attempt a shot, but where we were hunting.... 35 mph is the 'afternoon breeze'. You don't see anything under 20 mph unless you're in a deep creek bed, or it's 1:00 am. If you don't learn to shoot in a strong, variable wind; you don't shoot at all.

As I mentioned in my last post, these animals were the exceptions to our hunt. I'll get the others posted soon. I believe they consist of 3 heart shots (single shot kill), and 1 spine shot. (can't remember if it needed a finisher)

Brian Pfleuger
September 26, 2009, 02:42 PM
However, in order to buy a rangefinder useable at the distances seen in the area we hunt (400 yards in a close shot); you're looking at well over $1000 for the equipment.

You need to check again my friend. I have a Bushnell range finder that easily picks up trees, grass and woodchucks at distances WAY beyond 400 yards. It was $300 probably 5 years ago. You can walk into Gander Mountain and buy one that would work just fine for 400 yard antelope for under $200. The top of the line models are only $600-$800.

Here's two whole pages of them (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/common/search/search-results1.jsp?Ntk=Products&QueryText=range+finder&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&Ne=46&nyr=1&N=54&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form23&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1) from Cabelas that are in the $200-$500 range and some of them are rated for 1200 yards.

Hell, you can buy a range finding SCOPE from Burris for $800.

On the issue of the "fawns".... I'll take your side on that one. If it's legal and you want it then shoot it. It's nobodies business but yours. I might take exceptions with the term "fawn" because it's not a fawn in my mind unless it's a baby. As in can't survive without mama, still nursing baby. Other than that, shoot it if you want it.

roy reali
September 26, 2009, 03:05 PM
What is the limit for antelpope in your neck of the woods? What are the regulations for shooting fawns and does? You mention eight animals, how many hunters did this involve?

September 26, 2009, 03:53 PM
My intention here is not to be a critic.My point is to try to learn from the data presented.
I have shot a lot of pronghorn.Most of them 200 something yds or less.
I hunt on foot.

45 years ago,as a teen,I wounded and lost one by overestimating myself with a 7mag.I broke a foreleg.It felt real bad.

I also shot one as a teen with a 7 mag that was moving.I hit shoulder with a 160 gr Sierra boattail.The hindquarters were edible.Even the backstraps were bloodshot
Somewhere I switched to the .257 AI.Elsewhere on TFL.I wrote of a ranch where I hunt. I shoot at targets at all ranges here,out to over 1000 yds.I have made two over 400 yd shots there.In both cases,they were one shot clean kills,but no room to be proud of them.It was all luck.
One just stung the sternum,never even entered the chest cavity.Must have stopped the heart. It died on the spot.The other was a neck shot,instant kill.I was aiming heart -lung.The wind drifted the bullet.That could have been a gut shot,just as easy.
I can also relate another shot that went wrong.I was approaching the crest of a hill,and saw a buck at about 200 yds.He saw me,we were staring at each other.If I got lower,I couldn't see him.This all happened fast,but I decided if I shot his head,I'd either miss or kill him.So,I shot offhand.He backflipped like a headshot rabbit.As I hustled over the hill,he was ambling away.Sitting,I finished him.I had hit jaw on the first shot.

I have only lost the one antelope I mentioned earlier,and I like to think my point of view has matured some with time and experience.
If you want to hunt antelope,try heading out in the dark before the sun is up.Instead of finding high ground,where yoiu can see them at 1500 yds(where all the antelope can see you),get down in a bowl where you can only
see 200 to 300 yds in all directions.Get concealed,have faith,and wait.

You see,once the bullets fly,you can look across the flat ground,and they have all disappeared,except the sentinal does,maybe.The rest have found a little low ground,where they are invisible and the vegetation is deeper and greener.They know all these draws,and can move around unseen.

Lao Tzu said the best attitude is to be like water.Water collects in low places.

You are invisible to all ,in your low ground,and any animal that eases into your space will be inside 200 or 300 yds.If you have to move,follow the low ground,in defilade.Low crawl over the ridge,if you must(Yes,there are cactus!!Do you know those grey gauntlet work gloves with leather palms? I also shingle a thick matte of burlap on my shins,knees and elbows.

Do not shoot at moving antelope.If you calculate it,the lead on a running antelope might be 20 feet at 200 yds.Likely,you will hit one further back in the herd.
Lose the vehicles,trucks,4-wheelers,you can't experience hunting antelope with your butt on a machine,I'm over 55 and not an athlete.You will find your hunt down in the sage and cactus .That is where you might get a big grin at the horned toad.That is where you will become a predator.

Do not stand up and walk around.You will run all the animals off the square mile you are hunting.Your partners will think if shooting you in your kneecap,as you are running their animals off ,too.
Be quiet,where you can't see them.That is where they are.Where you are not looking.And your shot will be 200,maybe 300 yds.

September 27, 2009, 02:40 PM
What is the limit for antelpope in your neck of the woods? What are the regulations for shooting fawns and does? You mention eight animals, how many hunters did this involve?

The hunters in our group all drew Doe/Fawn tags. There were a total of 5 hunting, 4 of those had 2 tags each, 1 had a single tag.

A Doe Antelope in Wyoming, has no black cheek patch, and horns shorter than the ears. Even a young male with short horns and no patch is considered a Doe.

A Female Antelope with a cheek patch, or horns over the ears will qualify it as a Buck even though it is "female".

My family has always strived for the one shot, drops like the hand of god stuck it kill, but anyone who has hunted knows that dosen't always happen. (Thats why its called hunting not killing) Antleope number 3 was unfortunate. I missjudged the wind after stalking them for 2 miles and creeping up on them over a ridge. Instead of hitting the heart/lungs, it hit far back in the thigh/belly skin. So, now we have a wounded speed goat, running flat out in the middle of the herd. We know its hit, and we don't want to lose it, or make it suffer a slow painfull death. So, as soon as it gets clear of other animals in the herd, another shot was taken to try and stop it. We didnt want to be those hunters everybody hates that let their wounded animal get away because it didnt drop right there. That shot, taken off hand, in the wind, on a antelope doing 40-50mph wasn't a great hit, but it stopped the wounded animal from getting away, and allowed us to get close enough to finish it. None of us are proud it took more than one shot, but it did. We weren't just shooting into the herd, or throwing lead in hopes of hitting the wounded one again. We did the best we could to try and prevent a wounded animal from getting away.

It sounds like some of you guys have never, ever, had a bad shot, and thats great, thats the way it should be.

September 27, 2009, 02:57 PM
IMHO we should all give Mr. Mauser a round of big thank yous for sharing his experiences. That is the point of this forum - to tell it how it is and share information.

I believe the point of the thread is to discuss bullets, their reaction after hitting stuff, etc. So, stay on topic.

We can all "armchair" and second guess the hunt on Monday. None of us were there.

Don't we all want open discussion to talk about the most topics? Being not critical would be a good starting place so we can get the most info out there. Continue to be critical if you want this forum to devolve into nothingness. No one want to contunially defend their position - it will stop the posts and thus stop the flow in information.

And, I have no clue who Mr. Mauster is.

September 27, 2009, 03:04 PM
I believe the point of the thread is to discuss bullets, their reaction after hitting stuff, etc.


My impression after this hunt, is that I am continually impressed with Remmington's "Outdated" Cor-Lokt ammunition. Compared to some other ammo, it is relatively inexpensive, but is accurate in the rifles in my family, and has taken several deer/elk/antelope with no complaints. And, even though it is an antelope, the full body pass though (bones included) was impressive for me for waht some ocnsider a "cheap" ammo selection.

September 27, 2009, 05:13 PM
I managed to put together 4 more. Sorry about the lungs. For some reason, my scanner didn't like pink today.

#5 -
Animal: Fawn, Buck
Size: Tiny
Distance: Approx. 25 yards.
Presentation: Running left to right, broadside.
Wind: doesn't matter.
Cartridge/Bullet: .338 Win Mag. / Unknown handload.
Outcome: Full pass through.
Time to death: Instant

Bullet entered center of body, just behind shoulders, huge entrance wound (3"), gigantic exit wound (6"), dropped to ground. (Even for us, this was a small fawn.) Definitely too much gun on a tiny body, but it was what the shooter had in his hands. DRT.

No fragments recovered.


#6 -
Animal: Fawn, Buck
Size: Large fawn / small Doe
Distance: 398 yards (rangefinder actually worked on this one.)
Presentation: "Perfect" Broadside, facing left.
Wind: 30-35 mph, crossing right to left.
Cartridge/Bullet: .30-06. / Win 150gr Power Point (Handload)
Outcome: Full pass through.
Time to death: less than 30 sec.

Bullet entered left side of body, impacted spine, bullet and bone fragments shredded internal organs, 1.5-2" gap blown in spinal column. 2-3" exit wound. DRT.

Bullet fragments found around shattered spine, no large pieces.


#7 -
Animal: 2 year old Doe Pronghorn
Size: Average.
Distance: Approx. 400 yards.
Presentation: Broadside, facing left.
Wind: 25-30 mph crossing left-right.
Cartridge/Bullet: .30-06 / Win 150gr Power Point (Handload)
Outcome: Full pass through.
Time to death: less than 15 sec.

Bullet entered center of left shoulder, broke bone, broke ribs, shredded heart and lungs, broke more ribs, broke right shoulder, exited (1.5") center of right shoulder. DRT.

Many small bullet jacket fragments and lead residue found. No large pieces, or anything worth examining.


The Winchester Power Points used here tended to fragment much more than the Core-Lokts, and were affected greaty by recoil damage. (Deformed tips from recoil while in rifle magazine. They became innaccurate with even minor damage.)

September 27, 2009, 05:15 PM
#8 -
Animal: 4 year old Doe Pronghorn
Size: Large
Distance: Approx. 400 yards.
Presentation: Broadside, facing right.
Wind: 30-35 mph, crossing left to right.
Cartridge/Bullet: .270 Win. / Win 130gr Core-Lokt (Factory load)
Outcome: Full pass through.
Time to death: less than 1 min.

Bullet entered just forward of center of right shoulder, missed bones, shredded lungs, severed arteries on top of heart, missed ribs on left side, punched 1.5" hole in shoulder blade, exited with ~2" wound. Animal ran approx 100 feet, dropped.

No fragments or bullets recovered.


September 27, 2009, 05:32 PM
No intent to criticize from me.I gave examples of my own mistakes.I have also been in on cleaning up a number of messes my hunting companions have created.
I do think sharing experience on wound channels has value.

I have just spent enough time around pronghorns and pronghorn hunting to make a number of observations,and my own mistakes.

What happens with antelope,they are easy to see from far away.Some folks race up with something with wheels on it,jump,and blaze away.Some people drive slow,open the door,lean on the fender,and blaze away.

I'm not saying you do that,I have observed plenty of it.
I watched a guy, (not my people)supposedly a great hunter ,from a family of great hunters, shoot 19 times at an antelope,and hit is 7 times,with a .270.I'll spare you the details.He was happy.He got him.

You all do things your way,whatever makes you happy.I observe somehow an antelope gets reduced to a shooting gallery target for long range equiptment and a block of ballistic gelatin.I know this because I own my own shadow.I get tempted.And,I have pulled my long range rifle out to put gut and leg shot animals out of their misery other people shot.I have done that at ranges way out there,but that is not hunting.

For myself,my own code,preference points,the money,etc does not mean I have to shoot something.Just because I see one,even a trophy,does not mean I have to shoot at it.Its not rifle and cartridge versus the antelope.Its me,my eyes,feet,knowledge of the terrain,and antelope.It is OK to make the stalk ,anticipate the shot,and the buck wins.He vanished.Try again.

Generally speaking,the effects of wind,etc have a more significant roll at longer ranges.Generally,if folks will hold off shooting till they are well inside 400,like 300 or 350,a good kill is far more certain.

Regardless of what happened in the past,this season,this hunt,if we do not shoot at moving antelope,and get the ranges within reason,the antelope will get the consideration they deserve.

September 27, 2009, 05:45 PM

Killing things and filling tags is not always pretty. I appreciate your candid results. Far better to keep hammerin' them than to let one wander off wounded.

Few shots at antelope will be close or under perfect conditions but if you're going to fill tags, you'll take any safe shot you can make. Killing them clean at 400+ yards requires excellent shooting. At least you did some long-range homework before you turned the rifle on game.

Enjoy your steaks;)

September 28, 2009, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys; critical or supportive.

As has been mentioned, we aren't pround of #3. Once the herd spooked from shot #1, we started scanning for anything wounded. When the "Doe" (the Buck with no cheek patch or horns) was seen with a limp, we went into damage control mode. Whether the animal was wounded by us or some one else, we knew we needed to take it down. The location we were in and direction of the rest of our party, were a guarantee that the herd would travel at least 2 miles before feeling safe. (Long, long flats, with very small hills to break sight lines.)

The only thought going through our heads was, 'Stop it now. Try for a quick kill, but stop it now.' The direction the herd ran meant that only one shooter could fire. Of course, this meant that the poor thing received a 100gr HP to the butt. (He wasn't aiming for the butt... for the record. The shooter admittedly has a problem leading running game.)

The only good part of that kill, was the shot that broke his shoulder and took out the lungs; allowing us to approach and dispatch him without waiting any longer. (The animal was definitely on his way out, but the 9mm was quicker.)

As for the purpose of this thread.... (showing terminal performance on Pronghorn)

In the end, we didn't recover a single bullet. The two animals hit by the .30-06 had lead residue and fragments in the wounds, but that's the most we saw. I was given even more evidence to avoid Winchester Power Points, and had my confidence in the Core-Lokt bolstered that much more.
The lack of recovered bullets somewhat defeats the purpose of this thread... sort of... but not really.

We saw some very nice exit wounds (after full pass-throughs), had a few 'what the??' moments, and proved, again, to my father that Antelope can be stalked. (We grew up with our dad proclaiming that hunting antelope in any way that does not involve a high-speed-capable vehicle, was a waste of time. "You can't stalk an antelope, on foot" he used to say.)

There were a few mistakes made, and the wind was terrible, but it was a great hunt.

Thanks again for the posts. It's the reason I put this together.

September 28, 2009, 01:06 AM
I forgot to mention it in my last post, and don't feel like editing:

It is 100% legal to take a Fawn in Wyoming, as long as your Doe tag reads "Doe/Fawn". (I have heard that some of the private property units don't allow taking of fawns; and read "Doe" only.)
Anything less than 1 year old is considered a fawn. It doesn't matter if the thing has 14" horns; as long as it's less than 1 year old.

The matter of nursing fawns is something to be addressed, too. By September, most fawns should be fully weaned. They should also be in the beginning stages of being pushed away by their mothers. Most fawns will run with the herd, as if nothing happened, if their mother is taken. There are exceptions, though.

Antelope #4 was a good example:
He was found standing over a gut pile, with another buck fawn in the distance. Some other hunters had taken the wet doe, and left the fawns. The close fawn was killed (the head shot), so the animal didn't starve; and we had a filled tag. The other fawn actually ran to within 25 feet of our party, and had to be driven away. We should have bagged and tagged it. The next day, it was found 15 feet from the gut pile, with its throat torn out. (They did not eat it, though. ...Just killed it... Coyotes suspected.)

Some times fawns must be taken, if a wet doe was accidentally shot. (Didn't know it was wet.)
Some times... we take the opportunistic shots for some extra-tender meat.
The average fawn should not be nursing by the time the hunt opens.