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Old November 26, 2012, 10:44 PM   #54
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Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,117
Two years ago my brother shot a big doe at 60 yards. It was a perfect broadside shot and we figured dead deer right? There was initially some blood, but it soon petered out. Spent a lot of time looking for that doe, but never found it. The best guess we can come up with is that the bullet hit the shoulder and fragmented with no piece penetrating the vitals. He was using Hornady SST.
60 yards? What caliber?

With impact velocities in excess of 3K f/sec, bullets designed to expand at longer ranges can come apart rather easily. I hit a buck at 15 feet one time with a .270WIN 130 gr Winchester Silvertip (the old kind, with the aluminum point, since discontinued). The bullet hit a rib behind the shoulder and exploded, leaving a large shallow wound. The deer died after running 100+ yards alright, but if the bullet had hit the upper leg bone or shoulder joint, I am not sure it would have been fatal- the bullet would have spent it's energy on the outside of the chest cavity instead of trashing 1/2 of one lung as it did ....

I have since switched to 150 gr bullets at a more moderate velocity (2900 f/sec) ..... but with a better BC. In similar situations, they have penetrated 12-18", even if they came apart, yet still will punch through both sides of a deer at 400+ yards with good expansion.....

Based on my experiences, I would suggest a heavy for caliber bullet, 100gr or better for the .243 ...... 87 gr at 3.2 K just seems a recipe for the hickey from hell ..... unless you go to a solid or bonded bullet.... and then you are looking at either passing up all frontal/quartering shots or dealing with messy field dressing scenarios.....
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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