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Old June 19, 2017, 02:35 PM   #9
jmr40
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Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,075
Speed AND bullet construction are the key. A FMJ that does not expand doesn't cause much hydrostatic shock. A soft bullet designed to expand at relatively slow speed can cause a lot of damage at slower speeds.

The key is to understand what the bullet you are using is designed to do and not ask it to do something it wasn't meant to do.

There are 2 schools of thought, both work, both have negatives. Some guys like a softer bullet that expands violently. If put into a game animals vitals those bullets take down game quickly. Softer bullets work very well at longer ranges where they will still expand after slowing down. But if pushed too fast will blow up at close ranges and not give enough penetration to reach vital organs. They may not be the best choice for larger game where bullets may have to penetrate 2-3' in order to hit vitals. Especially if shot from less than perfect angles. Soft bullets CAN penetrate well enough if using heavy for caliber bullets fired at moderate speeds.

The other school of thought is to use a harder bullet that penetrates deep. Those bullets tend to work, but rarely put game down in their tracks because of less hydrostatic shock. They are not the best choice for long range shots. After slowing down they may expand very little and cause little damage. But are generally considered a good choice on larger game.

The cartridge used is important. A soft 150 gr bullet fired at 3300 fps from a magnum rifle would actually be a poor choice on deer inside of 100 yards. Too much expansion, too little penetration. But the same bullet fired from a 308 at 2800 fps would work great.
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