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Old August 29, 2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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Hornady 243 100gr BTSP (pre-interlock) on deer

Anybody use these on whitetail?

I had a near bad experience with a Hornady JHP (300 gr, 45/70) on a 125 lb doe about 15 years ago. It was a perfect broadsite lung shot at about 70 yards. The doe died, but the bullet broke up and did not exit. What I found inside was tiny pieces. Anyhow it makes me leary of Hornady's for hunting. These 100 grainers are about 15 years old and pre-interlock ( I cut one in half to check).

Anyone have experience with these? Thanks.
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Old August 29, 2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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So why was that a bad experience with the doe? That just means the bullet dumped all the energy into the animal. With whitetail, that doesn't sound like such a bad thing. I don't have any experience with Hornady, in particular, but most pre-premium bullets were simple cup and core bullets. It's about bullet placement with those. Center-punch the lungs or go for a head shot on deer and it'll make a good kill. If you hit bone with a lightly constructed bullet, it might break up to quickly and not penetrate to the heart. With a head shot, that's not such a big consideration. I have used, though not often, cup and core bullets on elk, and with good bullet placement, it's ok. If you have doubts, get some premium bullets of the same weight, use the old bullets that you're worried about for practice, and put a good bullet in a good place. Your worries will be over.
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Old August 29, 2011, 09:43 PM   #3
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It wasn't exactly a bad experience. But a 300 grain bullet shouldn't dissentigrate when it hits a 125 lb animal broadside at 1500ish fps. It was a great result, but **** poor performance. Much like when you hit the spine when you are trying a lung shot. It got the job done, but the performance was unimpressive.

Yeah, I suppose I could breakout the Nosler Partitions and not worry about it. This is just me being lazy and not wanting/having time to work up a new load.
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Old August 30, 2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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Was that 300 gr JHP an Interlock (.458" rifle bullet) or an XTP (.452" pistol bullet). The Interlock should have punched a nice hole, with minimal expansion. The XTP, on the other hand, is not designed for 1,500+ fps. It would have experienced explosive expansion.

The 100 gr SPs should do just fine.
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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I can't say if it was an interlock. I do know it was not an XTP.

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Old August 30, 2011, 08:02 AM   #6
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I love SST's in 243. They work awesome for me.

If it were me, I'd get the Hornady's and throw away those stinking Noslers.
I hate Noslers because of the cost and have yet to see them perform better than comparable bullets of different brands.
But thats just my experience with them. Some people love them.
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:14 AM   #7
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I used that same bullet (100 grain, pre-Interlock) last year on a smallish spike buck (about 115 lbs) and I have mixed feelings about it. Almost classic broadside shot at about 120 yards. I knew that he was hit hard, because he flopped on his side, then got up and limped into the woods. I waited about 20 minutes and trailed him. Blood everywhere He had walked down a logging road and had piled up about 40 yards from where I shot him.

Autopsy revealed that the bullet had entered just behind the shoulder and had blown up on a rib. It shattered the on-side lung and left a hole in him that I could put my fist in. Lots of bloodshot meat and the shoulder was nearly ruined from bruising. There is no doubt that the bullet did it's job, but I wonder if I was driving it too hard. With my handloard I'm pushing that bullet over 3000 fps and I don't think that the bullet was designed for impacts that fast.

Still, the deer was dead, dead, dead. I've bought some Partitions and that's what is loaded for that rifle this year. I'm letting my niece use the rifle this year and we'll keep those old 100 grain bullets for practice and use the Partitions for hunting.
Dennis Dezendorf
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Old August 30, 2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Old August 30, 2011, 11:47 AM   #9
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My understanding is that the boat tail design is less tough and comes apart more easily that flat base designs, especially in the 6mm caliber. I shot a small coues buck (80-100 lbs live weight) at 225 yards with a 100gr BTSP interlock. He was in his bed and he never knew what hit him. He didn't move a muscle far as we could tell, heard that bullet smack him and all that happened was his head hit the ground. Got to him and thought I hit him in the neck (was aiming for his shoulder). It wasn't until butchering that I discovered I had indeed hit him in the shoulder and the bullet fragmented bad and one fragment had shot all the way along the spine and came out the neck. That was the only exit. Found two other big chunks of the bullet in the shoulder. Like the story above, the deer died because the shot was good, but the bullet didn't do as desired.

On the other hand, I've killed a number of deer with the 100gr flat base spire points (interlocks and pre-interlocks), and they all passed thru deer best I can remember.

I've shot a bunch of coyotes with the same load I shot the deer with (100gr BTSP) and they all passed thru. Even with the one bad experience, I would not pass on a good shot. Put the bullet where it needs to go and it'll do the job. Some people use ballistic tips and they are generally happy with them...

To this day the Hornady 100gr spire point has been the most accurate bullet I've shot in my 243. I'm running Barnes 85gr TSX right now but haven't shot a deer with it yet, so the jury's still out regarding performance on that. I think a Partition would do well in the 6mm caliber.
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