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Old November 14, 2017, 09:36 AM   #1
Jevyod
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Hornady FTX at higher velocity

Did any of you all run the FTX bullet at higher velocities, and use them on game? I know a guy that is a gunsmith and took a 45/70 and necked it down to 30 caliber. He used the 165 grain FTX and ran them at a MV of 2600. He took 3 deer with it this past weekend, and reported fantastic success. Two were pass throughs, and the third was lodged under the hide with a 57% weight retention. They were taken from 80 to 135 yards. This got me to thinking about how a 200 grain FTX in 35 caliber would work out of a 35 Whelen running at 2700+ FPS.
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:11 PM   #2
Roadkill2228
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Those bullets are indeed designed to really expand well at lower velocities than standard bullets. Pushed faster this means fragmentation. Not always a bad thing. On deer size game it might even enhance the lethality of some cartridges on light framed game where the usual bullets in that caliber are really designed for bigger critters and punch through with little shock effect. I load the 160 ftx designed for the .308 marlin express in a conventional .308 Winchester. Haven't shot anything with them though. I can say that the 160 ftx designed for 30-30 fragments completely in water jugs at any impact velocity greater than 2000 fps.
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:44 PM   #3
FrankenMauser
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I don't have experience with the .35s, but I can tell you from the good and bad reports on other forums, and experience with other calibers of the FTX, that it seems to be highly dependent upon the bullet in question.

The .308 MX bullet, for example, is tougher than the .30-30 version (as I see Roadkill hit upon).
The .35 Remington version is, of course, different that either of the previous.
And the .44 caliber FTXs are intended for completely different applications, as well.
One explodes, without fail, at rifle velocities (it's a handgun bullet); while the other fragments frequently, but not always (the actual "rifle" bullet).

Even the 325 gr .458" (.45-70) version, which is intended for nearly the same applications as the 265 gr .430" (.444 Marlin) bullet, performs differently. They fragment in their own ways, shed jackets differently, and seem to expand at different rates.

After the testing that I've done with the bullets at or below their intended impact velocities, I don't trust any of them. They sure to put a hurtin' on what ever they hit; but not in a predictable, repeatable manor, unless impact velocity is so low that the bullet barely expands (if at all).
There's no way you'd find me stuffing the .35 Remington version into .35 Whelen while expecting anything other than complete failure.
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Old November 14, 2017, 09:56 PM   #4
Roadkill2228
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That sounds right. Really as if they customize each specific ftx to a certain cartridge and velocity, much more than any of their other projectiles. Kind of neat that they put that much time and research into these bullets when so many lever gun projectiles seem like their an afterthought. It depends on what contitutes "failure", Frankenmauser. I think the whelen might be a faster, more emphatic killer of medium game on account of these bullets "failing". shoulder shooting an elk with that combo...probably a stupid idea. Double lunging a whitetail...almost certainly going to put it down faster than a stout elk bullet would. For me fragmentation only constitutes failure of the vitals are not reached and destroyed. I get a kick out of people lamenting the "failure" of a bullet, discovered to have fragmented within an animal that said bullet killed. I had this happen a few years ago. Huge bodied whitetail buck hit quartering away with a 220 grain round nose from a .300 win mag. Much to my surprise the bullet broke completely apart. Pieces of it were shoved up against the skin on the offside and the deer dropped like a sack of hammers but in our weight retention obsessed hunting community, the bullet would be said to have "failed"
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Old November 14, 2017, 10:29 PM   #5
FrankenMauser
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I understand that point of view, and even the hypocrisy of hating bullets that expand so rapidly that they fragment substantially.
I've just seen too much meat ruined by bullets failing to reach the vitals before they blow up.

And, the degree to which the FTXs 'exploded' in my testing was far too violent and rapid for my liking. Not all shot opportunities are presented perfectly. The last thing that I need, while looking at a deer quartering away from me, is a bullet that's going to violently fragment before it reaches the vitals. It might get the job done. But then it might not.

I've been on both sides of that fence. Now, I like guarantees, not lottery tickets.

To be clear: I would rate "failure" in this case as substantial (or complete) fragmentation of a bullet intended to have good weight retention and penetration after initial expansion.
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Old November 14, 2017, 10:37 PM   #6
Roadkill2228
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Ah yes that makes sense, and I couldn't agree more about the matter of meat destruction. My 270 with plain old 130 hornady soft points kills deer very dead very fast (and these simple bullets are the most accurate I've been able to find) even at close ranges where the bullet explodes, but on 2 occasions I've unintentionally destroyed the entire front shoulder if the shot is a fast offhand shot at a runner inside of 100 yards. Very violent. Very dead. But sad to throw out meat.
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Old November 15, 2017, 06:40 AM   #7
Jevyod
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So from what I hear, I may need to steer clear of them. I am on that likes an entrance and an exit hole (I hunt primarily for meat and do not like throwing away meat). Does anybody know if the Hornady 200 grain spire point is constructed any differently? Or would those also tend to fragment at those speeds?
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Old November 17, 2017, 11:28 AM   #8
GeauxTide
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One exception on the FTX is the bullet Hornady made for the 450 Bushmaster. The jacket is supposed to be heavier for use on large game. Reviews have been excellent on big hogs, but at <100 yards, they come apart.
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Old November 17, 2017, 03:30 PM   #9
FrankenMauser
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The Bushmaster FTX actually started life as a muzzle loader bullet.
Later, the under-development cartridge that we now know as .450 Bushmaster was adjusted a bit to use that bullet in the standard load for the cartridge.
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