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Old September 13, 2006, 07:46 PM   #1
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"Texas Heart Shots" and the 7mm-08

(Ahem) about those "Texas Heart Shots." You're looking at the south end of a northbound deer. I've read posts that remark on the messy gut cavity that follows with a shot between the cheeks, and have no doubt that this is so. No doubt a .308 or .30-06 firing a 165 gr. bullet will reach the heart/lung area.

Would a 7mm-08 (the lightest chambering on my short list) be mechanically capable of driving an expanding bullet to the heart/lung area, on such a shot?
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Old September 13, 2006, 07:54 PM   #2
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I've heard this is not a good idea, even if you hit the boiler room after, you know, because it will taint the meat with a residual gut flavor - anyone know from experience whether true? I don't mind cleaning a gut mess - that only lasts a few minutes, but if the meat is bad, I don't want to try it. That lasts 6 months to a year.

I believe that it depends on the bullet construction, but I think yes, a 7mm bullet will easily reach the vitals through the whole gut, if the bullet is a premium one (bonded, partitioned), and probably even if it's not (standard like Rem core-lokt express, etc.) - I'd want to be using a 140 or heavier bullet though in 7mm.
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Old September 13, 2006, 07:56 PM   #3
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Penetration has a lot to do with bullet design/construction. For instance a nosler partion bullet which is designed for max penetration on thick skinned/big game would have a better chance than a ballistic tip which tends to expand rapidly and is designed for thin skinned/small-medium game.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:00 PM   #4
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Really now, hunting is a blood sport to be sure, but don't you think it may be a bit inhumane to shoot an un-wounded animal up the butt?
Use enough gun.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:04 PM   #5
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Long Path addressed this awhile back here. General consensus was, it ain't a good idea.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:05 PM   #6
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7mm-08 will do the job with a well constructed bullet.

I have gut shot deer with no side effects to the meat.

I don't recommend the bung hole shot, but if it is a real trophy and it's all I got then I won't let him get away.

I just had a buddy that took two nice carribou in Canada with the bung hole shot. Neither went more than 50 yards. He was using a 30-06, 150gr nosler.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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Although I have never taken (and never will take) a "Texas Heart Shot", I have cleaned one up. Needless to say, the sight of all that paunch and intestinal content liberally applied to the tenderloins is not all that appetizing.

But the Texas heart Shot does not necessarily require a lot of penetration. The one I helped clean up was done with a 30-30, so a 7-08 could make it.. When the animal is standing, gravity pulls the paunch and intestine down away from the spine, making a sort of tunnel under the spine. The bullet gets up under the spine and travels along it until it encounters resistance. The bullet still hits stuff, but the guts are not terribly tough. The worst of the damage is reserved for the liver, the tenderloin and the chops, which will be terrifically bloodshot since the spine curves down at that point, resulting in a lot of meat loss.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:48 PM   #8
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Never took one. Don't think I will. If the deer is standing still, sooner or later he's gonna raise his head. Good odds the horns will go flop and fall down, if you hit the back of the skull.

The thing is, if you're off just a bit to the side, you ruin a ham. Bummer. Hey, there are other deer around...

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Old September 14, 2006, 07:30 PM   #9
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O-kay, personal decision called for. No head shots and no Texas Heart Shots.
I'd rather have nice venison or none at all.
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Old September 14, 2006, 07:35 PM   #10
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texas heart shots.

keeping this one short and to the point.Don't shoot,wait until next time,because if you do :barf: your going to have one hell of a mess.
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Old September 14, 2006, 07:39 PM   #11
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Actually, a .44 or .45 hard cast of 350 to 500 gr,applied in the manner of a suppository, will do very little meat damage and if sent off at at least 1300 to 1700fps, will handle south to north on anything up to and including Moose and Brown Bear, including a neat 1/2" exit hole.
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Old September 14, 2006, 07:47 PM   #12
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Mulling this over a moment or two longer ... SST in 139 or 140 gr., whatever it is, and no less, in 7mm-08; or 150 gr., in .280; and either flank or head-on. I like bolts, more for sentiment for anything else. I could see myself taking a shot at the base of the neck, low enough to optimize the chance of hitting the breastbone, though, from a head-on angle; a miss merely hits one lung or the other or the heart. On to the anatomy lessons!
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Old September 15, 2006, 02:07 PM   #13
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As I said in the opening of the old thread that I started on the subject of whether to take bunghole shots, I consider it only as a last-ditch shot.

If I shoot at an animal, I consider it hit. I have plum given up calling hits or misses based on the way that an animal reacts.

I've shot at a deer that I was utterly certain I had double-lunged from her reaction, only to find that I had tucked a .308 165g neatly into the inside corner of a piece of angle-iron used as a fencepost, 20 yards nearer me than her (I thought that I was holding over the tilted thing high enough.); I NEVER would have called that shot a miss, but I had never cut hair on her.

I've shot at a deer that ran off without the slightest indication of being hit, only to find it piled up later. I had looked because it was the right and sporting thing to do, but I really had decided that I must've missed that old buck.

So when I shoot, and the deer begins to run off, I assume that I'm looking at a wounded deer running away. If I can throw another round at it to anchor it, I will. Though sub-optimal, even a non-fatal shot to the backside of a deer will help anchor it. Sound messy? It is, just a tad. As I said, this is a last-ditch kind of thing, to avoid losing a wounded deer. I guess that a rapidly-expanding bullet will help anchor it, but I'd rather have a bullet that will reach the lungs and heart.

BrianBM's question wasn't really about whether it's a good idea, but about whether the lighter 7mm bullets out of a 7mm-08 will do it.

If I were using the excellent 7mm-08 round, Brian, I would stick exclusively with the 140gr loadings. Just what are you getting for your 120g loading? Is it flatter? Not really. Going to the Remington site, I find that their 120g load at 3000fps and their 140g load at 2860fps are within 1/2 an inch out to almost 500 yards, by which time the 140 is actually flatter. Check it out:
The 140g bullet is going to have MUCH better sectional density, which means that it will penetrate better, in a given style of bullet. Add in the better ballistic coefficient for better wind-bucking, and you've got a no-brainer. Unless you're extremely recoil sensitive, I would strongly suggest hunting with the 140s only, for deer. To [finally] answer your question, I believe that they (the 140g 7mm-08 bullet) could do it, but believe that the 120 grainer is at best a "maybe," for being able to go through a deer lengthwise from the butt-end.
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Old September 15, 2006, 10:15 PM   #14
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Long Path, a very thoughtful, well-reasoned post.

140 gr. seems to be the optimum load for the 7mm-08, and 150 gr. in .280.
I need no convincing - everything you've said seems completely sensible to me.
I've seen .280 bullets up to 190 gr., but if I want 165 gr. I'd go to .308.

You've addressed the mechanical performance of the 7mm-08 perfectly, I couldn't want for a better answer. As to the use of the shot to stop a wounded animal, that seems ethical and well-reasoned too. So does proceeding on the assumption that any deer at which you've fired should be regarded as wounded, and in need of a second round to stop it ... I can see using a Texas Heart Shot for that reason and not otherwise. (Although if a wounded deer is heading straight away from you, the vertical length of the head and neck is probably almost as easy.) Anyway, a well-reasoned post.
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