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Old May 19, 2009, 06:02 AM   #1
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Best bullet for minimal meat damage??

G'day to all.
Now most of the forum users probably roll their eyes right now and are crying out load... "not this again". The reason why I joined this forum is that this is where I found the answers to most of my questions, except for the above "basic" question. I have a 300WinMag that I want to use for deer hunting. Now I know this is an overkill for that size antelope but it is the only rifle I have and that is the one I will stick to for this hunt. As I said above I did some thorough reading on this but still can not find the right answer. I understand that some bullets are constructed in a way to open very quickly, i.e. when it start to penetrate the skin and opens up even more as they travel deeper inside the antelope. These type of bullets will cause (according to my logic) a lot of meat damage as it exits the body. Let's look at the other side of the spectrum. If I use a solid bullet it will cause a hole on the entrance and exit side of the animal with minimal meat damage. This might cause the animal to die slower than the option of the expanding bullet. Obviously the latter is not the preferred way of hunting. Is there any bullet out here that expands approx 1.3 times it diameter with a high weight retention?
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Old May 19, 2009, 06:07 AM   #2
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As a hunter you should be more into killing the animal as fast as possible. Yea I know wasted meat, well if you double lung them they die fast and no meat waste no matter what bullet you shoot.
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Old May 19, 2009, 06:29 AM   #3
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Go for the head or neck shot unless you want to eat the brains :barf:
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Old May 19, 2009, 06:46 AM   #4
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I know you are looking for the perfect bullet, but it really comes down to shot placement.

As a side note, if interested, track down the latest Sports Afield (it might be available online) as there is an article covering bullet weight retention and seems to suggest that one might be better off using a bullet that loses some weight as it travels through the body.
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:41 AM   #5
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I have used Nosler Partitions for 15 years out of my weatherby 300 mag. they have never let me down. With a caliber as fast as a win mag you definitely need a good bullet.I would go with one of the new solid copper bullets, a swift a frame or nosler partition. You should get less meat damage with these as they are all built to stay together. I think that the Barnes tsx bullet will loose little if any weight. Now if you reload then you have more options. You can download the round to shoot say a 30-06 velocity. Then you might want a more frangible bullet, such as a ballistic tip or my favorite a Remington core lock.
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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I almost always use a head shot placement to take the deer I harvest. It is the quickest, most humane way to harvest anything and I believe WE owe that to the animal we are taking... I dont shoot ANY deer for any trophy because I'm not concerned about any rack, I take the animal strickly for meat for my family and myself, so every deer/animal that I harvest is a trophy in my eyes anyhow. I believe there's way too much hype oh hunting shows that show animals are ranked according to their racks, SO SAD!!! HAVE A GOOD DAY, ALL....
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:27 AM   #7
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Farmboy your dead on! Shoot them in the head eat all the meat,can't even slow cook a rack. The freezer is my trophy!
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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If a bullet hits meat there going to be a lot of damage in the surrounding area.

Your best bet is a double lung shot while trying to miss both shoulders. There is very little usable meat in the ribs and the lungs extend a reasonable distance behind the shoulders. If you have a square broadside shot it should be fairly simple, just wait for both legs to be center or forward and shoot directly behind the leg that is farthest back.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:48 AM   #9
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I won't take a headshot - too many variables and too many things to go wrong IMO.

Double lung wastes very little meat - a little rib meat on the off-side, but not enough to worry about. I would bet more meat is waste when processing it than is wasted from a broadside hit in the vitals.
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:01 AM   #10
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I've shot and reloaded for a .300 Weatherby for 15 years. You surely want to stay away from ALL the 150 grain stuff. Like all calibers, bullets perform differently in a wide range of velocities. If you stay around 2900 fps or just under, most of them should perform well. The same bullets are also engineered for the smaller .30 cartridges. I agree with what toolguyb said about the controlled expansion rounds. They are especially great in magnums at faster velocities. Be careful when shooting straight through the lungs at shorter ranges, though. Those Partitions and A Frames are made for thick meat and breaking bone, and will not expand when zipped through light skinned game at 3100+ fps! I'd guess most of the traditional bullets should do what you want in the 165-180 gr. range. I like the 165's for long range and the 180's for about 200-300 yds. In open territory that an antelope likes, it just takes a good hit through the lungs without hitting bone. You should do fine if you tune your rifle to the load and make a good shot. Good luck.

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Old May 19, 2009, 11:15 AM   #11
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In gneral bullets are designed to expand, do a lot of damage and make an efficient kill. Less meat damage would almost always result in a slower kill if you place the bullet in a part you want to eat, so try to avoid that. you can mitigate this buy staying away from ballistic tips, bronze points, etc. that are designed to open very fast. A 180 grain Nosler Partition or heavier if you can stand the recoil will have less of an explosive effect.
I think meat damage is over exaggerated as Bush would say. I would rather have a dead deer that I could find quickly than lose one trying to make too cute of a shot. Of course, around here deer are a nuisance, you can kill as many as you want and have trouble finding good homes for the meat.
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Old May 19, 2009, 03:36 PM   #12
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I agree with Vafisher.
Double lung is always my first choice.
basically..... shot placement
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Old May 19, 2009, 03:45 PM   #13
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I use the barnes tsx in my 7mag. They always open and penetrate deep with minimal damage to surrounding area. Even the lighter bullets work perfectly without exploding because of their construction. With 1 box a couple of years ago I took a badger a coyote 3 deer and 1 bull with 140 gr. Expansion was similar on all animals.
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Old May 19, 2009, 03:46 PM   #14
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I agree again with wapiti assassin... all thats important is where the bullet hits not what the bullet does...
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Old May 19, 2009, 04:06 PM   #15
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With that .300 stay FAR away from any ballistic tips if you want to minimize meat damage. I too would look at Barnes TSX in as heavy a weight that I could get.
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Old May 19, 2009, 07:42 PM   #16
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As a hunter you should be more into killing the animal as fast as possible. Yea I know wasted meat, well if you double lung them they die fast and no meat waste no matter what bullet you shoot.

Words of wisdom.
No wasted meat on the lung shot.
For God's sake, don't go for the head shot. Too many ways to screw it up.
Very easy to blow the deer's jaw off, he will starve to death.
Make the lung shot, the kill zone is 6 times bigger than on a head shot.
A double lung shot with the 300 Win mag, dead deer every time. No wasted meat no matter the bullet, deer ribs are not very good, I have tried them, not worth messing with.
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Old May 19, 2009, 07:52 PM   #17
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i shot a spike buck w/ a 30-06 broadside in the ribs behind the front leg, and it exited behind the offside leg through the ribs. so i did not hit any leg bone but the bullet did break through a rib both entering and exited. shot was 30 yards with 150 grain soft points. for meat damage there was blood shot "gelled" meat on the off side ribs/flank steak. but aside from that there was none. Meaning the neck, inner/outer tenderloins, front n rear legs were in perfect shape. That was about as good as i could ask for IMO

Reguardless of bullet type used (even though that makes a huge difference) i'd go for a broad side shot that will enter and exit through the ribs. once shoulder/leg bone is hit, the meat damage increases dramatically.

I like you, want to preserve every bit of meat i can, but wont take head shots. so that leaves me with a behind the front leg rib shot. Seems to be working well. You could always use a shotgun slug or 45-70 =)
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:33 PM   #18
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I am in a stand when I hunt deer and try to aim just above the shoulder. If you can get the angle right, you can miss the front leg. That's easy for me though, as a 150 yard shot is "long range" at my hunting club.

BTW, I use Remington Managed Recoil Corelokt in my 7mm Rem Mag. Never been able to recover a round to look at expansion, but I've never had a deer run. It must work well, lol.
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:50 PM   #19
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Hey man,
You make some valid points about head shots, etc. and gathering meat for the table. Me too as I process every deer I have ever taken for the meat.

HOWEVER..........I do like a nice rack on a buck when I am fortunate to see one in the deer woods. If I do get a shot at one, I try and make a double lung shot which does the job and is a lot easier to make than some head shots. To each his own in hunting situations. We all have our own desires, goals. Nothing wrong with a big rack to put on your wall my brother.
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Old May 19, 2009, 09:42 PM   #20
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Barnes Tipped TSX

I used a new 300 Win Mag last season for Texas whitetail. More gun than needed, I know, but I wanted some practice with it before scheduling some bigger game hunts that I have planned. In the Federal Vital-Shok product line, there are loads of 130gr, 165gr, and 180gr, in the Barnes TSX for the 300 Win Mag. Only the 130gr is tipped. I took 3 deer with the 130gr rounds. All were single shot, DRT, lung shot kills, and not one left an exit wound. The expansion was superb, allowing the round to fully dissipate all of its energy in the body cavity. You can also get a 200gr round in the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, but that seems to be the heaviest bullet provided in the Vital-Shok line for 300 Win Mag.

The biggest downside is the cost. The bloody rounds are ~$2.65 each, so sighting in the rifle the first time can be a tad expensive. Another drawback, specific to the small bullet weight, is that in breezy conditions the lightweight bullet experiences significantly more windage error than the heavier rounds.
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Old May 19, 2009, 09:58 PM   #21
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Meat Damage

Thank you guys for all the info. I have a lot to think about and will keep you updated on what happened in the field. I agree with the shot placement. To go for the head over 150yards is just not the way to go. Too many things can go wrong. Back in Africa we shot springbuck for export to European markets and the abattoir doesn't except a carcass with a body wound, so we were aiming for the head only, as a lot of you guys said correctly, don't try it. It was during these hunts that I saw too many springbucks that lost a jaw, and it is not a pretty site. Anyhow, thanks for the replies all. I appreciate it.
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Old May 20, 2009, 04:53 AM   #22
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G day Riannr, firstly what deer are you hunting. Sambar, Reds, Fellow, hog, chital or rusa. I have a .300 win mag great gun its not overkill if using on sambar or reds. The caliber is a little overkill on the smaller deer.

Its all about shot placement, try the Woodleigh 180gr Weldcore. Its Australian made and very well priced. Be sure to get the bullet for the .300 win mag. There are ones for the .300 win mag, and other various .308 cals.

I have seen their work on sambar deer. Bullet usually exits but i have recovered a few and around 90% weight is retained. Damage to meat is less than the ballistics tips, soft points, hollow points, accubond and so on.

But as the other members said it's all about shot placement. These quick expanding bullets dont make up for bad shot placement.

Good luck
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Old May 20, 2009, 07:31 AM   #23
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well, for almost no meat damage, the full metal jacket is hard to beat. the problem with them (other than being ilegal) is that is it like sticking the animal with a bow and arrow with a feild point. you have to wait for it to bleed out. the amount of meat damage that you are going to get with a proper soft point is probably going to be less than 2% of the meat on the animal. if you loose the animal using a fmj, you have 0% of the meat. 2% does not sound all that bad to me considering you actually get the meat!
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Old May 20, 2009, 08:13 AM   #24
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+ 1 for the Remington Managed Recoil loads.
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:24 AM   #25
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+ 1 for the Remington Managed Recoil loads
I used some of those for deer. Usually a reduced load in a big case doesn't shoot very well. But, those were close to 1 MOA, in my rifle anyway.
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