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Old November 20, 2012, 09:45 AM   #26
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Bullets that are best at that are bullets that stay in one piece.
Nope. If that was the case, solids would produce the most "shock". They don't.

Expanding bullets are essential to provide the energy transfer that is necessary for any "shock" effects to occur. Expanding bullets are, in fact, destroying themselves. A bullet that destroys itself quickly will make for much more "explosive" shock effects than one that stays in one piece. Shoot a few dozen water jugs with different bullets, and you will find the "varmint" style of rapidly expanding bullets produce visibly more effect than do less frangible bullets.

I do not hunt big game with varmint bullets, but I would have to say that more bang/flop events have occurred due to highly frangible bullets shot into chest cavities, than occurred when more solidly constructed bullets are used.

Frangible bullets are far more likely to do excessive meat damage than are solid bullets because the produce more "shock".
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Old November 20, 2012, 10:02 AM   #27
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Staying in one piece is not the same as non-expanding.

The bullets must expand. Frontal area is what creates the shockwave.

It's essentially aerodynamics. Nonexpanding bullets are too aerodynamic, or in this case, hydrodynamic. You must have a "wall", the front end of a well-expanded bullet, and you must have SPEED.

Slow, wide bullets don't have speed. Fast, thin bullets don't have the "wall". You need fast, expanding, bullets that hold together.

Fragmenting bullets waste their energy blowing themselves to pieces and each piece is too small and too slow to create hydrostatic shock.

"Shock" is not "HYDROSTATIC shock". You're talking about two different things.

Fragmenting bullets create shock in a medical sense, as in a physiological reaction to extreme trauma.

That's not the same phenomenon as hydrostatic shock, though hydrostatic shock might also CAUSE the same physiological reaction.
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Old November 20, 2012, 08:25 PM   #28
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What is the heart, lungs or brain if not tissue? I agree that ultimately you have to kill the brain. My point was just don't expect hydrostatic shock to always give you spectacular results.
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Old November 21, 2012, 06:41 AM   #29
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My best lesson on the effect of hydrostatic shock on game animals, came a few years ago.

I was loading Sierra's excellent 150 grain .308 softpoint to about 2900 from the 30-06. I shot a fat little doe standing in front of big cottonwood tree, at about 140 yards. It was a perfect broadside heart shot and I later picked the jacket out of the bark of that cottonwood. The bullet had expanded to within a quarter inch of the base and blown a silver-dollar size hole on exiting. What was left of her heart would have fit in a shot glass. Can't ask for much more than that.

Funny thing is that the doe was unimpressed... she sauntered off 25 yards, jumped a five-strand fence and hit the ground like a wet dishrag- dead as a hammer.

The longer I hunt, the more I am convinced that the things we are hunting don't read ballistics charts
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Old November 21, 2012, 07:17 AM   #30
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I've done some ballistic testing in wet clay, thanks to a gravel pit with a 15 foot clay overburden that kept falling to the base of the slope. It was similar to ballistic gelatin, but the wound cavity remained intact at the largest dimension.

It was very obvious that varmint bullets and non-expanding bullets didn't do much deep trauma. Varmint bullets penetrated just about 4 inches and made a large cavity. Solids, even .38 handgun wadcutters, penetrated deeply, but left a very narrow wound channel. Hunting .30-06 bullets, like Core-Locts provided deep and large wound cavities, obviously expending considerable energy from 4-12 inches deep and as much as 8 inches in diameter.

Damp clay isn't tissue and I can't claim direct performance equivalent, but it's been obvious in my many deer experiences that the performance of 150-180 grain Core-Locts and similar bullets get the job done and done well.

That said, I still like .277 diameter, 130 grain GMX and TSX bullets leaving the muzzle at 3150+/- fps. They shoot flat, expand well, and drive deeply. My latest 131 lb. deer shot at a slight angle with a GMX had the right lung blown to pieces and a big chunk of the liver gone before leaving a 1 1/4" exit wound. Blood was very noticeable at the spot and all the way to the deer, which ran about 50 yards and was dead when I found it. That was just two days ago. No lead in that venison!!!
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:47 PM   #31
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I've never put any faith in hydrostatic shock on deer sized game. I've shot deer at close range with a 7mm mag and Ballistic tips that didn't pile up right there and deer with a .243 that did. But a good quality bullet made for deer sized game through something vital and it will kill it. Have worked for several years at a handicapped hunt and tracked/recovered/cleaned I have seen lots of examples of bullet performance. I don't think I have ever seen a true bullet failure, lots of shooter failures but no bullet failures. Had descriptions of a perfect hit and eventually recovered a deer that was marginally hit and finally bled out and others that from the description you knew you were in for a long trail on a gut shot deer. I am not knocking their shooting abilities, most of them have a very tough time holding a rifle well and making a great shot, but there are a couple that when they call afer shooting you know to take your knife. Placement of the bullet is what kills deer.

Deer are not tanks nor are they particularly hard to kill if you shoot them well, a great bullet through the guts will still result in a long trailing job with no guarantee of a recovered deer. A "cheap" wal-mart deer load through the lungs is usually just a recovery at the end of a pretty good blood trail. Strange isn't it.
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