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Thread: Bullet failure/blow-up.

  1. #1

    Bullet failure/blow-up.

    Had a bit of a horror story last night.

    Went out to look for a Fallow, no real plan other than to find something shootable. I was moving down the back of a hedge heading for one of my favourite spots when I spotted a little pricket heading towards me on the other side of the hedge. He seemed to be limping on the front left leg.

    I moved out up hill a little to my right to give me a angle for a shot over the hedge when he came into the open. He duly walked out about 35m in front of me, and I shot him just behind the left shoulder about half way up the body, pretty much broad side. He took off across the field and I reloaded, I was not unduly concerned as I knew the shot was good and he did not look very healthy. He staggered and fell over at about 100 yards. As I was watching through the scope, the brute got back up again and was heading for the wood. I gave him another one in the neck (he had his back to me) and that finished the job.

    Major malfunction was discovered on gralloch.

    My shot hit as described above. On inspection, the bullet had hit a rib. The left lung was badly damaged, but it looked as if the copper cup of the bullet only had hit the lung, diameter of the hole was about 2cm. The lung was not fully penetrated and the right lung had no major damage, but there were a large number of small holes.

    My assumption/observation is that the bullet disintegrated on the rib on entry, the lead core fragmented and caused a large number of small pin ***** holes. The copper jacket had badly damaged the left lung but failed to get as far as the right lung.

    I have heard of "bullet failure", this is the first time I have seen it.

    Bullet was a 120gr Sierra prohunter from my 260rem, muzzle velocity is c.2900fps, so impact velocity would have been very little less than that given the short range.

    Time for a different bullet me thinks. Any 129gr Hornady Interlocks floating around NI?
    Last edited by Claret_Dabbler; 07-11-2010 at 15:20.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  2. #2
    I had this last year cost me a large fallow buck.
    did'nt realise what was happening till I shot 2 prickets later that day.
    Complete bullet failure.
    The round was my 7mm rem mag with 160gr PMC factory S/p's.
    Ranges were between 60m's and 230m's.
    You expect factories to field test componants on live quarry and 160gr bullet is hardly a varmint bullet.
    Thats why makers like norma and sako actually test bullets. But thats why they are dear.

  3. #3
    Sorry to hear it Brian.

    Have you shot any at that close range before with the custom?

    These things do occasionally happen, do you remember the bullet blow up on that muntjac at Ampton that year I loaded the 150gr BTSPs to 3000fps out of my 06? The problems with that bullet more or less ceased when I downloaded it to 2800 fps. I suspect it's mainly a function of velocity so perhaps a load going a hundred feet per second slower might alleviate stress on the bullet and loose you something like an inch or two of drop at 300 yards.

    Are you down at the end of November at Kiri's? If you are mate I'm sure a supply of 6.5mm whatevers could be arranged by our RFD friend.

  4. #4
    Amir, I am going to Kir's at the end of the month. That reminds me to book the flight.

    I was thinking of bringing the '06, just because I haven't used it yet and the Blaser is easier to travel with. I might want to scrounge some ammo of you that weekend to save bringing it with me. I am fairly sure Kiri's 260 ammo won't chamber in my rifle, the throat is very short.

    I think I have only used these 120 Sierra's on deer since I got this rifle. The first buck I shot was a much bigger fallow than yesterday's pricket, range was similar, I seem to remember I got complete penetration and a decent exit wound on the side shot at about 40m. I shot two or three other fallow and 3 Sika with it last season. Ranges all between 100 and 175m, all completely without incident.

    I shot another Fallow pricket 3 weeks ago on the same ground, buck was standing facing me at 260ish yards. I shot him at the base of the throat, into the chest. He went down like a brick. I did not try to find the bullet as it was in his gut.

    It is a shame really as these bullets are very accurate and quick, maybe too quick in this rifle.

    I have 120gr BT's and 129grSST in stock. Think I will work on a load for the BT's at lower velocity, it will make the rifle a little quieter also.

    Give me a call this week.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  5. #5
    Well, if it performed well before then it might just be a freak occurance. Having said that, I seem to recall Andre Mertens always saying that the gameking line of Sierra bullets were tougher than the prohunter in the same specification. As I understand it the opposite is true for Speer bullets, in that the boat-tailed design is softer than the flat base.

    Since you are effectively going to need to stick with the lighter end of the bullet weight spectrum, perhaps bonded or a TSX is ultimately the answer?

    Let me know where you are flying in to and I'll see if I can pick you up on the way there or something like that mate. I have two mature loads for the deer out of the 06, 180gr Hornady interlock at about 2700 fps over 60 grains of H4381 and a Speer 150gr BTSP at 2850 over 51 grains of H4895. Take your pick so I can load up some more, either would be good for the fallow to be honest, I think the 180 grain load is lower pressure according to the books.

    Will call you mon-tuesday if that's alright?

  6. #6
    Sierra will say at what point in the animals death did the bullet fail. However you might like to e-mail them. I stopped using Sierra whenever possible after a 180 grain Pro Hunter blew up on a Roe doe from my .308 Win brno 601 at a range of about 90 yards. The laed core was fragmented inside her. Luckily she didn't take a step just rolled over and kicked a bit. However this was my first ever deer and it worried me so I have avoided them.

    However a Sierra tech claims that it was one of those one offs.

  7. #7
    Established Poster
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Highlands (speyside)
    Deer Dog Available
    Hi i think what you are experiancing is just that the odd bullet performs diffrent. If you shoot any amount then you will come across bullets that do diffrent things than the others. I like speer but have done very well with sierra gameking out of a 22.250 & 25/06 along with a few other makers of bullets & as i have said if you use any amount you will find the odd bullet that performs out of sorts.

  8. #8
    Hmmm the funny thing I have never had it happen with a Hornady bullet and I have used them much more than the Sierra's. As I said this happened on my First Deer so switched to using Speer then Hornady and I do prefer the Hornady's over the Speer's. Never had a Hornady blow up so explain that away .

    The Sierra tech couldn't he just kept coming back to there normal mantra. I am currently loading some 140 grn Sierra's in the .270 as I picked up a load cheap when Howitzer folded.

  9. #9
    I had problems with 100gr hornaday sp interlocks blowing apart and not exiting. I have not had any problems with 129 gr interlocks .
    Last time i recovered a bullet i was a 150m shot, buck was 98lb after larder prep, Hit a rib on entry and through left shoulder coming to rest just under the skin.
    Recovered bullet weight was 104.5 gr .

  10. #10
    hello brian
    dont load the sst too fast the can cost terrible meat damage

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