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Thread: Stopping Power - your take on it?

  1. #1

    Question Stopping Power - your take on it?

    Stopping Power or Knock Down Power are terms thrown around much like Energy Transfer but what do these really entail? I'll add more later since I'd love to hear your ideas first, but suffice it to say, I believe that many well meaning folks confuse these issues by repeating anecdotal tales rather than trying to dissect it under the magnifying glass of science and correct deduction. When we look at differing deer reactions to being hit in virtually the same area with virtually the same bullet, we should deduce that stopping or knockdown power or energy transfer isn't all it's supposed to be???

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Thanks for the compilation--good read. Seems to be a lot of agreement but still a bit of fuzziness on anything concerning hydro shock. I thought I'd bring this up as a couple places in recent posts I found folks using these terms in a suspect manner. Perhaps these were from newer folks who haven't read through your excellent compilation.

  4. #4
    Hydro shock, noun
    1. The emotional and physical response to driving round a corner in a picturesque highland glen and finding yourself facing a rockfill dam 320yds wide and 125ft high.
    Last edited by Dalua; 13-11-2010 at 22:56.

  5. #5
    Dead is dead. A lot of scientific research has been put into the older bullets in order to see what they actually did in terms of damage and penetration once the missile began to enter the skin of any animal - PO Ackley deals a lot with this, and since those times a lot of informed technology has been put into trying to produce the ultimate bullet, but it has to be remembered that bullet manufacturers have to cater for the biggest general market across a wide range of animal targets, so the product is often placed on the market - with recommendations, but it is up to the hunter to locate the round most suited to his/her requirements..

    In the case of the everyday hunting person, a lot of the ballistic terminology passes over his/her head, and this niche occupied by academic hypothesis on what any bullet will achieve often depends as far as the actuality is concerned, on limited field trials before it is put on the market. (I have engaged in a couple of bullet trials - one of a new model - and one of a model being re-assessed, and these were done in the midst of practical deer management shooting, and vermin control).

    When a person uses terminology acquired from write-ups, he or she knows what THEY mean, but it's difficult to pass this concept onto the fellow readers unless, sometimes, they hope to impress their peers with science.

    I'm diverting away from the subject matter I would guess, but for me the matter of terminology and assumed bullet performance is better left to the boffins whilst I search around, find a bullet which will do the job and which knocks the animal on it's backside as quickly as possible.

    When they were being produced, the 105 grain, round-nose soft point bullet by Speer, was the deadliest bullet I found for the .243 Win. In a chest shot at up to 150 yards a stag got maybe three paces before he was on the deck and I had my stalking team who would testify to that. It was the best and nearest copy for grouping and fast killing I could achieve, to the DWM cartridge which by then was no longer in production. The Speer bullet had a wide window of expansion and would oblige when driven in a wide range of velocities.

    I've killed stags with 2900 Fps and literaly lifted Roe off their feet to dump them on their side - dead when I reached them - a slower velocities.

    Now - is that energy transfer - hydrostatic shock, or whatever ? but for me it worked - and quickly. No two shots are the same, even it it is thought that they were, and there are so many variables - temperature, humidity, condition of the animal or if it's at ease or full of adrenaline and alert.
    It's nothing to boast about but I've seen a few thousand deer shot in my time, and several of those thousand were by myself so I have a fair bit of practical experience. I'm afraid that the technicalities on paper sometimes tend to pass me by as long as the rifle is accurate, the bullet works and the beast hits the ground where it's not too difficult to extract.

    Re-reading the beginning of the thread it strikes me that this discussion is really about terminology of bullet behaviour, but I'll post it anyway.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  6. #6
    A couple points. First I agree on the 243 coupled with that 105 Speer Round Nose. A devastating round through the lungs. One factor that is seldom brought out by the folks who should know in killing power articles is that it's not just hydrodynamic shock that does that severe damage we often see but a phenomena known quite well to our underwater EOD military folks. It is that effect that occurs when a explosive, expansion, shock wave travels through the water and most of your body at one rate but when it encounters air spaces such as lungs, wind pipes, oral cavity and sinuses it turns deadly and shred tissues and implodes stiffer cavities! I strongly suspect that the sudden deaths we see at times, aka the Weatherby effect, is caused by this happening in close approximation to nerves and nerve centers, the heart and upward plumbing etc.

  7. #7
    Why call it the Weatherby effect? Let's face Weatherby didn't develop anything really the Hi-velocty ground work was done before Roy was born by Sir Charles Ross and Newton. Heck Weatherby's "famous" venturied shoulder is a rip off too. If I recall correctly the veturied shouder was used by some else and the names Powell/Miller come to mind.

    Weatherby's don't even have a good reputation in Africa unless it's changed in the last few years. I'll bet the P-H's still breathe a sigh or relief when the client uncases his rifle chambered in an old fashioned raound like the .318 Accelerated express, .333 Jefffries, 9.3x65 Brenneke, .338 Win Mag, .358 Norma or even the old .375 H&H rather than any of the Weatherby cartridges

    The only really good thing one can say about Weathery was that he could have sold ice to the Eskimos.. Weatherby still to this day don't make anything. They assemble the guns it seems but make nothing.................................... except large profits from selling to the gullible .

  8. #8
    The principle reason that the Weatherby's and other magnums gained a poor reputation was a combination of high velocity, with a bullet construction that could n't hold up to high velocity, coupled with short ranges typical of most African hunting. What was happening was bullet blow up and lack of penetration. No problems down range once velocity has fallen off but any standard soft point bullet (ie pre the boned / H mantel / partition / A frame etc) will blow up if it impacts at much above 3,000 fps, whereas the likes of the 318 used a long heavy for calibre bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps or less will pentrate through to the vitals and break bones every time even if the angle and shot placement isn't perfect. But bullet technology has moved on in the last 50 years and there are now a whole host of tougher bullets that can withstand the high impact velocities and ensure penetration on bigger tougher animals.

  9. #9
    I must be very gullible as I've owned several of his fine offerings including two from Germany and three from Japan. All were superbly finished, shot precisely and apparently by 1970 or so when I started buying them the bullets were being made better as my standard hunting loads of Nosler Partitions and Grand Slams, worked just fine. They did pick up a poor rep in Africa at first but that has long since gone much as did the 459 Winchester also. These days, were I still shooting them it would likely be A Frames or other well made partition. Roy Weatherby was really market savvy and carved out a solid niche quickly and it continues today although the owners today have taken a slightly different tack with the Vanguard series. I'm betting that in this day and time of extensive travel/hunting the PHs reserve judgement until the see the client fire a few rounds downrange and more.

  10. #10
    Knew it would bring some Weatherby fans out of the woodwork. However just a few points:-

    The .280 Ross of 1906 pushed a 140 grain bullet at 3100 fps. The bullets could be had in several designs and the softer ones for light game and longer ranges would blow rather spectalurly on larger game at close ranges. I am not even sure ole Roy was born in 1906.

    Now the fact that your German and Japanese made rifles were superbly finished says a lot about the German and Japanese makers but nothing about Weatherby as they made what of it? Weatherby even said that the energy alone would kill I seem to recall. Which of course has over the decades led to many poorly shot animals no doubt after all as long as you hit them the super energy does the rest .

    Now I don't mind high velocity but I don't expect it alone to kill my quarry. It's the the way they were/are sold and of course the styling on a lot of them. Having shot a few including the much vaunted 460 I would not give them house room. I'll leave them to those who want them .

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