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Thread: Observations of 125gr Nosler Partitions on small deer.

  1. #1

    Observations of 125gr Nosler Partitions on small deer.

    OK so, I am just back from a weekend Muntjac cull in Suffolk. I was using the 260rem with 125gr Partitions velocity in the region of 2850fps. I shot five Munties between 30 and 80 yards and one out at 200 yards.

    I know very experienced guys here rate these bullets for Roe. I have not killed much with them before this weekend, a Fallow pricket only I think and that was unremarkable. However, my general observation is that on the muntjac, the carcass damage was unacceptably excessive with these bullets, and that includes the 200 yard beast. Placement was on the mid point of the shoulder, shots were all pretty much broad side - there were plenty of deer around and you could wait for a good opportunity. To be fair, I did place one shoot a little too far back, but the entire rib cage, shoulder etc were just minced.

    I used 120gr BT's last year in the 260, and 140gr Hornady's from my 270 for several years before that and none of these rounds caused anything like the carcass damage these Partition's did.

    My buddy was using a 243 with 87gr V MAx or SST's (not sure if there is much difference) and these bullets killed very well with little damage on 5 beasts.

    Based on what I saw this weekend past, I will not use these again on Muntjac and would be dubious about using them on Roe. To be fair, everything I hit basically fell over on the spot without a twitch, so they certainly are humane from that perspective.

    I was just wondering if there are any similar experiences with these bullets out there?

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

  2. #2
    As you know Brian I'm experimenting with the 308 150grain Partitions at about the same velocity and so far I've only shot 4 deer with them. However, two of these were neck shots with the deer facing me and the damage in the neck was pretty comprehensive. One of them only had the skin holding the head on and the other was a little smaller animal but wasn't much better. This would certainly lead me to believe there would be scope for considerable meat damage even in small deer assuming the neck would scale to represent the shoulder of something like a roe.

    I've also chest shot two red deer with them, a hind that went down like it was hit by lightening and a stag that ran maybe 30 yards but left a huge blood trail. The reports from the larder were that the meat damage in the stag was minimal despite my being pretty sure I clipped a shoulder on the way out and I don't know about the hind.

    So, I've no idea if it is possible to compare your partition to mine but my experience is that when neck shooting there is a lot of damage raising the potential for a lot of meat damage on broadside shots.

  3. #3
    Have to say the exit holes were impressive Philip - about an inch in diameter with huge amounts of blood and tissue blown out of the exit wound.

    I really need to shoot half a dozen Sika in the chest with these bullets to make a decent evaluation of their potential, but they are too much for Muntjac for sure.

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

  4. #4
    Have a look at this site, Nathan has done a huge amount of research regarding bullets and wounding ect. I know he would also like to here of your findings and if you have pictures all the better. Search for your calibre and see what he says about the bullets he or others have used.

  5. #5
    Hi Brian, I had very similar problems getting my 260 to shoot. I tried the sierra 120 sp first at +/- 2900fps and found they were separating and leaving excessive damage, I then went to the barnes ttsx 120gn at 2800fps and found that I was getting little to no expansion but a huge amount of bruising, leaving the front half of a roe carcass in a mess.

    I tried the Partitions you gave me to try (thanks), and found they were exactly as you experienced, I have read that the Partitions are now softer in the front 'part' than they were before.

    As I dont get out as much as I'd like, I have gone back to the good ole 308, and 270wsm for my stalking. I couldn't justify smashing carcases,having saved up and travelled so far, and didn't have the faith in the calibre at the time because I couldn't find the load/bullet combination that was both accurate in the rifle and would do the job I wanted on a beast. I'm not knocking the 260, it just didn't work for me.
    Last edited by floyd; 06-03-2012 at 09:19.

  6. #6
    Floyd, I would not rush to write-off the 260 based on what you have seen to date. It is a problem of matching an appropriate bullet to the velocity it is fired at and the size of the target animal.

    I had hoped that these partitions would be a great do it all bullet in the 260, it may well be the case that for Sika and Fallow they perform very well but they expand too agressively for muntjac no doubt. It is interesting that bullets like the BT's and V-max caused less damage. One of the guys with us at the weekend was using a 25/06 wth 80gr TTSX's also. I thought performance there was patchy also, he had a couple of very good clean instant kills, but also a couple of Muntjac that ran on up to 50/60 yards after good hits. On gralloching I thought it looked like the bullet had not expanded.

    I also found the Sierra's to be unreliable, but I have not tried any of the super-tough bullets in this rifle. Some people might be surprised but there is no doubt in my mind that the most consistent performer in my 260 has been the 120gr BT, probably should just stick with that and call it good, but I love to experiment with new bullets. I have Accubonds and VLD's on the bench to try over the next few weeks.

    Anyway, as I said, this is a bullet issue rather than a calibre or cartridge debate. Of course the answer might be something as obvious as a Hornday 129gr Interlock..... No fun in that though.

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

  7. #7
    I took a smallish Roe with 125gn Partition @ 160 yds through my 6.5x55 a few weeks ago... When I found the beast and performed the gralloch (bear in mind it was pitch black when I finally found her) I thought I'd pulled the shot... there was rumen in the body cavity, the lungs, heart and liver were mush and there was quite a bit of rib cage damage which, on first sight in less than ideal conditions I assumed was my entry and exit holes way back..

    When I got her back to the larder and had chance for a thorough inspection in good light, it was apparent that my shot was as planned... slightly quartering, it had entered her chest just behind the left shoulder and had exited through (and completely destroyed) the right shoulder.. On it's way through it had managed to liquidize most of its organs and rupture it's stomach!! I'm still very confused about the holes in the rib cage though... even if the bullet had fragmented, there would have only been additional holes on the far side, not on the shot side!!

    Anyhoo... I digress... I have switched to 140gn NPs.. they seem to have a rep for much less damage..

  8. #8
    Vipa, I also had green in the gralloch on good chest shots - diaphram was breached (I assume with bullet fragments) and there was rumen "sucked" into the chest cavity - for the want of a better description.

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

  9. #9
    I am getting good results in 7mm with the Hornady Interlock 139gn - the 2420 bullet at c 2,700 fps. With Roe it knocks them straight over but with less meat damage than the 243. The Nosler Partition was designed for rapid expansion at the front, but with the back part still giving lots of penetration. Even when I have pinned them through both shoulders so little chance of running, still not too much meat damage. I have also shot a couple with the large 170 grainish Round Nose RWS bullet - not much damage either.

  10. #10
    After running the course with 243 bullets I have settled on Hornady Interbond I went through vmax's, partitions, sst's and gmx's I was looking for a fast flat shooting round that held together well The vmax's did what they are meant to do but that left you rather limited with your choice of shots especially on fallow and reds. The partitions were excellent but I found the at 100gr they were a bit too loopy for me the sst's had the same problem and some times produced unexpected results with both over a under expansion the 80gr gmx was very good you could drive it fast it held together well but was rather expensive and I never found a load that shot better than 3/4 inch in my rifle. I have settled on the Interbond 85gr it chronographs 3397 on a ten shot average. I have never recovered a bullet from a animal even on quartering shots and neck shots on red deer so they do have good penetration. It shoots very flat and hits hard and seems to do little meat damage even on close shots.
    I did find though that you have to seat the bullet right on the lands so care needs to be taken on working up loads.

    These Interbonds seem to hold together very well even when being driven fast causing little damage to meat. In fact after using other bullets I was at first concerned about a lack of expansion Though on inspection this proved not a problem it is just a lot less violent.


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