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Thread: Hydrostatic Shock

  1. #1

    Hydrostatic Shock

    I have read a lot about Hydrostatic shock but have never experienced it.

    Reading research on sites like Nathan Fosters Terminal Ballistics the consensus seems to be that Hydrostatic Shock starts to take effect from terminal velocities of 2600 fps and upwards.

    My MV is 2970 fps so I have shot a lot of deer of all species with a terminal velocity of 2600 to 2850 fps using a Nosler 120 BT. Most are chest shot, but none of them drop on the spot, I always get the classic back legs kicked in the air and take off 20 to 60 yds before falling over.

    Is it the speed or is it the fact that I'm using a fragmenting bullet?

    I have shot plenty of foxes in the chest which have dropped on the spot, probably from Hydrostatic Shock, using a 70 grain bullet at 3600 fps. But how fast does a bullet really need to be going to get the instant drop on the different species of deer from a chest shot?

    It would be very interesting to hear from SD members on the subject.

    1. How often have you experienced it?
    2. What species were you shooting?
    3. What terminal velocity was the bullet running at?
    4. What type of bullet were you using?

    With all the experience on this site we might even get some valuable research out of it.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  2. #2
    I'm not convinced it is a true phenomenon. How can you distinguish between true physical trauma/shock and hydro-static? There are so many factors that determine whether or not a deer drops on the spot or runs and none of them are truly quantifiable. Size of deer, species of deer, range, calibre, bullet speed, bullet weight, alertness of animal, etc..
    Sometimes a big animal will drop with a lung shot and sometimes a small animal will run 100m with a tennis ball size exit wound where its heart once was!
    You can read all the research you like, but deer can't read and they might not comply!
    MS

  3. #3
    You can read all the research you like, but deer can't read and they might not comply!

    ...Sika must be particularly dyslexic

  4. #4
    Your experience seems to support what I believe to be true - namely that 'hydrostatic shock' (assuming it exists at all outside the minds of some terminal-ballistics pundits) is not something that can be relied upon in the field over making an adequate hole through the right part of the animal.

    I like this essay on the subject: http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/b...hs.html#energy
    others have different views!

    Last edited by Dalua; 27-02-2015 at 22:33.

  5. #5
    The funny thing is in my experience, the smaller and faster the calibre, the faster they drop. .222 on roe = drt, 6.5-30cal = hope you brought the dog

  6. #6
    I have seen many dramatic kills over the years. The most consistent rounds used to obtain deer that drop in their own footprints are the Barnes 130g TTSX in 308 and the Hornady 162SST in 7mm RM. I have shot lots of other bullets, particularly in 308 but have found no others as consistent. I put this down to rapid expansion with huge temporary cavitation with the TTSX and the bullet coming unglued and causing massive tissue trauma with the SST

  7. #7
    Only shot a few Sika with 22-250 52gr, they dropped just like foxes. Like others I would not want to rely on hydrostatic shock alone, not push my luck and therefore rather us a different calibre. Funny thing is I didn't get such kills with a 243/80gr 3100fps with similar H/L shot placement.
    edi

  8. #8
    As a counter thought, how about the reliable and quick killing of cartridges which are launched about 2,450 to 2,600 fps, like the old 6.5x55, the 140-gr 7x57, the .30-30, the 180-gr RN from the .303 Enfield or the .300 Savage, the 117-gr .257 Roberts, or even the 6.5x54 Mannlicher?

    These bullets don't give up energy in disintegration; they expand, stay together, travel in a straight line, and exit. And deer fall over.

  9. #9
    I think Dropping them on the spot is about bullet placement, with 110 bt 270 rounds, the shock is where did the head go.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern View Post
    As a counter thought, how about the reliable and quick killing of cartridges which are launched about 2,450 to 2,600 fps, like the old 6.5x55, the 140-gr 7x57, the .30-30, the 180-gr RN from the .303 Enfield or the .300 Savage, the 117-gr .257 Roberts, or even the 6.5x54 Mannlicher?

    These bullets don't give up energy in disintegration; they expand, stay together, travel in a straight line, and exit. And deer fall over.
    Do they though? I have a .280AI which delivers 140 grain Barnes TSX bullets with phenomenal accuracy. They always exit and the deer is effectively dead, but they don't half run! Meat damage is minimal compared to my 25.06 with BT's which generally drops deer much better. There is no nemesis here. Trauma = knock-down = meat damage. A small frangible bullet at high speed and close range will knock an animal over better than a heavy low speed one at longer range. Both animals will die, but one might take longer to find and will have less meat damage.
    MS

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