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Thread: Bullet weight

  1. #1

    Bullet weight

    I have a question on bullet weight. I always hear people (well, read I guess) saying you should use a heavier bullet when hunting bigger animals. Or say something like "you need at least 100gr for a red deer" or "don't shoot a buffalo with less than 350gr". By the way these are examples I'm not interested in whether they're true or not. I have an engineering background so should be able to work this out from a mathematical point of view but why is this?

    I understand about momement, (mv) and energy (1/2mv^2). But for these, velocity is at least as important as bullet mass. So that can't be it.

    I understand about penetration and sectional density. The more 'pressure' the bullet imparts the more it will penetrate for a given shape and velocity. But SD is not the same as weight - only in the same calibre. I 160gr 6.5mm bullet should penetrate better than a 160 gr 30 cal bullet at the same speed. So that can't it.

    So what is it - is there some killing component I don't know about? Surely a 95gr 243 will kill at least as well as a 100gr 308?
    Last edited by harrygrey382; 03-02-2011 at 19:45.
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

  2. #2
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    Or say something like "you need at least 100gr for a red dear"
    Actually, in Scotland, THE LAW says it!

    As far as the rest it isn't bullet weight or velocity on its own. Otherwise a solid bronze bullet with no cavity or expansion intitiating tip plug would kill just as well as an expanding bullet.

    So it is about trauma. And how you cause that trauma. Which is not a thread I'm going to get involved in as it could last forever!

  3. #3
    I wouldnt entertain shooting a sika with a 95gr .243

  4. #4
    "By the way these are examples I'm not interested in whether they're true or not"

    What part of this statement made by the poster don't you understand??

    Harry: I think it is hard to make cross caliber comparisons. Sectional density should be really discussed in like caliber bullets. Think of it. The 243. 95 grain bullet launched at the same speed as 30 caliber bullet of the same mass is already at a possible disadvantage since the entrance hole with the 30 is larger to begin with. Technically, in like constructed bullets, the 6mm bullet would penetrate deeper, but the 30 caliber is carving out more meat on the way in. It's hard to make a comparison.

    Experience sets the tare on the balance of judgement when it comes to choosing sectional density over weight, or visa-versa. Bell used sectional density combined with pin point accuracy and dropped elephants on the spot. Selous used 4 ounce lead balls fired at point blank range and would often hit them as many as 7 times and still lose the beast.

    Choose your poison! ~Muir

  5. #5
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    Harry,

    Your going to upset some of the armchair hunting experts in here now. Stick to the .308 for deer or your gonna get moaned at.

    I agree with every word you say, I do not believe that bullet calibre has as much to do with good clean dispatch of animals as bullet placement. A 50cal bullet that hits a red deer in the ass is going to maim the animal badly but not kill it outright, yet a 20cal bullet hitting a red deer in the heart will drop it on a sixpence.

    Too many posts on here are repeating the same old topic on calibres and not enough on accuracy and bullet placement.

    The law has to make rules to stop the numpties from trying to kill deer with air rifles which is understandable, but some of the calibre rules are just lunacy. I use a U.S website called the long range hunting forum and I regularly see guys taking huge Elk with nothing more than a .243 at 100yds with good shot placement.

    Check this post out >>> http://montanaelkhunting.blogspot.co...mm-08-243.html
    Elk >>> http://www.alaskanalpinetreks.com/Im...Bull_e_054.jpg

    In addition I just checked out Wikipedia and looked up a few different calibres.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.243_Winchester

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7mm-08_Remington

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.308_Winchester

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-06_Springfield

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.300_Winchester_Magnum

    As you can see from the above links as the calibres and bullet weights get larger so does the ft/lb of energy imparted onto the target.

    However let me give you food for thought.

    If you use a 7mm08 with 150 soft nose bullet travelling at 2800fps would it be more effective than a .308 or 30.06 travelling at 2800fps ???

    I suggest it will make very little difference, what will make a massive difference though is where you hit the target.

    This is what we need to study more >>> http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/ass..._placement.jpg

    What will affect the effectiveness of the shot is whether you hit the heart and lungs directly or whether you go high and hit the shoulder blade or go left/right and hit the gut. Its quite popular in the USA to go for spine shots on deer which again drops them on a sixpence if you get it right. I personally like to head/neck shoot small deer with varmint bullets under 200yds as I can drop them on the spot. An 87 grain .243 V-Max hitting a muntjac in the head will drop it quicker and more effectively than a 300win mag in the gut.

    I recently read an article about an eskimo that shot a polar bear with a .22lr from close range and he dropped it on the spot with a single shot. I have also read a different article about a guy that shot a whitetail deer with a .338 lap mag and had to follow to blood trail to find and dispatch the creature after a poor shot. The more I read the more I believe different rifle calibres have little to do with the clean dispatch of animals at normal hunting ranges. Shot placement is everything.
    Last edited by robbobsam; 03-02-2011 at 18:12.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by harrygrey382 View Post
    Or say something like "you need at least 100gr for a red dear"
    I wouldnt shoot my old "dear" with anything less than 130gr...

    that said I have never used anything more or less than 130gr for roe, red hind or stags

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    I wouldnt shoot my old "dear" with anything less than 130gr...

    that said I have never used anything more or less than 130gr for roe, red hind or stags
    Why Not???

    What experiences have you had shooting deer with lighter bullets ???

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    "By the way these are examples I'm not interested in whether they're true or not"

    What part of this statement made by the poster don't you understand??

    Harry: I think it is hard to make cross caliber comparisons. Sectional density should be really discussed in like caliber bullets. Think of it. The 243. 95 grain bullet launched at the same speed as 30 caliber bullet of the same mass is already at a possible disadvantage since the entrance hole with the 30 is larger to begin with. Technically, in like constructed bullets, the 6mm bullet would penetrate deeper, but the 30 caliber is carving out more meat on the way in. It's hard to make a comparison.

    Experience sets the tare on the balance of judgement when it comes to choosing sectional density over weight, or visa-versa. Bell used sectional density combined with pin point accuracy and dropped elephants on the spot. Selous used 4 ounce lead balls fired at point blank range and would often hit them as many as 7 times and still lose the beast.

    Choose your poison! ~Muir
    yep, thanks Muir some people need to read the whole post before replying... I'm satisfied that I was thinking straight. There's no point in talking purely about bullet mass, you have to factor in construction, velocity and sectional density too. But sometimes people don't
    Quote Originally Posted by robbobsam View Post
    Harry,

    Your going to upset some of the armchair hunting experts in here now. Stick to the .308 for deer or your gonna get moaned at.

    I agree with every word you say, I do not believe that bullet calibre has as much to do with good clean dispatch of animals as bullet placement. A 50cal bullet that hits a red deer in the ass is going to maim the animal badly but not kill it outright, yet a 20cal bullet hitting a red deer in the heart will drop it on a sixpence.

    Too many posts on here are repeating the same old topic on calibres and not enough on accuracy and bullet placement.

    The law has to make rules to stop the numpties from trying to kill deer with air rifles which is understandable, but some of the calibre rules are just lunacy. I use a U.S website called the long range hunting forum and I regularly see guys taking huge Elk with nothing more than a .243 at 100yds with good shot placement.

    Check this post out >>> http://montanaelkhunting.blogspot.co...mm-08-243.html
    Elk >>> http://www.alaskanalpinetreks.com/Im...Bull_e_054.jpg

    In addition I just checked out Wikipedia and looked up a few different calibres.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.243_Winchester

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7mm-08_Remington

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.308_Winchester

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-06_Springfield

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.300_Winchester_Magnum

    As you can see from the above links as the calibres and bullet weights get larger so does the ft/lb of energy imparted onto the target.

    However let me give you food for thought.

    If you use a 7mm08 with 150 soft nose bullet travelling at 2800fps would it be more effective than a .308 or 30.06 travelling at 2800fps ???

    I suggest it will make very little difference, what will make a massive difference though is where you hit the target.

    This is what we need to study more >>> http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/ass..._placement.jpg

    What will affect the effectiveness of the shot is whether you hit the heart and lungs directly or whether you go high and hit the shoulder blade or go left/right and hit the gut. Its quite popular in the USA to go for spine shots on deer which again drops them on a sixpence if you get it right. I personally like to head/neck shoot small deer with varmint bullets under 200yds as I can drop them on the spot. An 87 grain .243 V-Max hitting a muntjac in the head will drop it quicker and more effectively than a 300win mag in the gut.

    I recently read an article about an eskimo that shot a polar bear with a .22lr from close range and he dropped it on the spot with a single shot. I have also read a different article about a guy that shot a whitetail deer with a .338 lap mag and had to follow to blood trail to find and dispatch the creature after a poor shot. The more I read the more I believe different rifle calibres have little to do with the clean dispatch of animals at normal hunting ranges. Shot placement is everything.
    Make mine a 30-06 though ay!

    Yep totally agree Rob. Shot placement will, within reason, be the most important actor. It's just it pisses me off when people only take about bullet weight and aren't thinking about anything else. As I think we've decided a heavy on it's own has absolutely no advantage over a light one - when only considering this value.
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    I wouldnt shoot my old "dear" with anything less than 130gr...

    that said I have never used anything more or less than 130gr for roe, red hind or stags
    Lol yep my spelling sucks... Better fix it
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by robbobsam View Post
    Why Not???

    What experiences have you had shooting deer with lighter bullets ???
    it was a jibe at the "dear".....

    never used anything lighter or heavier as I saw no point. it works at 130, if it isnt broken there was no point.
    130 through the heart of a 24stone red stag still drops in very quickly

  10. #10
    A poor shot, is a poor shot with any calibre!

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