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Thread: what happens to bullets...

  1. #1

    what happens to bullets...

    Been musing about some saftey concerns, and I'd appreciate thoughts or actual experience on the following:

    What would you generally expect a .222 soft point bullet to do after hitting a fox in the head, at about 75m?

    I had a bit of a scare recently - shooting at night, the solid bank I thought was behind a fox turned out to be an old fence draped in ivy and dead leaves. And behind that was someone's garden.

    Fortunately, no ill effects. Yes, entirely my fault on every count, I should have known the ground better and so on - assume I've anticipated all possible criticisms and levelled them at myself. How far and in what sort of shape is that bullet likely to have gone?

  2. #2
    You have to assume it will shoot straight through to a solid back stop, so could have gone another half mile or so in the worst case.
    The reality is it probably didn't go anything like that far, for this very reason I prefer the Hornet and a 35 grain v-max, never had an exit yet.

    Neil.

  3. #3
    For a laugh some time back I did some playing about with a ballistic calculator. I used figures for my 308 and assumed the bullet exited the animal absolutely horizontal (i.e. not heading slightly upwards or downwards) and using all the reasonable figures I could come up with got answers in the "several hundred yards" area. I can't remember the exact figures now because I ran things quite a few times with different assumptions but my recollection was figures between 50 and more than 200 yards were common. For the BC of the deformed bullet I used the BC of an airgun pellet, a bullet might be a little worse but then again it might not be. If the bullet exits heading even slightly upwards then the distance can become quite a lot further than with my "straight out" assumption.

    JBM have a good online ballistics calculator which you can play with should you wish. You need to fiddle about a bit and make a lot of assumptions but you can change the assumptions to give you some idea of the distance your bullet is likely to travel after passing through an animal.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  4. #4
    hello mungo, see if you can get your self an old fibre glass crash helmet, get a plastic bag fill it with water and put the bag of water in the helmet pace out your distance 75 yrds make sure you have a good back stop and shoot the helmet with your .222, the helmet has the same density as a foxes head,

    a friend of mine did the same thing the round pushed out the side of the helmit with the water bag in and the round did not exit just buldged the side, the helmit was shot with a factory 35grn round.

    paul
    I have guns because i love shooting, what i hate is red tape and been screwed by a Dishonest Government.

  5. #5
    That sounds both very informative and good clean fun!

    Caorach: how did you work out what sort of speed the bullet would be going, and how much mass it would have left?

  6. #6
    The simple thing is you can forget the assumption you hit the fox at all and you need to consider what the bullet would do without the fox in the way unless you can guarantee you will never miss. Even with the fox hit soft points will often exit a fox's head so odds are you could very easily have shot through the fence and into the garden. Things to minimise this are trying to shoot from as high up as possible so sticks or from a vehicle and above all make sure you know the ground you are lamping on very well. Thats probably the best bit never assume the backstop

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by al4x1 View Post
    The simple thing is you can forget the assumption you hit the fox at all and you need to consider what the bullet would do without the fox in the way unless you can guarantee you will never miss. Even with the fox hit soft points will often exit a fox's head so odds are you could very easily have shot through the fence and into the garden. Things to minimise this are trying to shoot from as high up as possible so sticks or from a vehicle and above all make sure you know the ground you are lamping on very well. Thats probably the best bit never assume the backstop
    Yes - I'm well aware of what I did wrong and how not to do it. That wasn't the question though.

  8. #8
    thats the thing you won't know there isn't much to a foxes head and lots depends on range bullet construction etc etc you could set up a dead fox and shoot its head with a large plank behind and get different results each time you try it. One thing is for sure you wouldn't want to stand or be anywhere behind it

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Caorach: how did you work out what sort of speed the bullet would be going, and how much mass it would have left?
    It is impossible to know what velocity the bullet will exit with before taking the shot as it will depend upon what energy the bullet uses up while deforming itself, damaging tissue, creating a temporary wound cavity and so on. If you look at the youtube videos of different bullets of the same weight fired from the same rifle at ballistic gel you will see that some will exit while others will expend their energy in deforming the bullet material and gel and so will fail to exit. When you shoot an animal the retained energy will depend on what the bullet hits and, critically, upon the bullet construction. Given this I would suggest that all you can do is look at the performance of the bullet for a range of exit velocities to give a simple idea of performance. The method we are using is always going to be flawed so all we are ever going to get is a range of possible outcomes which will tell us little or nothing about the actual precise performance of any individual shot.

    I shoot a 308W with my loads leaving at between 3000fps and 2700fps for a 150 grain bullet. Based on this I started with an estimated exit velocity of 2000fps and worked down.

    When it comes to retained weight then once again you can only base this on your experience and also what the manufacturer suggests your bullet might be expected to retain. I've recovered one of my Nosler Partitions plus Nosler say it should be in the 100 grain range for a bullet starting out at 150 grains and so I use the 100 grain figure.

    The figures I get out of the JBM calculator have been consistent with the very few occasions where I have been able to establish the location of the bullet strike after it having passed through a deer which is to say that the most likely outcomes seem to be around the 50 to 150 yard range. If the bullet is to strike the ground at about 400 yards then at 275 yards it needs to be 130 feet above the exit point and although this sounds considerable the actual angle of exit doesn't really need to be that large for a bullet to reach 130 feet in a distance of 275 yards, though by the 400 yard mark the drop will be nearly vertical. JBM says no matter what the exit conditions the bullet can't reach 500 yards. This doesn't mean that it is impossible for any exiting bullet to reach 500 yards, only that my "reasonable assumptions" bullet can't do it.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  10. #10
    I would say there is no way of knowing what the bullet would do when it exits as there are so many variables after it has struck its target thats why I spent an hour lying on the side of a frozen hill on monday night trying to manouvre myself into the correct angle to shoot a resting fox and put a large backstop directly behind it rather than the very much larger backstop of a hillside 200 yards further behind as I could not see it clear enough to confirm nothing was there even though it is almost a cliff and very unlikely anything was-if in doubt dont shoot but you realised you have made a mistake and got away with it you might not be so lucky next time.From memory when I used a222 with 50g soft points almost every shot exited whereas when I moved to 22/250 with 55g vmax the majority of shots didnt exit
    Last edited by corky; 01-03-2013 at 18:52.

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