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Thread: 150gr ballisitic tips in .308

  1. #1

    150gr ballisitic tips in .308

    I'd be grateful for people's experience with any 150gr .308 ammo with ballistic tips.

    I shot the first roe with my recently acquired .308 this weekend. 150gr Norma with BTs.

    Front on chest shot at around 80 yards. Point of entry where the neck meets the chest.

    Dropped instantly. On inital inspection, just a small entry wound and no exit.

    On butchering, it looked like a hand grenade had gone off in the chest cavity. One shoulder more or less came away with the skin, blown away from the inside. Spine was severed and head and neck could just be pulled away.

    Is this level of damage usual?

    I was pleased in that I was shooting in very dense gorse, so a runner would have been awful to follow up. But I was taken aback by the damage, and could imagine a side on shot that hit a shoulder would be a real mess.

    Anyway - just curious as to other people's experience. I think I will go back to conventional soft points for the roe. Or indeed my .243.
    Last edited by Mungo; 04-03-2014 at 09:18.

  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    No, not normal. I've used 150gr ballistic tips for over 15 years on everything from muntjac to Highland reds and have not experienced damage like that.

    Mine have been homeloads using Nosler BT's over 43.5 grains of N140.

    But I've not done a front-on chest shot - all mine have been boiler room or neck shots.

    willie_gunn

    P.S. On re-reading your OP is there a chance you went in level with the spine?
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 03-03-2014 at 18:01.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    Norma 150 gr bst great bullet expensive though ,Normal chest shot usually no more damage than the 120 gr 6.5 bst ,lethal on head shot park deer and I've shot munty upto red stag and everything in between bullet placement is key as per usual .
    norma

  4. #4
    Mungo. Firstly I think you may well get some considerable flack for taking such a shot. Certainly not one I would have taken. I would have either gone for head/neck if on a good steady position or waited for it to turn. If none of those happened I'd have let it walk. However I wasn't there so can't possible know all the in's and out's. What I can say is I've shot a number of roe and sika with the .308 and not found any terrible damage as you describe. I have however seen roe shot with .243 soft point and the chest cavity turned to soup. So I wouldn't make any decision based on one deer. What speed are you pushing the Norma BT's at. If they are loaded too hot they do mushroom significantly more than at lower speeds around 2600/2700 ft/sec. I'm sure others on here shooting plenty animals with BT's will have more detail.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    P.S. On re-reading your OP is there a chance you went in level with the spine?
    Yes - this may have contributed to the damage. It connected just where the spine starts to bend up into the neck (if that makes sense).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    Mungo. Firstly I think you may well get some considerable flack for taking such a shot. Certainly not one I would have taken. I would have either gone for head/neck if on a good steady position or waited for it to turn.
    Uh oh. I didn't realise this was a controversial shot.

    It certainly worked, and there was no green - all the damage contained inside the diaphragm.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Uh oh. I didn't realise this was a controversial shot.

    It certainly worked, and there was no green - all the damage contained inside the diaphragm.
    We all make mistakes and learn from them. We have all made them if we are honest.
    I would have thought that the damage you describe is fairly typical of a front on chest shot. It is fortunate that it didn't penetrate the green gralloch and ruin the saddle or a haunch too. Such a shot could render the carcass unfit and a total write off. Its unfortunate that this happened with your first Roe. Put it down to experience gained and move on.

  8. #8
    nossy BT's in 150gr are the finest bullet I have ever used in my 308, their punch, penetration and reliability have never let me down with a good shot delivering one

  9. #9
    I had a pet load with 125gn nosler bt that worked very nicely. I was presented witha fallow where only the head was visible but as the range was almost precisely my zero range, it was a bipod/prone shot and there was no wind to speak of, it was straightforward. (side on viable / visible or any wind and I'd have passed on the headshot) the nosler detatched the head from the spine without exiting and produced a 'dead right there'.
    I've used the 150 Norma factory bt rounds and reloads with 180 noslers as well, both to good effect and no 'internal carnage' results. I only used them as they (125/150) performed best in my rifle not so much the 180.
    Expensive certainly but grouped nicely for confidence when you have a shot presenting itself.

    you have to remember that results will vary depending on what your bullet hits on the way in/out at least as much as which bullet you choose.

  10. #10
    I'm not criticizing your decision. You were there and know what you're happy with. I guess the damage was so extensive as all the energy was dropped in the chest cavity on hitting so much bone. Luckily it was contained within the chest so all good there. Shame there was so much damage, and would have been desirable to have been able to take a shot less likely to cause damage or even render the carcass contaminated. As Uncle Norm says we've all taken shots that we can learn from. I'm sure if you shoot a few more with the BT's you'll see what a good bullet they are.

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