This post caught my eye because I drew a premium Nevada Elk tag and am test shooting a bunch of different bullets. I for one need to step back and evaluate all these new bullet choices in context…. It would be helpful if some fire members could send a picture or two of real bullet failure if in fact the animal was recovered.
First, not from animals but from water jugs, which I’ve found to have a decent test medium for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that bullets that perform well in the jugs seem to do so in animals as well.
The photo blow shows various bullets and the number of jugs they penetrated. The .30-06/165g Sierra saya ‘XTP’, copy/paste error. In reality is is a GameKing, as specified by the “Federal P3006D”.
The three bullets shown below are:
.30-06, 165g North Fork @ 2800fps, 500yds from dirt, 145.0g retained
.30-06, 165g North Fork @ 2800fps, ~25yds from cow elk, 133.2g retained
7mm 140g North Fork @ 3200fps, ~150yds from buck mule deer, 131.2g retained
Not a lot of difference, regardless of range or target. The last one (140g 7mm RM) went from ham to sternum .
The bullets below:
350g North Fork, .45-70, 6x6 elk, obliterated a section of leg and near rib, shattered far rib.
160g Grand Slam, 7mm Rem Mag, 5x5 elk, 70.7% weight retention, destroyed both shoulder joints, made it to far-side hide.
162g Hornady BTSP, 7mm Rem Mag, spike elk, 48.7% weight retention, hit a near side rib.
180g North Fork, .300 Win Mag, 200-yard steel – the only bullet I tried that didn’t splatter in a gazillion fragments (as witnessed by nearby paper targets that got shredded).
Note that the Speer Grand Slam and Hornady InterLock bot impacted about 110 yards out. The Grand Slam did a LOT more damage and retained a lot more weight. In 20+ years of using them, this was the first Grand Slam I recovered.
Took my last elk, a small 6x5, with this 7mmRM/160g Speer Grand Slam at 411 yards – 4 steps and down according to my hunting buddy.
Similar arguments with the all copper/copper-alloy bullets with impressive penetration but less so all-inspiring internal devastation.
Being a newby long range shooter it takes a bunch of time to reload for 600 yards plus. An accurate down range bullet is a must for starters. Have had my share of tuning challenges with several of the long range bullet designs but will get it and then the harder best design choice. Thanks
for the debate.
For accurate down-range bullets (600 yards) I’ve had no problem with North Fork SS, Barnes TTSX/LRX or Nosler AccuBond, regardless of cartridge. More importantly, I expect these bullets to perform about the same regardless of range.