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Monometal musings #15231687 09/17/20
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Blacktailer Offline OP
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I would like to hear other’s experiences (especially Mule Deer’s) with monometals because it is my belief that there is a common misunderstanding that they work just like grandpa’s cup and core pills but my experience is different.
First the background, I started using Barnes when they introduced the X bullet in the mid 80’s, not because I needed them for deer but just because my budding rifle loonyism compelled me to try them out. My only big game rifle at the time was a 30-06 and the X bullets were outstanding performers although they were not stellar accuracywise and they did foul more than C&C bullets. The moly coated XLC fouled less but I never liked them since they cured the fouling problem but were no more accurate than the X bullets. Enter the TSX, outstanding accuracy and terminal performance and they shot well with just about any seating depth followed by the TTSX which further improved the design.
During this evolution, my hunting bag included 50+ blacktail, a few mule deer, a few elk, a few pigs and various plains game from warthog to zebra with calibers from .223 to .375. With a handful of exceptions they were one shot DRT.
In over 30 years of usage I have never lost an animal nor experienced this “pencil on through” phenomena.
This brings me back to the original reason for the post. My experience tells me that monometals are different and need to be used differently than C&C bullets. They are less dense than C&C bullets, hence longer in a given caliber for a given weight and they expand to lesser frontal area than a C&C. For example a typical 30cal 150 grain cup and core bullet might expand to around .600 and have a fairly round blunt frontal area while a typical mono bullet might only expand to about .500 at it’s widest point but have petals and a relatively “sharp” frontal area. Not much difference you say? The area of the monometal would be .196 sq in while the area of the C&C would be .282 which is 44% greater. Add to that the blunt frontal area of the C&C bullet and the difference is much greater.
This is one of the reasons that monometals penetrate so much more than C&C bullets but for this reason they impart less energy as they pass through a given amount of game. Here is the reason for the “pencil on through” myth. The difference is like being stuck with an arrow or punched with the end of a baseball bat.
Now we come to the heart of the matter. We have all heard the stories that go something like, “I shot a deer with a monometal bullet and he ran off like he wasn’t even hit” or “I shot a deer with a monometal and the bullet never expanded because there was a caliber-size exit hole”. If you take the tried and true behind the shoulder shot through the ribs with a monometal bullet, because of the lesser frontal area, the bullet will transfer a lot less energy to the game and leave a much smaller exit wound than a C&C. The deer is just as dead but he may run 75-100 yards (or farther) before he realizes it. Here is where the “pencil on through” myth comes from. So if you want DRT what do you do? CNS or bone. Not because you need bone for expansion but because when you hit bone the bullet imparts far greater energy to the target. This is why I have come to favor neck shots or high shoulder shots for DRT results.
So the question is, why use a monometal instead of traditional bullets? First, 100% reliable terminal performance with nearly 100% weight retention. Second, near match bullet accuracy. Third, less meat damage. Fourth, penetration, penetration and penetration which can be helpful on larger game or less than ideal shot presentation.
I’m not saying monometals are the magic bullet, anyone is welcome to use anything that they want. My point is don’t dismiss monometals based on very little experience and not understanding how they work.
Flame suit on.

Last edited by Blacktailer; 09/17/20.

I am continually astounded at how quickly people make up their minds on little evidence or none at all.
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Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15231729 09/17/20
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The only experience on game with a monometal is with the 225 gr. TSX in my .35 Whelen. Every shot on elk have either been DRT or the elk was so hard hit it could not get up to try and run away.

Other than that, what little I have done with them is the 100 gr. bullet for the .257 Robt. and 120 and 140 gr. in 7MM for the 7x57 and .280 Rem. So far I haven't had much luck reaching any acceptable level of accuracy for hunting. Three to five inch groups suck.
Paul B.


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Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15231814 09/17/20
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I think you hit the nail on the head. This fits with my experience using them for about the same amount of time.

Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15231885 09/17/20
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I currently (have used others) use the following:

80 gr TTSX in 6mm Rem
100 gr TTSX in two .257 Weatherbys
130 gr TTSX in .308 Win
200 gr TSX in .350 Rem Mag

I would only use the tipped variety in bores at or under .270 - .284 because of the small diameter hollow point and expansion issues.. I remember reading that Mule Deer had an issue with the smaller bore non tipped (small cavity hollow point) version and have used his wisdom and applied it to my loads. My.350 Rem Mag load (the tipped version is too long) is devastating on Black Bears. My daughter shot a Black Bear with the 80gr TTSX in the 6 mm Rem and I could not believe the penetration of that bullet and the bone damage! I also think that the 100 gr TTSX is IDEAL in the .257 Weatherby magnum (as is other monometals).



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Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15232014 09/17/20
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Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.

IC-A

Re: Monometal musings [Re: BWalker] #15232049 09/17/20
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Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Agree. I have trained myself to shoot shoulders.


Faith and love of others knows no mileage nor bounds. That's simply the way it is.
dogzapper

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb

Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15232092 09/17/20
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The one exception I've noticed is very light for caliber medium bore ttsx bullets at high speeds. The 160 ttsx from a .338-06 and the 180 from a .35 Whelen cause a lot of trauma and expend a lot of energy in the animal. I have a picture somewhere of a whitetail doe that I shot through the ribs and the entrance wound looked like an exit wound and there was a bloodshot area about the size of a basketball on the entrance side.


------------------------
John
Re: Monometal musings [Re: BWalker] #15232106 09/17/20
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Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Mule Deer has written about this several times on here and I believe in magazine article/s. Hunters have less lead in their bodies than city dwellers who don't hunt. Until the Barnes X bullet came out lead was in all bullets that I know of and we didn't have an epidemic of lead poisoning in hunters or those who ate the meat of animals shot with lead bullets.

Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15232387 09/17/20
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If you’re looking for an argument from me, “you’re barking up the wrong tree”! smile. memtb

Last edited by memtb; 09/17/20.

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Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15232452 09/17/20
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I never had one pencil through and I have shot a couple hundred of them at game starting with the original. I did go through a long spell of on the shoulder shots but quit after I had a freezer full of blood shot shoulders. Maybe with behind the shoulder or soft flesh only shots they are slower killers than other types of bullets but you can't prove it by me. I would need high speed camera footage to see any difference if it exists.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
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Re: Monometal musings [Re: Sakoluvr] #15232791 09/17/20
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Originally Posted by Sakoluvr
Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Agree. I have trained myself to shoot shoulders.


Just train yourself not to crowd the diaphragm. So many people like to shoot at the edges of the lungs for some reason. With a more explosive bullet this tends to work reasonably well. Not so much with a monometal bullet. But the problem isn’t the bullet. It’s missing the target.

Re: Monometal musings [Re: Tejano] #15232875 09/17/20
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Tejano,

Have had more than one 100-grain hollow-point .25 caliber TSX fail to open--or at least not open fully. One was started from a .257 Weatherby at 3550 fps, and the animal was a pronghorn buck at around 250 yards. The bullet landed close behind the shoulder (have also found that the claim of zero meat damage on shoulder shots to not always be true), and the buck went around 250 yards before falling over. There was ZERO blood trail until about 10-15 feet from where he lay. The wound channel through the middle of both lungs was extremely small, with zero peripheral damage.

Almost the same thing happened with a bullet from the same batch, on a forkhorn mule deer buck Eileen shot at around 50 yards with her NULA .257 Roberts--and that bullet did hit bone, going through the bottom of both shoulder blades and the top of both lungs. (She put the bullet there because the buck was standing in tall sagebrush.) There was zero blood trail, not unusual with higher chest shots, but we followed in the direction the buck went, and put it up within 50 yards--whereupon it staggered through the sage for maybe 20-25 yards before falling permanently. Once again, the wound channel was tiny, with zero peripheral damage.

The next year the Tipped TSX came out, and we switched to it. It worked a lot better--but also resulted in considerable meat damage when Eileen shot a good-sized mule deer buck at 99 yards (lasered) with the NULA .257, muzzle velocity 3150 fps, right behind the shoulder. Despite the meat damage, the buck sauntered away for almost 100 yards. Eileen waited, another round in the chamber, just in case--but he eventually gently lay down and expired.

I have seen that sort of performance (except for the meat damage, which is rare) with various monos, not just the Barnes bullets, enough times to expect animals to travel some after rib shots. Last fall was a good example: I killed a mule deer doe at around 200 yards with a 140 TTSX from a 7mm-08, started at around 2900 (can't remember the exact velocity). Again, it was a broadside shot, and I deliberately aimed behind the shoulder to save meat--which is the obvious reason to shoot a muley doe. The bullet landed right where I aimed, and went through the blood vessels at the top of the heart, and the center of both lungs. She ran just about 100 yards before slowing and falling. I wasn't surprised--and also wasn't offended, because the country was wide-open foothills. Like Eileen, I had another round in the chamber, and was ready to shoot again, but didn't have to. (If it had been thick stuff, would have shot for the shoulder/spine.)

Some years ago I started listing the distance animals traveled after the shot in my hunting notes. Animals shot with monos through the lungs, not shoulders/spine, have averaged right around 50 yards--which is the longest distance among all bullets. The shortest distance with lung shots is 18 yards, with Bergers. All others have ranged between those extremes.



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John Steinbeck
Re: Monometal musings [Re: Mule Deer] #15233557 09/17/20
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John,
I have to admit almost all of my X and TSX experience was 30cal and above but I'm wondering if your experience with the 257's might have been that the petals blew off? I've done that overdriving the 30cal X with a 300RUM on close shots. Ended up with a 30cal solid.


I am continually astounded at how quickly people make up their minds on little evidence or none at all.
Jack O'Connor
Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15233621 09/17/20
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No, in fact I am pretty sure the reason is non-expansion--or not enough expansion.

What I am pretty sure happens with the smaller-caliber, hollow-point monos is the hollow-point is battered at least some what closed due to recoil, which results in the tip being flattened on the front of the magazine in bolt-action rifles.

The reasons I suspect this is have never seen it in .224 caliber monos, because they don't recoil enough--and in calibers above .30 the hollow-point is much larger. The calibers I have seen it happen in have all been from 6mm to .270/7mm, though have friends who have seen it in .30s.

One good example is a very knowledgeable friend who has killed several hundred big game animals on cull hunts in Africa. He likes the .270 Winchester a lot, and started using one of the TSXs (can't remember which one) a few years ago. He shot an eland, several times during a fairly long chase, and eventually it died. More than one bullet was recovered that did NOT expand much or at all.

Since then he has switched to TTSXs and hasn't had any such problem.

Also, I have several recovered X-Bullets, TSXs and TTSX's that lost ALL their petals, yet killed game from from deer-sized to elk-sized very quickly. In fact, I have yet to experience any "petal" type bullet, whether monolithic or the Fail Safe, that didn't kill just as well when losing all its petals--probably because they were lost when hitting heavy bone, whether shoulders or spine.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15234214 09/18/20
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I've used TSXs, GMXs and E-Tips ranging in caliber from .223 to .375 on dozens of animals from small whitetails to Cape buffalo. I am a big fan and have never experienced what I would consider a failure.

I did have one interesting experience, through: I built a 22-6mmAI with the idea of pushing the 70-grain TSX as fast as possible. I used it on several hogs and deer and, though I recovered all of them, there did not appear to be much expansion or a decent blood trail on any of them. To the best of my knowledge, that bullet was developed for the military's "brown tip" load so clearly penetration was a priority. Great bullet, just not the right bullet for that application. I'm going to try again with lighter TSXs.

My buddy Jeff Johnston did a hog bullet test recently and had great results with the 55-grain TSX, I've experienced the same:

https://youtu.be/59hzyNOUUM8

Re: Monometal musings [Re: Just a Hunter] #15234650 09/18/20
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Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Mule Deer has written about this several times on here and I believe in magazine article/s. Hunters have less lead in their bodies than city dwellers who don't hunt. Until the Barnes X bullet came out lead was in all bullets that I know of and we didn't have an epidemic of lead poisoning in hunters or those who ate the meat of animals shot with lead bullets.

The comments I have seen John make on the subject used blood tests to determine lead exposure. Blood tests are about useless for determining how much lead is in your body chronically. This is because lead hides out in your bones and brain for decades. Acute lead poisoning only occurs if your exposed to a very large amount of lead in a short period. However, even small amounts of lead affect the human body. Your train of thought is always brought up when talking about lead hunting bullets. However, it's based on false assumptions.

Last edited by BWalker; 09/18/20.
Re: Monometal musings [Re: BWalker] #15234780 09/18/20
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Originally Posted by BWalker
Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Mule Deer has written about this several times on here and I believe in magazine article/s. Hunters have less lead in their bodies than city dwellers who don't hunt. Until the Barnes X bullet came out lead was in all bullets that I know of and we didn't have an epidemic of lead poisoning in hunters or those who ate the meat of animals shot with lead bullets.

The comments I have seen John make on the subject used blood tests to determine lead exposure. Blood tests are about useless for determining how much lead is in your body chronically. This is because lead hides out in your bones and brain for decades. Acute lead poisoning only occurs if your exposed to a very large amount of lead in a short period. However, even small amounts of lead affect the human body. Your train of thought is always brought up when talking about lead hunting bullets. However, it's based on false assumptions.


There is some irrational thinking going on here. You are worried about a problem that isn't testable and isn't quantifiable, yet must exist (in your mind). I ate a bunch of lead as a youngster, particularly as a teen, through eating various birds that we didn't get all the shot out of. I've yet to see evidence that the body can absorb much lead when ingested in its elemental state. My IQ was tested by a psychologist when I was 29. I scored 149. I don't think elemental lead is the grand threat that is repeatedly claimed.

You are free to think what you like. Even if that thinking is irrational.


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
Re: Monometal musings [Re: HuntnShoot] #15234957 09/18/20
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Originally Posted by HuntnShoot
Originally Posted by BWalker
Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
Originally Posted by BWalker
Some monos for sure pencil through. Especially those smaller calibers. In general I have noticed animals run longer after being shot with a mono if no bone or the CNS is not hit. Blood trails are often scant as well because the entrance and exit holes are small.
If was not concerned with lead entering my meat supply I would go back to.lead and copper bullets in a heart beat.


Mule Deer has written about this several times on here and I believe in magazine article/s. Hunters have less lead in their bodies than city dwellers who don't hunt. Until the Barnes X bullet came out lead was in all bullets that I know of and we didn't have an epidemic of lead poisoning in hunters or those who ate the meat of animals shot with lead bullets.

The comments I have seen John make on the subject used blood tests to determine lead exposure. Blood tests are about useless for determining how much lead is in your body chronically. This is because lead hides out in your bones and brain for decades. Acute lead poisoning only occurs if your exposed to a very large amount of lead in a short period. However, even small amounts of lead affect the human body. Your train of thought is always brought up when talking about lead hunting bullets. However, it's based on false assumptions.


There is some irrational thinking going on here. You are worried about a problem that isn't testable and isn't quantifiable, yet must exist (in your mind). I ate a bunch of lead as a youngster, particularly as a teen, through eating various birds that we didn't get all the shot out of. I've yet to see evidence that the body can absorb much lead when ingested in its elemental state. My IQ was tested by a psychologist when I was 29. I scored 149. I don't think elemental lead is the grand threat that is repeatedly claimed.

You are free to think what you like. Even if that thinking is irrational.


It can certainly be tested for via a bone biopsy. Sounds pleasant doesnt it?
Eating birds shot by lead from a shotgun is totally different than eating game shot with lead from a high powered rifle.
If you havent found that ingested elemental lead can be absorbed you are not looking hard.
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=34&po=9

Last edited by BWalker; 09/18/20.
Re: Monometal musings [Re: Blacktailer] #15235531 09/18/20
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BWalker,

I find your comments on lead absorption educational, but almost all studies done concerning hunting, whether of humans eating game killed with lead bullets/shot, or of scavenging birds and wild mammals eating game killed with them, are based on blood-lead levels. Apparently that's what the scientific literature is based on. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on that.

On a slightly different tangent, one British study I came across found that cooking gamebirds taken with lead shot using "extra" ingredients containing vinegar increased the amount of lead absorbed by the cooked meat.



“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: Monometal musings [Re: Just a Hunter] #15235635 09/18/20
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Originally Posted by Just a Hunter


Mule Deer has written about this several times on here and I believe in magazine article/s. Hunters have less lead in their bodies than city dwellers who don't hunt. Until the Barnes X bullet came out lead was in all bullets that I know of and we didn't have an epidemic of lead poisoning in hunters or those who ate the meat of animals shot with lead bullets.



The risk of lead in hunters is apparently quite small, it's the lead in the environment and carrion that has become the concern. USFWS now has a database on migratory birds and raptors that have been diagnosed with lead poisoning. It's more common then I was aware of. I've written this before, but I think it's only a matter of time before we see some of the western states prohibit lead bullets for hunting, if the feds don't do it first. I won't like it, but I think it's a distinct possibility.


Casey

Not being married to any particular political party sure makes it a lot easier to look at the world more objectively...
Having said that, MAGA.
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