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Thread: Bullet Failure?

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Default Bullet Failure?

    Ok, so I don't think I would say it failed but.... Hit my billie with a 300wm shooting factory Federal Fusion 180's at 400yds. Seemed the bullet didn't expand at all, he went down right away, perfect 30cal hole in both shoulders, I literally cut to right next to the bullet whole. Just seemed kinda weird to me.

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    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    long range, assuming no bone contact after entry or on exit, not terribly surprising, but still not proper, switch to a barnes hollow point or something a little more premium they cost more because they are more reliable in those instances, have never had a barnes fail on me at any diastance, they may blow up a little on close range bone hits, like 20yds, but they work, as long as it went down fast with a clean kill, there isn't much to really worry about

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Just seemed kinda weird to me.
    I've had more failures to expand at long range than any other form of bullet failure. The tougher the bullet, the less likely it is to expand reliably when the range really stretches. I like tough premiums up close, basically inside 300 yards for non-magnums, but once the velocity has dropped a lot way out there, I'll take cup and core every day for reliable expansion. For non-magnums that translates into roughly 400 yards. I have no first hand experience on game with the Fusion, but if it's tougher than a standard Nosler Partition, I'm not surprised with your results.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Sounds like it did fine to me.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I think the Federal Fusion is really just a Speer Deepcurl, which is a bonded, heavier jacketed cup and core type bullet despite all the marketing stuff they say about it. For good long range expansion something like a Nosler ballistic tip or one of the softer cup and core bullets would be better.

    Of course on a 75yd shot it'll probably explode...you pick your poison I guess.

    I don't normally shoot much past 300yds so holding together up close is more important to me.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    All bullets have a velocity operating range and will blow up at some velocity and fail to expand below some velocity. The trick is to pick one that will work at the impact velocity you will be shooting game. Sometimes the animal just won't be at the proper distance for the choice you have made. At 400yds your bullet has dropped to about 2200fps which is getting to the bottom end of where you should expect much expansion of a tough premium bullet. If I were expecting to make a shot much over 250 yds, I think I would use a more conventional cup and core bullet although the NPs are good at expanding at almost any usable velocity. I wouldn't call your shot a failure, but it didn't expand as you were expecting. If your hit hadn't been as good as it was, you could have lost him,

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, I normally don't shoot past 200, but situation I decided to take it. Thanks guys, I didn't think about it dropping to slow for expansion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    All bullets have a velocity operating range and will blow up at some velocity and fail to expand below some velocity. The trick is to pick one that will work at the impact velocity you will be shooting game. Sometimes the animal just won't be at the proper distance for the choice you have made. At 400yds your bullet has dropped to about 2200fps which is getting to the bottom end of where you should expect much expansion of a tough premium bullet. If I were expecting to make a shot much over 250 yds, I think I would use a more conventional cup and core bullet although the NPs are good at expanding at almost any usable velocity. I wouldn't call your shot a failure, but it didn't expand as you were expecting. If your hit hadn't been as good as it was, you could have lost him,
    , That's why the Partitions work well, the soft nose allows for expansion at a wider range of velocities while the base holds together on close-up high velocity impacts; Even Barnes X bullets have reduced expansion as the velocities fall . GOOD Shooting !!
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Even Barnes X bullets have reduced expansion as the velocities fall . GOOD Shooting !!
    Not to muddy the water, but in my experience the X and TSX are among the worst performers when velocities fall off at long range. I've seen a couple recovered now that could have literally been wiped off and reloaded.

    Up close at magnum speeds they are fantastic though.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Alright Abel, ya got some good feedback now where's some pics and a story of that fine trophy???
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Look back on here a day or 2, Thread called Kodiak Goat Success. 2 pics in there and a link to my FB page with all the pics from the hunt.

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    You can never go wrong with a Partition.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    I think the TTSX has solved that problem. Some don't like plastic tips, but they are extremely aerodynamic and seem to promote expansion at lower velocities.

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    I have seen 5 failures with Barnes x bullets. 3 were with weatherby 30-378 and 2 were with 300 winmag. 4 of these failures were shooting kudu, eland, and 2 different moose. All these shots were between 100 and 150 yards so bullets were hitting at very high velocity yet absolutely no expansion. The other was at long range on a moose. Anyway, I have switched to shooting either trophy bonded bear claws or swift a-frames and have not suffered a failure to expand or a come-apart failure with either of these bullets. I am happy I switched and won't look back even though the Barnes folks tell me they have "fixed" the problem I was having with their x bullets.

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    Good point Abel... your bullet didn't fail, it just didn't perform as well as you wanted it to. It did go all the way through the animal and kill it, which by most standards is perfect bullet performance. I have only experienced bullet failure once, I was using old Hornady 180 g spire points going 3200fps out of a 300 wby mag and I shot a moose at 20 yds. The bullet hit a rib and blew up, it didn't penetrate the chest cavity and the moose started to run away. A shot to the spine brought it down. I switched to 200 grain Nosler partitions and and have had excellent performance at all ranges.

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    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    I have had the same experience with barnes, with a caribou out of a 338 win mag. I am not saying they arent a good bullet but that a perfect hole in and out... got the bou but thought there should have been more expansion. I think at short range trying to break down a bear or something with a high shoulder shot they would probably be great for that... but I was on the fence between Barnes and Nosler Partition until that, now I stick with the noslers and have had great luck from bou to deer to black bear...

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    After reading all this and some other threads. Guess I'd rather have one not expand and pass thru than blow up on the shoulder and not go any further. I'm sticking with them as they're always done the job for me, just never noticed a perfect 30cal hole on the exit.

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    I read more and more results like this and wonder at the fascination with monolithic bullets and non-dangerous game. I'll stick to my always reliable Nosler Partitions.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    I read more and more results like this and wonder at the fascination with monolithic bullets and non-dangerous game. I'll stick to my always reliable Nosler Partitions.
    I believe the Federal Fusion is a jacketed lead core bullet...
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I believe the Federal Fusion is a jacketed lead core bullet...
    Aw, crap. For some reason I had it in my head that they were Gilded monolith, considering the moniker it makes perfect sense that they are cup and core.

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