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Thread: More Bullet Philosophy..

  1. #1
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    Default More Bullet Philosophy..

    I perused through my new Sports Afield magazine last night and found an article by one of my favorite writers, Dr. Kevin Robertson. He is the author of the book 'Perfect Shot' with the anotomically correct animals showing the vitals and where to shoot. He not only is one of my favorite authors by favorite PHs as well and we share a common philosophy about calibers and bullets.

    This article was about buffalo hunting, one of my favorite subjects as well, and he wrote about appropriate calibers and the "myth of kinetic energy" as a measure of killing power. He made an analogy which I thought was unique and very fitting. He likened the 4000 ft. lbs. of K.E. of the 375 H&H to the 4000 ft. lbs. of a 40 grain aspirin tablet traveling at 6800 fps. They produce almost exactly the same kenetic energy but certainly not the same killing power, bringing "bullet" construction, once again, into the equation. I had never seen this before and though it quite interesting.

    Now I don't know what an aspirin tablet weighs but will accept his numbers. I'm pretty sure he can handle that. He also once again brings up Taylors KO values. With this field proven concept, it gives less consideration for the higher kinetic energy figures of the super magnums, and more to that of bore size, bullet weight and construction, momentum and sectional density. A good read for sure.

    Now what works for buffalo in Africa will work for brown bears here in Alaska, too. So what think ye on this well used subject?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Talking

    I tink da bigger hole is more best. Also, the heavy is gooder den faster. Put dem togeter an you stopum wateva.

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    Murphy:
    I have trained myself to ignor the Ft Lbs. of energy figures that are published and made so much of, by Gun-Writers, and many of their readers. I mean, I skip over then, and just don't read them. I decided long ago, they weren't worth my time.

    Howsomever, The Taylor KOs bring Caliber into the equation too, and I don't understand why, or at least why Caliber Alone, would make a difference.

    It seems to me, that if the bullet weight, velocity, construction, etc. are the same, a little bit of caliber diff, isn't worth consideration.

    So back at'cha. What think ye?

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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    You can't out-give God.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Default Ethics

    Murphy and crew,

    This was at the core of my discission last year to buy my 375 H&H. What I was looking for was a gun that "would stop a large coastal brown bear charge". I read countless articles, boards, asked alot of questions, read some more, and more....You get the picture. I see the best "Alaska" caliber is the 338....Is that truely because it will handle all issues that come up or 99% of them. I also see the 06', which is my favorite round, rates high as well. Is this also a 99% gun as well?

    I posted back a while that several close up shots on whitetails still had the effect of the animal "running". Some as much as 15 yards. One person posted "It was because of bad shooting". Heart and Lung shots are not bad shooting. Now I'm not venting but this comes to the heart, no pun, of Murphy's question. I believe that an animal should die as FAST as possible. Running, TO ME, seems that animal has time to react to being hit. Thats what doesn't sit well. That is why I ask so many questions on bullets for my upcomming elk trip.

    I see bullet construction as an Ethics Question. How fast will a round kill. If a better caliber, better bullet, and a better shot will do it, I am all in favor of a LIVELY discussion on it. Just my 2 cents.

    BTW: My fastest kill was a whitetail shot in the neck, 2" from the skull, with a 300 grain soft point. I don't like neck shots, but the animal never knew what hit it.

    Ron

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    Default Website

    Murphy,

    What do you think of this website:

    http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/b.../wounding.html


    Ron

  6. #6

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    The majority of us, myself included, draw vast conclusions from very little personal experience and field results. There's no shortage of opinion floating around, but actual side-by-side field comparisons of calibers on game make a pretty thin soup for the hungry.

    Ya gotta pick your expert, but keep them honest when it comes to sorting and evaluating results, much less extracting fact from the snowstorm of opinion.

    Only the folks who have been on hand for hundreds of kills have a dog in the fight, and the rest of us (again, myself included) are sideline kneeslappers. The few who meet these criteria are the professional guides who have been at it a long, long time with the chance to evaluate not only their own kills, but hundreds more by clients using a vast array of calibers and often questionable marksmanship.

    To a man, the long-time bear guides I know pretty much agree with what you're saying Murphy.

    None of the ones I know and trust use the 338 for a "stopper" even as they regard it as a generally fine hunting gun. All have tried one or the other of the over-40 calibers, but have given up on the 458 Win Mag as well as 45's on larger cases, however. Not because they aren't good close range stoppers, but because the 458 lacks trajectory for long range stopping and the faster 45's simply kick too darn hard if they generate enough velocity for flat trajectories. Much as we feel warm and toasty about the heroics of stopping a bear charge, most bear stops by guides are Texas heart shots at long range.

    The various 416's have made small dents in their choice of stoppers, but almost to a man they prefer the 375 H&H. It's all about compromise, but these guys feel the 375 provides not only enough power to get the job done, but also the right combination of recoil and flat trajectory for their needs.

    All that rambling is to point out that the human factor of recoil and the practical need for trajectory are as much factors in choosing the "right" gun as TKO or any other formula we can apply to a hunk of lead flying through the air. Don't know how we can factor bloody noses and poop shute shooting into the formulas, but they're important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Murphy,

    What do you think of this website:

    http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/b.../wounding.html


    Ron
    I love that sight! I read all that about 2 or 3 years ago, I was enlightened by it.


    I think all hunters should read thru it

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    Gentlemen,

    The easiest way to think about this is to have your daughter punch you in the face as hard as she can.

    Now go into downtown Anchoragistan, look around for the biggest man you can find, spit in his face, thrust yours out and point to where your daughter punched you. Compare the results.

    This is the best way to compare little bullet to big bullet. And you will NEVER have to ask this question again.

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    Gentlemen,

    I have much writings and experiments on this far too detailed for here. This triad of bullet construction, momentum and sectional density is valid. To analyze this we must hold caliber constant. I think the 300 grain 375 caliber bullet of (X) construction compared to the 375 caliber "aspirin" tablet of (Y) construction, both giving 4000 ft. lbs. energy levels is a valid, yet an extreme comparison. Obviously bullet diameter counts but even a 100 grain .243 will wound more than the "375" aspirin, even with the aspirin's greater energy. Holding diameter at a constant, Sectional Density reflects bullet weight as well, Momentum is dependant on weight and velocity equally and Bullet Construction is the much debated and greatly subjective leg of the triangle.

    We are talking about wounding capability here and within the constraints of field application, meaning not precise in point of application, a valid consideration, for we will always say; "put a 22 caliber bullet in the cranial cavity and it's over" , this isn't possible in the field for a miriad of reasons.

    Bullet construction is more than just bullet structural integrity. It is bullet shape, and within this envelope is also bullet stability at and after impact.

    We know for instance that the flat meplat of the big bore revolver bullets of the LBT design create a greater permanent wound channel than round nose or hollow point. We could apply this to rifles as well. We don't normally because we have such good expanding rifle bullets that will dependably and predictably expand, but when we are using this with solids of this type (flat nose) they show much improved performance. Round nose rifle bullets are better than spitzers for their wounding ability and flat nosed wound be even better. We sometimes need or want a certain amount of trajectory flattening and use the better aerodynamic shape of the spitzer. Here again part of the compromise that BB spoke of. The rifle must also be portable and shootable.

    Stopping rifle as such are special purpose rifles. Not necessarilly the best for a brown bear guide who must also reach out beyond 200 yards and finish a wounded animal before it gets gone or back into the park. There is no doubt that a 900 grain bullet from a 600 Nitro Express is a very good stopping rifle, but it isn't the most practical choice for a bear guide to carry or even the most practical choice for todays elephant hunter. Maybe for the elephant hunters guide, but not for the hunter himself for several reasons.

    As Aksalcha said the bigger hole is better, but bigger means deeper too. For the 243 will make a very large diameter impact wound but won't go very far. Without penetration there is no leathal wounding, otherwise the aspirin would be all we need. Animals don't wear their vitals just under their skin. (No those are not vitals. :-)

    As for Ron's stopping on the spot concern..it ain't gonna happen. Animals with their heart exploded (in keeping with the new OSHA classsification) will live and function for 20-30 seconds. They will do what their instincts tell them to do during this last 30 seconds of existance. The will run or they will charge you. They will leap into the air and roar. They will wander off into a slew and lie down. The will make out their last will and testament or just stand there and look stupid. But no amount of killing will change that. Altering or destroying skeletal structure will change these things, but the animal is still alive. We can drop them on the spot with a spinal hit but it is not lethal and will require a finisher and leave a suffering animal in the interim. This is never advised because it is so difficult to make this hit in the field due to many factors not the least of which is our knowledge of the anatomy of the particular species.

    Part of being a hunter is holding the ability to track an animal, before and after the shot. Hunting is more than just shooting. A lot of new hunters think that animals react the way anything does in the movies when shot. They fall over and will be stuffed rigid when we run to them. It never happens that way. Some hunters never shoot for the shoulder joint because of edible meat destruction, their choice. Some want to destroy the running gear to put them down quicker. Ideally for me would be the shoulder joint with the vitals behind or a quartering away angle, through the ribs to the vitals and the shoulder joint beyond. You can see the value of heavy, hard hitting, high momentum caliber/bullet combos here.

    Some animals do not present a well defined anotomical structure. Animals such as a brown bear or grizzly that have long hair and a well wounded fat and muscled body don't reveal the shoulder joint to us and we must rely on other indicators of their skeletal structure. This can introduce errors in shot placement. It has been said that a bigger caliber gun cannot make up for poor shooting. True. Nothing can make up for poor shooting. But good shooting can produce a less than perfect hit on such an animal and a heavier caliber with the right bullet can make all the diference on a close hit.

    I never said that the 338 WM was the perfect caliber for hunting everything in Alaska. The only reason to use one for brown bears is because you don't have a 375. I would consider it the minimum caliber for a serious bear hunter, but I wouldn't buy on for the purpose.

    BB's point about the professional guides is tue, indeed. Many have seen so muc their credability cannot be questioned. But they often carry something entirely different than what is best for you the hunter and what they would recommend for you. Also, some of them have been so successful for so many years with a certain rifle/caliber that has worked so well, they won't dream of changing. But they often don't get the diversity of experience with different combinations. They carry a 375 and recommend their clients carry it and 97% of the bears were taken with it. No one can doubt that credibility but they don't get to see what doesn't work very much (other than bad shooting) and they don't get to see a good shot with a 416 very often. I would think that a hunter that has never taken a bear but has a dozen cape buffalo and a half dozen lions, all taken with a 416, would do ok with a 416 for a big brownie.

    One particular bear guide told me what ever you do don't bring a 375 up here to shoot a bear with. When I ask why he told me of two different clients who bought new 375 caliber rifles and were afraid of the recoil and couldn't shoot them. The results were the same, of course, poor shooting for both. I asked him what he used ....a 458 Winnie. I said can you shoot it or are you afraid of it, too. You might guess his response.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Maybe this is just being over simplistic but I think I have found the answer to all this silly sh_t.

    http://www.2-bore.com/components.html

    I like to think of it as the Duce and a half, do you wonder why I call it that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Murphy:
    I have trained myself to ignor the Ft Lbs. of energy figures that are published and made so much of, by Gun-Writers, and many of their readers. I mean, I skip over then, and just don't read them. I decided long ago, they weren't worth my time.

    Howsomever, The Taylor KOs bring Caliber into the equation too, and I don't understand why, or at least why Caliber Alone, would make a difference.

    It seems to me, that if the bullet weight, velocity, construction, etc. are the same, a little bit of caliber diff, isn't worth consideration.

    So back at'cha. What think ye?

    Smitty of the North
    If bullet weight, and velocity are the same then they both have the same momentum. And if construction is the same, then we are, for instance, comparing a 338 300 grain to a 375 300 grain, then the difference in the field won't be noticed. But we don't do that. we keep energy the same with a 338 and a lighter bullet and higher velocity or when using a heavier bullet in the 338 it would not be of equal velocity as the 375/300 bullet and therefore won't be an even comparison. But I would agree with your big IF statement. Same weight, same velocity, same construction...338, 358, 366, 375....not much difference. But there is a point where frontal area is an obvious advantage. Forty caliber guns hit noticable harder than 375's.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12

    Talking places to start

    I use the KE figures, because it gives me a place to start, comparing it with others, but then leave it at that. I favor the TKO values, but mostly with rifles that I'll be using on hunts that may require stopping power. On less dangerous hunting situations, I'll lean toward Wooter's Effective Estimated Energy (EEE) formula that deals with today's modern premium bullets. Since one can't logically compare conventional to premium, his formula gives a better picture of the effectiveness of modern bullets. EEE: caliber X muzzle energy. Conventional bullets formula: Sectional density X caliber X muzzle energy. I don't don't know if these are stone cold accurate, but I find them interesting and somewhat helpful. And for those out there who may not possibly know (but interested), the TKO formula is:bullet weight X muzzle velocity X caliber divide by 7000. One might find it interesting to see how your favorite cartridge stacks up. OK Murphy, I'm waiting...bunk or credible?
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

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    Thanks Murphy:

    I understand all that, I THINK. Uhhh, what was that again?

    The Taylor KO formula gives the bullet's mass, velocity and diameter equal value. I've always thought that too much importance was placed on diameter in the formula.

    According to the formula a 30 caliber 150 grain bullet, kills better than a 7mm caliber 150 grain bullet, if the velocity, and construction are the same.

    I'd rather believe a difference in mass, or even velocity is more important than diameter.

    I'm no good at math. I just wondered what you thought about it all.

    Thanks again
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Default Where I am comming from....

    Let me tell you a story,


    My first experience with hunting some 22 years ago, was on a whitetail at 90 yards. She was running and I did as my grandfather told me, wait till her front legs touch the ground because she will take a second to get her back legs in front, so when it happens, shoot. I did and when the 180 grain round nose hit her from my 06', she hit the ground like Pete Rose sliding into home plate. No movement or noise. That was my first hunting experience and it showed a "kid" that killing an animal can be quick, just as all the Lit of the time pointed out you should do.

    When I got married, I took me new bride hunting. She is a good shot and I had no issues in her ability to kill quickly. She shot a whitetail. Lung shot, that knocked it down. It got up and ran 20 yards, before it laid down and made a noise similar to a "crying" rabbit. She has never hunted again.

    I have two boys who shoot and one day will be joining me in the field to kill game as well. They see the TV shows that show quick kills and animals at a distance so no up close and personal "death scenes" or "death calls". I talk to them about my experiences and how that is never the case, but I don't want my boys to be turned away as my wife was.

    I have taught my boys respect for the natural world around them. Respect for the firearm they shoot, and the men and women who gave their lives so they can hold,own, and shoot one. Respect for the animal that they will kill one day. I want them to have the BEST experience the first time.

    So folks, you now have a better handle on my hangup with quick kills, and why I say what I do. Thanks for the advice.

    Ron

  15. #15

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    Ok guys, uber hypothetical scenario here:
    This is a purely defensive situation- you are not hunting. You're charged by a big brownie, and want to wait till the last second to make the shot...but at 10 yds, you finally squeeze the trigger. Of the following three options (each of which you know will exit), which projectile do you want to send into the bear-

    .73 caliber solid @ 1500 fps
    .475 caliber solid @ 2000 fps
    .416 caliber controlled-expansion-bullet @ 2600 fps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by go_north View Post
    Ok guys, uber hypothetical scenario here:
    This is a purely defensive situation- you are not hunting. You're charged by a big brownie, and want to wait till the last second to make the shot...but at 10 yds, you finally squeeze the trigger. Of the following three options (each of which you know will exit), which projectile do you want to send into the bear-

    .73 caliber solid @ 1500 fps
    .475 caliber solid @ 2000 fps
    .416 caliber controlled-expansion-bullet @ 2600 fps.
    Well, while I will disagree with the way your scenario unfolds, I'll stay with the program here. This is a good one.

    The .73 @ 1500 fps, I assume is referenced to a 12 gauge slug, I have little or no use for them for four legged assailants and I doubt any of the 1 1/8th or 1 1/4th oz. ever see 1500 fps.

    The 475 solid @ 2000 fps is basically a 470 Nitro Express, I wonder why it is a solid, we have good soft points and it's velocity is a litttle slow, but I'll stay with the program.

    And last but not so least by any means is the 416 350 grain @ 2600 fps. I say 350 'cuz 400's don't get there except in big ole cases and I don't carry 'em. A "controlled-expansion-bullet" of my choosing. My 416 Murphy will send 350 grain Swift A-frames @ 2600 fps and 400's @ 2400 and change. It is 30-06 length and beltless and it is designed specifically for rugged Alaskan coastal bear hunting. I love the 375's but why not carry all the gun you need in one compact package. Yeah, I'll pick this one.

    If caliber were the only consideration, the .73 would win. If Energy was the only consideration, the .475 would win. There is and will always be a combination of things that determine the extent and severity of the wounding ability of a bullet.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    With my small amount of exp. in this subject I would have to guess the .73 solid with its larger frontal area would be my pick especially at the close range you are talking about a projectile of this diameter would have to be in the area of 800 to 1200 grains and 1500 fps is plenty fast when considering the weight of the projectile I once shot a large cow Buffalo with a 400 grain speer at about 1500fps at arond 85yds the thin g flipped over backwards and completly expired in about 20 seconds later that afternoon another hunter made a nearly Identical shot on a simular sized buff. he was shooting 338WM with federal pr. ammo the thing ran 3/4 of a mile and required a second shot in this day of high velocity and flat shooting rounds we tend to overlook the laws of nature.
    I had not considered the thought of the .73 solid being a 12gage slug I had only considered it being a large bore rifle to arrive at my conclusion.
    Last edited by corjack; 07-15-2007 at 19:08. Reason: adding info

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    Quote Originally Posted by go_north View Post
    Ok guys, uber hypothetical scenario here:
    This is a purely defensive situation- you are not hunting. You're charged by a big brownie, and want to wait till the last second to make the shot...but at 10 yds, you finally squeeze the trigger. Of the following three options (each of which you know will exit), which projectile do you want to send into the bear-

    .73 caliber solid @ 1500 fps
    .475 caliber solid @ 2000 fps
    .416 caliber controlled-expansion-bullet @ 2600 fps.
    Can anyone say .700 Nitro Express?

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    Just to add levity,...

    I think that the overlooked factor here is the aspirin tablet. Sort of killing and healing at the same time, which negates some of it's kinetic energy. Since aspirin can be a life saver, I do not know how to quantify the effect in order to subtract that effect from the effect of the kinetic energy to give us a reasonable comparison with non-medicinal projectiles.

    Perhaps if we were to compare a 200 grain placebo to a 200 grain aspirin (both at a given velocity), we could get a control and go from there?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lab man View Post
    Can anyone say .700 Nitro Express?
    Yes. But who can shoot it? 1000 grains of bullet traveling at 2000 fps from a dainty 16 pound rifle. There is one for sale at Enid OK. by George Casswell at Champlin Arms.

    It used to belong to Mark Sullivan and is on sale for $125,000 American dollars.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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