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Thread: Less Bullet Fragmentation..lighter bullet??

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    Default Less Bullet Fragmentation..lighter bullet??

    I rifle hunt everything with a .280 remington. The only thing I have killed with it up here is a caribou. I know the popular opinion for an all around alaska gun is "bigger is better" but I can not afford to buy another rifle so the .280 has to kill everything from a sitka black tail to a moose for me. The bullet I have selected for hunting anything up to caribou and black bear sized game is a Hordady 154 grain soft point. I got a pass through on the caribou so it worked pretty good for me. I read that bonded bullets loose anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of their weight when they hit and start to open up so by the time my bullets gets into vitals Im actually hitting that animal with a bullet that can weigh between 100 to 130 grains. My question is this. If I bought higher quality barnes bullets that claim to keep 100 percent of their weight could I hand load 120 grainers to do the task that I used 150 grain bonded bullets to do and get the same if not better penetration? The same goes for moose and grizzly. Could I load a 150 grain barnes tripple shock and expect it to penetrate as well if not better than a 175 grain bonded bullet? Keep in mind with moose and grizzly I do not plan on taking a shot outside of 200 yards and nothing through the shoulders, all shots to be placed behind the shoulder. Thanks for any advice.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    the larger bonded bullets are still going to deliver the energy related to their mass despite losing 20%. I agree potentially not as efficiently/effectively as one that retains 100%. My big question is why not use a 150+ grn TSX and actually reap the bennies of the TSX's retained mass?

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Should be close anyway.

    If you plan on giving the 150 TSX a try that could be a good one bullet for everything load.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  4. #4

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    I shot a black bear in my back yard at 60 feet with a .338 with 225 barnes x bullet. It didnt retain 100% The bullet I pulled out weighed 190 grains. Granted 60 feet a 225 grain bullet going 2800fps, entering the front shoulder of the animal facing me and going through the chest cavity destroying both lungs and heart and nearly exiting the butt pulled out when skinned still retained 190 grains. I was very impressed. I also shot a bear this spring with a friends .300 win mag with core lock bullets at 200 yards and they totally fragged. Got one bullet from a 180 grain that weighed only 90 grains. If I would have shot that bear with the 300 at 60 feet all that would be left is lead dust.

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    Heavier bullets will have a higher sectional density and penetrate better, with everything else being equal. I'd pick a high quality bullet on the heavier end and use it for everything. I have a 270 Winchester that I shoot 140 Barnes TSX out of. Figure this will handle everything up to moose. I used 130 grain Sierras back in Wyoming and they were awesome on antelope and deer. The stakes up here are a lot higher with bear/mtn goat/sheep/caribou. I have a 338 Win Mag I used to load 225 grains for and now starting to load 250 grains. Figure if I wanted to shoot the little bullets I should have bought a 300. The 250's are for moose and big bear. Won't be shooting much over 250 yards and the 250s are turning out to be more accurate than the 225s.

    To sum up my opinion - Buy a heavier than average bullet that is of very high quality for hunting. Find a cheap bullet that has a similar point of impact and use that for target practice.

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    I would recommend you consider a 160 gr premium bullet. A 160 will do everything a 150 will only better. I had a custom 7mm sheep rifle built that my son ended up using on all of our hunts. With it he has taken multiple book rams, black bear, and 9' griz. Initially I loaded 160 Nosler partitions but later changed to the Nosler AB. Attached is image of lasered 400 yd shot that entered the right scapula and exited center of chest.
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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default 280 rem

    I killed 3 black bear this year with my 280 rem using 140gr tsx and all dropped on the spot. Last year it dropped a young bull moose with the same efficiency. It has also taken plenty of deer, wild hogs etc with the TSX bullet. The TSX is all is use in my other rifles as well.

    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARKY View Post
    I rifle hunt everything with a .280 remington. The only thing I have killed with it up here is a caribou. I know the popular opinion for an all around alaska gun is "bigger is better" but I can not afford to buy another rifle so the .280 has to kill everything from a sitka black tail to a moose for me. The bullet I have selected for hunting anything up to caribou and black bear sized game is a Hordady 154 grain soft point. I got a pass through on the caribou so it worked pretty good for me. I read that bonded bullets loose anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of their weight when they hit and start to open up so by the time my bullets gets into vitals Im actually hitting that animal with a bullet that can weigh between 100 to 130 grains. My question is this. If I bought higher quality barnes bullets that claim to keep 100 percent of their weight could I hand load 120 grainers to do the task that I used 150 grain bonded bullets to do and get the same if not better penetration? The same goes for moose and grizzly. Could I load a 150 grain barnes tripple shock and expect it to penetrate as well if not better than a 175 grain bonded bullet? Keep in mind with moose and grizzly I do not plan on taking a shot outside of 200 yards and nothing through the shoulders, all shots to be placed behind the shoulder. Thanks for any advice.

    Questions such as your invaribly turn into which bullet is best but I don't think that is necessarily what you want to know.

    You say your using a 154 grain Hornady which is a standard non premium bulllet. But then state that bonded bullets, which are much stronger constructed bullets than the Hornady, loose 20% of their weight. Hmmm?

    I have recovered many bonded bullets from many different animals and they typically retain more than 90 % of their weight and many Swift A-frames have retained 95-100% of their weight. But if a bullet looses weight and if we recover it it doesn't loose this weight at impact it looses it after it expands and after it slows down and then it only looses an appreciable amount by striking bones. In this case even the Barnes X bullets will loose weight by looseing its petals.

    So to say that your 150 grain bullet will be a 120 grain bullet because it looses 20% of its weight is in error on two points. I can gaurantee that your Hornady will loose more weight than any bonded unless you speak of the Hornady bonded, which I don't think you are.

    The 280 Remington is not a super speed demon but delivers enough velocity and energy to benefit from some kind of premium bullet. I won't get into a debate about which is best but suffice it to say that any of the premium bullets will improve the performance of the 280 on larger tougher critters. These include any of the new plastic tipped bonded such as Accubond, Scirroco, Interbond, etc as well as the Kodiak or Woodleigh bonded. The list will also include the Partition, Barnes X or TSX and the Swift A-frame. The latter is both bonded and partitioned and will retain weight better than any other lead core bullet.

    Consider also that the support for the TSX line of bullets almost always starts with 10% less weight (due to excessive length) so it will likely always be lighter weight, have less sectional density, and less momentum than a similar premium bullet with lead core.

    Specifically your 120 TSX compared to a 175 or 160 premium lead core bullet would be a less desirable bullet for larger heavier animals.

    Momentum (velocity * mass) and sectional density, construction and twist rate are the only factors that determine penetration through any given media.
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