velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is required

Discussion in 'rifle related' started by grumpyvette, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Ive hunted deer, elk and hogs for close too ,5 decades,... don,t get too concerned with the ability of the weapon you choose to do the job,
    its mostly shot placement not velocity, energy and/ or bullet weight and construction that matters, within reasonable limits, every magazine article you read seems to stress the importance of hyper velocity and flat trajectory,
    these factors help sell magazines and the newest super wiz-bang,magnum rifles. but the fact is that people were killing game very effectively with calibers like the 45/70 and 30/30 win, and 30/40 krag for 70-100 years before the newest magnums were introduced, if you have some hunting skills you can kill game with archery equipment that has under 300fps and under 70 yard effective range that never reaches 150 ft lbs of energy.
    THAT BEING SAID, the CALIBER, POWER LEVEL AND projectile should be matched to the intended target,and having a bit more bullet weight or velocity seldom hurts your results either. YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR GAME ANATOMY WELL!,and BE able to do the job OF CORRECTLY PLACING A SHOT THRU THE VITALS,under less than ideal conditions, of range and FROM entrance angles THAT ARE NOT IDEAL,and you must know the games anatomy, and if you can,t consistently place shots accurately under field conditions, what you carry won,t matter much!
    theres ALWAYS going to be game thats well hit with any bullet design that won,t instantly fail on bullet impact,
    so don,t expect that the result of a well placed hit will always DROP GAME INSTANTLY,
    that there are advantages in use of the heavier bullets in the .260-.300 plus sectional density range,
    that give you some advantages and consistency.

    you should select a weapon and caliber based on what will work under the least likely, or least favorable and not the best possible conditions of range and entrance angle on the intended game. if you can,t reasonably kill from almost any angle, at any reasonable range you might want to rethink your choices
    carry the caliber and rifle you trust,and feel confident in, we all have different experiences, and tend to feel we need certain rifles,in our hands to feel were well equipped, if theres one fact I've learned over 43 plus years of hunting elk and deer its that its the skill of the guy using the rifle, and his confidence in his equipment, not the caliber that maters the most.
    personally Id select something in the 338-358-375 caliber for elk hunting
    , and I've seen excellent results from the 338/06 and 35 whelen, but having seen a couple elk killed with a 257 Roberts and a 6.5mm Swedish Mauser,and even a 44 mag revolver, I know its not so much the rifles power as it is the skill of the hunter using it!
    IM betting your weapons effectiveness is the result of punching large holes in vital organs and massive blood loss myself, and I doubt it matters all that much if the projectile started out at 3000fps or 1200 fps as long as it passed thru and destroyed those vital organs and left a big jagged hole in its path.
    while I personally prefer the 338-375 caliber cartridges throwing 200-270 grain bullets, they are not required.
    Ive killed and seen far too many elk killed really dead with a 270 cal/150 grain and 30/06 cal rifles using 180-200 grain bullets to ever suggest they are not fully up to the job in the hands of a decent rifle shot, and I know most of the group I hunted with for decades used only speer, hornady,Remington and Winchester bullets......and they all worked fine when placed correctly I can,t think of any hunt Ive been on in 43 years that either of those rifles properly loaded and used correctly would not have allowed me to collect game.
    the guys in my elk hunting group have tried most of the popular calibers from 257 Roberts to a 458 win and there,s one consistent fact, its the guys using the rifles skill that maters most.
    and theres more guys using 35 whelens and 30/06 rifles now than magnums, Im the last guy in camp still using a 340wby or 375 H&H, there used to be several 7mm and 300 mags used, but as the guys aged and got more experience the 30/06 and 35 whelen seem to have become rather standard
    Ive used a 80 lb bow with 560 grain arrows and 3 blade broad heads, a 257 Roberts, a 257 wby,a 270 win,a 300 wby , a 375 H&H, a 45/70 and a 62 caliber muzzle loader,and a dozen other weapons the only thing that was in common was shot placement and the results, they all left a big bloody hole,along the projectiles path thru the games body, and destroyed internal organs.
    where you hits always more important than what caliber you select,
    my friends dad whos near 80 years old dropped a small bull within a few feet of where he spotted it , while shooting a 257 roberts loaded with 100 grain speer bullets, on bullet impact the bull trotted about 20 yards and then got wobbly and fell , the shot was easily 240 yards, or a bit more as it was 270 plus paces to the bull from where we stood. and he made the shot leaning over a branch on an aspen with his Winchester 70 and weave 4x scope.
    he hit the bull in the near side lung and angled back into the liver
    that was back in the 1990s and was the last bull he ever took.
    that shot really impressed me, not so much as to accuracy but how such a small cartridge could be so effective, but Ive seen guys make similar shots with 7mm and 30 calibers that had elk run further.
    when I first started hunting mule deer, I read everything I could find, and I made a choice to go with a custom built,257 wby, I had a ruger #1 built by shillen,in caliber 257 wby with a 28" barrel, it was and is accurate, it killed very effectively, it also eroded the barrel throat slightly,in under 200 cartridges.
    and while it made hits out at long range fairly easy as trajectory guess work was not all that critical out to at least 350 yards when I sighted in a couple inches high I eventually realized I had used it exactly twice in 40 plus years at ranges over 500 yards to kill mule deer and that probably 90%-95% or more of the deer Id killed had been dropped from under 300 yards.
    now I don,t regret building the rifle but I don,t see any huge advantage over a 270 win for hunting mule deer.
    why, do a ballistic calculation, I doubt youll find a 4" difference in drop even out at 500 yards between a 120 grain .25 cal and a 130 grain .277 cal.
    being a bit pragmatic Ive tested a fairly wide selection of calibers on game and while Ill point out that its the bullet that does all the work and its correct shot placement ,and knowing your games anatomy that's the two most critical factors,it soon became obvious that a well constructed bullet design that held together had advantages and that as impact velocities increased too much over about 3000 fps, bullet performance seemed to rapidly fail in many cases...obviously bullet design and construction, range to the target and what your hunting effect the results, but Im forced to point out that the my experience shows that the 257-270-30 calibers are about ideal on deer , and the slightly larger 30-375 calibers seem better suited to the elk THAT CAN EASILY WEIGHT 3-4 TIMES MORE THAN DEER.
    looking around for a good answer I found this...
    "It's very difficult to get a lighter bullet to have as much momentum as a smaller bullet. Momentum is mass times velocity. But energy is mass times velocity SQUARED. Therefore, to double the momentum of a bullet while keeping its mass constant, you have to quadruple its kinetic energy. To quadruple the momentum, you'd need to increase the energy by a factor of sixteen. So that's the momentum story.
    Id suspect both where the bullets placed and which bullet you used , and the hunters knowledge of the games anatomy,has a huge effect on results , Ive used both the 35 whelen and 45/70 on both deer and elk in the past and had very good results.
    now Ive seen several deer and elk shot with a 257 Roberts and 270 Winchester rifles also and the same things hold true, place your shots well and use a decent bullet and any of the mentioned calibers work, pure physics suggests a larger more massive projectile, that expands but maintains most of its physical integrity has some potential benefits in causing more consistent and deeper wound damage, on the larger animals but Ive seen a 257 Roberts dump an elk from 200 yards, in seconds after bullet impact, quite convincingly and the same thing happen with my 45/70 so I'm not overly concerned with head stamps, just accuracy and consistency.

    maybe its just because I was employed for 4 decades as an engineer ,
    but I've always made the choice to not take things in advertising seriously,
    and preferred to deal in facts , you can look up load data,
    projectile sectional density, ballistic coefficients, rifle weights,
    and damn near anything else you need to compare any two cartridges
    what youll find in most cases is that similar cartridges with similar projectile weight and diam and velocity,
    produce similar performance. its not going to make a bit of difference in the field,
    if you add or subtract a 100 fps or 5 grains of bullet mass.
    what does make a difference is the rifles operator skill's,
    at placing a shot carefully and the bullets physical properties,
    example alloys used jacket thickness and impact velocity.
    you can,t ignore physics, heavier mass and higher velocity carries more energy.
    you should not ignore decades of field results, theres very few modern cartridges,
    that provide any significant advantages over decades old designs like,
    the 22 hornet, 22-250, 25/06 , 30/06 , 300 wby or 375 H&H.
    step back mentally any time someone is bragging about the newest super zapper,
    ask yourself if your current rifle has ever failed to perform well,
    or if an extra few inches of flatter trajectory would make much difference.
    especially if you realize that the vast majority of game is killed at well under 250 yards.
    use the calculators and youll soon realize most NEWER/BETTER- += marketing
    the 22 hornet, 22-250, 25/06 , 30/06 , 300 wby or 375 H&H. will do damn near anything thats needed to be hunted!/!/

    a great deal of the problems guys have with bullets results from trying to push a smaller and lighter in weight than ideal projectile to higher velocities than many bullet designs can reliably function at, you might be amazed at how consistent most cup & core bullet designs work if bullets are at least a .270 sectional density and if you don,t exceed 3000fps at the muzzle .

    In terms of energy delivered to the target, a larger bullet still wins due to aerodynamic drag. Drag is a function of area. Suppose you have two bullets, A and B. They are made up of the same material and have the same shape, but bullet B is twice as large in all dimensions. It's volume and mass are therefore 8 times as large and it's drag (area) is 4 times as large as A's at the same velocity.

    Suppose both are fired with the same initial kinetic energy. Since bullet A has only 1/8 of bullet B's mass, it's initial velocity will be sqrt(8) or 2.83 times higher. But aerodynamic drag, in addition to being a function of surface area, is also a function of velocity squared, so the lighter bullet will experience 8 times more drag (due to higher velocity) and (as we already computed) 4 times less drag (due to less area), for a net 2 times more drag for the lighter bullet.

    It gets worse. The lighter bullet not only experiences twice the force of drag, it responds more to it. Remember F= MA, which can also be written A = F / M. In other words the lighter bullet, having 8 times less mass, will experience 8 times the deceleration when subjected to the same force. And since the drag force is actually twice as high, its decelleration will be 16 times that of the heavier bullet.

    And even worse. The lighter bullet loses velocity at16 times the rate of the heavy one, but energy is a function of velocity squared, so it loses kinetic energy at 16 * 16 = 256 times the rate of the larger bullet.

    Of course these are all figures for the initial conditions. As the bullets slow down they will be going closer to the same velocity, so the difference won't be quite as dramatic in the long run, but I think you get the picture.
    Physics degree & have done work in fluid dynamics"
    don,t get hung up on velocity just get the most accurate load
    from a pragmatic view, I'm 100% sure there have been many dozens of elk killed with smaller 22 and 6mm rifles but that does not in my experience make them nearly ideal.
    I personally have seen several elk killed very effectively with a 257 roberts, yet I would say after helping dress out those elk, and examining the internal damage that the 257 roberts is on the lower edge of the effective caliber range.
    I hunt with a group of guys and most years theres 4-7 guys in camp and 3-4 deer or elk killed almost every year, this allows me to eventually see rather obvious trends in what results you can expect , and in my opinion after 45 plus years of dressing out game Id suggest a 270 win,308 win, or 7mm 08 loaded with a premium bullet is about the smallest calibers I see consistently put down game quickly and effectively

    suggested bullet weights
    357 mag= 158 grain-180 grain
    41 mag= 220 grain-250 grain
    44 mag= 270 grain-320 grain
    45 caliber -300 grain-350 grain
    480 caliber 350 grain-400 grain
    50 caliber 400 grain-480 grain

    bullet stability and twist rates

    ballistic calculator

    these calculators can be really handy

    ideally pistol velocity and the bullet design of the better hunting ,
    cast bullets are most effective if the melplat (nose) is flat ans between 75%-80% of the bullet diameter, its a gas check design and its pushed to a muzzle velocity of at least 1350 fps but not too exceed about 1800 fps and have a bullet in the .240-.260 sectional density range.
    jacketed hollow points should be used only on lighter weight game like deer.
    remember the proper hard cast bullet will penetrate very effectively but it won,t expand rapidly, thus a knowledge of the games anatomy and locations of the vital organs is critical to rapid kills.
    don,t be surprised if the first few large game animals you shoot run off with little indication they were hit, unless you place shots precisely handgun kills will resemble archery hunting and it will take 30 seconds for the game to bleed out, and in 30 seconds a scared injured deer can travel 200 yards making its recovery difficult.
    but place shots precisely and if you used the correct projectile, distances will be much less.

    Sectional Density Calculator

    bullet stability and twist rates

    ballistic calculator ... -box-of-20
    even a fairly small cartridge like a 44 mag in a carbine or revolver can be quite effective in experienced hands inside of reasonable ranges, this federal 44 mag ammo looks like a good selection,if you don,t hand load, but id point out that with cast flat nose bullets performance is dependent on a good knowledge of the games anatomy and very precise ,and correct shot placement.
    a shot thru the green dot will be quickly fatal, place the shot a bit higher and forward to destroy the shoulder and spine if your more concerned with anchoring the animal quickly than maximizing the venison,you pack out

    have to point out a fact that all too many guys either ignore or never considered,
    the projectile does ALL the work and damage! where you hit on the animals anatomy,IS CRITICAL
    rapid lethality depend on where you place the projectile and how much damage is done.
    and how much damage to vital organs and/or skeletal structure,being done,
    should obviously be considered the major factor in potential lethality expected.
    small fast expanding projectiles are devastatingly lethal... IF placed correctly,
    IF THEY destroy the heart/lung area but the deer can still run very fast and
    well for up to 10 seconds or so , and they may not leave much of a blood trail,
    larger more heavily constructed projectiles, like a 180 grain 30 cal, or a 250 grain 358 bullet open slower and in a far more controlled manor ,
    they may not do as much damage to the lungs,initially but they are 100% lethal if shots are well placed.
    and frequently leave a blood trail.
    and they do tend to be much more consistent and reliable at busting skeletal structure,
    provide deep penetration through muscle and they do tend to leave exit wounds more often.
    if you hand-load you can custom fabricate ammo specifically matching your requirements.
    traditional brush cartridges like a 45/70 or 444 marlin can provide exceptional penetration,
    (especially if loaded with heavy for caliber cast bullets,)(these can be depended on to exit deer )
    or be loaded with fast expanding hollow point bullets to give rapid expansion.
    (1) where you place the shot is critical (know the games anatomy)
    (2) use of a heavy for caliber projectile tends to greatly aid deep penetration
    (3)the larger caliber and heavier the projectile, used the more consistent deep penetration
    (4)deep penetration is a plus only if you use it to destroy vital organs,(heart/lungs)
    and critical structure like spine and shoulders, (see #1)
    range effects the bullets retained energy, a 44 mag loaded with a 300 hard cast bullet at 50 yards makes a good deer & elk cartridge even at only 1200fps but stretch the range to 300 yards and its far less useful, and it carries far less punch, or momentum.
    if your looking for a decent caliber/cartridge to hunt with, you'll be well served to do a bit of research on the average ranges, and game anatomy your intending to hunt ,and select a commonly used cartridge used for that game, you can easily get by with only a few common calibers, like the 22lr,223 rem,25/06,30/06,300wby, 338 mag, and 20ga,3" 12 ga for all north American hunting, and obviously there's a hundred other choices, but for big game a simple combo of two rifles , similar to,a 270 win loaded with a good 150 grain bullet and a 338 mag loaded with a good 250 grain bullet will handle 99% or more north American big game hunting conditions in skilled hands, either caliber could be used for most conditions or a compromise like a 35 whelen in a good rifleman's hands could also be very effective.
    Id suggest selecting a cartridge with minimums of 150 gain bullet weight and 2500fps muzzle velocity and you don,t need more than 3000fps and 270 grains of bullet for anything I can think of in north America.
    average both and you get about 210grains of bullet at about 2750fps and the 35 whelen, the 300 mag and 338 mag all fall in that range
    personally I vastly prefer a complete pass thru and exit, but I want the bullet to expand and do some damage while in transit, I try for heat / lung shots and not to break large bones, I've found that limiting the bullet selection to the .338-through.458 calibers and selecting a bullet with at least 250 grain weight, and being rather selective in bullet placement, rather than just shooting at any thing you see,with fur goes a long way to getting the desired results while knowing the intended targets anatomy helps a good deal in achieving that desired result

    Ive seen 4 elk killed with a friends dads 257 roberts and its lethal,in skilled hands, but I'd also point out that most of the successful hunters in years past knew how to hunt and seldom would attempt shots at the ranges I see guys quote frequently today. my friends dad killed all his elk well inside of 250 yards and he waited for a good shot angle before squeezing off a shot, if your going to use a smaller caliber pure physics, and the games anatomy, restricts you from expecting to get away with some of the shot angles you could effectively pull off successfully with a significantly heavier projectile, of larger caliber.
    no matter how you try, you can,t get away using a 243 win or 257 roberts at the same extended,ranges and odd angles that a 280 rem,- 30/06-300 mag,-375 H%H loaded with heavy bullets can deal with,successfully.
    used within a reasonable range and handled correctly with a well practiced shooter, Ive seen rather remarkable results , but those are still limitations that the shooter should be aware of, that are not quite as restrictive on its use as a larger caliber.
    personally from the results Ive sen I think a 270 win loaded with a good 140-150 grain is where ID start as a good dependable ,low recoil,elk rifle
    heres some suggestions from years of experience, you may not hunt thick timber most of the time like I do, but it won,t hurt to know what works at moderate ranges on elk either.

    the 250 hornady in .338 at about 2600 fps ... er&Source=
    or 340 wby at about 2800 fps
    the 250 speer used in the 358 win at about 2300 fps and 35 whelen at about 2500 fps

    the 270 hornady in a 375 H&H at about 2500 fps ... er&Source=

    the 405 remington in a 45/70 at about 1800 fps
    the [​IMG]
    I found this bullet to be especially accurate in my marlin 45/70 over 45 grains oF IMR 4198, Im not sure what velocity its near 1900 fps youll get in your rifle but cast from 95% wheel weights and 5% tin,well lubed its accurate,and it shoots thru deer,hogs and elk real well with expected results..very dead game ... er&Source=

    read these

    READ ... ntals.html

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2019
  2. DorianL

    DorianL solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    Killing a griz with a 22? Someone's got it lucky with the Gods....

    Question why use anything less than a 338 mag loaded with a 250 grain bullet at all? 'cept for maybe on a squirrel... that I could understand...
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    how much rifle weight,they want to carry, (IE lighter weight is seen as an advantage)and recoil they can tolerate (recoil is seen as bad) and ammo cost (lower the better) are the more common factors why guys choose to select a less powerful cartridge.
    the common 30/06 is a very frequent choice and in skilled hands its adequate in most conditions due to it filling most of the listed requirements and perceived limitations rather well.
    Ive used a 340wby or 35 whelen, or 338 win mag of most of my ELK hunts, and Ive seen a 270 win and 30/06 do the job frequently enough to know they are full adequate in skilled hands, but there's no denying the heavier calibers seem to strike a bit harder blow and get a more pronounced reaction, and penetrate deeper, energy alone is not an ideal indicator, a 223 rem with a 55 grain bullet at 3200fps has about 1300 ft lbs, so does a 45/70 with a 405 grain slug at 1200fps., obviously the results differ on impact.

    many of us have found that we eventually have acquired more than 1-to- 4 firearms and can,t imaging having only 1-to- 4, but the truth is most of us could get by with a good 12 ga and a 270win, a 35 whelen ,and a good 22lr or some similar meager collection, but thats not what most of us want to be limited to and if we can afford to few of us select to go that route
    my dad spent his whole life with a 10ga double, 22 lr pump and a 30/06 sprg, but he looked at firearms as basic tools that seldom needed to be used.

    these are the RIFLE bullets most of the guys in my elk camp use and I can,t remember single bullet failure

    cal .277..speer 150 grain ... =000211605

    cal .30...speer 200 grain ... =000212211

    cal .338 hornady 250 grain ... box-of-100

    cal .358 .speer 250 grain ... =000212453

    cal .375 hornady 270 grain ... -box-of-50

    cal .458 remington 405 grain. ... soft-point
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2017
  4. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    Ive been hunting now for 40 plus years mostly for elk, but a bunch of average size mule deer and a few dozen reasonably large hogs have also been collected,
    I always see guys pitching the use of premium bullets and I can easily see why if your using a 30 cal or smaller caliber pushing a bullet to over 2800fps, but Id point out that I seldom see any need for anything more exotic that a common speer, hornady,remington or winchester bullet if you select a reasonable bullet design with at least a .260 sectional density and if you select a 338-378,375,.458 caliber rifle and keep the muzzle velocitys semi reasonable, in almost every case Ive seen where a bullet shredded on impact it was the result of some guy pushing too light weight of a bullet for the application to excess velocities.
    my late hunting partner used a 358 win caliber BLR for years, Ive used a 35 whelen and a 358 win, plus a 375 H&H and 338/06, 30/06 and 340 wby, some of the guys in our camp use a 45/70 or other calibers like a 308 win, and what I consistently see is a good standard bullet placed correctly does the job regardless, of caliber if it holds together and they usually do just fine at expanding and penetration,if your not pushing them past about 2800fps at the muzzle and can place them in the heart/lung area.

    when I started hunting elk all my mentors carried various 30/06 rifles, most of those gentlemen assured me at the time that the remington 760 slide action and loaded with peters 220 grain round nose bullets , and a 4x scope were the ideal and well tested elk hunting combo that could hardly be improved on.
    given that these guys were old experienced hunters in there 40s-60s and I was about 18 years old at the time I took their word and purchased and used a similar combo the first two years.
    Now ranges where I was hunting seldom exceeded 150-200 yards and the combo was almost constantly used by most of the guys in camp,until the remington 7600 in 35 whelen became available, when the few remaining guys from the original group members swapped to the whelen.
    the third year I had purchased a 340 wby.

    when I started hunting elk I used a 30/06 on the advise of my mentors who had been hunting elk for decades, the first elk I shot all ran, at the shot, giving no instant & obvious sign they were hit, yet all of those elk died inside of 30-70 yards of where they were hit, being young, I was convinced I needed a larger caliber, I swapped to a 340 wby after reading every article on hunting elk I could find,and while Ive had a few elk run, since, Ive never yet had one give no indication it was hit, now its not knocking the crap out of them like I expected or knocking them down every time or giving instant kills, every time, in fact a single hit from the larger rifles is no more deadly than the 30/06 loaded with the 200 grain and 220 grain bullets that were almost the standard load in our elk hunt group, ,both rifles kill with a single well placed shot, but most of the elk Ive shot since with my 340 wby and 375 H&H seem to act dazed, disoriented or staggered on bullet impact,when I use the 340 wby or 375 H&H and few move more than a few dozen yards, many stagger around then fall some drop on impact.
    yes in my experience the heavier calibers kick harder , and require heavier rifles, and ammo costs more, they still don,t drop every elk instantly, but there has been a marked increase in elk that act dazed and stunned, and shorter distances traveled once hit in my experience
    I always get a big grin when guys say this or that caliber drops a deer every time, it simply shows a lack of experience, now, don,t get me wrong, a 270 win , or a 300 wby or even a 45/70 with good shot placement will do the job almost every time,but even 10 ga 2 oz slugs at 30 yards don,t ALWAYS drop deer in their tracks on projectile impact.....Ive seen my 300wby drop deer instantly for decades and Ive seen it blow a huge hole in a deer chest cavity, and have the deer still run 30 feet before dropping.
    my 257 wby works like a darn death ray most of the time on mule deer, but its not going to do more than deliver a mortal wound, under some conditions the deer still start to haul butt for the next county, most don,t make in 30-40 ft but they sure try, I gave up worrying about it long ago, if you place the shot correctly the deer drops very quickly, its just not always going to go face first in the dirt instantly
    from a pragmatic view, I'm 100% sure there have been many dozens of elk killed with smaller 22 and 6mm rifles but that does not in my experience make them nearly ideal.
    I personally have seen several elk killed very effectively with a 257 roberts, yet I would say after helping dress out those elk, and examining the internal damage that the 257 roberts is on the lower edge of the effective caliber range.
    I hunt with a group of guys and most years theres 4-7 guys in camp and 3-4 deer or elk killed almost every year, this allows me to eventually see rather obvious trends in what results you can expect , and in my opinion after 45 plus years of dressing out game Id suggest a 270 win,308 win, or 7mm 08 loaded with a premium bullet is about the smallest calibers I see consistently put down game quickly and effectively
    just because you can occasionally kill an elk with something like a single shot from a 223 win does not make it an effective choice!
    I noticed a big difference in the effectiveness when I upgraded from a 30/06 Springfield to a 340 wby, understand that every shot and animal is different, both calibers were lethal,a single well placed shot from either will kill an elk, but the difference in the reaction when you hit them varied and the 340 wby usually punches clear through.
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    I found this posted on a different site but its worth reading

    "The work of a bullet is to efficiently damage vital tissue, to do this it must impact the correct anatomy.

    To stop a charging anything, the right tissue must be damaged to a sufficient degree. Many elephants have fallen to "deer" calibers when the right tissue was damaged. Many deer have been lost to "elephant" calibers, when the wrong tissue was damaged.

    If a 750 pound brown bear, running as fast as a quarter horse, has appointed me the recipient of his anger, I want a big, relatively hard, frontal area slug, driven as fast as tolerable, NOT because the energy contained in the moving projectile can magically overwhelm the physical and temperamental momentum of the beast. Rather, that heavy fast moving slug is most likely to get to the tissue that must be harmed and then harm it to the degree necessary to put an end to the animals momentum.

    So all that said, a 30-06 running a 180 grain pill into the brain of the aforementioned brownie, will halt it right then, as would a 300 grain pill from a 375 RUM. But assuming the bullet construction of the two is similar, the outcome is very, very different if I'm 8 inches low and 4 inches left with my shot. Suddenly the tissue affected is the sternum, cardio/pulmonary system, secondary nervous tissues, and shoulder bones/associated soft tissues. The amount of "work" that the RUM can do far outweighs the "work" potential of the 06."

    from what I've seen a great deal of proper (or at least the cartridge you have confidence in)
    cartridge selection is partially based on,
    keep in mind I started hunting mostly elk in canyon country where ranges over 300 yards were rare,
    and I made most of my decisions based on what I saw on many out of state hunts back in the early 1970s, through the early 2000s
    Most people made choices based on what the person making the choice has seen other successful hunters he knows are using and or,
    his personal experiences related to what hes seen, first hand, and what hes got the most confidence in using.
    that and many guys are very recoil sensitive,
    When I started hunting it was almost written in granite that you needed a 30/06 Springfield.
    after watching very carefully what other people had been using successfully,
    and having an un-realistic expectation that everything hit should drop on bullet impact,
    and helping dress out several dozen mule deer and elk.(brought into camp)
    I was 100% confident in my choice of a 340 wby, and a 375 H&H as the two best possible choices.
    why just looking at the cartridges gave one confidence,
    this was mostly based on the fact that everything Id shot or seen shot with those rifle calibers, had, when dressed out,
    a very easy to follow bullet path from impact to exit in a strait line regardless of range or angle,
    and you could easily see a very noticeable difference in the reaction of game hit with the larger calibers,
    and the bullets did not turn to glitter like the 300 and 7mm mags seemed too.
    As I gained experience I began too realize this was more related to crappy bullet designs
    ,being selected, and the fact many guys could not place shots accurately,
    many guys selected ammo mostly based on either price or advertising,rather than putting thought into the game, hunted,
    potential range it would be used at or intended velocity ,or caliber.
    especially once a friends dad consistently dropped elk with a 257 roberts and 115 grain nosler partitions.
    one guy I hunted with for decades used a browning BLR in 358 win with a 250 grain speer bullet,
    one other guy used a 270 win single shot with 150 grain hornadys exclusively.
    eventually it became obvious even to me that while my larger caliber rifles worked flawlessly,
    other people were racking up similar success records with a fairly wide range of calibers just as successfully,
    and it was more related to the skill of the rifleman and proper bullet selection than the caliber or head stamp on the cartridge case.
    I still feel 100% confident in my personal choices but Im no longer convinced there any reason other choices don,t make much sense,
    theres just too many guys filling freezers with the 25-30 caliber rifles consistently.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2018
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    I think a great deal of the caliber debates not so much about results as it is about you perception of the results,
    Ive used a 340 wby or a 375 H&H for decades on elk hunts because the first few elk I killed I used a 30/06, and although hit correctly with good bullets those elk turned and ran.
    now they didn,t go far, before dropping but I was very UN-impressed at the time and wanted something that hit harder, because I felt a well hit elk should show it on bullet impact..
    After decades of hunting it became rather obvious at least to me that a rifle can deliver a mortal wound, but not get the Elks instant response indicating its mortally hit.
    now after decades of dressing out dead elk I can tell you that the larger caliber rifles do tend to produce deeper and more extensive wound channels, but thats not the same as more deadly, once you have enough damage on bullet impact to produce a mortal or fatal wound, increasing its size or depth doesn,t make the game any deader.
    One of my friends fathers owns and hunts with a 257 Roberts usually loaded the 115 grain nosler partitions or 100 grain speers.
    since both his dad and I are are over 60 years old we don,t move as fast as some of the younger guys so we decided to still hunt some rather steep well wooded canyons, I was interested in seeing what his 257 Roberts could do,and since he had a cow permit I felt we could get him an elk fairly easily.
    It took 4 days of hunting but on the fourth day he got a shot and as I expected the elk ran as though un-hit, but it only ran about 60 yards before falling.
    when I think back over all the elk Ive shot or seen shot, it becomes rather obvious that theres a pattern,well hit elk die rather quickly but most don,t drop on bullet impact.
    Your chances of dropping one on bullet impact have more to do with exact bullet placement and if the animals already running or just standing, and a more extensive wound caused by a larger and heavier bullet seems to help the odds, but its correct shot placement that kills or faulty shot placement that lets them run a good distance, my 340 wby is no more deadly than my 30/06 was, but it does seem to get their attention better.
    some times youll find your rifle seems to find a limited number of bullets really compatible , I used to own a ruger 25/06 bolt action,that would produce sub-1" groups rather consistently with speer, remington and nosler 100 grain bullets but it would throw the 115-120 grain of most brands into 2"-3" patterns.
    I used that rifle for a few years on mule deer with excellent result's until I traded it for a ruger #1 in the same caliber
    that was much less finicky about the ammo used
  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    I got asked by a guy at the range recently why I carry a 340 wby or a 375 H&H on most elk hunts where I think I might see longer range shots.
    let me first point out that Im fully comfortable shooting targets out at 500-600 yards but while hunting I try to limit the range I shoot game at to under 350 yards, (just so you understand the ranges Im referring too)
    just a bit of experience, when I first started elk hunting almost all the older guys were using Remington slide action rifles, caliber 30/06 with 220grain peters ammo,this combo worked for those guys and it worked for me on the first few years hunting elk, but I was not all that impressed as elk even well hit tended to run off and drop after a short run. and while a 30/06 is not all that exotic it worked reasonably well in the area we hunted which was mostly step narrow canyons were shots over 300 yards where non-existent. but one gentlemen had and carried a 300 weatherby, he had loaded that with hand loaded 165 grain bullets (I THINK SIERRA)the first elk I saw him shoot dropped instantly, two years later I saw him shoot a mule deer, same result,in both cases once we started dressing out the game it became obvious there was a great deal of blood shoot UN-salvageable meat. even though the game instantly dropped on bullet impact,there was a problem, in the results in my opinion, now that impressed me when I was in my early 20s back in the early 1970s.
    I started asking questions and found by asking the older guys and reading a good deal,that swapping to a 180-200 grain bullet would have changed the results.
    It was not the caliber (.308) because our 30/06 rifles produced much different results, it was the bullet used and much higher velocity, while that velocity flattened the trajectory and dramatically increased the bullet expansion, it also destroyed a great deal of meat.
    I started asking even more questions and the next year I purchased a 340 weatherby but used 250 grain bullets loaded to about 2860fps,and when I tried a 375 H&H with 270 grain bullets at about 2600fps I got very similar results and I had found , at least in my opinion the best of both worlds, both the 340 weatherby and 375 H&H hit noticeably harder that the 30/06 they replaced and punched thru without causing all the damage the 300 weatherby one of my mentors was using,or the damage it had caused.
    as in most things a balance needs to be struck to get the best results, and in my experience a bullet with a sectional density in the .260-.300 range pushed to about 2300-2900 fps will tend to work fairly well, lower velocity reduces effective range, lighter bullets with a lower sectional density, pushed to over 3000fps tend to expend too rapidly or don,t work as consistently
    it came down to the fact that the bullets back in the day held together fairly well at impact velocity's lower than about 2700fpc, but lighter bullets pushed to over 3000 fps at impact tended to act like varmint hollow points and turned to shrapnel/glitter

    The Sectional Density of Rifle Bullets

    By Chuck Hawks

    Sectional density (SD) is the numerical result of a calculation that compares a bullet's weight to its diameter. To calculate a bullet's sectional density divide the bullet's weight (in pounds) by its diameter (in inches), squared. The higher the SD number the better the SD and the heavier a bullet is in proportion to its diameter. SD stays the same for all bullets of the same weight in the same caliber; shape does not affect SD.

    SD is important because it has a significant effect on penetration. Other things being equal (like impact velocity, bullet design and material, etc.) the higher the SD number, the better the bullet's penetration. In other words, a skinny bullet of a given weight tends to penetrate better than a fat bullet of the same weight, because it concentrates the same force on a smaller area of the target. For example, if other factors are equal, a 150 grain .270 bullet will penetrate better than a 150 grain .35 caliber bullet. Penetration is important because the bullet must get well inside an animal to disrupt the functioning of its vital organs. A bullet that fails to penetrate the fur, skin, muscle and bone necessary to reach the vital organs is very unlikely to bring an animal down.

    Probably the best way to compare different calibers is by SD, not bullet weight. Comparing calibers by bullet weight can be deceiving. For example, the .270 Winchester and .30-06, which are based on the same case, can both shoot 150 grain bullets. However, the 150 grain .30-06 bullet (SD .226) is best used for CXP2 (deer size) game, while the 150 grain .270 bullet (SD .279) is most appropriate for CXP3 (elk size) game. The 150 grain .270 bullet should actually be compared to the 180 grain .30-06 bullet (SD .271), as both of these bullets are appropriate for CXP3 game in their respective calibers and boast similar SD's. This is important to remember when comparing rifle bullets.

    Here are some typical small game, varmint and small predator (CXP1) hunting bullets and their sectional densities:

    .172" (.17) 20 grain, SD .097
    .172" (.17) 25 grain, SD .121
    .204" (.20) 33 grain, SD .113
    .204" (.20) 40 grain, SD .137
    .222" (.22LR) 40 grain, SD .116
    .224" (5.56mm) 55 grain, SD .157
    .224" (5.56mm) 60 grain, SD .171
    .224" (5.56mm) 68 grain, SD .194
    .243" (.24) 58 grain, SD .140
    .243" (.24) 80 grain, SD .194
    .257" (.25) 87 grain, SD .188

    Looking at those figures illustrates why the military has had so much problem with the penetration of 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem.) bullets in combat. Human beings are CXP2 size animals and none of these .224" bullets have adequate SD for the job, let alone for penetrating barrier materials and light armor. It also shows why none of these varmint weight bullets, regardless of the velocity at which they can be driven, should ever be used to shoot deer and other medium size game animals.

    Here are some typical hunting bullets and their sectional densities that are recognized as effective for medium size big game animals (CXP2), such as deer, antelope, sheep and goats:

    .243" (6mm) 95 grain, SD .230
    .243" (6mm) 100 grain, SD .242
    .257" (.25) 100 grain, SD .216
    .257" (.25) 115 grain, SD .249
    .264" (6.5mm) 120 grain, SD .247
    .277" (.270) 130 grain, SD .242
    .284" (7mm) 140 grain, SD .248
    .308" (7.62mm) 150 grain, SD .226
    .312" (.303) 150 grain, SD .220
    .323" (8mm) 170 grain, SD .233
    .338" (.338) 180 grain, SD .225
    .358" (.35) 200 grain, SD .223

    As you can see, all of the above have a sectional density over .215 and the average is in the .23's. This is the kind of SD you should look for in a bullet for medium game.

    For large (CXP3) game, such as red stag, kudu, elk and moose anywhere in the world, bullets with higher sectional density should be chosen. Good examples of such bullets would be:

    .264" (6.5mm) 140 grain, SD .287
    .277" (.270) 140 grain, SD .261
    .277" (.270) 150 grain, SD .279
    .284" (7mm) 150 grain, SD .266
    .284" (7mm) 154 grain, SD .273
    .284" (7mm) 160 grain, SD .283
    .308" (7.62mm) 180 grain, SD .271
    .312" (.303) 180 grain, SD .266
    .323" (8mm) 200 grain, SD .274
    .338" (.338) 225 grain, SD .281
    .358" (.35) 250 grain, SD .279
    .366" (9.3mm) 250 grain, SD .267
    .366" (9.3mm) 270 grain, SD .288
    .375" (.375) 270 grain, SD .274
    .458" (.45) 400 grain, SD .272

    All of the bullets immediately above have a sectional density over .260 and most exceed .270. Bullets of this sectional density, if adequately constructed, have proven able to penetrate deep into large game animals.

    I did a quick survey of the hunting bullets with SD's over .300 available in common factory loads and to the reloader in the various rifle calibers. These are the top calibers and bullet weights for maximum penetration. In medium and big bore calibers (.338+), they have proven adequate for hunting thick-skinned dangerous game (CXP4):

    .264" (6.5mm) 160 grain, SD .328
    .284" (7mm) 175 grain, SD .310
    .308" (7.62mm) 220 grain, SD .331
    .312" (.303) 215 grain, SD .316
    .323" (8mm) 220 grain, SD .301
    .338" (.338) 250 grain, SD .313
    .366" (9.3mm) 286 grain, SD .305
    .375" (.375) 300 grain, SD .305
    .416" (.416) 400 grain, SD .330
    .458" (.45) 500 grain, SD .341

    Most people will not be surprised to find the heavy .338 to .458 caliber bullets on the above list. However, many may be surprised to find that heavy weight bullets for the small bore 6.5mm, 7mm, .30, .303 and 8mm calibers are right in there with the best medium and big bore bullets in terms of SD. This may help explain why these small bore calibers are so versatile.

    these are the bullets most of the guys in my elk camp use and I can,t remember single bullet failure

    cal .277..speer 150 grain ... =000211605

    cal .30...speer 200 grain ... =000212211

    cal .338 hornady 250 grain ... box-of-100

    cal .358 .speer 250 grain ... =000212453

    cal .375 hornady 270 grain ... -box-of-50

    cal .458 remington 405 grain. ... soft-point

    anything in a 257 roberts to a 458 LOTT works if your a good shot and use a high sectional density slower expanding projectile,
    but you must know the games anatomy well and be able to place shots precisely
    favorite deer hunt combos
    45 grains of h4350 under a speer 100 grain in a 257 roberts
    21 grains of H110 under a 310 grain cast bullet in a 44 mag marlin carbine

    Ive found a 150 grain 270 hornady bullet over 53 grains of H4831 in a 270 win,!/
    165 grain speer over 55 grains of WW760 in a 30/06 sprng
    a 250 speer in a 358 win over 44 grains of IMR3031
    and a 405 grain remington or speer bullet over a charge of 50 grains of IMR 3031 in a 450 marlin
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2018
  8. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    one of my friends fathers has been hunting elk with a 257 Roberts and loads speer 100 gain bullets,
    my late hunting partner used a 358 win with 250 gain speer bullets for decades,
    Ive used a 270 win, and a 458 win on hunts, after seeing the results they have gotten,
    and my experience, I gave up worrying much about the caliber of the rifle, I or anyone else carry being adequate. most will work fine under ideal conditions, but remember conditions WON,T be perfect most of the time.
    now my personal experience has shown my my 340 wby and 375 H&H are about IDEAL for my personal elk rifles but its mostly due to both having a flawless record,and my confidence using those rifles, not because that power levels mandatory. a 338 win or 35 whelen , even a 30/06 with the correct ammo,have also been well proven to work well.
    After decades of watching Elk being killed,Ive found getting in close and accurately placing the shot seems to be far more critical than caliber used.
    youll do better spending time concentrating on getting good with your rifle of choice and learning how to find and get in close to elk , than worrying about the caliber of rifle as long as the bullets penetrate and expand well, and your in physical shape to cover a good deal of territory.
    I found this picture posted on the internet, it could be a clone of the sako carbine Ive used for decades, if the stock color was about 6 shades darker walnut ,
    mines about the color of a semi sweet dark chocolate

    theres obviously an advantage to selecting a caliber with the range, and retained energy to effectively reach out too at least 300 yards accurately, but properly loaded, anything from the power level of a 257 Roberts or larger will work in skilled hands

    I was having lunch with several of the guys, I hunt with after going to the range and sighting in, and trying a few new loads in a couple rifles , when one of the younger guys (TOM) asked me how long Ive had my 340wby and 375 H&H sako , he had seen me shooting .
    when I told him Id been using them to hunt elk longer than hes been alive , I got this amazed look, and he asked me if I didn,t realize that theres been , in his words
    "vast improvements made in elk rifles in the last 40 years"

    I almost choked on my beer, as they say around here!

    I just grinned and asked what he was referring too,
    as far as I've seen, you can,t really improve on what a 340 wby or a 375 H&H can do, on any elk hunt
    and was he aware of what those cartridges could do?

    one of the other old geezers (frank)who was at the table, just grinned and said, you know old grumpy theres killed his share and then some of elk, and I know he owns a 257 wby,and a 300 wby rifle also, so before you go getting into discussing the merits or flaws of some caliber you might think is superior you might just want to research your choice, because I know that what ever you might be thinking, you can only kill an elk just so dead and grumpy theres been doing just that for about 45 years now, and I can,t remember him having a problem.
    he then said something I sure could not dispute " keep in mind ,its the skill and experience of the guy holding the rifle, and his ability to place his shots under field conditions, not the head stamp on the case that matters"
    Tom would probable stay up nights if he had known RON, my late hunting partner that spent 30 years hunting successfully with a 358 win BLR carbine
    yeah, I,ve often wondered if elk being a reasonably large, 400-800 plus lb animal had a tendency,
    if wounded,,too stomp and gore hunters like a cape buffalo ,or claw and bite like a Kodiak bear,
    if we would see what I consider rather un-realistically light caliber rifles being used on elk.
    I know a few guys in my hunt club think theres nothing unsporting or unethical in using a 24-25 caliber rifle,
    on elk, I know of a few cases where several follow -up shots were required,
    now obviously bullet selection shot placement and hunter skill plays a huge part here, not just the cartridge used....
    but still I think if the hunter could reasonably be expected to be at serious risk if he failed to deliver a first shot stop mortal wound,
    we might see a shift to larger bores and a bit more power in respect to the consequences of failing to deliver a rapidly lethal wound
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2019
  9. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require
    I'd have to point out a fact that all too many guys either ignore or never considered,
    the projectile does ALL the work and damage! where you hit on the animals anatomy,IS CRITICAL
    rapid lethality depend on where you place the projectile and how much damage is done.
    and how much damage to vital organs and/or skeletal structure,being done,
    should obviously be considered the major factor in potential lethality expected.
    small fast expanding projectiles are devastatingly lethal... IF placed correctly,
    IF THEY destroy the heart/lung area but the deer can still run very fast and
    well for up to 10 seconds or so , and they may not leave much of a blood trail,
    larger more heavily constructed projectiles, like a 180 grain 30 cal, or a 250 grain 358 bullet open slower and in a far more controlled manor ,
    they may not do as much damage to the lungs,initially but they are 100% lethal if shots are well placed.
    and frequently leave a blood trail.
    and they do tend to be much more consistent and reliable at busting skeletal structure,
    provide deep penetration through muscle and they do tend to leave exit wounds more often.
    if you hand-load you can custom fabricate ammo specifically matching your requirements.
    traditional brush cartridges like a 45/70 or 444 marlin can provide exceptional penetration,
    (especially if loaded with heavy for caliber cast bullets,)(these can be depended on to exit deer )
    or be loaded with fast expanding hollow point bullets to give rapid expansion.
    (1) where you place the shot is critical (know the games anatomy)
    (2) use of a heavy for caliber projectile tends to greatly aid deep penetration
    (3)the larger caliber and heavier the projectile, used the more consistent deep penetration
    (4)deep penetration is a plus only if you use it to destroy vital organs,(heart/lungs)
    and critical structure like spine and shoulders, (see #1)

    Ive used or seen guys I know use most common caliber rifles
    if your using anything pushing a premium quality bullet that has a .210 or higher sectional density,
    to over about 2300 fps
    that weights at least 100 grains, and not getting decent results, on deer,
    your issue is related too less than ideal shot placement in most cases

    I have several friends that have had a long standing discussion about which brush caliber carbine is the best choice, for deer hunting, some guys like the 30/30, some the 44 mag, a few prefer the 35 remington, all are quick handling and fairly low recoil choices, all of them work if you place your shots well.
    but theres dozens of other potential choices and there no reason not to select a caliber with a good deal more long range punch like a 308 win,270,win or 35 whelen,etc. so don,t limit your caliber selection to what most guys consider brush calibers, if theres a reasonable chance youll be hunting larger game or longer ranges.the brush carbine calibers mentioned above, are at their most effective at under 150-200 yards max.
    Ive re-read this thread several times and can,t help but feel that anyone reading thru the thread might get the idea a 30/30 is much superior to a 44 carbine ,because of its slightly higher velocity, I have not found that to be true, now obviously the load used and where you hit game mater, Ive used a hard cast 280 grain-and- several 300 grain bullet designs with a fairly wide flat nose in my 44 ammo,Ive used LEE and lyman,plus a few NEI designs.
    in my experience Ive seen little or no difference in the performance on deer and hogs between the 30/30 I used with remington 170 grain soft points and
    what I feel is a properly loaded 44mag, yes this 44 mag is a darn handy little carbine but its hardly ideal if ranges extend much past 150 yards, or on game larger than deer or hogs.
    now Ive only killed about a 1/2 dozen hogs and 3 deer with the 30/30 but Ive killed several dozen hogs and at least 8 deer in the last 45 years, that I can remember with a 44 mag carbine or revolver and the results have been similar, in a few cases game dropped where it was hit, in most cases it made a short run then dropped, with either caliber.
    the point is that in my opinion either caliber does a good job, but neither is as effective as the guns that hit with more authority like a 308 win, 30/06 sprg or 358 win, but that in no way makes them inadequate for the job, they were designed to do which is killing game like hogs and deer at under 150 yards, and I bet 80% of white tail deer and hogs are killed at shorter ranges.

    getting more than 1200fps out of either 44 mag gun is very easy, and a 300 grain hard cast bullet at over 1000fps is all thats required to produce a mortal wound ... pe=Handgun
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2018
  10. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    one factor that doesn,t get covered much is the fact that shots on elk should be taken with a rifle thats really able to put them down rapidly because an elk that can still run after its hit can travel into some really miserable areas to get him out of if he gets the chance, and shots can and frequently do come near dark where tracking can be nearly impossible at times and waiting for day light to track might result in a lost elk especially if it rains or snows over night.
    The more knockdown and penetration , you have and the better you are thru practice and the more you know about elk anatomy the better.
    the better your rifle is at reaching the vitals from odd angles and your ability to accurately place your shot at unknown ranges the better off youll be and the closer you get the more likely youll succeed.
    Now Im sure I can kill and elk with a 357 mag carbine under ideal conditions, that doesn,t make it an elk rifle. and on the opposite side of the argument, a rifle that kicks enough that , it makes you hesitate or reluctant to fire it effects your accuracy, and should never be selected, its a balance that must be found.
    and theres a hell of a strong tendency for many guys who spent thousands of dollars on an elk hunt to just shoot for hair, on the only legal elk they might have seen in days on the last couple days of a hunt.
    and hope for the best..I prefer a rifle that will do a fine job in less than perfect conditions, because that is what the modern elk hunter faces..This is especially true if he is on a do it yourself deal.. We often forget many of the old small bore writers from years pasted almost always hunted with a guide..If the elk ran into rough country after a hit, it was up to the guide to get it out..Just something to think about..elk at times can be very easy to put down, but they can also absorb a lot of lead if not hit right with that first shot.
    rifles and bullets have improved but your still responsible for placing your shot accurately with a decent caliber rifle, and having a very good understanding of elk anatomy,
    just because you can occasionally kill an elk with something like a single shot from a 223 win does not indicate its a great choice! if the rifle caliber and bullet you select can,t penetrate to the vitals from most angles at ranges up to about 300 yards your going to be at a disadvantage.
    Id suggest the 308 win and 7mm-08 loaded with a 150 grain bullet as about the minimum reasonable choices, the 30/06 and 270 win certainly work in experienced hands
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2015
  11. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require



    Because game animals can be shot using lead bullets, the potential for consumption of game meat to represent an avenue for lead ingestion has seen clinical and epidemiological study. In a recent study conducted by the CDC,[64] a cohort from North Dakota was enrolled and asked to self-report historical consumption of game meat, and participation in other activities that could cause lead exposure. The study found that participants' age, sex, housing age, current hobbies with potential for lead exposure, and game consumption were all associated with blood lead level (PbB).

    This study has been cited by popular media as simple evidence that hunting increases exposure to lead poisoning, prompting the University of Illinois Extension to release a statement that there is no such risk.[65] Concerning the CDC report, the authors' conclusion in a related Epi-AID Trip Report[66] notes the small increase associated with game consumption in the study, and urges interpretation with respect to environmental context:

    While this study suggests that consumption of wild game meat can adversely affect PbB, no participant had PbB higher than the CDC recommended threshold of 10μg/dl—the level at which CDC recommends case management; and the geometric mean PbB among this study population (1.17μg/dl) was lower than the overall population geometric mean PbB in the United States (1.60 μg/dl).[67] The clinical significance of low PbB in this sample population and the small quantitative increase of 0.30μg/dl in PbB associated with wild game consumption should be interpreted in the context of naturally occurring PbB.[66]

    Some hunters[who?] may argue that lead-based bullets offer greater accuracy and more humane kills of game animals than might copper-based bullets, which represent the most commonly available, though expensive, alternative to lead. Bullet designs vary greatly, and some lead-based bullets are highly resistant to fragmentation, offering hunters the ability to clean game animals with negligible risk of including lead fragments in prepared meat. Other bullets are prone to fragmentation and exacerbate the risk of lead ingestion from prepared meat. In practice, use of a non-fragmenting bullet, and proper cleaning of the game animal's wound, can eliminate the risk of lead ingestion from eating game;[60] however, isolating such practice to experimentally determine its association with blood lead levels in study is difficult to do. Bismuth is an element currently being introduced as a lead-replacement for shotgun pellets used in waterfowl hunting. The primary purpose is to prevent water contamination, however rather than making meat safe to consume.[citation needed]

    Lead birdshot is banned in some areas, but this is primarily for the benefit of wildfowl and their predators, rather than humans.[68] Non-lead alternatives include steel, tungsten-nickel-iron, bismuth-tin, and tungsten-polymer.

    Any time you see something like those x-rays posted you need to consider the source and any agenda they might have.
    and keep in mind the bullet used the velocity its used at and where it impacts has a huge effect on any chance of bullet fragmentation.
    now I DON,T think this is nearly the issues its being portrayed to be, in 40 plus years I can,t remember finding bullet fragments in deer or elk meat, mostly I suspect because I don,t pack out bloodshot meat, if you use a projectile designed to open in a controlled manor and take care with your shot placement I don,t think this issue is nearly as critical as the x-rays above might have you think, now those x-rays look like something you might expect from a 150 grain 30 caliber bullet pushed to 3400 fps from a 300 wby in a deer shot in a shoulder at 50 yards , use something like a 250 grain speer from a 358 win or a 270 hornady from a 375 H&H and aim for the heart,or lungs and not the shoulder and it punches a nice silver dollar size hole thru the heart, or lungs leaving zero damage to the shoulder, etc
    yes both those rifles throw heavy bullets at well under 3000fps , but the fact remains the result is far less bullet fragmentation, and deep penetration and in most cases exit wounds
  12. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    I laughed when I read that because I think of all the guys that will spend hours debating the effective difference between some cartridges like lets say a 30/06 and a 338 as a deer or elk rifle,or if a 4X scope is better than a 3x/9x, etc. and when I go hunting out west I find easily 70% of the less experienced guys I hunt with for the first few years can,t hit crap from field positions , can,t tell 250 yards from 350 yards and get lost 700 yards from camp, can,t tell which direction tracks are going, and don,t know game anatomy and most are out of breath inside of 200 yards even just walking, yet they are concerned with the rifle caliber on the sling on their back,that they can,t hit crap with, while some of the old geezers walk them into the ground and use everything from a 257 roberts to a 45/70 to collect elk very I said before its not the rifle, its the skill of the guy using it!

  13. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    not all hits are instantly or near instantly fatal and since you don,t really know where the bullet impacted the best you can do is try to follow up in the morning, use of a good hunting dog a buddy might own ,might be useful to follow the blood trail if it exists.
    the reaction sounds like a high spine creasing shot that might only have cut shoulder muscle, if so the deer should recover, but without facts you can,t be sure.
    one of my friends fathers hunts elk with a 257 Roberts, and in his hands its a deadly rifle, but I know he would have placed the bullet a bit differently or passed on a quartering too you angle even though hes a very good shoot and has used 100 grain speer bullets for decades on elk.
    shots that you can reliably pull off on deer with something like a 200 grain speer in a 30/06 , or a 250 grain in a 35 whelen,are not easily accomplished with a 24-25 caliber projectile that might weight 1/2 or 2/5ths as much.
    it helps if you visualize a soft ball size target located between the shoulders, but located just lower than mid chest.Its generally been my experience, that if you wait for a fairly clear shot at a reasonable range
    And to me thats rarely over 200-250 yards and I want to sit or be prone with a bi-pod if thats an option,
    , where your sure YOU can place the shot through the intended anatomy,and you
    place the proper bullet in the correct place, you'll tend too find your deer's blood trails tend to be very short,
    Id say most deer I have shot dropped either within a yard or two or they made a frantic run,
    going nose first in the dirt well under 30 yards
    I listed my favorite deer rifle earlier, they all work.
    deer that run very far were not hit well, in most cases,
    yes theres always a few odd cases , nothings absolute!
    but Id bet you 5 to 1 odds all day long that given a shot I'm comfortable making,
    the deer in questions not going anyplace very distant from the bullets point of impact.
    Admittedly I have nowhere near the experience some people may have, but in 50 years ,
    of deer hunting and a couple dozen elk , make me feel really confident in pointing out the results Ive seen,
    are rather boringly repetitive, or put differently,
    if you do something over and over and get the same result every time you kind of expect the same result the next time!

    look at the two thin red and green lines pictured above , neither is ideal, both enter about where a typical broad side shot should
    the thicker blue and purple impact points would be more effective shots

    thats why Ive used a a rifle in more than 30 caliber throwing a 200 grain or heavier bullet on most hunts.
    358 blr,
    35 whelen remington slide action,
    375H&H carbine

    my 340 weatherby almost interchangeably all loaded with 250-270 grain bullets and yes they all worked great, but Id be amazed if the average shot distance exceeded 130 yards over the last 43 plus years.
    Im a firm believer in not shooting until your sure of exact shot placement and using a decent rifle of over 30 caliber but it not the gun, its the guy operating it that makes the difference , Im sure most of the guys I hunt with could be effective with a 257 roberts.
    you certainly don,t need a magnum to be an effective hunter.
    when they were available I purchased a browning BLR in 257 Roberts ,
    with the speer 100 grain bullet,(good results on deer)

    this 120 grain speer bullet preferred for elk
    its one of the consistently most accurate rifles Ive ever owned,
    unfortunately I got exceptional accuracy using RL12 (no longer sold)
    h414 and imr 4350 work, (1"-1.2 inch) 3 shot 100 yard groups of the bench
    both allow near 3000 fps with consistent accuracy, but are just not quite as accurate
    RL12 produced rather consistent, 3/4" 3 shot 100 yard groups of the bench
    one of my friends dads, wanted to buy it badly but eventually found one on sale,
    and hes used it several times to kill elk.
    it was a real eye opener to see him kill a rather large elk with one well placed shot the first time.
    It certainly made me have a good deal more respect of the 257 roberts BLR
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2019
  14. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    In the elk hunting club I have been a member of for decades I have done almost all the reloading for decades and I learned long ago that you concentrate on accuracy and don,t mention velocity.
    for many years we have had a remington slide action in either 30/06 shooting a 200 grain speer or a 35 whelen shooting a 250 grain speer bullet as the camp back-up gun, both rifles have a long track record of bringing in dead elk with a single shot in the hands of many of the guys who grab those rifles to "change their luck" if they don,t see elk during the first 3-4 days we hunt, BOTH RIFLES HAVE A NEAR MYTHICAL STANDING,theres been arguments over who gets to use the back-up rifle some years! especially the 35 whelen, AND AS A RESULT THERES NOW SEVERAL MEMBERS WHO WENT OUT AND PURCHASED SIMILAR 7600 RIFLES IN 35 WHELEN
    Ive always sighted that 35 whelen in at 3.5" high at 100 yards and just told the guys in camp its sighted in dead on at 200 yards, I try to never mention velocity (which is loaded to about 2450 fps)both those rifles have seen a good deal of use, no one questions their ability to bring down game , but id bet the vast majority of the guys have no clue as to the bullet velocity.
  15. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: velocity or bullet mass and caliber, how much is require

    this is an amazing thread with lots of great info,pointing out the results of a good selection of hunting bullets many of us use, yet I can,t help looking back and pointing out that that 265 grain hard cast bullet, you might have listed partly, as a bit of humor, seems to produce a good deal better results than the vast majority of the far more expensive and faster production projectiles listed,
    I hunt with a lee 310 grain hard cast bullet over 21 grains of H110 powder,in both my 44 mag marlin carbine and my 10" S&W revolver,and Ive tried the ranch dog 44 bullet referred too, and the LEE design in the 310 grain , cast from 95% WW alloy and 5% pure tin generally out performs that slightly lighter projectile.
    yeah admittedly comparing a hard cast 310 grain launched at maybe 1500fps from a carbine vs a jacketed projectile that launched at 2700fps-3300fps is comparing apples to oranges.
    but it also points out that higher projectile speed and lower projectile weight, used to flatten trajectory's may not be overly helpful when trying to maximize penetration.
    yes, I.m sure theres a huge percentage of the guys reading this that are absolutely convinced their super fast caliber choice is ideal,and NO! I'm not suggesting your current choice or mine in elk rifles needs to be changed. and theres little doubt that a 270 win or 7mm mag or 300 mag can make hitting game out past 300 yards far easier.but like Ive stated before , Ive shot almost all my deer and elk over the last 45 years at well under 300 yards and the vast majority at probably 120 yards or LESS.
    now Im not giving up my 30/06,375 H&H or 340 WBY, for my 44 mag carbine ,on any elk hunts, but the testing does make me think , that its hardly the handicap that most guys would have you believe, or that a 450 marlin pushing a 405 grain bullet at 1900 fps would be a bad choice either.
    while I love the test, I looked at the results, and was rather shocked,as too the results my favorite bullet in 30 caliber produced in the test.
    I found listed as, well, it was damn near the worst listed! performance..sucked in that test,..then I thought thru decades of results Ive seen on deer and elk and having had zero failures it occurred to me that Ive never shot an elk in the shoulder, and neither has anyone else I hunt with,tried punching holes in shoulder joint,s. Id point out that when you shoot a deer or elk deliberately in the shoulder joint, your sure to loose a good deal of that shoulder,meat.

    a 200 speer 30 cal launched from several of the camps 30/06 rifles, has a very good track record,dealing with ,punching thru the lungs and heart area of game, it has for decades produced very dead elk and deer!
    the test is certainly interesting, but after using a bullet with complete success for decades in a 30/06 I just can,t jump on the premium bullet band wagon, and abandon a well known productive tool that we have used successfully for many years.the common 30/06 is a very frequent choice among the hunters I know and in skilled hands its fully adequate in most conditions when used to kill deer and elk, easily filling the requirements and with darn few perceived or actual limitations doing so.. ... =000212211

  16. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    interesting bit of info on the 9.3 x 62 mauser and 35 whelen
    keep in mind that probably 90% of all big game is shot at ranges UNDER 300 yards (no mater what the magazine articles would like to have you think) and a 250-300 grain expanding bullet from either cartridge will do an exceptionally effective job on most north american game if your in skilled experienced hands despite what some people may think is old tech ballistics, as either caliber can push a 250 grain or heavier bullet in excess of 2500fps

    Norma 9.3x62
    Written By: Ganyana

    "There isn't really a great deal to say about it. Everybody found it so generally satisfactory that there wasn't anything to start a discussion."

    This is how John "Pondoro" Taylor sums up the 9.3x62 Mauser in the classic African Rifles and Cartridges. From the moment of its introduction in 1905 until it was hobbled by ammunition supply problems in the 1960s, the 9.3x62 reigned supreme as the allaround, and probably most popular non-military, calibre in Africa.

    When cartridges loaded with smokeless powder and jacketed bullets were first introduced, a truly remarkable small-bore revolution began among hunters and farmers across the continent. The military rifles that introduced this revolution were chambered for the 7x57, .303, 6.5mm Mannlicher, 8mm Lebel, or 7.92 Mauser. Their flat trajectories and almost unbelievable penetration changed the way people thought about rifles.

    The Martini-Henrys, Snider-Enfields, and 11.2mm Mausers they replaced packed a most impressive clout on small and medium game, but they were no slouches in the recoil department, had a rainbow-like trajectory, and their military bullets were too soft to give the desired penetration on big game. Almost overnight, the old black-powder rounds became obsolete, and only those who couldn't afford a new rifle were left with the older ones.

    A good example of this rapid change was Zimbabwe, where the Martini-Henry (.577/450, roughly equivalent to the American .45-90) was THE universal rifle up until 1894. By March, 1896, when the first outbreaks of rebellion occurred, the Martini was obsolete. Those remaining in Government stocks were in disrepair, while many civilians and all of the militia had .303s. By the end of the war, everybody had acquired a .303, and the story was much the same throughout Africa.

    What cut the small-bore revolution short was the rinderpest epidemic from 1894 to '97, which ravaged southern and central Africa. Antelope died in their millions, becoming locally extinct in many areas.

    This huge drop in animal numbers meant a change in hunting ethics. Prior to this, it was accepted that any animal shot at, which did not immediately show signs that it was badly hit, was assumed to be a miss, and the hunter went after another one. Now, however, game was scarce. It might take a couple of days of hard hunting to get a second shot, so the first one needed to bring the animal down quickly. Marksmanship on game improved, as did efforts to recover wounded animals.

    It didn't take long for people to realise that game had to be hit “just so” with the fullmetal jacketed military bullets in order to bring them down quickly. Softpoint ammunition improved the situation, but even these lacked the terminal clout of the old black-powder rounds, and was in very short supply to boot.

    By 1900, many hunters had either gone back to their Martinis or invested in one of the new medium bores being brought onto the market by the British and German gun trades. The British were also quick to introduce heavy-calibre rifles for use on dangerous game, but these were specialty weapons designed more for the gentleman hunter than the working professional or farmer. What the working man required was a cheap, reliable rifle chambered for a cartridge that would comfortably sort out a crop-raiding elephant or hippo, while at the same time securing good knock-down times on plains game for the pot. And, it had to do all of this with full-metal jacket bullets, with a recoil mild enough to allow sustained fire in case the owner needed it for self defence.

    The British were quick to meet this demand with the 400/350 Express (Rigby), the 400/360 (Purdey & Westley Richards), and the .375 Flanged Express (BSA). The Germans produced the 9x57 and 10.75x57.

    British rifles fell into two categories: Very expensive, high-quality guns chambered for proprietary cartridges, or very cheap and nasty ones chambered for the .375 Express. Only the .350 Rigby achieved any measure of success, but it was available only in expensive Rigby rifles (even Rigby’s single-shots cost more than twice that of a B-grade Mauser), while proprietary ammunition was expensive and sometimes difficult to obtain.

    In addition, the Boers, French, German, and, to some extent, Portuguese colonists, were not exactly pro-British, and were unlikely to buy another nation’s rifle unless it was the only choice or offered clear advantages over any home-produced product.

    German cartridges based on the military 7.92 (8x57) round necked up were great on softskinned game, but lacked penetration to kill elephants with frontal shots, and were marginal for raking shots on game such as buffalo or hippo. It was into this market that Paul Mauser launched his 9.3x62.

    The standard Model ’98 Mauser rifle cost only £5 (US$20) in 1905, and it was renowned for its reliability. The rifles came with acceptable sights, were superbly accurate, and the
    earlier 8x57 and 9x57 cartridges were easily the best of the early smokeless small bores, although they lacked the knockdown power needed for the largest game. The 9.3 corrected the power problem while not having excessive recoil. In short, it was a well balanced cartridge, loaded with good soft-point bullets or solids, and came in a reasonably priced, high-quality rifle. It was an instant success, and not only in the German colonies.

    To cater to the British market, Mauser introduced the A-grade rifle, with express sights and/or a peep sight, rhino- or buffalo-horn fore-ends and grip caps, and an English-style stock. Even with the extras, tthe 'A' class Mauser was still half the price of contemporary British rifles of similar quality, and they sold like the proverbial hot cakes to the colonists. Here at last was a serious all-around cartridge; its 286-grain bullets at 2350 fps had enough energy and penetration for amateur hunters and farmers to safely kill even elephants in all but the worst circumstances, while its moderate recoil made its use reasonable even on such small game such as warthog or impala.

    The velocity was high for the period – higher than contemporary British cartridges – and gave a flat enough trajectory for all hunting out to 200 metres or so without having to change the sight settings. This was just what the working man ordered.

    As its popularity spread, so did conditions that further enhanced its popularity, including a ready supply of ammunition. Anywhere from the Cape to Cairo where there was a general store, 9.3 ammunition could be obtained. This was vital to the farmer or hunter who was often cut off for months on end by rains, local wars, or rinderpest. In fact, the 9.3 came to have a truly international flavour by NOT being a country’s military cartridge, and this further enhanced its general appeal. By comparison, .303 ammunition was not available anywhere in Africa outside the British colonies, while 8mm Lebel ammunition was confined to French Africa, and so on. Wherever you went in all six of the colonial powers’ spheres of influence, however, 9.3x62 ammunition was available.

    The only use for which Taylor considered the 9.3 unsuitable was following up wounded elephant in thick cover, and most hunters would agree: Penetration is there aplenty, enabling the bullet to reach the vitals from any angle, but the sheer bullet energy needed to turn a close-quarters charge just simply is not – but then, nor is it with the .375 H&H.

    Nevertheless, the 9.3 found immediate acceptance among even large-bore fans in the professional elephant-hunting fraternity, for use in open country where shots over 20 metres were the norm. In thick cover, or following up a wounded elephant, the professional would switch to his heavy rifle ( a .500, .505, or larger). Even die-hard small-bore fans (including W.D.M. Bell) kept at least a .450 double in reserve for wounded jumbo in the thick stuff.

    Wounded elephant aside, the 9.3 fitted the bill for everything else.

    George Rushby favoured his 9.3 double for both elephant-control work and for shooting lions. Ten of the man-eaters of Njombe fell to George's 9.3, and he records with sorrow how he was forced to sell the 9.3 for financial reasons and purchase a .400 which, although just as effective on elephants, lacked the “shocking power” on the big cats. This, of course, was simply a matter of velocity, as the 9.3’s velocity is above the critical point at which explosive wounds occur in flesh (2200-2250 fps), and so the bullets tend to produce much more extensive wounds and shock to the central nervous system than larger, slower bullets.

    World War II marked the beginning of the end for the 9.3. Mauser stopped producing rifles, and by the 1960s, supplies of good-quality Kynoch and DWM ammunition became scarce. The Norma and Sellier & Bellot (Czech) ammunition that remained was designed for medium game up to eland or elk, and their solids were too poor to take against elephants. European rifles that remained in production were no longer cheap. Many hunters now coming to Africa were Americans who wanted cartridges with designations they could understand (Imperial measure, not metric), preferably with a belt to show they were a “magnum,”and chambered in a cheap, home-grown American rifle.

    It didn't matter that .375 H&H solids broke up far more readily than the 9.3’s, or that the .375 produced greater meat damage with no improvement in effectiveness, and all this with a significant increase in recoil. Ammunition was available, it was cheap, and a new Winchester or Remington was half the price of a Steyr-Mannlicher or Husquvarna. By the 1970s, the 9.3 was all but dead in Africa, although it remained very popular in Europe.

    In recent years, the 9.3 has seen something of a revival. Good quality Brno (CZ) rifles arrived on the market which are substantially cheaper than any quality .375. Supplies of new-generation Norma ammo became available, and custom bullet makers from Ken Stewart to Woodleigh began producing first-class 9.3mm bullets.

    People are rediscovering that the 9.3 is a great all-around rifle. For the man who occasionally gets to shoot a buffalo or elephant, and spends most of his time hunting kudu or eland, the 9.3 makes an awful lot of sense. Recoil is not excessive, nor the meat damage so severe as to make it an unreasonable choice even for game as small as impala, so its owner might as well use it on everything.

    This makes much more sense than doing most of your hunting with a small- or mediumbore rifle, then having to change to a different rifle, often with a longer bolt throw, for a buffalo hunt once in two or three years. A hunter who uses only one rifle knows it intimately, where it shoots at longer ranges, and so rarely causes screw-ups or wounds game. Loaded with good bullets, the 9.3 delivers the same terminal performance as a .375, and does so without the sharper recoil, longer action, and greater weight of its modern replacement.

    Norma currently offers 9.3x62 loads for just about everything. The solids are perfect for elephant and hippo (on land), while the 286-grain Swifts are buffalo medicine par excellence. They are also suitable for giraffe, hippo in the water, and general plains game.

    The Norma Oryx is a fast-expanding bonded bullet originally intended for moose but which works especially well on lion and leopard and is, of course, suitable for all plains game from impala up. In Europe, the Vulcan is a popular bullet for wild boar, giving limited penetration and rapid knock-down effect.

    For those who need very fast knock-down on moderate-size game, such as shooting bush pigs in the corn at night, the Plastic Point provides the most rapid knock-down of any Norma bullet. On game up to 250 pounds, with the 9.3 the result is as near a “bang-flop” as it is possible to get.

    For those who desire less recoil, Norma offers the lighter 232-grain bullets. The Oryx is loaded to full speed for medium-range shooting, and there is a pointed full-metal jacket design (Jactmatch). This is used in Scandinavia for training purposes, but it’s absolutely perfect for the “Tiny 10” (the smallest antelopes in Africa), where a regular soft point would destroy both trophy and meat.

    Overall, the classic Mauser 9.3x62 is a bit of overkill on dassies, and a bit short on horsepower for a tyrannosaur, but on everything in between it is perfectly adequate.

    the quite similar 35 whelen


    What are the suitable applications for the .35 Whelen in Africa? Especially with 275-and 310-grain Woodleighs?


    Your question is well timed because I am currently with Monty Kalogeras at his Safari Shooting School in Mason County, Texas. There is a very nice .35 Whelen here I have just shot. It is Monty's elk rifle of choice, with 250-grainers. This is fortunate because this is not a popular cartridge in Africa and I like to have personally shot all the cartridges I'm asked to write about.

    I have long been a fan of the 9.3 x 62mm, which is very close to the .35 Whelen. My Nine Three, as we call it, now has in excess of 650 buffalo to its credit. This is because this caliber (.366) is the legal minimum for the thick-skinned heavyweights in Zimbabwe --the country where I hunted professionally for two decades. I liked 300-grainers for buffalo, and with 286-grainers this rifle was also my favorite Zambezi Valley antelope rifle.

    Unfortunately .358 (the .35 Whelen) is not a legal thick-skinned dangerous-game caliber in Africa, and this limits its application out there. But having said that, the .35 Whelen would be a fine choice for all the antelope species all the way up to eland up to about 200 paces. Almost 90 percent of all shots at antelope in Africa are within this distance so you would be well covered with this cartridge. In fact, I think it is a good choice and I have already said so a number of times in my book, The Perfect Shot.

    With this in mind, good 250-grainers at about 2,500 fps would be my bullet weight of choice (instead of 275s or 310s) for all the antelope species, and good enough for shots out to that distance, maybe even a bit more if need be.

    When sighted in dead-on at 200 with 250-grainers at 2,500 fps, Monty's .35 Whelen is 3 inches high at 100, 6 low at 250, 12 low at 300, 18 low at 350, and 34 low at 400. This is his elk sight setting and it would also work a treat for African areas where the shots are longer.

    This cartridge would also work well for the cats, especially leopard and even lion over a bait with the right type of bullets. While I have no doubt that with good 310-grainers it would also work OK on buffalo, I cannot recommend this due to the legality factor.
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  17. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    I thought of this discussion on how some more massive projectiles at lower velocity have exceptionally deep penetration when I saw this short video
  18. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Ive been reading through this and a few similar threads , I handload for most of my buddies that don,t do it themselves, I own a decent chronograph and have been very involved in hunting for almost 50 years now and while I applaud the efforts being made to exploit the 270 win cartridge to maximize the potential, by the guys who want a low recoil cartridge to hunt with, YET, I have to step back mentally and ask, if theres any real world advantage in pushing lets say a 130 grain ,over about 3070 fps or a 150 grain bullet to over 2850 fps , or so? that most of us achieve? will an extra 50-100 fps gain you any measurable advantage?
    it really won,t matter much if you select a 270 win or 338 mag, most of us hunt deer or elk or black bear and 90% are shot at well under 300 yards
    THE rifles and ammo are NOT the problem, SUB 1"BENCH REST GROUPS ARE COMMON, BUT MOST OF THE GUYS I SEE SHOOTING CAN,T CONSISTENTLY HIT A 6" PLATE AT 200 YARDS FROM ANY FIELD POSITION its not the guns or ammo that need improvement its the hunters skills WITH THAT EQUIPMENT that need improvement Winchester&Weight=All&type=Rifle

    Ive used the same 57 grains of H4831 , a 215 fed primer and either a speer or hornady 150 grain projectile for many decades in my 270 win, on mule deer an white tail deer and, I have yet to see any indication either combo lacks lethality or flat trajectory.
    and its only traveling about 2860fps in my 270 win, and Id point out that in 40 plus years no one I load for has expressed any regrets or doubts, in using that and some guys have used that ammo very successfully on ELK!
    yeah theres premium bullets you can use, but the rather common versions are remarkably lethal as they are!
    In fact the few times Ive used a 270 win on mule deer I was very impressed with its performance!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2017
  19. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I recently had a bit of an interesting related discussion with one of my neighbors ,who, while a hunter for decades
    , is what I think is, probably common or rather typical,of many guys who hunt, but have limited their experience of cartridge performance based on only deer or hogs , in that they have very limited experience,based on light weight big game,
    with real world hunting using a wide range of weaponry and both deer and larger game and a wide range of country terrains and ranges, his view-point is understandably heavily influenced, or you might say restricted,by that limited range of targeted game.
    Experience obviously based on what he has seen, to the point that, too me, those ideas, well, its almost rather humorous, to hear his view-points expressed, As the flaws seem far more obvious to me than to him. while either approach works fine on lighter weight game like deer within reasonable ranges , for the cartridges used once you start trying larger game like bear,elk and moose penetration becomes a much more important factor than rapid initial expansion. ITS NOT ENERGY BUT PROPER SHOT PLACEMENT, YOULL NEED TOO ACCURATELY PLACE SHOTS WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO IMPACT THAT COUNTS.
    a good knowledge of a deers or elks anatomy is also mandatory ,
    remember an arrow or revolver bullet kills by rapid blood loss and critical organ failure,so accurate hits are mandatory for rapid results
    you can,t just slice, or punch holes in random parts of the games anatomy and get rapid kills.
    some of the faster velocity rifle bullets , and larger diameter pistol bullets add an additional factor, of hydro-static shock , especially when a bullet impacts at about 2200 fps- or higher velocity and it has either a flat melpat (nose or it expands on impact)

    , theres an energy shock wave that travels through the internals and this crushes and rips tissue the bullet itself never touched.


    now as reference here
    mass (bullet weight in grains) x muzzle velocity x muzzle velocity/450240= muzzle energy

    anything in a 257 roberts to a 458 LOTT works if your a good shot and use a high sectional density slower expanding projectile,
    but you must know the games anatomy well and be able to place shots precisely
    favorite deer hunt combos
    45 grains of h4350 under a speer 100 grain in a 257 roberts
    21 grains of H110 under a 310 grain cast bullet in a 44 mag marlin carbine

    Ive found a 150 grain 270 hornady bullet over 53 grains of H4831 in a 270 win,!/
    165 grain speer over 55 grains of WW760 in a 30/06 sprng
    a 250 speer in a 358 win over 44 grains of IMR3031
    and a 405 grain remington or speer bullet over a charge of 50 grains of IMR 3031 in a 450 marlin
    if we were to take a common
    308 win its no problem to get 2900 fps from a 150 grain bullet with a 24" barrel
    150 GR x 2900 fps x 2900 fps/450240= 2800 ft lbs of energy Winchester&Weight=All&type=rifle&Order=Powder&Source=

    if we were to take a common
    450 marlin its no problem to get 1800 fps from a 405 grain bullet with a 20" barrel
    405 GR x 1800 fps x 1800 fps/450240= 2914 ft lbs of energy

    if we were to take a common
    243 win its no problem to get 2960 fps from a 100 grain bullet with a 22" barrel
    100 GR x 2960 fps x 2960 fps/450240= 1945 ft lbs of energy

    if we were to take a less common but hardly rare
    500 S&W its no problem to get 1660 fps from a 400 grain bullet with a 8.375" barrel
    400 GR x 1660 fps x 1660 fps/450240= 2448 ft lbs of energy SqqqW Magnum&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source

    if we were to take a less common but hardly rare
    445 DWSM its no problem to get 1500 fps from a 300 grain bullet with a 8.375" barrel

    300 GR x 1500 fps x 1500 fps/450240= 1498 ft lbs of energy

    if we were to take a very common
    44 mag its no problem to get 1300 fps from a 300 grain bullet with a 8.375" barrel

    300 GR x 1300 fps x 1300 fps/450240= 1128 ft lbs of energy Magnum&Weight=300&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=

    his contention was that
    "any decent deer rifle is going to be far and away much more powerful and effective than any revolver you hunt with"

    now Id instantly concede that a average deer rifle like a 308 win or 243 win, rifle on average, will provide a more easily handled and more accurate weapon, higher average projectile impact velocity's,and
    in the hands of your average hunter,an easier to use weapons platform, my neighbor has rather successfully used a 243 win and a 30/30 lever gun deer hunting for decades, and while Ive seen plenty of deer and even a few elk taken with those caliber rifles , your average results may be a bit less spectacular than what you see on whitetail deer, now theres zero question you can kill elk with either deer rifle , but you generally won,t see the quick "DEAD RIGHT ON THE SPOT" results that you can much more commonly get on a 90lb-140 lb white tail deer, and despite what you may think, any white tail deer over about 160 lbs is above average size, and an elk, could easily go 3 or 4 times the weight of your average deer or more.

    but the idea that a hunting revolver can,t be every bit as lethal, or lacks power,or
    in the hands of a hunter who is willing to learn the required skills and practice, be very effective, is in my experience a rather ludicrous statement, lethality depends mostly on precise shot placement, a good knowledge to the games anatomy, and the projectiles ability to destroy critical organs and produce massive blood loss, and /or break bone,and high velocity light weight projectiles have a tendency to expand rapidly, or become erratic or unstable and unpredictable in the course they take after impact, while the slower heavier and larger projectile the hunting revolver commonly throws tends to have deep and rather predictable penetration in flesh

    As Ive seen far more hard cast 300 grain bullets from my 445 DWSM, and even my 44 mag revolver, shoot clear through deer and hogs from side to side or end to end and exit still traveling at a good clip, into the brush beyond the target animals who frequently drop nearly instantly as a result.
    youll also notice that the
    1498 ft lbs of the DWSM
    1128 ft lbs of the 44 mag
    2448 ft lbs of the 500 S&W
    may not seem all that impressive compared too the 308 win and 243 win which are average deer rifle caliber choices yet from experience I can tell you the projectiles from the revolvers being hard cast lead rather than the higher velocity and softer jacketed lead in a thin copper coating rifle bullets tend to penetrate better and exit more often, and I included the 450 marlin to show the rifle that can provide a bit higher velocity but still provide exceptional penetration. as you can see ENERGY ALONE is a poor way to judge effectiveness.

    an archery arrow rarely has over 90 ft lbs of energy at impact yet its 100% lethal when the vitals are destroyed, and it can frequently punch through a targeted animals chest and exit the far side.
    if you compare the 150 grain 308 with its 2800ft lbs of muzzle energy to the 500 S&W with its 400 grain projectile at only 2448 ft lbs you might think the 308 rifle noticeably superior, but facing any dangerous game, like a bear or cape buffalo at 30 paces or less,thats highly likely to personally discuss your shot placement by shredding your butt , up close, if its not killed outright Id take the pistol, to a confrontation, if my butts potentially on the chopping block.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  20. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    we learn a great many lessons in life the hard way but we tend to remember those lessons because we remember the results , or as my dad used to say rather frequently
    "IF your going to be DUMB you BETTER BE TOUGH! ,

    most of us learn quickly that you can,t touch the red hot stoves burner,
    or stick bobby pins in electrical outlets ,
    or run fast,on wet tile floors by the time were 2-3 years old,
    but other lessons, and the results of less than brilliant choices made or behavior,
    result in predictable patterns that might not be quite so obvious even though they may consistently produce quite similar if not so obvious results.
    this basic concept , of looking at the results and concluding, that they were rather predictable,
    becomes less pronounced when the "RESULTS" due to the "ACTIONS" are delayed, or not 100% instantly apparent,
    even a slight time delay, in the result following the action makes learning the lesson much less obvious.
    \ example,
    If I drink a diet soda containing NUTRASWEET, artificial sugar, I get a killer migraine headache ,
    but it usually takes 4-8 hours between drinking one and suffering the results,
    so it took several repetitions for the cause and effect to become all too obvious.
    well I was reminded of this concept talking with Jack yesterday.
    Jack started hunting with a pair of rifles,a 30/06 Springfield and a 308 win ,
    these are popular and work rather well, but the bullet used does all the work, in a hunting environment, I've seen the results of the larger and heavier projectiles too many times to discount the change as totally inconsequential,
    and while theres no doubt those results depend heavily on correct shot placement and knowing your games anatomy,range and shooter skill are huge variables, I feel theres still something to be noticed and if available taken advantage of here!
    Jack had complained for decades, that his rifles just didn,t seem to drop game instantly, like he expected them too,
    and when he eventually took my advise, and spent a good deal more time practicing shooting from field position's rather than nearly exclusively off a bench rest,
    and upgraded to a 375 H&H and a 9.3MM sako carbine, and eventually a 458 win, single shot ruger,using heavy soft nose expanding bullets, and
    using cast bullets, so he got in more practice time, he had a very pronounced increase in "DEAD RIGHT THERE, ON THE SPOT" kills, which even he he commented on several times.
    now hes had some very remarkable results and I'm very impressed with both his improved marksmanship and some of his trophy's,
    so when He told me he got rather tight financially and sold or traded, off several of his hunting rifles, to get the cash to make this last years hunting trip, now I understood only too well the reason, he sold off some equipment,
    but I had to smile a bit and feel rather sympathetic when he told me, that the 308 win he has as his only remaining rifle just doesn,t seem to, well,
    have the results hes come to expect , as he has mostly been using the 9.3mm, and 458 win with soft points up until this last hunt.
    now he will be the first guy to point out that a single well placed hit with a 308 win killed this last Elk he shot, and he placed the shot well,
    yet he stated the last few hunts with the larger caliber rifles kind of spoiled me, Ive come to expect a BANG- SMACK!- DROP response from well placed shots,
    like Ive gotten for the last 20 plus years , this last Elk acted Like I missed, I fired twice, and after about a 50-60 yard run, the Elk piled up,
    when I dressed out the elk, there was no doubt the elk was mortally wounded with the first hit, but that elk gave me zero indication I'd even hit it other than to turn and run at the shot.
    jack hit that Elk at a raking angle, from about 180 yards, the bullet entered near the last rib on the left and the bullet ranged forward through the lungs and lodged under the right shoulder, so it was a decent hit.
    Im certainly not suggesting a 30/06 or 308 win using the correct bullets won,t be 100% effective or fatal on elk, Ive certainly seen far too many one shot kills with those caliber rifles to even suggest that! but I have seen a very noticeable difference in the reaction to a good bullet hit from my 375 H&H or 340 wby and now Jack has realized theres a difference also, a fact he observed early on after he upgraded 20 plus years ago and came to think of as "NORMAL" , but was reminded , might not be, on this latest hunt.

    generally higher velocity results in faster expansion,
    more expansion results in a larger cross sectional area,
    a larger cross sectional area results in more resistance too penetration,
    this is partly off set by the higher impact velocity and energy,
    keep in mind bullet construction and where on the anatomy the bullet strikes and how much bone it must penetrate, effects results
    the higher the sectional density and the thicker the jacket the deeper the penetration tends to be.
    if you value deep penetration select a bullet with a thicker jacket designed to slow expansion,
    Thus if your loading a reasonably heavy for caliber bullet, your 2000 fps bullets likely to punch deeper than the 3000 fps bullet impact
    select the heaviest bullet with the thickest jacket, your rifle shoots accurately to insure deep penetration

    with a .250-.300 sectional density , push it as fast as you can, safely
    and select a decent name brand bullet,
    your other option, select a reasonably heavy hard cast bullet in the .375 caliber to .500, caliber in that .250-.300 sectional density , and push it to 1800 fps-2100 fps
    use a hard cast bullet of 400-480 grain weight in a 458 caliber like a 450 marlin,45/70 or down loaded 458 win
    pushed to 1800 fps-1900 fps and you need not worry about a lack of penetration
    you might find these worth reading

    yes, its always rather puzzled me that many guys want to carry a 4-6 lb rifle and chamber it in a cartridge that limits recoil significantly ,
    yet they ignore physics and don,t grasp the concept that .
    you can easily calculate both the cartridge recoil potential and down range retained energy.
    a rifle is a tool, you should select the best tool for the job at hand, not the select the smaller and easy to carry tool ,
    that may not get the job done when its used.



    theres no free lunch! but you can significantly reduce felt recoil
    use of a PAST recoil shoulder pad , a rifle stock recoil pad, and proper use of a sling and bi-pod , and high quality optics ,goes a long way toward reducing the potential problem.
    use of a properly designed muzzle brake, butt stock recoil pad, shooting pad sewn into the shoulder of your vest or parka a decent sling and a bi-pod all help both accuracy and reduce felt recoil.
    and one factor that can,t be ignored is the need for rather consistent & repetitive practice from field positions

    if you only pick that rifle out of your gun safe the weekend before the season opens you can reasonably expect your skill and familiarity to be rather pathetic,
    compared to a guy that visits the local range at least every 30-45 days during the year.
    use the calculators but keep in mind most game is shot at well under 300 yards so you don,t require a fire breathing magnum,
    what you do require is consistent repetitive accuracy of shot placement and a knowledge of the games anatomy,
    and your being in the physical condition to be in the right location at the correct time to make use of any opportunity you get.

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    HB25CS 25C Model S -13.5-27" Swivel Bipod
    no thats not my rifle but its damn near its clone

    while Id also agree power will not make up for bad shot placement, yet,
    Ive seen more than ample evidence that theres,
    a pronounced difference in the average elk or deer's reaction to being hit ,
    with something like a 300 wby, or 35 whelen vs a 243 or 257 roberts,
    both class of cartridges deliver a lethal non-survivable wound,
    if its carefully placed in the vitals, with a decent bullet ,
    especially one with a .240-.300 sectional density,that penetrates really well .
    you can,t ignore physics, a heavier mass of similar ballistic shape, at similar high velocity carries more retained energy
    thats not really debate-able, but many of the guys that kid me about my use of a 340 wby or 375 H&H,
    have watched me shoot and drop deer and elk, and dress out deer and elk,
    as a result theres been several converts over the decades,
    larger caliber projectiles may not be more lethal,
    but they darn sure seem to impress the game more on impact.
    my dad used to say selecting a rifle caliber for killing games,
    a bit like selecting a rifle to punch holes in a 55 gallon,barrel of water
    where you place the shot maters,a great deal, and if its not well placed you won,t drain the contents
    but the larger the hole the quicker you can expect the contents to drain.
    and if theres a hole in both sides your going to drain the contents faster yet.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019

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