Odd Bullet Behavior

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octagon
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Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by octagon »

Every now and then I will see or hear of weird bullet episodes which i find interesting from an entertainment perspective. Here are two from a couple of fellows I've hunted with for many decades:

A brother hunts pigs often and was unloading his .50 black powder rifle before the trip home and saw a squirrel WAY up in the biggest pecan tree I've ever seen (it takes 3 men to reach around it.) Trying for a head shot, he shoots and the squirrel comes down dead, (not barked) with not a mark on him anywhere!

An old pal shot a small bobcat at his ranch with a .270. The cat is sitting up on his hind legs like a begging dog and is shot square under the chin in the neck at 35 yards. The bullet does not exit! The cat is small about like 2 housecats.

Please add your stories.
Last edited by octagon on Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Back around 1989, I shot a buck in East Texas with a .308 165gr Nosler Balistic Tip over a heavy charge of 4064. Placement was right behind the shoulder and the shot was less than 20 yards with the deer perfectly broadside. That deer ran off and left a great blood trail. I waited a while and then tracked him through heavy brush to a place where he laid down. It looked like someone spilled a bucket of blood there. I did not find another drop of blood and I did not find the deer.

The next morning, I did not want to go back out. I was sick about the loss of the deer. My buddy talked me into going back to the same tree. About 20 minutes after I sat down, the same buck came out to the same place. This time I shot him just behind the ear and he dropped in his tracks. He should have died the night before, but somehow he lived though a double lung shot.

I switched to a .45-70 Marlin and later a Sharps .50 and I have never had this problem again.
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JimT
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by JimT »

I shot a Javelina with my .45 Colt Ruger using a 300 gr. flat nose cast bullet. The shot was uphill, maybe 50 yards. At the shot the little pig rolled down the hill, got up and ran off. I put the sights on its butt and hit it again. It kept going and went over the hill. I worked my way around the hillside and found it across a deep ravine, maybe 65 or 70 yards away, laying under some brush. I thought maybe it had died so I threw a rock in its direction and at the sound it raised its head up and looked around. I aimed for the head and fired and the pig squalled, rolled out from under the bush, down the hill and fell off a steep bank into the ravine, a fall of maybe 20 feet or so. I heard it hit and heard it squall again. I worked my way down to it and found it had expired.

When I cleaned it I found my first shot had broken the left front leg, gone through the heart and exited the right shoulder. My second shot had entered the left ham and gone full length through the pig including the heart again. The shot at the head broke its jaw.

I think the fall into the ravine killed it.
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ollogger
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by ollogger »

I shot a mule deer while he was bouncing up hill at some what of an angle at around 50 yards
placing the shot so the bullet would go through the back of the ribs towards the off side shoulder
the gun was a 25-06 with a 117 gr. round nose Hornady, the bullet went on course but some how hit the off side shoulder & came out on the same side it went in :? I later skinned it & as i cut my own meat
had a good opportunity to check out the strange course of the bullet


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mickbr
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by mickbr »

When I shot lange range many years ago, hitting a couple animals at near to 400 yards when the bullets velocity would have been pretty low, but more damage to the innards than a closer range shot. This was pre-internet and I remember filing it away in mind figuring to ask someone more knoweldgeble one day what occurred. I didnt have time to recover the bullets.I think the bullets must have yawed or tumbled on impact or something. They were the olden style hornadys with the weaker jacket material.
yooper2
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by yooper2 »

My friend bought a pile of .277" 110 gr blemished bullets from midway that measured up as being identical to the Hornady 110gr hp. We worked up a load for him to use as a coyote gun on his sheep farm. He shot a few yotes and the bullets blew apart as expected but on the 5th or 6th the bullet acted like a fmj, didn't expand at all and tumbled in the body doing a shocking amount of damage before ending up under the off side. He still has the bullet on his work bench. Probably shot another 30 yotes since with these loads and all have blown apart.


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GunnyMack
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by GunnyMack »

A friend has hunted moose in Quebec for decades( up until this corona stuff anyway) normally he bow hunted then went to rifle. He got a Tikka bolt gun in 300 wsm. Worked up loads with 180gr partitions. Sure enough that fall he shot a nice bull. He told me of how that partition. ' blew up ' . I asked him to tell me in detail what he found when he quartered/ gutted it. The bullet entered tight to the shoulder through a rib, shredded the lungs, through another rib into the off shoulder and stopping at the classic under the skin. It was just the bottom half of the bullet from partition to heel - exactly what that bullet is supposed to do. Odd no but you have to take into account what velocities these bullets are designed for.
When I got my Henry 41 I worked up loads with 210 XTP, Nosler and Sierra and none of these bullets are for 1800 fps. I called Hornady- no too fast they will blow up. Sierra- nope too fast. Nosler- what a 41 levergun? What is it? Oh I gotta get one of those- sure our bullet will work just fine for deer... Sadly I haven't had a chance to try them on an animal yet. Again designed for a velocity like some bullets in the 220 Swift just melt in the bore!
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earlmck
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by earlmck »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:12 pm
Back around 1989, I shot a buck in East Texas with a .308 165gr Nosler Balistic Tip over a heavy charge of 4064. Placement was right behind the shoulder and the shot was less than 20 yards with the deer perfectly broadside. That deer ran off and left a great blood trail. I waited a while and then tracked him through heavy brush to a place where he laid down. It looked like someone spilled a bucket of blood there. I did not find another drop of blood and I did not find the deer.

The next morning, I did not want to go back out. I was sick about the loss of the deer. My buddy talked me into going back to the same tree. About 20 minutes after I sat down, the same buck came out to the same place. This time I shot him just behind the ear and he dropped in his tracks. He should have died the night before, but somehow he lived though a double lung shot.
About that same time I used the same bullet out of an '06 for my most memorable hunting failure. 50 yards broadside, behind the shoulder, deer never did stop moving as far as I was able to track him. Next day a coyote walked in front of me at about a 100 yards. I don't normally shoot coyotes but I just had to see what the ballistic tip would do with a 'yote. Killed him like lightning struck but didn't exit the little 'yote. I never used those bullets again for critters.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I never used that bullet again either. In my .308s, I switched to the Remington 150 gr Corlockt factory load. Never had to shoot a deer twice after that.
EdinCT
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by EdinCT »

I had a Hornady 139 gr spire point out of my 7/57 just blow apart once on a buck that I shot at about 30 yards broadside. It was loaded around 2750 fps and had worked perfect on about 20 other deer. I often wonder if I hit a limb before the deer because he was traveling up a wooded hill at the shot. His ribcage looked like he was shot with bird shot on the off side.
Also once had a Remington 300 gr corlokt sabot ,crimp the hollow point closed at close range on a front on shot and pencil throw the heart of a buck, on trailing him up he got up after 20 min. and gave me a long trailing job and I had broke his shoulder with my second shot. The wound channel from shot number one looked to be like a 3/8 hole through his heart from a 44 slug.
My buddy and I both used the Hornady 44 XTP sabots over 90 gr of loose black in our muzzleloaders with good results until one day he hit a doe quartering on and the bullet went in, wiped one lung and exited the same side. It was a long trail and we were thankful to find her. He switched to the Nosler Partitions and I started using Speer 240 gr soft points in my muzzleloader after that day.
The 240 gr XTP killed faster than anything I ever used and my 1894 CB loves them but I can't bring myself to use them on anything but coyotes and targets since that doe.
octagon
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by octagon »

In 2010 I shot an old doe with a 30WCF using 150 Corelokt. This deer was 45 yards broad Side grazing and was hit in the neck close to her shoulders at the big vertebrae, this being my preferred shot for decades. The deer dropped like a rock as expected, but forgot to die as expected, she looked rather as resting with head up, chewing a cud. I put a 44 mag from my Ruger hunter right behind her ear with good result. Getting this doe to the skinning tree revealed quickly the large destroyed vertebrae, like many ive seen. This was no failure of the Corelokt, placement was good, just an odd, uncooperative deer who might have preferred to finish breakfast before dying.
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Shasta
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Re: Odd Bullet Behavior

Post by Shasta »

Back in the early '80's I read about using aluminum foil between the nose halves of a cast lead bullet mould to enhance expansion of a cast lead bullet. I used the method on some pure lead Lyman 457125 cast bullets intended for hunting with my Italian made Palmetto Gemmer 1874 Sharps in .45-70 that I owned at the time. I eventually used that bullet with a black powder load on a coyote at a distance of about 100 yards. It had the desired effect of dropping the coyote dead right there, but upon approaching the kill, it became quickly obvious the coyote had been rolling in some long dead critter as canines will do, and I was not willing to remain close enough to the stench to skin the critter. The strange part of it was upon rolling the coyote over the bullet had not passed through the off side, but because of the stench I never did find out how far that bullet penetrated. Being disappointed that it did not punch through a coyote, I did not pursue the concept any further.

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