.223 for bear, deer, elk and moose.

Fartrell Cluggins

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Google “Dr. Gary K Robert’s terminal ballistics”, “Martin Fackler terminal ballistics”, Duncan McPherson Terminal ballistics”. Even though it is about human terminal performance, that will get you started on the why and how of terminal ballistics. Then Hornady in their Law enforcement section has gel shots/data available, as well as Blackhills. If you have any questions on how to translate the gel shots to correlation to animals, give me a shout- it would be educational for a lot of people.

They are inconsistent. It’s always failing to upset or fragment.
Sometimes they expand almost normally, sometimes they penetrate 4-5” and then tumble and fragment, sometimes they penetrate 10-12” without fragmenting, and sometimes they behave optimally by tumbling within 2-3” and fragmenting violently.




They problem with things like “no match bullets for game” line of thinking, is that it’s based on nothing. It’s a meaningless stance. “Match” is a marketing term and nothing else as there are no standards for that designation.
What a company labels a projectile as, has generally nothing to do with what that bullet will do in tissue. There are match bullets that are poor performers in tissue, there game bullets that are poor performers in tissue, there match bullets that produce lackluster precision, there are game bullets that produce excellent precision, and there are match bullets that produce excellent and ideal tissue disruption.




Others have addressed why a company might choose to not advertise a bullets use in hunting. I can say with near certainty that there is no one that has seen more big game killed with TMK’s than I





It’s an internet and advertising game. I wouldn’t call it a fad as we have been pushing and stretching the limits of weapons since their inception. There are a couple of main issues-

1). Long range shooting/taking animals at longer ranges while hunting is here to stay. The greatest problem is that while the advancements in optics, rangefinders, bullets, and ballistic apps to make long range shooting extremely predictable and attainable- the consummate increase in shooting knowledge, skill, and practice has not. In short- hunters don’t shoot. And most seem proud of that fact.

2). Manufacturers, gun writers, and advertising have misinterpreted, were totally ignorant about, or outright lied about bullet performance in tissue and “killing” animals. This has resulted in a complete system built around “killing power” that is totally backwards of reality.

3) Heavy for caliber, rapidly fragmenting match bullets create the biggest wound channels of any type of projectile. This isn’t because they’re “match”, it’s because they’re the only projectiles in common usage that didn’t go down the “max retained weight, picture perfect mushroom” path.


There is no downside to a high BC, rapidly upsetting, precise bullet in tissue provided that minimum required penetration depth is achieved.







You should be. Everyone should be. We as a consumer group should be demanding that manufactures prove that their products work correctly, and we should be challenging what is written by anyone with healthy skepticism until sufficient evidence has been provided.


Thanks for the time and info.
 

AroaniaPass

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Apr 12, 2019
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I've been hunting deer with a 223 for the last few years using anything from bulk 55 grain soft points to 75 grain Hornady HPBT on deer ranging in size from little great dane sized deer, mature does, and a pretty big Kansas buck that walked out the last day of rifle season. The only one that ran went 30 yards with a hole in its heart, it was a chest shot on a small doe staring at me from 150 yards with a bulk 55 grain soft point. What I've found, at least on Kansas deer in early December is a 223 doesn't seem to make them as jumpy as a 30-06 does. On multiple occasions I've shot one deer, watched it drop, then shoot the one next to it a few seconds later. Where as with my larger center fires, I shoot one, the others kick it in to high gear and are gone immediately.
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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Form/others. I took another dive into the Hornady Tap data. What's funny is that the one rifle bullet ,of all those tested, that I would have most likely chosen for hunting is the Interbond. It had one of the worst scores. The 168 gr .308 AMAX got a perfect score.

In looking at the gel images and the numbers, it seems as if total penetration as a stand alone number is pretty close to useless. There was no gel damage in the last 5-6 inches of penetration on some of those. Although I would like to see what kind of damage would have been done to bone after 15-18 inches of penetration.

This is a 223 on bear, deer, elk and moose thread. Some of those 223 bullets show no gel damage beyond the 6" mark after passing through plywood. How does that translate into a front quartering kill shot that needs to pass through hide, bone and muscle to get to the heart. Say, something like this.




Now that Interbond looks better to me.
 

Formidilosus

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This is a 223 on bear, deer, elk and moose thread. Some of those 223 bullets show no gel damage beyond the 6" mark after passing through plywood. How does that translate into a front quartering kill shot that needs to pass through hide, bone and muscle to get to the heart. Say, something like this.



There are a couple dozen pages with what the damage looks like after going through major bone. However, to your point about the gel, there’s not much (or any) secondary damage last few inches, but there not with any bullet. Once they slow down the TC is dramatically reduced/goes away.

As for the bull in the picture, he’d be laying in his tracks.
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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There are a couple dozen pages with what the damage looks like after going through major bone. However, to your point about the gel, there’s not much (or any) secondary damage last few inches, but there not with any bullet. Once they slow down the TC is dramatically reduced/goes away.

As for the bull in the picture, he’d be laying in his tracks.
I might be looking at something different from what you are thinking. In my download, unless I have missed it 3-4 times, it doesn't show what looks bullets look like after passing through bone. If you can give me a link or otherwise clarify what has the images of damage after passing through bone, that would be interesting to me.

My point about the inches of penetration is this. Bullet A penetrates 12 inches. There is substantial TC throughout that 12 inches of penetration. Bullet B penetrates 15 inches, but there is no TC for the last 6 inches. I have been guilty of seeing a penetration number like Bullet B's 15" and thinking it's the better bullet. Stand alone, the penetration number doesn't really tell us anything of value. Do I have that right?

Let's talk about that bull. He's 300 yards away on a day with a light breeze. Are you confident that our beloved 77 TMK will make it through the shoulder muscle and bone and into the heart? Are you making different shot?
 

Formidilosus

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I might be looking at something different from what you are thinking. In my download, unless I have missed it 3-4 times, it doesn't show what looks bullets look like after passing through bone. If you can give me a link or otherwise clarify what has the images of damage after passing through bone, that would be interesting to me.

Are you meaning what it looks like after a bullet hits meat, penetrates a few inches then hits bone? If so, there really isn’t that much difference whether it hits meat first or not. For scapula hits, the plywood test gives a good indication. For the largest leg bones (knuckle) the glass test does

My point about the inches of penetration is this. Bullet A penetrates 12 inches. There is substantial TC throughout that 12 inches of penetration. Bullet B penetrates 15 inches, but there is no TC for the last 6 inches. I have been guilty of seeing a penetration number like Bullet B's 15" and thinking it's the better bullet. Stand alone, the penetration number doesn't really tell us anything of value. Do I have that right?

It does tell you something, but no you can’t make sweeping judgments based on one performance factor. The wound channel as a whole needs to be taken into account.



Let's talk about that bull. He's 300 yards away on a day with a light breeze. Are you confident that our beloved 77 TMK will make it through the shoulder muscle and bone and into the heart? Are you making different shot?

He would be dead. POA where the intersection of dark neck hair and light shoulder hair meet. It will make it to both lungs.
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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For the largest leg bones (knuckle) the glass test does



He would be dead. POA where the intersection of dark neck hair and light shoulder hair meet. It will make it to both lungs.
I remain amazed at just how damn hard glass is on a bullet.

With the shot you take are you hitting leg bone or squeezing the shot to the inboard side of the leg bone?
 

Stu

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Dec 29, 2019
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Cheap practice! They blow predators to shit too
You mind sharing what powder and primer you’re using? My results with the 75s have been quite erratic, but the 73s have been lasers.
 

Lawnboi

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You mind sharing what powder and primer you’re using? My results with the 75s have been quite erratic, but the 73s have been lasers.
I shot cases of factory 73s before I started reloading. They were awesome out to 600 for me.

My 75 eldm load
-Fires Hornady brass
-.010 off lands approximately
-24 grains of varget
-cci 450
-2760fps av out of a 20” suppressed tikka.

This was a 1-1.5” load before I chopped and threaded. With the suppressor and shorter barrel it shoots better than I can. My 77 load which is very similar also shot just as good suppressed.
 
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Trial153

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I don’t know why I am drawn to this tread as pretty much skip over everything firearm hunting related as I don’t rifle hunt at all. I really like how it stands conventional theory on its head and back it’s with facts, experience and logic.
Lots to learn from it.
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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Dec 20, 2019
Messages
310
I don’t know why I am drawn to this tread as pretty much skip over everything firearm hunting related as I don’t rifle hunt at all. I really like how it stands conventional theory on its head and back it’s with facts, experience and logic.
Lots to learn from it.

It's been a fascinating learning experience for me. I believe Form when he tells me a 77TMK will smash shoulder and make it lungs, but I'd be lying if I said it doesn't cause a bit of cognitive dissonance. Back when magnumitis was the thing, I never bought into that. I have never owned a "magnum" rifle. A mild 6.5x55, 257R or 243 with a Partition was all I'd need for anything I'd hunt short of a brown bear. My experience showed me how effective good, small, well placed bullets could be. My issue was my programming to believe match bullets weren't tough enough or they wouldn't consistently expand. They were for putting holes in paper.

I am a changed man.
 

Hthunter

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Aug 2, 2021
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I'm a new member and have been reading this post for a few days and learning a lot. As many others, after reading this post, I have a T3x stainless 223 on back order (SWFA 6x and sportsmatch rings lol). I plan on chopping barrel and running suppressed (TBAC U7 or Sandman Ti) for deer and practice. My question is how far to go till I get to point of handicapping cartridge. My initial thought is 18'', but if still effective with even shorter barrel I'm all in. As for now I will be shooting factory 62gr fusion until I can score enough primers for 77 TMKs. Thanks for any input.
 

Formidilosus

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My question is how far to go till I get to point of handicapping cartridge. My initial thought is 18'', but if still effective with even shorter barrel I'm all in.

That will depend on bullet, MV, and environment.

In general-

16”= 400y
18”= 450y
20”= 500y
 
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