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#5409476 - 11/09/14 08:37 PM Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance.
UTAhunter Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 284
Hey all,

First off, I've shot about 30 deer. I started deer hunting in South Carolina and was taught to shoot them in the shoulder to break them down so they wouldn't run in the thick stuff and be hard to track. Most were shot with 150 or 180 grain 30.06 bullets. A lot of these deer dropped in their tracks.

Recently I've wanted to stop wasting so much meat, so I bought a .243 and this weekend, started shooting behind the shoulder. It's Winchester 100 grain hollow points (power max bonded).

I shot two deer this weekend. Each with one shot. There are excellent exit holes as you will see. The first deer was a doe quartering slightly towards me. I did knick the shoulder but it exited after passing through both lungs. There was an excellent blood trail with up to quarter sizes splotches of blood every couple of feet. The deer went 53 of my steps, so about 50 yards. The second deer was a cull buck. He ended up being three and a half years old based on the jaw, so we were happy to have him out of the population. He was perfectly broadside and the bullet did not hit either shoulder. Luckily, this deer ran towards my stand from about 100 yards away. He stopped and swayed a bit, then fell about 20 yards from the stand. He ended up going just over 100 of my steps from where he was shot. Again, there was a good blood trail.

What I'm worried about is tracking deer shot with this gun and load combination. I am hunting some pretty thick stuff and 100 yards can be a darn long way, especially if I am looking for a deer after an evening hunt in the dark.

Any thoughts as to why these deer might not be dropping more quickly? Pics are attached.

This is the doe as she fell, obviously not with the gun on top of her!


Here is the buck after I dragged him out to the road.




Edited by UTAhunter (11/09/14 08:42 PM)

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#5409495 - 11/09/14 08:43 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
TCB Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 1553
Loc: Denton, TX
The .243 is more than enough gun but you might want to switch over to a soft point vs. the hollow points.
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#5409501 - 11/09/14 08:45 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
UTAhunter Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 284
What's the functional difference in the soft point vs. the hollow point?

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#5409506 - 11/09/14 08:46 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
The only thing that makes me 100% sure I won't have to track, at all, is if I make a head or brain stem shot. I've hit vitals on small bucks big does, and big bucks with 308 inside 150 yards and 260 Rem inside 200 yards. All of them took some steps from where they were hit. Shoot the CNS and they're dead before they hit the ground. Course no one is going to make that shot on an even semi-trophy buck.

Looks to me like you're making very good vitals shots and your 243 is doing a fine job. Carry a roll of toilet paper in a ziplock bag in your pack. Its used for the obvious reason as well as a tracking aid. Lay a square of paper everywhere you find blood. I've done this in the dark and it works. You can look back amd see an obvious trail of little white squares.
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#5409510 - 11/09/14 08:48 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: FiremanJG]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I second switching bullets. A good ole 95 grain Sierra Game King spire point boattail is mighty stout medicine for a 6mm. Weight retention to go with expansion.
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#5409512 - 11/09/14 08:49 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
wburke2010 Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 4687
Loc: Nevada, TX
Looks to me like it is doing the job just fine. cheers

Walter

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#5409572 - 11/09/14 09:15 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
UTAhunter Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 284
Thanks for the encouragement. I might shoot my current box at game and see how it does on another 5-10 animals including javelina. Then I'll switch to a little higher quality bullet and see if anything changes. Hard to tell too much from a sample size of two.

I will try the toilet paper trick. That seems useful.


Edited by UTAhunter (11/09/14 09:16 PM)

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#5409751 - 11/09/14 11:18 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
Gone to Texas Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/05/13
Posts: 2351
Loc: Hurst
Maybe try a different bullet. I have heard good things about Hornady SST 95 gr and Berger 95 gr hunting bullets. I just developed a load with the Berger bullet, I also shoot a 243 and look forward to trying it this year.
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#5409765 - 11/09/14 11:33 PM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: FiremanJG]
JJH Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 3434
Loc: Katy
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
I second switching bullets. A good ole 95 grain Sierra Game King spire point boattail is mighty stout medicine for a 6mm. Weight retention to go with expansion.


Problem is, Sierra doesn't make a good ole 95 gr Game King spire (sic) point boat tail.

And as a rule, Sierra bullets have a reputation of being rather fragile, and famous for losing their cores, not for retaining weight. I'm confused by your statement.

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#5409890 - 11/10/14 06:17 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: JJH]
dawaba Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 4200
Loc: Big Eddy Road, Noonday
If you take time to learn your deer anatomy--and you are a cool, precise shooter--you can aim for the thoracic spine, which would be a little higher and farther forward than the shot in your picture. Such a shot would drop the deer DRT and waste almost zero meat. A longtime Brown County poacher-come-guide calls that spot the High Pocket.

Wanting a certain, sudden kill without wasting any meat can often be two mutually exclusive desires, however. The mono-metal bullets like the Barnes TTSX and Nosler E-Tips have become popular with meat hunters because they tend to retain almost 100% of their weight upon impact and don't produce all the secondary missiles that traditional cup and core bullets cause. All those tiny pieces of lead and jacket material flying through the body contribute mightily to all the bloodshot meat that must be thrown away.
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#5409904 - 11/10/14 06:25 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: JJH]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
I second switching bullets. A good ole 95 grain Sierra Game King spire point boattail is mighty stout medicine for a 6mm. Weight retention to go with expansion.


Problem is, Sierra doesn't make a good ole 95 gr Game King spire (sic) point boat tail.

And as a rule, Sierra bullets have a reputation of being rather fragile, and famous for losing their cores, not for retaining weight. I'm confused by your statement. [/quote]

Sorry, 100 gr Game King spire point boattail. I didn't know they were famous for being frangible since they have not been in my world. I still have the remains of a 165 gr. Game King in 308. After passing through a buck front left to right rear where I found it. It was buried under the hde and did not exit. Took it home and it's 3/4" in diameter and still weighs 140 gr. That looks like good weight retention and expansion. Maybe your standards are different.
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#5409939 - 11/10/14 06:48 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
dee Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 4665
Loc: Red River way
I've used Nosler BT in 243 for years with good results provided I stay off the shoulders. I have some Nosler Accubonds to try now provided I find something to shoot.


Edited by dee (11/10/14 06:48 AM)
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#5409958 - 11/10/14 07:07 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
Bubba270 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/17/14
Posts: 71
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Go get you a 30-30.
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I eat everything I kill and I am to fat to be a bad hunter.

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#5409960 - 11/10/14 07:07 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: FiremanJG]
JJH Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 3434
Loc: Katy
JG: not trying to be a smart aleck. I know from your posts that you are a precise and analytic guy. And I would not question your expertise regarding long-range shooting, which is well beyond mine. But I'm wondering if you have ever tried to push a 6mm sierra spitzer boattail through the shoulders of a deer. I have. And have had much better results from other bullets.

And I f you test 243 deer bullets made by Sierra, Hornady, Speer, Nosler, in a test medium, and compare terminal performance, you will see the difference.

My personal experience, has been reinforced by reading articles by gun writers over the years and posters on the Internet for for forums.

Cup and core bullets work fine, within their performance window. A 168 grain at 308 velocities is well within that window and is entirely different then a 100 grain 6 mm.

Just one man's opinion. YMMV

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#5410006 - 11/10/14 07:42 AM Re: Opinions on bullet/cartridge performance. [Re: UTAhunter]
wtmartinaggie Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 7
i have always shot behind the shoulder, but i use a 7MM Mag and put it a little further back than most. I shoot winchester ballistic silvertips and never mess up any meat. they rarely run and if they do they arent going far and they are extremely easy to track.

ballistic silvertips are great rounds, unless i start reloading that is all i will use

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