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Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) #7920107 08/01/20 04:46 AM
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(First time trying to post a photo so I hope it works)

So a few years ago I was sitting in a deer stand waiting on hogs to come out. Right a dark three hogs came out and lined up in a line staggered left to right. All three hogs were quartering away from me. Light was fading very fast so I settled my crosshairs right behind the shoulder of the hog on the far right and pulled the trigger. I was shooting a heavy barreled 25-06 and through the scope I saw the hog in the middle flop to the ground. I was very puzzled as to what happened with the shot until I got down to the feeder to retrieve the hog and saw that I had blown an almost watermelon sized entrance wound into the hip area of the middle hog. I’m guessing in the fading light I couldn’t tell that the hog that I had shot was lined up perfectly with the shoulder are of the hog I thought I was shooting. I have never seen damage like this before on an entrance wound. Bullet was a factory loaded 117 grain SST fired from a 26” barrel. I know the SST can have violent and rapid expansion but this just wasn’t right. So any thoughts on what could have caused this?

Attached Files 02E3DFE8-5118-4946-A33C-612690D9BFDC.jpeg
Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920118 08/01/20 05:12 AM
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Did you hit heavy bone? That’s not a bullet I would trust to be completely reliable in heavy bone.

Are you sure that impact was the first impact?

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920127 08/01/20 05:32 AM
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If that's an entry wound from a 25-06, I think it had to tear across it with a bullet that was already expanded. The only time I've had an entry wound with a complete blowout like that, is with my .17 Remington. It's just a small bomb looking for something to explode.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920142 08/01/20 06:37 AM
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I've seen basically the same thing on a WT doe that was shot in the shoulder. Hornady Superformance 117 SST.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Sneaky] #7920262 08/01/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sneaky
Did you hit heavy bone? That’s not a bullet I would trust to be completely reliable in heavy bone.

Are you sure that impact was the first impact?


I’m assuming I hit the hip bone or spine? Did not inspect too much, because of the mess it made while trying to load it, I ended up just dragging it off. Yes I’m sure that was first impact unless it hit a twig sticking up from the ground that I couldn’t see, but I know it hit no other animal or anything substantial first.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: ntxtrapper] #7920263 08/01/20 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ntxtrapper
If that's an entry wound from a 25-06, I think it had to tear across it with a bullet that was already expanded. The only time I've had an entry wound with a complete blowout like that, is with my .17 Remington. It's just a small bomb looking for something to explode.



I don’t know what it would have hit first. It would make sense that it could have been already expanded on impact, but the shot path is clear down to the feeder and I know it didn’t hit one of the other hogs first. Previous to this hog I had shot 2 deer and saw another one shot with the same load and rifle and nothing unusual had happened.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920294 08/01/20 02:55 PM
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If I had to guess, I'd say that you hit an unseen branch and that the fully expanded bullet made the impact. Of course, bullets do very strange things upon occasion.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920326 08/01/20 03:33 PM
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Gw, your story is bizarre. You hit a hog different from the one you were aiming at and hit it in a completely different place than what you expected and you are worried about bullet failure?

Actually, I think your bullet performed as designed. The failure isn't of the bullet, but of the hog's tissue. If the shot path was clear to the target as you suggest, the bullet would not have been expanded before reaching the target. Bullets don't expand in the air, not SSTs.

You said this was a watermelon-sized hole? That doesn't look like a 300 lb hog. It looks like a 60-80 pounder, or maybe you grow really small watermelons?

You called that your entry wound, but more than likely that is the entry exit combo because you hit heavy bone just under the skin with an exceptionally poorly placed shot that basically exploded bone into and out of surrounding tissue, and or simply blew out the rump area with a shallowly placed shot where what you are seeing is the failure of the integrity of the soft tissue due to the stretch of the tissue due to the temporary stretch cavity. You can see similar failures of the sides of gel blocks sometimes when bullets impact too close to top or side edges.

Smaller animals are more prone to this sort of over-stretch tissue disruption.

Last edited by Double Naught Spy; 08/01/20 04:04 PM.

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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920359 08/01/20 04:08 PM
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My assessment is the SST sucks as a hunting bullet especially fast ones. Yes, I've used them.

Last edited by Jgraider; 08/01/20 04:09 PM.
Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920397 08/01/20 04:58 PM
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It’s called cup and core bullets, I blew a hole in pronghorns chest with a VLD. Just nature of the bullet construction, eventually someone will have a jacket/core failure at the hide level, when compared to bonded and partitioned bullets


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920417 08/01/20 05:17 PM
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I wouldn't say they suck. I've seen SST's and Nosler BT's fail in certain rare situations more as a result of limitations in their design.
In my experience rapidly expanding bullets kill quicker, but are more prone to structural failure.
If you switch to a bonded bullet which is structurally more sound you get greater penetration, but less expansion and less chance of failure.
As always, it's a tradeoff.

For my money i wouldn't worry about, shoot the rest of your SST's and if it still bothers you spend the extra money and get some partitions or scirroco's.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920447 08/01/20 05:53 PM
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You have a dead hog with massive wound channel, and you think there is bullet failure? Interesting. I'd say it succeeded in doing it's job, regardless.

I am not following what happened at all or the sequence of events if there were multiple hogs lined up and/or which hog or hogs were shot, or if that's an exit or an entrance.



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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920513 08/01/20 07:31 PM
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An SST sure isn't designed to make an entrance like that, so I would consider that a failure to perform as intended at least.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Jgraider] #7920639 08/01/20 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jgraider
An SST sure isn't designed to make an entrance like that, so I would consider that a failure to perform as intended at least.


That is because that isn't just the entrance wound. It is the entrance, temporary wound channel blow out, and exit, all in one.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: ChadTRG42] #7920736 08/02/20 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ChadTRG42
You have a dead hog with massive wound channel, and you think there is bullet failure? Interesting. I'd say it succeeded in doing it's job, regardless.

I am not following what happened at all or the sequence of events if there were multiple hogs lined up and/or which hog or hogs were shot, or if that's an exit or an entrance.



Sorry, I get long winded and ramble from time to time. Basically three hogs came out with just enough light left to tell they were hogs. The happened to line up so that the hip area of the hog that was hit lined up perfectly with the high shoulder area of the hog that I thought my crosshairs were on. With the heavy shadows I could not tell the animals had lined up this way. I know it is an entrance wound because the hog never moved after it was hit and how it was laying on the ground. I am almost 100% certain the bullet didn’t come into contact with anything else has far as a limb, twig, or bush, it’s not impossible but the pasture that the feeder was in had recently been mowed so and no trees were in the bullet path. The bullet, in my experience with it, had never preformed like that on impact, so I assumed the bullet failed to preform how it was designed to.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7920758 08/02/20 12:44 AM
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Look at my post from earlier, "Unzipped a pig". All with SST, as with everything I kill. Check out the wound on the spine shot I mention. Maybe this will help answer your question.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Double Naught Spy] #7920803 08/02/20 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Gw, your story is bizarre. You hit a hog different from the one you were aiming at and hit it in a completely different place than what you expected and you are worried about bullet failure?

Actually, I think your bullet performed as designed. The failure isn't of the bullet, but of the hog's tissue. If the shot path was clear to the target as you suggest, the bullet would not have been expanded before reaching the target. Bullets don't expand in the air, not SSTs.

You said this was a watermelon-sized hole? That doesn't look like a 300 lb hog. It looks like a 60-80 pounder, or maybe you grow really small watermelons?

You called that your entry wound, but more than likely that is the entry exit combo because you hit heavy bone just under the skin with an exceptionally poorly placed shot that basically exploded bone into and out of surrounding tissue, and or simply blew out the rump area with a shallowly placed shot where what you are seeing is the failure of the integrity of the soft tissue due to the stretch of the tissue due to the temporary stretch cavity. You can see similar failures of the sides of gel blocks sometimes when bullets impact too close to top or side edges.

Smaller animals are more prone to this sort of over-stretch tissue disruption.


It was practically dark when I shooting, just enough light to tell they were hog silhouettes, even if legal, I would never attempt a shot on a deer in these conditions. A dead hog is one less destroying pasture for our cattle, tearing up fences, ect so I kill them when I can how I can. The hog was roughly 100 pounds.


What your saying makes perfect sense about what happened on impact. I appreciate the info and explanation of what very likely happened, thank you sir.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: onlysmith&wesson] #7920814 08/02/20 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by onlysmith&wesson
Look at my post from earlier, "Unzipped a pig". All with SST, as with everything I kill. Check out the wound on the spine shot I mention. Maybe this will help answer your question.




Thanks for reply! Very interesting wound on the spine shot hog, sounds like you had blast too!

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7921602 08/03/20 12:28 AM
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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7921874 08/03/20 04:16 AM
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I had Match BTHP's come apart mid-flight and was crucified for suggesting bullet failure. If the tip was knocked loose and broke free, maybe the jacket split on impact? I called the manufacture tech support and he said it happens a lot. He told me to check the crown for burrs and the chamber leade for damage. I stopped using match grade because someone actually pointed out they make bullets specifically for hunting, imagine that, who would have thunk? hammer


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7922043 08/03/20 12:24 PM
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Did you look for a second dead hog? If they were lined up up like you say could you have had a pass through and expanded shrapnel took out pig 2. I've done it with my .270. Caught 2 crossing paths first pig ran into the brush second pig hit the dirt. Pig 1 had a clean pass through pig 2 was mangled up and there was no clear entrance it was just a mess.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: hook_n_line] #7922135 08/03/20 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
Did you look for a second dead hog? If they were lined up up like you say could you have had a pass through and expanded shrapnel took out pig 2. I've done it with my .270. Caught 2 crossing paths first pig ran into the brush second pig hit the dirt. Pig 1 had a clean pass through pig 2 was mangled up and there was no clear entrance it was just a mess.


Exactly what I was thinking. If front shoulder took the first hit, no branch or twig needed. Bullet is expanded and creates chaos

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: hook_n_line] #7922154 08/03/20 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
Did you look for a second dead hog? If they were lined up up like you say could you have had a pass through and expanded shrapnel took out pig 2. I've done it with my .270. Caught 2 crossing paths first pig ran into the brush second pig hit the dirt. Pig 1 had a clean pass through pig 2 was mangled up and there was no clear entrance it was just a mess.


Yep. I've seen some freaky things happen in low-light conditions like OP described. IMO this was not a standard entrance wound w/bullet failure.


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Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: hook_n_line] #7922253 08/03/20 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
Did you look for a second dead hog? If they were lined up up like you say could you have had a pass through and expanded shrapnel took out pig 2. I've done it with my .270. Caught 2 crossing paths first pig ran into the brush second pig hit the dirt. Pig 1 had a clean pass through pig 2 was mangled up and there was no clear entrance it was just a mess.


Yes I did look for second pig because I was thinking the same thing at first. I looked all around for probably 30 minutes with a flashlight and never found anything that suggested another hog had been hit.

Re: Bullet Failure? (Graphic Photo) [Re: Gw123] #7922287 08/03/20 03:48 PM
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May just depend on what was going on with how the hog was standing etc.

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