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Actions of Types of Rounds #8071035 12/01/20 03:55 AM
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When I started hunting, I went to a cousin who was the most knowledgeable person I knew on firearms and hunting and asked what type of rifle I should get. He told me to get a 270, saying it was a great all-around caliber. So I got one, and early on landed on using Remington 130 grain core-lokt. I’ve been using them for years with great success. Most every animal is DRT. In the heavy woods I hunt in east Texas, I rarely shoot longer than 100 yards, but even at longer distances the round shoots flat and seems accurate for me. Looking at the ballistics chart, it has a decent amount of energy delivered to the animal.

I haven’t shot many hogs with it, but with more of them showing up on my place, I’m curious how it will act. Last weekend I shot one, and again DRT. The exit wound was not large but I hit the lungs and it bled out well.

It got me wondering about how the rounds react. My understanding of the core-lokt is that it’s intentionally designed to not fragment, with Remington claiming that when the round stays intact, it does more damage due to more penetration and more expansion deep in the animal.

Cut to YouTube, which has many people firing fancy rounds into ballistic gel. A lot of these new rounds are designed to spread out like a flower, and some designed to fragment, claiming greater wound channels.

So last weekend I was looking at a very dead hog with a small exit wound and thinking about these rounds that are designed to come apart. I know 20 hunters will give me 50 opinions, but what is the consensus: What’s the best round, one that stays intact and drills all the way through a hog or one that spreads out and possibly fragments, creating a wider wound channel? (I know, I know, shot placement. But all other things being equal, what’s better?)

BTW, I’m still curious if my round ended up in the pig directly behind the one I drilled. I was aiming for a two-fer, but they all ran and I’ll never know.


Last edited by HS2; 12/01/20 03:58 AM.
Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071112 12/01/20 05:18 AM
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I am on YouTube, but I don't shoot into gel because I have never found an animal made of gel. Gel will tell you what a bullet will do (to itself) in a medium (gel) that is designed to simulate hog flesh that is said to be a simulant for human flesh. With me so far? However, gel may have the average soft tissue density of animal flesh, but it does not have fibers or alternating densities of soft tissue. You can shoot a bullet into gel and literally reach your fingers into it and pluck the bullet out. You can do absolutely nothing like that with actual animal flesh. Never mind the skeletal structure in animals.

So the gel will show you what the expansion/fragmentation may be under ideal circumstances. Period. People make a big deal out of the wound cavities in gel, but once again, they are nothing but a hypothetical ideal situation. You can shoot 30 rounds of a given bullet and load into 30 calibrated gel blocks and get 30 very similar outcomes (assuming the bullet is properly made and loaded). You can shoot the same bullet and load into 30 hogs and 10 different outcomes. Why? Hogs are not homogeneous gel.

As for "best round" that is going to vary by person and preference. I like rounds that do as much destruction as possible while inside the hog, but these are generally bad for meat hunters. Generally speaking, if you have two bullets of the same weight hitting the hog at the same velocity, a bullet that drills a hole all the way through and exits is a bullet that might leave you a better blood trail for a runner, but it also means that the bullet flew away with a lot of destructive potential. A bullet that comes apart inside will have done as much damage as it could do given what it hit.

Most of the rounds I use, when shooting broadside on say a 150-200 lb hog will either overpenetrate the hog or will stop on the far side under the shield, including rounds that fragment significantly. If you are shooting lengthwise on the hog, they may not be your best choice where instead of 10-15" of penetration, you might like more like 20-25" of penetration.

People hate to admit it, but a good bullet will partially make up for less than ideal shooting. You can kill hogs all day long with FMJ bullets and do so consistently where the hogs drop on the spot if you make CNS shots, right? Expanding bullets increase the damage potential from anywhere from something like 3-10 times as much tissue. A near miss of the spine by your FMJ may turn out to be a hit with an expanded or fragmented bullet. Also, the greater the amount of damage on a non-immediately fatal shot, the quickly the animal will day from shock or bleeding out. Shot placement does matter, but so to does bullet performance.


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071337 12/01/20 02:02 PM
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Thanks. What round do you shoot?

Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071359 12/01/20 02:14 PM
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6.5 Grendel. For giggles and grins, I test various bullets in hogs to see how they perform. My favorites are Hornady SST and Speer TNT. The latter is actually a 'varmint' round, but does a great job on hogs. Not all varmint rounds do, however. Note, I am not a meat hunter.


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071426 12/01/20 02:44 PM
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I'm definitely not a bullet expert, and I have a reputation among my so-called friends for being somewhat on the cheap side. Taking those facts into consideration, I think Core-Lokt bullets are fine. I also think Winchester Power Points and Hornady Interlock bullets (which are what I shoot) are fine. Some folks dwell, in my opinion, overmuch on the idea that a bullet should dump all of its' energy in the target animal. Their theory is that any bullet that exits carries wasted energy. By extreme application of that theory, you should slow your bullet down so that it doesn't exit. That's obviously a poor application of the theory, but just because a bullet exited doesn't mean it is a poor choice. I'd rather have a bullet that goes completely through an animal as opposed to one that only travels halfway. The important factor to me is expansion. As DNS notes above, a FMJ bullet is usually not a good choice.

Your .270 has plenty of power to throw a bullet into and through a hog, and I think Core-Lokt bullets will work well enough to take down any hog you'll encounter. You can play with fancier bullets, and some may give marginal improvement, but I would certainly not feel under-gunned with your current setup.


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071635 12/01/20 04:52 PM
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As DNS suggests, bullets in the real world do unexpected things. The simple truth is that bullets are designed with differing primary criteria, so your results will reflect those design trade-offs and the degree to which the original intent was realized. For example, some bullets are designed primarily for ballistic efficiency (Hornady ELD-M), others for weight retention (Barnes TSX), others to be as cheap as possible (Remington .22 Thunderbolt). Even "experts" differ as to what constitutes "best", but there's a general consensus that, most of the time, you want the maximum expansion consistent with adequate penetration. But even here there are exceptions. Consider the Montana coyote hunter who wants to sell his pelts. He could very well choose a non-expanding bullet which is significantly less lethal than its expanding counterpart, but also does much less hide damage.

Most people use Remington Core-lokt / Winchester Power Point / Federal Power Shok bullets as a baseline for their expectations. These use conventional bullets designed to produce good results on deer for a reasonable price. To me, they represent the 80/20 rule, which is 80% of the performance for only 20% of the cost, so they're a good value and generally do a good job, if your expectations are reasonable and your usage is middle-of-the-road. These products are optimized for moderate cost and typical usage, which is deer at 75-125 yards. If you want to hunt larger game like elk or moose with this ammo, you are expected to use the heavier bullet weights to reduce impact velocity, moderate expansion, and increase penetration.

I recently shot a hog with .308 180 grain Speer BTSP shot out of a .30-06 at ~2650 fps muzzle velocity. It hit the hog at about 100 yards and nearly eviscerated it due to the rapid bullet expansion. I'll be using this same combination on a deer hunt later this month, but you can be certain that I'll be very careful with my bullet placement, so as not to destroy too much meat. All of this is a round about way of saying you can choose anything from an explosive varmint bullet, to a full-metal solid, or hard cast bullet that won't expand at all. It's up to you to decide how you define "performance", and then match your demands to the most appropriate bullet.


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071881 12/01/20 08:11 PM
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I shoot .308 Core-Lokt's almost exclusively now. I'd say where you hit the hog, is more important than what you hit it with.

Bigger hogs will take body/shoulder shots all day long with most any bullet. Friday night all I could seem to do was stuff 'em full of bullets vs put one in the dirt.

Charlie


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8071934 12/01/20 08:45 PM
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If the bullet does not do significant CNS damage, either directly or indirectly, expect the hog to run. If the hog runs, then its adrenaline is going to dump. Don't expect it to stop until it bleeds outs or starves the brain of oxygen, not unless you manage to hit it with another shot that damages the CNS or breaks down its ability to run. This is regardless of caliber or bullet.


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Re: Actions of Types of Rounds [Re: HS2] #8072168 12/01/20 11:12 PM
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I shoot a bolt action with .308 ballistic tips

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