What equals good performance??


Well-known member
Dec 18, 2000
Mesa, AZ
OK guys, hold on to your seats. What is good performance for you regarding terminal ballistic effect? Do you like a bullet that yeidls through and through wounds or do you prefer a bullet that penetrates completely and lodges under the hide on that off side? You have to give a reason. If you just post a preference without giving a reason, I'm gonna pour fingernail polish remover in all of you powders. :D :D :cool:
We use powder (massive increase in pressure, when ignited) to move mass! We expect the bullet to use what energy we have released on the object we have in our sights! WE put the bullet out the other side of the mass , we have hit is wasted energy!
Mike Murphy
Danr, before I answer your question on bullet performance, answer me this, what T/H is a single stud like yourself doing with finger nail polish in the mansion???
I've always held you in high regard, so don't tell me you've "jumped the fence". :D :D

As far as acceptable terminal performance, I aggree with MLM. On larger game I'd be satisfied if the bullet was just under the skin on the opposite side, as long as there was a biiiig mess in it's wake and it dropped in its tracks.

On a 'chuck I'm happy to see only an entrance hole and hear a sloshing sound when I move him to his final resting place, or see a red or green rainbow over him after the shot, and no evidence of a pass through on the other side.

Reasons, I prefer not to worry about where the bullet went after it passed through, I don't like to blood trail 'cause they rarely lead TO the truck or camp, and quick kills are more humane. ;) ;)YOP WD
I want an exit wound!!! While the thought of the bullet fully penetrating to the offside hide may sound appealing, I've got a problem with the logic.
If a behind the shoulder shot is taken, and only a rib, a little sheath of muscle at the ribs, and low density lung tissue are penetrated, and the bullet lodges under the hide on the offside, this bullet will not accomplish the job needed on a raking shot or a hit to heavy bone.
If this bullet is designed for the average( lets say whitetail) deer for the afore mentioned shot placement, and the "mother" of all whitetails walks out , only offering a raking shot, will your bullet be up to the task?
I also hunt in an area where a variety of game can be taken. I want insurance on a large animal,or a heavily constructed(bear) animal is encountered.
I also want maximum structural, muscular, and vessel damage, from any and all angles.
Last but not least, I want the animal leaking from both sides, making tracking(if necessary) much easier.
I (IMHO) think that ft/lbs of energy is overrated in many situations. An example often used: Would you rather have a 22-250 or a 45-70 when taking a body shot on a large bear?? The 22-250 has impressive numbers, but a "bear gun it aint"!!-memtb ;)
Entrance and exit hole, please. Two holes means more blood loss, and more muscle/tissue damage.

If a bullet cannot reliable exit an animal I'm shooting, I find a different bullet.
Well, we now have two sides to the story. Considering that a 55 grain 22 caliber slug moving at 3600 fps only generates about 2/3 the energy of a 250 grain 45 caliber slug 2 1800 fps, then I guess to answer that question, the 45 would be clearly the better alternative.

Now, considering the most any rifle will provide a tat (through and though) wound at limited ranges, and few of them will at extended ranges, how do you account for things like hydrostatic shock? Are they worth considering when discussing terminal effect? That sloshing sound that WDS likes in chucks. Is that a desirable effect in larger animals like deer and antelope?

By the way Mr. Swift.. :D I use the fingernail polish like most people use locktite. I find that if the surface is clean nail polish holds better and breaks loose easier than locktite or any or the other stuff like that. Nail polish remover is mostly acetone, so it works really great for getting oil and other gunk out of scope mount holes and off of triggers. Used to use aerosol degreaser, but that was not environmentally safe. :D :D :D.. :cool:

[ 23 April 2001: Message edited by: danr55 ]
Hydrostatic shock has been demonstrated time and again that it is not as consistent a factor in causing rapid death as is a large hole all or most of the way through. A study of police shootings over the last thirty years showed that in instances where perps were shot in the chest, those that had the highest mortality rate, and expired most qucikly, were those who had an exit wound. Also, those shot with slow moving .45 acp rounds have a much higher fatality rate than do those shot with higher velocity 9mm bullets, in spite of the fact that the 9mm slugs show a much higher level of hydrostatic shock effect when fired into ballistic gelatin.

That's why the FBI abandoned the 9 mm as their exclusive service approved round and approved the .40 S&W, and also why the LAPD, amongst other PDs, has now authorized it's officers to carry .45s, if they so desire.

The .45 caliber pistols work better at what they were designed to do. Kill people.
I have to say that I am with Nodak on this one. I can see the logic behind WDswifts arument, but too often the animal does't drop where it was shot. I like the second hole for the added blood trail. I shot a small whitetail behind the shoulder with a 20ga. and the slug stopped on the far side shoulder. I was lucky to find that deer because there was very little blood,all the blood was in the chest cavity, to follow and it was shot at dark. Give a hole on the otherside and I could probably have found the deer in 10 minutes and not an hour and a half.
Danr, I put a lot of stock in the 'shock logic. It causes so much trauma to the tissue, muscle, and disrupts the nervous system to the point that what ever is hit (if it is in the front half) it won't survive. I've shot enough chucks with FMJ to tell ya that they Hunker up and in most cases walk back to the hole. Now when I hit one and he does a backflip or a 180 or I see one of those red or green rainbows, he don't even twitch.
Now on deer, an arrow will go through and through, just like FMJ, but when that 150 gr. ballistic tip picks him up off his feet and throws him sideways 3-4 feet, there is no blood trail, but as MLM stated IT IS shot placement and responsible shot selection. That applies to which ever side of the logic you're on.

Danr :D good answer on the nail polish, but I was surprised at your answer, I thought that you'd say it was left over by any one of several ladies this past weekend.: :D :D ;)WD
Apples to Oranges, here is Ohio, Rifle hunting is limited to Varmints and the like! No big game but Deer and a few loose cows now and then! I travel to hunt out west and make my choice for a bullet to fit the hunt! After that I place , shot placement as the next biggest thing! Sure , here we have two different types of hunting! I can kill a groundhog hitting him in the shoulder with a 220 Swift 55 grain Nosler. But taking a poor shot with a 165 grain partition on a Elk is a wasted shot and a poor sportman like thing to do! There fore I place my shot and want all of the energy I have worked on and rung out of my 300 WM to be used up on the target. I am not knocking any one else , I have just figured out an opinion and being an Old fart tend to stick with it! I have heard the old big slow and fast shock story. In hunting in thick woods I take the big slow, hunting open plains and clear cuts I take quick and fast, after I get the shot I want! Trust me, the farm next to mine has hogs they put down at the rate of two to ten at a time! He lets me test a load or bullet any time I like! Now that testing is kind of hard to beat! :D :D
Mike Murphy
OK So now we have logic that compares a 9mm and a 45ACP reaction on a 2 legged person. How would that same logic compare if it were a 45ACP TAT vs. say a 257 WBY 100 grain ballistic tip at a muzzle velocity of 3400 fps and a range of 100 yards?? Would there be a difference in hydro shock and would it be substantial enough to be worth considering for terminal effect?? What if your target were not a 200 pound man, but a 800 pound bull elk. Would there be a difference in hydro shock effect??

Don't anyone get upset. I'm not trying to create an agruement, just get something going here and maybe create a little interest.

BTW, Swift, do you know something about last weekend at my house that I don't?? I don't recall any women of any kind, good looking or not. Did I miss something??
In a perfect situation, a bullet expending all of its energy in the target and causing massive tissue destruction would be ideal, in my opinion. Since that's not the case and since I do not like to pass up a shot that would be doable "if only I had a different bullet loaded," I like a bullet that is most likely going to pass through on a braodside rib shot like a Partition, Grand Slam, etc. We don't have woodchucks where I shoot varmints, but on ground squirrels, I like a violently expansive bullet like a Speer TNT, Hornady V-max, Ballistic Tip, Blitz-King, etc. (Turns 'em inside out.)
Danr, on the last round of questions;
The 257 wby wins by a landslide.
Worthwile or noticible in terminal effect--OOOOHHHH yeah!
On an Elk? (This is out of my league) But I'm going to guess that he's going to get everything that wby and ballistic tip sends him. ;) Whether that is enough or not depends on shot placement.
(Sorry about your slow weekend :( )
Lastly-----the anticipation is building here, nerves are on edge, palms sweating, blood pressures are probably rising....Danr how soon ya gonna give us YOUR take on this stuff??????
Well, my take is that everyone is right. I don't think there is a pat answer to this situation any more then there is an answer to which caliber is best, 270 or 30-06. I think there are too many variables for any one answer to be correct all the time. If I had to pick one to live by, I would say imagine the worst case scenario and load appropriately. My personal opinion about hydro shock says that the 45acp 9mm parabellum scenario doesn't offer enough difference to really tell which is more effective. In that vain, the 45 would naturally be superior becuase of the size differential. If you were to compare a 45ACP with a 10mm Norma for instance, then the outcome would be different.

As for effect on a man vs. and Elk, well that was a setup. The extremes again. First off, man is a poor target to judge bullet or round performance against because physically he is a wimp compared to Elk or sheep or bear. The effect of hydro shock can be deomstrated best by the chuck concept. When you shoot a chuck with a Swift and a rapidly expanding bullet, he just kind of wilts. When you go to look you pick him up and he is all jiggly inside. I shot an antelope with a 6mm one time and he did the same thing. I used and 80 grain Remington Protected Hollow point, (the only non-nosler bullet that I shoot) and it traversed from end to end. I still have picutes of the head where the bullet came out between the eyes. The range was about 180 yards. The first shot knocked him donw and the second shot hit just to the left of the anus. It went the full length of his body and came out between his eyes. When I opened him up, there was nothing but jelly. Don't know if it was the first shot or the second. I would suspect the second because of the greater resistance. Anyway, it is real, it is deadly, but not perhaps as deadly as the TAT wound for consistancy.

Anyway that's my take on it. I didn't start this to tell everyone how I thought, but to get some life back into this board. Seems like everything is kind of dwindling.. Must be the season.... :cool:

[ 24 April 2001: Message edited by: danr55 ]
I have always belived in the hydro shock theroy on animals deer sized and smaller, but if your talking elk, bear or bigger, then give me an expanding "through and through" bullit.
The rapid expanding hydro shock theroy gives you 20 % better "quick kill" proformance 80% of the time, but if the only shot you have is a "Texas hart shot" on a trophy bull, you got problems. A controlled expantion bullit might take a few more seconds to kill, but it will do it at any angle, any distance you can take the shot.
I shoot Nosler "ballistic tips" on deer, but I'm taking "Trophy bonded bear claws" on my elk hunt this fall. If I get lucky, and find a big one, I'll take any shot he gives me.

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