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Discussion Starter · #541 ·
Third Category - Failure of the hunter – Bullet Placement.

I personally have not experienced a “failure” of a copper bullet while hunting in the above scenarios, but I have in this one.

Let me explain it via specific hunting situations. Of all the elk I have shot, I have had three that didn’t drop after a couple steps. In two of these situations, I didn’t recognize that the elk was slightly quartering towards me when I took the shot resulting in only one lung being hit when shot behind the shoulder. An elk can run pretty far with one good or partially damaged lung. Tracking and a follow-up shot were required.

In the third situation, as I rushed to set-up for the shot, I asked the guide for the range which he passed as 350 yards. I missed (or so we thought). The next morning, I shot an elk running a ridgeline the next valley over. When we approached to field dress it, the guide said the elk looked like the one I missed the day before. Then we noticed there was a second wound where a bullet had passed through the sternum. I then asked how he had determined the range the day before. Instead of using his range finder, he had estimated (guessed). Using a map, I determined the range was 450 yards or more. I should have taken another couple of seconds to use my range finder. Correct distance is critical when taking a long-range shot. Thus, in this situation, the bullet did not hit the vitals and the elk ran off. It was pure luck that I shot the same elk the next day on a 500,000-acre ranch.

How many hunters might blame their bullet in situations like these?



In closing, the majority of today’s copper bullets are designed and function effectively. I have found monolithic bullets from Barnes, CavityBack, and Hornady reliably expand. They expand quickly and have fully mushroomed by the time they penetrate the near-side ribcage of an elk. They are so consistent in their expansion that their diameter directly correlates to the kinetic energy on impact.

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Discussion Starter · #542 ·
Even though there hasn’t been a lot of 6.8mm bullet testing recently, I have been testing .224, 243, and .308 caliber bullets mainly focusing on monolithic copper bullets. I will work to post some terminal test results in dedicated threads over the next few months. To give you a glimpse of how the different caliber groups compare with respect to kinetic energy and expansion, here is a graph documenting the different caliber bullets. Note how the KE envelop grows larger with each step up in caliber size.

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To keep the plots from being over-cluttered, it is missing two bullet groups. Copper bullets designed for the 6.8mm are not shown as they would have overlapped too much with the .243 plots. Second, no CavityBack MKZ Bullets in any caliper are shown as their expansion is greater and some would have been off the chart.
 
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Retrieved from my deer today, 100g accubond from druid hill. Didn't take pics of the internal damage but this entered front right, almost straight on and traveled most of the length of the deer. Retrieved just inside the hide at back left quarter. DRT. Funny thing is the deer did a complete backflip in the air when hit, and was facing the opposite direction. It was weird.
 

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Retrieved from my deer today, 100g accubond from druid hill. Didn't take pics of the internal damage but this entered front right, almost straight on and traveled most of the length of the deer. Retrieved just inside the hide at back left quarter. DRT. Funny thing is the deer did a complete backflip in the air when hit, and was facing the opposite direction. It was weird.
Impressive performance. Any chance you have a scale to report the retained weight? Looks pretty close to full weight from those pix. Congrats on the kill.
 

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Impressive performance. Any chance you have a scale to report the retained weight? Looks pretty close to full weight from those pix. Congrats on the kill.
Thank you. Wish i did have a scale, wondered the same thing myself. Would guess its 90% or better though. I may look for a scale
 

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Even though there hasn’t been a lot of 6.8mm bullet testing recently, I have been testing .224, 243, and .308 caliber bullets mainly focusing on monolithic copper bullets. I will work to post some terminal test results in dedicated threads over the next few months. To give you a glimpse of how the different caliber groups compare with respect to kinetic energy and expansion, here is a graph documenting the different caliber bullets. Note how the KE envelop grows larger with each step up in caliber size.

View attachment 63131

To keep the plots from being over-cluttered, it is missing two bullet groups. Copper bullets designed for the 6.8mm are not shown as they would have overlapped too much with the .243 plots. Second, no CavityBack MKZ Bullets in any caliper are shown as their expansion is greater and some would have been off the chart.
I recently started using some cfe black with 90gr Speer gold dots using fc brass. Well here’s what I came up with.
Using AR platform 20” barrel, cci 400 primers, 29.9gr cfe black, coal was 2.247.
3,045 FPS 1,850 FT/LBS. SD 6.3 ES 16. I use just water jugs for testing and the mushroom was great and weight retention was 78gr all the pedals where still intact to the core. .61” group of 5rds. @ 100yrds. Primers where just starting to flatten.
Warning this load data worked safely in my rifle however it may not be safe in yours.
 

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I recently started using some cfe black with 90gr Speer gold dots using fc brass. Well here’s what I came up with.
Using AR platform 20” barrel, cci 400 primers, 29.9gr cfe black, coal was 2.247.
3,045 FPS 1,850 FT/LBS. SD 6.3 ES 16. I use just water jugs for testing and the mushroom was great and weight retention was 78gr all the pedals where still intact to the core. .61” group of 5rds. @ 100yrds. Primers where just starting to flatten.
Warning this load data worked safely in my rifle however it may not be safe in yours.
Yes of course in the 6.8 spc
 
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