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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got my first deer with my 6.8 yesterday evening, 12.5" ARP barrel setup. I used 90gr federal fusion MSR ammo. I've taken many deer with other weapons across 30 years of hunting, just my first with my 6.8 I built.

I'll have to say I wasn't impressed with the penetration of the 90gr bullet. The doe was quartering to me slightly, roughly 30 yards away. I shot her in the shoulder and the bullet didn't exit the other side, the opposite rib cage was cut so the bullet is somewhere in the opposite shoulder. I'm sure it would have been a different story if it was a full broadside shot and not in her shoulder, but being that close I figured the bullet would have enough energy to go in and out. Nonetheless it took out her heart and lungs easily but was very surprised it didn't exit... and no blood trail due to no exit either. Luckily I watched her drop in the field about 40 yards from where I shot her, if it would have happened in thick woods, she would have been a tough find. Should I jump up to a heavier bullet for more drive force to exit for a better blood trail?

I understand dead is dead, but I don't always hunt a field, sometimes I'm in thick woods and would potentially need a good blood trail.

Thanks
 

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I got my first deer with my 6.8 yesterday evening, 12.5" ARP barrel setup. I used 90gr federal fusion MSR ammo. I've taken many deer with other weapons across 30 years of hunting, just my first with my 6.8 I built.

I'll have to say I wasn't impressed with the penetration of the 90gr bullet. The doe was quartering to me slightly, roughly 30 yards away. I shot her in the shoulder and the bullet didn't exit the other side, the opposite rib cage was cut so the bullet is somewhere in the opposite shoulder. I'm sure it would have been a different story if it was a full broadside shot and not in her shoulder, but being that close I figured the bullet would have enough energy to go in and out. Nonetheless it took out her heart and lungs easily but was very surprised it didn't exit... and no blood trail due to no exit either. Luckily I watched her drop in the field about 40 yards from where I shot her, if it would have happened in thick woods, she would have been a tough find. Should I jump up to a heavier bullet for more drive force to exit for a better blood trail?

I understand dead is dead, but I don't always hunt a field, sometimes I'm in thick woods and would potentially need a good blood trail.

Thanks
Take a look at my post on a 28 yard neck shot with a 90 grain fusion. That was with my 16” rig but the 12.5 is just as accurate out to at least 100. Seriously ugly exit wound. Deer traveled the distance from his belly to the ground. Where I hunt on my property, 50 yards is about as far as I ever need to shoot. If you know your POA/POI, center neck drops them like Thor’s hammer. If you look at this pic, just above the dot on the reticle, you can see the round just before impact.
64947
 

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Unfortunately the appropriate weights for the 6.8 are varmint weights in the 270 unless specifically marked for the 6.8 .
Personally I lean towards the heavier bullets here , a light game 130 for a 270 should be about ideal for 0-200 yd in the 6.8 for nominal use . A 115 or 120 Game King or Pro Hunter would be great , but I don't think such a beast exists which takes you back to the 130s .
 

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Here is a photo of the deer, you can see the entrance hole on her left shoulder. I'll see if my local shop has any heavier ammo.
Thanks
If you want heavier, look for some 115 grain fusions, I’ve killed hogs out to 300 with those with the 16” rig. They are very accurate and hit hard and stay together for excellent penetration. Lots of great options out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess I don't "need" heavier. I'll just not take any shoulder shots with the 90gr. I'll admit, I was stalking her in a tall grass pasture and she made me as I was getting into a shooting position, it was a take the shot or she would be gone in nanoseconds scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I see the cavity back name thrown around a lot on here. I'm not familiar with them. Are they the cats meow for 6.8 bullets, what makes them so special? I dont reload but a good friend of mine does...but yes, they are out of stock. Thanks
 

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I see the cavity back name thrown around a lot on here. I'm not familiar with them. Are they the cats meow for 6.8 bullets, what makes them so special? I dont reload but a good friend of mine does...but yes, they are out of stock. Thanks
Quality and expansion
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The Gold Dots are a great projectile, but slightly on the soft side of the spectrum.

One thing I have learned from other member's testing on here is that the higher the impact velocity, the greater the expansion and the lower the penetration. I shot a large boar with the 90 gr Gold Dot at 26 yards and even though it is a tougher animal, I was surprised it didn't exit that close, until I really though about it and made the correlation between impact velocity (more importantly kinetic energy but they are relative) and expansion/penetration.

If pass through is your preference regardless of striking bone, then I would look for a solid copper monolithic bullet such as the 95 TTSX, 100 GR GMX, 105 or 120 CBB (best choice) or the 110 TSX. The Accubond line has a very strong track record of terminal performance and pass through often.
 
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Despite what you would think , you get less penetration with close range shots. The higher the impact velocity, the more target resistance the bullet encounters. Think about jumping into water. Jump off a 20 foot, its a slow impact and you slip right into the water. Jump off of a 200 foot cliff and its like hitting concrete. The cavity backs give you larger expansion than any other bullet at all ranges. Iv shot 7 deer with them from 40 yards out to 230 yards. Every time I got large exits with tons of blood. The factory 115 fusions are much better for penetration than the 90s if you dont reload. This is a picture of an exit from a 140 pound doe i shot at 50 yards last year with the cavity back 120mkz.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ya, that makes sense in penetration. I guess being from Indiana and growing up hunting with deer slugs and muzzleloaders I'm used to pass through at respective ranges and never had an issue with it. I bought a Tika T3X CTR in 6.5 creedmoor when Indiana opened up rifle cartridges a few years back and it'll pass through like no one's business...but it's a different beast than the 6.8spc.

I'll have to check with my local shop and see what they have on the shelf, or what they can get, if anything at all.

I have about 15 rounds of my last box of 90s to go through so that maybe all I'm left with for the remainder of the season.

Thanks to all that replied.
 

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betcha ur 6.5 was shooting a bullet heavier than 90 grains?
 

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I am not sure that the close shoot being higher velocity caused the bullet to fail to pass through. He is shooting a 12.5 barrel. So maybe 100-150 FPS slower then a 16 inch barrel? Maybe the fact that it was too slow? Were you able to recover the bullet? I think to expect this small cartridge to perform like a larger one is foolhardy. I've shot a lot of deer with a 300 mag. Most were DRT. Too much recoil for me now. This is a good deer round but not perfect.
 

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The issue with 90GD is they essentially turn into a lead ball on closer shots (see pic below). Notice the 100yd bullet is shown from rear. I would think that with no "tail" they would be more likely to not track as well and increase the likelihood of deflection. It was designed as a military round so limiting over penetration was possibly a desire. I have shot them with success and killed my largest whitetail to date with a XM68GD load. Like your shot but in reverse and at 80yds from my 20" ARP, i hit last rib on left and bullet was under hide of the right shoulder. The deer went 30 yards and slid down the hill another 10 or so. For more info on the bullet check out this page.


65021
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, I shoot 143gr hornady precision hunter out of my CM. I didn't recover the bullet yet, I asked the processer to look for it in the shoulder. Also, I don't expect it to perform like a bigger cartridge, I was just originally surprised with the deer being so close that it didn't pass through. But I have since been schooled on the 6.8 90gr gold dot characteristics and it all makes sense.

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This is my first year to hunt with the 68 so I cannot relate to pass through shots or penetration yet. Will be shooting the 100 accubonds from druid hill this weekend, hopefully will have some feedback for you on performance. Mine is a 20 inch ARP setup.
 

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Shot 2 8pt Whitetails last year both about 180 to 190 at 100 yards. First time shooting factory 90GDs. Both dropped within 20 yards. Ruger Hawkeye. Usual 6.8 deer load 95 Barnes or 100 Accubond reloads.
 

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I am not sure that the close shoot being higher velocity caused the bullet to fail to pass through. He is shooting a 12.5 barrel. So maybe 100-150 FPS slower then a 16 inch barrel? Maybe the fact that it was too slow? Were you able to recover the bullet? I think to expect this small cartridge to perform like a larger one is foolhardy. I've shot a lot of deer with a 300 mag. Most were DRT. Too much recoil for me now. This is a good deer round but not perfect.
I did a ballistics gel test at a 100 yards and I put a deer shoulder and ribs in front of the gel. I shot it with my 308 and my 300 win mag using 150 grain Remington corlokts in both. The 308 held together and penetrated 18 inches. The 300 completely fragmented and only penetrated 8 inches. I chronograph both rounds, 308 was doing 2730 fps and the 300 was doing 3150. Identical bullets but completely different results because of different impact velocities. Bullet construction plays a huge role, had i used all copper bullets in both the results would be way different.
 
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