Soft point or FMJ?


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The Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 12:11 AM
I bought a box of 7.62x54R full metal jacket today and was wondering if the soft points or the FMJ were better for hunting.

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R.W.Dale
August 8, 2007, 12:33 AM
In most states NON expanding ammunition ( FMJ ) is illegal for hunting

S&WKING
August 8, 2007, 12:38 AM
hollowpoint or ballistic point

xd45gaper
August 8, 2007, 02:38 AM
seriously?

TehK1w1
August 8, 2007, 04:12 AM
With an FMJ round even a shot through the heart will not always immediately kill the animal, and a shot anywhere else will just pass right through the animal with minimal expansion, leaving a badly wounded animal that can still run for a long time before dying-it's just generally a bad idea.

Grumulkin
August 8, 2007, 06:55 PM
With an FMJ round even a shot through the heart will not always immediately kill the animal, and a shot anywhere else will just pass right through the animal with minimal expansion, leaving a badly wounded animal that can still run for a long time before dying-it's just generally a bad idea.

You don't know what you're talking about.

First of all, most heart shot animals don't die "immediately." They generally run a bit. Whether shot with with an expanding or non expanding bullet, most animals will die promptly. An exception might be something like elephant that have a huge rubbery heart that might close the hole of a small caliber solid. You don't have to worry about that in North America unless you're hunting in a zoo or circus.

If you gut shoot an animal with a solid or an expanding bullet, it could be defined as "badly wounded" and will indeed take awhile to die. If you shoot an animal with an expanding or a solid bullet in the lungs, liver, heart, great vessels, brain or spine near the head, it will die promptly whether shot with an expanding or non expanding bullet.

Keep in mind that solids are the bullet of choice for the biggest animals hunted. In the case of some like buffalo, many recommend softs first but follow-up shots are with solids. Decades of professional hunters have proven that solids work when used correctly. Military loads, which have been used to kill people, are loaded many times with FMJ ammo. Also, users of cast lead bullets most of the time are using nonexpanding bullets.

Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 11:48 PM
doubletap

Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 11:50 PM
Your best bet would be with Czech silvertip, if you go FMJ

[http://www.brassfetcher.com/images/762x54mm%20148gr%20Czech%20silver%20tip%20block1.JPG

http://www.brassfetcher.com/148gr%20Czech%20FMJ%20(silver%20painted%20tip).html

trueblue1776
August 9, 2007, 12:25 AM
Soft points are the gold standard for hunting medium and larger game. Quality will vary among brands, but for knock down power, the soft point rules.

I use Speer Hot Cor soft points, and recently experimented with Speer's Trophy Bonded Bear Claw soft points. The TBBC's were fantastic, though not quite sure if they are worth the expense for me.

I don't know many guys who use HP's or FMJ to take game over 50lbs. I'm sure I could take game with some of my cheap Soviet ammo, but I respect the animal enough to spend 50 cents more on a decent bullet.



P.S. Ballistic gelatin doesn't have any bones.

Grumulkin
August 9, 2007, 05:23 AM
I don't know many guys who use HP's or FMJ to take game over 50lbs.

In the case of FMJs, no doubt because you don't know many guys who hunt elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, walrus & giraffe. In the case of HPs, you apparently don't know many guys who shoot Barnes TSX bullets.

hamourkiller
August 9, 2007, 09:34 AM
Pretty much established that when spitzer ball ammo hits flesh it will swap ends and the flat rear area now is going forward through the animal or person.
Why did people when shot with 8mm, 30-06 and 7.62 x 54 russian rounds fall down dead in WWII? Might it be thier internal organs got blown out the back side! Come on now, if you shoot a deer sized animal with a 30 cal battle rifle round he is going to expire quickly just like the soldiers of WWII. If you have to use ball shoot them in the shoulder and go get your dead deer. Ricochet is the real reason most states dont allow these rounds. They will penetrate trees and bounce around quite a bit. Soft points will stick in a tree.

Hollow points designed for hunting are great, .30 cal 165 gr Siera Game Kings come to mind. Hollow point target rounds some times expand and some times act like solids, example .30 cal 168 gr Siera Match King.

If you doubt that ball ammo kills well, buy a couple 150lb hogs and shoot them and see what happens. Big chuncks of tasty hog meat will be laying upon the ground ready to be cleaned.

All being equal, the modern soft point is best for deer hunting, ball will work but is illegal in most states for deer and be careful of the ricochets.

Art Eatman
August 9, 2007, 11:58 AM
The general history of using FMJ bullets for hunting North American game animals is that it's a really bad idea. The bullets punch through without expanding, and the wounded animal is commonly lost. This naturally ignores a hit to the spine; legs are not commonly the intended target. You can't rely on this "tumbling" thing for effectiveness; there's no such thing as "always".

With solids for large African game, the whole idea is to either break the major bones, immobilizing the animal for a second (or third) shot, or to penetrate the skull of something like the buffalo or elephant in its charge. In-depth penetration is also far more important on a ton of buffalo, compared to a 200-ppound whitetail. And, at 45-caliber and up, they could be likened to "pre-expanded" 30-caliber bullets insofar as blood trail.

Art

Schwebel
August 9, 2007, 12:37 PM
I've always wanted to take a Mosin deer hunting, let us know how it works out. Unfourtunatly I live in Ohio and can't rifle hunt for deer...:mad::mad:.

hamourkiller
August 9, 2007, 06:30 PM
Hard Ball through the shoulders of a deer will blow the other shoulder off the animal. Expansion is not required as the first shoulder bone is turned into multiple smaller projectiles. .30 cal battle rifles are not toys and will blow appart a normal 125# Texas deer. They do not just slip through. Every time you shoot a deer through both shoulders with a 30-06 M2 Ball round the deer will be within 40yds of the shot. The hole will look like a soft point came out.
Is it the best round ? No. But it is not a pansy round either. Shoot a pig or two and find out.
Look at some of the battle films from WWII and see how the soldiers fall instantly when hit! The energy carried by these high velocity heavy bullets tears up any human sized animal they hit. It is what they are designed to do. Ask a WWII ot Korean war vet what happens when these bullets hit people. They do not ease on through and the people take several days to figure out they have been hit! It is lights out!
All that said, the soft point is the best round for hunting as it does have superior wounding capabilities on double lung shots etc. But really fellows, do you think a 100gr .243 soft point will cause a worse wound than a 30-06 150 gr M2 ball round? at deer hunting distances? I dont think so.

The Deer Hunter
August 9, 2007, 07:52 PM
Wow what a silly question to ask, on my behalf. I think I meant to ask, would FMJ be ok to hunt with?

I think I will get some softpoints anyways.

I've always wanted to take a Mosin deer hunting, let us know how it works out. Unfourtunatly I live in Ohio and can't rifle hunt for deer...

i feel you man, I live in MA and I cannot rifle hunt here, rather I go up to NH(I live close) and hunt with my father. But its like $250 for a license with only 1 tag, and I can apply for an area M doe tag.

Marlin 45 carbine
August 9, 2007, 07:55 PM
use a soft point amd aim for the central nervous system (base of skull or neck/body junction) or heart/lung junction.

The Deer Hunter
August 9, 2007, 08:00 PM
I plan on mounting it, and I don't want to miss either. I think there is a reason most people shoot for the vitals(heart and such) of the deer.

unreal45
August 9, 2007, 08:22 PM
Try remington core lokts, shoot them in the heart/lung area and they wont go far.

Grumulkin
August 9, 2007, 08:27 PM
The general history of using FMJ bullets for hunting North American game animals is that it's a really bad idea. The bullets punch through without expanding, and the wounded animal is commonly lost. This naturally ignores a hit to the spine; legs are not commonly the intended target. You can't rely on this "tumbling" thing for effectiveness; there's no such thing as "always".

With solids for large African game, the whole idea is to either break the major bones, immobilizing the animal for a second (or third) shot, or to penetrate the skull of something like the buffalo or elephant in its charge. In-depth penetration is also far more important on a ton of buffalo, compared to a 200-ppound whitetail. And, at 45-caliber and up, they could be likened to "pre-expanded" 30-caliber bullets insofar as blood trail.

Well Art, you're partially right.

I don't know how you know that there is history on hunting with FMJ bullets in the U.S.A. and that it's a bad idea. For as long as I can remember, and I've been around awhile, the official stand has been to use expanding bullets at least when using jacketed bullets, for big game hunting in the U.S.A. In fact, in many places, it's required by law for big game hunting. This ignores the truly long history in Africa where FMJs were use extensively with good results. It also ignores that fact that in many places (probably most) solid lead balls or bullets are allowed for hunting (in muzzle loaders for instance) and haven't been found to be a bad idea; these are nonexpanding bullets. I would agree though, that a tumbling bullet can't be counted on.

It is true that with large dangerous animals, penetration to vital organs is of paramount importance. The same is true when hunting a rabbit, a deer etc. The difference is that it's a lot easier to get a bullet through to vital organs in a smaller and softer animal. Both a solid and an expanding bullet would penetrate a deer and if either hit a vital organ, the animal would die.

The advantage of an expanding bullet is that when it hits an animal, it essentially changes to a larger caliber bullet and creates a bigger wound channel, more bleeding and an earlier death. If you hit a deer with a .224 caliber bullet that expands to .458 caliber you've essentially created about the same diameter wound channel that a .458 caliber weapon would have caused. Of course, the hypothetical .224 caliber projectile wouldn't penetrate nearly as far which won't matter in smaller thin skinned game.

The fact remains, FMJ and other nonexpanding bullets are lethal if you hit a vital organ with them. To postulate that a nonexpanding bullet will just zip right through vital organs like heart and lungs and not do enough damage to kill is a little ridiculous.

Oh, and regards to African game, solids are pretty much the bullet of choice with elephant where brain shots are the norm. Depending on who you talk to, when hunting cape buffalo, a good quality soft is generally the first bullet directed at the hart and lungs. As long as the expanding bullet is built strongly enough to get to the heart/lungs it is better to have a .458 caliber bullet that expands to .600 caliber and is less likely to pass through to injure other animals in the herd. Subsequent shots are with solids since angles including the Texas heart shot or raking shots may be needed and excellent penetration will be of paramount importance.

H&Hhunter
August 10, 2007, 01:22 AM
I use a very good soft for the first round on buff then solids after that.

Elephant I use all solids.

For everything else it's Barnes bullets. A hollow point bullet that I've killed everything from jack rabbits to cape buffalo with.

As far as FMJ on NA animals it isn't legal in most places so it is kind of a mute point.

ALSO there is a huge difference in performance when a pointed spitzer type FMJ is involved vs a square nosed or round nosed large caliber hunting solid.

Spitzer FMJ's tend to give erratic performance due to the fact they tend to not give straight line penetration.

The simple answer to the original question is use a good soft point bullet. For two reasons, one it is legal two you lessen the chance of over penetration and wounding or killing a critter on the off side of the one you've shot.

Grumulkin
August 10, 2007, 08:48 AM
Actually, in most places it IS legal to use FMJ bullets under certain circumstances; varmint and fur hunting for instance. They generally aren't legal for big game hunting but are under certain circumstances in certain places. The fact remains, it's a bit illogical to maintain that FMJ bullets can't be used and that projectiles like solid round balls and nonexpanding hardcast bullets can be used but that's the way many laws are written.

As far as erratic performance of spitzer FMJ bullets is concerned, that may be because they tumble at times. Of interest is some testing done on round nosed vs spitzer bullets written up in Handloader magazine a few years ago. Testing was done to see which type of bullet was deflected more when encountering obstacles in flight. As I recall, they used wooden dowels for the obstacles. It turned out that spitzers were deflected less than round nosed bullets. That, of course, doesn't prove how they act once they hit tissue.

The FMJ .224 bullets used in the M16 were (maybe still are) notorious for tumbling and, as you say, erratic performance. I suspect this was more from an inadequate twist rate rather than from an inherently unstable design.

Lastly, I don't object to the advice to use a good soft point. In about 95% of cases, this is the best way to go. What I object to are the sweeping statements that FMJs/solids just "zip right through doing very little damage." I've seen the latter statement or something similar to it quite a few times and it's really a bunch of baloney from those who haven't really thought things through and reveals an ignorance of anatomy, physiology, ballistics and the quite extensive history of killing things with solids and FMJ bullets.

Art Eatman
August 10, 2007, 11:41 AM
I didn't say a spitzer-shaped FMJ wouldn't kill Bambi. The point is that there is less tissue damage and a slower bleed-out. The critter can travel further before dying. Ergo, more liklihood of its not being found.

Back during the Depression, when some folks were instituting their own independent deer hunting seasons and bag limits in order to have food, the common store-bought ammo was considered too expensive. Surplus WW I GI stuff, however, was cheap.

Some guys would pull the bullets and re-seat them butt-first, with all that lead exposed. Good for close range, insofar as reliable accuracy.

Some guys would take a hacksaw to the tip of the bullet. A little too much enthusiasm, there, and the lead core could blow out--with bad results for the next shot.

Now, I got into the '06 business in 1950. I listened to the stories of guys who then were Old Pharts as I am now. I have a pretty good memory. There was a reason for all this folderol with bullets: GI FMJ just didn't work as well as soft points for a quick, reliable kill. And I'm talking about guys who'd kill bucks, does, fawns; twenty or thirty a year, for food. The 1930s were rough times.

Enough. Suffice that it's not just "Art's opinion". When folks who hunt to eat offer comments from what they've experienced, I tend to listen. And I burned around 1,000 rounds of GI stuff when I first got to '06ing, working over rocks, trees, jackrabbits and the occasional coyote. Soft points and hollow points work a helluva lot better.

Art

Big Daddy K
August 10, 2007, 01:00 PM
I use FMJs in my 17hmr.
Cast in my 44 mag
and Win Balistic Silver Tip in my Deer Rifles.
Although I have discovered that the elcheapo blue box federal SP shoot pretty dang good.

Cosmoline
August 10, 2007, 01:10 PM
Keep in mind that solids are the bullet of choice for the biggest animals hunted.

NOT .30 CALIBER SOLIDS! Besides, FMJ spitzers are not the same thing as monolithic solids. Apart from the diameter difference, the solids used for hunting are RN and designed to penetrate very deep and break massive bones. FMJ spitzers aren't designed to do any such thing. When Bell & co were using military ball to kill elephants, the ball in question was low velocity RN in 6.5 or 7mm with a super high SD and a very thick jacket. A 54R spitzer is completely different in every possible respect.

You're also WAY off base in comparing FMJ spitzers with soft lead slugs. Or with hardcast slugs. Soft lead smacks hard and deforms easily, making it quite lethal. Hardcast slugs penetrate deep and like the monolithic solids are designed to break heavy bones. They're also usually of .44 cal or larger, making expansion much less important. FMJ military spitzers are again designed to do no such thing. The only thing spitzer 54R's would be good for are fur bearers. I used them to kill grouse once. But they're far from perfect for those applications, as you're better off with a .22 for a variety of reasons.

Can you use them for large game? Sure. You can use a .22LR to kill moose. But it's cruel, stupid and illegal.

There is plenty of SP 54R out there that has been used for hunting with good results. Get that.

H&Hhunter
August 10, 2007, 10:37 PM
Grumulkin,

I would assume that "the deer hunter" was referring to hunting big game in his post.

And as far as I know there isn't a state in the US that allows FMJ bullets on big game animals.

I've killed a load of coyotes with 55 gr ball ammo. It works just fine. I think it becomes far less effective on larger animals. Of course if you put a hole through the heart it is game over. But not always with a lung shot if you are just pin holing it.

But the facts are you can't use FMJ in any states that I am aware of for hunting big game animals.

PS I've seen healed over 7.62X39 FMJ wounds on a buffalo that had several rounds through the lungs.

cwmcgu2
August 11, 2007, 09:39 PM
I've sighted my custom M44 Scout Rifle in with Silver Bear 7.62x54R 203 Grain SP ammo. I'm confident with the rifle out to about 150yards and it could do better than that in more capable hands. If you want to hunt with a Mosin the Silver Bear ammo is a good choice IMHO as it has been very consitent for me.

Harley Quinn
August 11, 2007, 10:39 PM
I bought a box of 7.62x54R full metal jacket today and was wondering if the soft points or the FMJ were better for hunting.
************

What are you shooting? Humans or a species that has to be tagged?:neener:

HQ

jordan1948
September 13, 2008, 03:17 PM
It's illegal to hunt with FMJ here in TX

rcmodel
September 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
+1
It is illegal in most states to hunt game animals with FMJ.

It is inhumane in all states to hunt anything with FMJ ammo.

rcmodel

Marlin 45 carbine
September 13, 2008, 04:36 PM
can't use FMJ here in N. Calinky. no doubt it will kill but take awhile to do it. chances of run-offs are high.
I'm looking for regs to come that will outlaw round-nose cast slugs also and I don't blame them.

Rokman
September 13, 2008, 11:36 PM
Definately soft points. Do yourself and the animal a favor and use somthing that will sufficiently expand.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 14, 2008, 01:28 AM
I use FMJs in my 17hmr.

That's a pretty neat trick - who makes those?

Rokman
September 14, 2008, 11:18 AM
CCI makes fmj for 17HMR, but they shoot poorly in my fifle as compared to the ballistic tips.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 14, 2008, 12:08 PM
Sorry, no, neither CCI nor anyone make an FMJ in .17 HMR. CCI has a hollow point and a ballistic tip. Perhaps you are thinking the ballistic tip is an FMJ?

As has been mentioned, the answer to the original question, very simply and very emphatically, is a good soft point ammo.

moooose102
September 14, 2008, 12:19 PM
well, if you hit the animal solidy, the animal will die. period. it is that simple. be it a fmj, soft point, or hollow point. besides the legality, the biggest difference is going to be how far you will have to track it, and how good of a tracker you really are. for me, i want it to drop in it's tracks, if possible. so i hunt with soft points or HUNTING hollow points depending on what i am shooting. you will probably want to do the same. it isnt going to be any fun trying to get your animal out of a 2 or 3 foot deep swamp in the middle of november.

NCsmitty
September 14, 2008, 02:29 PM
It is illegal in most states to hunt game animals with FMJ.
You have to be a little ignorant not to realize that FMJ bullets are illegal because they are less effective on thin skin game than expanding bullets. Will they kill? Most definitely.
The Geneva rules of war dictates the use of FMJ to avoid the damage caused by expanding bullets.
It comes down to using the proper bullet for the job.

NCsmitty

Clipper
September 14, 2008, 03:02 PM
No rule against FMJ in Michigan...

HB
September 14, 2008, 03:09 PM
Can you use a rifle for deer in Michigan?

HB

Clipper
September 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Yup, in the U.P. and northern lower peninsula

Rokman
September 14, 2008, 04:53 PM
Premium Sauces- I beg to differ. I quess that you have never been over to my house and looked in my ammo stash. I have a box of CCI 17 HMR fmj sitting in front of me right now. The model # is 0055. I bought them about two years ago and they may have been discontinued.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 14, 2008, 04:58 PM
Hard Ball through the shoulders of a deer will blow the other shoulder off the animal. Expansion is not required as the first shoulder bone is turned into multiple smaller projectiles.

I find this kind of talk in defense of FMJ pretty ridiculous/misleading....

Hard Ball through the shoulders of a deer will blow the other shoulder off the animal.

Well, let's see, if you are on one side of a deer when you see it, there are 180 different angles from you to the deer, at which you may be oriented when shooting. Regardless of a stationary ENTRY point on the near side being exactly where you want it (on the near shoulder as you say), only about 10 of those 180 degrees will result in the bullet exiting at the far shoulder when it exits. The other 170 degrees will NOT result in this happening. This doesn't even take into account the many angles up and down which could cause the exit wound to not be in that spot.

Expansion is not required as the first shoulder bone is turned into multiple smaller projectiles.

Sure, if you precisely hit bone, which is not easy to do, because there is a hole just above the "elbow", around which the other bones go, and you cannot see through the skin where the bone precisely is. Besides that, it's just hard to make a perfect hit exactly where you want to under field conditions, even if you know precisely where all the bones are located.

This is real simple. You are being unethical if you use an FMJ round to hunt large game. Period. End of story. You can try to justify it all you want, but you will fail, and have failed to do so.

caribou
September 14, 2008, 08:24 PM
I can only comment on my personal observations, which includes 22 years of hunting for a living, and the last 6 years using a Sako'd Mosin with Czeck LPS fmj's with absolutly 100% kills.
Now I do alot of hunting across tundra, and I'm not perfect, but I do have to do a second shot occassionally, as thats the way it gos!

Fact is, you must have good shot placement EVERY SHOT, or no matter WHAT you shoot it with, its gonna be wounded.
A more powerfull gun in NO WAY makes up for poor markmanship.

The Sako with czech LPS is THE most accurate rifle/ammo combination I have ever found, and at a rediculasly cheap prices.

Hard ball will do the LEAST damage to meat. Soft points do the MOST damage to meat.
9 outta 10 times I shoot them in the head or neck, only when Im not sure will I make a Heart shot.

Heres a visd from last month,
three shots at three caribou, with Czech LPS
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/th_ebbbb7af.jpg (http://s53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/?action=view&current=ebbbb7af.pbr)

Nothing unethical at all in using the proper bullet for the job; Since bullet placement is 100% of why something dies, I use the most accurate combination I know of and stick with it.
In the vid, all three are moving targets.
Hitting the neck bone assures a fist sized exit wound.


Its also legal to hunt with FMJ's in AK, and more than half of my fellow meat hunters use the same.
Plenty use .223 on everything, and it is ALWAYS "Where", not with "What".

Go with accuracy.

Clipper
September 14, 2008, 08:34 PM
This is real simple. You are being unethical if you use an FMJ round to hunt large game. Period. End of story. You can try to justify it all you want, but you will fail, and have failed to do so.

So who died and appointed you Arbiter of Ethics?

Gimme a break...

NCsmitty
September 14, 2008, 08:38 PM
caribou, It was a little hard to see the quarry, but that was a cool vid. Nice shooting! You walk the talk.

NCsmitty

koja48
September 14, 2008, 08:41 PM
I wonder why they established the Geneva convention prohibiting expanding bullets on enemy combatants (kinda like deer-sized game, only less athletic)? One would suspect that research was done & that the expanding rounds were a tad more destructive, but . . . I could be wrong. I'll use the slug appropriate to the quarry . . . "pencil-holing" a deer ain't my bag. Even if solids were legal (and they aren't in most, if not all states), I personally wouldn't use them. If you're too frugal to handload or buy good ammo, please don't hunt. Deer deserve better than that . . .

caribou
September 14, 2008, 09:00 PM
I might add here my personal observations with FMJ's and soft poits....

Soft points do alot more damage. (Thats a "Period")

If your making up for poor marksmanship, maby a fella needs all the help he can get.
Remington makes the best (For me) soft pointed ammo with great consistancey and all around accuracy.

For me (!!!) Czech silver tipped LPS is the most coonsistant milsurp that easily rivals Remington for accuracy, consistance and availibility (I buy it by the case)
Fact is, Czeck LPS tumbels quite a bit, often breaks at the clennature and when it hits bone (I aim at the neck bone/skull) it sheds its jacket and lead into little pices and the steel core often exist the animal and lodges in the elasic skin opposite of the entry hole.
Its Dynamite on Brown Bears..... but Ive only killed more than dozen over the years, so its an ongoing observation, and plenty of Blacks Bears as well....all with FMJ's
Soft points on large Game often expand/expolde just after the entry, with only fragments penatrating deeply, though the wound is surely a killer....
Often Soft points make "pencil holes" when they do not hit bone, and often lodge, still looking new, under the skin opposite of the entry hole.

I hunt for meat and fur. Its a way different hunt than for antlers.

No matter what you hit them with, all that matters is "Where" you hit them, every time.

I shoot straight and true with FMJ's, you have to find the most accurate round that your gun shoots and go with it.

ArmedBear
September 14, 2008, 09:15 PM
Here's the deal.

Before modern high-velocity ammo, nobody would have thought to shoot a deer with .25" or .30" projectiles. .50" was typical for round balls, and early conicals .45" and up were the rounds of choice. Velocity was slow, but bullet weights were high.

I've examined several buffalo shot with BP .45-70 with heavy bullets. I was using 520 grain hardcast bullets in my gun and dropped the thing in one shot -- had to figure out which hole was the entry and which was the exit, since they looked the same. We couldn't find many bullets, even in buffs that had been shot several times. They went straight through unless they hit something really hard. Lots of damage, like a freight train, not fast, but big, heavy, and it seemed like nothing slowed the bullets down.

So anyway, late in the 19th Century, someone invents smokeless powder. Then they figure out that they can increase velocity a lot. This means a smaller bullet can have a lot more energy than with black powder. So, they developed the familiar spitzer that we still use today -- small diameter, long and skinny bullet with a sharp leading point.

This was GREAT. Instead of having bullet drops measured in feet, drop was now just inches, even at long ranges. This made hunting a lot easier.

However, these little bullets, with all their velocity, didn't make big holes. The .45-70, .38-40 (actually .40"), etc., were hole-punching rounds.

There was a simple solution. The soft, expanding point turned the extra velocity into a bigger hole. You could get the flatter trajectory and higher energy with a smaller diameter bullet, and turn it into a larger diameter bullet when it hit its target.

The first modern smokeless hunting round was the .30-30. It was first marketed as a "metal patched" lead bullet.

Bottom line: FMJ rounds were never developed as hunting rounds. Not even the first modern hunting rifle cartridge, long before all the development we've since seen in bullet design, was a FMJ.

koja48
September 14, 2008, 09:19 PM
Soft lead versus FMJ . . . anybody see a distinct difference there?

caribou
September 14, 2008, 09:31 PM
Sure do see a slight difference....

A miss with a soft point or an FMJ s still a miss....

A hit in a vital with FMJ or soft point is still a kill.....

A badly placed hit with a soft point or an FMJ is still gonna need a followup, untill a fella can hit it right.

The difference is in lawfull use.
Nothing to do with the Genevea convention, as I dont use poison gas or take prisoners.......LOL!!!

great thread.....:D

ArmedBear
September 14, 2008, 10:05 PM
Soft lead versus FMJ . . . anybody see a distinct difference there?

Hardcast bullets aren't soft lead.

Soft lead was used to make muzzleloaders possible to load.

Again, a look inside a buffalo shot with vintage loads is revealing. There was no expansion with those old bullets. Even a bullet stopped by a huge bone was merely deformed a bit. No expansion.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 14, 2008, 10:10 PM
So who died and appointed you Arbiter of Ethics?

Nobody, but all it takes is common sense and the tiniest amount of research to understand this most fundamental principle of hunting ethics which is widely known and accepted the world over and has been for many many decades. Subsistence hunting aside (which caribou may be doing - I don't know), if you can't shell out a couple dollars more for some actual hunting bullet ammo, then you should not be hunting at all. YOU need to give the animals a break by killing them cleanly and humanely.

Son of Sam
September 14, 2008, 10:11 PM
From what I've heard (I'm sure I'll be corrected if I am wrong) the Geneva Convention made it so FMJ only could be used on human targets of war to lessen the amount of kills (like that really did much, right?). To compensate for this, the 5.56X39 and 7.62X39 rounds became commonplace due to their inherent ability to tumble on impact with flesh, thus increasing the size of the wound channel. This is irrelevant... but it was found that killing an enemy only took ONE opponent out of "the game" while wounding an enemy soldier usually removed three (one down, two to carry the wounded off the field) = big bonus. This is only relevant because of my further reply to the thread:

I'll choose a softpoint over a FMJ every single time when shooting anything I want to be sure goes down and it's lights out forever. I'll quit hunting altogether when I see two other deer carry my "clean kill" off on a stretcher. :eek: :)

koja48
September 14, 2008, 11:29 PM
This has been a good thread. A soft-nosed, jacketed bullet WILL get larger on impact, thus imparting more energy. An FMJ will NOT get appreciably larger. I still side with using expanding bullets on big game in North America. An accurately-placed FMJ may result in a clean & swift kill; the same shot with an expanding bullet will do the same, but doesn't pose the pass-thru potential inherent to an FMJ. Bottom Line: We make our own decisions & we live with the results.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 14, 2008, 11:36 PM
And I believe it was the Hague Accords that banned HPs or soft points, not Geneva Convention. My understanding is that the USA is not even a signatory to Hague, but we abide by it anyway, just out of the goodness of our heart (either that or perhaps we really believe the doctrine that "it's better to wound than to kill" the enemy). Because indeed that is the purpose of Hague, to be more "humane" by not allowing the more deadly HPs or soft points.

koja48
September 14, 2008, 11:43 PM
History eludes me . . . point I attempted to make is that soft points likely weren't banned without substantiated evidence to do so.

ArmedBear
September 14, 2008, 11:57 PM
Read about the history here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dum-dum

It was the Hague Convention of 1899, and, as with sporting arms, military weapons were tested with expanding bullets because the FMJ's were not as effective as the large caliber bullets used throughout most of the 19th Century.

The expanding .303 was far more effective than the FMJ .303, plain and simple. However, it appears that it was disturbing to people at the time, that military arsenals were experimenting with making bullets do more damage.

For some reason, it had never bothered people that soldiers were being blasted with .69 round balls, .58 caliber Minie Balls, .45 caliber bullets better suited for buffalo hunting, etc.

paintballdude902
September 15, 2008, 12:38 AM
i just go with the old stand by for deer i use a marlin .30-30 with softpoints i have never had a deer run more than 30ft and the ones that run i have noticed are the ones hit in the heart its most momentum or that split second they have to move

unless you hit the spine its not uncommon for them to run

If you doubt that ball ammo kills well, buy a couple 150lb hogs and shoot them and see what happens. Big chuncks of tasty hog meat will be laying upon the ground ready to be cleaned.


this is blasphamy you try doing that here and you will have some enemys for either a) buying a hog and not having a pig pinkin (bbq to anyone not from around the south) or b) not letting them come shoot it

mmmmm bbq

ArmedBear
September 15, 2008, 12:41 AM
unless you hit the spine its not uncommon for them to run

Blew the head nearly all the way off a chukar yesterday, and it kept flying for a good while. But I'm sure it was dead within a split second after the shot hit.

"It's dead, but it don't know it yet."

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