Liver Shot


PDA






ArtP
December 2, 2011, 11:04 PM
I've read before that if a bullet destroys the liver of a game animal, it's considered a vital or semi-vital organ and can incapacitate quickly.

From what I know about anatomy, and that might not be much, the only way to quickly incapacitate is to disrupt oxygen to the brain or damage the central nervous system.

What am I missing?

If you enjoyed reading about "Liver Shot" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
GJgo
December 2, 2011, 11:10 PM
I don't have a technical explanation, but in my time I have shot both deer & elk in the liver & in each case the animal was on the ground within 5-10 seconds. Not as fast as a heart shot, but much faster than a lung shot. YMMV, I suppose.

Liberty1776
December 2, 2011, 11:12 PM
Nothing. Your instincts are right. A liver shot is a bad idea and can take a hell of a long time to bleed out. It is not incapacitating, especially considering the bullet may have to punch through a stomach or two full of woody browse, depending on the angle...

303tom
December 2, 2011, 11:12 PM
Shock kills more times than not..........

ArtP
December 2, 2011, 11:57 PM
Why do you suppose, the liver is mostly shown on kill zone charts? There are numerous other organs left off kill zone charts. To me, it must be of some significance.

hirundo82
December 3, 2011, 12:20 AM
Physiologically, the only way to stop an animal is to stop the central nervous system from functioning. This can be accomplished either by direct damage or by interrupting the oxygen supply (ie blood flow).

The liver has a lot of blood flow through it--all the blood returning from the gut goes through the liver. A good hit to the liver will bleed a lot, and the animal should bleed out in relatively short order. It is nowhere near as reliable as a heart/lung shot though.

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 12:41 AM
It will kill the animal
a human shot in the liver will die in about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how bad it was lacerated. And for most of that will be conscious, LOTS of bleeding virtually impossible to stop. The other organs are left off cause while it will kill them, that will happen hours to days later. Question is, why aim there, a lung shot takes their wind away, so at least if the don't flop, they can't/won't run so hard.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 12:45 AM
Question is, why aim there, a lung shot takes their wind away, so at least if the don't flop, they can't/won't run so hard.

I never would aim for the liver.

I have a curious mind to a fault, and from time to time, I thought of the subject yet I never could come up with anything that made sense or could explain why the liver was mentioned as vital.

Heavy bleeding makes sense.

280shooter
December 3, 2011, 12:45 AM
I shot deer with arrows in the liver,, they didnt last long... they bled out fast,,they walk around then lay down, and die fast,,,I like a quartering away shot. through the liver then lungs and heart area, they dont last long...

caribou
December 3, 2011, 01:58 AM
My wife grandfather lanced Caribou from his kayak as they crossed the river, his aiming point was behind the last rib, which where the liver would be peirced and no bone struk.

Later, his son , my fatherinlaw used a .22 to the same effect, but with a brain shot.

Today we use a power boat and a .22 , yet al;l at the same site, same caribou, same reasons and same use......now we have speed, in its various forms, in transportation and weapons.
Also, my fatherinlaw taught me that if you have to have a larger target because one of your sights is missing or your vision bad (lost glasses, snow blind, ect) the Liver is a large mid animal target.

If I do, indeed, gut shoot a Caribou or any other animal, I clean it with snow or grass, wiping as much as possible out, and leave the liver for last. I cut the liver and letting them bleed out into the cavity,I place the animal on its back, gut and I wipe the blood around and get out the rest of any moss or chewed vegitation into the inch deep blood in the cavity,, then smoke what I got, have coffee, gas up,........ something to pass 10 minutes, then I tip out the huge clot and all thats in it, that has congeeled while the carcass cooled, and firmed up, and the only sign of a gut shoot is the bullect holes.

As well, the liver, heart, tounge and kindeys make a great hot meal out in the country while hunting

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 02:06 AM
Caribou, fascinating stories which I found reason to read twice. one, your grandfather-in-law, and the other your own.

It's my wish that such lessons can somehow find their way into our modern world for me to pass on to my grandchildren, at worst case, from stories I've recounted.

Thanks for your post!

RhinoDefense
December 3, 2011, 02:28 AM
Shock kills more times than not..........
Facepalm

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 02:32 AM
Facepalm
you know, when you post a remark that makes no sense, without explanation, and your signature is an advertisement, it doesn't exactly bode well for your cause. In fact it's negative PR, and the phrase "all PR is good PR", doesn't apply.

RhinoDefense
December 3, 2011, 02:51 AM
you know, when you post a remark that makes no sense, without explanation, and your signature is an advertisement, it doesn't exactly bode well for your cause. In fact it's negative PR, and the phrase "all PR is good PR", doesn't apply.
Facepalm is someone holding their face in the palm of their hand, usually in disbelief of a comment or opinion of someone else that is so far from fact it's dumbfounding. Welcome to the Internet.

Shock is BS. Does it occur? Yes. Does it kill? No. Does shock kill more times than not? No. To post a comment of "Shock kills more times than not" is such a misunderstanding of terminal ballistics I don't know where to begin.

Regarding my signature and my company... When have you or anyone else witnessed my account here selling anything? When have you or anyone else witnessed my account here advertising anything of my brand as being for sale to forum users? My signature is there for a disclaimer that I'm a member of the firearms and ammunition industry, not here to sell or other such waste of time on forums. I do plenty of business and make more than enough profit in the markets I serve off the Internet.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 03:01 AM
Facepalm is someone holding their face in the palm of their hand, usually in disbelief of a comment or opinion of someone else that is so far from fact it's dumbfounding. Welcome to the Internet.


Well, you just face-palmed yourself.

With a one word, vague, comment and an advertisement as a signature, what would you expect?

If my opinion were asked, I'd offer the biggest offenders of "facepalm" are those who make simple comment or opinion without explanation. What good is that?

And trust me Rhino, this opinion was formed before your confirmed it.

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 03:01 AM
Quote:
Shock kills more times than not..........
Facepalm

Technically, the lack of perfusion (medical definition of SHOCK)
is the cause of ALL death... just saying, shock kills, actually it's the only thing that really kills, it just happens that there are many numerous ways to inflict it.

Facepalm...

Liver is a good target, just saying it may not be the quickest, but it is a sure one.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 03:04 AM
Technically, the lack of perfusion (medical definition of SHOCK)
is the cause of ALL death... just saying, shock kills, actually it's the only thing that really kills, it just happens that there are many numerous ways to inflict it.

Facepalm...

Liver is a good target, just saying it may not be the quickest, but it is a sure one.
but you're talking about shock in the sense that blood loss is "shock". The original poster (of that lame comment) was talking about hydrostatic shock, which is all together different and still debated.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 3, 2011, 03:09 AM
Shock is BS. Does it occur? Yes. Does it kill? No. Does shock kill more times than not? No. To post a comment of "Shock kills more times than not" is such a misunderstanding of terminal ballistics I don't know where to begin.

Wow, I find it amazing that such ignorance abounds in this world of information.

Rhino, have you never heard of "hemorrhagic shock"? Let me define it for you. "Hemorrhagic shock is a condition of reduced tissue perfusion, resulting in the inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for cellular function. Whenever cellular oxygen demand outweighs supply, both the cell and the organism are in a state of shock."

Now not only do you have "hemorrhagic shock" but you also have "Hydrostatic shock". Let me define this for you as well. Hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock describes the observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact.

BOTH kill. As a matter of fact both kill more frequently than CNS disruption because CNS disruption is not a "favored" shot option in most cases. Before you attempt to discredit someones opinion, try boning up on some facts.

Now as to the OP's question. As has already been stated pretty well, a liver shot, while not being in the best percentile of shot choices, will produce a fairly quick kill from either firearm or bow. It tends to bleed heavily. Especially if hit in the middle to upper lobe of the liver where there are a couple of major arteries. If unpushed, a deer will lay down in fairly short order and expire. If you feel you have connected well into the liver, give the deer about an hour to two hours before you even attempt to go after it. I have often seen them go from 50 to 100 yards then bed down with bow hits to the liver. Also, more often than not, you will nick the rear lower lobe of a lung if you hit a liver. Of course that depends on shot angle. But more often than not, you will see at least slight lung damage as well as liver strike.

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 03:10 AM
ArtP wrote
The original poster (of that lame comment) was talking about hydrostatic shock, which is all together different and still debated.

Yeah, um that...
I wouldn't touch 'hydrostatic' shock with your 10 foot pole
Lets just say I'm a big believer in the medical definition of shock, everything else is not guaranteed. And no it's not blood loss, it's more about the transport of needed cellular nutrient and the removal of waste, along with the body processes that happen when the aforementioned process start to fail.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 03:13 AM
ArtP wrote


Yeah, um that...
I wouldn't touch 'hydrostatic' shock with your 10 foot pole
Lets just say I'm a big believer in the medical definition of shock, everything else is not guaranteed. And no it's not blood loss, it's more about the transport of needed cellular nutrient and the removal of waste, along with the body processes that happen when the aforementioned process start to fail.
no, you're close.

Shock, in the medical sense is a loss of blood pressure, oxygen to the brain and a build up of carbon dioxide that can't be evaccuated.

I think we're close enough by definition to agree and scoff the hydrostatic shock idea that was mentioned earlier.

No sarcasm intended to you.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 03:33 AM
Rhino, have you never heard of "hemorrhagic shock"? Let me define it for you. "Hemorrhagic shock is a condition of reduced tissue perfusion, resulting in the inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for cellular function. Whenever cellular oxygen demand outweighs supply, both the cell and the organism are in a state of shock."

Now not only do you have "hemorrhagic shock" but you also have "Hydrostatic shock". Let me define this for you as well. Hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock describes the observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact.

Wow!

FF, I'm certainly impressed with your knowledge of anatomy!! There is no doubt about that.

However, through the reading I've done, I've yet to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that hydrostatic shock actually kills. None of us can really be sure of the cause of death, but oxygen starvation as a means of death is a certainty that can't be debated. To me, hydrostatic shock makes sense on paper, but there isn't proof. Without proof it remains nothing more than a theory that I contemplate.

I've read my share of studies and I do understand the logic. It does take more than an understanding of what may be possible to convince me that something is real.

I wasn't even aware that there was such a thing as hemorrhagic shock, but the mere mention of it, doesn't cause me to suddenly believe in it, either.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 3, 2011, 03:47 AM
ArtP, Hem shock is just a fancy term for bleeding either internally or externally to the point of oxygen deprivation.

As far as the hydro argument, I've seen a LOT of damage from the "temporary" wound cavity and tend to believe in the theory myself. Plus I have a pretty good understanding of hydraulics and can picture the effects it would have on cellular makeups. Imagine it this way, blunt force trauma to the liver or spleen by way of a punch. I saw several guys in the fight game with lacerated spleens and livers from PUNCHES. How else could you explain lacerations of an internal organ other than hydraulic force? Same theory goes for the extreme deceleration of a bullet upon impact of tissue. It's really very simple physics. I just don't get why people have such a hard time with it myself.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 04:20 AM
FF,

I have to admit, in the studies I've read, if they can be read without any doubt, always gave a cellular reason for hydro-shock. That is that extreme pressure, carried vascular, interrupted the CNS. I had a hard time with this, thinking the tiny size of capillaries would not carry that pressure forward. In the scenario you mentioned, smaller and smaller hydraulic lines may not cause much damage if ruptured.

However, shown in your light, with the analogy of the boxer with internal organ tearing, makes total sense and DOES give example and credibility.

I can't say much beyond I'm glad you pointed that out. In other words, I'm not going to proclaim to have the ultimate key terminal ballistics, but I am going to always think about your post when it comes to humane kills. And that's a compliment coming form this skeptic!

Thanks for sharing!

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 04:26 AM
FF the boxer...
Newtons laws, the fact that your insides are pretty spacious and there is room for stuff to 'rattle' around and sheering force of 'hard' tissues

Hydrostatic stock is SHOCK WAVES
they tend to pop or knock over stuff, so if the liver is exploded then yeah, I'll take that as damage due to the temporary wound cavity

Now I shoot you in the big toe and your liver explodes like a popcorn kernel, then yeah, I'll give you your hypothesis
it's about the damage
'hydrostatic shock' is not a consistent nor a consistently proven method of injury at the energy level produced by a bullets impact.

but now I'm getting off topic
the point is the liver is a viable target, that will produce a consistent kill when shot.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 04:32 AM
FF the boxer...
Newtons laws, the fact that your insides are pretty spacious and there is room for stuff to 'rattle' around and sheering force of 'hard' tissues

Hydrostatic stock is SHOCK WAVES
they tend to pop or knock over stuff, so if the liver is exploded then yeah, I'll take that as damage due to the temporary wound cavity

Now I shoot you in the big toe and your liver explodes like a popcorn kernel, then yeah, I'll give you your hypothesis
it's about the damage
'hydrostatic shock' is not a consistent nor a consistently proven method of injury at the energy level produced by a bullets impact.

but now I'm getting off topic
the point is the liver is a viable target, that will produce a consistent kill when shot.

Alrighty then. You just re-invoked the skeptic in me.

"insides are pretty spacious"?

"room to rattle"?

"hard tissue"?

How can you possibly describe the "waves"? Video? Were you there? How were they measured?

Hydro static shock, even with your best analogy remains a theory and there's nothing "consistent" about a theory. Right?

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 04:48 AM
Art take a cows liver (its easy to get hence why I suggest it)

punch it
cause you can punch a persons liver, the stomach will deform that far, Dr. touch it every time they do a physical, trace the outline, size etc. that's what they are doing when they are pushing up under your ribs.

So we establish that you can punch the liver
think about a deer, you can make the organs move quite a bit.

Now take the same liver, tape it to the side of bucket full of water, shoot the bucket...
now tell me, what do you see.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 04:52 AM
You're making me guess about the vulnerability of the liver.

It's already been established that the liver will lead to massive hemorrhaging. Are you saying a bullet passing close to the liver, and the associated hydrostatic shock is enough to disrupt the liver and cause it to massively hemorrhage, therefore causing a slow death by bleeding out through the liver?

I'm not exactly sure I understand your point. No offense.

But if I do, I'm going to start loading up Barnes "X" tipped bullets in .243 80 grain and launching them at 3250fps and hope a shot between the liver and lungs disrupts them both via hydrostatic shock.

Now of course I'm being a "smart-Art". But really, why not, based on that theory?


(note: that may not be fair, since this topic got off on other topics to include hydro static shock etc)

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 05:06 AM
sorry, but if the fluids are transporting the bullets shock wave, shouldn't you see something rather dramatic happen to the liver taped to the bucket, after all the bullets energy, it's shockwave is being directly transmitted to it, in a medium MUCH better suited to it than the human body.

BTW, I never said that the temporary cavity isn't dangerous to the liver, it's actually one of the organs most vulnerable to that form of injury do the fact that it can't stretch and deform like other tissues.

Rather I'm saying that one of the most blood filled, stiff, non elastic organs doesn't seem to pop every time someone is shot from some mysterious shockwave.

cavitation is VERY dangerous to the liver, only problem is, you still have to TOUCH it, have it within the bullets path.

ArtP
December 3, 2011, 05:19 AM
Shadow,

PM sent

Shadow 7D
December 3, 2011, 05:43 AM
But if I do, I'm going to start loading up Barnes "X" tipped bullets in .243 80 grain and launching them at 3250fps and hope a shot between the liver and lungs disrupts them both via hydrostatic shock.

Careful, at that speed you just might make the poor animal explode... :rolleyes:

OK, we're splitting hairs

Shoot the bucket, the liver will be fine, MAYBE a little tenderized but not some dramatic damage.

Reminds me of a mythbusters episode where they tenderized meat with C4, lets just say, acid and time do a better job.

beatledog7
December 3, 2011, 08:03 AM
A liver shot would destroy a lot of the organ, rendering it inedible. That would be a bummer.

Bobson
December 3, 2011, 09:34 AM
I've read before that if a bullet destroys the liver of a game animal, it's considered a vital or semi-vital organ and can incapacitate quickly.

From what I know about anatomy, and that might not be much, the only way to quickly incapacitate is to disrupt oxygen to the brain or damage the central nervous system.
From what I've read and been told regarding liver shots on deer (for bowhunting - may be different for rifle, but I wouldn't think so), one should wait four hours minimum (six to eight hours would be best) to attempt to track the animal.

That being said, it is considered a lethal shot; you just need to give the animal sufficient time to expire. A liver shot sure wouldn't be my goal.

JimPage
December 3, 2011, 09:40 AM
When discussions get testy like this ridiculous argument, I usually leave the thread.

I find neck shots (sometimes head shots) are sure stopping shots. I use them almost exclusively. Doesn't matter to me whether it's shock or not that does the job.

Art Eatman
December 3, 2011, 11:14 AM
We know that a neck shot or a heart/lung shot is generally very quickly fatal. Commonly in my experience, almost instantly fatal in a DRT condition.

Sure, a hit in the liver will be fatal, but I don't know how long that would take--and I really, really hate to chouse all around a pasture looking for a dead deer. Besides, I already know almost exactly where the heart/lungs are--and Bambi's neck is real obvious. :D

GJgo
December 3, 2011, 11:28 AM
At least in elk hunting, a single lung shot can leave you with a very empty freezer- you have to be careful with that one. Bullets do funny things once they get inside, and having to penetrate 2 organs as opposed to 1 can be a more complicated thing for a bullet to do.

I don't aim for the liver, but on a long shot if the animal takes a step forward or you mis-judge the wind that's often where the round ends up. Internet-hunting aside, I can say I've had more meat in the freezer from liver shots than I have from lung shots.

Steel Talon
December 3, 2011, 11:48 AM
[QUOTE]
Rhino, have you never heard of "hemorrhagic shock"? Let me define it for you. "Hemorrhagic shock is a condition of reduced tissue perfusion, resulting in the inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for cellular function. Whenever cellular oxygen demand outweighs supply, both the cell and the organism are in a state of shock."

Now not only do you have "hemorrhagic shock" but you also have "Hydrostatic shock". Let me define this for you as well. Hydrostatic shock or hydraulic shock describes the observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets through a hydraulic effect in their liquid-filled tissues, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact.

BOTH kill. As a matter of fact both kill more frequently than CNS disruption because CNS disruption is not a "favored" shot option in most cases. Before you attempt to discredit someones opinion, try boning up on some facts.

QUOTE]

FWIW, This^^^^

X-Rap
December 3, 2011, 12:03 PM
I try to place my shots between the back of the shoulder blade and the last rib. This minimizes the damage to edible meat and results in fairly quick kills. As GJgo stated, things happen and I have often hit liver as opposed to lungs and the results have been very similar so having seen hundreds of BG animals down over the years I can say conclusively that a liver shot will bring one down as quickly as anything beside CNS disconnect.
Admittedly many of the shots I have seen and taken myself have been quartering or the bullet deflected or broke up causing damage to more than the liver alone so we are certainly talking multiple organs damaged in many cases.
Liver IMO is classified as a gut shot but the only one that will usually drop one within the same distance as a lung shot.

BCCL
December 3, 2011, 12:50 PM
ALL deaths occur from lack of blood to the brain "hemorrhagic shock"....."hydrostatic shock", (assuming it's real), cannot cause death by itself, but is only one more mechanism that causes/aggravates a direct injury that results in death by "hemorrhagic shock".

H&Hhunter
December 3, 2011, 12:55 PM
Hydrostatic shock in the classic terms as defined by the Weatherby clan in the 40 and 50's is little more than marketing hype. yes hydrostatic shock has an effect on some animals generally smaller lighter built animals. Hydrostatic shock doesn't have the slightest effect on large heavily built animals. Some of the old Weatherby claims are laughable. "Shot him in leg and the hydrostatic shock from my fine Weatherby rifle exploded the deer's heart." Or my favorite "I shot a cape buffalo with my .257 Wthby and the little 100 gr bullet created such massive hydrostatic shock that it dropped him in his tracks!"

Blow a hole through anythings heart and it will die but it isn't due to magical shock waves. It's due to massive blood loss and the inability of the heart to profuse blood.

Hypovolemic shock is something else entirely and is caused by low volume of fluid in a circulatory system causing massive systemic organ failure. One of the causes of hypovolemic shock is massive blood loss. This is a common cause of death for an animal in a hunting situation.

As far as liver shots I'll just say this. I shot a nice whitetail buck a few years ago. He was quartering away hard. I got liver and one lung. I lost that deer for over 5 hours. Later that day and just by luck I found him again and he was still alive. He was about out of blood and sick but he was still alive.

RhinoDefense
December 3, 2011, 12:58 PM
Hydrostatic shock exists and has been debunked several years ago as a factor in incapacitation. Marshall and his sidekick were proven wrong over and over again. As of recent, Dr Michael Courtney has tried to bring this theory back into the light and is once again proven for it to be untrue, though he tries to perpetuate it on gun forums instead of scientific venues. This theory has been ripped apart many times.

Yes I'm familiar with hemorrhagic shock. Hemorrhage is the wounding mechanism of bullets in tissue. Most people on gun forums mention shock to mean "hydrostatic or hydraulic shock". If you want to get technical and use the four medical classes of shock, then yes. Hemorrhagic shock kills. Hydrostatic/hydraulic shock does not. Hypovolemic shock is the most common type of shock humans incur, but this isn't about humans.

The liver definitely has a lot of blood in it, but look at its function: it's a filter. Why go after the filter when the pump is better? I've made poor shots on big game that missed the heart/lungs and completely destroyed the liver. The animals took many hours to die. Heart/lung shots have never made me track an animal past 100y.

Is the liver a vital organ? Yes. If destroyed will you survive? No. Is it a faster death than a heart shot? No.

There are three targets that are reliable for quick incapacitation: heart, lung, CNS. Stick with those. Liver shots are never as quick as the others. The sentiment on this board is that animals should be killed as quickly as possible. A liver shot goes against the grain with that ideal.

castingdonkey
December 3, 2011, 02:44 PM
My 2 cents, I have seen several animals liver shot. Not one of them survived including 3 elk this year. I would not discount a liver shot for a second unless it was just a nick. A direct hit liver shot is a dead animal within seconds not minutes or hours. I saw it just last night on a cow elk. She was hit way back but didn't start running off just stood there for about 10 seconds then tipped over. I love to eat the liver so I aim for the head or heart but since guys have a tendency to jerk the rifle the liver gets shot.

buck460XVR
December 3, 2011, 04:39 PM
There are three targets that are reliable for quick incapacitation: heart, lung, CNS. Stick with those.

Most deer experts recommend avoiding shooting any deer in the CNS as this tends to multiply the chance of exposure of hunters to the prions that cause CWD. I agree the liver is not a desirable point of aim, but have seen many deer recovered when this was the only vital organ hit. My oldest pulled his shot on a large ten pointer this year bow hunting and thought he wounded and lost a nice trophy. But halfway across the alfalfa field the big buck stumbled and went down. Upon field dressing the deer the body cavity was full of dark red blood with a perfect X from the broadhead on the liver. Boiler room shots have always been the most effective and gives the largest target with the smallest chance of missing. This should always be the first choice when shooting at a deer.

d2wing
December 3, 2011, 05:00 PM
I agree with Freedom fighter 100%. I've shot dozens of deer with a wide variety of weapons and cartridges. There is no doubt in my mind that there is hydrostatic shock related to energy of the round and shot placement. For you CNS only guys, why is Gabby Giffords alive and why do so many people survive serious head trauma? This is not news. Military research has proved this true for over 100 years. For the many on this forum that still think the world if flat, I hope that works for you.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 3, 2011, 07:12 PM
Some of the old Weatherby claims are laughable. "Shot him in leg and the hydrostatic shock from my fine Weatherby rifle exploded the deer's heart." Or my favorite "I shot a cape buffalo with my .257 Wthby and the little 100 gr bullet created such massive hydrostatic shock that it dropped him in his tracks!"


I too find those claims completely retarded and hold no credence to them. But I do have to look at things from an objective standpoint given my unquenchable thirst for knowledge. You shoot an animal, or anything with liquid inside it, and you will have shock waves throughout that liquid. Simple thing about this rule "liquids can NOT be compressed" makes the theory sound. Bullet strikes, creates a wound channel, where does the liquid that could NOT be compressed go? It goes OUTWARD in a high velocity pattern. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The high velocity liquid will rupture cells and cause severe damage. How else could one explain the many deer and elk that I have dressed out and seen the liver all busted up yet the bullet struck dead center lung? Makes one think now doesn't it. Anyone that says Hydrostatic Shock does not exist and has no factor in wounding/killing an animal has absolutely no knowledge of physics or anatomy. The temporary wound cavity is caused by hydrostatic shock. Plain and simple. Now those advocating that you can kill an elk by hitting it in the leg and the hydrostatic shock will kill it are foolish at best and are one of the main reasons that the theory is debunked so often. There is plenty of hard scientific data on the subject and it has been proven time and time again.

caribou
December 3, 2011, 09:28 PM
Elders in the Arctic advise us youngins (mid 40's ~LOL!~) that if, in a true survival situation, a Moose or Black Bear is all you can come up with and you have a .22LR or a shotgun with small shot, the Liver is the place to put the shot. They will run and bleed out, but Death is sure and better than shooting the head or neck.

Ive never done so, but I understand the thin skin and a hole through that blood organ will get results within the 1/2 hour.

As well, a Harpoon is thrown on Beluga and large seals is placed in the liver when possible to make a killing thrust and bouy the animal same time.

RhinoDefense
December 3, 2011, 09:40 PM
The thinking behind the hydrostatic shock/ballistic pressure wave theory has plausible foundation (liquid cannot be compressed, only moved or vaporized) however apply that to terminal ballistics and it loses ground as an effective means of incapacitation. The physical phenomenon of it does exist and, as you said, is how the temporal wound cavity is created, along with fragmentation if it occurs. What hasn't been proven to be accepted by the wound ballistics experts and scientists is that it is a factor directly causing the incapacitation of living beings. HS/BPW has as much to do with killing something as the ambiant air temperature during the time the damage occurred.

Art Eatman
December 4, 2011, 11:59 AM
Back fifty or sixty years ago, there was a photo in a hunting magazine of an eland that Roy Weatherby killed with a .257. It was claimed that it was an instant drop-dead kill. The hit was across the hindquarters (ruining a bunch of meat) with an exit wound that was larger than fist-size.

The claim, of course, was for "hydrostatic shock".

bison
December 4, 2011, 12:18 PM
A couple of weeks I hit a 200 lb sow with my 30-30. She took off running and didn't stop for 5 minutes and about a half mile before I caught up with her and put her down. Based on the amount of blood loss I can't imagine she'd have survived more than a few minutes more. Certainly not a clean kill or the shot I wished I'd have made, but lethal nonetheless.

H&Hhunter
December 4, 2011, 12:27 PM
Back fifty or sixty years ago, there was a photo in a hunting magazine of an eland that Roy Weatherby killed with a .257. It was claimed that it was an instant drop-dead kill. The hit was across the hindquarters (ruining a bunch of meat) with an exit wound that was larger than fist-size.

The claim, of course, was for "hydrostatic shock".

Yep ole Roy spun up some tall tales but they sure sold a lot of rifles.

RevGeo
December 4, 2011, 01:49 PM
Well, this has all been interesting in a forensic kind of way. I found caribou's post fascinating. It's not often that we get to hear about true subsistance hunting where reducing the animal to possession is the business at hand, not a sporting proposition.
Most of us in this day and age sport hunt. Sure, we eat what we shoot, but should we fail we will not go hungry. One of my hunting partners lived in northern Canada for quite a while and he talked of natives hunting moose using a single shot .22 loaded with .22 shorts. One old man he knew would get as close as possible to the moose and shoot it between the ribs with the 22. Then he would just wait for the moose to die. It may have taken all day, but the moose eventually died and the hunter's family would have something to eat.

Sport hunting is obviously a whole 'nuther thing all together. Probably the most heavily stressed ethic in sport hunting is the concept of killing the animal in the quickest, most 'humane' way possible. A shot to the liver is obviously going to cause massive hemorrhaging which will result in the death of the animal. A shot to the heart lung area is going to result in massive hemorrhaging plus a pretty good chance of cardio-vascular damage and simultaneously destroying the respiratory system. Three vital systems have been destroyed or, at the least, rendered inoperable causing a death rivaled in speed only by a direct hit to the central nervous system i.e. the brain or spinal cord. Fortunately the heart lung target area is pretty large and relatively easy to hit from a broadside or quartering shot.
But let's be honest here. A large number of hunters would take almost any shot that they thought would be incapaciting to the point of allowing any follow up shot(s) to be placed in a truly vital area. How many times have you been hunting and heard in the distance BOOM..BOOM.....BOOM? Probably some one taking shots at a running animal or trying to incapacitate the game and then killing it with more shots.
I will not choose the liver for my target if I have any other option. Not because I doubt the lethal results of the shot, but because I love to eat liver and onions.

George

Loosedhorse
December 7, 2011, 06:06 PM
Hydrostatic shock exists and has been debunked several years ago as a factor in incapacitationHydrostatic shock is a significant wounding mechanism, and as such, it is a significant factor in incapacitation.

"Hydrostatic shock" I will take as the production of a temporary wound cavity. It has been argued, for handguns in typical SD calibers, that the temporary cavity is too small to overcome the natural elasticity of most body tissues--they return to "regular" size and position after the temporary cavity collapses, without rupture of the tissue.

However, there are three caveats:
1) High-velocity rifle rounds produce a large enough temporary cavity that it does overcome the tissue's elasticity, thereby tearing it; and that tearing is a significant wounding mechanism. The temporary cavity is increased a little by bullets that tumble (yaw) in the tissue after impact, and increased a lot by bullets that expand and/or fragment.
2) When coupled with fragmentation of the bullet (to produce small holes in the tissue being stretched by the temporary cavity), the wounding effect of the temporary cavity is greatly enhanced.
3) Some tissues have very little elasticity, and fracture easily in response to temporary cavitation. Such tissues include liver, spleen, and brain. When fractured, these tissues bleed heavily.

(There are other claimed effects of rifle-velocity temporary cavities having to do with their ability to momentarily raise intrathoracic and/or intra-abdominal pressure; but forget those for now.)

Bottom line? Ballistic shock is real: it is a real wounding mechanism for rifle velocity bullets, and will be augmented by the use of bullets that expand or fragment and by the the selection of a target organ (like liver) that is especially prone to shock damage.

That all said, I'd much prefer to take a heart/lung shot than a liver shot; and few animals are best hunted with a quickly expanding bullet. Still, at least some PHs prefer HPs on animals as large as Cape buffalo--so long as the bullet penetrates sufficiently--feeling that the shock of the bullet on a unalerted animal may hasten his collapse. On an angry buffalo, such "shock" is not felt to contribute much.

H&Hhunter
December 8, 2011, 09:09 AM
Still, at least some PHs prefer HPs on animals as large as Cape buffalo--so long as the bullet penetrates sufficiently--feeling that the shock of the bullet on a unalerted animal may hasten his collapse. On an angry buffalo, such "shock" is not felt to contribute much.

When you say HP bullets I'd agree if you were talking about something like a Barnes TSX or some other mono metal controlled expansion bullet. If however you've met a PH who recommends a standard style HP bullet for buffalo do not walk RUN away form that guy immediately.

I like to use a supper tough controlled expansion bullet for buffalo at least for the first round. My preference is a BarnesTSX. I've used Woodleigh Weld Cores and Rhino as well. They all work pretty good.

Temporary wound channel is a very real phenomenon. Hydrostatic shock in terms that Roy Weatherby described it is not.

Loosedhorse
December 8, 2011, 11:25 AM
When you say HP bullets I'd agree if you were talking about something like a Barnes TSXI was. Also, non-HP expanding bullets ("soft-nose"), such as Woodleigh Weldcore.

You're correct: I should have specified "expanding" rather than "HP," but I had the Barnes TSX specifically in mind. Other than the TSX, I'm not sure how many HPs are even available for "buffalo calibers." (I guess Winchester offers its XP3 tipped HP in .325 WSM, and rates it for buffalo...but that seems odd.)

nickn10
December 8, 2011, 11:37 AM
Years ago I missplaced a 7mm mag shot on a big mule deer and hit him in the liver. The poor thing twirled around a few times and layed down kicking for about 15-20 seconds. I imagine it was in serious pain. I never had that happen with Elk, deer or antelope when shot through the lung/heart area. When I gutted the deer the liver was a blob of jello and some intestinal matter was in the abdomen cavity. I never wanted to risk doing that ever again. It seemed cruel and a waste of meat.
I alway used Nosler 140 or 160 partition bullets in the 7mm mag, and 225 partitions in my 338 mag. In over 30 yrs of hunting in Colorado I never lost an animal. Over the years I hunted big game with a 257 Roberts improved, a 270 win., a 7mm mag, a 30-06 and a 338 win mag. always with the thought of humane kills and no risky shots, we owe the game at least that. I no longer hunt as I believe I've taken my fair share and am not physically able to make it into the high isolated country I loved to hunt in. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.
Nick

Alleph
December 8, 2011, 10:14 PM
Liver shots can be deadly , but I have had bad luck with at least 2 deers and liver shots, one big doe walked over 300 yards and we found huge amounts of blood on the trail , but we left it alone as it was 30 degrees that day and came back the next day and the inners were still steaming when we gutted it, meaning it was alive most of the day before and that night before, the liver was a mess inside, just a bad shot at a deer that jumped forward right at the time I squeezed the trigger.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 9, 2011, 02:00 PM
(I guess Winchester offers its XP3 tipped HP in .325 WSM, and rates it for buffalo...but that seems odd.)

I wouldn't care what a bullet manufacturer "recommends", Ill stick to what someone that has been there and actually has USED whatever when hunting for dangerous game such as Cape buff. Whatever H&H would recommend is what Id use. Bullet and rifle manufacturers have a tendency to "embellish" to say the least.

Temporary wound channel is a very real phenomenon. Hydrostatic shock in terms that Roy Weatherby described it is not.

100% agreed there. I guess it's hard for people to get in their heads about Hydrostatic shock. But how else could one explain damage beyond the size of the bullet. Cellular destruction caused by hydraulics. Old man Weatherby really pushed the theory beyond any reasonable plausibility to market his rifles therefor making any sane person baulk at the whole theory. With time, hopefully, people will start to come around to the realization that it is a common factor in terminal ballistics.

Shadow 7D
December 9, 2011, 02:11 PM
actually it's a terms issue
'hydrostatic shock'
as come to mean a wounding mechanism beyond primary (crush caused by the bullet - permanent cavity) and secondary or temporary cavity.

If you stick to calling it, temporary cavity, nobody will argue.

Loosedhorse
December 9, 2011, 03:19 PM
And I don't seem to have a firm grasp of all the different things that have been referred to by that term. Found an interesting passage in the wiki review (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock) that seemed on point:Predictably, some of the buffalo dropped where they were shot and some didn't, even though all received near-identical hits in the vital heart-lung area. When the brains of all the buffalo were removed, the researchers discovered that those that had been knocked down instantly had suffered massive rupturing of blood vessels in the brain. The brains of animals that hadn't fallen instantly showed no such damage.The quote is take from this article in Outdoor Life (http://www.outdoorlife.com/node/45560).

Shadow 7D
December 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
seems alot like courtney and courtney
and the mention of them will get taken apart, slowly and meticulously

FIRST, who did this, what is their training, what is the actual physical, what was the control, etc. In other words, a scientific study

And in your own quote, you will find the #1 indictment against this theory
some of the buffalo dropped where they were shot and some didn't

So there is a quasi theory to describe an inconsistent phenomenon that isn't readily replicated under controlled testing.

And is argued against by a number of DIFFERENT scientific disciplines.

TOO much hype, too little explanation.

d2wing
December 9, 2011, 06:01 PM
To me the important part is, shot in the heart lung area they all dropped.

ArtP
December 10, 2011, 03:30 AM
I am the OP.

I'd like to mention, I don't think anyone aims for the liver with a rifle. The question was never about aiming for the liver instead of the heart/lung. The question was, why is the liver important, anatomically? I think that question has been answered.

I'd like to thank those who gave their thoughts.

ArtP
December 10, 2011, 03:49 AM
Hey...

I greatly respect what you posted re. this subject, however I wanted to offer this:


<you>
I too find those claims completely retarded and hold no credence to them. But I do have to look at things from an objective standpoint given my unquenchable thirst for knowledge. You shoot an animal, or anything with liquid inside it, and you will have shock waves throughout that liquid. Simple thing about this rule "liquids can NOT be compressed" makes the theory sound. Bullet strikes, creates a wound channel, where does the liquid that could NOT be compressed go? It goes OUTWARD in a high velocity pattern.
<end you>

While it's true liquid cannot compress and will carry energy and pressure, vessels are elastic and will "give", potentially absorbing shock.If blood vessels were confined to non-elastic, tough vessels, "hydro-pressure" might be a more reliable killer.

As anyone old enough to face heart disease knows, hardening arteries creates a dangerous condition. The elasticity of young veins preserves lives and perhaps debunks hydro-shock.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 10, 2011, 04:44 AM
While it's true liquid cannot compress and will carry energy and pressure, vessels are elastic and will "give", potentially absorbing shock.If blood vessels were confined to non-elastic, tough vessels, "hydro-pressure" might be a more reliable killer.

As anyone old enough to face heart disease knows, hardening arteries creates a dangerous condition. The elasticity of young veins preserves lives and perhaps debunks hydro-shock.

Yep, lot of elasticity in arteries and veins, not so much in organs such as the liver. My own personal observations, after dressing out 1000's of game animals, and seeing damage that surrounded MUCH larger channels that bullet path could account for, has to lead me to believe that hydraulic forces are what is doing the damage. All the energy of the bullet itself within the tissue is expelled creating damage. Nothing else is there to explain it. It's not some magical, mysterious, pulled out of a lower orifice theory. It's simple energy transference into the anatomy of the target. EVERY energy has to have a mechanical tool to do damage. In terminal ballistics, the energy is the speed of mass (bullet) suddenly resisted (tissue) creating yet another mechanical tool (liquid) for the transference throughout cellular structure of organs. The bullet itself does the MAJOR damage but hydraulic force also lends a hand at damaging organs and surrounding tissues.

While old man Weatherby tried to hype this force up to unbelievable proportions, making any truth in the study seem far fetched, there is still far too much PROVABLE data to completely reject the theory.

ArtP
December 10, 2011, 04:55 AM
Perhaps I missed where you dressed out thousands of animals. No offense. Any summarized experience would be good to hear.

And I'm not sure I buy the claim that vessels within organs somehow act differently than vessels in muscle. You seemed to allude to that, but offer nothing to back that up except you dressing thousands of animals that you haven't yet elaborated on.

I'm not calling you a liar. But I need something more if I'm to believe you, and I'm a tough sell. And you certainly are not obligated by me to take this further.

caribou
December 10, 2011, 07:58 AM
I too have dressed thousands of animals, and most damage is within a 4 inch diameter circle around the high caliber bullet wound, about 2 inches either side, max........with softpoint...........FMJ's have a much different wound, either straight on through (wolves and such are narrow) to ripping up and turning in an animal via bullet flipping as it passed through. The Czeck 7,62X54R I use in my M-39 is REALLY good at tumbling within 5 or so inches after impact. The path through the animal still leaves a hole with bruising around it, though not much tward organ destruction , unless it actually hit the organ itsself.

Between the muscle groups there will be severe 'blood shot" and brusing, and most all organs are well intact and unbruised, even with a near miss of the bullets path to them.
Bleeding out the holes made by the bullet is the usual cause of Death if I havent blown out their brains or busted their neck.

Loosedhorse
December 10, 2011, 09:18 AM
And I'm not sure I buy the claim that vessels within organs somehow act differently than vessels in muscle.Believe it. When fractured, liver, spleen and brain have nice cleavage (sheer) planes, almost like they were cut. There are no medium to small vessels bridging the fissures (larger vessels do), and the bleeding from scores of smaller vessels is as impressive as that from a single larger one.

Or don't believe it. Up to you.

H&Hhunter
December 10, 2011, 11:53 AM
Bleeding out the holes made by the bullet is the usual cause of Death if I havent blown out their brains or busted their neck.

Plain and simple....

ArtP
December 10, 2011, 01:48 PM
Believe it. When fractured, liver, spleen and brain have nice cleavage (sheer) planes, almost like they were cut.

Or don't believe it. Up to you.

My unscientific and unproven thoughts say that hydro-shock is real if in close enough proximity to a vulnerable organ (2-4 inches).

However, I can't get on board with the idea that a gut shot can carry enough pressure to a distant organ, like the brain, to cause any meaningful incapacitating damage. I think there's too much elastic vein/artery in between.

Loosedhorse
December 10, 2011, 06:18 PM
hydro-shock is real if in close enough proximity to a vulnerable organI would go farther: only real if the bullet passes through that organ. That way the temporary cavity would burst it; from next to it, a temporary cavity might only displace it. I can't get on board with the idea that a gut shot can carry enough pressure to a distant organ, like the brain, to cause any meaningful incapacitating damage.I have no personal observations to bring to bear on this one. But (for rifle velocities) it seems possible to me, and I'm not sure why folks who say they have observed such distant CNS vascular damage would be making it up. JMHO.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 11, 2011, 03:49 AM
Perhaps I missed where you dressed out thousands of animals. No offense. Any summarized experience would be good to hear.

And I'm not sure I buy the claim that vessels within organs somehow act differently than vessels in muscle. You seemed to allude to that, but offer nothing to back that up except you dressing thousands of animals that you haven't yet elaborated on.

I'm not calling you a liar. But I need something more if I'm to believe you, and I'm a tough sell. And you certainly are not obligated by me to take this further.

Wild hogs, White-tail deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Caribou, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Axis Deer, Brown Bear, Black Bear, Squirrels, Rabbits, Turkey, Ducks, Geese, Pheasant, Quail. I've hunted and taken pretty much every edible mammal on the North American continent (Not EVERY one but damn well close) and a few on the European continent. I grew up in the woods being taught by a man that hunted for a living. My Great Grandfather. Cherokee Indian. Taught me everything I know about woodsmanship as well as respect for the wild game that I pursue. Part of that respect is only taking shots that will put the animal down as quick as I possibly can so that prolonged suffering is NOT part of the equation. In all these travels, I have learned a thing or two that you can not, nor will anyone EVER, be able to learn from books or the internet.

Now, I would like you to show me where I stated at ANY time along this discussion that vessels react differently in an organ verses muscle tissue. I stated that certain organs, such as the liver, do not have the elasticity of other organs and are much more prone to be damaged due to the forces of hydraulic pressures delivered from bullet impact. Do I feel that Hydrostatic Shock exists? Yes sir I surely do as I can not, nor can anyone else seem to be able to, explain how you can get 4 yo 6 inches circumference of damage from a .30 inch bullet. That is simple energy transference. The problem is, you have people like old man Weatherby trying to say you can kill an animal by hitting it in the leg and blowing the brain up! Now, while there are many studies that actually have proven that fluidic shock waves can, and often do, reach the brain or spinal regions and cause disruption I am not a believer in this to be a goal to strive for in the hunting world. I will always believe that a good shot to the heart/lung area is the number one target for any hunter period.

Here is a paper published by Dr's. Michael and Amy Courtney. Amy, by the way, works for the US Army in the Physics Department at West Point. I would think that her credentials speak for themselves. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA526059

If people would stop reading what the clowns and the salesmen try to regurgitate to the masses and actually look at all the data that has been collected on this theory by some of the most prominent scientists in the world, they might actually get a small clue into reality.

Art Eatman
December 11, 2011, 11:01 AM
Remain calm at all times. :)

kludge
December 13, 2011, 11:06 AM
I would not aim for the liver... too much stomach in the way, but here is one brief account...

Whitetail doe, smallish, probably a 2 year old, probably 110 pounds dressed.

Bullet was a .45 cal 300gr XTP-Mag at 1600fps MV. Shot was about 35 yards. Bullet entered the right side and destroyed the lung, passed through the diapragm and opened the very top of the stomach, then passed through the liver and out the left side. Exit wound was thumb size.

The liver was basically turned inside out with a ~2" hole through the middle and several large "cracks" through the rest of the liver.

She ran maybe 4-5 seconds (~30-40 yards) and fell over. The cavity was very full of blood. It was a very quick kill.

X-Rap
December 13, 2011, 12:24 PM
I think what kludge just described is very typical and while it is not the place to put the cross hairs it often results in being hit due to the animal quartering or moving into the shot or a just straight up pulled shot, I suspect that the off side shoulder is hit at about the same rate.
CNS will drop them in their tracks but most other hits will see them move some distance and liver in my experience is quite fatal and exacerbates other wounds for a pretty quick kill. On its own they will go a little longer depending on the damage but the hits I have seen that hit a substantial part of the liver "cracked" or fractured the organ to a point it quickly bled out inside. This may be the Hydrostatic shock phenomenon or not but it does happen with high velocity hits.

If you enjoyed reading about "Liver Shot" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!