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.300WM, 165 gr Partition, no exit wound. What do you think happened?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by wombat13, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    A couple days ago I took a whitetail doe with my .300WM firing Federal Premium ammo loaded with 165 gr Nosler Partitions. The box indicates MV of 3,050 fps. The doe was standing quartering toward me at about 40 yards. Its body was turned so that the front shoulders were quartering pretty severely toward me but the rear legs were much less so.

    I aimed tight at the rear edge of the shoulder. In hindsight I should have fired through the shoulder. In any case, the deer ran only about 40 yards before expiring. The entrance wound was like a slash about 3 - 4 inches long. There were 2 broken ribs, one lung was destroyed and the stomach was punctured. Stomach contents were in the damaged lung and in the entrance wound. There was no exit wound and I could not find the bullet. There was no sign of bullet impact on the interior of the chest or abdomen of the deer and no damage beyond the stomach. I expected the back half of the bullet to keep penetrating but apparently it didn't.

    I think the deer was quartering more severely than I perceived and that only a portion of the bullet entered the chest cavity while the majority including the back half continued into forest.
     
  2. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    sounds like the bullet performed perfectly.
     
  3. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    Your conclusion makes good sense.
     
  4. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I'm not faulting the bullet. I'm just wondering where the heck the back half of the bullet went. I expected to find an exit wound or the bullet somewhere in the deer, but didn't.
     
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    The forests are full of those mystical creatures called "bullet eaters.":D
     
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  6. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    There must remain the possibility that the bullet is somewhere in the deer. I would only call it "clear" if I had radiographs of the whole animal in two planes and there were no fragments (of the expected density) found.
     
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  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Most bullets are designed to work best between about 1800-2800 fps impact velocity. Above 2800 fps and you often get too much expansion and not enough penetration. Below about 1800 fps and you often get no expansion and the bullets performs like FMJ. What you have described is very common for 150 gr bullets in 300 WM. But even though the Partitions are a good bullet noted for deep penetration I'm guessing that you just used it outside its design parameters and the bullet basically exploded into small pieces. Fortunately on a small animal like a deer it didn't matter.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Don't need all that velocity at 40 yards. I think a better trade off is to increase bullet diameter and increase mass. You know, the 30-40 had an excellent reputation with 200 grain bullets going 2200 fps. A long, heavy bullet that upset predictably, and made a big long hole. It is my recollection the early 6.5 mm cartridges were using 160 grain bullets, which are very long, and slow. But they upset predictably and made a big long hole. I had the core separate from the jacket on a Mosin Nagant Norma round. I think it was a 180 grain bullet. The shot was less than 20 yards, might have been 15. First shot just went through the ribs, the deer took off and I racked the bolt so fast my buds thought someone with a semi auto was in the woods. The second was a butt shot, the jacket stayed in the butt, luckily the heavy core went forward through the chest cavity and killed the deer within 15 seconds. That was something I remember, because bullet integrity is extremely important if you want to kill something quick. I never shot anything with a Nosler partition, but it sure seems to be an excellent concept.

    E70Zt1t.jpg

    A bud of mine has stopped shooting deer in the rib/lung area with his 308 Win and Amax bullets. He claims the bullets zip through, don't expand, the deer run off, and he can't find them in the dusk/dark. Next day he finds them all eaten up by coyotes about 200 yards from his stand. His solution, hit them between the shoulder and the neck. There is enough meat there to force the bullet to expand, and enough bone, blood vessels, that the deer go down, and stay down.

    You know, at 40 yards, a 12 Ga shotgun with slugs is devastating

    UpDe3t3.jpg

    I used to visit the local game reserve, only shotguns were allowed. Deer would come in and a one ounce soft lead projectile made big holes in, big holes out, and no one ever complained about deer running off and escaping after being shot. If they did take off, they did not go far and they bled copious amounts of blood till they dropped.
     
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  9. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Nosler claims the effective velocity is 1,800 FPS to unlimited. Perhaps not.
     
  10. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Well, I don’t take all my shots at 40 yards. I started off shooting 180 gr bullets, but the rifle is much more accurate with 165 gr bullets. I’m looking for one “do-it-all” load, but that may not be possible. I have to say that you are the first person I’ve heard extoll the virtues of the old pumpkin ball slugs. Everyone else tells me they were garbage. My brother-in-law is a taxidermist. He tells me he would routinely get buck heads with multiple slugs lodged in the neck.

    Ive taken a few deer with saboted hollowpoints in a 12 ga. It certainly worked well, but a lot recoil and expense for good performance at short range.
     
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I'll bet that'd go over good with the rest of the gang in X-ray......:rofl:

    I suspect a Ballistic Tip in a .300 WM at those velocities would act the same as a 55 gr. Ballistic tip Varmint would going 3100 out of a .223, which blow up inside the lung cavity and make jellied lung. A Partition would not do so, and pop out the other side, petaled out like...a bullet ad.

    For your admittedly non-optimal entrance point, the bullet did it's job admirably. Try the Partition next time.
     
  12. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    That close with that speed, you are asking for explosive expansion regardless of bullet used. The front half probably detonated and the back half probably shanked into the internals. I think we can all agree that a 300WM and a 165gr bullet on a 40 yard WT doe is not an optimal combo. That bullet weight/speed would test the integrity of any bullet in that caliber. Even a monolithic may have acted erratically.

    Basically, the best way to make a premium bullet look non-premium is to shoot a doe at 40 yards with a fast, light for cartridge bullet:)
     
  13. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    The bullet is probably in the gooey mass of gut, stomach contents, feces etc. that was caused by poor shot placement. Liquids are not compressible so the goo could slow the bullet enough so the bullet never exited.
    Please don't tell me that you strained all the deer's abdominal cavity's contents to find the bullet or fragments because I won't believe it. :barf:
     
  14. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    I think that your bullet performed the perfect miracle, the front half tore off on impact of the first rib, sending the more solid rear off into the unknown. I think that had the bullet impacted in front of the shoulder your exit would have been in the opposite ham, but alas weird stuff happens.
     
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  15. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    It was a Partition. That's why I was surprised not to find an exit or the back half of the bullet. That's what got me thinking that maybe the back half of the bullet never entered the deer.
     
  16. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    That's just it - there was no gooey mess. As I wrote, one lung was destroyed and the stomach was punctured, but only in one spot facing the entrance. Stomach contents were in the lung and the entrance wound, not in the back half of the deer. The remainder of the internals were not damaged.

    Btw, I did cut open the stomach and empty the contents on the ground. It was interesting watching the chickadees pick at the contents less than a foot from my hand as I spread them out on the ground with a stick. I did not cut open any of the guts, because they were intact.
     
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  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I’ve mentioned it here on THR multiple times but I’ve had a Partition come completely apart. A complete fore and aft core separation. That was a 180 gr partition out of a .308 Win at close range so not even at very high velocity. They are not fool proof. If you want to use a high velocity round and you want your bullet to stay together you almost need to go to a mono metal such as a Barnes, Hornandy GMX or Nosler E-tip. Of curse those bullets have trade offs too.
     
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  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Sorry, read that after a long day at work! I could have swore the title originally said Ballistic Tip. I will agree with what has been said by others here-at that range and velocity, it's a tough job to ask of any bullet to stay together. I am surprised the Partition didn't. The two I used on deer, from a .30-06, were 150's loaded to 2800, at ranges of 60 and 75 yards, looked just like bullet ads, perfect mushrooms. Both exited the body cavity, but stayed on the inside of the other leg.
    My Dad's 180 Partitions out of his Sako .300 WM did not exit the Moose he shot. All 5 shots were lung shots (Still don't know how missed that huge heart at 50 yards :confused: ) all 5 were fatal, but moose just don't drop like deer sometimes do, so Dad kept shooting. I recovered all 5 bullets, and they too looked just like the ads, although a bit more flattened and with less weight retained than my 2 on the deer.
     
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  19. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I shot 10 deer over the prior four years with the 165 gr TSX. A couple DRT, a couple with great blood trails, but several where the deer ran like lighting with little or no blood trail after being hit in the vitals. I'm not convinced that the TSX opens on broadside chest shots, even at high velocity from a .300WM. I decided to give the Partition a try because the front half should expand on a chest shot.

    I've taken 18 deer with this rifle: 10 with 165 gr TSX, 5 with 180 gr. Nosler BT, 2 with 180 Fusion, and 1 with 165 gr. Nosler Partition. The best performance was the 180 gr Nosler Partition. I switched because 165 gr bullets are more accurate in my rifle, but I'm thinking maybe I need to go back to the heavier bullets. I really wanted to find one "do-it-all" hunting load with supreme accuracy, but it might be the unattainable Holy Grail.

    My season is over, but I don't think it's fair to give up on the Partition after one deer. Just frustrating that it takes years to build up real world data since I only have the opportunity to hunt a handful of days and take a few deer each year.
     
  20. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Your bullet did as designed.
    Up close where the V is too high, the front blew and the rear held.
    Out a ways it would have mushroomed and probably gone through.
    Buddy shot a mule deer w Partition up close, being an old whitetail deer slug gunner.....shot it on the shoulder, w .300 winmag.
    He got half a deer.
    There is a reason folks pick more mild mannered deer cartridges........like .35 Rem.
    The magnums are for heavy bullets out yonder. Where the BC stuff matters.
     
  21. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I understand. This rifle was a gift from my wife. Really want to make it work. I think I need to go back up in bullet weight to reduce the velocity.
     
  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    My go to do it all bullet has become the Nosler Accubond. Super accurate, opens up hard, retains enough weight, and gives very adequate penetration. I find that the Accubonds generally retain about 60% of their weight. I really like them on cow elk sized critters and down. On bigger stuff and hogs I like the TSX or TTSX. I perfer them of the Partitions for several reasons, I find them to have better terminal performance, they stick together better and they have a higher BC. That's been my experience with them anyway.
     
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  23. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I like to use 180 or 200 grain bullets in my 300 Weatherby. There's not much penalty in trajectory, it slows the bullets down a bit for those closer range shots and they retain energy better at longer ranges. I'm not as familiar with the Win Mag but I'm sure the numbers are pretty comparable. A 300 Mag is a bit excessive for deer but I still use mine on them sometimes.
     
  24. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    When I was much younger, I became enamored of the Remchester Belchfire Magnums. After 3 seasons of hunting with them, I went back to my .30-06 for everything.
     
  25. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    H&H, do you think the velocities would be too high at short range with a 165 gr Accubond? So far the 165s shoot better (TSX and Partition) than any of the 180s I’ve tried: Fusion and Partition in factory and Nosler Ballistic Tips, Accubonds, Sierra Gamekings, and Hornasy SSTs in handloads. Accubonds were not as accurate as BTs in my handloads.
     
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