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.35 Rem Cor-Lokt bullet failure (in my opinion)

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by wombat13, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I had the honor and pleasure of helping my friend get his first deer. He shot a doe with his .35 Rem (passed down from his father) at about 110 yards (ranged the next morning). It was a nice broadside presentation in the last few minutes of legal shooting on the last day he could hunt. I was confident he hit the deer based on its reaction, but when we got to the spot there was no blood.

    Now, it was dark, but we had 4" of fresh snow on the ground and had our headlamps on. We easily found the spot where the deer was standing at the shot and could clearly see the tracks as it dug in and took off. I was very surprised to see no blood. Then we saw hair. At this point I was thinking it was a bad hit. This was an extremely disappointing moment - it was the second year he had driven up to NY from VA to hunt with us and now it looked like we still hadn't managed to help him get a deer.

    So we followed the tracks expecting a long, probably fruitless track in the dark and then he found the deer only 20 yards away! There was no exit wound and no blood except a small pool about the size of my fist under the deer where it lay. Upon field dressing the deer we found 3" piece of rib and the heart had multiple lacerations (and the lungs almost certainly did as well, but not as easy to see under head lamps.

    Many people might say that the bullet performed well since it dropped the deer within 20 yards, but the bullet failed in my opinion. There is no reason a 200 gr., .358 cal bullet should blow up on the rib of a whitetail doe. Under different conditions, such as no snow and denser brush, this could have resulted in hours of work trying to find the deer or even potentially a lost deer. I know a lot of people like Cor-Lokts, in part because they are cheap, but I would not hunt with them, unless I had no choice. Unfortunately, for my friend, he has no other choice at this point since .35 Rem ammo is extremely hard to find.
     
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I agree with you. A.35 cal 200 gr. bullet should exit with a chest hit unless it was an extreme angle that also took in the pelvis. I always want an exit wound to blood trail even if it's only 20 yds. I load bonded or Nosler partitions in most of my calibers.

    Your friend is limited by the necessity for a blunt-nosed bullet in a lever .35 Rem. with a tubular magazine. If he reloaded, he could load the 225 gr. partition directly into the chamber for the 1st shot. Follow-up shots would need to be blunt-tipped or LeveRevolution bullets from Hornady with their soft tip.
     
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  3. mcb

    mcb Member

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    A bullet that only lets a deer go 20 yards is hard for me to call it a bullet failure. An exit is always nice but a high hit even with an exit hole will often leave no blood trail.
     
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  4. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    Did you recover the bullet or is the “multiple lacerations” to indicate that it disintegrated? While a deer dropping 20 yards from the poi can’t be described as a failure, a cup and core that disintegrates at 110 yards and 35 Rem velocities isn’t right. At that range/velocity with a bone hit, one should not necessarily expect an exit wound, but disintegration belies the name “core-lokt”.
     
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  5. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    As an example, friend of mine shot his 5x5 mulie buck a couple weeks ago with a 7mm mag, 154 interlock and had an exit wound.. zero blood trail (it was about 2 degrees) until the buck went about 50 yds and started coughing up blood from the double lung hit.

    Last year the buck I shot at close to 300 with a .277 130AB didn't have an exit and the bullet came apart when it hit the off shoulder. Used the same bullet this year, same load and at 263 it smashed the upper leg, and penetrated both shoulders. Bullets do weird things when they impact bone.
     
  6. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I understand what you mean, but I don’t think a deer rib should be enough bone to make a bullet come apart at well under 2000 fps (think that’s the published MV for the load).
     
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  7. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Correct, the bullet appears to have come apart. That’s why I’m disappointed in the bullet’s performance. A deer rib should not explode a 200 gr bullet.
     
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  8. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I’ll try to post a photo showing the entrance wound. You can see it in this photo about an inch below his pointing finger.

    upload_2022-12-1_14-38-7.png

    Shoulder and leg were fully intact. Doesn’t seem like a high hit - about halfway up. Couldn’t ask for better shot placement really.
     

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  9. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Just checked the published ballistics, MV 2080 fps, and <1700 fps at 100 yards.
     
  10. Rickt300

    Rickt300 Member

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    Factory ammo is so hard to find as are 200 grain round nosed jacketed bullets I just started casting bullets for my 35 Remington. Lucky I found 2 very good loads and the rifle will be in the stand next time I go out. Is the 35 Remington corelokt ammo you used loaded with the "new" version of the corelokt? They completely changed the 30-30 version and wonder if the 35 Remington bullet was also changed?
     
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  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The chest cavity has to fill with blood up to the point of the bullet hole before any serious amounts of blood can be expected to exit. Since the heart was not hit but only lacerated by bone fragments internal blood lost may not have been fast enough to get blood up to that point before the deer expired.
     
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  12. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i load and shoot hornady 200 rn at 2000 fps and have never recovered a bullet, all complete pass thru,s. the load i use will put three shots into a quarter at 75 yards from a rem 141 made in 1940 with receiver site. but i never heard that the remington corlocks would blow up.
     

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  13. Shooterbob

    Shooterbob Member

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    Looks hi and forward from the pic it didn’t hit the shoulder bone?
     
  14. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    I understand that which is why I consider it a failure when a 200 gr big game bullet explodes because it hit a rib. A nice exit wound from a mushroomed bullet significantly increases the chance that there will be a blood trail.
     
  15. Shooterbob

    Shooterbob Member

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    But I wasn’t there and don’t know what angle the deer was at
     
  16. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    All leg bones and shoulder joint seemed intact. He also got a lot of meat back from the processor - 43lbs boneless, so I doubt he hit shoulder or he would have lost a fair amount to bloodshot.
     
  17. Shooterbob

    Shooterbob Member

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    Hmm looks close to shoulder from photo.Glad you guys found it.I like deer meat better than beef so he will be eating well.
     
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  18. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    That photo showed the hit but not the angle. If I shot a deer there, I would expect it to drop right there. It looks like a classic neck/high shoulder shot to me. IMO, that bullet sucked.
     
  19. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Did you recover the bullet? Did you find fragments or are you assuming it fragmented?
     
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  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Bullets almost never fail. Sometimes the results aren't what we want when the bullet is used outside if it's design parameters.

    Published ballistics are almost always optimistic. I've never shot a 35 over a chronograph, but from a 20" lever gun barrel the 30-30's I have shot over a chronograph have been well below published numbers. Most of those bullets are designed to expand at speeds as slow as 1600 fps. It is possible that instead of blowing up, the bullet didn't expand at all. It just hit bone and the damage was from bone fragments hitting the heart and lungs.
     
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  21. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I'm wondering, I shot a deer and the bullet hit and busted ribs going in AND out, you can see that for yourself. (silver dollar size holes) The lungs were destroyed,

    Resized-20221125-182413-S.jpg

    The deer ran and I walked the 70 yards to where the deer was when I shot it, there was NO blood. There was no snow and a million tracks in the brush where he went, but I had an idea where he would go. I went close to 50 yards following "many" tracks, but NO blood, then I found a spot with a small amount of blood, and he was about 30 feet further into the brush.

    Would you say THAT bullet also failed?? There was NO blood, and he ran about 50 yards, that's further than your friend's deer ran.

    It's a legit question...

    DM
     
  22. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Not to nitpick, but did you recover the bullet fragments? No exit means there are 200 grains of lead and copper somewhere. There might be an intact slug in the most unlikely of places. Unless it is defective a CoreLokt @ 1700 fps does not fragment. That being said, dropping a Deer in 20 yards is outstanding performance. My SIL shot a doe this year at 35 yards, perfect double lung shot, the doe ran 50 yards and piled up. The lungs resembled strawberry jam.
     
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  23. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Not a true "failure", since the deer was recovered and recovered in a very short distance. I would definitely say that round terribly underperformed. I shot a doe last weekend with a 243 with a 100 grain Norma soft point, and got a pass through and decent blood trail for 75 yards to a dead deer- glad I shot her in the morning, cause she ran into some pretty thick stuff with a considerable amount of Fl canopy that would have made that tracking job harder in the dark crawling with a headlamp. I like exit wounds, cause I really like a good blood trail if it runs.
     
  24. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I prefer them for more reasons than that, but you can't count on them leaving a blood trail.

    DM
     
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  25. NMachine

    NMachine Member

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    I wonder how old that ammunition was. I have never witnessed it, but have heard that aged lead alloy bullets can get brittle and hard. If it was a bullet failure, possibly the bullet shattered on impact, even at such a low velocity.
     
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