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Big and Slow vs Small and Fast

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ExAgoradzo, Feb 15, 2014.

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  1. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    I have killed several deer including my largest bucks with 250 Grain XTP hollow points going maybe 1500 FPS . They without exception ran 60 or 70 yards and dropped over dead.

    Contrast that to several deer I have killed with a 150 grain Spire Points starting out at close to 3500 FPS and they fairly reliably drop deer dead in their tracks.

    Both do the job.
     
  2. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Yes, correct but blunt trauma has nothing to do with hydrostatic shock though....
     
  3. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I completely disagree. They are far too similar.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    In part, but there's more to it than that. Don't care to go there. Everyone's a hard head on the subject, been there, done that.
     
  5. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    They may have similar visual effects (and I'm not sure about that either)
    Hydrostatic shock is the theory that states that a high velocity projectile generating a ballistic pressure wave is going to quickly displace fluids in an organism and generating hemorraging and vessel bursting even at distance from the impact.


    Taking a frying pan in your head (blunt trauma concussion) is totally different and it has nothing to do with hydrostatic shock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  6. stiab

    stiab Member

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    You are making my point for big and slow in post #12, if you are going to eat it, less meat is destroyed.
     
  7. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    There is no right or wrong answer. It is a philosophy that I believe one develops during the process of learning to hunt. Whatever camp you mentor was in he would have instructed you accordingly.

    The two camps will never agree so we should get used to it.

    I think that your type of hunting will also determine what your philosophy will be. You don't want to be shooting mountain goat at 500yds with huge bullet drop. Alternately you want a slow and heavy bullet when trying to interrupt the CNS of a charging Buffalo or Elephant (not that I have done this).

    Bullet construction also should change ones philosophy. When we had non bonded soft points we shot those slow, to stop them disintegrating too much. We now have mono's that unless you chase the hell out of them will not deploy the petals, a little behind them are the other premium bullets. In this case you need to be conversant with your average hunting distance and load you bullets to a speed that will guarantee deployment of the petals / mushroom.

    So there is no one definitive answer. One should plan the hunt, I load differently depending on where and what I hunt. You CAN, and in my opinion, and should do both. You DONT have to have your foot firmly planted in on or the other camp.

    On my grandbuddies first hunt I loaded 120gr. Sierra Pro Hunters in the 6.5mm for the explicit reason that if they hit the engine room at 100m the Impala would drop in its tracks due to the fragmentation of the bullet. The strategy worked perfectly but I did cut away a lot of bruised meat. They wanted to shoot my 130gr. Accubonds that would whistle through at 100m and we would end up tracking due to their inexperience / poor shot placement / buck fever.

    As a slow and heavy disciple this really was heresy in my books but the right thing to do. I am now considering Barnes for the 6.5mm specifically for long shots on Springbuck, another heresy :). These bullets I will chase accordingly.

    Finally, the modern bullet allows us to increase speeds beyond what I would call necessary. Reloading techniques and software have also allowed us to push the limits and we now Ackley or Weatherby many calibres in the pursuit of speed while seldom will the average hunter shoot out past 200m. Again it is about fitness of purpose, if you are shooting at 400m at larger game then for example you may want to trade you 30-06 for a 300WinMag.

    Choose the right calibre, bullet and load (speed) for the target species in question and then see if it falls into the "light and fast" or "slow and heavy". I think to start the other way around is wrong. Don't try turn your calibre into what it is not.
     
  8. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    Thank you Andrew.
    Greg
     
  9. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I've been deer hunting since 1970 and have taken many deer. I started out with a Winchester 30-30 and 170 grain ammo. I had no problems with this outfit. But in the late 1970's and all through the 80's I hunted with a Marlin 44MAG carbine. Shots were generally less than 100 yards. I loaded the Hornady 200 grain hollow tip because it produced the best accuracy with this rifle. Wound channels tended to be both wide and quite ghastly; the bullet was always found flattened out against the hide. In short, terminal performance was quite impressive.

    In the 90's Dad and I hunted in western South Dakota nearly every year. I had good luck with my .308 and 150 grain ammo. Another very excellent rifle I use is a Remington in .243 with 95 grain bullets. Both are truly long range cartridges that hit hard and produce much chest organ damage.

    So there you have it. From .243 to 44MAG, I've witnessed the performance of small vs large and fast vs moderate bullet impact speeds. The animals all died and none got away. Lethality is largely a matter of shooting the right bullet into the right spot. Diameter of the bullet before impact is irrelevant. But diameter of wound channel after impact is relevant.

    TR
     
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems like they both work just fine. :)
     
  11. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    The one in the middle is small and fast, the other two are big and slow.



    IMG_0544.jpg "] IMG_0544.jpg [/URL]
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  12. critter

    critter Member

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    The two kill game in very different ways. Both work-WELL.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Yup...nuf said...
     
  14. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

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    First, let me say that I believe when you select a new rifle the thought process should go something like this:

    1) What rifle(s) fit your body and style?

    This will limit the availability of calibers. Next question:

    2) Do you reload?

    If you don't reload, you should probably stick with a 308 or something equally ubiquitous, because IMO the ability to practice with 50 cents a round ammo will make you more effective than a few hundred FPS in a caliber you can't afford to practice with as much.

    All that being said, if I could choose any caliber, I lean towards small and fast. There are several advantages:

    Longer MPBR
    Less lead on running game
    More energy for a given recoil level
    Ability to kill via hydrostatic shock

    A big and slow bullet can kill in two ways:
    1) Blood loss
    2) CNS hits (e.g. you clip the spinal cord).

    A small and fast bullet can kill by those two mechanisms, and it can also kill via hydrostatic shock. There are a lot of great references in the wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_shock). To make a long story short, animals shot in the ass will have brain damage if the bullet is traveling fast enough, because the shock wave will cause damage very far from where the bullet hit.

    The literature is in line with my anecdotal experiences, slow bullets will cause death, but they don't cause bang-flops (unless you hit the CNS). Fast bullets can cause bang-flops even when the CNS isn't directly hit.


    Finally, is there any proof that bigger slower bullets are less affected by brush? I actually suspect that the opposite is true, and that smaller, faster moving bullets are less likely to be affected by brush. For one, they're less likely to hit brush (smaller cross section), and secondly, the object they are colliding with probably imparts less redirection energy to the bullet (because the material being hit is being deformed at a higher strain rate and therefore acts more like a brittle material than a plastic material).
     
  15. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    A good list but as number 1 I would have;

    What do you intend shooting, without this calibre choice is difficult.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    A...say .45-70, is big and slow, but it's still packing as much energy as a .308. It can kill via ballistic pressure wave considering the energies it's putting up. Velocity doesn't create the pressure wave, energy does. Makes no difference whether that energy comes from the mass of the bullet or the velocity squared.

    If only one gun, I'd pick small and fast simply because it's more versatile. I't'll kill just fine in the woods and it will reach out 350-400 yards across that New Mexico canyon, something that's tough to do when you have to elevate 45 degrees and lob a 400 grain bullet like a howitzer.

    I totally agree that I want a smaller, faster caliber in brush, but for the following reasons. Give me a very accurate flat shooting rifle to shoot between those branches. NO caliber can "buck brush". Once that bullet loses stability, it's going where the good Lord takes it. "Brush bucking calibers" are a myth. Even a shotgun slug can't plow through brush and hit anything beyond it.

    Now, there's no reason, if the range is under 100 yards and the rifle is MOA accurate, that's I'd care what caliber I'm shooting for reasons of brush. But, the faster, better BC bullet will shoot straighter/flatter even at 200 yards. The idea is to not hit brush.
     
  17. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    This doesn't seem like a worthwile argument for either.

    You need a load that will cause the projectile to deliver a fast acting, mortal wound. Period. Large and "slow" will do this, as will smaller, and faster....

    IF there is sufficient accuracy. THIS is the key.

    Once you have a load that will deliver the fast acting, mortal wound at X distance, for all rounds have a maximum, effective range..., you MUST be able to place the projectile into the animal where it will properly accomplish its task.

    My antique tech, patched round ball, 225 grains and .530 diameter, launched at 1500 fps, will go through a deer broadside at 100 yards... and with my iron sighted rifle I can consistantly hit the deer in the heart lung region out to 100 yards. Down they go. It probably has enough energy to destroy both lungs and the heart in a deer out to 200 yards though won't exit the chest cavity, but I can't place a shot there at that range... so I will never know.

    One can argue with me that their .223 Remington, or .308 Winchester, .30-06, .35 Whelan or what have you is "better" at 100 yards than my patched round ball..., but the deer fall over for me at my max range or less, the same as for those cartridges. Same results = moot point.

    NOW..., say we're talking at an unknown distance... somewhere between 200 and 300 yards..., and add a scope, faster and lighter would be the way I would go. A nice 165 grain SBTHP from my .308 would be what I would use, for it would forgive a lot in my range estimation error, and the scope would vastly help me to place the shot, and I have a scoped rifle in that caliber and very accurate rounds for it.

    These discussions, from what I have observed, often stem from some of us in the hunting community that try to make up for poor marksmanship with velocity. I have heard so called "experienced" hunters that swear a .30-30 or even a .30-06 "won't take deer", and a .300 Winmag or a .338 Winmag was needed, although the shots being discussed were no more than 100 yards in some places and no more than 300 yards in other places... clear, no brush, and in Pennsylvania vs. whitetails. :eek:

    For whitetails:
    My late grandpa loved his .30-30
    My Dad loves his .30-30 but for pronghorn and elk out West, he used his .30-06.
    One of my neighbors is an older fellow who loves his .44 mag, Ruger semi-auto.
    Another neighbor swears by his .25-06, and another absolutely adores his .243.
    One fellow at the gunshop loves his .270, and another won't use anything other than a .35 Whelen.
    I don't use anthing other than my .54 flinter with a patched, round ball.

    In EVERY CASE these fellows have found a rifle and cartridge load combination that is very accurate at the distances that they hunt. The most devastating round ever invented means nothing if you miss.

    So while it might be interesting to discuss, bottom line if my rifle goes BANG and the deer falls down, and your rifle goes BANG and the deer falls down, we both have venison (and maybe a trophy mount) and a good story..., why is there an argument? :confused:

    LD
     
  18. 3212

    3212 Member

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    Well said.
     
  19. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    B&S and S&F are also relative terms. Not just because of the subjectivity of the user, but because of the different game they are used on. Whether one kills something deader than the other is also pretty subjective. Whether or not one or the other is more appropriate comes down to the individual hunter, his game and the way he hunts......not because it works better for someone else.

    The one that always make me laugh is the guy who claims the 250 gr slug fired at 850fps from his .45 Colt revolver will pass completely from head to tail in a bull elk, but a 220 gr from a 30-06 will blow up without getting to the vitals.
     
  20. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I suspect at least half the population much prefers B&S vs S&F.
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Really? Maybe if you consider the .30-30 "B & S". It's neither big, nor REAL slow. :D .270, .30-06, .25-06, .243 even .22-250 are quite popular for hunting deer in Texas. I don't even know anyone that uses a .45-70. Knew one guy that used a .44 mag carbine. But, I know of no polls and I suspect the .30-30 rules the woods of the east more so than in Texas.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  22. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    Luckily many have never tried B&S.
     
  23. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    It also remains unspecified what the determining factors are for B&S and S&F. Of course I would consider my 405 gr hardcasts at ~1500 fps B&S. But I don't consider my .30 180 gr psp's at ~2700 fps S&F.

    It still (as has been stated) comes down to the game pursued, shooter, and bullet selection. Preference in a particular cartridge is just that. Preference. I'm strictly speaking for game like whitetail, muleys, hogs, elk, and moose. None of those animals require any cartridge with the name "magnum" to take effectively. But, the "magnums" will do the job just as well. Just at a greater expense to the shooter.
     
  24. stressed

    stressed Member

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    Funny I'm reading this. I just posted a thread where I believe there is hydrostatic damage done to the lungs from a high velocity bullet. Big and slow is recipe for maximum penetration. It depends on what you are shooting as well. I like both. They have different purposes.

    Example in 9mm, you can get a +P 50 grain fragmenting round at over 2000 FPS, or a 158 grain FMJ at under 1000 FPS.
     
  25. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    It is untrue that velocity doesn't matter. Many studies show that velocities over 1000 fps wound more than those under. When tissue cannot expand or compress as fast as the bullet a pressure wave builds up. There is a much bigger threshold at 2500 FPS when a high pressure shock wave radiates from the bullet. Also the higher the bullet speed the more drag as tissue cannot be displaced faster than the bullet moves. Thus creating a shock wave and more tissue destruction. There have been many studies that show this and so far facts are still facts, myths are still myths. The reason slow bullets penetrate so well is that at slow speeds tissue can more easily be displaced and stretched so tissue damage is localized and the bullet slides through doing less damage.
    That said caliber doesn't matter much compared to shot placement.
     
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