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Do you limit your shots to where your bullet is traveling above 2000fps?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kevinq6, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Kevinq6

    Kevinq6 Member

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    I've read that in general a bullet damages like a rifle about 2000fps and faster. The construction of the bullet somewhat affects this (fragmenting helps) but that's the general threshold based on what I have read.

    Do any of you guys limit shots to where the velocity is 2000fps and above?

    In my .308 I am using Nosler Accubonds that will expand 1800fps or higher but for certain game I was thinking of shooting at ranges where the velocity was 2000fps or greater since the terrain makes it hard to track.

    On the other hand a 165gr bonded bullet at 1800fps is still way hotter than any 165gr 10mm. I don't see any whitetail or many hogs tanking a 10mm point blank regardless of hydrostatic shock though obviously they would expire more quickly when the velocity is higher.

    In my 16in .308 my hunting bullet will be above 2000fps out to 325yds and most of my shots are 25 to 300yds and in my 16in .308. As I get more experience and improve my skill, I'll have to decide whether to take a shot on the occasional opportunity I get at ranges between 350-450yds.
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The last four deer I have killed have all be with bullets that started below 2000 fps at the muzzle. Only one of them did not fall in their steps and he went about 50-60 yards. That was mostly my fault for hitting him about 6 inches further back than I should have, catching only one lung and the liver.
     
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  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    325 pretty long shot on deer for most people depending on where you live. My opinion is if you can't get closer you need to improve your hunting skills because Bullet performance and accuracy do drop off over 400 -450 yards enough to make a one shot kill iffy. Your .308 is a good round for any reasonable range. 2000 FPS depends a lot on the bullet used. True that higher velocities cause better wounding but shot placement is the prime factor. Millions of deer were killed with black powder cartridges all below 1500 or so FPS but at typical ranges being under 100 yards. Back then you had to know how to hunt and shoot.
     
  4. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I too have shot several deer with a muzzle velocity that started at less than 2000 fps, but they were all 35 caliber and larger projectiles. Bigger bullets can be highly effective even below 1000 fps, but if we talk strictly about small bore rifles, say 30 caliber and under, then yes I guess I would try to limit my shots to ranges where I know the bullet will still expand. If I thought that was really going to be an issue where I was hunting I would probably just select something with some longer legs to get out to my comfortable hunting range.
     
  5. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    For instance the load I shoot in my 30-06 would cross 2000 fps right around 450 yards, and I would really not be inclined to take a shot at that distance anyway, so it kind of becomes a moot point with that loading. However if I am going to one my stands that only has 75 yards of visibility, then I am perfectly comfortable with my 30-40 krag that only starts at 2300 fps or so.
     
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  6. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I do not shoot small game or "Fur" with a large caliber rifle.

    Wolves for "Fur" are the exception, but meat or pelt destruction is not acceptable.

    I use a .22lr on anything legal. Good shot placement is key.
     
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  7. caribou

    caribou Member

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    sorry, duplicated
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    You’re wholly ignoring bullet construction.

    The reason folks generalize “rifles kill differently than handguns,” and then further, “bullets over 2,000fps kill differently than slower bullets” (not condoning either of these as apt), is because of observations from killing with different cartridges. But they neglect - why do they kill differently? Largely because the bullets are built differently. So first - the basis of your rule of thumb generalization only exists because someone before you completely ignored bullet construction, and now you’re coming around the backside, facing the same picture, and overlooking it again. Bullet manufacturers aren’t dumb - they know the velocity thresholds of the cartridges out there and they know how far folks are typically shooting - and they design bullets to perform at those velocities.

    Pistol bullets, obviously, are designed to expand far below 2000fps, and equally, do not have to be designed to sustain a 3000fps impact, ever. It’s pretty difficult to design a bullet which will hold together at 3000fps. You’ll see certain rifle bullets designed for specific cartridges - for example, the many bullets made for 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel and designed for lower impact velocities, in contrast to those traditional bullets designed for the higher impact velocities of 270win and 260 Rem, respectively. Hornady makes multiple 150 grn SST’s, one specifically for the lower impact velocity of the 300 Savage. Equally, you’ll see challenges for shooters with certain cartridges like the 450 Bushmaster or .350 Legend, because there aren’t (or at least weren’t) bullets in the market available which were suitable for the impact speeds - these two found themselves between conventional rifle and conventional handgun cartridges, such rifle bullets were designed too tough, and handgun bullets not tough enough for their speeds. New bullets had to be designed and produced.

    There’s no black and white boundary at 2,000fps. You simply need to understand the velocity possible from your cartridge, and the design velocities of bullets you are choosing, relative to your task at hand.
     
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  9. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    The rifles I hunt with all maintain that threshold out to any distance I'd actually shoot at game with those respective rifles, so my answer is yes but only by default. I think there are different ways to achieve effective terminal performance and using some arbitrary standard like 2000 feet per second is too simplistic.
     
  10. JBradley500

    JBradley500 Member

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    Hell, the 45-70 factory trapdoor loads probably come out at half that from a 16 barrel lol
     
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  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It depends on what speeds the bullet was designed to be used. Some are designed to expand at very slow speeds, some under 1000 fps. Most large caliber bullets don't need to expand at all. Others need a minimum of 2000 fps or they don't expand and act like FMJ at slower speeds.

    Too fast can be a problem too. A bullet that will stay together at 3500 fps will likely be the same one that needs a minimum of 2000 fps to expand. The ones that will work well at 1000 fps will probably fail at 2000 fps or faster.

    The key is to know your what the bullet you're using is designed to do and not ask it to do something it wasn't designed to do. MOST standard jacketed bullets perform well between about 1800-2800 fps.
     
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  12. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I have to agree with d2wing - that 325 is a long shot for most folks on a deer-sized animal. I shoot a LOT, qualified expert marksman with every firearm I was ever issued, and I wouldn't consider a 325-yard shot on a deer unless I had a lot of time to get settled, and a very sturdy rest, and not much wind. Even then, it would certainly not be my preferred option.
     
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  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Well, a few years ago an Amish hunter in Ohio shot his muzzleloader into the air after a day of hunting and killed an Amish girl about a mile away. Do you think the ball was going at least 2,000 fps a mile away? Also, did that solid lead ball expand?
     
  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    One of these bullets found its target at approximately 1200fps. The other at over 2500fps. Both of these bullets passed through the heart and lungs of >250lb KS whitetail bucks. Note the tip destruction and jacket deformation - both are expanded to between 135-145% starting diameter. If the slower bullet had impacted at 2500, it would have been totally destroyed. If the faster bullet would have impacted at only 1200fps, it would not have expanded much at all. 3C3E75AC-A963-4F4C-BD03-8CDD11E3C8F3.jpeg 5CEB213B-4E81-4186-9521-A5D71F980F02.jpeg
     
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  15. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    No. I have killed deer with 300 BLK subs.
     
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I am not sure I understand the statement. Edit: I think I do now, lots of capable hunting rifles exist that don’t reach 2000 fps at the muzzle, even more that won’t be at 2000 at typical impact distances. So no, 2000 fps isn’t a minimum requirement.

    From my experience 405 grain .458 bullets going under 1000 fps are better at dispatching critters than a .224 grain FMJ moving 3400 FPS. So being at or above 2000 fps doesn’t automatically turn the round into a super destructive killer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  17. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

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    To the OP: Since you are using the AB from a 308 I think your plan is reasonable. The AB will open well enough at slightly lower impact velocities but giving yourself a nice margin of error is sensible. Shooting live game at extended ranges without being certain of your bullet's performance would not sit well with most folks.
     
  18. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I don't have long range or custom rifles. I've only used two rifles for hunting a Savage 110C in 30-06 that I bought about 37 years ago and a Tikka that I bought about 15 years ago. In hunting deer and elk for more than a half a century both rifles shot sub-moa groups at 200 yards with factory ammo Remington core-lokt 165 grainers. When I reload I never chase speed or velocity as some shooters do. I always reload for accuracy and depending on that accuracy and powder used velocity has always been between 2500 to the 2700 fps range. The only rifle that I have shot below the 2000fps is my Sharps 45/70 between velocities of 1250 to 1400 fps.
     
  19. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Commercial buffalo hunters decimated the American bison with .45 and .50 caliber black powder rounds that never exceeded 1400 FPS at the muzzle.

    I don't think that deer really have an understanding of ballistics, so just punching a hole through them generally works.
     
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  20. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    I think that the OP's reference is not to bullet construction, but to the notion that the temporary wound cavity tears tissues as opposed to simply stretching them as impact velocity increases. It has been said that somewhere between 2000fps and 2400fps, the effect becomes noticeable. I've not noticed it much in my own experiences, but my hunting experience is pretty limited relative to others. I've always pretty much assumed that permanent/crush cavity performance is what counts.
     
  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    @rbernie - the reason for so many Of our responses referencing bullet construction is simply because it can’t be ignored.

    Very large temporary cavities can be created with velocities very far below 2,000-2,400fps simply by using more lightly constructed bullets, and harder constructed bullets can often yield much smaller temporary cavities even when pushed over 2,400fps impact velocities.

    I expressed exactly that sentiment to a colleague about 10yrs ago - he had bought a new Win SX-AR in 308win, and an unscrupulous salesman convinced him that ball ammo in .308 would yield explosive results on prairie dogs. Strikes at 100yrds looked like the dogs had been shot by arrows - impacting well over 2500fps. Comparatively, his 22 wmr striking under 1600fps with CCI. HP’s yielded far more dramatic results, despite lagging 1,000fps and many, many foot-pounds of energy.

    What we’re really talking about is “Work” and “Power”. Work is the energy transferred to the target by the bullet, Power reflects how fast it is happening. Kinetic energy is not conserved, but the Work and Power absolutely do provide relative comparisons for temporary cavity wounding. The faster the bullet is going, the shorter it’s impulse will be to pass through a target, such it’ll have greater power. But the faster it expands, the faster it will do Work, increasing its Power.

    So there’s no free lunch - speed doesn’t rule. A hard bullet moving faster than 2,000-2,400 may penetrate a mile, but not wound as well as a frangible bullet traveling far below 2,000.
     
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  22. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I mis-read the op's intentions about the 2000 fps rule he asked and the question is no, I do not. What I do has no scientific merit what so ever, but I limit the distance to the energy delivered at that point to the size of the pray. For example I just normally give all deer where I hunt a given weight and I assume that they weigh 200 pounds. I multiply that times 3,(200X3=600 pounds). So from this simple equation, I require a minimum of 600 pounds of energy to make a humane kill on a deer. As I use a 30-06 either a 150gr or a 165 Remington Core-lokt in cold weather conditions under freezing my limit on shooting a deer is about 550 yards as I like to keep the energy level of the bullet at 700 pounds for a better humane kill. At that distance, the bullet is still supersonic but traveling at around 1400+ fps. On warmer days the range can be extended and if you can determine that the deer is not a 200 pounder you can still go further in distance. But so far my furthest shot was a couple of years ago when I shot one at 648 yards per range finder, I used the 165 grainer at that distance.
     
  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    @ms6852 - what would you do for hunting a 1,000lb bull moose? 3,000ft.lbs upon impact? Is a .338 win mag really the smallest cartridge we should use for moose? What do we do about a 1.5lb Squirrel?

    For 200lb deer with that 600ft.lbs. multiplier, a 32grn FTX makes it to almost 300 yards from a 204 Ruger. Seems pretty enticing to me - I’ve only used mine for prairie dogs and coyotes so far.

    At least you recognize the failings of the system.
     
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  24. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Like I wrote there is no scientific proof for my thinking, this applies to my philosophy only and for deer it works for me. My belief is that if you have enough oomph behind your prey at any given distance than you can get a humane kill. For moose my belief is different, since it is a larger animal so the distance is shorter, it has nothing to do with velocity again but with the amount of energy it has . So if the moose is "1000" pounds than I calculate what my max distance I can shoot where the bullet can deliver over 1000 pounds of energy. I've never shot a moose but I've taken about 14 elk in my 50+ years of hunting and my way of thinking has always led to a clean humane kill and I've never had to track an animal more than 30 feet from the point where they were shot.

    I don't know if you are trying to be funny but it is just a rule of thumb for me and no one else. I was being transparent with how I do things and what I believe, and I was answering the op who is inquisitive and I did not bother to judge him as a novice or as an experienced shooter. I wouldn't call my self an expert but I know what I can do with a 30-06. But in reality you don't really need all that that oomph as I'm sure many game large or small have been taken with bow and arrow and spears before firearms were invented that will disprove my method which is okay because I still won't deviate from my philosophy as I have respect for my prey and the sport. But there is a lot of truth to what you say as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  25. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    If we are doing "rule of thumb" stuff, a bullet of proper construction for the intended cartridge (see @Varminterror post above) shot out to MPBR with an appropriate zero, ie "1 high at 100 yards for 30-30 and 2" high at 100 yards for 30-06, for example, will be fine. Most people are not capable of ethical shots on game beyond 300 yards in any event.
     
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