Hunting vs defense. Cumulative damage?

valnar

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On another thread, I saw this chart of all calibers and their relative power.
https://backfire.tv/chart-of-all-rifle-calibers-in-order-and-their-power/

You'll notice where the muzzle energy has a break point between Grizzly Bear and Elk. As indicated, the recommendation column is for hunting, or put another way, one shot stopping power. If the goal is to have an ethical hunt, this makes sense. However if the goal is to survive, and hunting wasn't part of your original plan, would the cumulative effect of multiple shots from a lesser gun suffice to stop a charging animal in its tracks?

Imagine a scenario where you have a semi-auto .308 battle rifle, (AR-10, SCAR, M1A, etc) and a grizzly is charging you. According to conventional wisdom, a single shot won't stop it. But would two? Three?
 
You'll notice where the muzzle energy has a break point between Grizzly Bear and Elk. As indicated, the recommendation column is for hunting, or put another way, one shot stopping power.
I am sorry, but you have obviously misread too much detail into the data and are now trying to extract a very specific answer, which is not available from the information given. Why? Primarily because ft lbs are not the be all to end all of hunting performance. It is but one factor of many factors.

And let's say we call it "one shot stopping power" which they did not do in the article. Lots of hunters are not prone to taking more shots than necessary. So they are more than happy to shoot an animal once and track it to where it finally died. In the case of bears, hunters have been attacked after finding their dead bears after a long stalk, only to discover the bear isn't dead. More than likely, the bear is going to die, the deer are going to die, with one shot, if you wait long enough. That isn't helpful from a self defense perspective. You are trying to extrapolate hunting data to self defense circumstances and that just isn't going to work.

Imagine a scenario where you have a semi-auto .308 battle rifle, (AR-10, SCAR, M1A, etc) and a grizzly is charging you. According to conventional wisdom, a single shot won't stop it. But would two? Three?

Conventional wisdom? What conventional wisdom? A chart you saw online with highly debatable information?
"On this chart, you’ll see the name of the cartridge, the caliber measurement for that cartridge, then an approximation of how big of an animal that cartridge could kill (much of which is highly debatable)"

You can kill a grizzly bear with a long sewing needle, if you know what you are doing. Bella Twin took a (at the time) record grizzly with a .22 long. Granted, she sniped it from very close range, but the point is that if you can penetrate into the interior of the animal by a few inches in the right spots, you can kill it. So for your .308 example, a .308 will readily kill a grizzly with an upper CNS shot and it will drop dead on the spot where it was hit (plus the momentum of the speed it was moving). You could easily double lung the bear and kill it just as dead, but that might take 30 seconds or more and in that time, the bear may chomp you several times, possibly killing you. The same goes for liver and heart shots, longer for the liver, quite possibly.

Of course, you could graze it off the shoulder or gut shoot it with a .50 BMG and not kill it or not kill it very quickly.

Bottom line, the ft lbs of a given caliber isn't what will save you. However, the more powerful the caliber, the greater the likelihood for more tissue damage. More tissue damage means having the potential benefit of causing the animal to collapse sooner or simply be dissuaded with a shot that isn't immediately lethal.

Then there is hydrostatic shock. The theory on how this works is somewhat vague in terms of specifics. There is some relationship between velocity, caliber (size or weight?), ft lbs, etc. and shot location as well as animal size and potentially other factors such as whether the animal is inhaling, holding, exhaling or holding when shot and even the direction of the shot in the body. Hydrostatic shock is the remote wounding of tissues by and insult such as a bullet. So if I shoot you in the left side of the chest, but I manage to burst the blood vessels in the right eye (nowhere close to the bullet's trajectory), that likely would be due to hydrostatic shock, but we want to burst the blood vessels in the upper CNS, not the eye. All you need to do is significantly damage the brain or upper spine to get an effective stop. It happens. The problem is that it happens with inconsistent reliability. Larger and faster (also heavier?) calibers tend to do this more often for a given size of animal, but not always reliably.

Depending on how you address the situation, you may want hardcast and deep penetrating bullets to break bone or you may want expanding bullets to do more tissue damage (different theories). Either way, if a bear is charging you, chances are you are not going to be making precisely placed shots. You will be rushed, scared, and if you aren't alone, your dogs will be barking or your partner(s) will be yelling and screaming at you, the bear, themselves as you are doing the same and trying to get your rifle on target. The target will be in motion, possibly straight at you, but bouncing up and down, possibly quartering toward you (oblique charge). It may be charging you on level ground which might be best for aiming, but it could be coming up hill at you, or down hill at you. You probably won't have time to rest your rifle on a nice steady tree or tripod.

How many shots you are able to get off will depend on your proficiency with the rifle, type of rifle, how many rounds it will hold, and how far away the bear was when you brought the rifle into the fight (timing). How many times you hit the bear will depend on how many times you were even able to fire and that will be your max possible hits. Most hunters are not trained or practiced in hitting moving targets. Most hunters are not shooting out of fear of being killed. Chances are that you will miss with one or more rounds.

So this is where it gets interesting. Larger, more powerful calibers are more apt to stop a charging bear, all other factors being equal, but they aren't equal. People tend to flinch and miss more with larger calibers. Larger calibers often come with increased handling weight, increased recoil, slower followup shots, and potentially reduced magazine capacity (if you aren't already government limited to X rounds). If you get a lightweight rifle in a large caliber, then the recoil will be even more pronounced, flinch will potentially be worse, and followup shots even slower.

So it is all a balancing act between what you can carry, what you can shoot well, what sort of performance you want from your bullets, your skills, knowledge of anatomy, etc.
 
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Shot placement is everything; remain calm and place your shot.

I have only once had a Brown Bear come straight at me, placed a 7.62x54r down the side of his neck, through his heart, chunked some lung, stopped in the liver, pulping it........, as he ran full bore at me.
When the bullet hit, all he did was a forward roll and kept coming at me, as fast as before.
60 yards only takes seconds to cover for them, when they run.
I simply reloaded and took my second shot, hitting it just above the eye and passed through the brain, and blew 3 neck vertebra into chunks, and he stopped right there, 7 paces away.
The first shot was certainly a killer and more than enough power and bullet penetration, but he wasnt 'dead' until I placed the second in a much more vital place.

If you want to actually "Stop" a Bear, use a 12 gauge. A slug will do it at 50 yards, a shot of #2 from 5 feet will do the same. Ive seen both.
 
Bullet energy is an almost useless metric to use to try to determine effectiveness or lethality of a cartridge. What matters is what the bullet does when it get there and what it hits. Two non vital hits do not make a vital hit. At least not in the short term.

The real world is not like a video game where everything dies when shot in the foot with a 50 bmg. If you put a hole in something the critter needs to live it will die fairly quickely. If you don’t hit something vital it will either survive or bleed to death later. The only way to instantly incapacitate an animal is to destroy the central nervous system. Sometimes a heart/lung shot drops them right there, and other times they keep right on going till their brain runs out of oxygen. When you get a bang flop with a heart lung shot, what is actually happening is they were knocked unconscious and their brain runs out of oxygen before they come too. Destroying the heart or lungs does not stop the brain from sending nerve impulses to muscles. The brain and muscles will keep working till the oxygen is gone, which takes 10 or 20 seconds with no blood flow.
 
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Well you guys are a ball of fun. Do you give the same, verbose nonsense replies when somebody asks if .243 is good enough for deer, or any other similar question?

How many shots you are able to get off will depend on your proficiency with the rifle, type of rifle, how many rounds it will hold, and how far away the bear was when you brought the rifle into the fight (timing). How many times you hit the bear will depend on how many times you were even able to fire and that will be your max possible hits.
You introduced variables that have nothing to do with it. Of course I'm talking about hits and not misses. And I did mention a semi-auto battle rifle, which assumes 5-10 rounds or more.
 
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I clicked on the link. It is basically nonsense.

You'll notice where the muzzle energy has a break point between Grizzly Bear and Elk.

Energy doesn't kill anything. If taken in perspective energy along with multiple other factors CAN be used to predict how well a cartridge will kill or stop something. But if energy numbers are misinterpreted you can get some seriously misleading information.

If you want to kill a game animal there are only 2 important things to consider. #1 shot placement so the bullet will hit the vital organs. #2 enough penetration to reach those organs. There are many factors that will contribute to penetration, but bullet shape and construction are the most important.

Energy and speed can be a handicap. A 300 magnum firing a standard 150 gr bullet at 3300 fps will have a lot more energy than a 308 firing a 200 gr bullet at 2400 fps. But the 200 gr bullet will penetrate far, far deeper on Grizzly than the 150 gr 300 magnum and be a far better stopper.

The most prolific elephant hunter of all time took over 1100 elephant. His preferred rifles were a 7X57 firing 175 gr FMJ and a 6.5X55 firing 160 gr FMJ ammo. Both of those loads have a reputation for extreme penetration in spite of their small caliber.

The chart shows a 444 as a grizzly cartridge. The 444 is known for POOR penetration and I'd never consider one for game that bites back.

Phil Shoemaker, a noted Alaskan brown bear and fishing guide killed a brown bear that attacked a fisherman a few years ago with a 9mm pistol loaded with 147 gr hardcast bullets. Those bullets penetrated over 60" in gel during testing and Shoemaker was confident they would reach the vitals on a bear. He was right.

That's not saying I'd carry a 9mm in brown bear country. But it does show how important penetration and shot placement are.

Do you give the same, verbose nonsense replies when somebody asks if .243 is good enough for deer, or any other similar question?

Yes, a 243 is near ideal for deer with the right bullets. Some 243 bullets are designed as varmint bullets and don't penetrate enough to reach a deer's vitals. But with big game bullets it is just about perfect. It is a little smaller than I like but could also be used on black bear or elk. I wouldn't buy a 243 to hunt bear or elk, but if a 243 is all I had and I had a chance to hunt bear or elk I wouldn't stay home.
 
I think the chart is interesting and does have merit as it is primarily looking at muzzle energy.

Sure there is room for more information including bullet weight and bullet construction.
 
Well you guys are a ball of fun. Do you give the same, verbose nonsense replies when somebody asks if .243 is good enough for deer, or any other similar question?
None of the replies given are nonsense they just delve into the realm of terminal performance farther than the very simplistic article linked does.
The industry has tried very simplistic methods for matching ammunition (bullet/cartridge etc) to game as well.
Boxes of ammo at least give (or did) pictures or ratings of what the manufacturer thinks they are good for.


I think the chart is interesting and does have merit as it is primarily looking at muzzle energy.

Sure there is room for more information including bullet weight and bullet construction.
Very much agree!

Jim Harmer seems to likes data and numbers, spreadsheet and graphs etc. Might be willing to put that together if asked.

I agree that energy IS a good way to gauge similar cartridges when compared with like bullets. Jim does use the .308 and .300s as an example for that, but imo dosent make a clear enough explanation of the variables, especially across bore dia and cartridge family.... examples have been given above.
 
Well you guys are a ball of fun. Do you give the same, verbose nonsense replies when somebody asks if .243 is good enough for deer, or any other similar question?

You asked a poorly reasoned and rather naive question. People tried to answer you more thoroughly in order to cover the bases you failed to cover in order to try and help you.

I think the chart is interesting and does have merit as it is primarily looking at muzzle energy.
True, but muzzle energy isn't the solution to the problem being expressed, only a small part of the overall consideration. It is sort of like figuring out who will win a land race based on the horsepower of the engines without realizing that the horsepower from the engine is nothing without the vessel it powers and that vessel needs wheels and tires along with a transmission and driver/pilot.

Sure, you could go with the caveat, "All other factors being equal,..." but for this sort of situation, all other factors are never equal. Some may be, but some will never be.
 
.243w is an excellent cartridge, I used a Remington M-700 ADL exclusively with Rem made 100 grain corlocks. They pass right through a Fall Bull Caribou broadside, and kill Bears just as dead as a .30 cal.

Until I lost it and took up a Mosin, that .243w made me an excellent living for my family, as a Caribou Hunter, for many years.

I have caught at least a dozen Brown Bears using a .243W

All fall before the .243W, no problemo.........so the answer is very simple; placement is everything. I'm a decent shot. Thats how it works.

My fatherinlaw hunted Polar Bears along the Beuford Sea with gut traps, a dog team and a .25-35, taking the Bears down with temple shots. Mind you, he was 100% Inupiaq Eskimo and a Hunter all his life, so being calm and placing the shot correctly was just part of growing up.
When he bought his first 30-06 in the 1930's,(M-70 Winchester?) he put away the lever action, and used a 30-06 up till I last hunted with him along, when he was 94 or so.
He told me 30-06 was better, and I agree.
 
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.243w is an excellent cartridge, I used a Remington M-700 ADL exclusively with Rem made 100 grain corlocks. They pass right through a Fall Bull Caribou broadside, and kill Bears just as dead as a .30 cal.

Until I lost it and took up a Mosin, that .243w made me an excellent living for my family, as a Caribou Hunter, for many years.

I have caught at least a dozen Brown Bears using a .243W

All fall before the .243W, no problemo.........
To be fair, your also a very good game shot and very familiar with the animals your taking.

Id 100% be more comfortable having you shoot a big brownie with a .243 than I would taking a shot with my .375 and my current knowledge of bears.

That also gets to something that is one of those variables not covered.
All the lists and comparison in the world cant take into account personal ability, knowledge, preference and confidence.
 
.243w is an excellent cartridge, I used a Remington M-700 ADL exclusively with Rem made 100 grain corlocks. They pass right through a Fall Bull Caribou broadside, and kill Bears just as dead as a .30 cal.

Until I lost it and took up a Mosin, that .243w made me an excellent living for my family, as a Caribou Hunter, for many years.

I have caught at least a dozen Brown Bears using a .243W

All fall before the .243W, no problemo.........so the answer is very simple; placement is everything. I'm a decent shot. Thats how it works.

My fatherinlaw hunted Polar Bears along the Beuford Sea with gut traps, a dog team and a .25-35, taking the Bears down with temple shots. Mind you, he was 100% Inupiaq Eskimo and a Hunter all his life, so being calm and placing the shot correctly was just part of growing up.
When he bought his first 30-06 in the 1930's,(M-70 Winchester?) he put away the lever action, and used a 30-06 up till I last hunted with him along, when he was 94 or so.
He told me 30-06 was better, and I agree.
243 is king of the hill!

Although, I haven't had your luck with core-lokt 100 grn projectiles on caribou (Nelchina and Fortymile), so I've switched to Barnes TSX projectiles loaded to max with Superperformance powder-almost 3200 fps MV. (What's your typical range that you shoot a caribou with the core-lokt?)

About 10 years ago, I ran into a bush pilot who flew in and out of the villages around Bethel, and he told me 243 was very common out there for hunting everything. I love the caliber, especially for handloading, and now, with premium projectiles, it's very versatile. 55 grn bullets for predators, 85-100grn for most everything else. The only shortcoming I find is that my rifle has a 1:10 twist which limits me to 100 grn projectiles, and that limits me to about 400 yrds. I've heard of some insanely long shots with 107 grn VLD type projectiles, but you need need a tighter twist in the rifling. I've never had the chance to take a caribou that far (and pobably wouldn't if I did), so it's not really an issue for me.
 
Im sorry about the writing style, I get 1/2 written and the sat dish has a fit. My Starlink is infinity better, and Im discontinuing the Star Band dish on the house here at the end of the month.

Anyhoo, The Remington 700 and 100 grain corelocks were made for each other. The only limitation was the 4 round magazine, but I could reload fast enough and I often topped off with one in teh chamber when I had something to stalk. I used it to great effect to about 500 yards. Thats on Caribou I have looked over and decided on, and getting further away. Tundra in the summer is no picknik to walk over, even with out a Caribou on your back.
I have done some good 7-800 yard shooting at 'Fur' usually Wolves. A 'hail mary' in that situation because I dont care where I hit them, I just want to kill them. Caribou are "Meats" so Im picky about the shot placement and things that eat people get good shot placement as well, but are usually much closer. Bears, thankfully, avoid people and dogs, so Ive never actually done a DLP shoot, and I was hunting the one that turned and ran at me, well, I think he knew it.
Even a Squirrel will fight if being hunted.
 
Imagine a scenario where you have a semi-auto .308 battle rifle, (AR-10, SCAR, M1A, etc) and a grizzly is charging you. According to conventional wisdom, a single shot won't stop it. But would two? Three?
Well you guys are a ball of fun. Do you give the same, verbose nonsense replies when somebody asks if .243 is good enough for deer, or any other similar question?
Depending on shot placement, bullet construction, and assuming the rifle doesn't jam...yes. Good enough for you?
 
Bullet construction and shot placement are paramount for me. I am a good and careful shot. Nearly all my kills on game are one shot. But not always and I am a shoot until it's dead unless I am sure it won't go far like the deer I shot this year. As Caribou told us, be prepared to shoot again , stay calm. As he stated it is not the caliber but shot placement and of course bullet construction. Having manned a M2 in combat I am firmly a bigger and faster fan, but also like jmr40, I will use what I have. You do have to have confidence in your ability and your weapon and able to stay calm and place your shot. There aren't many with the experience, skill and fortitude of Caribou.
 
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The chart shows a 444 as a grizzly cartridge. The 444 is known for POOR penetration and I'd never consider one for game that bites back.

It got that reputation because Remington loaded it with a 44 magnum revolver bullet for many decades, which is downright negligent. With a proper load such as the 320 grain hard cast bullet at 2200 fps that I shoot, it’s a legitimate dangerous game cartridge.
 
The OP's hypothetical is a charging grizzly. In that event, I am using what I have, and running it till empty. Each additional shot adds probability, but it is not due to energy. It is due to increased probability of a CNS hit and expedited exsanguination.

OP can rely on a chart if he wants, but I would rather rely on experienced users, "fun" or not. Even Bella Twin used up all the ammo she had with her!
 
Talking about what best kills what is like talking about the best way to measure case neck bump back. So many best ways. So many only ways. Makes for good reading. And head shaking. I want someone to instruct us on how to practice for the big one. Can you get a wild boar to charge you. What about a 44mag in the ear. So a proper bullet in a 444 isn't that different than a proper bullet in a 45 70 unless you've handloads to the marlin loads then ya got something. Or it gets you
 
On another thread, I saw this chart of all calibers and their relative power.
https://backfire.tv/chart-of-all-rifle-calibers-in-order-and-their-power/

You'll notice where the muzzle energy has a break point between Grizzly Bear and Elk. As indicated, the recommendation column is for hunting, or put another way, one shot stopping power. If the goal is to have an ethical hunt, this makes sense. However if the goal is to survive, and hunting wasn't part of your original plan, would the cumulative effect of multiple shots from a lesser gun suffice to stop a charging animal in its tracks?

Imagine a scenario where you have a semi-auto .308 battle rifle, (AR-10, SCAR, M1A, etc) and a grizzly is charging you. According to conventional wisdom, a single shot won't stop it. But would two? Three?

Since you're talking one-shot-stops, let's draw a parallel to Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow's work.

They attempted to determine the "stopping power" of different rounds and calibers by observing the real-world effects of different ammo in police shootings. The criteria were a single hit to COM and incapacitation within x number of seconds.

Let's say a .380acp ball was rated at 50% OSS (estimating, as I've not looked at those old charts in quite some time,) meaning, those with one COM hit from the round ceased hostilities within the prescribed timeframe.

You'd think that two of these rounds would then equal a 100% stop, right? Because 50% x 2 = 100%.

Except that's not the way it works. The first bullet causes an adrenaline dump and numbing to subsequent trauma. Given multiple hits in similar areas, the first round will almost always be the most effective, always excluding CNS and structural damage (meaning bone, etc) for the subsequent shots.

Imagine hitting your thumb with a hammer. It hurts, numbness sets in, you get pissed, and chuck said hammer across the room.

But then let's say that, instead of chucking the hammer, you decide to hit your thumb again. It's not going to hurt as bad this time because it is already numb, it already hurts, and you've already got that adrenaline dump happening.

Now carry all this over to an animal that doesn't know what a gunshot is. The animal doesn't know it's supposed to lie down when it's shot; it's not been trained by TV and movies to know that, when one is shot, one is supposed to have courtesy enough to speak a few final words and kindly die. Therefore, there's smaller change of a psychological stop with an enraged animal. You've got to cause the structural damage necessary to stop it. Your first bullet has the best chance of that for multiple reasons: shock (first hammer strike) value, probability that you'll have time for better shot placement, etc.

Regards,

Josh
 
You've got to cause the structural damage necessary to stop it. Your first bullet has the best chance of that for multiple reasons: shock (first hammer strike) value, probability that you'll have time for better shot placement, etc.

That's the angle I was asking, but didn't put it into words right. Let's assume caliber X (the more powerful one) can penetrate a deadly animal's skull, but caliber Y cannot. Caliber Y can do some damage, but not that. Would enough shots from it suffice though? (and I don't mean just head shots, that's an example)

I guess another way of putting it is, if you used birdshot instead of buckshot to defend yourself against a 2-legged critter...by most advice, the birdshot isn't sufficient. But several shots from that shotgun would certainly ruin that guy's day.
 
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