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Interesting read on hunting rifles, ammo and range

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by PonyKiller, Sep 3, 2013.

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  1. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    Stumbled across this last night, little long but pretty comprehensive from an empirical stand point. If it's been posted and linked before my apologies, I think chuck hawks made mention of it before.

    http://http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/articlegad.html

    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/articlegad.html

    Seemed appropriate given the legs of the other thread about long range hunting. I found it interesting that caliber was statistically a wash, bullet construction was a significant statistical difference, and shot placement was about what you'd expect.
     
  2. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    Now that I have a bit of time, here is some of the pertinents buried in the study done by Charles Ruth, wildlife biologist and supervisor from the study.

    What I liked about it was the fairly large sample size and the variety. Here's some numbers from it. All were scoped centerfire rifles from .243-.30 cal

    Hunters fires 603 shots, and took 493 deer for a total of 81.7% shooting percentage. bucks and does were roughly the same.

    Average shot distance was 137yds
    Average shot resulting in kill 127 yds
    Average shot resulting in miss 150yds

    Upon being hit 253 deer(51%)dropped on the spot
    240 deer(49%) that ran went an average of 62 yds. The study breaks the distances down pretty specifically by shot location. 403 deer went less than 46yds.

    Statistically the caliber selection mattered little averaging from 14-40 yds.

    The use of factory versus custom rifles was literally identical.

    For ammunition they broke it down to heavy for caliber/more controlled expansion bullets and softpoint/ballistic tips "appropriate" for game weights.

    Soft types dropped em 58%of the time and the rest averaged 27yds.
    Heavier/harder types dropped em 49% of the time the rest traveled an average of 43 yds.

    They have data on shot placement and dog tracking information on the area it was done and whatnot, but it seemed like pretty "average" whitetail turf.

    Credit to South Carolina and Dr Charles Ruth for the data
     
  3. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I believe I read a similar study before. And what I took away from the study was:

    Know your rifle.
    Know your round.
    Know your limits.
    Shoot/practice often (not just a week before season) at reasonable distances and not just from a bench.

    I have always believed, as most people on here do, that shot placement means more than cartridge, or bullet. Whether you use a .223 or a 338 LAP, a bullet to the heart equals.....dead.
     
  4. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    Very true, with the recent posts on caliber preferences and the one on range, I thought it was interesting that empirically the old standard beliefs of proper bullet placement, appropriate bullet for game, and reasonable range were the determining factor, not the price of the gun, or the caliber.
     
  5. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    The most accurate rifles, most powerful, latest and greatest cartridge calibers, and best bullets money can buy will never make up for poor bullet placement. A good rifle with good bullets and a seasoned competent shooter with that rifle will take game way more consistently than a $6000 rifle in the most powerful caliber, with top of the line ammo, in front of a mediocre shooter.

    A seasoned shooter knows his rifle, knows his ammunition, and know his limits. But even then it's still possible to make a poor shot. It's just much less likely.
     
  6. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    FWIW, 82% hit rate on deer out to 150 yards is pathetic. But the the DNR characterizes the data as "We feel that this is a pretty good shooting percentage considering the variable experience levels that the hunters had."

    I guide for an outfitter and I see some pretty poor shooting due to a variety of circumstances. If 82% at 150 is "normal" I supopse I can see why folks raise their eyebrows at someone taking a 400 yard shot.
     
  7. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Ankeny,
    I agree that at 150 yds with a rifle, if you can't hit a pie plate on the range then you shouldn't take that shot at a deer. But now throw in the variables of nerves, the invisible limb or twig, sights being knocked off kilter, and 82% becomes more understandable. Still terrible, but understandable.

    I know guys with confirmed kills on prairie dogs at over 1100 yards. That is beyond my capability even from a bench. 500 yards is beyond my capability from a bench. It's genetic. It's not my eyes. I have amazing vision. It's a nerve condition I have that causes my fine motor skills to basically be in a constant state of panic. That's why I know my limits. It's about 300 yards under ideal conditions. That's a 3-4" group at 300.
     
  8. The Big Game Hunter

    The Big Game Hunter Member

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    I've seen this article before, but it's still interesting to see it again. One thing that really interests me is how many live but wounded deer they were able to recover with the dog.
     
  9. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    If you Factor in the number of deer that were unrecoverable without the aid of the dogs, the killed rate drops to 77.8%. If you take it a bit further and subtract the amount of gutshot animals the hit rate drops to 72.1%, meaning in the 127yd average shot where the deer were taken the hunter only hit the vitals a bit over 7/10 times.
     
  10. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I'd like to see if those caliber numbers could be dissected a little more. Obviously, they show no real correlation as is, but I wonder if, say, the slightly high yardage from deer shot with a .243 could be seen to relate more to people with that caliber choosing the harder, controlled expansion bullet than from the caliber itself. There's probably not a great enough sampling, though.

    Still an interesting study.
     
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