I’ve been hunting deer for 50 years with everything from the 30-30 Winchester to the 338 - 06. My choice of weapon has depended on terrain and anticipated distance. I’ve lost track of the number of deer I’ve taken...easily around a100. Most have dropped in their tracks. Those than ran never went further than 50 yards or so before they piled up. I have long since understood the value of shot placement. The majority of the deer I’ve taken have been harvested with Nosler bullets. Most were taken with high shoulder and neck shots. One of my favorite shots is a quartering away shot. I aim fairly high at the shoulder I can’t see (off side shoulder). The result is an instantly dead deer 99% of the time. This year was the exception. I made the decision to cull a poor quality 4 year old with a poor set of antlers. The shot was under 100 yards and broad side with a good 20 foot elevation advantage looking down into a ravine at the deer. I had the wind in my favor, but he came out from an unexpected spot and saw me. He stood there for a while and decided to calmly leave. As he cleared the brush his pace started to pick up. At that point I knew I had a limited window of opportunity. The cross hairs came to rest squarely in the middle of his right shoulder when I sent the round down range. My rifle in this case was a Ruger M77 MKII in 25-06. My bullet was a 115 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip that I had loaded up to 3100 f.p.s. He kicked in the after-burners but that right front leg was a done deal. I was impressed by how fast he ran on three legs but, once again, he only covered a short distance before he piled up in spectacular fashion. The postmortem on my deer was as expected. Ballistic Tip bullets are pretty much like throwing hand grenades. Both lungs were blown up and there was quite a bit of damage to the heart. That round turned his right shoulder to mush. However, there was no pass through. This started me thinking. Had I been using a Nosler Partition I would have broken both shoulders and he would have gone down in his tracks. I’m sure that a good bit of the reason was shot placement (heavy bone) and velocity. At that short distance that bullet was screaming hot and blew up pretty quickly. I’ve killed deer with partitions with good results, but I’ve always felt that Ballistic Tips gave a much more effective performance when it came to expansion...explosive expansion in fact. So here’s the question: Am I straining at gnats here? Either way the result would have been the same. Things don’t always come out in the field the way we want them to work out. Would I be better to go with partitions in the future? My guess is six of one, half a dozen of another. Shot placement IMO is the most important component of the event. Your thoughts please?