Quantcast

On the Fence with Interlock

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Olon, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    Howdy,

    Bagged myself a decent buck this weekend by my standards. Shot him from 225-250 yards with a hand loaded round from my 270. Winchester brass, 52.0 gr of H4350 and 130 gr Hornady Interlock.

    It was a good shot; the buck was quartering away slightly and the bullet entered the rear left rib cage right at the diaphragm, exiting through the front left rib cage after going through both lungs.

    Well, most of it exited anyway... When I was deboning I found the jacket of the bullet in the backstrap with quite a lot of fur. Tells me it likely expanded upon impact and veered up into the backstrap while the core went straight through. Exit was about nickel sized. A rib was shattered on either side.

    The buck went over the hill it was on and made it about a quarter mile until it died.

    The exit hole size tells me it didn’t expand a whole lot (maybe I’m wrong) and I know this charge is on the low end of the suggested range. It was the most accurate I could muster though. So with it being theoretically low velocity, I’m a little disappointed that the jacket separated. It still worked but I’m thinking it should’ve been a DRT kind of situation; that’s what has happened in the past with this kind of shot. He was a tough son of a buck though haha.

    Anyone else noticed this with the interlocks? Clearly it still did the trick but I’m just curious if others have noticed this happening. Next year I’m loading up with H4831 to see if I can get a bit more velocity and keep it accurate. Trying to decide on bullets. Game king is a top contender.

    ECCD1446-483B-4C79-BB4E-37E93DBC6562.jpeg
    B886D483-AEDC-4274-A449-1A181DE5DE01.jpeg
     
    Bandit67, 2ndtimer, Eagle103 and 3 others like this.
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,937
    Location:
    Up State New York
    I think it had more to do with the rib shot, that's why I shot for the shoulder.
     
    Olon, <*(((>< and Bfh_auto like this.
  3. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,216
    I shoulder shot a white tail button buck this year with 150gr .308 interlocks going ~2,750fps and it blew through the shoulder and had about a 2-1/2” exit wound far side rib cage after turning the chest cavity to mush. Deer hopped up a 4’ embankment fell against a downed tree about 5 yards and then ran about 8 yards and expired.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with interlocks. It sounds like yours hit the angled rib and sent shrapnel into the back strap.
     
    Bfh_auto, troy fairweather and Olon like this.
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,840
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I think WAY too much is made about whether a bullet expands or whether it doesn't and on whether a bullet exits or whether it doesn't or whether it holds together. The summer of 2018 I shot three deer with Berger VLDs. Only on one of the deer did the bullet exit and the exit hole was about bullet size. All, including the lung shot one, were DRT. I shot a big Kudu with a 444 Marlin handgun. The exit wound was about bullet sized and the animal went about 20 feet before it died. I shot an Impala and multiple pieces of the bullet were recovered with no exit wound and it was DRT.

    I would use an Interlock, a Core Lokt, a Weldcore, an Accubond or pretty much any jacketed bullet without much worry. I don't care that much if it expands or if it doesn't. What I care about is which bullet makes it more likely that what I shoot at is what I will hit.
     
    sparkyv, Bfh_auto and Olon like this.
  5. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Central MN
    Was it the whole jacket or a large fragment of it. I've had the front end of interlocks peel back significantly and shed some weight along the way, but the cup stayed with the bullet through the exit. These were at .308-.300 Savage velocities with the 150 grain flat base to 200 yards. I've since switched to the Speer Hot Core FB and like the results better.

    I did have a similar experience...through cavity and long blood trail...with a 174 grain RN interlock and low velocity from a 7,62x54R carbine. It was a high cavity impact like yours. Bullet expanded very little, and did not do significant damage to the lungs. More of a grazing wound along the top of the lungs. My theory is that not enough tissue was contacted to significantly expand the bullet.
     
    Bfh_auto and Olon like this.
  6. gspn

    gspn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,322
    I've killed scores of white tail with cup and core bullets out of my 7mag. Almost all of them were double lung shots and almost every one ran between 20 and 100 yards before laying down to die. I once had one drop on the spot, and that was so unusual that I took some time studying it to figure out why it happened. The bullet turned north after impact, and broke his back clean in half. Crazy stuff.

    I weigh every bullet I recover, and the average weight retention I get is around 30%. That means the bullet shed 70% of it's weight as it travelled through the deer. The lungs usually pour out like jelly. I get a pass through maybe 50% of the time, and even then, many times it's a small hole. Like you, I find a lot of jackets just under the hide on the far side. It doesn't matter to me though since they're always piled up close to where I last saw them.

    Your terrain looks to be wide open, so I'd expect deer to run a bit further than they do here.

    At any rate, you now have a sample size of exactly "1", which is entirely irrelevant from a statistical standpoint. Go shoot more. Compile more evidence from more deer, and after you've shot a bunch of them with that load, you'll have an idea of how it can be expected to perform. I'd never base a decision off a sample size of 1.
     
  7. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,169
    Location:
    Flagstaff AZ
    This is pretty typical performance from the Interlock in my experience. Heavy fragmentation and core/jacket separation are pretty commonplace, we find this way more often than a nice mushroom. If this performance is not what you are after, I would not switch to the Sierra GameKing or any other cup and core bullet except maybe a Core-Lokt. Those seem to hold up more reliably but I've used far fewer of them and only seen performance of a handful so sample size is small.

    As you see and as Grumulkin noted, it killed the deer. They work. I like Hornady bullets for accuracy, but as far as what bullet makers claim their cup and core bullets are supposed to do, and what they usually actually do are quite different in my experiences. What you described there is just typical cup and core performance. I've dug a lot of Interlocks out of critters and that sums up better than 50% of my experience.

    For a bullet that mushrooms, retains weight, penetrates and exits reliably and doesn't shed itself along the way, bonded bullets have been so much more reliable for me. Particularly the Nosler Accubond. That bullet does pretty much every time what Interlocks have done for me ~30% of the time.

    For better weight retention I'd say use a bonded bullet (or monolithic if you want 95%+ retention). Or, up the bullet weight to 140gr or 150gr and keep speed on the low side. It's also generally agreed upon anecdotally that flat base cup and core bullets tent to be a little tougher than boat tails.

    I like high weight retention and pass through if possible. Bonded and partitioned and monolithic do it so much better than cup and core. But of course there's more than one way to kill a deer. The light/fast rapid expanding grenades like Bergers and ballistic tips are effective too. Cup and core are kind of a tweener in performance usually. I'm in the camp that trusts weight retention and penetration over exploding and making a mess and as such I'll never go back to cup and core bullets unless I'm chasing nostalgia.
     
    Gtscotty and Olon like this.
  8. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    Wish I had a picture. It looked like some of the jacket was broken off, the rest kind of peeled back and the cup was empty with very little deformation at the base.

    I think you might be right. Not a lot of tissue in that area so it could’ve gone through with little resistance. I just hate ruining so much good shoulder meat though so I aim behind it.
     
  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,478
    Long shot deer run... If you want to shoot behind the shoulder, I prefer a ballistic tip or amax.
    I always get jacket separations with my bullets, but they still die.
    If you can't get both good velocity and accuracy, try a different powder.
     
  10. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Central MN
    A full separation then. As above posters have noted, it did do the job. I think gspn hit it on the head with the open terrain. If your deer was alert/pressured, + distance after the shot. I had a pressured whitetail take 3 SSTs in the heart/lungs and still go 200 yards in heavy cover. Internals were soup. He came in after a volley of shots in an adjacent clearcut, and had a hole in one ear and a grazing wound on a front leg. Neither of those holes were mine, all 3 of my bullets were accounted for. I would not give up on the Hornady if they shoot well for you. If you want more poof, up the velocity or use an SST or NBT. If you want less poof, consider the NP, Speer GS or FBHot core, or a heavier for caliber IL.

    I had been shooting the Speer GS in my .280 at 145 grains, and it basically performed as cup and cores are "supposed to". The one I recovered from a deer looked like the old Rem Core-lokt advertisements after passing through body cavity quartering and a shoulder (far side) and stopping just under the hide. Due to a shift in the terrain I hunt, and a good deal on a big pile of bullets, I switched to the discontinued H154 RN interlock at 2550ish FPS (7x57 territory). Was extremely pleased with that bullet on a heavy whitetail this fall. I have used the Hornady 154 SST (too violent), Speer 160 Mag Tip (loved that bullet, no longer made), and Hornady 154 Interlock (only one deer with this one, head shot so no useful conclusion to draw from that one). Of those, the GS was a solid performer and didn't poof too much meat. Almost universal pass through (12/13 deer) with good expansion. DRT on shoulder or neck shots.
     
    Bfh_auto likes this.
  11. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,937
    Location:
    Up State New York
    Even the best shot is not a 100% drt, my dad shot a very big buck when he was a kid up on top of Greenville mountain. He hit it with a 196grain 8mm. He said it ran all the way down the hill over 1/4 mile, when he field dressed it he said there could not have been any part of the heart bigger then 1 inch.

    Hunters will even say a bullet failed yet the animal is being cut up when they will say it failed.
     
    Duster340, Bfh_auto, LoonWulf and 3 others like this.
  12. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,169
    Location:
    Flagstaff AZ
    It’s true that failing to do what the manufacturer advertises is different than failing to reliably kill deer. I’d never say a 270 shooting 130gr interlocks is a bad or inadequate deer cartridge for example. It’s a fine deer cartridge.

    But, if jacket separation and fragmentation are undesirable to the hunter then there are options available that will do what he wants them to do with greater consistency

    To a good hunter and good marksman who takes and makes good shots, the difference in overall recovered deer may prove in the end to be zero. Or it may have been just the difference a time or two especially with undesirable shot placement

    I think this is a way bigger issue on elk sized game than it is with deer
     
    LoonWulf and troy fairweather like this.
  13. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,894
    Location:
    Wyobraska
    I'm not sure if you want more internal trauma or more retained weight..... the game king is slightly tougher in my experience, but my solution to try next year (as this is what my family runs and enjoys) grab the pro hunters and crank the speed! They're tougher than general cup and cores seem to be in my experience so far, but the internal damage is still quite destructive. I have one friend who enjoys the sploders and for him, we run ssts (with interlock technology iirc, and you don't plan the bullet path, you plan the detonation point like a giant vmax), on the other hand bonded bullets and monometals exist for a reason but with the monometals, you need higher impact velocity. I do like Hornady bullets when applied properly, but what exactly do you ask of your bullets?
     
  14. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    5,810
    Location:
    SE GA
    Bullets passing through and expanding properly cannot be a bad thing. Whatever let’s them bleed out the fastest.

    I think the combination of lower muzzle velocity from the reduced load and the longer range the shot was taken at caused the longer distance recovery. That doesn’t exactly explain why there was jacket separation though. 1/4 mile IMO is much too long of a recovery distance for a deer that was double lunged. I gripe about deer running 200 yds when hit well.

    Too much is at play to tell why animals stay alive longer in some instances than in others.

    I say you want a through shot and you want reliable expansion and weight retention. Ideally you want the amount of weight retention that allows full expansion and a pass through. Yup I’m one of those who is making WAY too much of these things.

    I would say you had a bullet “failure” considering the moderate velocity and longer shot. You would think something like that would happen at closer range but probably with better results. Nonetheless, it still did the job and you recovered your buck. I would look around for a new bullet.
     
    wankerjake likes this.
  15. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    9,071
    Location:
    Hawaii
    That's really the crux of the matter.
    Ive had a higher percentage of drts with heavy, soft bullets driven hard. As far as I'm concerned the bullet need only make it as far as the squishy bits before going to pieces. If those pieces exit, they blow gaping holes. Again IME this is far more important if your not smashing up the support structure.

    Other folks prefer to smash bones and kill/cripple in one shot, buddy of mines nearly an expert at that.
    On larger game I've taken, like the feral forest bulls we hunted for years I prefer to do this as well, as they can take a pretty good pounding and go an awful long way (only kinda happened to me) before going down. I haven't always carried a rifle/cartridge that could do that, so I've had some experience both ways.

    Other folks wish to minimize meat loss, and they usually shoot harder bullets behind the shoulder. This usually results in some tracking on nearly every animal, especially once adrenaline has started pumping.


    The last critter I killed was a running axis buck who took 2 shots thru the lungs from 140gr Fusions launched at 3050 from my .280AI. Shots hit about 5" apart and the animal ran about 100yds before piling up. Exit wounds were about 3/4"
    Had I thought about it I'd probably have gone for his shoulders, as those bullet have proven to expand less than regular cup n cores. Both my experience earlier in that week and what others have told me.
     
  16. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,871
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I have never been a fan of Hornady, but to be honest, I have only taken 3 or 4 deer with them. I was shooting 150gr in a 270 and took a mulie at about 275 yards and a whitetail at 30. The mulie was hit high shoulder as it lay in its bed and never got up. Good expansion on the shoulder with a golf ball sized exit, but it did contact a lot of bone. The whitetail was hit behind the foreleg, double lung, and didn't open up. There was a dime sized hole in the lungs and the deer went over 100 yards. One of my friends took a buck with 180 gr out of a 30-06. Same thing. Double lunged buck went 100 yards and left a skimpy blood trail. I don't know if this was because of the heavy for caliber bullet with a thicker jacket or just bad luck.

    Last year I tried the newer ELD-X in my Creedmoor and took a doe at 200 yards. Worked fine, but I believe that my Accubonds work as well or better.
     
  17. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,127
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I want a dead deer (bear, antelope, etc.) with as little damage to the meat as possible. I started using Nosler Partitions decades ago and have only one failure that I could attribute to the bullet (maybe). Do they cost more? YES. Are they worth it? DEFINITELY!

    Partitions always shed weight due to the front half expanding and fragmenting but the back half usually penetrates and exits. I like an exit wound ... more blood to follow.
     
  18. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,343
    Location:
    W. PA
    So many bullets, every shot is different. Its hard to decide what is ultimately best and takes years to get a meaningful sample size. I've gravitated to Hornady's or Core Lokt's for deer. Partitions when hunting out of state for bigger stuff, like elk or moose.

    The way I see that, since the jacket separated from the core, it expanded too much. The fact that you got an exit wound is a good thing, no matter what the size.

    I think that that is moving in the wrong direction. I've always considered Sierra bullets to be more lightly constructed than other brands and have had, or witnessed, incidences of the bullet fragmenting upon contact and not exiting. IMO there are better choices.

    The design of Partitions almost guarantees that you're going to get good performance which I consider to be expansion and penetration. I do use then for deer in my 25-06 and think the results have been much better than when I used cup and core bullets.
     
    <*(((><, Patocazador and wankerjake like this.
  19. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    4,275
    Never had an issue with interlocks
     
    Duster340 and .308 Norma like this.
  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,516
    Location:
    Georgia
    Some animals just don't want to die, even with a good hit and good bullets. Some will run, some will lie down and die. I wouldn't read too much into it.
     
  21. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,216
    Like @Laphroaig I've always considered Sierra's offerings lighter constructed as well, but typically great accuracy.
     
  22. Panfisher

    Panfisher Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    122
    I ha e been loading interlocks for years first in a 7Mag and in a .243 for my wife. I load them very mild for her. They are the most boring bullets made, her rifle goes bang, de either drops in a few yards or runs about 50 yards dead on its feet. Shoulders, spines, and clean lung hits all have worked perfectly. This year I switched her load to a Hornady GMX just because I wanted to try something different. Handily enough both bullets hit within an inch of each other at 100 yards. Didn't work that way in my loaner .243, 6 inches difference. She hasn't shot anything yet to see how the new bullets perform.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  23. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    900
    Nice mulie! Do yourself a favor and try some Nosler Accubonds. I’ve taken around 15 animals with them so far (more to follow, God willing), and they track straight, expand reliability, and don’t ruin a lot of meat. Mine have all been .308 and 30-06 reloads though, I don’t own a .270.
     
    stillquietvoice, Olon and wankerjake like this.
  24. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,118
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I've become pretty fond of Accubonds as well. They are reasonably slick, usually shoot pretty well, but mostly they just give really consistent, good terminal performance. I've had some interesting surprises with SSTs (165gr shedding jacket on entry on a buck, and not exiting from a rib shot on a broadside doe). I think SGKs are a little more consistent, but they do tend to be on the softer side, so you don't want to push them too hard.
     
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,657
    Interlocks are one of my favorite hunting bullets to reload.
    I know them to be effective on Mule Deer and Elk in 7MM and .30 caliber and I use them exclusively in my 280 and 30-06 hunting rifles.
    Very pleased with more than 3 decades of use on dozens of big game animals.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice