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Shot placement

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Stinger, Nov 11, 2005.

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  1. Stinger

    Stinger Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    I believe in the old saying, "always use enough gun." My deer caliber of choice is the 30'06. It has bagged me a few whitetail over the years. Good shots always do their part, and not so good shots usually require a follow-up.

    On my recent hunting trip, I used the aforementioned caliber and it worked as expected. Another buddy used a .270 with the same results. And yet another buddy used a 220 Swift. Yes a 220 Swift!

    We talked it over before hand, and I told him I did not think 220 Swift was sufficient for the job. Too small of a caliber, but more importantly, the bullets are not designed for this type of game. He disagreed, and said it was all in shot placement.

    He shot a buck at 150 yards in the left shoulder. It ran 30 yards, and expired by the time we got there, which wasn't long, as we were standing by the pickup, fixing to out in the field. This is the second fastest hunt I have been a part of. But that is another tail all its own.

    The autopsy showed that the bullet fragmented upon entry as it hit a rib. The skin on the entry side looked like what you'd expect from an exit on the other side with a 30 caliber. The bone fragments grenaded the vitals, and the bullet, or part of it, was found in between two ribs on the other side.

    I still don't believe this to be an adequate deer cartridge. The performance of the bullet proved this in my mind, unfortunately, however, not in his. Of course, I have seen deer shot in the exact same place that ran much further than this, and this is but one isolated incident.

    Shot placement is critical, but please, always use enough gun.


  2. Adept

    Adept Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Mate, I've seen people take deer with 45# recurve bows. While you should always use the largest weapon you can safely handle, shot placement is more important than power. A .22 in the right place is better than a 30.06 in the wrong one.
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    I agree that a 220 Swift is NOT a deer rifle. I read a book by the late Elmer Keith recently and he clearly is a proponent of using MORE than less. His life's experience with hunting and game animals is remarkable. He mentioned that a 30-06 is a bit small for elk when I had always used the rule of thumb that 270 or larger were appropriate for elk. He also talked about people shooting long ranges (500 yards+) at game animals and wounding them slightly due to the bullet being almost entirely spent upon impact. That is a perspective that I really never considered. For the most part, he suggested keeping shots under 300 yards on larger game animals. Ofcourse, he has taken deer with a handgun at that range. He was in favor of using black powder weapons because the gun forced you to take a good shot as you couldn't depend on a quick followup. He also did not like separate early seasons for archery hunting or black powder. That is one I will have to think about.
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    I always play the "What if?" game on cartridge choice. What if that buck had been standing at a little different angle, and the bullet fragments only got into the guts? Bummer. No or negligible blood trail, and a long-gone deer.

    My first deer was with a .222, but the very-patient doe stood at some 20 yards and stared at me as I aimed for the white spot. Whole different deal from a nice buck at 200 yards, moving along without posing.

    I've killed a lot of deer with a .243, but it was mostly neck shots on calm deer. When I'm walking hunting and Bambi could well be in 5th gear at wide-open throttle, it's time for the '06.

    I have a really nice pre-'54 (no typo) Swift, but it's not at all my choice for a deer rifle...

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