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Testing HDY V-Max On Whitetail

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kingmt, Nov 25, 2011.

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  1. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    There has been a lot of talk about bullet damage lately & talk about not using a V-Max on deer sized animals. As said in other post I take head shoots so it doesn't matter much but my son may get to take his first shot this year & I would like to have an idea of what will happen.

    I am also new to a .243Win but I have been shooting it a lot this year. The first box of bullets I picked up was 65gn V-Max & they shot great & I'm still playing with them so that is what I loaded for us to hunt. So I took a body shot to see what happened.

    The 65gn V-Max is loaded for ~2900fps.

    The deer ran about 30yds & crashed dead. There wasn't enough blood to call it a trail. The bullet entered the right side on the back of the shoulder behind the shoulder bone. It came through the shoulder just behind the shoulder bone & stopped on the left side just under the hide. All the blood was dumped in her chest(which was nice for hauling it since there was no blood to get on anything even after gutting it). Sadly the heart(my favorite meat) got tore up bad & both front shoulders are very bloodshot & will take a lot more work to make them eatable. The bullet retained 35% of its mass.

    I will try to get some pictures up later.
     
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    MTExMTI0XzAyMS5qcGc.jpg
    MTExMTI0XzAyMC5qcGc.jpg
    Entrance

    MTExMTI0XzAxOS5qcGc.jpg
    MTExMTI0XzAxOC5qcGc.jpg
    Where bullet stopped.

    MTExMTI0XzAwOC5qcGc.jpg
    MTExMTI0XzAwNy5qcGc.jpg
    Heart. It isn't cut. That's where it is falling apart.

    MTExMTI0XzAyMi5qcGc.jpg
    Retrieved bullet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  3. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Pretty destructive. I noticed you really downloaded that 65gr bullet from a more typical 3500 fps to your 2900 fps. Perhaps the lower velocity aided your bullet penetrate a little deeper, hard to say. I assume you loaded low for light recoil for your son?

    Good shooting.
     
  4. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    The 65 grain Vmax is a varmint bullet with a poor SD. Accorning to my Hornady manual, the whole Vmax series is intended for varmint, at least in 6mm.

    Considering what you used, it seems it performed pretty well.

    I have a 243 which is more of a target shooter than a hunter. It could hunt and if it did I'd be loading something in the 90-100 grain range.
     
  5. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    I have loaded VMax for my Mini30 X39. they shoot great but way too lightly constructed for rakeing shot on large whitetail past about 100 yds IMO.
    I shot a doe in the neck behind the skull dang near took off it's head.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    A poor shot with a light weight varmint bullet on game only leaves a wounded animal to die slowly. While it can give spectacular results with the perfect shot, it isn't the right tool for the job. My humble opinion of course.
     
  7. Cypress

    Cypress Member

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    I agree with Walkalong and I'll add that I've seen the results of muffed headshots that took the bottom jaw off without killing the deer or hog. Unethical shooting all around if you ask me. JMHO Have a nice day!
     
  8. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    The "V"-max, the V stands for Varmint. A deer is a game animal, not a Varmint. That should be the end of the argument.

    The V-max has a very thin jacket, with the plastic tip to begin violent, uncontrolled expansion. If it hits anything, it explodes to reduce ricochets when the varmint is missed.

    King, you got lucky. It's that simple, it worked, but it should not have. The retained weight is the most important clue. Any bullet that retains less than 50% of it's weight is too lightly constructed to be used for serious hunting. If it had hit the shoulder bone, that deer would be limping around waiting to die of infection.

    We owe the animals we hunt a swift, painless death. Get something in the 85 to 100 grain weight, perhaps loaded down a bit for the young hunter.
     
  9. NVMM

    NVMM Member

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    Well said, snuffy.
     
  10. JTB

    JTB Member

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    I agree that the v-max will cause you a lost deer in the future. Please no head shots. A deer without a bottom jaw is a horrible death for a magnificiant creature.
     
  11. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    ssyoumans seems to be the only one that sees what is going on here. It was downloaded for penatration concidering the light recoil to start with. Shoot placement is everything in the head or body so takeing a shoot you cant make is just wrong. It wasnt by luck that it worked becsuse I put work into testing this round & even talked to Hornady before starting. If you think it was luck please look at the pictures again. If it was going to just explode it would have on a rib or somewhere way before the other side. As for 35% not being enough it was only 65gn to start with so it lost ~40gn if it was 100gn & retined 50% that would mean it lost 50gn. It did well & the proof is in the pudding or in this case makeing pudding out of the heart & lungs.
     
  12. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Alos I have only tested this round out to 100yds so I wouldnt try it at longer ranges until tested out more.
     
  13. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    I don't think you can call one instance "proof". If you continued to run this test, and compared it to a 95 grain SST (or any other bullet designed for hunting), you'd eventually see why a varmint bullet is so called.

    I'm not picking on you, I've seen you post very intelligent information, which begs why you're going against convention wisdom and and using a varmint bullet on deer?

    I did catch the part about you dropping the velocity. I wasn't sure if that was to keep the bullet from blowing up at higher velocity or to lessen the recoil.

    What you're doing, as a man with knowledge, just doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  14. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    I load the 50 gr. V-max in my 220 Swift and the 75 gr. in my .257 Roberts and they are both deer killers. The Swift is running around 3900 fps and the Roberts is running 3500 fps across a chronograph. I only head or neck shoot them and one shot is all it has ever taken. I personally don't have a problem using either caliber on deer in central and coastal Texas as long as the person behind the trigger is an accomplished shot and knows what they are doing. I don't suggest this practice for new or inexperienced shooters who are easily excited and can't put at least 3 rounds in a 1 inch dot at 100 yards off the bench.
     
  15. Jasper1573

    Jasper1573 Member

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    I hunt whitetail with a 165 grain Fusion bullet in .308 Win. While I consider the .308 Win a good rifle for the purpose, I think shooting a varmint-built bullet weighing 100 grains less than what I shoot beyond the margin of a humane kill. If that perfectly placed bullet that you shot from your .243 Win had missed the heart, that deer would have run a lot farther than 30 yards. I killed a doe last year with the .308 load mentioned above...I hit her a little low on the chest and she ran about 75 yards down a hill through thick brush. Now that was with a 165 grain projectile at around 2500 fps...imagine that shot with the lightweight 65 grain varmint bullet...it simply isn't safe to assume that your shots will all be so perfectly effective as the one depicted above. To some extent, size and power do make a difference...recommend something in the 90 to 100 grain range.
     
  16. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    King have you tried the 87 vmax in your .243. SD is plenty high enough and with it's higher ballistic coefficient you will find past 150 yards it is moving faster than your 55 or 65 grain bullets. I haven't shot a deer with it yet but on coyotes out at 360 yards plus the bullet has exited through bone, full length of a body or soft tissue. I really think it will make a good deer bullet and will be testing in the coming weeks on deer shoulder bones, wet phonebooks and deer hides.
     
  17. RyeDaddy

    RyeDaddy Member

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    Good shot, dead deer. I like it.
     
  18. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I have got 10 deer with Nosler Balistic tips.
    The construction of that bullet is very much like the Hornady Vmax, but the walls are thicker near the base.

    If you hit the soft part of the animal, Vmax would be better than Bal Tip.
    But the Bal Tip would be better for hitting the hard parts.

    I aim for the lungs, and the BT will liquify them, so my expansion is good enough.
    So I will stick with the BT in the expansion rate trade off.

    I hunt with guys who use partitions for deer. They are nuts. Worse yet, they don't listen to me. They have their own opinions. That disgusts me.
     
  19. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Thanks for the extra info that you guys have added to my thread. All was good points. Sorry if this came across as a indorement. That is why I left out the load info. The point was to educate about bullet constrution vs speed & what goes on inside the body cavity during expansion. Not bragging but I've always been blessed as a good shot & this deer would have been dead even without it hitting the heart because the lungs were made into pudding. Don't miss the point there was no blood trail. I chose the 65gn only because it is the first bullet I tried & the only one I've worked with. Will others work? Yes. Better? Maybe.
     
  20. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    A better bullet would have passed through, left two "ports" to bleed from, and created a better blood trail, if that became necessary.
     
  21. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I don't agree about a pass through. Energy spent into the ground is just wasted. If I would have used a heavier bullet I would have loaded it to the point to have the same affect. I could have loaded this one to penetrate further. A heavier bullet coming apart at the point of exit may have left a little blood but all of the blood was dumped in the bottom of its chest instead of a like cutting a blood vain & spraying. With the damage to the heart ther was no pumping to spray.
     
  22. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    Considering that in some overpopulated areas, whitetail aren't much bigger than a coyote, why not use a varmint bullet, dead is dead.
     
  23. Jasper1573

    Jasper1573 Member

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    I have heard the virtues of the partition bullets, but this is the first time I have heard anything negative. Why don't you like partition bullets?

    I have never used them, so I am curious.
     
  24. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I too have used a spectrum of bullets to take deer, from 35gr V-max from .22Hornet to 400gr Cast slugs from .45/70.
    I prefer some intital expansion, but like penetration too.
    I'm not a huge fan of the Nosler Partitons as I believe their penetration potential is over-rated. They expand quickly, but imo don't penetrate any better than the Hornady Interloks, or Remington CorLokts at 1/4 the price. Also, I get simular penetration and expansion from Sierra's at 1/3 to 1/4 the price.
    I've had Hornady SST's fail to expand, and Nosler Ballistic Tips explode and not penetrate. Hence, I like a "heavier" bullet of "decent" construction for reliable performance. Lately, I'm a huge fan of the old discontinued 140gr HotCor Speer's from my .260Remington. Excellent expansion, dependable penetration, and superlative accuracy. When I exhaust current supply will have to try the Sierra 140's...
    I've seen 75gr Hornady HP's at 3,500fps from my .257Roberts as well as 85gr Nosler B.T.'s completely penetrate ~130-200lb deer, but ranges were over 300yds to closer to 400 where bullets had slowed down and expanded less violently.
    I shot a 200lb 8pt buck behind my house in 2010 with .35Rem w/200gr FTX @ 2,200fps (chrono'd handload). Bullet went through both lungs and heart and exited. .35cal hole in, .35cal hole out. Deer ran 90yds and I only found it by accident walking my property line. It had stopped to look as it crossed a fire-break and "expired". Last 75yds w/o a blood trail through dense brush.
    So, give me expansion AND penetration, Thank You !!!
     
  25. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    I will never understand why people go through such pains to make the wrong bullet work in a marginal way.
     
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