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OK, I do believe it, but not for certain hunting. Keep reading!

I jack rabbit hunt with my 22, and my question is about bullet expansion. I usually use HV 38g American Eagle Hollow Points as my gun shoots these very accurately.

Most of my shots are between 50 and 75 yards. That puts the velocity at around 1050 and the energy left at about 100 ft-lbs. I don’t think the bullets are really expanding much if at all with these ballistics.

Here is my reasoning: The bullet is hitting the rabbits at about the same muzzle velocity as a subsonic round. I’ve looked at some tests done here:
http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189675&highlight=Buckmark+ammo+testing+Pt.+I
I’m assuming these test were done a fairly close ranges. (Getting verification from previous post on this.)
His shot #5 was from a Remington sub-sonic HP round. As shown in the thread above, the bullet expansion was…well, didn’t happen.

Is my above theory valid? Can someone give me proof that expansion truly does happen with HV Hollow Points taken between 50 and 75 yards?

Now, lets not get started about the whole water jug testing theory, I see it this way, from another “tester” that was shown to me from this site. To paraphrase, he said water can show the “maximum” upset that occurs to a bullet in soft tissue.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot13.htm
Tests revealed only very slight expansion. Again at close range.

Also on this site, it shows expansion on various bullets in ballistic gelatin:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/22LR.html
Don’t know much about ballistic gelatin, but some expansion seemed to happen, but all at close range.

In this ballistic gelatin test the subsonic Aguila SE 38g lead hollow point bullet did expand, unlike the water jug tests mentioned above. Expansion was .340 and .344 at 1002 ft/sec. But at what point is the bullet expanding, if at all in a jack rabbit? For all I know, the bullets that did expand in the ballistic gelatin tests expanded during the last 2 inches of their 10 to 15” travel. Most jack rabbits are less then 6” thick.

Anyone have any rebuttals to my theory?

:-\
 

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I think you have a valid point there. Expansion of HPs at subsonic speeds does tend to be problematic. I'd suggest you try CCI Stingers or get a .22WMR if you don't care about meat damage. I eat jack rabbits and can't see any reason to just blow them up and leave them lay. For that reason I try for head shots only and bullet expansion is not a concern to me.
 

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Hmmmm now somewhere I have a Winchester Sub Sonic bullet that I recovered from under the hide of the chest of a Rabbit and it's nicely mushroomed. Range was about 35 yards and was fired from a 16 1/2" barrel which has a sound moderator fitted. I have not been impressed with any of the hyper velocity ammunition that I have tried in any of my .22LR rifles, accuracy was so-so to poor in all of them so I only use std ammo or the Winchester Sub Sonic stuff now. Once my supply of Winchester runs out I will have to try some others to see if any equal or beat it and I am near to running out of the Swartclip (South African) std velocity ammo I have so will need to find an alternative to that as well. Hopefully I can find some which suits all 3 of the rifles I have none of which are semis' all beign bolts except for one Martini.
 

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I have numerous .22 bullets I have recovered. Most are Federal American Eagles. Most were fired from a Ruger single six.

I am a trapper and carry my single six as a dispatch gun so most of the bullets I have recovered from it have been fired at ranges of 10 feet or less. I don't know what kind of velocity is achived out of the six inch barrel but I would imagine it is only slightly higher than what you are talking about. That being said I can't recall ever recoveing one from my pistol that is nicly mushroomed. The bullets are usually badly deformed but no expansion to speak of. One that stands out in my mind went through a coyotes ribcage and was recovered just under the skin on the opposite side. The reason it stands out is normally they pass completely through. It appeared as though the tip had been cut off at a sharp angle with a pair of dikes.

I have recovered a few that were fired from a rifle at closer ranges than you speak of. Some were nicly mushroomed others wern't. Much of it depends on the hit.
 
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