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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Well I was going to add this to a thread but whilst I was writing it the thread was locked down ??? Not trying to stir thing up but I thougth I would relate an experience that I had when shootign my first ever deer and the mistakes I made afterwards about bullets.

Bullet failures do occur and for years I have avoided using Sierra bullets when possible for just that reason. It was my first deer, a Roe Doe at about 90 yards, I was using my fairly new Brno ZKK 601 in .308 Win and because Roe are light deer didn't want to blow up a carcase and loose a lot of meat I decided to use a Sierra 180 grain Pro Hunter bullet #2150 loaded over 42.0 grains of rel 15 with a Fed 210 primer loaded to a COL of 2.800". Shot was almost broadside and I mistakenly aimed to far back and hit her just in front of the diaphram. The bullet clipped a rib going in and took out three ribs exiting dragging a loop of intensines out with it. The Doe dropped on the spot rolled over kicked her legs in the air and expired before I could chamber a second cartridge.

Now I had an extemly dead Doe on my hands but when I was skinning it at home I found shards of lead and jacket material imbedded in the ribs and inside the body. There is no way to my mind that a 180 grain bullet which was more likely to be used on heavy game like Elk should shed it's jacket and come apart on the ribs of a 35lb Roe Doe and not at a medium velocity .308 load! So I avoided Sierra's only using them when I could not get any other make. First I went to Speer bulelts then got some Hornady's and now try to stick with them. I did try some Nosler Balistic tips, 165 grains ones in the /308 but the comment I got from the game keeper was :-

Are you trying to gut it as well with the shot
Although using my mid range loads the bulelt didn't seem to blow up nor destroy the carcase I thought it best not to use them as Balistic Tips have a reputation for blowing up carcases especially our light Roe Deer and some places will not allow their use even in factory ammunition. In a lot of places the head belongs to the client/shooter but the carcase belongs to the estate who sell them to the game dealer who processes them for the meat trade. Bloodshot carcases are unsaleable.

Since discussing this experience on the net I got in touch with the Sierra techs and got some answers and advice from Dwain there and now I am experimenting with a Sierra bullet as he is as puzzled on the bullets performance as I was. Unfortuneatly I shot up the rest at the range so I cannot send him the remaining bullets from the box to test and examine which I should have done.

Now presently I am playing with some 90 Grain Nosler BT's and 100 grain Partitions as well as 95 grain Hornady SST's in the 6mm and so far the poly tipped bulltes have given the best accuracy. My initial load using the Partition was horrible grouping around 3" at 75 meters so more experimenting is called for perhaps with a slower powder? I used Varget for this first lot as it is showing fairly good results with the Ply tips and when I tried 4831 the accuracy was not as good with the lighter bullets.

Having looked at the photo and read the post I am not going to make judgements especially after having a bullet of sound reputation fail myself, it happens and we have to just accept it and if possible learn from it. Nonya has decided to stick with barnes bulelts and that is his decision to make not mine and not anyone elses! Myself I will try the Sierra bullets again and have brought some for my .270 (got them on close out) but for me personally I cannot see the need here in the UK for Barnes bulltes and my shooting so I will stick with more traditional designs.

Sorry if this is seen by moderators as "out of line" as I didn't think it was but hey what do I know?
 

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Last night I received a call from a friend regarding his son kill his first buck. I have had an interest in the load they put together this season. The bullet is a 140-grain Accubond, pushed by 56.0 grains of H4831sc. His rifle has a 24-inch barrel. I consider this load slightly mild, and the only load that I have used that is similar is 57.2 grains of H4831 pushing a Hornaday 140 grain BTSP(#2735)he time I developed this load I did not have a Crony.

As described last night the shot was a little over 100-yards. The bullet struck low on the front shoulder breaking the leg bone, entering the chest cavity damaging a lung, and exiting the deer on the other side. This is the performance I would expect to see from the Accubond.

I am interested in the bonded bullet because I feel the 140-grain bullet maybe idea in the .270. And Mac11700 wrote that he found the Hornady 140 similar experience with the same bullet. I would quote him but I cannot find his comment.


I have found the 140 grain Hornady BTSP to be on the explosive side under 100 yards, but these two example are not a good over all example of bullet performance.

#1. I crawled out on a rock point and kicked a buck out of his bed directly below me. The bullet hit the top of the spine just forward of the pelvis. The deer was within 25 yards when I fired, and he was moving. There was a mass of exploded flesh and bone. There was a large exterior wound. The deer was down and the bullet had done its job.

#2. I developed a load using a near maximum charge of WW785 and the Hornady 140 BTSP. At 6700-foot elevation and with the temperature a bit over 70° produced an average velocity of 3030 out a Savage 110, that normally generates higher velocity then a Remington 760 and Remington 700 fired under the same conditions.

I shot a buck that was looking at me around a large pine at about 75 yards. I aimed for the neck/spine and the bullet hit right on the spine, blowing a large gaping hole in the neck. I expected this type of performance and was not disappointed.

Back in the middle 1960’s I patrolled and area that had a booming deer population and the deer kill was very high. As a result I validated a lot of deer tags, examine a lot of deer, and talked to the lucky hunters. The results from the neck shot were consistent with the results from my observations. And it was consistent with the results I had with shot deer at close range in the neck using factory and handloaded 130-grain bullets in the .270.

Admittedly I was hoping for more from the very accurate 140 grain Hornady BTSP. In both cases the bullet had fragmented while shattering the bone. I believe the gapping hole is the result of the force of the bullet being re-direct. Similar to when an explosive charge goes off in a drill hole. A certain amount of blow back occurs. If blow back occurs in soft flesh the result can be dynamic.

When I was a kid the family hunters used a lot of Remington Bronze points. They killed a lot of deer for us, and a younger brother produced a very fast kill on a running buck at about 20-yards. The 150-grain Bronze Point from his 300 Savage almost completely severed the neck. By today’s standards the .300 Savage is rather mild. Years later I had the opportunity to Chrony some “old” 150 grain Remington C-L ammunition. The velocity was recorded at fifteen feet from the muzzle, with an average velocity of 2430. Based on passed published ballistic information from Remington the Bronze Point was loaded to the same velocity as the C-L.

When I was a kid it was all about velocity. My buddies and I did not care about, Dick, Jane, and dog Spot. But we could read the ballistic charts. But sometime after my front lobe developed I realized that if I could not afford to buy premium bullets and needed another answer to the problem. My answer has been to increase bullet weight.

In the Remington M722, 300 Savage I was able to increase bullet weight and velocity using 165 grain bullets from Nosler, Hornady, and Remington. My load is taken from the current Hornady 7th Edition Reloading Handbook, pg. 435. In some manuals this load is over maximum, but the maximum in this and early editions is 41.4 grains of IMR4064. This load works fine in my rifle from sub-freezing to 90°. Average velocity 15 feet from the muzzle is 2646 fps.

The buck in the include picture was hit by a 165 grain Nosler Partition at around 45-50 yards. The bullet hit the leading edge of the right front shoulder, traveled up the spine/neck a few inches and exited the left side of the next. There was fine grit of bone around the exit hole. What did I find under the hide? The neck meat was blood, shot, and a couple pounds of meat on the front edge of the shoulder were loss. On the right side from the entrance wound to the flank a thin layer of blood shot mucus was present. This was easily removed.

The bullet was not recovered.

Over the years I have only recovered oneNosler Partition. It was a 140-grain PT loaded on top of a Swedish military load from which the original bullet had been pulled. As I recall the load when fired across the Chrony gave a velocity of about 2550 fps. At approximately 150 yards the bullet entered the chest just inside the front of the right leg, angled across the lungs and heart and stopping against the hide on the far side. Damage to the vital organs was extensive. And the damage to the far ribs and part of the shoulder was also extensive. The bullet had done its job. The forward tip of the bullet from the partition forward was gone. I expected this from reading others results and having talked to other partition users. The bullet performed has designed, with the front part dumping a lot of energy in the chest cavity, the back half continuing to penetrate.



If we were shooting ballistic jell instead of hide, flesh, and bones bullet design would be easier and more predictable. Heck I have found the tough hide of a cold weather, high country buck to be more challenging with a sharp knife then the thin hide of a warm weather, low elevation buck. But when providing information regarding a bullet it is helpful to have key information. Simple things like what bullet, the velocity be it publish or obtained from the shooters Chrony. The range, and other items the jury needs to make a decision.

These issues are discussed on a regular bases at the coffee shot, when the guys are eye-to-eye. And normally answers a forth coming.

P.S. stick is in exit wound.
 

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Brithunter,
I had the same thing happen with my Sierra's. I use a .280 with 140 gr Sierra Gamekings. I shot a doe at about 50 yards, completely broadside. I put the bullet in behind the shoulder with out touching it. The bullet blew the insides up pretty good, but the bullet completely broke apart. This has happened before too.

I am thinking about going with the Accubonds or the Scirroccos. I've heard a lot of good things about these.
 

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Most bullets will fail, if pushed fast enough and the range is close...When handloading you must pick a bullet that will perform at the velocity it will have when it hits the animal hunted....

At what point of killing the animal did it fail????

I've seen deer shot at very close range that came apart, but killed the animal...I've also seen bullets shot at deer that were too hard, drilled right through and left a very small exit wound...With lung shots, the deer hit with the harder bullets ran further before recovery...

In both cases you can have too much or too little....
 

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Britthunter,

Like always, enjoyed your post. I have had somewhat similar results with Sierra bullets. I don't hunt with them at all but do use them once in awhile for target shooting. I am wondering why you are straying from Hornady? I love Hornady's and use them excluseively for hunting, varmit and big game. I suppose there are as good bullet's out there but they have worked for me so I don't change. This whole beg-a-boo about bullets sems silly to me. The reason being that there are so many bullets with great track records that prove they work! Yet many seem to dwell on what is termed a failure. I would not call your experience with the 180 gr 30 cal a failure, rather I would say sierras are a bullet that are to soft. Everything I ever shot with a sierra died. A black bear needed two shots when a bullet blew up under the skin. I can't fault the bullet tho as it was really to light for what I was using, 7mm Rem Mag w/140gr Sierra and shot about 50 yds. DUH! But also everything I've shot with them had great internal damage, I don't care for that but it's not bullet failure. Love those Hornadys !
 

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Brithunter...

I saw that the topic was locked too...Graybeard nor myself did this...so..it was one of the other moderators who elected to do this...Sorry...

Can bullets fail...Yes...they can...I honestly don't believe any one has ever said they don't...I have 1st hand seen large entrance wounds shot with my 270 and 12ga...but...they both still had exit wounds as well...The 270 was super fast and shot at very close range into the lower brisket area...opening the cavity completely..It wasn't pretty in either case...or on deer I have seen shot with 22cal varmint bullets...Lots of blood...Lots of guts hanging out...really big messes..Did the deer die...yes...they did...so...did the bullet fail...honestly...no...here's why...The 22's were varmint bullets...They expanded just as they were suppose to...The .277 bullets did open up quickly and make a royal mess in this situation...but the distance shot was within feet...so...they really did what they supposed to do as well...The 12 ga. slug...it too blasted a huge hole in & out...yardage was close...and the slug was dead soft to begin with......so...to me it didn't fail either...Some bullets are more prone to blowing up and leaving a surface wound...where no ribs or other bones have been destroyed...others will make it thru some of them...but still only wound deer...These are usually light weight varmint bullets that this happen with...not normal hunting weight bullets in the 140 grain class and up that are being driven at modest velocities...at 100 yards and over...

Mac
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi All,

Oh I love this, it cracks me right up:-

At what point of killing the animal did it fail
The bullet failed as it came apart with a mild load on a 35lb Roe Deer! Would you really feel comfortable hunting large Deer like Elk with a .308 180 grain bullet loaded in a magnum as that's what it seems a lot of hunters think are required for Elk. If that bullet could not retain it's integraty on a 35lb animal at 90 yards with an impact velocity of about 2400fps they use the same bullet on a 600 lb animal and an impact velocity of 2700 fps?

Ahhhh Don,

I have had somewhat similar results with Sierra bullets. I don't hunt with them at all but do use them once in a while for target shooting. I am wondering why you are straying from Hornady? I love Hornady's and use them excluseively for hunting
Now I like Hornady's however the supply of Hornady bullets here in the UK is somewhat hit and miss so sometimes I cannot get Hornady bullets and another part of the equation here is cost. I picked up 900 bullets on close out when a place closed down 300 of them were Hornady 150 grain round nose .308 bullets, 300 139 grain 7mm BTSP Hornady bullets and 300 Sierra 140 grain .270 HPBT bullets. All these were half price and seeing as how a box on Hornady 139 Grain BTSP bulelts I already had has the price of £19:25 ( $36:58 US) on them you can see why. I even e-mailed Hornady about the poor availabilty here but did not get a response. There is a rumour that Hornady are going to stop exporting to the UK and this is one thing I asked.
 

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NONYA and i have butted heads in the past but i think some of you are way off base calling him out on his wounded antelope. Like i posted i witnessed a simualar incindent myself. My brother in law shot a small whitetail with an 8mag using factory 185 corelocks and the entrance would looked almost identical. Nonya has a way of causeing friction and hes stirred me up in the past but ive never seen a post of his that id call bs he is opinionated but so am I. but I feel everyone is intitled to an opionion whether its right or wrong. The picture he showed is possible. Ive saw it happen. It matters not a bit that he doesnt exactly know what bullet it was he knows what brand of ammo he was shooting and it definately didnt work like intended.
 

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I locked the other thread , Matt had already stepped in once and it was going that way again , as long as this one stays on topic and everyone treats each other with respect , this one will stay open .[/color]
Stimpy
 

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I've killed a lot of stuff. And I can't say I've ever had a bullet failure. I can't say I've ever had a bullet blow up inside of an animal. If it was less than a good angle, I'm not one to fish around in the animal's guts to see if I got a perfect mushroom or not. I'm gonna be pretty disgusted with myself for making a bad shot and pretty tickled for bringing the animal to bag. By any road, I've recovered very few bullets. I am a use enough gun, heavy for calibre bullet, and get close hunter. I mean it when I say, "shoot for the exit hole". Seldom do I just shoot for the big middle. I plan on serious damage going in or coming out. As I said in Nonya's case, had he been using a standard cup and core bullet, I believe he would have had a ho hum harvest. I don't work for Rem, nor Hornady, nor Speer but I have never sent one of their standard bullets after something that it didn't fetch it. To me, a premium bullet is a NP, a Grand Slam, and a Woodleigh. I don't hunt with Hps (and that includes the cute little plastic tipped ones) nor boat tails. Call me a luddite but I know what works for me.
 

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Bullet failure is the bullet not doing what you expect of it and you have trouble recovering your animal. I used to hunt with Jerry, his rifle was a 257 weatherby and his bullet of choice was the 100 grain Sierra flat base. He took deer, antelope and elk almost every year with this combination and he always bitched if the bullet made an exit hole. He also had a string of one shot kills to his credit few will ever match. Then again living in Wyoming and enjoying shooting as much as he did he had to rebarrel his old Weatherby about every two years. Just befrore he past away he was singing the laurels to the 85 gr. ballistic tips. He liked to load em hot too. So I look at it like I want ballistic tips and Sierra's to remain just as they are just like I want Speer Hotcor's and Nosler partitions never to change. Barnes' X variations cause me to lose confidence and my early experiences weren't good with them. Hornady makes a fine product also, especially the interlok with the standard lead tip, RN or spire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi rickt300,

Bullet failure is the bullet not doing what you expect of it and you have trouble recovering your animal
As in my case the 180 grain bullet blew up on a 35lb Doe I would expect serious short comings on a much larger animal even though I had no trouble locating my deer it's easy to see that this would more than likely have NOT been the case with say a Red Stag or Fallow Buck in rut. I have had troubll locating a deer that too wa sa doe but a Muntjac. Perfect heart shot and she ran at the shot, dead on her feet but she managed to run out of view into teh next ride ( Christmas tree plantation) then dive under a lot of dead grass at the base of one of the trees.

Witth out the keepers dog I doubt we would have found her, so well hidden was she, Now if I had hit slightly higher to take out top of the heart and the lower part of the lungs I doubt she would have run. Heart shot beasts often run and mine only ran for about 30 yards but it was enough to cause me some problems finding her. This case was not a bullet failure and as the heart was destroyed not really a shot placement failure although by shifting the point of impact I now know that that Doe Muntjac would not have run like she did.
 

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very few guys that know me now and know I preach the slow and steady cast bullet theroys woud believe that i once thought the same. I was a big fan of the fast 6mms and .25s and even the fast .22s for hunting. they do tend to give spectacular kills. But even when they work right and dump a deer a guy is wasting about a 1/4 of the meat on an animal. Me i guess i figued out finally that walking 50 yards to recover my deer was worth an extra 20 lbs of meat.
rickt300 said:
Bullet failure is the bullet not doing what you expect of it and you have trouble recovering your animal. I used to hunt with Jerry, his rifle was a 257 weatherby and his bullet of choice was the 100 grain Sierra flat base. He took deer, antelope and elk almost every year with this combination and he always bitched if the bullet made an exit hole. He also had a string of one shot kills to his credit few will ever match. Then again living in Wyoming and enjoying shooting as much as he did he had to rebarrel his old Weatherby about every two years. Just befrore he past away he was singing the laurels to the 85 gr. ballistic tips. He liked to load em hot too. So I look at it like I want ballistic tips and Sierra's to remain just as they are just like I want Speer Hotcor's and Nosler partitions never to change. Barnes' X variations cause me to lose confidence and my early experiences weren't good with them. Hornady makes a fine product also, especially the interlok with the standard lead tip, RN or spire.
 

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As I said in another thread, how far 50 yards is depends on where you hunt. Some places you can see the animal, in others it might as well be on the moon.
 

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I have heard the knocks on Sierra bullets for years but the recovered .277; 130-grain Sierra bullet from a friend’s very large Mule deer’s neck changed my thinking. The shot was less then 100 yards. The bullet was a beautiful mushroom 2/3’s of the way down the jacket. My friend said that was typical for the bullet. I was impressed because I was using bronze points at the time and I normally recovered fragments. In fact that is exactly what I recovered from the deer I killed on the same Colorado trip.

When I tried the 150 grain Sierra BT in .277 I obtained full penetration on a buck at about fifty yards and no bullet was recovered. I discontinued the use of the bullet because I had to drop my powder charge with compared to the Norma Match, and the Hornaday bullets I was using. Unfortunately the low cost Chrony units where not on the market in the late 1960’s and early 70’s and I was unable to measure velocity. If I had such information I may have stayed with the Sierra bullet.

I bought two boxes of the .277, 150-grain Norma Match bullets at a great price. I found they were very accurate in my Remington M760. I purchased three boxes of primed Remington brass for “Hunting Loads Only.” They did everything factory 130-grain bullets did not do. They fully penetrated the chest cavity and left a good exit hole. I realized quickly the limit on this bullet was with deer. The two-inch exit hole on a deer shot at 100 yards was evidence the bullet was doing what I wanted. It was dumping its energy in the deer while still exiting having created a lot of damage in the heart lung region. And if the deer continued on in heavy cover I still had a good blood trail. On one large 3x4 buck (East of the Rockies he would have been 9pt.) I hit the running buck just behind the shoulder. The first evidence I found was a strip of hide about 6-8 inches long and about 2 inches wide on the hillside. I followed a trail of blood and lung tissue down the hill and quickly found the dead buck.

More evidence of the nature of the Norma bullet was evident inside the hide of the buck. I found the mushroom jacket trapped inside, while the core had fully penetrated the deer. I felt this was a successful conclusion. But I was a little disappointed in my shot placement on another buck using the same bullet. The buck was looking at me across an arroyo that was covered with heavy vegetation. The bullet struck the deer just in side the rib cage in the chest area. The bullet penetrated a lung, the diaphragm, and stopped in the stomach. The deer immediately went down, and I thought it was over with. I stood and watch the deer for a bit because once I started crossing the arroyo I was going to loose sight of the deer. Suddenly the deer jumped up and disappeared in the vegetation. When I arrived at the spot the deer went down I did not find a lot of blood. It took me approximately 3-hours to find the deer in the thick vegatation. It was down and required a shot to the neck. The bullet did its job, but in real life shot placement is not always perfect. But the earlier evidence of sheded cores came to mind, would I have received deeper penetration with another bullet. Another thought was if I had used a rapid expanding 130-grain bullet would the heart lung area been pulverized by the bullet?

I have increased my success rate with the 150-grain bullet in the .270 Winchester. I have not recovered any 150-grain Hornaday or 150 grain Remington C-L because of full penetration.
I found the WW 150 grain Power Point in factory ammunition to be accurate in my Remington 700 in .270 Winchester. I planned on using the ammunition for practice because it did not meet my standards for accuracy in my M760. I had bought a number of boxes of the ammunition on sale years ago. Because of the accuracy of that factory load in my M700 and the performance of the 150 grain Power Point I am now hoarding my remain supply. The velocity of the ammunition is a rather disappointing 2727 about 15 feet from the muzzle. This is from a slow 22-inch barrel. (Normally the same load will give 30 feet more velocity when tested from my Savage 110 barrel on the same day, and same conditions.) This ammunition was advertised as a having a muzzle velocity of 2900 feet per second years ago by Winchester. This was in the pre-Chrony years.

The same bullet performed so good for a brother that he bought a thousand bulk 150 grain Power Points for his .270 Ackley Improved.

A recovered 150-grain Power Point in 30-06 from a friends bear showed a classic mushroom with excellent weight retention.

I recovered a Winchester-Western 270 Win. 150-grain PP. from a frontal shot on a Mule Deer at over 200 yards. It was a frontal shot in the chest, that damaged the heart, lungs, and stopped in the fifth rib after cutting 4 other ribs in to. The deer went approximately 75 feet after impact. The bullet expanded to .75 caliber and weight 74 grains on my reloading scale.



Now days when loading different calibers for game I look beyond muzzle velocity. Based on experience on experience I need a bullet that will provide both close range and long-range performance. (50-400 yards.) Using my ballistic program and comparing different bullets I have found that 140-150 grain bullets have higher retained velocity and energy then 130-grain .277 bullets do after 100-yards. In 7MM Magnum I prefer 160-grain bullets. And in .300 Savage and 30-06 I prefer 165-grain bullets to 150-grain bullets. When out coyote calling in Bear and Mt. Lion in country I carry one clip of 100-grain C-L for the .243 Winchester. I may not have a chance to switch, but just in case. I will avoid shooting them if possible because I do not want to play twenty questions with the game warden.
 

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I don't know if the offending 180 grain Sierra was a gameking or a prohunter and yes I am surprised it came apart on such a small animal. I usually use 180 grain Speer Hotcor's in my 30-06 but did use a 180 grain Prohunter on a large feral hog. Loaded to max with IMR 4350 it hit he hog less than 30 yards from the muzzle just in front of the shoulder anglling thru the spine and taking out part of the hogs jaw bone as it exited. The hog was angling to my right and heading away. The bullet smashed a lot of neck bone and smashed the tough jaw bone after penetrating at least 12 inches total. Wound trac was at least 2 inches wide. Bullets are not always going to act the same every time. i don't know why yours came apart so easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi All,

Sorry I know the post was long but it did state the bullet type and also included the whole load data:-

I decided to use a Sierra 180 grain Pro Hunter bullet #2150 loaded over 42.0 grains of rel 15 with a Fed 210 primer loaded to a COL of 2.800".
Even had the Sierra part #.

Now I was not trying to knock Sierra bullets what I was trying to do was relate an experience that happened to me. OK it put ME off Sierra's but as I said I was wrong not to send at least some of the bulelts to Sierra so they could try and find out what happened. I have since obtained some more Sierra Bullets to give them another try.

Now it seems that to relate an event which actually happened seems to upset some folks ??? why I don't know but it sure seems that one should not tell the truth especially if it happens to involves their favorite maker of rifles , bullets etc ::).
 

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I used the term “knock” in the sense that many folk’s knock Sierra or other brand bullets based on hearsay, not actual field experience. You information is considered a factual report on a Sierra bullet designed that is sold as a hunting bullet. No “knock” meant.

Some people end up using Sierra bullets that are intended for Match and not game, and then complain because the bullet does not perform as expected. In turn I related my field experience with Norma “Match” bullets in the .270 Winchester. Any failure on the part of the Norma bullet is on my shoulders because it was clearly labeled “Match.” In the case of the Norma “Match” bullet I found that it exceeded the performance of the 130 grain .277 bullets I had been using. I believe it is a good deer bullet but not suitable for larger game.

The Norma Match bullets have brought me a lot of good memories, but the only way I would buy them again is if the price was outstanding.

I am aware of a number of people who have used match bullets for hunting, and then complained about poor performance. In the case of the Norma bullet I killed two nice bucks in a two-day period with it. I was able to skin the animals out and see the results of the shots, and make a judgment to continue using it.

In turn my friend who used the 130-grain Serria to kill the big Colorado buck educated me to what the bullet can do, and his experience with it. I listened-up because he annually traveled and hunted the Rockies during the game filled years of the 60’s and 70’s.

I believe that in most cases when deer hunting standard bullets will do the job. Many people gear up for the 400-yard shot in the West, but most game animals I killed up close and the bullet has to hold together at that range. A hunting partner’s 165-grain Hot Core penetrated the top of a rotten pine stump, and continued almost the length of a buck. 2/3s of the shank was recovered. The deer may have run 50 yards. A lighter bullet at high velocity most likely would have expended all it’s energy in the stump. Or it would have created a large surface wound.
 

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Bullets can and do fail this is true. BUT most so called "bullet failures" are in fact a failure on the part of the shooter to use a proper bullet and proper firearm for the job at hand. Not all mind you but MOST.

Nolser bullets are excellent in both quality and performance. But they are one of the most misused bullets out there. The BTs are super accurate and because of that folks like and want to use them to get that accuracy they are so rightly famous for. But many (too damn many in my opinion) also want super velocity as well. The combination is not a good match.

Nosler BTs are not varmint bullets by any means in the larger bore hunting bullet line and are not to be confused with their BT varmint line of lighter bullets. BUT if you push a light for caliber BT hunting bullet from a magnum and then hit a bone at close range the results are likely not gonna please you. Is this bullet failure? Nope it's operator error pure and simple.

When I use BTs and I do often, I use them in more sedate rounds based on the .308 or .30-06 case or in TCs as they give super performance both accuracy wise and terminal performance on game. But I don't use 120s in my 7-08 I use 140s. If I were shooting a still hotter round like say a 7 Rem. Mag then I'd step up to either 160s or even move to the AB or PT which is far more likely what I'd do.

So if you use the bullets improperly rather than as the manufacturers say and then it fails to meet your expectations that's not bullet failure, sorry it just isn't.

Now on those rare occasions a real bullet failure occurs it's generally a fluke and most shouldn't be blamed on the specific bullet so much as the set of circumstances encountered. Say you shoot a 150 or 165 grain .308" bullet at a deer and it hits a bone at just the right angle and just makes a 90 degree turn. Did it fail? Yeah it did but was it because of the bullet or the circumstances? Most of the time the circumstances. Had it hit a fraction of an inch more toward the center of the bone it likely would have busted on thru but they can impact at just such an angle to veer off course.

This is again why I personally prefer heavy NOT light for caliber bullets and why I prefer the more sedate velocity provided by the .308 and '06 based cartridges as opposed to magnums. The lower velocity and heavier bullets tend not to do such wild things in my experience.

If you have a valid instance of what you consider bullet failure whether it really was the bullet's fault or the shooter's fault for using it improperly or just a weird set of circumstances that occured on that one shot and which has nothing to do with the bullet or manufacturer then by all means feel free to comment on them.

BUT we're NOT gonna have a smear campaign against the bullet maker going on here because you failed to use the proper bullet for the application or because a weird set of circumstances conspired to cause it to make a weird turn.

We're also NOT gonna have members attacking others and name calling over these kinda threads. I am absolutely and positively NOT gonna put up with it and I don't care who you are. I am not gonna have you taking info you have no clue about regarding events here and going to other sites telling folks stories as truth that you have no clue about from here. If you insist or going to other sites and starting pissing contests about events here don't be surprised if you find you're no longer welcome here.
 

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I have a keen interest in bullet performance related stories. If I offended anyone I guess I have to admit to having sort of a gruff nature from living in Wyoming for 14 years in a town of less than 15 people. I'd go for weeks only talking to my dogs. A lot of people relate meat destruction as poor bullet performance. I call that shooter error because you don't have to shoot deer where the meat is. Beyong that I haven't found any bullet fired from a high velocity rifle that hit a shoulder and didn't cause havoc. We ask bullets to penetrate shoulders at close range and expand on ribs and lungs at long range, it's a tough job and somewhere along the line there is going to be an area of performance someone doesn't like. I feel a lot of problems arise from using 400 yard loads at less than 75 yards, not all but a lot of them.
 
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