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Genius in Training
540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Deer season this year was the best I've ever had, got one on the special land owner permit that is new in Nebraska this year and for my normal land owners I filled both of my tags on opening weekend. The deer picture I attached is the buck I got, not a monster but the biggest I've ever gotten so I'll take it. Pretty good for a white tail. You can also see my rifle set up.

As far as bullet performance, a little more to discuss. I'm using Hornady 68gr BTHP, 3000fps out of a 20in barrel which I was told weren't the best option but I already had a bunch loaded so I decided to give them a shot anyway. The first deer didn't take a step, the buck in the picture was going to go down after the first shot but he was headed for the creek that I really didn't feel like dragging it back across so when it paused I put another one in its neck (prevent ruining any more meat). The third deer only made it about 20yds. So as far as the bullet doing what it needed to do, it worked well.

However, I am slow in gutting my deer and part of the reason is I am inspecting the organs for more info as to how the bullet performed. For all three deer, I waited for the deer to angle away so that I could put the bullet in right behind the left shoulder and have it angle forward, hit the heart, and not hit the right shoulder either, once again as a method of not destroying a bunch of meat. For the first and third deer, the bullets made it out the other side but not by much, very small exit wounds. In the first pic, the small torn area at the tip of the knife is the exit hole, definitely not very big. For the buck, the largest of the three, the bullet ended up between the meat and the skin on the opposite side. After pulling the skin off, I was able to just grab the bullet off as it was just stuck on the muscle next to the shoulder. In the third pic you can see the remnants of the bullet. The lead core was stuck to the copper jacket, they broke apart when I grabbed it. I would say 50% weight retention at best.

I am a little torn on the takeaways here, on one side the weight retention was bad and I would like to see every bullet make a clean pass through as a way of making sure the bullet has enough push to get the job done constantly. On the other hand, the fact that the bullets are barely making it through if at all means that they are dumping effectively 100% of their energy, which in carry ammo we consider that to be a good thing. I know 223 isn't a big round but 68gr at 3000fps is still not a fun round to get hit by, especially if you absorb literally 100% of it.

Shot placement is the most important part and this ammo out of this gun is an absolute laser beam, 1moa easy. That is part of the reason I was still willing to give it a shot as I knew I could hit exactly where I wanted. Hornady is my normal brand for reloading bullets but they don't have anything that would be considered a typical deer round so I'm not sure what I want to do yet as for a possibly switching to something else when I run out of these 68gr bullets. Open to suggestions I suppose.
Food Human body Jaw Cuisine Animal product

Organism Line Fawn Deer Wall

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