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Re: Tumble on impact bullets?

22 Sep 2019
@ 10:53 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Hi Scott and others. I have avoided this thread and really should continue as such. Sometimes it is better to say nothing. But its been a while and I am sure many of you have been waiting to hear from me.

OK, here we go. When the guy said that the .380 dropped the deer in its tracks, the best thing to do would have been to politely say thanks for your time, hang up the phone and put all of this out of your mind.

In plain terms, bullets kill via blood loss (which takes time) or destruction of the CNS (which produces the instant 'stopped in its tracks' effect). The .380 is too slow to produce any form of spinal concussion (indirect strike to the CNS causing loss of consciousness). The .380 does not produce terribly fast bleeding. Death is generally at least 20 seconds from a chest shot but often over 30 seconds at 60 to 80kg body weights. If the deer fell over immediately, it was a CNS shot. The same result could have been achieved with any FMJ ammo - it has no bearing on bullet performance.

Even the .44 magnum, after producing full destruction of the lungs can produce a dead run of about 30 yards or more. The .44 mag can be very good in that it can produce a drunken type reaction (at very close ranges / high velocity) but generally, there will be some form of dead run.

That's just the beginning of this particular can of worms.

All of us need to be aware of the bullshit within the eco-friendly industry. Much of this ammo is not in any way humane. Some companies put game animals first, some put profits first. You gotta get real about this, see things as they are, not how you want to see them. If the bullet has not yet been tested on game, then ask yourself why the hell is it up for sale as a game bullet - profit.

I have placed more info on tumbling ammo in my next book (now finished), but this is a semi restricted item. Will release the book along with more details very soon.

Edit / Additional: In order for a projectile to tumble, the weight has to be drastically reduced at the ogive. It takes quite a bit of effort (differing materials) to achieve this. The next problem is "when". It is extremely hard to design a projectile that will tumble consistently within the first inch of penetration so that the projectile is presented sideways as it strikes the vitals (as opposed to a gelatin test where the animal supposedly has a 4" thick hide). The issue of when is generally the biggest problem with such bullet designs.


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