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Adjusting Ideal Wound Characteristics

27 Nov 2019
@ 03:16 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe


I had the pleasure of making the first successful kill with the 7mm Rem Mag rifle on the second morning of whitetail deer season. Before going any further, here’s a picture as the deer was found, it collapsed into that position at the shot and did not move at all afterwards, the exit wound is what’s shown in the picture:

This picture is after I had field dressed it and turned it onto it’s stomach to drain for a few minutes while I cleaned up:

This is a picture of the environment that I hunt in, taken later in the afternoon of the same day that buck was shot, he was actually on the upper ridge towards the right side of the picture when the shot was taken:

This is only a sample size of one, but in considering all the different elements at play here, this was a near-perfect representation of the mean/average animal and range, with a broadside shoulder shot. Live weight was around 180 to 190 pounds and the range was about 70 or 80 yards, both of which are about dead-on-average for the local game and my hunting setup. The shot placement was a good middle ground as well, heavy muscle on both entry and exit but no heavy leg bones or ball joints encountered.

The 154 grain SST did very well with this, it was a near-perfect match as far as vital organ damage and the expanded-caliber sized exit showing it had nearly ran out of steam.

However, I have been thinking about the bullet’s performance in this instance and I think this is about the lightest I would go for a bullet that’s as explosive as the SST, at least at the impact velocity of 2,950 to 3,000 FPS as was the case here. Less weight with equal frangibility is not a good idea, despite the higher impact velocity.

So now, after doing a little re-reading in the Knowledgebase, it seems to me that I’m left with what I see as three basic choices if I want to modify the wounding characteristics to be a bit more versatile and reliable (exit wounding on bigger/heavier animals, as well as angling shots) without going down in power:

- Increase toughness while keeping weight and speed the same (150 grain Swift Sirocco II)

- Keep the explosiveness while increasing weight and losing a bit (about 50 FPS) of impact velocity (162 grain SST)

- Keep the explosiveness while increasing weight and losing a lot (100 to 120 FPS lower than the 154 grain SST) of impact velocity (160 grain Partition)

At the moment, I’m quite heavily leaning towards the Sirocco II for these reasons:

- It won’t really matter what size or weight deer I encounter, I can drive this through both front shoulders or take 45 degree angling shots and it will exit the animals while still creating very broad wounds at these close range speeds. The lack of lead fragments will also maximize meat recovery and minimize cleanup time of damaged areas.

- Many people have claimed very good accuracy from Remington chambers with this bullet using quite a bit of jump, not seated way out to the lands, though often at typical factory speeds of 3,000 to 3,070 and not the 3,170 I’d be trying to get. This is distinctly different than what I generally see from people working with the 162 grain SST in the Remington chamber, which generally needs minimum jump and very careful load development for best accuracy.

- I’m not concerned with the 250 to 275 yard limit on the 2,600 FPS cutoff because that’s quite a lot farther than I’ll ever be likely to shoot around here.

- It sits right in the middle of the SST and Partition in price. Not cheap by any means, but not quite as bad as the Partition.

- If I do manage to draw a permit for black bear (it’s a points-based lottery system here, despite the quite high number of bear present) the 150 grain Sirocco will be perfectly adequate for woods ranges on those animals. If it’s a 500 pound animal (not in any way unlikely, at least one or two in the 500 to 600 pound range are taken in this area every year) then a head/neck junction shot will maximize lethality.

However, the Sirocco will not give the same explosiveness as the SST or Partition and I’m concerned that the increased toughness might lower the odds of hydrostatic shock thats giving me the bang-flop effect I really need on deer. Having the animal drop and stay right there is exactly what I want, so losing that effect would be undesirable to say the least.

What do you guys think I should try? Like I said, I’m really leaning towards the Sirocco at the moment, but I’m curious about what you guys think.


28 Nov 2019
@ 06:05 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Adjusting Ideal Wound Characteristics
Hi Ryan:

At that distance the 162gr SST will have more than enough power to do what you want and the higher bullet weight also helps.

The 154gr SST did the job as well so dont know why you want to make a change. But if you are worried about hitting hard shoulder on the way in and penetrating all the way through at that speed and close range then I would use the 162gr SST.

Best regards

28 Nov 2019
@ 06:06 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Adjusting Ideal Wound Characteristics
And forgot to say that's a Nice Buck Sir, have a Happy Thanksgiving
08 Dec 2019
@ 12:57 am (GMT)

Geoff Holmes

Re: Adjusting Ideal Wound Characteristics
The 165gr Sierra Gamechanger might be a good option. Bit tougher than the SST if you’re concerned about break-up at shorter rangers / higher velocities.
08 Dec 2019
@ 08:05 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: Adjusting Ideal Wound Characteristics
Thanks guys, I got a bit busy after hunting so apologies for the delayed response.


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