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I Can't Explain it But it Works

10 Mar 2015
@ 01:35 am (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Nathan, if there is a man on this planet that can put saneness to this it would be you Brother.

This is my best Russian to date, a 500 pound specimen. I caught up with this tusker in a very thick Cedar swamp bedded down. After a careful stalk I got to within 25 meters of it and snapped a twig, at which point it got up.

I fired a single round from the 475 Linebaugh revolver, a sawed off 45-70 case chopped down to 1.5 inches long loaded with a 440 grain bullet at a slowpoke 1360 fps. I took it just behind the foreleg.

At the shot, the pig let out a blood curdling squeal, sat down, and promptly fell over stone dead without so much as a kick. It was in fact an instant in track kill.

There was no hydrostatic shock, there was no hydraulic shock. And yet, this is what us hunters dream of, a perfect kill.

As I have stated in another thread, I have seen this happen prior with again, slow moving large caliber bullets in the 44 and 45 caliber rifles such as the 444 Marlin and 45-70. Too, I have made some spectacular kills, with of all things, a 58 caliber flintlock rifle.

With the same handgun I once took a 6x6 elk at 135 yards and it dropped so fast I was not sure I had hit it as the gun was way up from the recoil. The Elk was stone dead before it hit the ground and actually got caught between a couple of trees and got hung up.

I have seen in my life the effects of high velocity and high intensity rounds when bullets impact game at high speed and hold together. But when we tip the applecart the other way and just about throw stones at game and it drops as if the hammer of Thor hit it I for one question what the Hell I am seeing.

All I am left with is it works. But, for the life of me I do not understand why. You Sir, I am sure, know exactly why.


10 Mar 2015
@ 01:48 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: I Can't Explain it But it Works
Blunt force trauma would be how l sum it up Thomas. Big frontal area, heavy projectile that has no need for velocity to inflict damage!
10 Mar 2015
@ 02:20 am (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Re: I Can't Explain it But it Works
Perhaps you have it Martin.

If that is in fact the answer, then the problem Bear Sow that was ripping up my deck last summer should have checked out when I punched her square in the face.

She had 3 cubs and I really didn't want to shoot her. But one evening she ripped up the deck for the third time and I had enough.

So I ran out and round housed her with everything I had. It was like watching a Rocky movie in slow motion when I hit her. There was snot and Bear blabbers flying everywhere. Odd, I never saw her again after that. :)

WTF you say? What man in his right mind would stroll up and clock a Bear. It has been said that I am "touched". Beawrite.
10 Mar 2015
@ 03:58 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: I Can't Explain it But it Works
Now that’s something you don't hear every day, you are a brave & lucky fella Thomas.

We don't have the big land animals that may want to eat you and l don't envy you. Having the thought of them stalking you would be a little un-nerving at times to say the least!

My friends love the 06 with heavy 200 plus grain soft projectiles to replicate in a small way what you are seeing. Big, slow, hard hitting pills minus the bore size.
10 Mar 2015
@ 05:43 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: I Can't Explain it But it Works
Marty is correct, it is all about trauma- not so much wound trauma but nervous trauma.

It is possible to obtain hydrostatic shock at lower velocities as we go wider in bullet diameter. This is the problem with not having the KB complete. But an impact velocity of around 1300fps is certainly marginal. Still, we have trauma.

OK, I want to change this around a bit. Imagine two cartridges, both adequate as far as wounding is concerned. Both can render a 2" hole through the vitals of a heavy bodied pig. But lets say that one is a 7mm RUM firing a 150gr bullet, impact velocty 3200fps and the other is a .35 Whelen firing a 250gr bullet, impact velocity 2200fps.

Which causes the most severe nervous trauma?

Well, the trouble with the light 7mm bullet, is that the weight of the animal overcomes the energy of the bullet in regards to nervous trauma. In essence, the bullet meets too much resistance, the high velocity causing increased target resistance (water becomes hard). The bullet fails to create a hydrostatic shock wave up the rib cage and into the spine, causing the brain to shut down for diagnostics and repair. So we miss the KO effect.

Our second bullet is more suitably matched to our game animal. It delivers its energy via its wide frontal area, plus suitable game weight resistance, resulting in hydrostatic shock. Our pig passes out.

OK, so lets up the anti. We take the .35 and use it on cattle. Now we have another problem. The animal overcomes the bullet weight and we are playing the same game that I describe regarding small bores, medium game and the 2600fps cut off point. So lets up the impact velocity to 2900fps and use a tough bullet. Now we are talking.

Ok, so what if we up the impact velocity to 3200fps. Now we are risking the same problem as before. Our bullet may meet too much resistance due to the impact velocity on our cattle beast / Water buff. We now have the same sized wound as we had at 2800-2900fps, but less nervous trauma and a slightly delayed kill (or slow kill if the bullet comes apart).

I hope that makes sense. My cartridges book is very concise if you wish to read further. But then you are not so much into long range, so I do hope this post helps explain things.
10 Mar 2015
@ 06:17 pm (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Re: I Can't Explain it But it Works

Thank you Nathan. The Bells are ringing and the lights are now Flashing.

I think I have been in the boat with a lot of other Chaps when it comes to this stuff. I never took it beyond light fast bullets for "light" game such as White Tails, heavy slower bullets for Bears and Boars.

Maybe I didn't need to in the past as only a couple of times I have played the long range game, 300 yards, and that is really out there around here in NH. In both those cases I was overgunned and both animals were good kills.

Normally, I shoot my game while I'm staring right into their "Lookers". And, more often than not the muzzle blast hits them that's how close they are. There's just something about sneaking up on game and bushwhacking it that floats my stick.

The above Boar was hunckered down in some real dense brush and thought I couldn't see him. I started sneaking in his direction to see just how close I could get before he broke cover. At 5 feet he broke, and charged. The punny little 45 Colt dropped him so fast his forward momentum carried him to where I was standing, his snout now on my boot. My Guide looked at me and said "You are one crazy bastard Tom".

Perhaps so. But in the future I will do a better job of matching caliber, speed, bullet weights, and performance on game in the proper window under your guidance.

Thanks again for getting me turned in the right direction.


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