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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Swift Scirocco II observations

Swift Scirocco II observations

24 Dec 2015
@ 04:14 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Disclaimer: Nothing different here than what is in the Knowledge Base, just corroboration.

When I started reloading a few years back the first bullet I latched onto for 30-06 was the 150 gr. Swift Scirocco. My reasons were not particularly well informed, but as poorly informed decisions go, I've done worse. I've not experimented widely with different loads, most of my rounds run about 2,700 fps MV. Having taken a number of whitetail deer with them now I thought I'd share what I've seen.

- Bullet to bullet consistency is very good
- Accuracy is very good - good enough to look for the high neck shot
- It's a tough bullet. I'm just becoming familiar with the Amax but the
difference between the two is striking in regards to terminal
performance
- Terminal performance is very predictable
- On moderate to close range shots on animals under 300 lbs. complete
pass throughs are to be expected as long as heavy bone is avoided
- Performance of the 150 gr. on whitetails leads me to speculate that the
180 gr. could be a solid performer on elk, moose, and bear

Again, I have nothing to say that is at odds with the Knowledge Base. Having read the Knowledge Base, Nathan's articles and books, and interacted in this forum has better equipped me to analyze things I have not always understood well. I enjoy now being able to simply analyze instead of getting sucked into the habit of trying to say one bullet is best or worst. I have simply found the Sciroccos to be bullets that perform as advertised. If the hunting situation calls for a tougher bullet, the Swift is one I will consider.

Replies

26 Dec 2015
@ 03:44 am (GMT)

john feyereisn

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
in your experiance how fast have kills been? how about bleeding on exit wounds? i have read most of the kb on the 30 cal bullets as well but your experiance is on whitetail deer, which is the most usefull to me because that is the only big game we have here, unlike the wider variety of game in New Zealand.
26 Dec 2015
@ 04:35 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
I have had two deer run about 60 yards. Both shots were poorly placed - too far back. But both animals still died in that span from one shot. The first of those bled very little. That really was a shamefully bad shot in boggy terrain where following a blood trail would have been challenging regardless. The second of those bled substantially from the exit wound and was quite easy to track.

All other kills have died within eyesight following the shots, some dropped on the spot. Bear in mind none of these kills have been at a distance greater than 120 yards. My deer hunting over the past several years has been at fairly short ranges. I would want to speed my loads up some before extending the range much past 200 with this bullet.
26 Dec 2015
@ 08:13 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
Hi Josh, it is good to see you talk openly in this manner. Many people will not talk about the bad shots but this information can be very useful.

Light, stout, fast are the key words here. The bullet is light for caliber but its bonding allows for good penetration. At the same time, driving the bullet at high velocity helps to create and maintain disproportionate to caliber wounding. The wider the wound, the faster the kill- especially if shots fall too far back.

If we compare the Scirocco II to the AB, the SII has a much thicker jacket- an immense difference. This creates a longer bullet and the combination of both do help the SII hold together a tad better when the going gets tough. Having said this, the wide HP of the SII allows for very rapid energy transfer at high velocities. Both bullets may still lose up to 50% weight when driven into tough game but of the two, the SII has this slight advantage and sometimes produces more vivid results. When using this bullet on lean animals and as previously described, it is important to match the bullet weight to game weights while utilizing high velocity.

And just a bit more to add...

On very large thick skinned game it is better to have no hollow point whatsoever with the bonding extending through to the tip. If there is a hollow point, the bullet will 'burn up' too much energy passing through tough hide (think bovines) and then fail to be of any use as it travels further and loses even more energy and wounding capacity. In this sense, I hope you can see that this style of bullet (Whether SII / AB / IB) has its uses but also its limitations. A direct example is the 260gr .375 cal AB. This bullet is OK for larger plains game but it runs into serious trouble on truly tough animals. A change to the A-Frame or Woodleigh is the fix. If one were to stick with the tipped / hollow point bonded bullet concept, the bullet weight would need to be lifted to perhaps 350gr to make it perform more like a 300 grain A-Frame.
28 Dec 2015
@ 03:20 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
Much appreciated, Nathan. There is always some trepidation in admitting poor shooting but I've been guilty more often and more recently than I'd like to say.

Growing up I was tutored in hunting (and everything else) by my grandfather and father. Grandpa was part of the generation for which clean kills were a luxury, meat in the pan was a necessity. For much of his younger years the gun he carried for virtually all hunting scenarios was a 12 gauge Winchester 97. So putting enough buckshot into a deer to create a blood trail that he could follow - sometimes for a long time - was normal and acceptable. I have a hard time imagining hunting deer that way but it was standard for the time. A lot of men would carry a gun they could shoot at a variety of game from squirrels and rabbits up to deer. Few carried a "deer gun." The story of the Jordan buck which was the record whitetail for almost 80 years illustrates the point - the deer was killed with multiple shots from a .25-20 Winchester.

As much as I admire my grandpa and things he did in the field, I am glad I have tools at my disposal that he never dreamed of. Not only do I have a rifle and scope outfit that would amaze him if he were around to shoot it, the selection of bullets is immense. And Grandpa would just laugh if I told him I was studying ballistics and terminal bullet performance on a computer in a forum set up by some guy in New Zealand.

So I am very grateful to have a chance to learn about what various bullets do, not only when they're well placed, but particularly when they're not. Because as much as I hope to never place another bullet poorly, odds are I will. As many stories as Grandpa had about exceptional kills, there were a lot of deer that were never recovered. I'd really like to not have any more of those. To that end, all the information I can get about what various bullets do in different scenarios is highly valuable to me. I'm glad to share what I've got as well.

By the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
28 Dec 2015
@ 03:38 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
Also, Nathan, the point you make about bullets burning up energy, as you put it, as a hollow point bullet penetrates tough hide is interesting and a new thought to me. It makes me wonder about Nosler's ABLR. I have not tried these bullets and am not sure I will anytime soon. But as I recall the cavity is extremely large. It makes me think that would be a bullet to employ with caution... possibly a mid to light weight game only bullet in 30 cal. Have you tinkered with these bullets yet?
28 Dec 2015
@ 08:45 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
I have LRAB's here at present. These can be neither fish nor fowl as you are alluding to. Neither a hard core / high penetrating design, nor a fully frangible long range bullet. These bullets are certainly good in some applications which you have highlighted, but there are a lot of "so long as" considerations. It is easy to get into trouble with this type of bullet by placing unrealistic expectations on it (marketing creates such expectations).

If you will recall, in my cartridges book one of the primary focuses was 'how will the bullet perform if the shot is bad'. Range has nothing to do with this. We can make mistakes at both close and long ranges for any number of reasons. This is simply a reality of hunting and one that needs to be addressed more openly. And as you will be aware, if we really addressed this more openly throughout the industry, there would be a few bullet designs that would suddenly lose their environmentally friendly appeal.



08 Dec 2016
@ 06:12 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
I thought I'd add to this old thread since I have acquired a little more data. I really thought I would take to the woods with a different load this year but on opening day I had the most confidence in the round to round accuracy of the Sciroccos than anything else I had in hand. I shot 3 deer last month with the 150 gr. Scirocco II bullets fired at a bit over 2,700 fps.

Deer 1 was a small animal of less than 120 pounds at 125 yards. The bullet glanced off a rib a few inches behind the shoulder on the animal's left side and angled back through the vitals, exiting just behind the rib cage on the right side. The deer ran 20 yards. The exit wound was wide and blood loss considerable.

Deer 2 was very nearly the same size as Deer 1 (don't judge, I'm a meat eater first) at virtually identical range to Deer 1. Again entry was on the animal's left side, a couple inches further aft than intended but still in the ribs. The exit wound was large and gruesome, as this animal appeared to have spent its last day at an all corn buffet and the bullet clipped some part of the digestive track and a rib on its way out, opened a huge hole, and made for as nasty a mess as you'll see without making a plain old gut shot. The deer traveled about 35 yards before expiring.

Deer 3 was a larger animal at about 170 pounds, shot through the right side as it was quartering away at approximately 130 yards. Bullet entry was in the back half of the rib cage. This one got interesting. I fired and based on angle and placement I had an expectation that this deer would not take another step. It did. In fact it traveled close to 70 yards and left only a very faint blood trail. This really confused me and my first thought was that the bullet lodged against the inside of the left shoulder. However, when I got the deer hung and made a close inspection I found a small exit wound with very little bleeding between the left shoulder and the neck. This was at odds with my expectations based on a number of kills with this load.

So what happened on Deer 3? Did the bullet fragment and only a small portion exit? I did look through the innards. Liver and heart were both directly damaged and one lung was destroyed. As I said, this last one surprised me but I'm curious as to whether the ballisticstudies.com intelligentsia also finds it surprising.
08 Dec 2016
@ 08:44 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
Hi Joshua, with an impact velocity just over 2400fps, the bonded bullet was reaching a point in velocity where we see more delayed killing. As you say, the shot should have produced a very fast kill as it raked through vitals but this type of performance no longer surprises me so much as it falls in line with my general research. It is hard to obtain a high level of nervous shock when striking to the rear. To obtain high shock at this point requires a good deal of velocity and more energy transfer.

If you will, imagine a .30-30 loaded with a 150 grain pill and imagine a range of 100 yards, animal broadside. A shot to the front line of the foreleg causes an instant kill. To obtain the same speed of killing behind the leg, we could use a full house .30-06 150 grain load (though most deer will jump before expiring). To obtain the same speed of killing at the very rear of the lungs, we might use a .300 magnum, though in many instances, we will see a jump followed by a short run. Following this, we could perform a similar exercise based solely on bullet construction, as opposed to cartridge power.

The bullet weight was ideally suited to the bullet construction versus the game weight. But a 200fps increase in muzzle velocity would have been useful as per my earlier comments- light, stout and fast versus heavy and soft.

Hard to say about the fragment without inspecting the carcass. If it was just a fragment, the remainder of the bullet should have been somewhere in the shoulder etc. I know these can be very hard to find. We lose many hours looking for projectiles in game or in offside dirt. In some cases we scour the ground, spanning many yards to find a bullet that has passed through, then bounced along the ground. This can make for very long days extending into nights, but it has to be done if we are to provide any useful research.
08 Dec 2016
@ 09:54 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Swift Scirocco II observations
I've wondered but never asked - just how much time does Nathan Foster spend locating fired bullets? Sounds like you treat it as an essential piece of what you do. What is the longest you've ever looked for one that you found?
 

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