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7mm amax hunting performance

02 Jun 2013
@ 04:35 am (GMT)

jason brown

hi Nathan, id like to chat about the 7mm amax, I thought id do it here so others might like to read about it or chat about it too.

and now my experience today, which is my first chest shot...
im sitting at my favourite hill top waiting for the goats to turn up.
I find them at 420 yards 11 degree downward angle. at a lull in the wind im working with about a 1moa right to left.
my rifle is the 7mm mag with of course the 162 amax doing 3100, impact was 2466.
this nanny goat was standing fully side on. im guessing around 60kg. iv never weighed one. a typical nanny anyway.
so I take my shot, im feeling like its good. but no thud, it quickly turns down hill then jumps away. so im thinking did I get it? the wind was a bit odd?
it was just in view on the edge of bush and a very steep sidling. so once it jumped or run down I lost sight of it.

so now im thinking this is a long and steep way away, did I get it, should I go all that way it seemed to have run away, and no thud. but I did remember Nathan saying death can be delayed.
(none of this would have been a thought if it was flatter ground with less scrub and I could see)
oh well I better go and at least see if there is a blood trail and follow up from there.
so I loose some gear and get down there.
no obvious blood trail, I keep looking and shortly see it dead about 15-20 meters down hill. even if it jumped/ran 5 metres from poi, a few kicks would of been enough to get it to roll that far down the steep hill. and like I said, if there was less scrub I would have seen it from my hill 420 yards away.

so what do I find. poi was just behind the foreleg,(where I aimed) it was calibre size, it did a good job of saving the meat on the forelegs from what I seen. (this was a long steep trip so the ortopsy and meat gathering was quick as possible ) the lungs looked spotted, but I later realised this was from bullet fragments. there was a lot of "juice" inside mostly from the gut which wouldn't have impressed me if it was a nice deer. from my limited experience I here it taints the meat. my dog didn't seem to mind in this case. I guess as seen as I couldn't find an exit wound, deffinatly not a good size 1 inch one. all the fragments were through out the animals vitals, I didn't see any in the heart though. in easier curcumstances I would have taken more time when .

so on one hand, the meat was in good condition, but the gut juice, which I think came from the fragments wasn't really what I wanted.

I understand at short range the amax projectile may blow up, so head, neck, meat saver shots are recommended.(soft spots) and the time before the head shot at 200 worked well!
in this latest case at 420 yards, on the edge of the bush where I could loose the animal should I have aimed to break the foreleg to anchor the animal, or would this have not been good for projectile performance and not worked as planned?
I know anchoring or dropping it on the spot would have made it easier to know I actually hit it, in this case.(is that even possible at these ranges)
but if I had used a traditional mushrooming projectile would this of not happened because of the stout projectile being too hard to expand at a lower velocity. so am I still better off with the amax even if it might not allways be perfect performance at least it expands/fragments at these kinds of ranges? even if it is delayed
the amax shoots accurately but is it the best choice for long range?
or maybe this was just odd performance and usually the amax performs better?


02 Jun 2013
@ 05:21 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 7mm amax hunting performance
Hi Jason, in the knowledge base, I have listed the impact velocity parameters at which various bullets produce fast killing. This prevents blanket statements such as "if you had used a controlled expanding bullet, it would have been a delayed kill at 420 yards". For example, the SST would have done very well at that range. The 154 grain SST could work very well for you, out to around 1000 yards or so on goat and Fallow. But again, we are relying on a level of fragmentation to produce wide wounding in the absence of high velocity. As we go stouter in bullet design, the more delayed the kill at long ranges due to more narrow wounding.

From what you have described, the bullet produced a wide wound. As killing performance goes, this could be described as optimal. The greater the vital organ destruction, the faster the kill. A stouter bullet would not have caused a faster kill.

Shifting the POI slightly forwards would have effected a faster kill- if possible in the wind. It is often assumed that a meat saver shot is placed about 3" behind the shoulder. This POI is too far back and risks a gut shot. The meat save shot should if possible, be tucked in neatly behing the shoulder, into the arm pit. Nevertheless, at truly long ranges or at your 420 yard range in high winds, such select shot placement can be difficult to obtain. My goal at truly long ranges is to strike the shoulder, as you can see on my videos when I point where I wanted the bullet to strike versus where it actually struck.

Gut juices signal that one of the four stomachs was breached. If the meat was left for any period of time, yes it would taint the meat. But by the same token, had you called the wind wrong and struck the gut, the bullet fragments would have reached forwards to the vitals and also taken out the liver as with my 1125 yard shot on youtube. So for the sake of the animal, a frangible bullet is best under these circumstances as ranges are pushed out.

A quick wash in a creek can clean up meat. Try to dry meat off- if the meat is for the table, wet meat goes off very quickly. Nigerians take the rumen, wash it, then pan fry it as a delicacy!

Delayed killing can occur in an unexpected manner. The goats have been rutting this last week and this effects the nervous system in a profound manner. Adrenaline and dopamine (lust) are near hard wired, coma is more difficult to obtain.

At this stage Jason, try to get more experience with the bullet. If you find that you are doing a lot of medium range work and are seldom going to be shooting beyond 400 yards or so, it may be worth changing to the SST. This bullet will effect greater hydrostatic shock where the A-Max can at times meet too much resistance for its soft nature and fail to impart a hydrostatic shock wave (game killing section- Knowledge Base). But for now and to save reworking loads, try to get a number on animals under your belt using the A-Max.

02 Jun 2013
@ 06:24 pm (GMT)

jason brown

Re: 7mm amax hunting performance
thanks Nathan. I understand what your saying and it makes more sense now and the amax still seems ideal for its wide wounds at a range that's extended. Im still going to keep an eye on the amax and see how it goes. one animal is hardly a result. I do have the chance to shoot further maybe 750.
I have used the 154 sst at 200 and it stopped the animal well!(through the middle of the foreleg, I sent some pictures to you a while ago) but I never really got it to shoot very accurate with my loads,
so is the shoulder shot you aim for high in the foreleg, through the shoulder blade? (I will watch the videos again) and try that instead. that's kind of what I was wondering, using the amax past 300 where the ideal placement is, being a fairly soft projectile. like I said if it was in the open it wouldn't have mattered but I didn't know if the amax was strong enough to try and break the foreleg, I guess maybe that's why you aim for the shoulder.
from reading the knowledge base its my understanding that this was un-usual to not have an exit wound?
02 Jun 2013
@ 08:46 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 7mm amax hunting performance
With the shoulder shot, I aim to strike dead center.

Occasionally and depending on body weights and impact velocity, the 162gr A-Max will from time to time, not exit.

I have gone into great detail in the current book I am writing, regarding cartridge and bullet selection for long range hunting.
02 Jun 2013
@ 10:54 pm (GMT)

jason brown

Re: 7mm amax hunting performance
for me it was a thought of my big rifle that drops anything. which up until now would have been right. (even though I have only taken about four animals) but that would have a lot to do with short ranges, eg about 200 yards.

so at double that distance and beyond, with the projectile slowing down a lot more before impact, I think its more of a coming to realise that animals at that range will not, more often than not, just drop. so I need to think of this when theres a chance the animal could get lost or fall out of reach etc. as well as better shot placement on the shoulder.
and therefore the amax does make sense for a few reasons over a tougher projectile, which in theory I knew that. but this has been a practical lesson for me. (things make more sense and sink in that way)

watching your videos again, showed me that at the longer ranges this is often just what happens, its easy to think did I miss, as it runs a bit. then it falls over dead. iv read the killing articles again, and I doubt it will be the last time.
I look forward to the book.
29 Jun 2013
@ 04:59 am (GMT)

jason brown

Re: 7mm amax hunting performance
hi Nathan, I just got back from another hunt, much the same distance (415)
on a good size billy goat using the amax again.
like we talked about, I aimed right on the shoulder this time, it dropped and didn't take a step.
it was quartering away.
usual small entry, 7mm size I suppose, broke the fore leg and about three ribs, through the lungs and wind pipe, and came to rest in the neck muscle. it weighed 68.5 grains, and that's after all the flesh was removed from it. which I thought was interesting, as it didn't all break into fragments, it wasn't really mushroom shape but a kind of square.
so no exit wound, but im not disappointed. it didn't take a step, just dropped, one foreleg is a bit blood shot, but that's to be expected. I wont be eating this but if I was I would be very happy. I guess most of it came down to shot placement.
the placement dropped it on the spot, but I guess its what stopped the exit too.
I just wish I had of taken more time figuring out what happened with the first goat.
I have a few pictures which I will email Nathan. maybe he will put them in the wound data base or this thread if he has time, I don't have a web hosting site to be able to post them.


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