This fall I shot a decent blacktail buck in SW Oregon. The distance was about 65 yards,uphill, broadside shot. The bullet entered taking out two ribs, bounced off the bottom of the spine, took out two more ribs and lodged in the front leg muscle. My rifle is 280AI, shooting 160gr Accubonds at about 2950fps. When I recovered the bullet it weighed 62 grains, and was severely deformed. I would have expected a bit more retained weight for the bullet and velocity, but it was effective in dropping the deer in its tracks.
I have shot all sorts of critters with this load (5 deer, 2 rams, 1 375lb black bear) all with one shot stops and this is the first time I've recovered a bullet. I have taken the rifle/load to Alaska for moose, but didn't get a chance to connect. Should I be rethinking my bullet selection to a Barnes TTSX or Etip for my next moose trip? Would you count this as a failure? Thanks!
Posts: 18 | Location: S. Oregon | Registered: December 23, 2021
I have never hunted (yet) so my opinion isn’t worth much but I would say the 160gr. Accubond is not a failure in that particular load. You did’t loose any of the animals you shot nor did they suffer unduly. Perhaps the limited weight retention of the bullet would be less than ideal going against big critters. Maybe a switch to the 160gr. Partition is a good Moose load? It is also a Nosler product with a lead core and it may favor the same powder you already have on hand.
Posts: 2641 | Location: Manheim, PA | Registered: September 04, 2007
Yeah, you did get the deer. It sounds like it hit a lot of bone, took it’s toll. I’ve never really loaded or used the accubond, seems to have a great reputation. If they shoot good, I wouldn’t change over one incident.
When given the opportunity, I’m more of a ‘soft-tissue’ shooter. With a broadside shot, that’s the back edge of the foreleg, 1/3 up from the bottom. A little angle forward if able, of course, what’s presented varies.
I have used partitions & similar bullets, though more often it’s the simple Gameking or Hornady Interlock types. My belief is, once one has an ‘adequate bullet’, placement then becomes the paramount factor.
When one uses a round that’s on the light side for the game at hand, bullet selection can become more critical. An example could be, deer hunting with a 223. I knew a guy who used a 243 for most everything, up to elk, with great results. He loaded a quality bullet, was extremely picky about shot placement and even deciding to take a shot. No, he wasn’t the type to take any ‘hail-Mary’ shots at game.
Posts: 5384 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012
I have had good results with Barnes X bullets in .270 .338WM that performed well in 90% retention. Speer GS .30WM 85% retention. I killed a Cow Elk with a 230grn Accubond in .338 WM it did a good job. I have had the 100grn Nosler Ballistic tips do well on whitetails, but they tend to blowup if you hit bone with them .
Posts: 307 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: January 11, 2009
I’m curious how it is considered a failure when you recovered it out of the animal you were hunting? If you’re looking for pretty bullets to display, only shoot gel. Sounds to me like the bullet performed fine.
Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well. -Epictetus
Posts: 7575 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008
I shot a lot of whitetails as well as elk with the std .280 rem, then the AI version, with 150 gr Nosler partitions.Never any drama. BUT my impact ranges were longer than yours. Here , in MT and two trips over to RSA those 150 NP's never failed me.
Originally posted by sigcrazy7: I’m curious how it is considered a failure when you recovered it out of the animal you were hunting? If you’re looking for pretty bullets to display, only shoot gel. Sounds to me like the bullet performed fine.