The Bullet Was Going Too Fast To Expand
There’s a commonly held belief among some hunters. A bullet won’t have time to expand if it strikes an animal at too high of bullet speed. According to this line of thought, the bullet will just “pencil through” the animal and cause minimal damage if it’s going too fast. To be blunt, that’s one of those ballistics myths that drives me crazy. Bullets WILL indeed sometimes just zip right through an animal without mushrooming, but not because the speed of the bullet was too fast for expansion.
Too high of an impact bullet velocity will also indeed sometimes cause problems with bullet performance though. However, the causes of those issues are not what some people might think though. Neither are the solutions.
Essential Understanding of Bullet Speed And Expansion
An understanding of terminal ballistics is essential. If you want the best possible odds of delivering humane kills on big game. That’s not the sort of information you can count on receiving from random guys at the shooting range or gun store. Bullet speed and expansion information won’t be discussed in a Facebook group, an online hunting forum, or a campfire discussion. It’s possible that you’ll hear good advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about in any of those places, but it’s also pretty likely you’ll hear garbage. Kind of like bullet speed going too fast for expansion.
Learn More About Bullet Speed And Bullet Expansion
Lucky for you, I cover that information in great detail in my Hunting Guns 101 training. Among other things, you’ll learn how bullets actually kill animals, the various factors that affect bullet penetration and expansion, and a couple of different methods of choosing the ideal cartridge/bullet combination for a hunt that will deliver ideal terminal performance on whatever game you’re hunting.
This is essential information every hunter should understand. Regardless of whether you’re hunting whitetail deer, elk or mule deer, cape buffalo in Africa, or something else.
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Basics Of Bullet Speed And Expansion
- There is a depth of penetration that a bullet stops expansion due to the loss of velocity.
- The expansion of the bullet occurs upon impact.
- Softer metals tend to expand more simply because they require less bullet speed for expansion.
One of my favorite misconceptions is the notion that some bullets expand faster than others. Experts, who believe softer bullets deform at a faster rate than hard bullets, commonly espouse this myth. The “fast-expanding bullet” term is most often used to delineate between bullets with a lead-alloy core and bullets made from a single metal, such as copper. Logically, it seems to make sense that a harder bullet would take more time to deform than a softer bullet.