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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Gang,

Grant killed a nice little buck during the rut yesterday. I value your opinion on bullet performance.

The cartridge is a 260 Remington.
120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip
appx 2750 muzzle velocity
Shots were 100 and 110 yards

6 point buck estimated weight 150 to 160 lbs

1st shot was close to broadside to shooter
Bullet impacted on shoulder blade about 2 inches from shoulder knuckle and passed through the thickest portion of the seven bone. Bullet traveled through vitals to middle ribs on opposite side ...it made a hole in ribs but did not exit.

Deer ran 10 yards and stopped facing opposite direction sightly quartering to shooter. Grant passed another round through him. This shot entered right shoulder through the shoulder blade near the bottom of scapula....busted bottom third of scapula up...passed through vitals and knocked a hole in middle ribs on opposite side but did not exit. The deer ran about 50 to 60 yards in thick thick over cut. No blood was found at the shot site. This was at dark but with a good flashlight. Deer was found after making a circle...very little blood was found on trail to deer....and not much at all on the first portion of trail. No bullets were recovered because so I do not know if they were intact or fragmented. Damage to the internals was extensive. I usually prefer an exit hole where it is easy to trail.

My question to yall......Should I look for a bullet that will exit every time or is this good performance under the circumstances. In my 280, the 150 ballistic tips are great on deer. I get pass through with good damage without ruining too much meat every time. In this lighter caliber, the 260... do I have to go to a Partition or Barnes bullets to get performance similar to my 280?

Thanks, -Cliff-
 

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Cliff those Ballistic tips at close range with an impact velocity over 2000fps tend to blow up pretty bad especialy if a larger bone is hit. From the description you gave the deer would probably have die standing their if the second shot had not been made ,he was dead on his feet the evidence is that he only went 50 yds and considering that a deer can cover that distance in less than 5 seconds easly.
I'm having a 260 built right now and I intend on running the bullet out as fast as accuratly possible , I plan to use the 140 A-max. the A-max bullet is a little more frigile than the Ballistic tip but its ALOT longer so with the higher SD and slower velocity I'm thinking that it should give good performance.
Also you might want to try the Hornady 129gr SST bullet , the SST in my experiance , are a little tougher than the BT's and the extra 10grs weight may help a good bit with the SD of the bullet.

In short , I personaly don't mind if the bullet doesen't exit as long as it making a mess inside the animal is going to expire soon , if you wipe out a deers lungs its going to die within several seconds , it can run for long with no oxygen to the brain. The problem is that a deer can cover alot of ground in 10-20 seconds and down here where its thick 100yds is a long way to track a deer. I've killed alot of does down here with a 22-250 and a 64gr PowerPoint , never had a bullet exit when the deer were shot in the ribs and never had one go over 50yds.

If you go to a harder bullet like the Barnes the bullet is likly to blow though the animal realy fast not depositing much of it energy which in turn does not do as much damage to the internals making for a longer life after the shot.
Remember bullet kill for expending hyrostatic shock in the animal not from hemoraging like with an arrow , if a bullet wizzes though realyn fast and doesen't "dump" it energy then all you have doen is make two holes.
The performance your getting with the 120 Ballistic tips is "ALMOST" perfect the bullet is dumping 100% of its energy and making it way throught he body just not out the other side , I say almost becasue if it were able to just barely pop thought the other side you would have two holes to bleed from but the damage is done either way.
I would probably leave the load alone and just try to stay off the biger bones on the impact side.
 

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Cliff I Have Had Good Results With The Nosler BT's

Cliff I had the good fortune to get 4 deer this season during modern
gun season. The first deer was shot with a CZ 6.5 X 55 and a 100
grain Nosler Balistic Tip. Dead when it hit the dirt. The other three
were shot with a Remington 700 .243, 95 grain Nosler Balistic Tip
Bullets. One of the 3 ran maybe 10 yards and crashed, the other two
bit the dust on the spot. I normally go for a neck shot with the .243,
but, was not 100% sure of my zero, so I choose to take the body shots
with the .243 this year. All of my shots were much closer than I am
used to taking. So, gonna have to check my bullet impact at 50 yards
instead of the usual usual 100 yards. I like the performance of the Nosler
Balistic Tip Bullets. I think if the shot is well placed, the results is going
to be devestating to the deer. I did have quite a bit of meat damage to
the shoulders. Oh, by the way, "Way To Go Grant" ! :D :D :D
 

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Cliff,

Personally, I'd tend to use either the 100-grain Ballistic Tip or the 100-grain Partition in the .260; but that is just me.

I've seen enough game killed and I've personally killed enough game with the .264" 120-grain Ballistic Tip to know it is a very good bullet. It also isn't particularly "soft," as some believe ALL Ballistic Tips to be, especially at the pedestrian velocity level of the .260 Remington.

In truth, it takes many kills to truly get a handle on how a particular bullet kills. If the 120s turn your crank, keep on using them. Personally, I enjoy the lightning kills of a lighter/faster bullet, so I tend to use either the 100 Ballistic or the 100 Partition.

By the way, I use the 100 Partition in my Gordy Gritters 6.5-'06 Ackley, which generates about 3,500 fps at the muzzle. Critters die bang-flop every time.

Steve
 

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I have never understood this I have watched time and time again on every out door channel there is and most are filmed on Whitetail back east...Why shoot any Deer/Elk through the shoulder especially on the on side..I can understand a bullet passing through the pocket(Heart area)or rib area and passing through or stopping in off shoulder but unless in is a dangerous game animal or something that is going to get a piece of you unless you break it down right away a shoulder shot is poor judgement a waste of meat...With a 120gr bullet out of a .260 a heart shot or a close to the shoulder rib shot/lungs at 100 yards should almost every time pass through for a blood trail.
Even with a .243 on BIG Mule Deer I have broke ribs on the entrance and had the bullet exit out of 10 or so Deer with a .243 furthest one made it was 50yards....The toughest part of a Deer is the front shoulders and a ballistic tip was not designed to punch through bone and muscle to get to the vitals...Heck at 100yrds unless it was a trophy that Deer would have been shot where his head meets his neck.Most of the calibers we shoot out west here if you were to shoot a Deer/Elk in the front shoulders you could kiss half of your animal goodbye...
 

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I Agree With You, But, There Are Other Circumstances

I have never understood this I have watched time and time again on every out door channel there is and most are filmed on Whitetail back east...Why shoot any Deer/Elk through the shoulder especially on the on side..I can understand a bullet passing through the pocket(Heart area)or rib area and passing through or stopping in off shoulder but unless in is a dangerous game animal or something that is going to get a piece of you unless you break it down right away a shoulder shot is poor judgement a waste of meat...With a 120gr bullet out of a .260 a heart shot or a close to the shoulder rib shot/lungs at 100 yards should almost every time pass through for a blood trail.
Even with a .243 on BIG Mule Deer I have broke ribs on the entrance and had the bullet exit out of 10 or so Deer with a .243 furthest one made it was 50yards....The toughest part of a Deer is the front shoulders and a ballistic tip was not designed to punch through bone and muscle to get to the vitals...Heck at 100yrds unless it was a trophy that Deer would have been shot where his head meets his neck.Most of the calibers we shoot out west here if you were to shoot a Deer/Elk in the front shoulders you could kiss half of your animal goodbye...

Smack:

What we have here is one of the finest young men (at the age of 16) that
you could ever want to meet (the shooter). I saw his shooting expertise
while on a PD Trip to South Dakota in 05. His father sent him out to get a
couple of rabbits for the pot and gave him specific instructions at to where
the bullet was to be placed to minumize damage. Head shot was accomplished
on both rabbits. Amazed me. But, in larger game, like deer hunting, I just
imagine that there is a wee bit more excitement invoved for a 16 year old
when he gets a shot at a nice buck. Again, Grant is one of the nicest young
lads that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and he has killed numerous
rattlesnakes on the PD Trips (and that is a plus as far as I am concerned).
So if he hit his deer in the shoulder on the shooting side, he was at least close to the vital area. Back to the Balistic Bullets, the 3 deer that I shot
with my .243 this year in the body (vitals) just happened to be at an angle
and did in fact receive damage to the shoulders on the off side. But, since
I have a heart problem (and am not going to run them down) if I need to
sacrifice a littel meat to kill one on the spot, the meat is just wasted I guess.
Oh, by the way, for health reason (low fat meat) is why I started deer hunting again this year. Got 4 in the freezer too. And they are good.
 

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Samson is exactly right

The performance your getting with the 120 Ballistic tips is "ALMOST" perfect the bullet is dumping 100% of its energy and making it way throught he body just not out the other side , I say almost becasue if it were able to just barely pop thought the other side you would have two holes to bleed from but the damage is done either way.
I would probably leave the load alone and just try to stay off the biger bones on the impact side.
I pretty much totally agree with Samson, especially this part of his post. After using 165 BTs in a 30-06 on deer for 15-20 years, I've switched to my .243 "Flamethrower" the past two years. I'm shooting a Sierra 85BTHP in the .243. Obviously the key with either bullet (or ANY bullet) is shot placement. But you do lower the odds of a good blood trail just a smidge with the .243, at least IMHO.

Cliff, I can't see that anything was done wrong. About my only suggestion would be to have Grant hold a few inches farther back in an effort to miss the shoulder blade. That still won't guarantee an exit hole, but it will improve the odds of it. Please give that young snakeater my congratulations. A 140-150 pound field dressed deer in this neck of the woods is getting on toward pretty danged large. Most of our 2-3 year old bucks run more like 110-120.

Mike
 

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bullet performance

It looks to me like the bullet did what it was supposed to do. Being a poly tipped bullet it is designed to expand rapidly and penetrate tissue for maximum trauma. The shoulder shot is considered an acceptable shot but might be better suited to an Accubond, Partition, Corelokt or Failsafe type bullet as the ballistic tip probably deforms too much on impact with large bones. If you have been getting good results in your .280 with this shot then I would say the extra weight is helping and if you plan on continuing to encourage your son to use it then definitely change bullets.

I'm using a .243 with the 70 grain Ballistic tips. I know these are varmint bullets so I pretty much stick to neck shots. My hunting partner uses the 95 gr. ballistic tips in his .243 but likes heart shots. Both placements have worked well so far.

Grant did well, congratulations.
 

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Cliff, there is a very easy solution.......

the answer is a 129g Hornady SP. It is a tough bullet but gives good expansion and hangs together. I found the bullet to be very accurate. The bullet gives complete penetration with all guts turned to spaghetti inside the deer.

I do believe that your 120g Nosler gave great performance. You must recoginze yourself as being a person that likes to have a blood trail to follow. I don't blame you one bit, because here in SC if they run 100 yards you may loose them and I expect that the country is somewhat similar in La.

The Barnes tripple shock bullets are extremely accurate and you will get complete penetration, but you usually do not get a blood trail with Barnes tripple shock bullets. Internal damage is massive with the Barnes XXX bullets.

Good luck with the Hornady 129g SP. One thing that these bullets have going for them is that the core is locked in the base of the bullet, so you usually do not see the jacket seperate from the core like in Sierra and Speer Bullets. The deer that I shot with the 129g HOrnady sp was a huge hole on the off side of the deer.

Western hunters could not imagine the jungles that we hunt in back East. If a deer runs 50-100 yards out West, in most places it is not an issue, so the blood trail is not something that is important to them.
 

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This I hope is (PIC)

Some of many. I shoot Sierra 120 gr SBT at about 2850 fps. out of my .260.I have never had one go more then 20 yards. The deer we've killed run from 100# to 175# and up dresses.








________
JR80
 

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Hi Cliff, first off congratulations to Grant

Glad that he got another buck this year. He should have you an accomplished skinner and processor in another year or so. ;>)

As you know I use a 6.5-06 some for deer. In it, I won't use the 120 NBTs anymore because it just makes a mess out of a deer. You don't have to go too far to find them after they're hit, but there was always a big mess waiting on me when I got there.

I like the 129gr SST's really well, and have some 120gr Sierras loaded up that I want to try (same bullets that Va Boy is talking about in his post). They are really accurate, and my belief is that they will hold together a little better than the 120gr NBTs....if that is what you want. WD
 

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In my limited experience, Hunting weight ballistic tips work extremely well. But they tend to make a mess if you hit heavy bone. I believe, but don't have any personal experience that most any other expanding bullet will pretty much do the same if it hits heavy bone. Grants shots were good killing shots, but I personally prefer to shoot further back in the heart area. If I were going to take shoulder shots, I'd switch to a tougher bullet. Personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Guys, I Love Reading Your Comments

I have killed plenty, plenty of deer over the years and I still get excited before I pull the trigger or release an arrow. Grant has alot of me in him. He said that he was shaking so bad that he couldn't shoot right at first. He did some deep breathing before he could shoot. I remember those days. Greyfox only shoots them in the neck but when I hold there I get even shakier so I go to the vitals. I am not sure that Grant was holding on the shoulder but thats where it ended up. Whenever I shoot at a running deer....we used to run dogs in the swamp...I instinctively go to the shoulder. It has worked well in the past. Maybe Grant tends to aim at the shoulder when he gets excited....that old buck fever stuff. I have heard good things about that 129 grainer and I will put it on my list to try. To tell you just how thick this cut-over is....Grant was 50 yards from me at night. I was at the deer shining a bright polystinger flashlight at him and he could not see the light. This is some thick stuff but the deer just love it. Thanks to all of yall for your comments. -Cliff-
 

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I think the performance is fine and I would stick with them if your gun shoots them well. When I first handloaded the ballistic tip for the 270, it was the thinner jacket version (sold in the red boxes of 100) and it was extremely explosive, but the many deer I took with them just crumbled to the ground and very few had exit wounds. Several years ago, nosler beefed up the jackets. Now I get exit wounds and usually deer run, but not far. They still offer great performance and accuracy for me.

If you really want an exit wound , I would opt for the 130gr Accubond. It gives great expansion and penetration. I started using them in 2004 when I bought a 270 WSM, I have taken coyote, deer, and caribou with them and haven't had one stop in an animal yet.
Heres a yote taken with the accubond:
 

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Let me add this bit of info. I started deer hunting with a shotgun and slugs. I shot a quite a few deer with that combo and NONE of them dropped in their tracks. I've shot them from real real close, to I can't believe I hit that sucker with the shotgun. I've shot them broadside through the shoulder, right behind the shoulder and from stem to stern. (but never stern to stem) The slugs always exited, there was always a bloodtrail, and sometimes it was huge. But the deer NEVER dropped in its tracks. I think the ballistic tip did what it was designed to do. I recently read a thread over at Savage Shooters about the high shoulder shot. Supposedly there is a nerve complex right at the top of the shoulder that will cause a deer to DRT when it is hit right at the top of the shoulder. I never aim there so I don't know.

Also, I'm like you, I get EXCITED when there is game in my sights. When I quit getting excited, I'm going to quit hunting because shopping is easier, but BORING.
 

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Good discussion here

Grant: just keep using what works for you and I wish for you that you will always have the pounding heart and short breath that you had with your first deer.
Guys, you may not realize it but you are all pretty much in agreement on most of what has been said. I have a few points to make(they are worth what I`m charging you for them :D ) and they are from actually using Nosler BT`s.
First, NBT`s are not designed to be varmint bullets. They were designed to prevent tip distortion (for better accuracy) found with lead tipped bullets. I sometimes use my 358 STA for long range coyote shots, using NBT`s (225 grain @ 3250 fps), but it is by no means a varmint round.

Second, NBT`s are not V-Max`s! All plastic tip bullets are not the same. I`ve yet to see a NBT blow up in soft tissue. Tests show that the NBT`s are for all practical purposes identical in expansion to lead tipped hunting rounds. I`ve taken many dozens of deer with NBT`s and have shot them in the head, neck, shoulders, liver, and yes, I did gutshoot one once upon a time. As always a good headshot is a DRT. So is a neckshot. We owe it to the critter to take the safest shot we can so if you are shakey, do as my ol hunting pard says: "Shoot em in the big part".

Third, Shoulder shots with any bullet tend to make a mess.
Pass-thru`s are a waste of energy that would be better spent in the critter.
Blood trails are what they are. We have all seen shredded heart-lung shot deer run like hell. It happens. You just try and find them and usually will if you look hard enough. Once I am past my "comfort" range for a head shot(my first choice) I shoot for the liver. Here`s the reason: The liver will bleed a deer out FAST. It has no bones to add a variable to the performance equation. It is a big target, albeit close to the gut, So I shoot for the liver-lungs connection. The main reason is I don`t have a crapload of shot up meat, and even better, I don`t have a gallon of bloody slime to clean out from between the shoulder and chest (this hastens spoiling).

Ask Dana in Mt about how the 223 NBT performed on deer the year we had a Montana state sanctioned damage hunt for muley`s and WT deer. I used a 45/70 on one or two, and the rest were Nosler BT 223`s from my Bushmaster
In the week we hunted, we dropped a LOT of deer and no one lost a deer (open country except the ravines). The NBT`s were death on deer. 50 grains, over 3200, and every single deer dropped like a toilet seat. Many were head shots but any deer over 200 yds got one in the chest area and they all dropped instantly like the circuit breaker was flipped. Not one bullet blew up. The farthest shot I made was lasered at 305 on a huge fat WT doe. I drilled her heart dead center(luck), she staggered sideways and couldn`t get her feet under her and dropped. The bullet was in the skin on the offside as were most of the others.

Anyway, Grant, well done and keep up the good work. Yer doin fine. and don`t worry about blood trails. Deer go in an ALMOST straight line when on a death run. Watch which way it went and draw a mental pic with a line. Walk the line, then walk it again curving side to side (s-turns), always looking for blood, torn dirt, leaves and branches out of place.

Oh, and don`t kid yerself guys, the west side of the Cascades is as thick as anywhere in the country(I went to aviation school in E-City N.C.). 2nd and 3rd growth logging units, 20 to 120 inches of rain per year, Doghair (christmas trees elbow to elbow), elk standing 20 (count em) feet away and you cannot see em. Try tracking a wounded bull in that, in the rain. You learn to forget the blood and work on tracks, disturbed plant life, even smell if it isn`t windy. Again, straight line for wounded unless acted upon by an outside force like terrain or other people.

Walk softly and hire a big guy to pack yer meat out of the woods.;)
 

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nerve complex right at the top of the shoulder that will cause a deer to DRT when it is hit right at the top of the shoulder. I never aim there so I don't know.



Blam! and just behind that is the loin well what used to be a loin. IMO the best part of the Deer.....
 

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Wow!! Nice pix!!

I love that foggy, "mystical" background. Reminds me of several hunts in GA! And, you R 100% correct about a deer running 100 yards and not being able to find 'em. It hasn't happened to me (yet), but I've been on enough "tracking parties" to understand how that can happen. One ol boy from Macon GA used to bring a pooch along. It stayed at camp, but was there "just in case".

P.
 

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I also shoot a .260.......

One of my favorite whitetail rigs is a LSS Mountain rifle in .260. Before I bought some reloading components, all I hunted with was Remington factory loads with the 120 Accutips (ballistic tip). What you described is typical performance with that round. I have shot 3 with the factory ammo and all exited and went down within 25 yards. I would not draw too many conclusions from a shoulder blade shot. That is a good bullet. Remember that a 120 grain bullet in 6.5 mm, is equivalent to a 140 grain 7 mm or a 165 grain 30 caliber bullet in terms of ballistic coefficient and sectional density.

By the way, you can get another 200 fps out of that round if you have a 22" or a 24" barrel. Nosler's data shows that a max load of almost 3,000 fps out of a 24". Check out: http://www.nosler.com/data260rem120-125g.html

Not that I am dissatisfied with the ballistic tips, but I am experimenting with the 125 grain partitions. They can be run at the same speed and I have heard that they provide the best combination of speed and weight in a .260. I am shooting these over 46 grains of RL19 at around 2,900 fps. The .260 is a great round for Whitetails. Keep using it and I think your worries will go away.
 
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