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American Handgunner July/August Digital Edition - Page 24
HANDGUNHUNTING tIps, tecHNIQUes ANd poLItIcAL INcorrectNess J.d. JoNes examples of recovered match bullets laying on a recovered .70 cal that hit steel. note how match bullets generally don’t disrupt in game. guess, no, I know I’m an opinionated old fart on a lot of subjects. Got that way mostly from learning from my mistakes. I’m not a bit apologetic about it, or the mistakes, as I look at life as a learning process enjoying as much of it as I reasonably can. That leads to a lot of compromises. I like to drive fast, but don’t like traffic tickets, so I compromise by mostly obeying speed limits, no matter how idiotic some of them are. Guns, ammo and ballistics are nothing more than a lot of compromises by the manufacturers. Think of it this way, if you want 2,000 fps out of a 1911 .45 ACP you can get it — for one shot. And certainly some of the fragments will reach 2,000 fps. So we compromise with a nice, safe 230 at 850 from the 1911, and go to another gun and caliber to get the two grand out of a 230 or heavier bullet. It makes sense, saves hospital and doctor bills too. i long RangE PRactical accuRacy lehigh Defense .44 special limited-penetration/ max-expansion bullets recovered from water. fifty yards is long range for this combination. t goes the same way with bullets. The most accurate bullets are going to be those made for the best accuracy possible and most will be on the dismal side of glowing success if used on game. They simply aren’t made for hunting. The hunting bullet will probably not give the best accuracy, although it will do a far better job of doing what is necessary once it strikes an animal to effect a quick clean kill. The accuracy of the hunting bullet is not dismal, but not match grade either. I can’t think of a hunting bullet on the market today that does not have adequate accuracy at maximum practical range for the caliber. So what is practical range? Thorny question. Right now without glasses and iron sights, no matter the caliber, it’s about 5-8 feet for me. I simply can’t see the sights. Put a 6.5 Mini-Dreadnought with good ammo and optics as well as a rest and I’m pretty effective at 400 yards on an antelope, although I much prefer to shoot shorter ranges. Fact of the matter is, simply at around 400 from that caliber the bullet will loose the capacity for violent expansion and tissue destruction and even a good, fatal hit may result in a slower death of the animal and possible loss by the hunter. Regardless of the caliber or gun you use, the ballistic capability of the cartridge and your ability under the circumstances existing, to effectively place an immediately effective shot is your practical range — anything further is too long. 24 I HuntIng OR taRget? two true long-range handguns, the t/C encore and xp-100. both are capable of handling a wide array of cartridges with exceptional accuracy. both are best used from a rest in long-range configuration. Being Sensible O ver the years, I loosely kept track of my shots at several hundred animals standing in the broadside position. When everything went right, they worked out well as I seldom shoot if I’m not sure of the shot. On the average, about one out of 16 shots were screwed up. Not all of them ended up badly, as the bullet struck the liver, which generally affects a quick fatality due to massive blood loss. All poorly placed shots impacted toward the rear of the animal, simply because few animals walk backward. But any of them are likely to take a step forward at any time. If the trigger is pulled beyond the stopping stage, a poor hit is going to result. On the human side of it, a muscle tremor simply cannot be anticipated, and in my case at least, usually results in a clean miss. I like long range shooting for the caliber in question, but usually at steel targets or rocks. Errors in shooting due to spin-drift, wind, faulty ammo or operator make no difference. I do have respect for the animal I hunt and do my best to stay within the capability of the caliber and my personal ability rather than take a chancy shot. Being sensible doesn’t give you much experience at following a blood trail though. * WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2012