Barnes bullet failures?

CoElkHunter

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I’ll make this short. “Back in the day”, weren’t many/most African game shot with some type of solid bullet, because they didn’t have the selection of reliable expanding type bullets we enjoy today? So, in this thread topic, if the Barnes or any other mono metal type bullet doesn’t expand, doesn’t it become a “solid” of yesteryear and can still kill it’s intended target? I’ve never hunted with them, so just inquiring? Thanks!
 

perttime

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... if the Barnes or any other mono metal type bullet doesn’t expand, doesn’t it become a “solid” of yesteryear and can still kill it’s intended target? I’ve never hunted with them, so just inquiring? Thanks!
Just based on my reading here, and elsewhere:
- Becoming a solid has the drawback of possibly hitting another animal, behind or even a bit to the side of the one you want. You hear stories about pretty wild ricochets.
- The terminal performance seems a little unpredictable. You cannot 100% count on it doing what you expect. You could get nice expansion, you could get a pencil size hole through, or it could shed the "petals" and leave a partial bullet that doesn't have enough momentum to penetrate.
 

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So, in this thread topic, if the Barnes or any other mono metal type bullet doesn’t expand, doesn’t it become a “solid” of yesteryear and can still kill it’s intended target?

Sure it can. @MAdcox in an earlier post provided proof of this. Put even a relatively small hole in the heart/lungs of an animal, and it will die. While the end was successful in that the intended animal was killed, I would still say such performance is bullet failure as the bullet did not perform as expected. Examples like that go to show that bullet placement is still very important and arguably more so than the bullet itself.

But then as the wise sage @Velo Dog has said, a well placed frozen herring could kill an animal too, but what's the point?

The question for me when it comes to choosing a bullet is not if the bullet can fail? Bullets get put through a ridiculous test when you think about it. And I'm quite certain all bullets can fail to perform as expected. The question is not IF it can, but HOW OFTEN do they? The pic of the Barnes that failed to open earlier isn't the first I've seen. I've seen quite a few just like it. But weighed against how many hunters have used them successfully , my gut feel as I cannot possibly attain accurate statistics is that it's relatively low.

Furthermore unlike some other bullets, the manner in which they fail to perform is in opening. I can accept that failure far more easily than a bullet that shatters on impact and fails to penetrate.
 

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I’ll make this short. “Back in the day”, weren’t many/most African game shot with some type of solid bullet, because they didn’t have the selection of reliable expanding type bullets we enjoy today? So, in this thread topic, if the Barnes or any other mono metal type bullet doesn’t expand, doesn’t it become a “solid” of yesteryear and can still kill it’s intended target? I’ve never hunted with them, so just inquiring? Thanks!
The issue now is that we are not "back in the day" and other choices exist.
So why not choose a more reliable expanding bullet...
 

CoElkHunter

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Sure it can. @MAdcox in an earlier post provided proof of this. Put even a relatively small hole in the heart/lungs of an animal, and it will die. While the end was successful in that the intended animal was killed, I would still say such performance is bullet failure as the bullet did not perform as expected. Examples like that go to show that bullet placement is still very important and arguably more so than the bullet itself.

But then as the wise sage @Velo Dog has said, a well placed frozen herring could kill an animal too, but what's the point?

The question for me when it comes to choosing a bullet is not if the bullet can fail? Bullets get put through a ridiculous test when you think about it. And I'm quite certain all bullets can fail to perform as expected. The question is not IF it can, but HOW OFTEN do they? The pic of the Barnes that failed to open earlier isn't the first I've seen. I've seen quite a few just like it. But weighed against how many hunters have used them successfully , my gut feel as I cannot possibly attain accurate statistics is that it's relatively low.

Furthermore unlike some other bullets, the manner in which they fail to perform is in opening. I can accept that failure far more easily than a bullet that shatters on impact and fails to penetrate.
Very good points and explanation. Thanks!
 

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got a response quoting pretty strange ricochets after penetrating through smaller game animals
I shot a springbuck at maybe a little over 100 yards using my 375 H&H with 235 grain Barnes. I pulled the trigger with an easy comfortable shot. Everyone saw the bullet ricochet 20-30 yards to the right stirring up the dust! They thought I had seriously missed! I couldn’t believe it! The springbuck took off in the opposite direction. We went out taking Ruger the blood tracker who quickly found the dead springbuck.

Apparently the Barnes 235 grain did its job, but I had hit a bone which deflected at a severe angle and ricocheting several yards away at an acute angle! A strange performance.

The 235 grain .375 caliber bullet is a bit stubby. Consequently it doesn’t take much to cause it to change directions.

I still believe a 300 grain .375 bullet is the most reliable at penetrating and not being deflected by limbs, bones, etc. Use a soft point on thin skinned game and a bonded or monometal on thick skinned DG. An even longer bullet if you can achieve enough velocity would be even better on thick skinned DG.
 

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I shot a springbuck at maybe a little over 100 yards using my 375 H&H with 235 grain Barnes. I pulled the trigger with an easy comfortable shot. Everyone saw the bullet ricochet 20-30 yards to the right stirring up the dust! They thought I had seriously missed! I couldn’t believe it! The springbuck took off in the opposite direction. We went out taking Ruger the blood tracker who quickly found the dead springbuck.

Apparently the Barnes 235 grain did its job, but I had hit a bone which deflected at a severe angle and ricocheting several yards away at an acute angle! A strange performance.

The 235 grain .375 caliber bullet is a bit stubby. Consequently it doesn’t take much to cause it to change directions.

I still believe a 300 grain .375 bullet is the most reliable at penetrating and not being deflected by limbs, bones, etc. Use a soft point on thin skinned game and a bonded or monometal on thick skinned DG. An even longer bullet if you can achieve enough velocity would be even better on thick skinned DG.
Very interesting! I guess with a lighter bullet in a given caliber, sectional density and ballistic coefficient aren’t where they maybe should be for penetration when striking a bone?
 

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I have seen bullets do some very strange things when they hit a bone at a angle. All bets are off on where they will end up at and it doesn't matter what type of bullet.
 

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I shot a springbuck at maybe a little over 100 yards using my 375 H&H with 235 grain Barnes. I pulled the trigger with an easy comfortable shot. Everyone saw the bullet ricochet 20-30 yards to the right stirring up the dust! They thought I had seriously missed! I couldn’t believe it! The springbuck took off in the opposite direction. We went out taking Ruger the blood tracker who quickly found the dead springbuck.

Apparently the Barnes 235 grain did its job, but I had hit a bone which deflected at a severe angle and ricocheting several yards away at an acute angle! A strange performance.

The 235 grain .375 caliber bullet is a bit stubby. Consequently it doesn’t take much to cause it to change directions.

I still believe a 300 grain .375 bullet is the most reliable at penetrating and not being deflected by limbs, bones, etc. Use a soft point on thin skinned game and a bonded or monometal on thick skinned DG. An even longer bullet if you can achieve enough velocity would be even better on thick skinned DG.

Was the bullet path in the Springbuck straight?
 

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Was the bullet path in the Springbuck straight?
As I recall, it was facing us. I do not know the path of the bullet because they skinned it while we were in the field as I recall. I am assuming it glanced off a major bone. The bullet hit the dirt 20-30 yards to the right and 50 or so yards back of the springbuck.
 

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Just a question from someone who hasn’t hunted in Africa yet, but has taken a number of deer, pronghorn and elk in Colorado and Wyoming. Reading different threads/posts here on AH, I see a LOT of shoulder shots? I’ve always tried to miss the shoulder so as not to destroy the meat in the front quarter? Especially on a broadside or quartering shot? Is there a reason I’m missing for all of the intentional shoulder shots on PG I’m reading about here? Thanks!
 

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Just a question from someone who hasn’t hunted in Africa yet, but has taken a number of deer, pronghorn and elk in Colorado and Wyoming. Reading different threads/posts here on AH, I see a LOT of shoulder shots? I’ve always tried to miss the shoulder so as not to destroy the meat in the front quarter? Especially on a broadside or quartering shot? Is there a reason I’m missing for all of the intentional shoulder shots on PG I’m reading about here? Thanks!

I'm not sure that meat is of primary concern when hunting in Africa. It's not like you can take a roast home with you. :D
 

CoElkHunter

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I'm not sure that meat is of primary concern when hunting in Africa. It's not like you can take a roast home with you. :D
You right, that’s very true! But it seems from reading here, there’s a lot of bullet deflection mentioned with the shooting of the shoulder? I guess though, it’s a sure way (maybe) of disabling one’s quarry? ALTHOUGH, I did ONCE help chase a “three legged “ pronghorn shot in the left shoulder with a 7mm magnum. 300 yds with a 160gr Sierra. Poor shot (not mine), we never did find it after chasing it for three hours! I guess it can happen with any caliber, bullet, etc.?
 

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You right, that’s very true! But it seems from reading here, there’s a lot of bullet deflection mentioned with the shooting of the shoulder? I guess though, it’s a sure way (maybe) of disabling one’s quarry? ALTHOUGH, I did ONCE help chase a “three legged “ pronghorn shot in the left shoulder with a 7mm magnum. 300 yds with a 160gr Sierra. Poor shot (not mine), we never did find it after chasing it for three hours! I guess it can happen with any caliber, bullet, etc.?

Double lunger with a Berger and they aren't going anywhere. Same for every other bullet. They can run on three legs. They can't run if they can't breathe, at least not very far.
 

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Just a question from someone who hasn’t hunted in Africa yet, but has taken a number of deer, pronghorn and elk in Colorado and Wyoming. Reading different threads/posts here on AH, I see a LOT of shoulder shots? I’ve always tried to miss the shoulder so as not to destroy the meat in the front quarter? Especially on a broadside or quartering shot? Is there a reason I’m missing for all of the intentional shoulder shots on PG I’m reading about here? Thanks!
CoElkHunter, I prefer the lung/heart shot. But when there are large predators such as lions in the area and particularly late in the day when you might not recover the animal before dark, the shoulder/spine shot is a major advantage at dropping the game on the spot. Sadly, many times with this shot, you have to slit the throat or do a brain shot to put the animal out of its misery.
 

CoElkHunter

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CoElkHunter, I prefer the lung/heart shot. But when there are large predators such as lions in the area and particularly late in the day when you might not recover the animal before dark, the shoulder/spine shot is a major advantage at dropping the game on the spot. Sadly, many times with this shot, you have to slit the throat or do a brain shot to put the animal out of its misery.
Very good point! Thanks!
 

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