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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back I tried the Hornady 325 gummy tips on a live tree and it got through 6" but couldn't get through 7". Today after range testing I tried the Buffalo Bore 8A load on a 10" tree and it blew through it and kept right on going.

07-20-14-10 10 inch tree BB 8A resized.jpg
Entrance hole of Buffalo Bore 8A on 10" tree

07-20-14-11 10 inch tree BB 8A resized.jpg
Exit hole of buffalo Bore 8A on 10" tree. Bring on the elk this fall.
 

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Will this not be overkill and wasted meat?
The Hornady's did their job and imparted all energy into the target where as the others did not?
I was always told you do not want a blow through because that usually involved tracking the animal?
 

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I was always told you do not want a blow through because that usually involved tracking the animal?
But how much hands on experience do you have?

What this will boil down to is personal choice, would you rather have a bullet that expends all of it's energy breaking one shoulder and stopping, or a bullet that breaks a shoulder and continues on to break the other shoulder? Technically, the Buffalo bore bullet did indeed "do it's job" which was to penetrate, it did it admirably.

And you Punkin,.......picking on a poor defenseless tree, tsk,tsk,tsk.
 

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Will this not be overkill and wasted meat?
The Hornady's did their job and imparted all energy into the target where as the others did not?
I was always told you do not want a blow through because that usually involved tracking the animal?

If I don't get 2 holes I am probably looking for another bullet. I want an exit wound because two leaks produce more blood on the ground than one leak. A lot of the time if you don't hit the CNS you are tracking anyway regardless of caliber.

I shot a big doe with the 350 FP last fall right through both shoulders and the only thing she did was bounce off the ground right after the bullet exited.
 

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They both kill, that's a given. They both go about it differently.
It's not just about penetration and it's just not about expending all the energy inside the animal. If you're a meat hunter, you want to create the least amount of damage while bringing down your game quickly and humanly.
I remember taking out both shoulders of a Wyoming Antelope with a 300 Win Mag 180 gr (don't remember the bullet type). He was running from my left to right about 100 yards. What a mess. I gave the Antelope to my hunting buddy for dog food.
 

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What you are seeing in that test is what was intended by both manufacturers. The Buffalo Bore is geared toward penetration. The FTX bullet will obviously penetrate but is designed to expand, and do so at the longer ranges that the FTX is touted to enable by its more aerodynamic shape. The FTX bullet for the .45-70 with it's 325gr weight is going to penetrate but probably at a larger diameter. Some members have reported good results (quick kills) on bears and similar animals bigger than deer so it is likely good for elk too.

If there is a high probability that the hunter is going to want to shoot through shoulders or may also encounter an uninvited guest that eats humans then the BB bullet may be the optimum choice. The largest animal I've hunted is whitetail so any .45-70 bullet is more than capable regardless of where the shot is placed. However, when the whitetail is hit in the meat/bone section rather than the rib/vitals section the FTX made a bigger mess and didn't exit. I've been satisfied with the FTX performance in .30-30 and .45-70 but am not as concerned with expansion as much as I am with lowering meat damage if textbook level vitals shots aren't available.

I've moved to bullets that don't expand as eagerly as the FTX but not based solely on penetration. My hunting shots are typically below 100 yards so newer bullet styles like the FTX aren't an asset for me but they are for a good sized portion of the market. And the FTX's seem to be pretty accurate for a lot of people.
 

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Will this not be overkill and wasted meat?
The Hornady's did their job and imparted all energy into the target where as the others did not?
I was always told you do not want a blow through because that usually involved tracking the animal?
More hunting and shooting myths......and wrong on all counts. 44fred and Bearcat74 have it right.
 

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I cannot speak for others, but I get sub MOA accuracy from the Hornady LeveRevolution 325 gr FTX loads. IMHO, accuracy is more important to me than anything else as long as there is adequate penetration... and there is PLENTY of penetration with any .45-70 load.

Luis
 

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If it's going to eat you, penetration and bone breaking capabilities are a first priority. The rubber tip will work well if everything is storybook perfect.... If something goes south you will want a tougher bullet...
 

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When I first purchased my 45-70 I picked up 1000 rounds of the Gummy-Tips... After reading story after story after story (and seeing pictures of kills) about how they waste meat, I sold the 850 rounds I had left. Luckily I never shot any at an animal... Now I cast my own and will never go back to a store bought bullet but if I did it would be something like the Buffalo Bore or Garrett's

Doc
 

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If it's going to eat you, penetration and bone breaking capabilities are a first priority. The rubber tip will work well if everything is storybook perfect.... If something goes south you will want a tougher bullet...
I will agree with this IF you are hunting in Africa or *maybe* Alaska. Otherwise it's overkill IMO.

Luis
 

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I live in Montana and have Grizzlies in my yard on occasion. I've also shot a charging Black Bear up the left nostril with a fragile 45-70 bullet. It blew his face off but did not kill him. A second shot through the shoulders did. (Less than 10 yards) That will not happen again... Even a Cowboy velocity Hard Cast bullet would have penetration enough to have dropped that bear in his tracks.
 

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I live in Montana and have Grizzlies in my yard on occasion. I've also shot a charging Black Bear up the left nostril with a fragile 45-70 bullet. It blew his face off but did not kill him. A second shot through the shoulders did. (Less than 10 yards) That will not happen again... Even a Cowboy velocity Hard Cast bullet would have penetration enough to have dropped that bear in his tracks.
We've got them here too & I like at least a 405gr bullet.
 

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405 gr. Remington will expand and hold together. 400 gr. Speer keep velocity low or it will shred. 350 speer is one tough bullet. Hard Cast will penetrate and not tear up a lot of meat even at higher velocity. No worry about overkill.
 

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I've always thought expanding bullets for the .45-70 was a bit odd. With no expansion the wound will be at least .459" to start with. If a half inch hole all the way through isn't enough, what is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some very interesting replies. I have killed enough animals over the years under just about every kind of circumstance imaginable and also have my own personal theories and beliefs. When I shot the tree with the gummy tip there was no visible impact effect from the gummy tip. When I shot with the BB 8A I not only saw debris flying from the impact area but there was also dust and debris that fell from the top part of the tree. I don't want a bullet that won't fully penetrate any animal I shoot at. The "theory" about a bullet expending all of it's energy inside an animal being the holy grail of bullet performance is just not my cup of tea. The animal may be a 100 pound whitetail or it may be a 800 pound bull elk and I want one that's gonna do a proper job of ventilating said animal. I don't hunt private property where the property is nice and flat. I have to contend with public land hunters in some country that you don't want to have to chase an animal down into and then have to pack him out. I know a tree is not a scientific method of testing and that there are a ton of variables between trees but the general end result still works.

The reason for the big flat nose, such as on the 8A load, is well documented and proven. That end result is what I want and I want it whether it's a mule deer or an elk that I'm shooting. I don't want some thing that will expand quickly and may or may not make it all the way through. All of my shots are not picture perfect broadside shots under ideal conditions. Like we've all heard and read, I don't want a bullet that will do what I want under ideal conditions, I want one that will do it under all conditions. A quartering shot at an 800# bull elk is much different from a broadside shot at a whitetail.

I've read everything I can get my hands on as to the gummy tip's performance and the vast majority of people that have an opinion as to it's big game suitability have never used said bullet on any live animal. I've read about people that had good results on animals with the gummy tips and I've read about people that had bad results on animals. I've read countless times about people using big flat nosed, hard cast bullets and they routinely have great results unless there's driver error involved. I've never read about anyone saying that a WFN hard cast bullet from a 45-70 blew up or performed poorly on big game.

I've killed enough deer and elk over the years to know that I want a bullet that will go corner to corner on a bull elk and this fall that will be a hard cast, wide flat nose bullet over 400 grains in weight. If you only hunt whitetail then the gummy tip would work and I'll use them for plinking, coyotes etc. but when I want that bull to be DRT it's gonna be something like the BB 8A.

We all see the gummy tip as being touted as a long range alternative for the 45-70. Truth is no matter what bullet you use the 45-70 is not going to be used past about 200-250 yards. We all want to have enough energy at point of impact to do the job. I've put the data from the gummy tips and the BB 8A loads into my ballistic software and they are so close to being equal out to 200-250 yards, as far as trajectory goes, that you probably couldn't tell the difference at any range out to 200 yards. But....if you look at the energy at the longer ranges then the BB load is way better than the gummy tip. Some tend to worry about "overkill" etc. but I worry more about "underkill" if conditions are not perfect. I believe that the BB 8A type of load is gonna make me sleep better at night and have a warm and fuzzy feeling when that bull elk this fall only presents me a quartering shot. I'll ventilate him and go corner to corner right before he drops and I know the bullet wont possibly blow up after only doing half of it's job.

Wasn't trying to start an argument with the initial tree thing but it does bring up some interesting discussion.:)
 

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The 1st chart on this page shows would channel width and it's relation to meplat at differing velocities. Beartooth Bullets > Tech Notes > Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View


I know it's for handguns but when you look at the .44 mag with the .320 meplat and 45 colt loads and the .360 meplat in particular you see a 1" would path @ 1100fps, so if you use the same increase in wound path per 100fps a 45/70 405 cast should create a solid 1.5" wide path of destruction when impacting around 1500fps. I don't think many living things can handle a 1.5" hole through their plumbing, a serious leak would be the result of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The 1st chart on this page shows would channel width and it's relation to meplat at differing velocities. Beartooth Bullets > Tech Notes > Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View


I know it's for handguns but when you look at the .44 mag with the .320 meplat and 45 colt loads and the .360 meplat in particular you see a 1" would path @ 1100fps, so if you use the same increase in wound path per 100fps a 45/70 405 cast should create a solid 1.5" wide path of destruction when impacting around 1500fps. I don't think many living things can handle a 1.5" hole through their plumbing, a serious leak would be the result of that.
I've seen that before and I've also read instances where people have commented about the size of the wound channel with WFN cast bullets and it pretty much follows the direction the chart is going. I like something that will give me a big hole, end to end, under any circumstances.:)
 
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