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Author Topic: Effective velocity  (Read 811 times)

Offline baker5150

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Effective velocity
« on: September 07, 2017, 06:13:40 PM »
Looking for input on long range shooting and hunting

When choosing a long range caliber, what velocity does a bullet need to be at to make an ethical kill on a deer or elk?
What other things are there consider? 
I've seen, read, been told all kinds of different answers and wanted a take from this forum.
1800 fps seams to be a common trend, but I'd think expansion would make some difference.
I doubt I'll ever take a long range shot at game, I'm not a steady shooter, but I'm interested in learning the ins and outs.
Any thoughts?

Offline h20hunter

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 06:18:10 PM »
Funny you say 1800. I load 165 gr accubonds for my 308. Once I verified my gun likes the bullet and powder combo i emailed Nosler.  Right away they got back to me and suggested a minimal impact velocity of 1800. My loads, avg velocity at 500....per the dope I'm at 1803 at 500. Done.
Yes, my FJ is pink, I'm all about Team Jacob, beer is not for the horses nor is whiskey for the men, they are both for me.

Offline baker5150

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 06:42:07 PM »
Funny you say 1800. I load 165 gr accubonds for my 308. Once I verified my gun likes the bullet and powder combo i emailed Nosler.  Right away they got back to me and suggested a minimal impact velocity of 1800. My loads, avg velocity at 500....per the dope I'm at 1803 at 500. Done.

I load 180 accubonds for my 300 wsm. It loves them with h4350.  700 yards its at 1802.
Hopefully this weekend I'll been hitting plates at that distance. I'm comfy at 400 off a bench. Anything more has been hit or miss. (Pun intended).

Offline cboom

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 07:35:05 PM »
I believe Nosler is advertising velocities down to 1300. Most other bullets seem to call for 1800. I would feel more comfortable going slightly under that velocity with bigger calibers like the big 338's or 375's. Even if complete expansion doesn't happen it's still a big hole with lots of energy.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 08:02:32 PM »
I believe Nosler is advertising velocities down to 1300. Most other bullets seem to call for 1800. I would feel more comfortable going slightly under that velocity with bigger calibers like the big 338's or 375's. Even if complete expansion doesn't happen it's still a big hole with lots of energy.
They advertise the Accubond Long Range as having a minimum effective velocity of 1300 fps. The Accubond is rated as requiring at least 1800 fps.
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Offline cboom

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 08:06:05 PM »
I believe Nosler is advertising velocities down to 1300. Most other bullets seem to call for 1800. I would feel more comfortable going slightly under that velocity with bigger calibers like the big 338's or 375's. Even if complete expansion doesn't happen it's still a big hole with lots of energy.
They advertise the Accubond Long Range as having a minimum effective velocity of 1300 fps. The Accubond is rated as requiring at least 1800 fps.

Good catch. Meant to say ABLR.

Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 08:08:02 PM »
I try to stay at 1800 fps but I have killed more then a couple critters with less then that. Bullet design has a lot to do with it and what the bullet will do at different impact velocity's.
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Offline crabcreekhunter

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 09:40:13 PM »
I wouldnt worry about velocity as much as energy at a certain distance.  I like to keep energy above 1000 ft/lbs at a mimimum for big game.
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Offline cboom

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 10:10:00 PM »
When looking for bullets that will preform and long range you will also need to consider what they do at short range. A bullet that will expand at 1400 fps may blow up at 200 yards moving at 3000 fps. Lots of things to consider when choosing a bullet.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 04:55:45 AM »
A 30-30 has about 1400 ft lbs energy at 100 yards.  I would want at least that on elk.  It has 1000 ft lbs at 200 yards .  I would consider that a minimum on deer. 

Offline jaymark6655

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 05:34:40 AM »
Energy is important. There were some standards depending on game, but I forgot the numbers (1400 and 1000 sounds right).  180gr interbond .308 at 2600 fps muzzle was good for deer at 800 and elk at 400 or 500.  Speed is important, but projectile specific.  Too fast and it will come apart and not penetrate when it hits an animal.  Too slow and it wont expand.  It all relative, I have killed more deer shooting round ball which at 100 yards only has 428 ft-lbs of energy and doesn't expand at all as far as I can tell since both the entry and exit holes are 1/2" diameter.
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Offline h20hunter

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2017, 06:31:49 AM »
A 30-30 has about 1400 ft lbs energy at 100 yards.  I would want at least that on elk.  It has 1000 ft lbs at 200 yards .  I would consider that a minimum on deer.

This thread mimics the bro in law and I's duscussion the last few weeks as we shoot a,bit before modern. I handload for his 30 30. He confirmed his 100 yard zero then moved to the 6 inch plate at 200. Hit 3 for 3, smacked it good, done and ready. He is now confident to 200 all day and willing to extend to 250 max if things are perfect or maybe follow up.
Yes, my FJ is pink, I'm all about Team Jacob, beer is not for the horses nor is whiskey for the men, they are both for me.

Offline BeWitty

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 06:38:38 AM »
I wouldnt worry about velocity as much as energy at a certain distance.  I like to keep energy above 1000 ft/lbs at a mimimum for big game.
Yes this.

1000 ft/lbs for deer
1400 for Elk.

You shouldn't simply generalize a velocity because bullet weights vary so much.

Offline jaymark6655

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 06:49:11 AM »
Velocity is important for proper projectile performance, you need to look at both velocity and energy.
"That's the reason we pay $25 for a recoil lug made by a professional instead of one for $0.50 made by Micheal J Fox using a dremel!"

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Offline yorketransport

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 07:10:07 AM »
Velocity is only a one part of what makes a bullet reliably expand. Proper stability has a much greater influence on terminal performance of a bullet that a lot of people think. This is even more important with all of the extra long high BC bullets that are popular right now.

Just because you shot a 140gr 6.5mm bullet from a 1-8" twist barrel doesn't guarantee that it's going to actually give good expansion at 1800-2000 fps. Photobucket pulled all my photos from the bullet expansion thread that I had on here, but there were a lot of surprises with how bullets expanded at relatively low velocity. The vast majority of poor expansion results could be traced back to under stabilized bullets.

Bullets with higher stability factors (usually described with a SG value)  penetrate more predictably and expand more reliably. Just because you have an SG of 1.4 and the bullets shoot straight out to 1000 yards doesn't guarantee that they'll give you expect at a lower impact velocity.

The best way to know how they'll expand at a certain velocity is to test them at that velocity. My testing a few months back changed how I recommend bullets for a lot of hunting applications.  :twocents:

Offline CP

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 07:12:58 AM »
Here's a long winded but good read on the subject:

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Effective+Game+Killing.html


Offline theleo

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 07:28:12 AM »
There's no hard and fast rule. You need enough velocity for the bullet to expand and enough energy that it can reach the vitals. Some bullets need more velocity (like Barnes X bullets) while others don't require as much while others need less (like Ballistic Tips or Bergers). The best thing to do is call and ask the manufacture instead of listening to us internet experts. Personally my next elk tag, whenever I draw it, I'll be using a load that generates 1,570 ft/lb at the muzzle and will shoot it out to 300 yards, hopefully, (the rifle is a work in progress) where it will only generate 814 ft/lb of energy. Internet experts will call that down rite unethical, guys that actually have a clue, now that with the rite bullet it will topple an elk just fine.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 07:38:15 AM »
Yep York's testing turned me away from Bergers completely. I know blasphemy - but I like to minimize the risk of losing game.   Im pretty confident at least 1500+ ft lbs and 1700 fps with SMK's will get the job done.

Offline birddogdad

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 07:47:22 AM »
not sure if velocity is what you should ask, rather calculated energy down range may be better with all the other variables.. staying supersonic is necessary for the traj. math to remain accurate and the others can vary so much that its more opinion than anything else..

Consider this thought:
if you take a 45cal pistol and put it against the side of a deer and shoot directly into vitals, will it kill it? Elk? if you think so, look at the data table for muzzle energy for the 45 and then bounce with your rifle ballistics table.. that would be the absolute worst I would argue as limits, and frankly would say that is too far but math would support effective kill if you hit effective kill area on game... this is just an example. the further out you go the angle of incoming projectile will affect how vitals are impacted as well.
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2017, 07:55:46 AM »
Interesting thought Birddog. Thats only 400-500 ft lbs.

Offline birddogdad

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2017, 08:04:34 AM »
Interesting thought Birddog. Thats only 400-500 ft lbs.

just a spitball but I feel its fairly accurate, though not recommended for the "standard" shooter..
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Offline baker5150

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2017, 08:49:09 AM »
Great info guys, thanks.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2017, 09:17:42 AM »
Great discussion (it's nice to read a thread on this subject that doesn't turn into a flame war!).  I got the same 1800 fps minimum from Berger when I talked to their rep, so that's apparently the industry standard.  Anyone heard from Hornady on the subject? 

It seems a bit counterintuitive, but Berger and Hornady have both told me that it's velocity, not energy, that should be used to gauge how the bullet will expand. Not sure exactly why this is the consensus, but I haven't do any testing myself so  :dunno:


Baker, another thought to keep in mind is that, especially at long ranges, you should be using the G7 ballistic coefficients instead of the G1.  The G1 BC of a modern boat-tail hunting bullet changes with velocity, and it's impossible for the models to predict those changes exactly.  The G7 BC is constant (or close enough to constant, anyway) at all relevant shooting velocities.  Most high-quality hunting bullets will have a G7 BC listed in the specs, and all the good calculators will allow you to specify that you're using G7 (although sometimes you have to open the advanced features to do so).

Offline h20hunter

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2017, 09:25:08 AM »
Velocity provides the oompf for expansion which in turn results in energy into the target. Like mentioned, its a dance between velocity, expansion aka bullet performance, and the resulting trasfer of energy. I find it fascinating.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Effective velocity
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2017, 09:33:07 AM »
Read the article that CP referenced. Killing efficiency is more than simply velocity or energy.

A 100 mph baseball has about 1700 ft/lbs of energy but isn't likely to kill an elk.

Here's a long winded but good read on the subject:

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Effective+Game+Killing.html
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