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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started shooting Hornady FTX .452 250 grain in Harvester crush ribs with 100 grains of loose pyrodex. I shot a large bodied doe at 100 yds last season. Broadside pass through. Tracked her for 1.2 miles to a fence line that I was not sure was on the property I was hunting. Left her talked to land owner and decided to leave her until the next morning. She was still on his property so we picked up the trail the next morning and tracked another .5 mile. Found her in a creek completely devoured by coyotes. I was extremely surprised by how far she traveled before passing. I have never had these problems with CVA Powerbelt 295 aerotip. Did the lighter bullet not impact as hard or did the bullet not open up because of too low of power at 100? Trying to decide what to use this season.
 

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My thoughts are your shot wasn't a good of a placement as you had hoped, and deer are amazingly tough animals with a strong will to live? Think that bullet/powder combination is plenty of oomph to do the job.
 

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I tend to agree with Gutpile on the shot placement not quite as good as you thought it was. If the deer was completely devoured by coyotes there was no way to see exactly where the bullet hit. Just part of deer hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When i say devoured I mean nothing but rib cage stripped of most meat, back bone head and all 4 legs attached to almost the entire hide. One rib broke just behind shoulder on shot side about 3/4 of the way up and exit side single rib broke 1/2 way up even closer to shoulder pocket. Almost identical entry and exit wound on hide.
 

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I'm not sure but even if the bullet did not expand, I don't see a deer with a 1/2" hole thru both lungs going 2 miles.
Agree. My guess is the blood was more dark red than foamy pink. You can still put a bullet through the rib cage without completely collapsing the lungs. The shot was a bit too high. Could have clipped some lung, but even a smoker can run a long way on 3/4 lung capacity.
Bottom line, I wouldn't change my bullets if they shoot good based on this test alone.
 
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Were you using a fresh can of powder? Pyrodex starts to degrade pretty quickly after you break the seal on the can from what I hear. My hunting buddy had the same thing happen, hole through both lungs with zero expansion, almost no blood on the ground, we did recover the deer within a couple of hours though.
 

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100gr of Pyrodex is a dog of a load. The 250gr FTX/SST has a jacket pushing .030 thick or more.

The answer is simple....the expansion was poor for the spot you hit it.

You want a bullet for closer shots made of copper that is dead nuts reliable? Barnes 45LC 225gr XPB. They are very well suited to the speed of a 100gr Pyro load and no more expensive than a Powerbelt.
https://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/27684

A great cheap bullet is the Speer 250gr or even the 260gr. Both are really cheap and great for milder loads.
https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/17366
https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/17363

You are just throwing your money away on ballistic tips bullets with a load like that. The additional BC is worthless.
 
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