Hunting & Fishing  Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

coldboremiracle

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    I have seen alot of talk about hunting with subsonic's, such as the 300blk, .308's, whispers and such. I've often wondered how these rounds perform on an actual deer, but I've never had the chance to shoot one with them. Let me start by saying this thread is not to discuss the ethics of SS hunting, just bullet performance.
    We can probably all agree that a shot to the pudding pot will put any game animal down if it hits the right spot, I set out to see what two different bullets did to meat and bone.
    The two bullets in question are: Hornady 220gr RNSP, and the Berger Hunting VLD 210. The reason I decided on these two is simple, they are the only two I had, and had shot with any degree of accuracy.
    The 220's used to be my standby load, 10.2gr of Clays seated to the cannelure. They worked ok I guess, accuracy was around 1-2.5 MOA, and they were whisper quiet. After shooting those for a while, I was turned on to the Berger's by hide member bigsky23. We successfully shot them well beyond my previous envelope of 300 yds, in fact the first time I tried them, I hit a 6 inch disc at 484 yds.

    Here is a pic of the 220's loaded:

    ar15033.jpg


    I had some deer parts that someone had given me years ago, and they had not been taken care of properly. I have been thinking of using them as bait, but this seemed like a good way to get rid of them. I took a deer hind quarter, and a couple backstraps rolled up into a ball, and packed them together with some duct tape. I set them on some soft dirt , as to catch the bullets should they make it all the way through. Here is what the Berger's looked and sounded like:



    They went through it with ease, and I was expecting to see some good damage channels, but I was surprised at how mild they were. Looked as if they had been cut with a real dull knife.

    DSCF6100.jpg


    The recovered Berger's were quite intact, I was expecting some degree of expansion. But to my surprise, they looked very much the same:

    DSCF6102.jpg


    After shooting several of them, I decided I would shoot the 220's and see how they did.




    I was surprised at how much harder the 220's hit, I guess they should with their larger meplat. And as you can hear and see in the video, the 220's went zinging off into the distance, everytime. (notice the chunks of meat flying too) Upon closer inspection of the meat pile, it was obvious that the 220's were doing <span style="font-weight: bold">ALOT</span> more damage. The wound channels were much wider when compared to the Berger holes.

    DSCF6099.jpg

    Almost cut this backstrap in half, it really looked as if a small bulldozer had driven through the meat pile.
    DSCF6098.jpg


    Nice bone fragments, unfortunately I am not sure which of the two bullets made this hole, but I believe it was the Berger.

    DSCF6097.jpg


    My overall impression was that, while the Bergers are both ballisticly superior, and far better in accuracy and distance, they do not do as much damage as one would like. The 220's while not so accurate, and poor in range, hit like a hammer in comparison, penetrating deeply into the flesh, and spinning off into the distance with plenty of mail left to carry.
    If I were to actually go hunting with an SS load, I think I would still go for the Berger though, because they are accurate enough to put right between the eyes of my quarry. And while the 220 rn would do better in puncturing vitals, I dont know if I want to take the risk of such a shot.
     

    Toast

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Thanks for sharing. (Glad I finished my beer before reviewing this thread!)
     

    bohem

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Thanks CBM for the test data, great info.

    The big meplat on the 220's has a lot to do with the damage involved. My experience subsonic hunting leads me to use something with a large meplat. Penetration is not an issue, but the damage it makes is significant, like I said in the other thread recently about SS hunting the pistol bullets are designed that way for a reason. The shock is not produced so a big hole needs to be cut.

    I've seen hard cast 44's that hit the spine of a buck my dad shot. The bullet is a RNFP 460gr pill, it drilled a hole through a vertebrae that was similar to a cookie cutter effect.
     

    Fritzcat

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Good write up with pics. I use the Horn 220gr RN for AR 762x39, 308, and 300 Firball for hogs Most shots go for the head and second hog is at shoulder with good results. I have also used 200gr spitzer. I had posted pics of a 200gr exit on a hog. The skin and rib cage showed a perfect shaped spitzer side ways.
     

    c_bass16

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    I saw some pictures (dont remember where) of the 220 subsonic Blackout rounds after taking down some quite big hogs. All the bullets I saw looked just like the bergers you posted. Almost perfect. Apparently they were complete pass throughs that were found laying in the dirt beyond the critter.
    I don't have anything against the bullet, the round or even their use on hogs or other varmints or predators...but after not seeing ANY EXPANSION AT ALL, I will pass on them as a big game choice.

    With the exception of a rather small hydrostatic shock (by comparison to full speed loads) it's not much different than trying to kill something with a field point.
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    I really wanted to recover some of the 220 round noses, but they wouldn't cooperate. They kept spinning off into the hillside, they were leaving burger all over too. Even if they weren't expanding, they were doing some serious damage to the meat.
     

    c_bass16

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    I'm not trying to take ANYHTING away from the test, but you've gotta remember that a bullet will do different things to loosely scattered piles of parts than it will to a fully assembled critter.

    I'd like to see someone do this with a big piece of ballistic gel that won't roll, flip or twist when it's hit.
    What kind of penetration, what kind of expansion, what kind of wound channel, does the bullet ever start to tumble inside, etc?
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: c_bass16</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm not trying to take ANYHTING away from the test, but you've gotta remember that a bullet will do different things to loosely scattered piles of parts than it will to a fully assembled critter.

    I'd like to see someone do this with a big piece of ballistic gel that won't roll, flip or twist when it's hit.
    What kind of penetration, what kind of expansion, what kind of wound channel, does the bullet ever start to tumble inside, etc? </div></div>

    I understand what your saying c bass, I know its not the same. FWIW however, the pile didn't really move at first. It was all duct taped together as a wad, it wasn't till after I shot up the duct tape that it started falling apart.
    The bullets didn't seem to tumble until after they had made it through the meat, the 220 rn had enough energy left to splatter on the rock behind the meat pile.
     

    Short-bus

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    I'm at work and can't look the info up myself this second, and want to tag for later. What's the barrel twist? I shoot 180's, been wanting to shoot heavier bullets but didn't want to worry about baffle strikes.

    Awesome review, answers a lot of suspicions i've had. I know the 180 Sierra RN's that I use work wonders on feral cats.

    Branden
     

    RangerWalker71

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    coldboremiracle, I've been trying to develop a SS load for a Rem Covert i just got. can you PM me your load data for both. I'd like to use them for some of the small game around TN. I Just moved here from Northern MO and that includes the Deer here. Great Tread thanks for the Info.
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Short-bus</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> What's the barrel twist? </div></div>

    24" Savage 10FCP 10 twist


    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fastford</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What was the Berger load?</div></div>

    12.1gr of trailboss and seated 2.930 WLR primer
     

    dbooksta

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: coldboremiracle</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    24" Savage 10FCP 10 twist
    </div></div>

    Thanks for the detailed test!

    Note that your twist rate is barely sufficient to stabilize those bullets at those muzzle velocities. As a result the bullets are most likely tumbling inside the target, which vastly increases the damage in comparison to someone shooting with the 1:8 twist more typical of barrels for subsonic .30". If a pointed bullet like the Berger doesn't fragment, tumble, or upset on bone you won't get even the "mild" wound channels you observed; instead you'll barely be able to see the entry and exit holes.
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    dbooksta, I hadn't thought the twist was just enough, as I have shot both loads to 300yds and beyond with 1-2moa ish accuracy, the berger being much better. Maybe I'll give the test a redo with my 8 twist??? might squeeze a little more accuracy out of the 220rn.
     

    dbooksta

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: coldboremiracle</div><div class="ubbcode-body">dbooksta, I hadn't thought the twist was just enough, as I have shot both loads to 300yds and beyond with 1-2moa ish accuracy, the berger being much better. Maybe I'll give the test a redo with my 8 twist??? might squeeze a little more accuracy out of the 220rn. </div></div>

    The Berger 210gr is 1.47" long, so at sea level at 1000fps from 1:10 twist its stability factor is under 1.3 which is "barely" stable, but:

    A. In theory the best accuracy should come with the minimum necessary spin stability.

    B. Since you're shooting in the mountains you're probably in a less dense atmosphere, which would raise your stability factor and give you a little more margin.

    Therefore, all else equal, you probably won't get better accuracy with a 1:8 twist.

    As to the original question -- terminal effects of subsonic .30's -- I was just pointing out that you're probably getting more striking results because your bullets aren't as spin-stabilized as they would be out of the 1:8 barrels.

    But then, terminal ballistics isn't as much of a science; I've only heard a few anecdotes on animals, and my own tests are limited to water tanks. I would definitely appreciate another meat test run from a 1:8!
     

    texdoug1

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    I couldn't get the 220RN to cycle in the AR I built. Every other one would get jammed because of the soft point during cycling. Very disapointing.
     

    RedGoat

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Texdoug1</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I couldn't get the 220RN to cycle in the AR I built. Every other one would get jammed because of the soft point during cycling. Very disapointing.</div></div>

    It isn't just your AR, round nose bullets don't cycle well in (most) anyone's AR. Thats why most hollow point bullets loaded for ARs have a polymer tips.

    Coldbore kudos on getting out and getting some real results with some SS bullets. Your results draw the same conclusion I have seen on several defense round write ups - pointed bullets push tissue out of the way and the flat/RN bullets crush tissue instead of separating it.

    I'm currently in the process of cutting down my 26" 1:10 308 DTA barrel, and had come to the conclusion that with the 1:10 I would just have to settle with shooting 190gr SS loads. I see your throwing the 220gr with a 1:10, but then I remembered you live in the clouds and I live in the mud.... damn altitude always getting me down (pun intended)....
     

    Southbreeze

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Doesn't really come down to bullet type and if it's soft enough to expand at ss velocities? Some hand cast bullets might do well here?

    I know when I swapped to speer gold dot bullets in my camp 45 suppressed, they would expand much more than the normal hollow point fare. If you can get a hollow point expanding when hitting a 4 lbs rooster (that's pissing you off, another story) that's a good thing.

    On the other hand, the hard lead in a black hills 230 grn HP ran the length of a coyote diagonally and never expanded any? It sounded good, kinda like a ripe watermelon bursting when it hits the kitchen floor, but the dang thing ran 30 yrds before it piled up.
    Coyote1.jpg


    here's the yote, entry hole in right front leg and exit hole in front of left hip. i wish i had cut him open to see the damage between the two points. This shot was right at 60 yards.

    I mean if we're going to commit to ss hunting, it would make sense to find the bullets that'll work for your needs?

    I'm interested as well, because i just set us an ar in 300blk too. so I know that hunting results can be varied!

    cold bore - great post and thanks for the meat and potatoes work on this!

    cheers,
    Breeze
     

    dbooksta

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Southbreeze</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I mean if we're going to commit to ss hunting, it would make sense to find the bullets that'll work for your needs?
    </div></div>

    Exactly. See my post over here on the 308 Subsonic Hunting thread: Contact Norma-USA (Ron Petty: rpetty.oss@hotmail.com) and ask them to import 180gr Plastic Points.
     

    Pr0VideR

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    Cool thread, I like seeing results of SS hunting. Good luck with future endeavors.
     

    mavrick10_2000

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Southbreeze</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Done, I just emailed mr ross. </div></div>

    What folks need to remember is that none of these bullets will expand at SS velocities nor were they ever designed to.

    There are a limited number of bullets designed to expand at SS velocities, which are primarily a bolt only option unless you like single feeding an AR.

    The price per bullet will make Berger pricing seem like on sale, blemished Remmy Corelockt projectiles in comparison.
     

    dbooksta

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mavrick10_2000</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What folks need to remember is that none of these bullets will expand at SS velocities nor were they ever designed to.

    The price per bullet will make Berger pricing seem like on sale, blemished Remmy Corelockt projectiles in comparison. </div></div>

    You really should read my post on this. The Norma Plastic Points are no more expensive than any other hunting bullet, and they expand at speeds as low as 500fps.
     

    Southbreeze

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    dbooksta,

    I've rotated outta stavanger, norway a few times. I've got a boy from ocean springs over there right now. I'll see if I can get him to source these bullets and tote some home in his suitcase.... I'll let you know shortly how this'll work out.
     

    dbooksta

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    Great! Even if he can't bring enough to sell me a batch for testing I'd love to see someone on here confirm their subsonic performance and build more demand for importing them.
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Thanks guys for the comments and input, I've decided that when I get some time, Im going to try the 208amax as well. And I will be testing in a different gun, these test's were fired from a 24" 10 twist Savage, any new tests will be done from my 16" 8 twist DTA.
     

    RedGoat

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    I've shot the 208 amax SS with my 300blk and got almost identical results as you did with the 220 Bergers. Most fully intact some bent and twisted.
     

    coldboremiracle

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    Thats good to know, my intentions are purely economical. I figure if the 208 shoots as good as the Berger then I'll be better off. Cheaper, and better BC. Even if the performance is the same.
     

    Southbreeze

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    Re: Subsonic Meat Test (pic heavy)em

    I just got an email back from Helge, he says he'll have sniff around (I sent him the page from Norma)and see what he can find.

    Dbooksta and CBM, we'll trade addresses. When he sends some home I'll share the wealth and see what these things look like.

    Cheers,
    Breeze