Home > Articles > 5 Tips On Reloading For Hunting > Reloading Ammo For Big Game Hunting- Part 2

Reloading Ammo For Big Game Hunting- Part 2



Now that we’ve looked at the factors of kinetic energy, killing power, and penetration, let’s look at some more factors that make a good big game bullet for reloading brass.

Medium Game Reloading Brass Bullets
At the high impact velocities that occur at close range with standard high intensity calibers and medium-close range with magnums, the core of conventional bullets will often separate from the jacket, which quickly brings penetration to an end. The remains of such bullets, perhaps amounting to 40% of their original weight, are often found just under the skin on the far side of an animal's chest, indicating that they dumped all of their energy inside of the animal. At lower impact velocity bullets of this type may retain their core and produce mushrooms
These bullets of relatively straightforward design are probably the best choice for hunting medium game when appropriate bullet weights are chosen. They will also do a good job on large game with broadside rib shots, even at high impact velocities. But at high impact velocities, say 3,000 fps, conventional bullets may lack the penetration necessary to reach the heart/lung area of large animals if shots are delivered from other angles, or if the bullet must penetrate large bones on its way to the vitals. At moderate impact velocities around 2,000 fps these bullets perform very reliably, and their penetration is often equal to that of most of the premium bullets.

All-Around Bullets
The new bonded core bullets such feature bonded cores for good weight retention combined with fast expansion. These designs provide good initial expansion with superior retained weight for adequate penetration. They are good general-purpose bullets, more reliable on large game than most of the conventional bullets. Partition bullets have a partitioned core that allows the front part of the bullet to expand rapidly, while positively preventing expansion below the partition. These bullets typically retain about 65-90% of their weight when recovered. These bullets have earned an enviable reputation on all sorts of game worldwide, including dangerous game. These partitioned bullets are excellent general-purpose bullets, suitable for both medium size and large game over a wide range of velocities.

Bullets for heavy game
Other controlled expansion bullets are primarily intended for high velocity and/or large animals like elk, moose, buffalo, the great bears, and similar sized game worldwide. Extra toughness is required to get the bullet past heavy fur, thick skin, and a substantial bone structure before it can enter the animal's vitals. Premium controlled expansion bullets with dual cores, partitioned cores, special jackets and/or bonded cores such are of this type. These bullets are designed to retain a significant portion (75% or more) of their core to sustain penetration. They are a particularly good choice for use in high velocity and big bore cartridges. When used in standard cartridges, they will kill medium size game like deer and antelope, but not as quickly as less heavily constructed bullets.

Bullet placement
Bullet placement is the most important component of killing power. Drive any reasonably adequate bullet into a vital area and a kill will result. If a bullet destroys the function of the animal's lungs or heart it is not long for this world. That is why most experts recommend aiming for the heart/lung area. Such a shot brings a quick and humane death without wasting any of the meat normally eaten. And it is the largest, easiest vital area of the animal to hit. Whatever the angle at which a game animal is standing, try to drive your bullet into the heart/lung area. If a deer is standing broadside put your bullet just behind the foreleg, and midway between the top of the back and the bottom of the chest. If he is quartering away, a bullet driven through the animal's body toward the off shoulder will usually find the heart/lung area.