2 replies [Last post]
Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Do Large Caliber Bullets Tumble???

This has been popping in and out of my head for a while and sitting two days through a Canadian blizzard brought it back out. Do large caliber (ie 375 and up) solid bullets tumble after they hit an animal? Has anyone ever done research into this? For instance a 224 fmj bullet tumbles a lot, whereas a 308 fmj tumbles also (but much less so), so does something even bigger not tumble at all or does it penetrate for a ways before it does so? I've heard people go on about sectional density and penetration, but that advantage is diminished if the bullet is tumbling (unless you get a lot of penetration before it does so). I would guess that if they do they don't swap ends more than once or twice - if at all - but I'm not sure. Anyone have any insights?

Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 483
Do Large Caliber Bullets Tumble???

there is a big argument about this going on over at http://www.accuratereloading.com's african forum. some say yes, some say not usually, some say yes,but only if it hits a big bone, and some blame poor bullet quality, if tumbling occurs. then they get into round versus flat solids, and most agree the round solids may tumble more. i personally have not seen tumbling as much as deflection from hitting bone. i shot a caribou from about 80 yards just into the front of the left shoulder and the bullet exited the left chest at about a 60 degree deflection. this was a .300 magnum, 180 grain remington corelokt bullet. the bull was slightly quartering toward me. i have not shot so many big anuimals that i would pretend to be an expert. cool

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Do Large Caliber Bullets Tumble???

If a large calibre tumbled it would have a tuff time traveling a straight line to an elephants brain. It would also have a tuff time travening a straight line thru any heavy framed animal. I think the notion of tumbling comes from the military type solids that are saitdto tumble. In that case tho the shape of to bullet might cause it. soloids for dangerious game I think are always nound nose. the other way to make a bullet tumble would to be to have the wrong twist rate. Then tho, the bullet may well start before hitting anything, I doubt thats a problem. If the bullet were a lead core, and most are, even a solid would be prone to coming apart on entry, the core would just be forced out the back. I have seen photo's of heavy solids that had killed animals that looked like they could be re-used. Bullet can't tumble and come out like that.

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