Author Topic: Pellet hardness and my two cents  (Read 629 times)


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Pellet hardness and my two cents
« on: May 04, 2017, 05:55:21 AM »
Bob Stern’s comments about chest hits vs. headshots renews my interest in pellet expansion—a topic which has as much written verbiage as anything airgun related! But, there is one item you don’t see mentioned with respect to any hit area—what the pellet hit?

When pellets are “tested” artificially, some specific medium is used. Among them are ballistic gelatin, modeling clay, and in my case, wet florists foam. From these mediums, we can measure and compare the penetration, and deformation of pellets, if any. But what if we embed some harder substance within the medium to simulate bone? I’ve seen tests done using plastic designed to “act” like bone, tests using dead pigs, and postmortems done in an effort to simulate real world events. But something is missing!

When you draw down on game of any ilk, most hunters take their best shot advantage. When they can’t, all to often they shoot anyway. The final analysis in either case, whether the game drops dead on the spot, or runs away to die a miserable death, is a matter of how much energy was expended. But just as important is what the projectile hits on its way in and/or through the game? That is something you can’t calculate, plan for, or simulate!

We’ve all (hunters) experienced chest hits and headshots, and had both instant death as well as runaways. So the next time I hear someone say one specific “hit spot” is better than another, I’m going to cringe and shout profanities at the inaneness.

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Re: Pellet hardness and my two cents
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 08:53:39 AM »
You're right, of course.... What the pellet hits on the way through (and they almost always go right through) makes a big difference on the energy transfer, as does the diameter of the pellet.... If it hits bone, there is more energy transfer than muscle, and guts even less.... I recovered a .30 cal pellet after it hit both shoulders on a large Marmot, it was under the skin on the far side, and was remarkably intact, just a groove across the head, and a bit of a squashed skirt.... even though it dumped about 90 FPE in 5" of travel.... It was a JSB, which are among the softest pellets out there....

I'll post the photos of the Marmot in the Hunting section....

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Re: Pellet hardness and my two cents
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 02:24:11 AM »

I'll post the photos of the Marmot in the Hunting section....


I'll check those out as well. I'm hoping to learn more. :)
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