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Non-lead bullet recovery from a deer


Granted this is not an airgun projectile, but it's unusual for me to recover a bullet from a deer as most of the time it's a pass-through. I closed the books on 2021 firearm deer season with a nice mature 3x2 blacktail a couple of nights ago and due to the shot angle the bullet stayed in the animal. I wasn't sure how non-lead ammo would perform as I have heard horror stories about deer running off, not enough energy, fragmenting, etc.

From MY experience, they perform just as good if not better than the 'normal' bullets. I have now taken four deer with them and all were dispatched cleanly with textbook kills; either an immediate ground plant or a few steps/stagger/fall. The first three were pass-throughs but I shot this one straight on looking at me at about 50 yards. The bullet entered the lower neck and travelled through the body cavity, broke a single rib, and stuck in the hide towards the back of the abdomen.

The bullet couldn't be a more perfect mushroom with five petals of peeled copper with a symmetrical pattern, a flattened base/core, and little to no lost material. There was a very small flake of copper next to bullet but smaller than a BB.

I switched from 150 gr. Nosler Partitions (leaded) to 125 gr. Hornady GMX (non-lead) to try to keep the length/twist rate close to the same and it seems to work.

I only post this on the airgun forum as ammo types are continually changing and often times something from the firearm world can either apply to or help with an airgun, especially big bore.

Wow.... look at that mushroom.

There are those experimenting with copper bullets in big bore airguns, but most of these experiments seem to have copper bullets coated in some sort of material, similar to powder coat.  The Cap Dragon folks claim to be able to use copper bullets. But I see little evidence...


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