Factory ammo on deer?

Talk about the AR15 style rifles chambered in 450 Bushmaster.

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Factory ammo on deer?

Postby engineer40 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:19 am

Had the opportunity a few months ago to shoot my first deer with the 450bm round. I do reload for it. However the factory Hornady ammo is so incredibly accurate in my 450bm, I choose to hunt with factory ammo.

Shot a nice big 9 point right through the shoulder at about 30 yards. Bullets passed through and left a huge blood trail to follow (or maybe it just looked huge because we had fresh white snow). Bullet went through the vitals. Since the deer ran off the private land I was hunting I didn't take the time to inspect if I actually hit the heart. However the blood trail was a legit 4ft wide sprayed all over. Unfortunately the deer ran for estimated 400-500 yards before it died. I was very surprised it ran this far. Since 1) It had no front shoulder left 2) It was a good hit 3) I was only 30 yards away so it delivered a lot of energy still 4) I hit shoulder bone so I assumed the bullet expanded as it was supposed to.

I was talking with a guy yesterday and he mentioned the Hornady 250gr bullets have a habit of not expanding and just having pass throughs instead. Well we all know, guys say a lot of stuff when chatting about guns and hunting stories. So I took what he said with a grain of salt. However, it did get me thinking about my own experience a little bit more.

When I look up reviews for the 250gr Hornady bullets, it's essentially perfect 5 stars.

Historically hunting with 12 gauge slugs, I've never had a deer run over 20-30 yards. And most don't run at all, they just die.

What's you guys' opinions on the 250gr Hornady bullets performance on game? Is my story a fluke? Thanks I appreciate any feedback! :D
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby befus » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:54 am

Interested as well, as I also have read many negative posts concerning the FTX in particular. Most as you report, poor terminal performance, etc. However, I don't think I recall a deer hit in the shoulder (with damage as you report) AND a pass through at that range with a bullet over 75 grains which was not DRT.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby plant_one » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:05 am

not 450bm related...

but some years back... i shot a buck at about 65-70 yds. standing broadside. right thru the 10 ring. literally severed the top of his heart from the veins and arteries attached to it. 180gr RN core-lokt from a 30-06. knocked that buck over sideways and right to the ground. a typical *bang* *flop* type of shot. set my gun down, grabbed my smokes and poured a cup of coffee.

finished my cig, walked over too start dressing my deer... no deer? whiskey tango foxtrot?

damn thing must have hopped up when i was digging out my smokes or pourin coffee and i didnt notice it. we tracked that deer >300 yds on droplets of blood every 10 or 15'. found him with his antlers wrapped around a small tree (3-4" dia) laying in a bloody mudpuddle.


point is deer are strong animals and they can run on adrenaline alone way further than most give them credit for. short of a direct CNS (central nervous system) hit that severs the spine or impacts the brain there is no guarantee that any deer - even well hit - is going to drop in *ANY* set distance that most of us would consider "typical"
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby engineer40 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:20 am

plant_one, Thanks for sharing. Did you recover the bullet? Was it a pass through or stayed in the deer? If you did recover it, did it expand as expected?

A number of men in my hunting camp have moved to the 450BM now. Over the next couple years it will be interesting to see everyone's experience with terminal performance on deer using factory ammo.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby Bmt85 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:26 am

I have no personal experience with the 250 FTX on game, but there’s been more than few reports of animals taking long runs after being hit with it.

As to slug performance, I have heard of it a few times. Most notable, was a family friend who double lunged a buck at about 30yds with a 12ga slugger. Buck took off running right past him, and kept going. A minute later the buck walked back around almost to where he was shot originally. My friend put another slug in him (I believe the shoulder), and the buck ran again. Got about 20-30yds and finally dropped. I saw the damage (each shot should’ve dropped him) and the blood trails (not that great). Wouldn’t have believed it if I wasn’t there. I think he was using lightfields, which he and his friends have used for years without having an issue.

Hell, my dad had issues dropping deer with a 30-06. Tracked a few well over 100yds, and actually lost one. Switched back to his 30-30 because they normally didn’t go more than 30-50yds.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby Rivercityjeff » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:14 pm

This Fall, I whacked a Michigan doe in the head (with a friend's 450BM and 250 FTX) and it broke both of her front legs. And that's why I now have a 450BM... The day before at the range it was dead on at 50 yards and rang the gong at 200 yards.

I've shot deer in the US (whitetail and muley) and in Germany (all 3 species) many in the head. 'Cause I don't track nothing. There are a bunch of "new" calibers that make promises they can't keep. And yet, I am impressed with the 450 BM and Hornady FTX 250.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby Hoot » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:02 am

plant_one wrote:...snip...

point is deer are strong animals and they can run on adrenaline alone way further than most give them credit for. short of a direct CNS (central nervous system) hit that severs the spine or impacts the brain there is no guarantee that any deer - even well hit - is going to drop in *ANY* set distance that most of us would consider "typical"


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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby plant_one » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:27 am

engineer40 wrote:plant_one, Thanks for sharing. Did you recover the bullet? Was it a pass through or stayed in the deer? If you did recover it, did it expand as expected?

A number of men in my hunting camp have moved to the 450BM now. Over the next couple years it will be interesting to see everyone's experience with terminal performance on deer using factory ammo.



clean pass thru. ive never recovered a bullet when deer hunting. this case the bullet went straight thru the 10 ring man, in one side and out the other. not much inside a deer is going to stop a RN 180gr corelokt in michigan at 30-06 speeds - especialy at under 70 yds... i dont recall if there was a rib hit on either side, but no contact with the shoulder. its years so some of the details are foggy, but that deer i will always remember because of how it went down. that was the deer that got me to switch to mid/upper neck shots as my goto target on whitetails.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby ardenkent » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:49 pm

5 hornady cartridges, 4 deer.
2 were 40 yards or less; DTR after frontal and broadside high shoulder hits. the butcher found one bullet but his wife binned it.
1 was quartering in at 100 yards; after a low shoulder hit he went about 75 yards.
the 4th was 125 yards quartered away. my hit was 12 inches downwind for not accounting for the big wind and the swaying sapling i used to "steady" the shot.
he went about 50 yards and layed down. he jumped up at 15 yards and was crumpled by a thru the flank spine shot.
they have worked well for me.
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Re: Factory ammo on deer?

Postby teddy_d » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:12 pm

Factory 450 ammo is alright by me.

I've shot deer here in Michigan from 18 yards to 180 yards. Recovered each deer no problem.
I've shot them in the upper neck (drop instantly), heart shots ( some drop, some run!), lower ne k/spine shot (drop instantly), double lung shot (dropped). All bullets passed through.

Its just fine for deer. Shot placement is everything, i think too many people are keyboard Einstiens theorizing waaaaay to much. I'd bet just about any bullet from a 450 will kill any deer within 300 yards if you are capable of shot placement.
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