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225 gr XPB vs deer shoulder

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Chris W.

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Sep 1, 2006
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Took the Optima pistol out for a morning hunt yesterday. First time this season I've had it out. Last season, I had switched from a 240 gr XTP to a 225 gr Barnes XPB with 90 gr by volume of Blackhorn. Through the chrono, this setup produces a touch over 1600 fps. I've always been careful to avoid shoulder shots with the pistol preferring to shoot a little further back catching only ribs and lung tissue. Well, yesterday I got a little too much into the shoulder on a decent 6 pointer that came in and offered a 30 yard broadside shot. When I saw him running off after the shot and saw that left shoulder/leg flapping, I just knew I'd screwed the shot and was a bit concerned. He ran a bit further than one would expect given the damage that bullet caused but the pistol and bullet did it's job with some pretty impressive results. The left shoulder was completely blown out/smashed and we found the bullet lodged just under the skin on the opposite side after it had passed completely through the chest cavity making a huge mess. Now, I'm not advocating taking shoulder shots with this load and will still aim to avoid the shoulder but its nice to know the performance is there if you happen to flub the shot a bit.
 

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MrTom

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Dec 7, 2016
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I didn't get any bullet back on the deer I took this fall with the same identical gun/load. I was right where I wanted to be on the entry but the animal's position had the bullet exit towards the elbow where it broke the leg bone leaving a 50 cent piece sized exit. The entire chest cavity was a mushy mess. I found lung tissue hanging out one nostril even. I'm glad I made the switch from the XTP's.
 

Chris W.

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Sep 1, 2006
Messages
143
I didn't get any bullet back on the deer I took this fall with the same identical gun/load. I was right where I wanted to be on the entry but the animal's position had the bullet exit towards the elbow where it broke the leg bone leaving a 50 cent piece sized exit. The entire chest cavity was a mushy mess. I found lung tissue hanging out one nostril even. I'm glad I made the switch from the XTP's.
Typical shot placement usually gives in one side and out the other performance with this load. I think the only reason this one didnt exit was the fact it had to punch through the shoulder first and it just took a lot of energy. It just decimated the left side shoulder. The damage was impressive.
 

MrTom

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Dec 7, 2016
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The 225 Barnes is solid copper, no lead. I just want to get lead out of where I hunt. the 240 grain , .44 cal XTP's can be shot in my pistol to the same point of impact at fifty yards without any changes to the scope or hold over using the same charge and sabots. I've shot three deer with the 240 grain .44 cal xtps and have been super happy with the terminal performance. I just want to eliminate lead from the hunting equation and less recoil is an added bonus with the lighter Barnes.
 

jlynch75

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Dec 2, 2018
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I love XTPs. :thumb: They shoot great out of my Whitelighting, I use .44cal, 200gr, Harvester green sabots and 80grs (vol) of T7/fff.
 

Chris W.

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Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
143
Just wondering why everyone is hatin' on the XTP? Which is what I use exclusively.
No ones hating on the XTP. I've used them with good results but like Mr Tom, I've been trying to get away from lead in the environment. Plus, no jacket and core to separate.
 

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