When you turn to shooting experts, they often cite personal experience and manufacturer testing. In some cases, they shoot bullets into ballistic gels or similar mediums intended to replicate animal or human tissue. These tests tell the shooter how well their bullet penetrates and retains weight, but ballistic gels lack skin, bone, and organs, all of which influence a bullet’s performance.
To me, the ideal mountain rifle should sit at or under seven pounds, scoped. It should have a stainless or cerakote finish, composite stock, three position safety, and preferably a controlled round feed action.
And yet, here we find ourselves. Under stars, older than the dirt beneath our feet. Surrounded by mountains that took shape before the first of our kind came into existence. Huddled around a campfire, as our aforementioned kin once did. Glued to a f–king screen.
Rifle cartridges — for reasons unbeknownst to me — possess a sort of magical quality. The sort shared by a stray puppy, in that once they are brought into the home, they become family. Make a disparaging remark about someones beloved cartridge of choice, and you will see what I mean.
I learned to hunt and shoot from my uncles. All but one, farmers. Like most farmers or ranchers, they had a connection to the land that few can grasp, unless they were raised in similar circumstances. Naturally, they loved to hunt, and fortunately for me, passed that love on to their nephew.
Is there a way to predict, not infallibly, but with a high degree of reliability, the ability of a particular bow/arrow/broadhead combination to penetrate real animal tissue (hide, meat, fat, connective tissue, etc., and bone) under real hunting conditions? The answer to this question becomes of particular importance when truly “big” game is hunted with the bow and arrow.
Kinetic energy, momentum, mechanical advantage and coefficient of resistance are a part of the basic terminology of physics. All are used and often misused, in attempts to predict the terminal performance of various bow, arrow and broadhead combinations. Much of the misuse originates from a lack of understanding of what, by definition, these terms mean and what it is they measure.