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Hello. Today, at 4:46PM (CST), I was hunting for Texas whitetail deer as part of a management program on a ranch where the doe population is exceedingly high. Doe were being taken over this season as much as possible and still not enough have been taken according to Texas Parks & Wildlife after their people did surveys to augment those done by the landowner.

I was hunting in "the hole," which is a ladder blind in a pretty thick area. That blind is used primarily by the archers and by me as I prefer to use a handgun when possible. The pistol today was a Browning Hi Power Mk III in 9mm and was the least "altered" one I own.


This is the Hi Power used. I had a post-ban 10-rnd factory magazine in the pistol with a KRD 17-round magazine as a spare. This pistol is factory all the way other than the hammer being bobbed and the right side ambidextrous thumbsafety lever being removed. It has Butler Creek rubber grips and skateboard tape on the frontstrap. The barrel is FN factory and the sights are the stock sights that came on the pistol. The magazine disconnect is gone on this pistol as well.

The ammunition used was Winchester 127-gr. +P+ (RA9TA) and is the law enforcement round.


By the company's own rules, this ammo is sold only to law enforcement, but there is no federal law against its use by private citizens. I am not sure of each and every state law concerning this.

Out of my Hi Powers, this load is in the 1250 ft/sec ballpark with regard to velocity and has proven consistently accurate. There seems quite a bit of interest in this load so it was used.

I was about 12' off the ground and above the animal which came in facing me at about 4:46PM CST. It was approximately 21 yards away as best as I could measure. Still facing me, it lowered its head to eat and using a rest, I shot the deer between the shoulders. The bullet entered approximately one inch to the right (with respect to the deer) of the spine. It did not hit the spinal column at all. It angled rearward and clipped the bottom side of the heart and made a pretty decent wound, but did not puncture the heart wall, just travelled along side it, tearing the defect. The bullet was recovered under the skin just in front of the stomach. I'd estimate the penetration at between 13 and 15". As was the case with the doe I recently shot at the same blind using a .38 Super, it was raining and just getting pictures was tough enough.


Here's the deer, which weighed about 75-lbs. field-dressed. Certainly, it is not a trophy and not one I'd have shot under normal circumstances, but the management program was a special case. It will be eatten by me and the wife, I assure you. If you look closely, you can see the entrance wound at the base of neck at the shoulders.


Here you can see the wound to the heart as the bullet barely hit it. It did not extend into the heart's interior.


Here's the recovered bullet. This load has proven exceptionally consistent for me in my own informal tests using water as well as super-saturated newsprint. Bullets recovered from those tests are extremely similar to the bullet shown.

Earlier in the day, I'd let a young 4-point buck as well as a 6-point pass as the buck/doe ratio is extremely lopsided and I estimated their ages at around 2 1/2 years. They were young enough to show potential as good trophy bucks in a few years. A larger buck trotted through as well, but I couldn't get a horn count. A little while later this "doe" came out and I shot it. Turned out it's a "button buck." Felt bad about that and recalled that this is the only one I did not use my field glasses on even at short range to see if it was a button buck. (Passed on two others that sure were.) My mistake and not one I'm proud of, but such happens.

At the shot, the deer collapsed, and its hind legs moved for a count of 16, using the one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two, "method" mentally.

I am NOT recommending the 9mm Hi Power as a "deer gun," but at extremely close range where shots can be precisely placed, it'll do the trick, at least on Texas deer. The much larger doe shot last year in the same area with a handloaded 124-gr. XTP reacted the same way as this one; collapsed immediately and kicked. That one did require a coup de grace as it was still alive upon my approach.

Winchester's 127-gr. +P+ worked fine and I consider this just one more "test" that some might find of interest. The Hi Power worked fine...as was expected.

Best.

PS: I'll try and have a more detailed report under "Browning Hi Power" at www.hipowersandhandguns.com within a day or two for those interested.
 

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Stephen,

Sweet field report!

(I'm always interested in the 'gruesome' details of firearms forensics.) ;)

Not to deviate too far, but I was curious as to what the "felt" recoil from the +P+ ammo was? I checked your website and I didn't see anything there either. I'm just curious if there was a noticeable difference in pop versus other +P rounds.


-Nick
 

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Mr.Camp,as usual I enjoy reading from you,very interesting and informative as always, great write up on the Ranger SXT ammo.I'm sure bye just doing minor damage to the heart as seen in your fotos,More unseen damage was done to the heart just by the shock of the round.I wish Win Ranger SXT made a 357 mag. round,in the mean time I'll use Ga.Arms Gold dot HP 357 mag.Thank you Sir!
 

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KillitnGrillit said:
I'm sure bye just doing minor damage to the heart as seen in your fotos,More unseen damage was done to the heart just by the shock of the round.
And what pray tell makes you sure of that? I find it amazing that even here with a clear vivid picture showing the path of the bullet in the heart tissue, were we see a clear line between damaged and undamaged tissue, some one still wont let go of the mythical handgun bullet "shock" mumbo jumbo.

The deer weighed 75 lbs. The wound produced a 13-15 inch 65-70 caliber bleeding hole in its chest to include its heart. I see no need for magical shock to kill the deer.

Nice shot Stephen.
 

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KillitnGrillit said:
I'm sorry BigJim,I'm glad you know EVERYTHING. I didn't say the shock of the bullet killed the doe!:rolleyes:
No you did not say that. Never said you did. You did talk about magical unseen damage caused by the shock of a pistol round. Which is every bit as silly as this same "shock" killing the deer.

What is getting you so grumpy? Must have been shooting today.
I guess some of that "Shock" got on you. Try washing it off.:rolleyes:
 

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I guess you never seen what a hollow point does to gelatin in super slow motion,or what it can do to an animal,it does not just pass through without doing some more damage then an entrance hole and an exit hole.Trust me big fella,when that HP opens up at that speed it's going to cause much more damage then you think.As Mr. Camp said,the bullet did not punture the heart wall,just traveled along side it,tearing the defect.Nothing magical about that,just facts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello, fellas. One reason I am sort of hesitant to put up much on actual animals being shot or getting too much into the "stopping power" thing on forums is that both topics elicit quite varied responses. On the stopping power/lethality/shock vs. non-shock thing, there are tons of opinions. Let's just agree that we all will not agree on everything and leave it at that.

I'd consider it a personal favor.

Thanks in advance.

Best.
 

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Outstanding report, Mr. Camp!

Thanks very much for the post and photos!!
Very interesting, and much appreciated, as always!!

John
 

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Thanks Steve!
Great report.
One thing to add to Steve's excellent data (which of course has nothing at all to do with deer or ballistics) is that this load has extremely *LOW* flash - quite surprizing for a +P+ load.

So far the only deer experience I had with this was in putting down a deer out on the road that had several broken legs but was trying to get up. A shot to the back of the head did not have the desired effect so I finally had to shoot her in the heart which did do the job. It was dark so I probably missed the brain by about a half inch or so in the head shot - just another indication that placement is what pistol effectiveness is all about (IF you get adequate penetration).

Happy New Year!
Jim Higginbotham
 

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nickcarr said:
Not to deviate too far, but I was curious as to what the "felt" recoil from the +P+ ammo was? I checked your website and I didn't see anything there either. I'm just curious if there was a noticeable difference in pop versus other +P rounds.


-Nick
I just thought I'd mention, I've fired about 600 rounds of the 127gr. +P+ Ranger load and while the recoil is not "heavy" it's is more than any other 9mm load I've fired aside from the Hirtinberger 124gr. +P+ which recoils almost like a .357.

Btw, the Hirtinberger is too powerful for handguns and has crappy primers, so please don't use it you may damage your gun.

Excellent report Stephen. Honestly I was expecting a little more penetration though.
 

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Stephen A. Camp said:
Hello. As best as I can tell, it penetrates a couple of inches less than my favored 124-gr XTP handload, which is in the same velocity range.

Best.
Have you ever shot any game with FMJ 9mm? If so, what were the results? You might recall I'm a big fan of 9mm NATO. ;)
 

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Mr. Camp you are a true gem. Thank you for another no BS assessment, and the fine camera work that accompanies it.
 
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