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Big game hunting.An interesting concept.A fascinating adventure.But only effective when you have the right bullet. A bullet placement and design theory has come under the scanner. Some believe that it works and is exciting, but most others believe that it often fails dramatically and is incredibly risky. Some term this approach as frangible ammo or explosive, but inadequately so, as these bullets cannot explode, but they can certainly break down under pressure, causing particles to scatter throughout the tissue of the animal. Most varmint shooters are quite familiar with the effect as the frangible bullet often tends to explode the animal when applied to a 2-pound rodent.

Many deer hunters believe that frangible ammunition can have the same effect when applied to the lungs or heart of their target, and some even manage to prove it by carefully placing the ammo between into the lung chest cavity and bringing the animal down in one smooth sweeping motion. But this doesn’t really mean that these bullets are ideal for targeting game animals.

Frangible Bullets

However, bullet designers believe that frangible ammo should only be used on predators whose size doesn’t exceed the coyote such as rodents, jackrabbits, etc. If you’re looking for ammunition to use while shooting deer, go for those ‘deer’ bullets. These bullets have been designed to strike the perfect compromise between bullet expansion and retaining mass for proper penetration. Simply put, these frangible bullets offer the best of three worlds – energy transfer, penetration and tissue destruction.

Since frangible ammunition has been designed for maximum expansion, it can create massive destruction when it manages to enter the most vulnerable organs such as the lungs or the heart. However, if you shoot the bullet into a muscle group or a bone, it can explode, leaving a mess behind.

Frangible Bullets

There are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing this kind of bullet for deer shooting. It is common that the animal suddenly senses the hunter’s presence and turns to run at the very moment your hands click the trigger. By the time your trigger pull is complete and the firing pin falls into place, the place that was once occupied by the animal’s chest is now occupied by another body part. The moment the bullet impacts this part, you end up with disastrous results and nasty flesh wounds. On the other hand, high-speed frangible bullets can successfully bring down mule deer, pronghorns as well as whitetails when successfully shot. The energy transfer results in a clean, quick and nearly painless kill, terminating the life within moments, making sure that the animal doesn’t have to suffer for a long time.

Simply put, frangible ammunition is something that simply cannot be ignored. If you’re a calm, careful shooter and a good shot, using frangible ammo can be a great option. But the moment you begin to rush your shots, you end up with large flesh wounds. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why bullet manufacturers still don’t recommend the frangible for deer hunting.

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