SHOT PLACEMENT & BULLET SELECTION
We take the view that proper targeting of all big game with our SuperHardCast Hammerheads is best achieved by placing the bullet into the skeletal framework of the game. Generally, this takes the form of the shoulder shot, either through engagement of both shoulders of a broadside animal or by targeting one shoulder, should the game be in a quartering position. In this way, our non-expanding Hammerheads can do the most damage to the game animal by dramatically breaking down the very hardware on which the animal moves. This is one of the main advantages of proper hard-cast bullets, and something that cannot be reliably achieved with expanding bullets. It is also our view that improper targeting can lead to less than desired results, regardless of the quality of the projectiles. Just as an expanding bullet placed into the shoulders can fail to penetrate deeply enough to be effective, a hard-cast bullet placed behind the shoulder can lead to excessively slow incapacitation. Since shot placement behind the shoulder into the lung or heart area involves less severe penetration requirements than the shoulder shot, it is the best target for the expanding bullet. Again, we strongly recommend that shot placement carefully reflect the impact characteristics of the bullets used.
Given proper hard-cast bullets, the choice of bullet should reflect the penetration requirements of the job, and the penetration capabilities of the bullets. This is especially relevant to our 45-70 Hammerheads, where weight difference is great. We strongly advocate loads capable of delivering complete penetration through game, but do not recommend the use of bullets far heavier than required. Using our Hammerheads as an example, we take the view that the only reason for selecting our 540-grainer over our 420-grainer is to achieve required penetration depth unobtainable with our 420-grainer. For the great majority of game, our 420-grainer can be depended upon to provide complete penetration from all angles. This is certainly true of deer, wild boar, elk, moose, and most bears. However, when the game achieves the size of buffalo, it is our observation that only our 540-grainer can reliably penetrate both shoulders and exit. Although buffalo can be taken with lighter hard-cast bullets when the shot is placed behind the shoulder, this can too often lead to slow incapacitation. It is also our observation that placement of heavier bullets such as our 540-grainer behind the shoulder of buffalo can also lead to slow incapacitation.
Simply stated, the shoulder shot is the most reliable shot when using proper hard-cast bullets. Also, just as one must take care to properly select the appropriate bullet for the game, one must be sure to match the impact characteristics of the bullet to the target area of the game, so as to achieve full impact potential. When using hard-cast bullets, break the animal down. When using expanding bullets, or lighter hard-cast bullets incapable of shooting through the game, target the game behind the shoulder into the lung and heart area to effect the most efficient kill.
- Randy Garrett