Centerfire Rifle Statistics for Hunting Small to Dangerous Game

Sep 20th 2019

We have developed a chart to help hunters get the best information about current ballistic data for their next hunting trip.

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Centerfire Rifle Statistics for Hunting Small to Dangerous Game

Recommended Take Down Power for Wild Game Muzzle Energy gives us an idea of how much power there is to initiate things like bullet expansion and penetration but does not guarantee that they will occur. It is generally recommended that a small bore (.24-.32 caliber) rifle bullet suitable for medium size game be carrying about 800 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy when it hits. Energy is greatest at the muzzle and diminishes as the bullet loses velocity. When the velocity reaches zero, so does the energy. But long before that, the bullet has fallen below the recommended level of energy for reliably killing deer size animals. So the practical hunting range of any cartridge is ultimately limited by how much energy remains. 200 lb. Small game - 800 Ft. lbs Minimum Recommended Muzzle Energy Pronghorn Antelope, Impala, Mule Deer, Antelope, Sheep, and goat species 400 lb. Medium game - 1200 Ft. lbs Minimum Recommended Muzzle Energy Caribou, Red Stag, Hartebeest 600 lb. Large Game - 1800 Ft. lbs Minimum Recommended Muzzle Energy Elk, Kudu, Moose 1000 lb+. Large and Dangerous Game - 4000 Ft. lbs Minimum Required Bear, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, Ect. 4000 Minimum What About Accuracy Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is basically a measure of how streamlined a bullet is; that is, how well it cuts through the air. Mathematically, it is the ratio of a bullet's sectional density to its coefficient of form. Ballistic Coefficient is essentially a measure of air drag. The higher the number the less drag, and the more efficiently the bullet cuts through the air. So for purposes of flying through the air efficiently, the bigger the BC number the better. How "Flat" does your rifle shoot? The Ballistic Coefficient (BC) measures drag, but without velocity your bullet will not go very far. So how do you know how "flat" your rifle shoots? It is a combination of velocity and the BC. These 2 elements work against each other. As velocity decreases over distance, so does the BC causing increased drag. As drag increases, velocity decreases even more. So how can you tell if a new rifle cartridge will outperform your old? Place a cartridge in the group you currently shoot and compare it with potential candidates. This will act as a constant that you are familiar with. You can compare this information with other rounds, and then verify the results with research. Similar to sighting in a rifle, this chart will give you good information, but practical experience will make you an expert.