When I started hunting,my brother,father and I all used .35 rems.I lost track of the number of deer shot with that caliber.I always was and still remain unimpressed.Lethargic at best.I fail to see what's impressive about a 200gr bullet traveling less than 2000 fps.The only deer I ever saw drop were from neck shots and high shoulder shots that took out the spine.The majority never exited unless shot through the ribs and the exit hole was never impressive.That caliber turned mwe into a better tracker.When we started using 30-06's and .308's I was amazed that a lung shot would more often than not anchor a deer where it stood.
Of course everyone knows the answer is to shoot thru the animal and dump a bunch of energy in the tree behind it. I had a friend who constantly complained about double lunging deer and then having to track them for several hundred yards, or hearing a shot and finding someone standing over the deer he shot that they walked up to and shot thru it's neck at 2yds and claim the deer. Loaned him and his dad a .223 , they both shot deer that year that fell in 1 jump or less, energy all dumped in the deer. Nothing wrong with a larger gun but it is not needed. Little more range time will cure lots of deer shooting woes, regardless of the cartridge used. Zero your rifle than get off the bench and practice some real life shots.
Jeff, even if you have to start another thread so we do not hijack this one, could you explain to me what the energy "dump" actually does to a deer or animal?
If you don't want to get into it, just do me this favor the next time you get out to do some shooting.
Take a 5gal bucket of sand, it will weigh anywhere from 50 to 80lbs depending how dry/wet the sand is. Set it out at 50yds on a flat board, draw a circle around the base so you know where it sat, and shoot it with whatever cartridge or multiple cartridges that you want to. It will stop all the bullets. Let us all know the results of what all that energy stopping in that bucket of sand does to it, like how many times it flips end over end or is driven yards straight backwards from 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000+ft lbs of "energy". Video it if you can and post here.
I'll bet you a box of your favorite cartridges or reloading bullets that the bucket barely moves let alone is magically propelled feet backwards by all the energy.
The bullet, because of its small frontal diameter even when expanded cannot "hit" any harder than what you feel when firing the gun (equal/opposite reaction) except for the weight of the gun...(5lbs to 10lbs) which means virtually nothing. What you feel on your shoulder is what whatever your shooting at feels when hit.
Bullet dump, hits harder, extra death from energy alone just does not exist.
The energy allows a bullet to do its designed job.
A bullet stopping just under the hide on the far side does absolutely nothing more than the same bullet exiting. It is the damage done along the way to whatever is hit that kills.
I have previously posted links to a man (owner of 2nd chance body armor) standing on one foot while being shot at point blank range with a .308 and the man doesn't even lose his balance. He shoots himself with a .44 mag, in the chest, a few times, and he is talking and laughing the whole time.
Mythbusters shot "Buster" with a .50BMG. They hung him on a metal rod so it would slide when the energy hit. 12,500 ft lbs of energy and Buster didn't slide 2".
I am always willing to learn more if you care to tell me/us.