In the first test of its kind, firearms experts Andrew Venables from WMSFirearmsTraining.com and Tim Pilbeam try out nine brands of copper bullets at 100 metres/yards and 250 metres/yards. With more UK venison processors demanding deer are shot with non-toxic bullets, they look at what you can buy in gunshops.
Shooting them through a dozen hunting rifles in different calibres, they ask: are they accurate and do they expand and do the job?
“There are horses for courses,” says Venables. He warns against using bullets recommended for large game in continental Europe: relatively big game such as wild boar and red deer. He says these are the wrong rounds for smaller UK deer. He says: “You are going to get a lot of energy coming out the other side of the animal and you are getting limited expansion.”
The main result of this test is that UK importers should focus on fast, light-for-calibre copper rounds. “The message is: if a bullet looks like a brick it isn’t meant to be a long-range bullet,” says Andrew. “If a bullet’s designed to expand extremely well at extremely long range, it’s going to over-expand and blow up at normal stalking distances. Think about what you’re shooting and hunting, think about the result you expect. Prepare for what you are actually going to do. Don’t get ‘magnumitis’ and equipped for some fanciful long-range shot, and then end up shooting something in the chest at 60 metres and ruining half of the animal. Let’s be real out there.”