The idea some cartridges can bust their way through thick brush has been around since guns have been used for hunting. Are some better suited to the task than others?
Cartridges with a brush buster reputation have common characteristics. They fire heavy, large-caliber bullets at slower velocities. Also, bullet shape is considered important. Those with broad, flat or rounded noses are thought better than pointed, spitzer types.
Is this notion true, or just hunting myth? I’ve read numerous articles in gun and hunting magazines over the years which attempted to answer the question. Some by reiterating the myth, just in new words, and some which ran various experiments. I recall one in the 1980s which fired bullets through a “thicket” made from various sized dowels stuck on end in a large box. This study dismissed the brush buster theory, and provided what seemed good evidence for the author’s conclusion. Trouble is, kiln-dried hardwood dowels behave far different from live branches and leaves.
Then along comes this video. It is, like the best science, simple and to the point. The producer fired several different calibers through actual brush at a target set either twenty-five or fifty yards away–typical shooting distances in much deer, elk, and moose country. Whether you hunt in the Western Montana-Northern Idaho “jungle,” in some dense, tangled place in the upper-Midwest, or down South, you need to watch this video. The result may surprise you, it sure surprised me.
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