.22 Cal. penetration test on fresh deer skull

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Kingfish, Oct 29, 2011.

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  1. Kingfish
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    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Hi guys , Over at survival.com we have been having a .22 penetration test thread going on for some 6 months. Jugs of water, boards, ballistic gel and more.

    Today I did a test on a mature White Tail doe head. This deer was approx. 5.5 years old and had a dressed weight of 141 pounds. She was a huge Doe. I killed her this morning with my Crossbow and decided this was the right head to test the penetration of an average .22 Long rifle cartridge. I did the test at 30 yards because I feel that to be accurate shooting a deer with a .22 one should be close. However I feel with my Marlin 981T I can make this same shot all day at 50 to 75 yards. I did not use my Marlin but my wifes old Remington Nylon model 66 with a cheap Remington Thunderbolt 40 grain solid lead bullet. The results were astonishing. I think this thread will put to rest all the talk about .22 bullets bouncing off skulls and such. Now before I explain the pictures Ill explain why I am out to prove this point.

    There are morons on the Internet who have absolutely zero respect for the .22 Rim fire both as a hunting rifle and defense weapon. My .22 rifles are my go to guns for Hunting deer and smaller game IF (IF) the crap hits the fan and I need my .223 and 30-06 for defense. I am able to afford thousands of rounds of .22 BUT NOT NEAR AS MUCH OF THE BIGGER CENTERFIRE Stuff. Ill not waste good defensive rounds on a deer when I can drop one IN ITS TRACKS with a well placed CCI Velocitor or Mini Mag.

    I did this test with a cheap Thunderbolt in a cheap gun.

    Pictures 1 through 4 are the head from both sides close up and far away. This there to show any lurking law enforcement that I did not kill this animal with the .22. Let me be clear about that. She was taken legally with my Crossbow. She donated her head to science.

    Picture 5 shows the ruffed up spot where the bullet went in,#6 shows the entrance wound after I peeled back the skin exposing the skull. #7 shows the exit would after removing the skin over it. The bullet did not go all the way through the skin but as you can see it blew out the skull on the opposite side. #8 shows the hole after I inserted my finger and pulled out some brain and bone fragments. The entire inside was mush and shattered bone. I did not saw the head open as I saw no need to do any more. The exit hole was over 3/4 of an inch and all around it the bone was mush and shattered. The trauma was very impressive. The last pic is the bullet which was resting right under the skin behind her eye. Notice the expansion caused by the skull.

    My conclusion from this test on a still warm fresh skull is that the lowly .22 rim fire loaded with the right round can and will take down deer sized targets with one well placed HEAD SHOT. I did this test to silence all of the guys who no nothing about this round but yet constantly disrespect it.

    This test shows me beyond any reasonable doubt that I can sit in a bow hunting blind over bait and head shoot White tails with inexpensive .22 ROUNDS at 30 yards or less. I killed this deer with my cross bow at 10 yards this morning.

    Now before the Moral majority starts tearing down this test please remember this is survival forum. We talk about using bows made out saplings shooting sticks cut with a jacknife, spears, pit falls, snares and leg traps. A .22 rifle is better then any of those in a survival situation. The advantages are clear. Cheap, effective but most of all quiet. Ill not waste good 30-06 or .223 in a post apocalypse on deer when I can take one down in its tracks with one well placed .22 round. This is why I have always believed that a .22 is the best all around survival rifle in most situations. Of course they wont kill game larger then Deer but where I am in Lower Michigan unless I want to go north and kill an Elk I can take any game I need with my 981T .22 and a CCI Mini Mag.
    head1.JPG head2.JPG head3.JPG head4.JPG entrance1.JPG entrance2.JPG exit1.JPG exit2.JPG P1010037.JPG
    melbo, Dropy, jungatheart and 7 others like this.
  2. Kingfish
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    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Take this for what it is. A ballistics test. Realize that a .22 bullet of that type is traveling at about 1200 fps out of the barrel. Most likely 1150 at 30 yards and still near 1000 at 100 yards. W e determined in other penetration tests that the faster hyper rounds exploded inside the skull not exiting but really blowing the brain cavity up. Rounds like the Stinger and Velocitor penetrated better at longer distances as at hyper speed they disintegrate. However CCI Stingers are the chosen round of most poacher due to the speed at 100 yards. 1100 to 1200 fps so by losing some speed they regain penetration at longer distances. We determined that the Velocitor at 1400 fps muzzle mushroomed more and matched the Mini Mag for penetration and distances under 50 yards. I feel the Mini Mag or the Velocitor would both be great choices for close range taking of deer is you had to.

    I dont advocate using the .22 to shoot deer. Dont break the law and dont attempt this experiment on a live deer. Its not legal in any state and for good reason. This is simply a penetration test that proves beyond any doubt that the .22 will penetrate the skull of a mature whitetail deer. I wish we had some feral Hogs because I would bait them in and head shoot one and see how the porkers skull stands up to the same test. Kingfish
    Cephus, dragonfly and BTPost like this.
  3. dragonfly
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    dragonfly Monkey+++

    The .22 is the mainstay of my weaponry...why? It's reasonably priced ( both weapons and ammo) reasonably quiet, and does the job!
    I do not advocate using it for any and all targets myself, but it can provide food! That's what I want! All in all "we" have 4 Marlins, 3 Rugers and a Savage. Plus that AR7-s, fold up thingy! Yup, I like the .22 cartridge and it has been working for me and putting food on the table since I was 11. That's a LONG time! I like the .22 in many cartridges, the CB, the BB, the short, long long rifle, and the newer hotter rounds. One round that is devastating to both game and "buffers" that is a favorite, is the Remington "Yellow Jacket". Too hot for my semi actions buffers and they aren't cheap to replace, so now we use them only in the single shot bolt action Savage! It is BEST used only for head shots, as it really does desroy meat! Those Remmy "thunderbolts" are nasty dirty things and I gave away 2 bricks...I got tired of the constant jams in the semi-autos! But when in Rome...You use what you have! Beats a sharp stick!
  4. Kingfish
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    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Yes those Thunderbolts suck bad. Thats why I used one for the test. If a thunderbolt got it done I know the CCI rounds will do even better. But I have tons of the cheap stuff in storage for hunting . The CCI Mini Mag is much better round and would have blown right through completely and into the tree behind the head. I shoot them in my bolt action gun. We only shoot CCI in our Ruger 10-22. My bolt action Marlin is my tack driver. Ill not hesitate to any mid size game with that rifle (if I have to). Yup Im like 99% of the rest of the hunters out there. I use the right tool for the job. This test was done to prove something to myself and to the many critics of the lowly .22. Deer? People?, Medium size Hogs? small game. Brain them and drop like sacks of flour. The .22 really is in my area (western lower Michigan) the best all around survival gun there is. If could only have one rifle it would be a .22 hands down. I think a match grade barrel on a 10-22 with good optics would be the best all around .22 a guy could have if he just had one. I love my Ruger but it is no where near as accurate as my Marlin bolt action. KF
    dragonfly likes this.
  5. sasquatch91
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    sasquatch91 Monkey

    if i have to bail out and just have one weapon, you can bet money its gonna be my 10/22. i can easily carry 1000 rounds like it isnt there.
    Dropy, Kingfish and dragonfly like this.
  6. TXKajun
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    TXKajun Monkey+

    Thank you for an excellent post, Kingfish.

    Kajun
    Tango3 and Kingfish like this.
  7. dragonfly
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    dragonfly Monkey+++

    At one time there was some photos of tests done on a turkey ( store bought) with and wihout varied types of clothing placed over it, and they only used a .22 in long rifle, at ranges up to 100 yds. Impressive! It did considerable damage even after penetrating denim and heavy coats!
    Kingfish likes this.
  8. larryinalabama
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    larryinalabama Monkey+

    The good thing is you can shoot 22s all day and not bruise your sholder. The problem with hunting large game is unless you hit the heart or in your case the head you might never find the animal. 22 cabilet generally will not break many bones or any that it does not directly contact.
    For safety survival and security 22s are a must, and its eaisy to stockpile alot of rounds.
    Also stock bird shot for your 22s, one day I get the time and nerve Im gonna try to shood a duck with the 22 with bird shot. Duck is delicious.
    Kingfish likes this.
  9. Kingfish
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    Kingfish Self Reliant


    Yes , large game like deer have to be head shots and location is critical. The total brain lobe is not really that big. Its about 4 inches long and 4 inches wide. I shot it right where a side shot should be placed. A .22 would penetrate the skull at 100 yards but at that range any head movement could cause you to pull the shot. This Is why I would only use bow hunting type set ups at very close range. I killed that doe with a 10 dollar Bolt and a 13 dollar broad head. She broke both. That was 23 bucks out the window. I couldnt believe it a carbon 20 inch bolt snapped right in half and one of the blades from the Spitfire mechanical broad head broke off too. One .22 round is about 5 cents. In a shtf scenario my .22 will be bringing home the meat. Not my crossbow. KF
    Cephus and sasquatch91 like this.
  10. STANGF150
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    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    I don't need a great variety of .22 rifles. Cuz my old Marlin with its tube fulla fun is good enough. Though I'm lusting a lil after this plain jane Ruger 10/22 I seen at Walmart for $218. Can't help but think it plus an ArchAngel kit would make a Tacticool Gun fer Fun!!! :smile:
    Kingfish likes this.

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