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T/C shockwave inconsistent performance.

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This all started when I decided to switch from pellets to blackhorn powder. I shot myself out of hornadys working up a load and then discovered all the stores were sold out! So I bought some t/c shockwaves in 250 grain with the mag express sabot, they were very accurate and grouped well out to 300 yards, so I was happy with them. Fast forward to the third day of my 2019 m/l elk hunt and I find a shooter bull bedded across a canyon, l creep to 290 yards and lay my crosshairs on his, take a breath and squeeze the trigger. The bull barley flinched! He and his cows looked around for a bit then went back to chewing their cud. A minute later he stood up, walked a little deeper into his tree an laid back down. We'll shoot I missed. Work my way down the hillside a little farther so I have a good line of sight on his shoulder again. 256 yards and this shot hammers him! He died in less than 10 minutes without leaving his bed. When I got to him I noticed a lump on his side, so I pulled out my knife and dug out the bullet from my first shot, completely intact, and didn't even knock the ballistic tip off. The shot was too far back, missing the vital organs. I never found the second bullet, but it took out both lungs. So my question is: has anyone else had this happen to them? Was it just a fluke or was I asking too much of it to perform at that range?

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That's why i shoot Barnes 250GRN Expander MZ and don't look back.

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1 hour ago, Will K said:

That's why i shoot Barnes 250GRN Expander MZ and don't look back.

That seems to be the favorite after reading a few threads on here. Will definitely give them a try.

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so hard to figure out. As advanced as ML and loads have become they are still somewhat primitive. 

I shot a coues 2 years ago and a bull last fall w/ the same load, 2 Triple 7 pellets and a 250 grain Barnes TEZ and both animals it took out the lungs but never exited. Shots were 40 and 75 yards. Both ran 20 yards and died. I would've assumed that load would blow through a whitetail but it didn't. 

In the future I will go 290 grains for elk. 

Nice bull, congrats. 

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My son took this bull last Friday (9/27) w .50 cal TC Omega 130 grn pyrodex and 250 grn TC shockwave. First shot was at 18 yards. Hit shoulder bone which exploded bullet and bone with no penetration into chest. All he could see was brown fur at 18 yards so I don’t blame him for placement. Bull walked then ran out to 100 yards. He placed a shot mid body directly behind front leg. Perfect double lung, 20 yard death sprint, dead elk down. We found bullet w tip pressed in but otherwise whole in the hide on the opposite side. We may have lost the bull if second shot not taken. Amazed that at 18 yards he could still walk/run although shoulder was gone there was no damage to vital organs. After this hunt, I decided to check out the Barnes to see if I can replicate good shot group.

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I guess these bullet are either one extreme or the other. Tell your son excellent job not getting rattled and making a good follow up shot on a good bull.👍

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