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The history of the bullet

Hunting has many different variations. For some gold metal trophy of a moose, elk, roe deer or some great African planes game is the dreams come true. For some hunting is excitement of the hunt itself and for some it is meat hunt, harvesting of great game meat for food. For most of us, it is all of the above and especially here in Scandinavia, game meat is highly appreciated, rear delicates which is difficult to get and if you succeed, the price is quite high.

In Finland and generally in whole Scandinavia Moose hunting is one of the highlights of the hunting season. The specialty is that hunting is grouped hunting, not solitary stalking with your rifle. In some areas people from the villages are also participating on driven hunts without a gun, just to get their share of the meet. So meet is one important aspect of the hunt. And this is how the story normally goes. Those of you who have been in these grouped hunts can relate to my story.

Ylistaro Kainasto Hunting Club moose and deer hunting team on the Twelfth day, 6th of January 2008

After the successful shot everybody is happy. The lucky shooter gets the fur tree branch on his hat and congratulations. And surely he has deserved them. In these grouped hunts you are not that lucky every year, no matter how good shooter you are since the shooting stands are divided by a lottery. The best stands are always the most wanted.

Ylistaro Kainasto Hunting Club moose and deer hunting team members taking breath while pulling a big bull moose out from swamp on the 16th of October 2010.

After this starts the work to get the game into the slaughter house. Sometimes the terrain is wood with stones and ditches or wet swamp where the only moving power available is manpower! So the hunt however interesting, exciting and memorable includes a lot of sweat and effort from the whole team.

Moose hanging at the slaughter house at Ylistaro Kainasto Hunting Club. Here again one example of a moose which has raised the question about meet destruction. A typical result when shot with double expanding lead core bullet on the shoulder. Picture taken during hunting season 2009

And finally we are at the slaughter house and we start to skin the game. This is the part of the hunt when you're shot counts. It should cause a clean one shot kill with minimal meat damage. You are judged in a friendly manner but anyway a lot of comments will arise. Why did you shoot so many times? Where did you hit. Why did you shoot on the shoulder? Why not behind the shoulder, between those two ribs! What bullet you used? Your caliber is wrong.…. Suddenly you don't feel so good.

This is hunting; you can't always take the best shot. In thick cover you have to act fast and even the best shooter can miss the whole animal instead of placing the bullet between those two ribs.

During hunting season 2011 I had enough. Once this discussion was again taking place I decided to start looking for a bullet which kills efficiently, fast, not causing unnecessary pain but causes less meat damage. Is this a Mission impossible? I was fully aware that every bullet will cause some meat damage as long as we put a hole through the animal, but surely at 21st century someone has concentrated into this problem to minimize the damage.

At the same time a bullet test was published in a Finnish well known hunting magazine. If possible Mr. Newton would have turned in his grave and I had hard times to complete reading the article with so many scientific mistakes. The laws of impact and energy were completely mixed.

I had planned to do this kind of test already earlier 2011 but I heard roamers that this test was already in progress. So now when I saw the report I decided to redo this bullet test together with Timo and write an article with correct laws of physics as back ground. I also wanted to demonstrate the wound channel which I believe is the key, not the impact force as generally taken as a fact.

So this as a background I was once again prepared, this time not only with loads of phone books but also with ceramic clay found by Timo which was cheaper but act as ballistic soap leaving the preliminary cavity visible. I contacted several bullet / cartridge manufacturers with poor result so I decided to buy some of test bullets. By the end of December 2011 I had already several bullets tested but one manufacturer was a stone in the shoe. Despite of several requests I got only a promise of getting test bullets but noting showed up. I believe they were upset from the article published earlier and I was now the innocent victim suffering the punishment?

On 11th of January 2012 I was, again, on a business trip in Italy. I arrived to Milan, Malpensa airport and I had 4 hours of waiting time for my next flight to Bari. I was still lacking those bullets which would enable me to close my test. I have to admit I was a bit frustrated! I had found good things on those bullets already tested, but all of them had something which I didn't like. Just for love of the art I took a block of paper and started to define a perfect hunting bullet. What it should do and how it would look like to be able to do what I wanted. I started from a clean paper since it felt meaningless to improve existing bullets. I was simply not happy how they performed! This innovation started to fascinate me and soon I had a completely new idea on paper. Excited of my idea I took a call still the same night to Peter Hjerpe. He lives in Vistan, Raippaluoto Island, located in Vaasa archipelago. He has well equipped machining shop and is skilled machinist. I asked if he would make me a prototype bullet. After a positive answer I called Timo and told him about my idea. The first reaction was reluctant; it is an expensive trial… Well, I'm from Laihia, known as Finnish Scotland; I should be the stingy one! After my excited explanation he was sold and the first proto saw the daylight in January 2012

Machining of a prototype in progress in 2012