By David E. Petzal
Back in the late 1970s I began rooting around in the last earthly remains of critters I had done in to recover the spent bullets that did them in. I then put the slugs in little paper change envelopes that I got from the bank, and recorded all the data—range, scope setting, bullet weight, how the animal reacted—on the envelope.
Recently, I went through my bullet collection and am currently meditating on the following:
On my first trip to Africa, I took a 7mm Weatherby Magnum loaded with the old 160-grain screw machine Nosler Partition bullets. I recovered four of them, and each weighed precisely 111.6 grains. Not 111.5, or 111.7, but 111.6. What are the odds on that?
From the 1970s to about 2000, I recovered lots of bullets. After that, the numbers fell off drastically. In recent years, the only time I find a bullet is if I shoot something really sizeable, like an elk, or bigger. Of the bullets I’ve used most in recent years—Swift A-Frame and Scirocco, Hornady GTX, Barnes all-copper bullets in their various forms—the only one I’ve found in an animal was a .416 Swift 400-grain A-Frame that ended up under the hide of a Cape buffalo on the far side.