How many FPE for Deer?



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Offline Chpmnkh8r

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How many FPE for Deer?
« on: February 16, 2019, 07:01:45 PM »
Just wondering how many FPE. Is needed to take a Whitetail?
Is there a formula like _ FPE in .35 Cal. At muzzle is enough to take a Whitetail out to 50yds.

I'm looking at shooting .35 Cal. and and the FPE. at the muzzle is about 140 FPE.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 07:04:14 PM by Chpmnkh8r »
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Offline ShakySarge

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2019, 07:08:29 PM »
I like 150FPE or more for Whitetail. Preferably 200 or more. Some folks say 1 FPE for every pound the animal is. I disagree but that seems to be the normal conclusion from folks and it certainly makes sense to a degree. I wouldn't take a shot with less than 150FPE, but that's me. I don't believe VA has a minimum FPE requirement but it might so check the VDGIF website to be sure. It does have to be what you are thinking which is .35 caliber or larger.
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Offline Insanity

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 07:18:02 PM »
Here is a general guide to give you an idea on what you need to hunt with. Also has state by state laws but it is always best to double check your local laws.

https://www.airgundepot.com/hunting-guide.html
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Offline Zeddymon

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2019, 07:20:31 PM »
140ftlbs is a bit week for deer unless close or small, it can be done but it may be inhumane beyond 40 yds, between the deer moving when it hears the shot and other variables
My corsair 357 is @250 ftlb I feel comfortable with it out to @90yds, my Winchester .45 @200ftlb but I feel it is more of a 60yd hunter
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Offline Chpmnkh8r

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 08:13:34 PM »
I like 150FPE or more for Whitetail. Preferably 200 or more. Some folks say 1 FPE for every pound the animal is. I disagree but that seems to be the normal conclusion from folks and it certainly makes sense to a degree. I wouldn't take a shot with less than 150FPE, but that's me. I don't believe VA has a minimum FPE requirement but it might so check the VDGIF website to be sure. It does have to be what you are thinking which is .35 caliber or larger.

Matt, as far as I can tell the only requirement for using an Airgun for big game such as deer is a minimum of.35 cal.
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Offline Chpmnkh8r

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 08:16:43 PM »
140ftlbs is a bit week for deer unless close or small, it can be done but it may be inhumane beyond 40 yds, between the deer moving when it hears the shot and other variables
My corsair 357 is @250 ftlb I feel comfortable with it out to @90yds, my Winchester .45 @200ftlb but I feel it is more of a 60yd hunter

Thanks Zed.
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Offline ShakySarge

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 08:37:13 PM »
I like 150FPE or more for Whitetail. Preferably 200 or more. Some folks say 1 FPE for every pound the animal is. I disagree but that seems to be the normal conclusion from folks and it certainly makes sense to a degree. I wouldn't take a shot with less than 150FPE, but that's me. I don't believe VA has a minimum FPE requirement but it might so check the VDGIF website to be sure. It does have to be what you are thinking which is .35 caliber or larger.

Matt, as far as I can tell the only requirement for using an Airgun for big game such as deer is a minimum of.35 cal.


I thought the same. I knew it was .35 minimal but never read about a minimal FPE requirement.
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Offline Nomadic Pirate

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 09:29:12 PM »
I wouldn't bank on a 140 FPE .357 to take deer with body shots ( headshot is a different cup of tea ),....I would prefer to stay north of 200 FPE and use a bullet with a good Meplat.
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Offline outdoorman

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 09:49:05 PM »

  Here in Maryland, it's at least .40 caliber and at least 400ftlbs muzzle energy. Seems kind of high but it used to be 1200ftlbs!
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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 11:12:41 PM »
On a Florida sized whitetail, 140 fpe with a 81gr JSB is just fine out to 60 yards at least. I bet a Polymag would be even better. But on a Florida deer, thatís more FPE than live weight.

All you need is a big hole thru the lungs that wonít clot and enough energy to punch that hole all the way thru. Just like a bow in many respects.
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Offline DHunter

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 12:35:05 AM »
I was thinking earlier today that many have been killed throughout history with bow & arrow; and that's what?  50fpe?
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Offline squirrel_hunter

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 12:51:00 AM »
I was thinking earlier today that many have been killed throughout history with bow & arrow; and that's what?  50fpe?
my modern recurve crossbow shoots around 124fpe and it will kill a huge deer.i think a long bow would shoot around 60fpe with a heavy snuffer broadhead.
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Offline Nomadic Pirate

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 01:14:46 AM »
I was thinking earlier today that many have been killed throughout history with bow & arrow; and that's what?  50fpe?


That is the worst comparison you can make, ......a broadhead kills by making a huge hole and doesn't need much juice because it's sharp.
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Offline Chpmnkh8r

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 05:04:35 AM »
The average weight for Doe's around here is 110-115lbs.. Buck's are about 150-ish.
I agree with Manny about that being a poor comparison for taking a Whitetail( deer killed throughout history using 50fpe.). I bet I could drop a deer with my RWS460 using a head shot, but would never attempt that. I don't use expandable broadheads for deer during archery season either because to me they can be sketchy depending on angled shots or shooting through bone.
I'm probably not going to consider anything less than 200fpe.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 05:09:41 AM by Chpmnkh8r »
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Offline jackssmirkingrevenge

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2019, 05:05:32 AM »
That is the worst comparison you can make, ......a broadhead kills by making a huge hole and doesn't need much juice because it's sharp.

It's also worth mentioning that an arrow, while traveling as a modest velocity, has a high sectional density compared to the typical projectile from a gun.

Your typical hunting arrow weighs almost twice as much as a slug for a 0.45" airgun while having a tiny frontal area by comparison, so while it might have lower energy, it can use it to move through a target medium much more efficiently.
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Offline Mod90

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2019, 06:06:48 AM »
After reading the replies I can see where the OP might be headed with his question.  So I offer this advice from my personal perspective and experience.
Looking at it from the point of fpe at the muzzle isn't  the best way to look at it. Ideally  you have to view the energy requirements from the position of what is the fpe at poi, since that's where the energy is needed to get the job done in dropping the animal.
Now, we have to keep in mind that when using air powered weapons to take game animals, we are not going to have the huge amounts of fpe at our disposal that pb's do, nor do we have the diameters or sharpness a huge broad head that a bow hunter would have at their disposal. So what we have to do is maximize our projectiles penetration AND expansion capabilities to ensure that our shot causes as much damage as possible. To achieve this,  we need to take a few things into account about our equipment as well as the animal,  such as shot placement, fpe at poi, caliber, and ability of the pellet/bullet to expand.
IME, the old tenet of one fpe for each pound of body weight is a good baseline to start with but it's not a  absolute rule and may not be necessary, if other aspects are taken into consideration. For  example, head shots require less energy than body shots,  but when it comes to body shots shooting through the ribs to damage  the heart and lungs inside the chest cavity requires less energy than it takes to shoot through the shoulder to get similar results. A lot of us seem to forget,  the chest cavity of mammals tend to be essentially a void thats only occupied by the heart and lungs of the animal, and neither of those organs are extremely tough to the point that they could stop a hard and heavy pellet/bullet

Now, since the original post was asking about using a. 35 cal on whitetail deer at 50 yards, my personal opinion would be that if your set up can deliver a minimum of 150 for at poi, and you use a hard pellet/bullet preferably with a hp to allow for some expansion you should be good to go for a shot through the shoulder or chest or ribs if using a solid slug with a nice big meplat. If using a hp, placement through the ribs would be better for such a projectile, with the same energy requirements.


The key is to know your equipment and your quarry, especially when you plan on taking body shots, paying very particular attention to knowing exactly where the vitals are,  and how much penetration is needed to get to them.
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Offline YEMX

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2019, 10:36:45 AM »

  Here in Maryland, it's at least .40 caliber and at least 400ftlbs muzzle energy. Seems kind of high but it used to be 1200ftlbs!

True...

I would definitely double check VA airgun rules, just to be sure.  They may have changed it.  A lot of states are using this stupid minimum 400 fpe rule... 
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2019, 02:32:51 PM »
The primary reason I selected the 357 Slayer is because it will deliver 250 FPE at POI 100 yards away using a 150gr HP.  I just wanted to be sure of enough energy down range when replacing my .270 PB with an airgun for hunting deer/hogs. 


140 FPE at half that distance sounds reasonable with precision shot placement.  I believe I would first learn the gun really well and have the tune and selected slug that gave me the most accuracy first.  I would also be thinking head shot too just to be sure unless I had a good amount of open range for the deer to expire and be found.
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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2019, 04:11:51 PM »
I was thinking earlier today that many have been killed throughout history with bow & arrow; and that's what?  50fpe?


That is the worst comparison you can make, ......a broadhead kills by making a huge hole and doesn't need much juice because it's sharp.

So do airgun projectiles. So its really not a bad comparison at all. Airguns don't kill with massive energy dumps like firearms do. They kill by mechanical wound channels, just like broad heads too. The only difference is the shape of the wound channel due to differing shapes and cutting edges of the projectiles. Broadheads have 2 to 4 blades. Airgun projectiles have a sharp hole (non-expanded HPs) that extend into lead claws (when an HP expands) that rip a hole, or alternatively, have sharp spinning skirts that cut as they pass, presuming the skirt is hard enough to not deform.

The only place where the airgun/arrow comparison fails is sectional density. Arrows have superior sectional density. HOWEVER, watch some ballistics gel videos and see how often a block of ballistics gel will catch an arrow and allow a complete passthru with a big bore airgun projectile.

I'd take a .357 hole cut with a sharp pellet skirt over a broadhead all day long. For the reason that in real-world conditions, broadheads are rarely as sharp as they ought and they don't cut as great as they should unless the hunter is doing their part to sharpen them up all the time. As in, sitting in the stand and sharpening every sit as even moving the broadhead in and out of the quiver can dull it.
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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: How many FPE for Deer?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2019, 04:33:46 PM »
The primary reason I selected the 357 Slayer is because it will deliver 250 FPE at POI 100 yards away using a 150gr HP.  I just wanted to be sure of enough energy down range when replacing my .270 PB with an airgun for hunting deer/hogs. 


140 FPE at half that distance sounds reasonable with precision shot placement.  I believe I would first learn the gun really well and have the tune and selected slug that gave me the most accuracy first.  I would also be thinking head shot too just to be sure unless I had a good amount of open range for the deer to expire and be found.

When I was filming my ballistics clay videos I experiments with tuning my .308 Texan SS down so as to have as low as 124fpe at the muzzle and 114fpe at impact at 50 yards. At 114fpe, the 98 grain cast bullet still gave a complete pass thru of my 8-9 inch block of modeling clay and fully mushroomed. The wound channel the mushroomed bullet ripped and distorted was superior to any broadhead. It doesn't take much energy to do the job. I'm all the more convinced that most of what we think we know about terminal ballistics and wound-channel creation relative to energy is wrong.
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