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Using as much power possible in any weapon that u can shoot accurately??


Staff member
Agree or disagree? Healthy debate.....

This is a debate I’ve heard since I started hunting as a kid.... & it’s a debate with 2 good sides of thought - some validity on both & I see both sides. I’m far leaning on the side of using more power in all cases- maybe to an extreme.... examples of the high end of power....

-With bows - shooting 70 lbs with heavy 500 grain arrows for example.
-Muzzleloaders - when using regular powder, using 150 grains of powder vs 100 grains.
-Shotguns- using high velocity magnum rounds.
-straight wall, 450 vs a light round like maybe a .44 or a .350.

Here’s why I’d be on the side of using the “heavier set up”..... IF IF IF u can shoot it accurately & it’s comfortable to shoot... there’s no such thing as killing a deer “too dead”. Maybe u damage a little more meat- ok.
WHATEVER the high end of what u can comfortably shoot, IMO, is what I personally would shoot. If that’s a 50 lbs bow - I wouldn’t shoot 40 lbs. if I can comfortably shoot a 20 gauge slug, I wouldn’t trade it for a .44 magnum or whatever. U get my point.

why I say this..... every single year, without exception, I think I get 5-10 calls or scenarios where “hey, what u think, my arrow only penetrated 5”?!?!” - usually using a lighter arrow or just simply having deer be tough to penetrate period. Or “I think I hit him good but no blood & I don’t know why I can’t find him. I was using a fairly light round & these deer surprise me how hard they are to take down!” Even folks shooting “the max” and hitting deer with stuff used to kill “elk” for example- the whitetail still is a dang tough animal & still surprises folks what it takes to kill em on occasion.

I hear the phrase “great ammo or arrow that’s plenty for for Whitetail’s” when talking about a fairly light set up. Or “overkill for Whitetail’s” when talking about heavy set up. I disagree when I hear that BECAUSE: Whitetails continue to surprise me decades into this on how tough they are. Hard to kill. Surviving fairly brutal shots. I have personally chosen to throw every possible bit of lethal force at them I can comfortably & accurately shoot.

would I argue to shoot a 70 lbs bow when its difficult to pull it back & hold it? Clearly not. Or a 10 year old shooting 3” magnum slugs? Again, of course not. Whatever u can comfortably shoot accurately - the top end of that - to “kill em really dead”!!! Cant kill a deer “too much”.

last- the benefits of a flatter trajectory, higher velocities, more kinetic energy, etc.

That’s my opinion on it. I’m on the far end of that discussion. This is after another year of helping track deer shot with “light loads” in a ML & low weight arrows with little penetration. My suggestion or bottom line to younger hunters.... shoot a ton!!! Shoot so u r comfortable behind the weapon. & build strength & shoot with as much power as u r comfortable shooting accurately.

Agree or disagree?


An alternative view to "there is no such thing as killing a deer "too dead" is that you can only kill a deer so dead, can't be deader.

I turned down my 70 lb bow a bit to ease the draw. My next bow will probably be 60 lb so that I can draw it easily from any position I need to.

I tried "hot rodding" my smokeless ML with 300 grain bullets pushed to max velocity. All it did was make me flinch. Dropped to a less recoil load and I shoot it better.

Key for me is taking good shots. Wait for a close, high percentage shot, put it where it needs to be, wrap a tag on it. Don't expect your "magnum" to make up for poor shot selection.


PMA Member
I totally agree. The more kinetic energy sent downrange the better. The shooting and hunting industry has had too much emphasis on getting to your target, when it should be getting through your target.

I can totally go down the rabbit hole on this one. Muzzle brakes have been under utilized in the hunting industry and we're starting to see more and more rifles come standard with a threaded barrel to accept a muzzle brake. A good muzzle brake on a .300 win mag reduces felt recoil 40-70%. That is absolutely crazy, and there's no reason to shoot a lighter bullet. It's loud as hell as a result, but the trade off is worth it imo.
I'm also a fan of mid length gas systems on AR platform rifles for the reduction in recoil. Most carbine length gas systems are over gassed, which sends more gas back to your bcg and transfers more energy; they're reliable at cycling almost any ammo, but they're harder on gas rings and have a harder recoil impulse. Sometimes the extra energy is needed for specialty calibers like .450 or .350 to cycle properly, but if you can get away with it, go with a mid length gas system on a 16" barrel.

When it comes to arrows, traditional guys had it right all along when it comes to heavyweight arrow setups.

The only place I stray from, "heavier is better", is on an every day carry pistol. Concealed carry I prefer 9mm; I want the extra rounds in my mag in that scenario.


Active Member
On the muzzle loader, you can't just go wild with the powder. The gun will tell you how much. My ML won't group at all with large amounts of powder or pellets. 80 grains of loose powder is what my gun likes. Crushes deer easily

It's the accuracy not the power you want. If you can get it all, great.
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Well-Known Member
I like heavy and accurate but not necessarily fast from my bow or muzzy. Just getting into bolt action rifles so experience is limited but I do know I don't like muzzle brakes and I also don't like excessive recoil. If that means I need to get closer to my target so be it.


Well-Known Member
Well on my turkey loads I like them to hit hard . plus nice to get some extra distance . New TSS loads are crazy bad ass using a #7 pellet vs. a 4,5,6 or what not can really reach out and touch them lots of projectiles . I shoot a light arrow for the most part but I'm only a 30 yards shooter never had a issue I always feel like with any weapon hit them in the right spot and you'll find them . I honestly feel like over powered compensates for when you hit them bad. Penetration shoulder what not . Heavy arrow , big caliber .. I stick with what works for me. Bad shot I think bigger can help ya . we all been their.

Wi transplant

PMA Member
I'm all for the accuracy first stance ! Power does not kill if not placed correctly. !! 40 lb bow is plenty with great shot placement . 20 ga. Or 350 legend is enough placed correctly! And a .410 is enough for turkeys inside 25 yrds and accurate head shot! Extra power just helps with our mistakes!!! Given that I shoot 67lb bow. 450 bushmaster bolt and 12ga 2 3/4 inch no. 5s for turkeys. But all are very accurate!!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk


New Member
Which gun to choose is a matter of taste. It can be a single-barrel, double-barrel, horizontal, vertical, or multi-loader. In my opinion, in modern conditions, the most versatile weapon would be a semi-automatic shotgun of 12-gauge. Which one will be the right one - again, it's a matter of taste. Either solution will have its pros and cons. I prefer to use shotguns for hunting https://g4gguns.com/product/beretta-a300-outlander/. There's quite a wide range of them on the market: there are "Italians" and "Turks" for every purse. Inertia gun has a simple design. Lack of gas release makes it easy to operate and maintain: after firing, it is enough to clean one barrel and wipe the rest of the parts with a rag and oil.
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