Thoughts on the Magic .50 BMG Bullet that Killed a Deer Without Hitting It…

Hunting personality Keith Warren of High Road Hunting recently released a YouTube video (see below) of him conducting a deer management hunt with a .50 BMG rifle. What is remarkable is that Keith takes a headshot at a deer and claims that though he missed, the shockwave created from the 750-grain Hornady A-Max bullet is what killed the animal.

In the video, Keith mentions that the “vacuum from the round sucked the eyes out of the head.” Analyzing the video, I have come to a different conclusion.  I believe the projectile actually hit the whitetail. In fact, my take is that the animal was shot in its left eye, the bullet traveled through the orbit into the lacrimal bone, and then out the right eye.

In this picture, you can the see 750-grain Hornady A-Max round as it exits the eye socket. The round is circled in red.

Circled in red you can see the bullet moving away from the deer. The bullet appears to have been slightly deflected. At 5:09 you can also see the bullet’s trace as it slightly deflects to the left as though it hit a solid medium such as osseous tissue.

Keith is shooting a Barrett Model 82A1 with a 20-inch barrel. As mentioned, the round is a 750-grain Hornady A-Max, which has an aluminum tip and was not designed for hunting, nor expansion. The deer appears to be about 50 yards away. At 50 yards the Hornady A-Max would have a velocity of 2,650 fps, 11,000 ft/lbs of energy and in my opinion, would simply punch through tissue without a problem.

Circled in black you can see soft tissue moving away from the deer.

If the Hornady round did enter the eye socket, as I suspect, it would then pass through the lacrimal bone then the adjacent eye socket. Eleven thousand foot pounds of energy would send an internal shockwave into the brain. Essentially causing a massive stroke and depolarization of the central nervous system.

A hit to the lacrimal bone would also damage the sinus cavity. It would explain the blood seeping from the deer’s nasal passages and mouth. The deer also had blood splatter on its right ear. This is indicative of a projectile pushing blood matter out of the right eye. At 5:16 you can also see a great expulsion of gas from the deer’s lungs as the diaphragm and intercostal muscles spasm.

From my analysis, I found a squirrel sitting in the lower right portion of the screen. He did not get sucked into the wake of the Hornady A-Max round and was able to scamper up the tree.

Keith released a statement explaining that he and his taxidermist did a necropsy of the deer’s skull, notably the brain cavity, and found no loss of bone. The brain cavity of a deer sits behind the eyes. I bet if Keith and his taxidermist carefully exposed the brain and peeled back the dura and arachnoid layers they would find a hematoma in the frontal lobe.

SEE ALSO: Kimber Hunter .308 Deer Rifle (vs. Wild Florida Hogs) โ€“ New Gun Review

The million dollar question is, can a near miss from a .50 BMG round be fatal? I do not think so. YouTube star DemolitionRanch fired numerous .50 BMG rounds past stacked cards and red Solo cups at damn near point blank range. There was little to no effect. I believe Keith’s video is perpetuating a myth. I have personally read accounts and talked to hunters who have shot deer with .50 BMGs. The rounds typically punch through a deer with little fanfare.

I need to ask my Editor to get me a .50 BMG rifle. This way we can test the effects of an oblique shockwave on mediums such as glass, sheetrock, and ballistic gelatin. This will give us a good idea about the PSI that is generated from a .50 BMG. We can then compare that to data from blast injury research. My guess is that the results will be underwhelming.

{ 87 comments… add one }
  • Jake November 21, 2020, 1:04 pm

    Thankfully the results of a 50 bmg are not the gruesome carnage that one would assume. They mimic every other big game round really. Perhaps the bigger the better so as to kill the animal instantly and humanely? However, If you can’t place accurate + safe shots with any big gun then don’t use it please. God bless America and our 2nd amendment!

  • William Nusz August 4, 2020, 11:59 am




  • Pat June 7, 2019, 4:29 am

    Now that was funny. ๐Ÿ’ฏ โœ…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Curt981 May 17, 2019, 3:47 am

    Come on,a Hornady 750 grain A-Max is over $6 per round retail. I don’t think I cost anything for the hunter/author that’s the su ject of the article or the result of a bunch of somewhat hilarious and some interesting and educated comments. After spending a number of years shooting all calibers of shoulder fired rifles, shotguns, and rocket launchers (bazookas), and MA duece, I find the Shockwave deer kill an absolute asinine statement, but, maybe someone just in want of more adulation for hunting prowess. Maybe an incomplete autopsy in wanting to back up the Shockwave theory. Intent be unknown but I’ve lost respect for the hunger and his will have trouble in the future believing his articles are credible.

  • Samuel May 9, 2019, 8:06 pm

    Yea Iโ€™m calling bullshit. That is the kind of bs people who know nothing about guns say

  • CaptTurbo May 8, 2019, 3:35 pm

    Elmer Fudd there is an absolute moron.

  • Zig May 8, 2019, 10:23 am

    So, you “miss” a deer but it mysteriously drops dead. You go to investigate and don’t notice a 1/2 inch hole going in one eye and out the other? Also, I have seen 223 FMJ rounds blow the crap out of soda cans full of water. I would have to imagine a 50 cal would have a similar effect on a deer’s head.

  • coyote hunter May 8, 2019, 9:34 am

    When I was younger, I could shave the hair off a gnats eye lash at 50 yds and never hurt the gnat…I also caught a bass that the shadow weighed 5 lbs…One time I killed a big buck, wondering where such a big buck would have come from I backtracked him all the way to his after birth….that was after the winter of 63′ when I froze my feet so bad that the skin peeled off, the ol blister(my wife) sewed that skin into a fine pair of moccasins that she wore till the next fall….that was same winter where it got so cold that the radio quit working, I took off the back and reached in and jerked out 4 handfuls of frozen music….But killing a deer by the shockwave of a .50 bullet whizzing past its head???….reminds of my youth, I could turn off the light and jump under covers before room got dark…

  • Billy M Rhodes May 8, 2019, 7:43 am

    Eye protection at all times!!

  • Sal May 7, 2019, 12:05 pm

    Is anyone a perfect marksman? 100 percent? Anyone?
    The taking head shots is not ethical, in my view. A tiny error can make a huge difference in the outcome. As with any shot, a hit does not ensure a dead animal ….it’s just with a head shot, the chances for undesirable outcomes are higher due to the smaller target.
    I’ve had the unfortunate experience of watching an acquaintance shoot the lower jaw off a deer while attempting a head shot. The animal was lost …and surely came to a miserable, suffering end.
    If tempted, consider carefully your responsibility towards the best outcome.

    • RIC CARTER May 8, 2019, 9:02 am

      Absolutely agree. Headshots are for irresponsible slobs.

  • David Russell May 7, 2019, 8:47 am

    Near misses don’t kill deer. Where in hell is it legal to hunt deer with .50 BMG?

    • Maz2331 September 26, 2019, 11:17 pm

      Pennsylvania allows any centerfire cartridge. Even a 30mm would be legal here.

  • LD800 March 4, 2019, 1:05 pm

    Sounds like the guy that shot a blank and scared the deer to death.

  • Notsure November 30, 2018, 11:55 pm

    My first comment ever. I do not understand how this is even debated. Like the author said watch the demo ranch video. No further testing is required. Shooting the bullet through cards and solo cups. It didn’t shred them into confetti, it didn’t blown them away, in fact it did nothing at all. Why is there any need to retest gravity?

    • Matt May 8, 2019, 8:46 am

      Absolutely agree. And I’ve seen two deer shot with BMG. 30-06 velocity, bullet expands zero, only advantage is bullet diameter. About like you’d see if you shot one with a 50-cal muzzleloader at fairly close range…

  • chris krupp November 12, 2018, 7:51 am

    I’ll have to side with Thomas and Clay here. Get the skull. Find out exactly what killed this doe. I’m not buying the shock wave theory.
    BTW. I do own and fire a 50. While impressive, I don’t think this story is a possibility. J.M.O.
    On the use of a 50 for hunting ? I’ve found the biggest drawback of the 50 is finding a suitable range that let’s you fire this round safely. In Mo., This would be dangerous unless in a very controlled environment.

  • Olive Phillips June 5, 2018, 10:53 am

    Working as instructor on .50 cal range while serving in the Army, proves I am a walking cadaver.

  • Phil Elliott June 4, 2018, 10:05 am

    Once shot a Jackrabbit with a 7.5 Swiss at about a 100 yds. he fell at the shot. Only visible sign on him was a small trickle of blood out of nose. Close look revealed a bullet crease on back of neck no broken skin just hair removed.

  • larry Abrams June 4, 2018, 7:17 am

    Who gives a rats ass… Do a victory dance around the body and let it go . ๐Ÿ™

    • mtman2 November 12, 2018, 3:15 pm

      Right – a .22 long rifle 40gr @ 1,250fps killed it just as dead + fast hitting between the eye + ear = passing thru + out the other side.

      That likely was a Barrett costing arounf $9,000 new @ $3 to $5 a rd.

  • REM1875 January 5, 2018, 6:02 am

    His rifle, his deer, his hunt. his story …….the END !!!

  • Cal H December 25, 2017, 10:33 pm

    Lots of vicious comments about this. Can’t help but think most are closet gun-control nuts. So it would be wrong to shoot the doe with a 12 gauge slug also? When it could be killed with a .223 or a .410. Hypocrites!

  • mike moran December 24, 2017, 12:11 am

    Here’s MY 2 cents like it or not—read it and weep. I’m 62 and hunted from the age of 6 til I quit at around 30 for lack of challenge OR need of food. Watched the “Sport” picked apart piece by piece through the years. Got to say it’s BULL$HIT, A$$HOLE “STUNTS” COMMITTED BY F**K**G IDIOTS WITH TOO MUCH FRRE TIME AND MONEY ON THEIR HANDS like this that end up giving the anti-gunners and anti-hunters PLENTY OF F**K**G AMMO to use. JACKA$$ that did it and JACKA$$E$ that think it’s F**K**G “COOL” and GIANT F**K**G JACKA$$E$ THAT VIDEO IT AND PUT IT ONLINE!!! ALL you did was put ANOTHER F**K**G NAIL IN THE COFFIN!!!!

    • Mark Kiernan March 4, 2019, 3:29 am

      I have to agree with you about all the j/a’s who think dumb ass stunts with guns somehow makes them men.
      In my experience the serious people maintain a low profile and hone their skills to a fine edge without having a need to advertise on social media. Posting videos of making your hand guards catch fire or other cupid stunts really does give reason to doubt whether you should even own a gun. I met Keith hunting Elk in NM he seemed like an ok guy but likes publicity for sure.

    • John Heasley May 8, 2019, 6:47 am

      I have to agree with you on this it’s just another way for the gun nuts to say we are bad people!!!

  • Dr. Strangelove December 23, 2017, 5:44 am

    Clickbait. Sad part, I fell for it.

  • Chris December 23, 2017, 4:59 am

    Anyone see the video of the guy who accidently shoots the ear muffs of his head with the ricochet from his .50 BMG rifle and walked away from the shooting bench? While Iโ€™m sure it lost a significant amount of energy in the ricochet, if it were as powerful as is being suggested, he would have been killed or at least injured.

  • Ross December 23, 2017, 2:33 am

    Your extensive breakdown may be correct, it is fun to watch. I’m a big fan of Keith, I like his style and the information he passes on. Whatever weapon he chooses is fine by me.

  • James Higginbotham December 22, 2017, 11:57 pm

    would anyone want to harvest a Deer with a 50 cal BMG?
    talk about OVER KILL, and it’s CRAP like this that gives us hunters A BAD NAME.

    • Dr Motown May 7, 2019, 8:57 am

      Plus, you\’d have to be bat-sh*t crazy to haul a 30# rifle into the woods

  • Stan December 22, 2017, 8:55 pm

    I shot old cast iron skillets at 200 yards with my M82. People thought I missed because the pans didn’t move, at all. Bullet just sliced clean through it. 1″ steel plates don’t stand a chance either. A 50BMG is capable of penetrating up to TEN FEET in trees๐Ÿ˜

  • Bill the Cat December 22, 2017, 8:09 pm

    It is not a 50 BMG. It is a 50 Cal. BMG stand for Browning Machine Gun.

    • Nate October 24, 2018, 3:01 pm

      It is .50 BMG. All rounds are named after the creator. Such as the S&W .40 (short for smith and wesson) or the .308 Winchester etc.

    • Dr Motown May 7, 2019, 8:56 am

      There are different .50cal bullets and projectiles (50AE, 50Beowulf, 500S&W, .50 sabots, etc)…this one SPECIFICALLY is .50BMG

  • Vanman December 22, 2017, 6:53 pm

    Only a Mall Ninja would believe this tall tale.

  • John Anderson December 22, 2017, 6:51 pm

    My son shot a young 5-point buck many years ago with an 82A1 and a 16X Leupold at about 600 yards. I thought the ball round would just punch a hole through the deer … nope. We showed the pictures to a few folks who would understand; the round cut the deer in half.

  • Moe December 22, 2017, 4:02 pm

    A bullet needs to strike an object to damage it. Yes, it really, really is that simple. But stupid people love making up bullsh*t, and for every one of them, thereโ€™s a hndred more willing to believe it.

  • BobBacon December 22, 2017, 3:56 pm

    .50 might be reasonable for big bear hunting, if you have money to burn and donโ€™t need the furs.

  • Andrew December 22, 2017, 3:43 pm

    I’ve been in firefights where I had a M2 .50 fire less than a yard in front of me and while that video is a nice story. I still have both my eyes and other body parts. The only weapon system that I have actually witness that the vortex of the round does damage is the 25MM on the Bradley fighting vehicle. We would rip deeds and hogs in half when I was stationed in Germany. But sadly the .50 doesn’t have the umph to.

  • srsquidizen December 22, 2017, 2:41 pm

    Using a .50 BMG to shoot deer? It’s rare that the expression “using a cruise missile to shoot squirrels” can be applied as a direct comparison rather than just an analogy.

    • Terry Anderson December 22, 2017, 7:59 pm

      My thoughts exactly; considering what 50BMG costs a round, the saying “Cocaine is Gods way of telling you you have too much money.” is pretty applicable here as well. Definitely not a ‘Cheap Thrill”, a guaranteed trophy, nor a real test of marksmanship either, I guess the only thing stopping him from using a bazooka would singe the meat! I think I’m poor and I like a challenge, so I’ll just stick to my .270 or .my 30-06; a little less expensive and a little (ok, a lot) more sporting!

  • triggerpull December 22, 2017, 1:44 pm

    This guy should be shamed for unethical hunting–his weapon of choice was obviously marginal for an ethical kill–he should have at least used an RPG or called in an artillery strike.

  • Aaron December 22, 2017, 12:20 pm

    Looks like the eyeball is still in the socket. If that big a round went exactly through the eye socket, I cannot believe the eyeball would still be around to be photographed. Also, if the bullet hit any bone the fragments would be very energized and would probably be seen deeper in the skull and brain.

  • Silverbullet December 22, 2017, 12:04 pm

    I see no reason to haul a thirty pound gun around just to shoot deer. If you want to cull a deer herd you don’t need a 50 cal. $10.00 bullet. At fifty yards a even a 22cal rimfire will put down humanely. And there about $.10 around. So if any fool wants or has that much money to blow away a deer. I guess that about says it all. Most hunters don’t need sound shock waves to knock down deer , the good ones practise with there guns to produce good kill shots. I myself found hunting with conventional firearms much to easy , turning to muzzle loaders and limiting my kill zone to a hundred yards. In fact even for small game I went to the 28 ga. And 410 producing as much table fare as I had with the 12ga. . Finally I was looking to get a small bore muzzle loading shotgun . But my worn out body has sidelined the greatest joys of my life . But all the memories of ducks deer squirrel pheasants, wood cock , ground hogs rats wild boars and more . Most of all the larger game were one shot kills on the run with a 54 cal. TC inline thumbhole stocked rifle. In fact a deer club I hunted with called me sargent slaughter. Never needed a thirty pound rifle to hunt with YUPP fool’s and there money

    • Stan December 22, 2017, 8:56 pm

      A 50 BMG ball cartridge runs about $3.50

  • Mark Are December 22, 2017, 11:25 am

    Agreed…He hit the deer in the eye.

    • Donald Jones December 22, 2017, 11:51 am

      When you look at the deer at the instant the trigger was pulled, it’s evident that the deer’s eyes were lined up precisely with the line of travel of the bullet. He hit the animal straight in the lewft eyeball and the round traveled out the right eyeball without striking any hard tissue or bone to make it expand.

  • joe December 22, 2017, 11:23 am

    This guy is an idiot. “Killed it but didn’t hit it”. There is no way that he missed that deer.

    • 43north November 30, 2018, 6:04 am

      The real story? “Missing” that deer with a scoped Barrett at ~ 50 meters.
      At that range, you should be able to pull the bolt, bore-sight your target, and “send it”.

  • Joseph Cruz December 22, 2017, 11:16 am

    The deer’s head would have simply exploded if it was hit from 50 yards with a 750gr .50 inch diameter projectile traveling almost 2000 fps. Think about it: we’ve all seen vids of sniper headshots with .30 Cal projectiles taking chunks out of human skulls from greater distances and the famous Zapruta film.

    We’ve also read the stories of people being injured by shock waves in Europe when buzzed by F-15s going supersonic or the vids of dopey towel heads getting killed by standing too close to the muzzle of a canon being fired by their colleagues.

    Why then is it so hard to believe the deer could have been killed by the shock wave of a .50 cal that just barely missed its head from so close a range? That gun makes a very big boom and all that sound energy is still compressed behind the bullet at that range which is still doing about mach 1.8. That’s got to hit soft tissue like eyes and brains like a sledge hammer while possibly not breaking the skull.

    • T-dog December 22, 2017, 11:54 am

      I’m going to disagree with a few people because I’m going to throw into the mix the distance the deer was shot at. At the distance the deer was shot, the bullet still had it’s rotation from the barrel, and likely hit the deer in the eye. Shockwave theories and experience in the field from snipers are likely valid, but many people forget that at the distances snipers are shooting from, the bullet may likely lost its spin and starts tumbling. A tumbling round will create a much bigger “wave” of air, just as a Mac truck creates a much bigger push of wind when it passes you on the road versus a sleek sports car. Videos debunking the shockwave theory of the 50 cal at close ranges forget the bullet is still spinning straight and is not “un-aero”dynamic in it’s flight path.

      • Thomas Gomez December 22, 2017, 12:14 pm

        Hi T-Dog.

        50 BMG’s by their design have high ballistic coefficients. In theory bullets start to loose stability at the transonic range. The Hornady A-Max goes transonic around 2700 yards. At 2700 yards a 50 BMG has 2000 foot lbs of energy. I don’t think a 750 grain/.107 lb/.048 kg projectile is creating an oblique shockwave that will cause lasting damage to mammal. Interesting theory. I want to test it. I wonder if you can safely load subsonic 50 BMG rounds.

      • kyle December 22, 2017, 6:42 pm

        The bullet may have lost its spin? Are you kidding me? The deer was close range. If 50 BMG projectiles could lose their spin at that range nobody would be taking 2 mile shots with them. Bullets don’t lose their spin very much when in flight. They lose their velocity faster than they lose their spin which means they will keep stable the whole time in flight and get more stable as they slow down. You have a serious misconception of how all this ballistic stuff works and you should probably go learn a few things about physics.

        • T-dog January 2, 2018, 10:10 am

          Thank you for NOT reading my comment…whether you know physics or not it’s still polite to read what you intend to criticize. Thomas Gomez understands about thinking things through before speaking.
          “Even a fool looks wise… until he opens his mouth”

    • Thomas Gomez December 22, 2017, 12:02 pm

      Had he hit the deer in the cranial vault I think you would have seen some brains. In my article I state that Keith probably shot the animal through the eyes. The only bone the bullet hit was the lacrimal bone, a thin bone that separates the eyes. The animal probably died from a massive stroke.

      A near miss from a 50 BMG round cannot kill an animal. I am not even sure it is generating enough pressure to damage the tympanic membrane. (Ear)

      I hope this finds you well.


    • kyle December 22, 2017, 6:50 pm

      You are comparing an f-15 supersonic fly by to a little 50 cal bullet fly by? Let’s analyze this. An F-15 “has injured” people flying by supersonic. It’s huge for one. It’s already producing extreme amounts of sound waves from the afterburners needed to propel it at such speeds. It produces a crap load of sound from the air it displaces because it is a huge and relatively draggy object. A 50 cal projectile is tiny, sleek, and produces no sound from thrust other than the initial muzzle blast which only takes place at the muzzle. And you are trying to argue that if an f-15 “can injure” someone from a sonic shockwave that a tiny 50 bmg projectile can “instantly kill” a deer and pop its eyes out. Just let that argument sink in. And while you are at it take a look at the demolition ranch video and see how much of an apocalyptic wake a bullet leaves as it flies through the air. Give me a break.

  • American USMC December 22, 2017, 11:01 am

    Thomas Gomez Hello If a 50 BMG bullet hit the deer in the eye as you suspect ,it would have taken the head off or caused more damage. I shot a ground hog with a 45/70 barely grazed the skin. No hole ,just a thin line where the bullet took off some hair..Ground hog real dead and the carcass felt like a bag of jello. True hunting story.

    • Thomas Gomez December 22, 2017, 11:52 am

      Not necessarily. If the bullet started to tumble upon impact, its possible. The lacrimal bone is fairly thin, and the round was only going a paltry 2600’ish fps. Shoot that deer with a 150 grain 300 win mag in the eye, you will see some brain matter.

      Clay and I are going to get a 50 BMG and disprove this myth once and for all.

      Cheers amigo.

  • chris December 22, 2017, 10:49 am

    Why are we even talking about this Great White Hunter??

  • Allen Lawson December 22, 2017, 10:47 am

    No comments on this but have pictures of piles off dead VC hit with quad 50 used for perimeter defense . Very large holes in bodies limbs and parts of limbs blown off . Nobody had a happy look on their face except perimeter defense . 50 cal not for deer hunting if your gonna eat it

  • Cpt'n John December 22, 2017, 10:16 am

    Real men use a muzzleloader.

  • Alan December 22, 2017, 10:05 am

    I call BS.

  • John N Schoen December 22, 2017, 9:33 am

    Curious——A professional hunter misses a head shot @ 50 yards with a scoped 50 cal???? Maybe he should have used a RPG—the blast radius would have done the job! Sounds like he just got tired of punching holes in paper and wanted to experiment on a different target.

    • jim December 22, 2017, 11:12 am

      BTW: I hear your brother’s band, Journey, may make a revival tour/album

  • Earl Belz December 22, 2017, 9:23 am

    That’s not “hunting”, even if it was “deer management” as the author calls it.
    Why not take a grenade launcher or better yet call in a 130 gun ship. Wow, that would really make for an enjoyable read….

    • Alan December 22, 2017, 10:04 am

      Gotta love your foolish remarks

  • Bronzebruce December 22, 2017, 9:02 am

    Wow..Hunting a deer with a .50 bmg..and a 750 grn one at that..I fail to grasp the rational here..Guess it probably interests someone at a basic level..I sure don’t see the sport in this..In fact hunting anything but a thin skinned military vehicle with this round does not seem the least bit interesting or sporting..Brutal perhaps..Daniel Boone would be proud..Not..

  • Johnny Raygun December 22, 2017, 8:51 am

    Really,, setting in a ,on a rest and can’t hit the deer? What a Bazzoon…. Some people need to rethink their skills. I would be embarrassed to reveal that video.

  • garyh December 22, 2017, 8:45 am

    What an uneducated buffoon KW is. Really? A 50cal for deer hunting? And he thinks the shockwave killed it? Where do your missiles go after punching through what is basically cardboard to that round? Idiots shouldn’t be allowed in the woods with weapons. There’s hardly an animal in North America that can’t be taken with anything more than a .270, but if you can’t shoot accurately I guess you’ll need a 7mm or .300 – but a 50 cal? Get a different job, “hunter” ain’t it for you. Purveyor of over-priced outdoor gear you may be, but ethical and responsible hunter you ain’t.

  • Larry Wennersten December 22, 2017, 8:35 am

    I shot a whitetail buck years ago,he was at 150yd and my only target was his head.When I arrived where he was standing,there he laid,dropped like a dirty shirt.The 160 gr. Speer through my 7mm Rem.mag went in one ear and out the other.There was no sign of a hit except a little trickle of blood coming out of one ear,no visible damage to the animal.I am still amazed when I reflect on that kill.

  • Nick M December 22, 2017, 8:23 am

    Why did he keep calling the Barret a 50 BMG? It sounds like he is talking about the gun, as he then talks about “the projectile”. Maybe its just his delivery of the story.

  • Alan Westphal December 22, 2017, 7:50 am

    His comment about the necessity of ear protection proves his bragging macho talk isn’t something to rely on. I fired 6 rounds through a Pauza 50 BMG without ear protection and it was no different than a 12 gauge shotgun that people fire without ear protection all the time. I am over 70 and my hearing is perfect.

    • Thomas Gomez December 22, 2017, 2:16 pm

      I strongly recommend you wear hearing protection when shooting firearms.

    • Stan December 22, 2017, 8:49 pm

      No need for hearing protection with a M82? Your freaking kidding right? I use double ear protection when I shoot my M82. Just the pressure wave from firing a shot from that rifle will blow your spotters hat 5 feet off his head! Not kidding

  • Rick December 22, 2017, 7:25 am

    yea…. that was humane……

  • Dr Motown December 22, 2017, 5:21 am

    We are witnessing the birth of another urban legend (aka: myth)! On the other hand, I was on an elk hunt recently in Montana and one of our fellow hunters killed a whitetail with splinters! He shot a .300 Win Mag at a deer standing behind a small tree. The bullet hit the trunk (about 3-4″ diameter) and shattered it, sending multiple splinters (flechettes, essentially) into the deer! No bullet hole was found, just multiple puncture wounds with wood shards

  • Mark Kiernan December 22, 2017, 5:03 am

    I met Keith, hunting Elk in New Mexico, I’ve watched his hunting shows, and until now I’ve thought he was pretty decent guy and a respected hunter, but what on earth was he thinking when he decided to shoot a Deer with a .50 BMG I can only guess that he was bored with the 300 Win Mag that he usually shoots them with. On a more technical note it seems to me that the hydrostatic shock alone would have caused massive damage to the flesh and bone surrounding the wound track , but what do I know. Most Hunters will tell you that head shots are low percentage shots. I suppose he has shot so many Deer that he’s lost some perspective and the thought that he just wanted to see if the doe’s head would explode makes me shake my head. I wonder what Jim Shockey would have to say about it. I wonder if he’s thinking about testing a howitzer next time.

    • Jason December 22, 2017, 12:40 pm

      KW is a Pos

    • Mark N. December 23, 2017, 2:32 am

      There is nothing unethical about head shots on deer. It is a clean and nearly instant kill if your aim is good, but it is also something that you should not try at long range. I watched a programme about hunting deer in England. Aside from the fact that the hunters were actually licensed herd management experts doing culling, the interesting aspect was the regulations for taking a shot. First, the rifle had to be .243. Second, the shot had to be taken at 50 yards or less. And third, only head shots were allowed. I can tell you that a .243 will literally explode a deer’s skull (they showed it in slow motion).
      As an aside, I don’t know why some people think that you “need” a .300 WinMag to hunt deer. It is ridiculous overkill for anything smaller than a moose or a grizzly.

  • Mrninjatoes December 20, 2017, 6:16 pm

    Good analysis. Do you work on cadavers?
    Thank God that squirrel is okay!

    • Thomas Gomez December 20, 2017, 10:32 pm

      Hey Ninja,

      When I was in college I took a year of Anatomy and Physiology and a year where I was dissecting cadavers. Like the article says, I want to get a 50 BMG and get some data. I emailed Keith and asked for the skull. I would love to remove the brain and examine the nasal cavity. I doubt he preserved the skull. We will see what shakes out.

      Hope this finds you well!

  • Thomas Gomez December 20, 2017, 2:22 pm

    I agree. We need to put this one to bed for good.

  • Clay Martin December 20, 2017, 1:05 pm

    I concur Thomas. No way the shockwave alone killed an animal. Having been exposed to much high shock waves from breeching charges, I guarantee it. But we should battle lab this one, for certain.

    • Mark Kiernan December 22, 2017, 5:10 am

      I broke a Mule Deer’s back with a 150 gr bullet from a 7mm mag recently and the bullet never hit any bone, it went right through the top of both lungs and exited just below the back strap on the other side. The buck dropped like a rock from the shock wave that broke it’s back.

      • kyle December 22, 2017, 6:53 am

        Mark, I don’t think you watched the video. Nobody is talking about a hydro-static shockwave. They are talking about an air shockwave from the bullet passing by…in the air.

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