The best rounds for foxes

ask the experts

ask the experts - Credit: Archant

Is my rifle ammunition penetrating well enough for fox shooting?

Q: My foxing pal told me to stop using my ammunition because it wasn’t penetrating well enough. He told me it really needs to have an exit wound. I find the current 58gr rounds accurate and don’t have any runners so would rather not change. Is he right?

ANDY CROW replies: If you are shooting deer or other large game then penetration is important – a big, pumped-up red, fallow or sika will require a hefty amount of penetration to ensure that the bullet will pass through skin, muscle and possibly bone to reach vital organs some distance from the surface of the body. And if the animal runs on, an exit wound will help because you should have some sort of out shot and blood trail to follow up. Plus, if you are shooting for meat, you don’t want to ruin a carcass with a highly frangible bullet head and massive wound channel.

However, when shooting a thin-skinned and relatively small pest species, such as a fox, and when preserving meat and fur is not a priority, a rapidly expanding varmint bullet is ideal. As long as the bullet will penetrate far enough to find the vital organs, then exit holes are not required. In fact, the more energy that the round deposits inside the target the better. If your bullets group well and the animals die cleanly I think you should stick with what clearly works.