DRT AMMO Testing – Part 2

Before I get into the results of the terminal performance and field testing let me say the shooting occurred on the ranch of John Worrell – owner of DRT. This is a high fence operation so the deer we were shooting did not classify as hunting. To me; it was a deer shoot. Actually, it was a culling operation where we were taking mature bucks that had reached the limit of antler growth and doe that they wanted off the property.

At John’s East Fork Ranch they run high-fence hunts for whopper whitetails but they also offer free-range Missouri whitetail hunts on an adjacent 4000 acre ranch for an amazing $ 2500.00. If you are looking for a free-range whitetail hunt where a deer scoring 150 or more is a real possibility – AND – if you like to stay in top of the line accommodations with great food – AND – if you like an indoor pool and sauna at your hunting camp, THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU.

Whitetials with the .223


The terminal performance testing was conducted in Permagel which is a substitute for ordnance gelatin. I’ve used this product in the past and penetration results are very similar to 10% ordnance gelatin. The main difference is that Permagel does not illustrate the full value of the wound cavity the bullet creates.

The 60 grain DRT 223 Remington load penetrated around 10 inches and showed delayed expansion much like the Berger VLD. The thing is, these bullets don’t expand, they uncompress. Its almost like controlled particle dispersion. The 171 grain .DRT bullet fired from a .308 Winchester penetrated about 17 inches and the wound cavity looked similar but was, as you would expect, larger.

DRT .308 Winchester wound cavity in 17 inch block of Permagel

I’ve shot two whitetails so far. A cull buck and a doe. Both were shoulder shots at around 70 yards. Both deer ran about 60 yards downhill and tipped over. In both cases there was no pass through. As a matter of fact, Dustin Worrell – John’s son and the guy that actually makes these bullets and the ammo – suggested I shoot these deer with another deer standing directly behind them. He knew there would be no pass through. Dustin shoots an amazing number of deer every year while culling. He uses the DRT ammo and has not only a vast understanding of how bullets work on animals, he knows how to build them.

In total, so far, there have been 10 whitetails shot with the 223 Remington using the 60 grain DRT load. Three of these were mature, 200 to 260 pound bucks. No deer has run further than 70 yards and none took a second shot. Also, so far, all the shots have been what I would consider relatively good shots but I expect that will change.

You won't see this in a gun magazine. Hole in the off-side lung of a whitetial doe caused by a 60 DRT .223 bullet that passed through a rib first.

You can expect to see a full report on this new bullet technology and the results of this culling operation in print sometime in the future. I’ll let you know where and when. In the meantime I think hunters would be wise to look at this new technology in the way bullets can damage tissue. I’ve said this before and I am even more convinced now, “Retained weight, recovered diameter and sectional density are not what determine how well a bullet kills. What matters is how much and what tissues a bullet destroys.”

After all, an animal dies when its brain runs out of oxygen (read blood). The more tissue we can damage, the sooner we can make this happen and it matters not what the cartridge you are shooting says on the headstamp.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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4 Responses to DRT AMMO Testing – Part 2

  1. RG says:

    Thanks RAM. Very interesting.

  2. Pingback: DRT .223 Ammo testing « Gun Nuts Media

  3. JD says:

    “Both were shoulder shots at around 70 yards.”
    In western North Dakota we don’t usually get shots that close on whitetails. Show me some damage at 200 yds.

    • gunwriter says:


      I hope I did not give the wrong impression. I’m not suggesting the .223 Remington and DRT ammo as THE best thing for whitetail deer. My intention was to report the results of the culling operation and show that the conventional wisdom behind terminal bullet performance is not the only approach.

      One mature buck was taken at 180 yards with the .223 and DRT ammo and the damage was just as extensive with full bullet upset. However, If I were intending to shoot that far and was interested in the type terminal performance DRT ammo offers I would step up to their .308 Win. load.


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