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Thread: Alternatives to Nosler Ballistic Tips

  1. #1

    Alternatives to Nosler Ballistic Tips

    I am having problems with Nosler Ballistic tips causing far too much meat damage (4 of the last 20 deer shot, with good heart shot placement have had so much damage either the whole deer or front end of deer have been rejected)

    I shoot .243 90g BT (3174fps) and .308 125g BT (3070fps) on shots over 60 yards with both calibers the meat damage is ok. Under 60 yards the bullets cause massive damage. Example; young fallow (43lbs larder) shot this morning at 35 yards. Broadside shot, hit rib on entry took out top of heart and left a 3 inch exit hole. Lungs obliterated, oesophagus, ruptured,diaphragm punctured and most bizarely half of liver hanging out of the exit wound !

    Question 1... Am I pushing these bullets too fast for close range shots ? Both of my rifles are used for woodland, hill and park so need to be shooting out to 200 yards + very accurately with them.

    Question 2... Is anyone using Hornady Interbond bullets, Hornady GMX, Nosler Accubond or Nosler E tip bullets for deer, if so your views please.



  2. #2
    If you have a look at the Nosler reloading manual, I am sure that it states the distances for point of impact that the ballistic tips are suitable for. From memory the close proximity you refer to is not a suitable distance as the velocity is too great and the expansion excessive, just as you have experienced. I used to put 125grn BT through my .308 at the time ad stopped using it on Roe for the very same reasons as you have described and that was at any distance.

    I won't comment on the .308 as I no longer use one but as for the .243, I shoot an Ackley Improved version and have settled on using Sierra 85grn HPBT Gamekings. Very accurate in my rifle and never have I experienced the kind of damage that would make me want to change. Not overly expensive either. I used Hornady 87grn HPBT prior but the accuracy was not quite as good but still impressive. They may be worth a go as an alternative.

  3. #3
    Hi Sticks

    I also shoot mainly 243 for deer and have also used the Nosler BT, and found the meat damage to be excessive, I tried the Hornadys but found they cause even more damage, I won't be using them again even though they are 1/4 the price of Noslers. I am now using Nosler 100gn Partitions at 2850fps they don't cause as much damage and they are very accurate.


  4. #4
    more damage with SST than NBT, go for a 100 grain soft point to minimise damage. I mostly shoot deer with .308 now and the meet damage with a 165 partition is nagligable compared to the .243 NBTs


  5. #5
    in the .308 if you wish to continue using the Nosler Ballistic Tips then may I suggest a switch in weight to the 165 Bal Tips. They will drop them without so much trauma. I used them quite a bit in my Brno ZKK 601 in .308. They work well on Muntjac too .

    I cnanot offer advice with the .243 as I have not used it for deer much at all.

  6. #6
    shoot em in the head, Ed!

  7. #7
    I dont shoot 243 now but can tell you in this part of the country all the people i know shoot 95gr sst.
    with good effect.
    I used to shoot them in 25cal but stopped for the same reasons to much damage.
    the final straw was i shot a big stag with 115gr b/tip at 70yds.
    dropped it to floor and I went through hedge to retrieve .where we seen it vanishing over next hill.
    after 2hours found deer had to shoot again .it had massive wound to neck but had not smashed joint.
    but not to state the obvious. that is why they are called ballistic tips.
    Stick to good soft point bullet.less damage more reliable.


  8. #8
    If you're happy with them generally then why not just slow them down a bit? It's obvious the velocity is the problem and Nosler BT do have a reputation for doing just what you've suggested. I know a stalker who swears by 95s in his .243, so perhaps that extra 5grns slows them down enough to make them a little more stable?

    Slowing them down a bit isn't going to make them bad at 200 yards. You will have a touch more drop but nothing major? That's probably worth a try before you go through the whole process of finding a new bullet to develop. Just drop down the powder a little and keep everything else the same - hopefully the groups should stay reasonable doing that and if not then that would be a good time to start working on something else.

    With my Deer rifles I'm happy to use a premium bullet. I don't shoot huge numbers of Deer so it doesn't cost that much to use the very best available. If I use 200 rounds per year I'm doing well. That's stalking, checking zero and the odd light range/bunny bashing day to keep my eye in.

    EDIT... I really like Barnes TSX, but many don't! I think you could call it a Marmite bullet?!
    Last edited by njc110381; 20-12-2010 at 11:58.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    in the .308 if you wish to continue using the Nosler Ballistic Tips then may I suggest a switch in weight to the 165 Bal Tips. They will drop them without so much trauma. I used them quite a bit in my Brno ZKK 601 in .308. They work well on Muntjac too .
    I'll echo that but maybe advise going for the 150gr BT - it's the one I use in my .308 at about 2700fps and gives acceptable results on all the deer I shoot from the smallest roe through to big woodland red stags.

  10. #10
    I'd also prefer 165's out of a 308. Not too much real life velocity drop
    compared to 150's if one has a shortish barrel.
    Worst damage out of my 243 recently was from 100gr remington core lok factory
    ammo. 80gr Sierra SP seemed way better.??

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