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Thread: boat tail vs. flat bottom

  1. #1

    boat tail vs. flat bottom

    what is the advantage or disadvantage?

    this is in relation to a 270 13gn SP type hunting bullet.

    having a few issues with seating the flat bottom Hornady SP bullets I have. had a few necks that have folded back, one bulged.

    Am I missing something or are there any real benefits?

  2. #2
    At deer shooting ranges no difference whatsoever. Go for the cheapest option!

  3. #3
    One small advantage that boat tailed bullets have is that because of their bevelled bases they tend to line up easier when being pushed into the case mouth prior to seating. I pressume that you have bevelled the case mouth as part of your case preparation. Other than that at normal woodland stalking ranges they offer no advantage. Personally I have always prefered flat based bullets.

  4. #4
    In all my years of shooting off benches on the range, I've repeatedly found that flat back bullets have shot tighter groups from my rifles at 100 yards. It may be coincidence and the real cause is some other variable. At long range the boat tail definitely comes into its own due to better ballistic coefficients giving less drag and more resistance to wind deflection.
    For normal UK hunting range shooting it makes very little difference which you use.
    Sure taper based bullets feed into the case easier so you need to chamfer the inside edge of the case neck more for flat backs. Also more care is required to align the bullet as you load it. "Gently does it and feel it engage rather than ram it in quickly.
    Find the bullet that does what you want at the target end be it paper or game and use it - don't worry about it - it ain't that important!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorric View Post
    In all my years of shooting off benches on the range, I've repeatedly found that flat back bullets have shot tighter groups from my rifles at 100 yards. It may be coincidence and the real cause is some other variable. At long range the boat tail definitely comes into its own due to better ballistic coefficients giving less drag and more resistance to wind deflection.
    For normal UK hunting range shooting it makes very little difference which you use.
    Sure taper based bullets feed into the case easier so you need to chamfer the inside edge of the case neck more for flat backs. Also more care is required to align the bullet as you load it. "Gently does it and feel it engage rather than ram it in quickly.
    Find the bullet that does what you want at the target end be it paper or game and use it - don't worry about it - it ain't that important!
    At the SHOT Show, the guys from Hornady were saying the same thing. Also the concurrence that there is little to no ballistic advantage until you get out to around 600 yards in most calibers.~Muir

    PS: I should add that when asked why they produce so many boat-tailed versions of their hunting bullets they replied that people demanded boat-tails so they made them. Simple as that.
    Last edited by Muir; 13-06-2011 at 01:28.

  6. #6
    On the basis that I am perfectly happy with my 1" group at 130yds but less than happy with the half dozen cases that have bent lips I may give then a go when I replenish stocks.
    Sounds like I may not notice the difference except the ease of seating with my "whack it with a hammer" bullet seater!

    thanks

  7. #7
    Boat tail of use only after subsonic transition.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bl0ggs View Post
    Boat tail of use only after subsonic transition.
    I'm certain this isn't true. 1000 to 1200 yard match shooters aim to stay out of the trans-sonic zone even at that range and it can be easily demonstrated that high BC boat tail bullet designs fare better in the wind than flat base ones up to that range.

    Agree on the 100-200 yard superiority of flat base though, which is why they are favoured for short range benchrest.

    Another advantage of flat base might also be efficiency in short barrels, i.e. greater velocity for the given powder charge. However barrels and powders vary , so this may not be proven.

  9. #9
    It's simply down to your loading technique and case prep that your suffering the problems you are. I have been there and done it too in the past then I stopped, thought about it and looked carefully at what I was doing. Basically it came down to ME!

    Make sure you deburr the case mouth and that you actually have the bullet sitting straight and level before you try to seat it. For this reason I ALWAYS size new brass to make sure the case mouth it round and the correct size then deburr the mouth inside and out. It's been a long time since I folded a case mouth now. Just slow down a bit and think it through as you do it and I am sure you will get around your problem. I actually prefer flat based bullets to Boat tailed ones.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JabaliHunter View Post
    I'm certain this isn't true. 1000 to 1200 yard match shooters aim to stay out of the trans-sonic zone even at that range and it can be easily demonstrated that high BC boat tail bullet designs fare better in the wind than flat base ones up to that range.

    Agree on the 100-200 yard superiority of flat base though, which is why they are favoured for short range benchrest.

    Another advantage of flat base might also be efficiency in short barrels, i.e. greater velocity for the given powder charge. However barrels and powders vary , so this may not be proven.
    I'm certain you are wrong.
    In fact it's worth looking for photography of bullet in flight
    Last edited by j0e_bl0ggs; 13-06-2011 at 10:56.

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