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Thread: cautionary anecdote re ballistic tips

  1. #1

    cautionary anecdote re ballistic tips

    I have started using nosler 70g ballistic tips in .243, prior to this I have used 100g spbt. The reason I changed was that I shoot quite a bit of fox and wanted a round that would handle fox and roe muntjac. Several people I know use this round and it seemed like a good compromise.
    On saturday I went out for a morning stalk, called in a couple of bucks. The first buck didnt offer a safe shot but the second stood perfect broadside at about 70meters. I took the dsc recomended 1/2 way up the body bisecting the front leg. On the shot the sound was that of a good shot but the buck took of like a scolded cat ( no hunching or buckaroo just ran off).
    After giving it a couple of minutes I followed him up, there was a good blood trail initially that gradually petered out as it crossed my boundary.
    After a bit of a faff and several hours I managed to get permission to follow up the buck and had also enlisted the help of a friend with a dog. searched for 2 hours and nothing.
    Feeling well pissed off and doubting the shot etc decided to go back with the lamp. after went round and saw nothing so went to some other bits and shot a couple of charlies. Dropped by on the way home more in hope than expectation and there he was stood in a stubble field. After doing the necessary he was found to have a surface wound infront of the front leg and also over his sternum. When skinned it appears that the bullet entered where aimed and hardly penetrated but turned 90degrees and came out the sternum. The shoulder and upper leg was smashed. This deer stillmanaged to jump at least 3 fences.
    Firstly just glad to find the deer as the wounds already had fly blow and i am certain were mortal. Secondly I am goung to keep the ballistic tips for the fox and use rthe spbt for the deer. Prior to this I have shot several roe and muntjac with the B tips so may be a one off but i dont want to go through that again if I can help it.


  2. #2
    Well done Pete for the time and effort you put in on the follow up, thats just the way it should be.

    I dont like B/Tips on deer but that is just my opinion.

    I know people who use them and swear by them but I dont like the scrapnal they leave in the carcass.

    Sierra spitzer are my choice from 100gr to 165gr for my rifles.

    You know what they say Pete," if it aint broke why fix it".

    Good hunting


  3. #3
    Hi Pete
    With all due respect but maybe you could have checked what the 70gr BT was designed for before you tried it on deer? It's a Varmint round not suitable for deer.
    What happened was your fault not the bullet's nor its designer's.
    I love BT bullets but chose those designed for medium game.

  4. #4
    point taken

    i did however take advice from several hunters and one reloading shop and did question the fact that the was marketed as a varmint round but was told by all that they had never encountered problems.
    I did anticipate this point being raised but felt i could take the flak if it helped someone else to avoid this scenario.


  5. #5

    ballistic tips

    I binned V-max ages ago for fox, settled on Nosler b-tips 40gn & A-Max 52gn, It's well known A-max does a fantastic job where you would'nt expect it to because of it's original designation as an accuracy round, never had one that did'nt work like a soft nose!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pete evans
    point taken

    I did anticipate this point being raised but felt i could take the flak if it helped someone else to avoid this scenario.

    Well done on that score Pete. I suspect if we all took that view we would all learn a lot more, a lot more quickly!

    As said, loads of folk swear by BTs - I don't. SPs have always done the job for me, while I have also seen similar 'odd' wounds caused by BTs. I just stick with what I know works.

  7. #7
    I stopped using Ballistic tips because of one shot a few year back. A really nice looking but average head roe buck grazing towards me up a glen. It was one of those perfect days where everything was going great.

    The buck turned broadside and I made an easy relaxed shot for heart/lungs which I knew was good and the buck went straight down but started kicking hard right away. The buck got back on his feet and went maybe 60 yards further when he went over and stayed down.

    When gralloching I couldn't believe the bullet path after the strike. It had hit the rib tight behind the shoulder but deflected wildly back through the guts and the remains of the separated jacket had embedded in the spleen. The carcass was a real mess and I learned that although ballistic tips make a fantastic fox round, for deer a bullet that can be trusted to penetrate in the expected manner is essential.

  8. #8
    Hi Pete
    Fair enough, you asked around and got caught out, easy done I suppose. Fair does to you for raising the issue.
    I like BTs, they do shred the lungs and therefore stop the beast quickly and, so far, give a good exit wound too. However, I suspect that if only I had an X-Ray machine or suchlike I would see bits in the chest cavity or elsewhere, which might be a bit off-putting.
    I haven't had them wander off in strange ways via the beast, yet.
    By the way, as we're helping out others, only the 95gr BT (in Norma's case) is designed for game rather than Varmint , both the 55 & 70gr are Varmint and will explode on a deer's hide or ribs.
    The lightest bullet I use in 243 is the Nosler 85gr BTHP, though it can jelly the meat a bit. A mate of mine who shoots little else but Munties swears by Gameking 100gr BTSP, and he hasn't had a runner or ruined carcass, so maybe he is right.
    Best regards

  9. #9
    I have always used gameking or speer both 100g spbt up to now for munties to reds and also fox and never had a problem. Shouldnt have messed with a winning formula really. live and learn

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by geoshot
    both the 55 & 70gr are Varmint and will explode on a deer's hide or ribs.
    Is it not high time that Nosler changed the name of one of the catagories of ballistic tips to avoid the confusion.

    Look at Hornady SST-Deer, V-Max-Fox. Simple.

    Nosler Ballistic tips for deer & fox in an identical box,with the same bullet name on the side. A bit of a lack of fore sight it seems to me.

    If every deer stalker who had had issues like these with a bullet not doing what they thought it would when they bought it emailed nosler, to complain about, the animals suffering, being out all night looking for a wounded deer, not finding the beast, and having it lie rotting encouraging foxes amongst any nearby live stock... then their inbox would be full for weeks on end.

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