Best ‘hunting’ ballistic tip?

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Accuracy aside,(each rifle seems to shoot some bullets better than others), what’s the best plastic tipped bullet available for hunting now? I’ve used some accubonds and they worked well but never grouped brilliantly - 1” at 100 isn’t very exciting. I’ve read the ELD-X at sub < 200 yards can be a little messy?

Currently running some soft points. Aside from a blood trail, I generally prefer polymer tipped bullets but interested to see what experiences other people have? Using a .270 but all larger calibers will perform relatively similarly I imagine
 

Lateral

Well-Known Member
Curious, why plastic tip ?

I used to use Noslet BT's in a .243, and .270, both messy, and caused a lot of bruising. This is out to 250yds, never shot further with them. Both very accurate, with home loads.

I was using Sierra hollow points in a 6.5x47, but they are really messy, and now use Accubond LR, which are far better. Both are very accurate, loaded.

Sierra Prohunter are accurate, and seem to cause little damage, also very accurate.
 

Flash9919

Well-Known Member
I've never had any problems with Accubond either, It's my go to hunting round for 300 & 9.3....as an aside, they have the same SD's etc as the Nosler BT so you can do your development on the cheap!.....I've also used ELD-x but as it's designed for good expansion at LR I've always gone heavy for calibre and slowed it down which makes it a bit less lively at close range.
 

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Interesting the accubonds have come up 3 times. I got them to group okay but maybe need to play with the seating depth? Certainly tweaking the powder didn’t do a huge amount. Some improvements but nothing spectacular.

Currently on prohunters and they group okay and seem to perform fine. But I don’t like how the bullet ends get damaged easily. Have always found ballistic tips seem to hit harder as well.

Maybe I should’ve retry the accubonds. Have been using N160, cci large rifle br2 primers. Got loads of n160 left so reluctant to change it?
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
Interesting the accubonds have come up 3 times. I got them to group okay but maybe need to play with the seating depth? Certainly tweaking the powder didn’t do a huge amount. Some improvements but nothing spectacular.

Currently on prohunters and they group okay and seem to perform fine. But I don’t like how the bullet ends get damaged easily. Have always found ballistic tips seem to hit harder as well.

Maybe I should’ve retry the accubonds. Have been using N160, cci large rifle br2 primers. Got loads of n160 left so reluctant to change it?
I recently changed from Nosler BT's to Prohunters. Long story but crikey those Prohunters are accurate. Much much better in my rifle than the BT's which by all accounts I was happy with but the Prohunters are something else. I was overwhelmed with their accuracy at 100yds

They certainly take on the appearance of being damaged but it doesn't seem to matter. I worked up the load and then went out a few evenings later to test drops at 200yds and this is what they did in the pic below. I didn't bother wasting anymore ammo and went straight back home. When the cows are moved, I will have my long field back and will test at 250 and 300 but I suspect it will be a waste of ammo. They just shoot.

 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
Interesting the accubonds have come up 3 times. I got them to group okay but maybe need to play with the seating depth? Many folk in the US suggest these bullets need a fair jump to the lands. Personally, mine work extremely well with .045” jump. Others have stated .050-.060” .. I suppose that’s where barrel variation comes in.

Certainly tweaking the powder didn’t do a huge amount. Some improvements but nothing spectacular.

Currently on prohunters and they group okay and seem to perform fine. But I don’t like how the bullet ends get damaged easily. Have always found ballistic tips seem to hit harder as well.

Maybe I should’ve retry the accubonds. Have been using N160, cci large rifle br2 primers. Got loads of n160 left so reluctant to change it?

236760E9-5F48-44AF-9361-C18EF84FAEC5.jpeg236760E9-5F48-44AF-9361-C18EF84FAEC5.jpegED8BE66D-9B90-4658-A743-3FFE28BDD6B1.jpeg236760E9-5F48-44AF-9361-C18EF84FAEC5.jpegED8BE66D-9B90-4658-A743-3FFE28BDD6B1.jpeg
 
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MackayRSA

Well-Known Member
I’ve had a box of federal premium in .270 that use a nosler ballistic tip (I think). Grouped amazingly through my rifle with a cloverleaf 3 shot group at 100yards and only very slightly larger group at 200yards.

Very good round if you want to drop them on the spot, but massive meat damage. I chose to change ammunition after just the one box for that reason and also the fact that they are quite pricey.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Barnes 110gr TTSX have averaged 0.609" over 9no. 5-shot groups from a sporter weight barrel pointed by me.
The 130gr TTSX have averaged 0.846" over 36no. 5-shot groups, and the Fox 130gr bullets 0.7324" over 5no. 5-shot groups.

All have polymer tips. All will give you the similar blood trail result as your bonded/partitions. I use them in a .308W but your .270 should be able to reach out further by keeping the velocity higher.


Screenshot 2019-08-31 at 23.28.34.png
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
It all depends on the velocity you drive them at and the distance you shoot over. Nosler BT's and ELDX are great if the TV is below 2500 fps. With a TV of 3000 fps they will kill quickly but there is going to be a mess. I have found the same with ProHunters and the old Amax were the same. I've been using Sierra TMK's for foxes at 3200 fps and they are fantastic, but I wouldn't use them on deer at that velocity. If shooting very long range this is the sort of bullet you want to be using, but probably not in the UK for our type of stalking.

Accubonds are pretty stout and need to be driven a bit quicker. TV's of 3000 fps are fine and they work well down to 2000 fps. The deer will run further and you will get fewer bang flops than with an ELDX but the carcass will be less damaged. Depends on shot placement and whether you value a clean carcass over a fast kill. Your call.

Barnes LRX and TTSX have to be driven quickly. I have run them with a MV as high as 3200 fps and they kill very well inside 300 meters with lots of bang flops mainly through Hydraulic shock due to the velocity and very acceptable carcass damage. The long range boys don't like them as they are too hard when TV is low - you will not find many being used in NZ. I stopped using them because 99% weight retention and 100% pass throughs at who knows what angle doesn't seem to be very safe with lots of foot paths about.

I have finally settled on the Accubond Long Range. It's a bit softer than the standard Accubond but not as soft as the ELDX. You can drive it at 2700 fps and it kills very cleanly out to longer distances than we usually shoot over as the very high BC carries velocity and energy very well. I believe they will work well with TV's as high as 3000 fps too. The high BC also minimises wind drift which is always the enemy. I have not had any issues getting very good accuracy out of them either.

Everyone has a different view on exterior ballistics and terminal performance. Many will disagree with the above, especially if they are shooting a lot of short range deer or are shooting at long range. I shoot 40 to 50 a year at short to medium ranges and am very happy with what I have settled on.
 

dodgyknees

Well-Known Member
There's no one single answer to your question @wildfowler.250. As per Nigel's comments, very much depends on the application.

You need to assess the options in terms of:

1. Typical range - whether a bullet will sufficiently expand and/or fragment at the likely TV
2. Game liveweight, toughness and anatomy - how much penetration is required and what has the bullet got to get through to reach the vitals?
3. Point of aim - are you expecting to hit leg / shoulder bone, or only ribs? Or skull or neck vertebrae?
4. BC - high BC only really starts to come into play from 300-400m, depending on calibre and weight.

Your choices include the following types of plastic tipped bullet:

1. Soft, supposed "match" bullets like TMK, ELD-M, which are both thin jacketed, high BC bullets that kill deer stone dead at all ranges, but are susceptible to poor penetration if heavy bone is involved.
2. Thicker lower jacket and base cup & core bullets, e.g. Nosler BT Hunting, ELD-X, SST, designed to fragment with a base that pushes through, great CXP2 bullets for all ranges out to ~1800fps TV. The new Sierra GameChanger (Tipped GameKing) is an anomaly here as it has a far thicker jacket than the others.
3. Bonded bullets like Accubond, Interbond, Scirocco II, DeerHead, Oryx. Great for heavier reds and proper CXP3 game ("big" game) but also preferred for use in tight bush and woodland, as accidental vegetation hits on the way to the target don't upset the bullets much and they will still kill well.
4. Tipped monolithics, much better now than the old ones, also a good choice for bush hunting. Need to be driven fast to work optimally.

At the end of the day though, the traditional still works, and some would say works the best. I recently burned some cash going through a range of .308 bullets, trying to find one that ticked all the boxes in my 18" rifle. I was convinced I'd need a plastic tip, so (with problems in brackets) I tried Accubond LR (cost, availability), ELD-X (mag length), TMK and ELD-M (too explosive for close range shoulders) and Scirocco II (cost, availability).

Then I asked on our forum for some soft and hollow point leftovers to try, and was given various odds and sods. The first one I tried was the boring old Speer 165gr BTSP, very similar to the GameKing. Repeatable half MOA, cheap as chips, and hits deer like Mjölnir. I've shot six so far, from 40m to 350m and not one has made more than 2-3 steps. Open / broken country shooting, so no scrub to shoot through. I can switch them out for 165gr GameKing SPBT (as different to HPBT) with no change to POI, but the GameKing has mysteriously doubled in price in the last two years...

So for me, the expensive tipped bullets have their place, and I use them in .223 and 6.5 Creedmoor, but in terms of accurate killing power at the ranges I'm comfortable at with my rifles, in .243 and .308 I'm sticking to the tried and true tradtional soft points.

By the way I have deliberately damaged soft point tips to test the impact on accuracy, and found that there is none. I carry a small strip of Emery paper in my pocket and if a tip gets severely disformed I simply give it a light touch up and it's good to go.
 

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Cheers gents. Certainly a very strong theme here of Sierra prohunters/game kings so I’ll stick for now then.

Will be interesting to see how the gamechangers perform and cost but for now I’ll wait and see!
 

Penyard

Well-Known Member
In my opinion the polymer/plastic tip serves several functions:

1.To make it look a bit like an intercontinental missile I.e.To look cool (utterly pointless aesthetic)
2.To assist in initiating expansion (I’ve never been convinced on this one)
3.To increase ballistic efficiency (which it does achieve although debatable if any appreciable advantage at hunting ranges)

Furthermore there are polymer tipped varmint bullets with thin jackets that practically explode on impact, cup and core hunting bullets that behave very well on deer and tough bonded or monolithic bullets that are hard as hell. In other words the little bit of plastic is largely superfluous and it is far better to consider construction and expansion/penetration characteristics in relation to the job in hand.

That said, I seriously rate Nosler BT Hunting and Accubond bullets as well as Swift Scirocco all of which have polymer tips. Equally pleased with Pro-Hunter and Gameking which do not have polymer tips. In other words, choose the bullet that shoots accurately and delivers on game performance you are looking for regardless of whether it has a polymer tip.
 

Chasey

Well-Known Member
My mentor said use 70g BTs and shoot them in the head and that's pretty much what I have done ever since.

He suggested the polymer tip was more uniform and leas prone to damage than a normal tip and as a result accuracy was more consistent. He also said the polymer tip aided rapid expansion.

I have uses 70g BTs for about six years now and the accuracy has never been an issue and the expansion is catastrophic so very pleased with the results

However, I tryed Nosler BT in 110g 308 140g 6.5 55 and 150g 308 and was frankly a little non plussed by the results. Especially with the 140g 6.5 55. I messed with loads but found they didnt expand well enough for head shots and the 308 made a mess on chest shots where as the 6.5 55 seemed to pencil through??

All in all I went back to Federal Power shock for both 6.5 55 and 308 and was much happier with the chest shot results. I did also try Sako Hammerhead with superb accuracy and knockdown but it was so marginal on the performance between those and the Federal I went for the cheaper round and stocked up on Federal Power Shock

I m sue there must be a weight and a load out there for my rifles using BTs but I don't have the knowladge to guide the development and I don't have the time or resosces to mess around with loads of experimentation.


The leader of my original syndicate Martin, used 95g (or could have been 90g) Nosler BTs and rated them for chest shots in 243. As I personally only head shoot with the 243 and prefer a larger calibre for off sticks chest shots, I never tried this option.
 

Penyard

Well-Known Member
My mentor said use 70g BTs and shoot them in the head and that's pretty much what I have done ever since.

He suggested the polymer tip was more uniform and leas prone to damage than a normal tip and as a result accuracy was more consistent. He also said the polymer tip aided rapid expansion.

I have uses 70g BTs for about six years now and the accuracy has never been an issue and the expansion is catastrophic so very pleased with the results

However, I tryed Nosler BT in 110g 308 140g 6.5 55 and 150g 308 and was frankly a little non plussed by the results. Especially with the 140g 6.5 55. I messed with loads but found they didnt expand well enough for head shots and the 308 made a mess on chest shots where as the 6.5 55 seemed to pencil through??

All in all I went back to Federal Power shock for both 6.5 55 and 308 and was much happier with the chest shot results. I did also try Sako Hammerhead with superb accuracy and knockdown but it was so marginal on the performance between those and the Federal I went for the cheaper round and stocked up on Federal Power Shock

I m sue there must be a weight and a load out there for my rifles using BTs but I don't have the knowladge to guide the development and I don't have the time or resosces to mess around with loads of experimentation.


The leader of my original syndicate Martin, used 95g (or could have been 90g) Nosler BTs and rated them for chest shots in 243. As I personally only head shoot with the 243 and prefer a larger calibre for off sticks chest shots, I never tried this option.
Hi Chasey, the 70gr are Varmint spec BT with thin jacket designed for rapid expansion and basically making a mess of stuff. I think all bar the 110gr in .308 you mention are hunting spec BT with thicker jackets designed for controlled expansion which I think explains the difference you have experienced.
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Slight deviation here, but I read somewhere that tip damage has negligible effect on accuracy where as damage to skirt or base does has an effect.

Not had issues with v max and alike which I have had to pull using a kinetic hammer and tip became deformed, but now use hard foam in hammer to prevent this.

D
 

paulbshooting

Well-Known Member
I use nosler accubonds on reds with 300WM and engine room hits drop them to the shot. I use Nosler ballistic tips on fallow, roe and munties with 308. No issues with meat damage and carcasses are eaten or to game dealer. If you catch a shoulder on the roe, then yes damage but had similar with soft points. Munties I push forward on the shot as no meat on shoulders and shoot to save loin and haunches. They tend to drop to the shot, which is great as often dense cover. Both rounds are home loaded and consistent 1" or less groups on 308, slightly larger on 300WM but all fine for chest shooting.
 

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