Soft Point or Ballistic Tip

CDSG Shooting Sports

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
I hear a lot of people are using BT for deer, but I don't really understand the logic unless they're using them on close range deer for neck or head shots...?

BT's don't penetrate anywhere near as far as soft points but obviously transfer more energy as they shatter; soft points deform and can shatter but it's mainly the vortex created by the passage of the bullet that creates the damage - I remember a film made by Norma Ammo where they show the effects and what the ammo is intended for: BT's for neck or head shots at close range, or smaller long range quarry; SP's for H&L shots or neck/head shots at longer ranges.

I use soft points for deer (so far so good), and BT's for fox (again so far so good)...

I've heard people on this forum talking about BT's exploding on the surface and doing no good - so why use them at all on deer unless it's neck or head shots (which obviously they're ideal for at the right ranges as they shatter and make the round more lethal even if it's a little off)?
 

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
I was under the impression (correct me if i'm wrong), that there are some ballistic tips designed to expend prdictably (much like SP bullets) which may be suitable for Deer and other BT bullets which expend explosively which would not generally be suitable for Deer (although great for fox etc). Is this right?
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
I hear a lot of people are using BT for deer, but I don't really understand the logic unless they're using them on close range deer for neck or head shots...?

BT's don't penetrate anywhere near as far as soft points but obviously transfer more energy as they shatter; soft points deform and can shatter but it's mainly the vortex created by the passage of the bullet that creates the damage - I remember a film made by Norma Ammo where they show the effects and what the ammo is intended for: BT's for neck or head shots at close range, or smaller long range quarry; SP's for H&L shots or neck/head shots at longer ranges.

I use soft points for deer (so far so good), and BT's for fox (again so far so good)...

I've heard people on this forum talking about BT's exploding on the surface and doing no good - so why use them at all on deer unless it's neck or head shots (which obviously they're ideal for at the right ranges as they shatter and make the round more lethal even if it's a little off)?


This is going to be an interesting thread:stir:
Are you refering to hunting B/T's or varmint B/T's? Ive never had a hunting B/tip fail to exit, Ive never used v/max or the like. Ive used SST's and Nosler B/Tips in 243 and 25-06. Ive also used SP's in both and found deer travelled farther before dropping..


Nutty
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
I hear a lot of people are using BT for deer, but I don't really understand the logic unless they're using them on close range deer for neck or head shots...?

BT's don't penetrate anywhere near as far as soft points but obviously transfer more energy as they shatter; soft points deform and can shatter but it's mainly the vortex created by the passage of the bullet that creates the damage - I remember a film made by Norma Ammo where they show the effects and what the ammo is intended for: BT's for neck or head shots at close range, or smaller long range quarry; SP's for H&L shots or neck/head shots at longer ranges.

I use soft points for deer (so far so good), and BT's for fox (again so far so good)...

I've heard people on this forum talking about BT's exploding on the surface and doing no good - so why use them at all on deer unless it's neck or head shots (which obviously they're ideal for at the right ranges as they shatter and make the round more lethal even if it's a little off)?

Quite obvious by your post that you know sweet FA about shooting deer with a proper designed for deer BT. Go out and shoot a couple of hundred with something like a SST then come back and you will know the answer, for feck sake the only difference between a BT and a soft point is they stick a bit of plastic on the end. This does not turn it into an explosive head.

ATB

Tahr
 

Hootsman

Well-Known Member
I stopped using btip as the fragments were bloody everywhere. They dont half drop deer but they can make some mess. Soft points are great but not as confident in them shot from the 22/250. This is the reason I stepped upto soft point 63grn sierras. I was using the .308 with 150 sp sierra game kings on roe and they were doing less damage than Hornady btips 55grn. Btips are great if your not that bothered about meat damage and they certainly kick arse but the multiple exit wounds worry me a bit. One big hole with minimum damage does fine. sorry if people dont agree this is just my experience cheers Hootsman
 

Mr Lewis

Well-Known Member
I hear a lot of people are using BT for deer, but I don't really understand the logic unless they're using them on close range deer for neck or head shots...?

BT's don't penetrate anywhere near as far as soft points but obviously transfer more energy as they shatter; soft points deform and can shatter but it's mainly the vortex created by the passage of the bullet that creates the damage - I remember a film made by Norma Ammo where they show the effects and what the ammo is intended for: BT's for neck or head shots at close range, or smaller long range quarry; SP's for H&L shots or neck/head shots at longer ranges.

I use soft points for deer (so far so good), and BT's for fox (again so far so good)...

I've heard people on this forum talking about BT's exploding on the surface and doing no good - so why use them at all on deer unless it's neck or head shots (which obviously they're ideal for at the right ranges as they shatter and make the round more lethal even if it's a little off)?

I have shot over 5000 deer with BT's mostly at ranges between 100-300m and have recovered 5 or 6 that didn't exit I have also used 70 gr BT's for chest shooting large deer and have always got an exit with them.
 

Hootsman

Well-Known Member
All the deer Ive shot with btips have exit wounds. I have chest shots with exits in the chest and towards the back end. The bullets can break up a bit and the exit isnt always where you would think it would be. they are great for blood trails aswell. my minds made up at the moment and Iam sticking to sps until I find a reason to change
 

geoshot

Well-Known Member
Nowt wrong with BT's if you use the correct one.
I don't shoot hundreds of deer per year, just dozens, and I mainly use Nosler BT's in 150 from my .308 and I've never had problems with failure to exit or such
Even punching through a shoulder of a fallow is no problem.
I have had soft points come apart in flight, but that wouldn't put me off them.
I don't understand why rumours and misconceptions put people off proper hunting BT's like those form Nosler or Hornady.
 

Hootsman

Well-Known Member
True Geoshot. I think its a case of try them for yourself and see if they work for you. I changed due to the damage and if I was a better shot I would shoot them in the neck and I wouldnt want to change. I go for the engine room for most of my shots cheers Hootsman
 

nicholiath

Well-Known Member
Quite obvious by your post that you know sweet FA about shooting deer with a proper designed for deer BT. Go out and shoot a couple of hundred with something like a SST then come back and you will know the answer, for feck sake the only difference between a BT and a soft point is they stick a bit of plastic on the end. This does not turn it into an explosive head.

ATB

Tahr
i have often pondered the same question as i am just starting out stalking and this type of offensive reply is exactly why some people hesitate to ask genuine questions in the thirst for knowledge and concern for the welfare of quarry species
 

BunnyDoom

Well-Known Member
Quite obvious by your post that you know sweet FA about shooting deer with a proper designed for deer BT. Go out and shoot a couple of hundred with something like a SST then come back and you will know the answer, for feck sake the only difference between a BT and a soft point is they stick a bit of plastic on the end. This does not turn it into an explosive head.

ATB

Tahr

Ah good another polite and well thought out answer in response to a sensible question referring to Norma's own video about the same question.

Why don't you try reading the polite, educated, and well structured answers that other members have posted so far - you might learn something! What do you think this forum is for?! If you know everything there is to know about guns then why don't you start your own site entitled "ask Tahr" :cuckoo:

To everyone else, good answers so far so thanks - my experience is only with .243 and rimfire, so interested to see what everyone else is using and how the BT's perform against SP's in other calibres...
 

geoshot

Well-Known Member
Hi again BD,
In .243..........
SP = 100gr good so far, for me any way,
BT's haven't tried 'em
Hollow Points, nah, won't use 'em again, now there's an "explosive" bullet - and it was allegedly a "hunting" pattern

Still maintain that I love the 150gr BT's in .308
 

Wolverine

Well-Known Member
Nothing wrong with BT's for deer at all.
Out of a lot of deer shot,red and roe mainly,never had excess damage and only once had one not exit properly,on a roe as well not a red.Quartering shot.
Majority chest shots but will take head/neck if everything ok.
I reload and have never had no expansion,once this year one of my friends shot a buck and there was no expansion with a BT,like a knitting needle had pierced through the lung,I berated him for missing,I apologised when I seen a perfect shot.
This was the very first time I'd seen any problems with them.Out of 1000's used by myself,first we'd seen factory rounds do this for my friend as well and he shoots a lot as well.
All relative,shoot a lot you sometimes run into a bad round,have I/my friend stopped using them,no way,IMO nothing better for deer.
 

flyingfisherman

Well-Known Member
I hear a lot of things on forums that i dont understand the logic of too. Mainly because there is opinions, speculation and hearsay.

1: Ballistic Tip is a NOSLER trade mark and just because a bullet has a plastic tip doesnt mean its highly fragment able and designed as a varmint bullet. Look at the interbonds and interlocks. If anything, these may expand less than soft points. Be wary of tarring all bullets with the same brush.

2: Go and try them yourself, its the best way to clear any doubt about something to have first hand experience.

If you dont like meat damage etc, let me ask you about how much you dont like meat damage again when you have had to carry even a roe 1/4 a mile off a clear fell. Ive had the same thoughts as yourself and it boils down to would you rather waste possibly the shoulders on a roe or watch a deer disappear into a thicket of pine at last light. I cant offer a definitive answer of which type, make, calibre or weight of bullet to use, everyone has specific requirements and only you can truly decide what works for you.

Ive never had any Nosler BT in .243, .308 or 7-08 fail to exit even on red stags. Doesnt mean it wont happen though. Another thought to consider is that if your bullet doesnt exit, that deer has just taken 100% of the energy, the chances are its not going far anyways. Thats more speculation.. Sorry!

Ref HPs, Berger VLDs are HPs albeit very small hollow points but ive had reasonable results on deer with these. Ive had only one which didnt expand and that was on a fox which ran 150yds before dropping dead (tartinjock was there.).
 

d foxxer

Well-Known Member
i have often pondered the same question as i am just starting out stalking and this type of offensive reply is exactly why some people hesitate to ask genuine questions in the thirst for knowledge and concern for the welfare of quarry species

me too but i wont bother now
 

Wolverine

Well-Known Member
i have often pondered the same question as i am just starting out stalking and this type of offensive reply is exactly why some people hesitate to ask genuine questions in the thirst for knowledge and concern for the welfare of quarry species
Don't hesitate,ask away,the only stupid question is the one that's not asked when someone's not sure.
Nosler Bt's are excellent bullets,they are pricey kind though.They work well though,both accurate and with what I've found produce minimal damage if shot through the ribs,what more does someone want out of a round?
Hit bone(shoulder)with any bullet and you can get huge damage/bruising.
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
Nosler make two types of .243W Ballistic Tip bullets.

One is 'Varmint' & the other is 'Hunting'. The varmint is best Not used on deer and the 'Hunting' one should.

I've used the hunting ones on deer - incl. red stags & they're fine.
A friend dropped a 23stone stag with one last September...ATB.
 

jamross65

Well-Known Member
I remember a film made by Norma Ammo where they show the effects and what the ammo is intended for: BT's for neck or head shots at close range, or smaller long range quarry; SP's for H&L shots or neck/head shots at longer ranges.

I use soft points for deer (so far so good), and BT's for fox (again so far so good)...

I've heard people on this forum talking about BT's exploding on the surface and doing no good - so why use them at all on deer unless it's neck or head shots (which obviously they're ideal for at the right ranges as they shatter and make the round more lethal even if it's a little off)?


Are you sure about the above application of BT's and SP's according to the manufacturer because it is in complete contradiction to the Nosler manual on circumstances where the different bullets should be used. If Norma are providing a factory load with a BT in the cartridge they will almost certainly be those made by Nosler, because as has been said already BT is a trademark name of Nosler.

The BT bullet for hunting was designed to expand reliably at extended distance and not close range use. The Partition was designed to remain virtually intact at close ranges, or perhaps better described as high impact velocities either at closer range or from calibres that are considered to produce fast MV.

The BT bullets offered expansion at greater distances by being I suppose a 'softer' bullet that had a plastic tip that began this expansion on impact by being driven back into the bullet and causing the frontal area to mushroom immediately. They gave an example of Pronghorn hunting as a good application for the BT as often they cannot be stalked to close ranges and are often taken at 200yds plus.

This is why when folk come on the SD and say that they would never use a BT again because of the damage they cause they should first consider what distances they are in fact hitting the beast at and what speed the bullet is likely to be doing.

The manual showed a test between a 300Win Mag and a 308Win as they were thought of as being good examples of opposite ends of the velocity scale to shoot the two differently constructed bullets into ballistic media which were then recovered. From memory the different impact velocities between the two chamberings was probably about 500fps. The BT's and the Partitions both showed significant differing degrees of expansion and integrity because of their construction and intended use within a velocity range of impact.

So, just to highlight, (hunting ) BT's we're never originally constructed for close range head or neck work although they would in fact be a very good bullet choice for this as they would I suppose be used at closer ranges and therefore cause a lot of damage due to the high impact velocity. They were originally constructed for use at long range where impact velocities were starting to drop off, or I suppose be a goid choice from a chambering that produces low MV to begin with. Partitions were the Nosler soft point bullet designed for high impact velocities on the target (or I suppose close range).
 
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Wolverine

Well-Known Member
Chapter and verse from Jamross and he's spot on.
Nosler BT's(hunting)have optimum speed on the box,the speed which they should be driven at.
 

Hunterjohnb

Well-Known Member
Hello BD, my personal experience is with 165 gr SST's in my 06.My range would be normally between 100 -200 mtrs. I found the SST's to cause a lot of meat damage at these distances,when used for H/L shots.They are fine on head /neck shots. They give excellent groups on paper but I have gone back to my sps,also in 165 gr. I find they cause less meat damage. I find the hollow points have a grenade effect when used. You could find a fragment anywhere in the body. These are just my personal observations.
 
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