Tipped Bullets - rumblings.

Yorric

Well-Known Member
I've heard rumblings recently that some game dealers are refusing to accept deer shot with "ballistic tipped" bullets.

Also some land managers have banned their use.

Has anyone else heard this? ---- Why should this be? ---- Is it just Nosler BT bullets or all plastic tipped jobbies?

I'm wondering why. ---- Possibly because some plastic tipped bullets are too frangible & cause too much damage? ---Possibly the current media hype about plastic in the environment? -----Maybe meat processors can't find plastic with metal detectors on their production lines?---- Maybe some antis are stirring it up? --- Maybe some other reasons?

If this goes on becoming the norm, all the modern bullet designs will be a waste of time for hunting LOL!

As with many things, the masses are likely to be penalised because others do wrong.
--- There was the movement to ban lead in bullets. Now there is resistance to solid copper & plastic tipped ones.

All because some bullets have been used on the wrong quarry, with badly placed shots, driven at the wrong speed at the wrong range to give optimum terminal ballistics ---- Or target bullets used for deer?

Ian
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
How would the game dealer know what bullet was used unless you tell him?

Surely he will assess the carcase on what he sees and not solely upon what you tell him. As you say excessive damage could be caused by any number of factors. I know one stalker/game dealer who was based in Somerset who used to complain bitterly about carcases shot with lighter weight .243win bullets. He went all through his larder one day showing me roe carcases shot with a .243 and those shot with a .270 or .308 for comparison and I had to agree that those shot with the heavier bullets had less bruising.

Norma produced some quite good videos some time back comparing the results of their ballistic tipped bullets with their more conventional bullets. I believe that their recommendation with deer was to use the ballistic tipped for neck shooting and the conventional bullets for body shots.
 
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Freeforester

Well-Known Member
Having seen the (somewhat aptly named) Sierra 'Gamechanger' working its way through a pig carcase on the video on Takboks thread posted yesterday, I'm not surprised, tbh. Imagine being on the receiving end of such damage in your bought pack of venison - might not be all smiles and happiness I think. Hard to get top dollar for damaged goods.
 

Edinburgh Rifles

Well-Known Member
Any bullet of the wrong construction for the quarry you are shooting, driven at the wrong speed or put in the wrong place will create unacceptable carcase damage

neatest shots i have ever had were AMax in 208gr form
some of the worst were 52gr AMax on foxes!

its not the tip
its the whole package
 

monarman

Well-Known Member
Exactly what Ed has just said......

Plus..... damage is always secondary concern..... a clean kill is what matters!!!!!!!
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
I've heard rumblings recently that some game dealers are refusing to accept deer shot with "ballistic tipped" bullets. Also some land managers have banned their use.

Having seen the (somewhat aptly named) Sierra 'Gamechanger' working its way through a pig carcase on the video on Takboks thread posted yesterday, I'm not surprised.

It's pretty much always been that way on some estates in Scotland. If a rifle turned up with those white, yellow, red (according to calibre) plastic tipped bullet ammunition in the 1980s or 1990s when they came on to the scene and the stalker saw them when the rifle was shooting at the iron stag or "That wee rock to the left of yon heather..." the rifle might often be politely asked if he had any other "bullets" and if not invited to either remedy the matter forthwith or use the estate's weapon.

Any bullet of the wrong construction for the quarry you are shooting...at the wrong speed or...the wrong place will create unacceptable carcase damage .

True. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And justified or not these things, plastic tips bullets, carry with them certain preconception based on unfortunate past performance as pre-loaded baggage.

Our American forum friends if they join this thread may say the same thing about the precursor to all these plastic tipped bullets...Remington's (metal tipped) "Bronze Point" cartridges.
 
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Muir

Well-Known Member
I do not like tipped bullets for deer. That they die is without question, but the bullets (SST, ELDX) make a mess and don't drop the deer as quickly as the lead tip/core bullets. I shot a mule deer buck with a 165 grain SST and it was the classic hear/lung shot but the bullet, after shredding the lungs to bits, somehow ended up turning up and right and shattered the off shoulder ruining the meat. The deer ran 80-100 yards coughing up chunks of lung which is a testimony to the will of the animal, but I think if the bullet had exited the far chest wall -as would have happened with a Sierra GP or PH -that would not have been able to occur. I am not a fan of ballistic tipped bullets on big game -at least Hornady.~Muir

As an aside for the younger crowd: Everyone associated the term "ballistic tip" as originating with Hornady and the pointy til designed to increase BC without adding weight. I seem to remember shooting Norma ammo back in the 60's that was advertised as having a "ballistic tip" which was a small, hard, yellow plastic bead in the nose of the bullet that rested on the jacket.This eliminated the lead tip and any deformation that might happen while jolting back and forth in the magazine during recoil. It was said to aid expansion. I'm old enough that some memories are foggy but I do think that one is correct.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
I seem to remember shooting Norma ammo back in the 60's that was advertised as having a "ballistic tip" which was a small, hard, yellow plastic bead in the nose of the bullet that rested on the jacket..

I know the bullets you mention Muir -- I had some 180 grainers, loaded in 308 flavour sat in the safe for years until just a month ago when I decided to use them up for target plinking. They shot accurately enough (under an inch at 100 yds). I hadn't used them because I'd heard strong rumours in the past that they were quite a frangible bullet, so I decided not to use them on deer.
Now if I want to shoot heavy 30 cal. bullets at deer , I use 180 grain round nose lumps. -- I like to hear the distinctive smack when they impact! Accuracy is great, bullet drop of no consequence at my stalking ranges & they cut through any undergrowth/brush very well. -- I do try & avoid twigs, but sh*t happens occasionally & it's nice that I'm less likely to get deflections. Bullet expansion is excellent with good mushrooms & deep/through beast penetration - What's not to like?

Ian
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
View attachment 99494 Well both these deer were shot with lead core Norma “Vulcan” rounds and the mess they’ve made on these two was pretty severe to my mind! (That is the exit wound I hasten to add)
I’ll be interested to see how differently they perform on a red which may be very contasting but who knows, as has previously been said by Ed, there are so many variables it’s not just plastic tipped bullets that can cause lots of damage!
 

A Guy Out West

Well-Known Member
I just scratched off Norma Vulcan's as a bullet to try.


View attachment 99494 Well both these deer were shot with lead core Norma “Vulcan” rounds and the mess they’ve made on these two was pretty severe to my mind! (That is the exit wound I hasten to add)
I’ll be interested to see how differently they perform on a red which may be very contasting but who knows, as has previously been said by Ed, there are so many variables it’s not just plastic tipped bullets that can cause lots of damage!
 

25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
Having seen the (somewhat aptly named) Sierra 'Gamechanger' working its way through a pig carcase on the video on Takboks thread posted yesterday, I'm not surprised, tbh. Imagine being on the receiving end of such damage in your bought pack of venison - might not be all smiles and happiness I think. Hard to get top dollar for damaged goods.

Sierra's commentary says it all

'incredible shock power for quick takedown ....... to anchor your trophy at any distance'

they're not concerned with meat damage, they want the trophy more so damage is not a concern.

I run 120 nbt in my 6.5x55 at 2850, mainly roe and damage is never over the top
 
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sauer

Well-Known Member
Well

Few posts concerning meat damage ..... 99% of my stalking career has been roe on NE Scotland farmland where a beast may run but usually found without too much drama...& retrieved same.... always the classic engine room shot....

Now last couple years I have access to reds
( & roe) I’m hill & heavy forestry .... lot of the heather is unmanaged deep thick bloody stuff & the trees so thick can barely crawl thru it..... it still astounds me when you see a red just melt into it ... how the hell do they get thru it with rack like they have up top .....

Now I’ve had to teach myself that if I want that beast down & not run the 5 yards back into said trees I’ll need to anchor it .... I’d rather lose one shoulder than lose the meat ... if the beast makes it back into they trees I’d still be there yet trying to get it out.
Here’s the big BUT tho ..... I’m not putting beasts into game dealer I process all my own .... and so far I’ve not lost all meat on a shoulder roe or red ... but importantly they didn’t make tree line ... slight twist on body angle allowing in behind shoulder on entry side and take out heart or lungs and the far shoulder ..
That’s with .25-06 & 117grn Sierra gamekings .... really like them .

As said somewhere above I’ll take clean kill over meat damage & im prepared to accept some in turn for the beast to drop quickly and preferably where it stands

Paul
 

dodgyknees

Well-Known Member
Sierra's commentary says it all

'incredible shock power for quick takedown ....... to anchor your trophy at any distance'

they're not concerned with meat damage, they want the trophy more so damage is not a concern.

I run 120 nbt in my 6.5x55 at 2850, mainly roe and damage is never over the top

Looking at that video I’d say the pig carcass was shot with a heavy pill out of a powerful rifle, a 200gr in a .300 Win Mag or such like, from quite close range. Most controlled expansion game bullets will deliver shock like that if they are heavy and driven hard enough. I wouldn’t judge the Sierra on that video, my bet is that it will be a good bullet for specific applications as you say.

There are so many variables involved when putting down a game animal. This business of meat damage is particularly fraught with inconsistencies and partial truths and an almost complete lack of comparable analysis unless a study is done under very specific conditions. I can shoot the same kind of animal, same body weight range, same range (roughly) and get several different outcomes from the same bullet depending on where I hit the animal, at what angle, and what the bullet collected on the way through.

When I see meat animals with huge gaping holes on the offside shoulder, I inevitably think “bullet too hard, driven too fast, range too close”. I am very careful not to shoot meat animals with hard, fast bullets at close range that plow through the shoulders. Over pentration and low fragmentation happen for a reason! Wrong selected bullet for the target game weight and toughness.

I use different bullets for different applications as you already know and I am a big fan of high BC tipped bullets for extended range effectiveness. Blanket criticism of these bullets is missing the point of their application. When I am hunting close in and I want an accurate to say 300m, a fast killing bullet that minimises meat loss, I use a traditional cup and core frangible soft point bullet, e.g. Sierra ProHunter or GameKing. I’ll be confident that when I put it in the right place, all the energy will remain inside the vitals and it is unlikely I will get an exit wound at all, which is fine because the animal is lying right where I shot it. If it runs at all, the respiratory blood from its nose will give me a fine blood trail. This need for bullets to punch through and create gaping great exit wounds in the name of blood trails is exaggerated - shoot them in the lungs and be done with it.

Ballistic tipped bullets have an important place in hunting, its their overuse in less than ideal circumstances that pushes them past their limits that causes all the fuss, particularly very close range shooting of light skinned medium game animals, which is a problem for many bullet manufacturers to get right. Horses for courses as they say, there’s still no one do-it-all-perfectly bullet for 50m to 1000m, probably never will be.
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
As an aside for the younger crowd: Everyone associated the term "ballistic tip" as originating with Hornady and the pointy til designed to increase BC without adding weight. I seem to remember shooting Norma ammo back in the 60's that was advertised as having a "ballistic tip" which was a small, hard, yellow plastic bead in the nose of the bullet that rested on the jacket.This eliminated the lead tip and any deformation that might happen while jolting back and forth in the magazine during recoil. It was said to aid expansion. I'm old enough that some memories are foggy but I do think that one is correct.

Remington had the Bronze Point boattail bullets back in the 1960s. Today, this is a bronze colored plastic tip, probably made for them by Hornady. Back then, it was aluminum, anodized bronze. It made the 150-gr .30 caliber boat tail bullet more sleek, and moved its center of mass further to the rear, so it stabilized quickly after leaving the muzzle.

I used them in a .30-06 to take whitetail deer, a big mule deer, big billy goat. The goat and whitetails it dropped like a truck ran over them. The mule deer, shot through the heart at 300 yards, showed no effect, and kept moving. I shot it again and by the time I got down there to track it, it had fallen over dead, with holes in and out about 4 inches apart, and no sign of expansion. So the bullet was not perfected then, but it was accurate. I think the Nosler BT, Hornady SST, etc today work great when used properly, but outside that band of terminal velocity, hide, fat, and bone being right, they are a bit unpredictable. I would rather have a bullet which did not expand at all and went completely through all organs in its path, than one which might textbook mushroom, might blow up, or might pencil through - depending on about six factors, three of them out of my control.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Back then, it was aluminum, anodized bronze.

Wow. I didn't know that and assumed it was actually bronze. Thanks. So in fact the Remington guys stole the idea from us Brits then almost? The .303 Mk VII ball was notorious for the wounds that it inflicted. In fact in WWI the Germans questioned its legality. For that bullet had an aluminium tip too. Inside its full metal jacket. Recover the fired bullets from old military ranges and you'll often find the tip and the jacket burst asunder but the rest of the bullet, the lead part, all gone.

It's known as the velopex principal. Make the bullet overlong for its weight and it has a better ballistic co-efficient so is, as you've said, more sleek. The modern version is to omit the tip and make those HPBT "Match Type" bullets. What the Brits of course really wanted...and they got with the Mk VII design wasn't primarily better range. That was a secondary benefit. What they wanted was expanding bullet effect in an apparently "war legal" full metal jacket bullet.

They got it. The effect of the aluminium (or later in WWII sterilised paper fibre...but that's another story) tip was that the bullet was bottom heavy. So that on striking flesh and bone the thing went quickly to tumble. And thus had a much greater killing effect. Which is why I knew stalkers who in fact swore by .303 Mk VII for use on deer. So thanks Southern. I didn't know the tip was aluminum and assumed that it was in fact bronze and designed to drive back to initiate expansion. Aluminium. That's interesting.

The paper fibre tip was used during the aluminium shortage in WWII. One famous forensic scientist visiting the ammunition factory asked why they didn't continue to use paper after the aluminium shortage had ended as paper was cheaper in any case than aluminium. He was told that in fact it was considerably more expensive as to be "war legal" much effort and expense had to be expended on making that paper fibre sterile to avoid any accusation that they were making bullets capable of introducing infection into wounds.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
All very interesting stuff - the last post about non-toxic materials in military rounds made me wonder whether the incendiary part of tracer bullets was/is toxic??:-|

My preference in a deer bullet is for it to fully expand & not loose much mass. Less random bits of bullet in a carcass can only be a good thing when considering meat damage /contamination. - Blunt nose soft points tend to do this & also the Barnes TTSX do too, just loosing the plastic tip.

Anyway ..... Back to my initial post, has anyone got any reliable evidence that game dealers are currently refusing to take BT shot deer?

Ian
 

Tom D

Well-Known Member
There are idiots in all walks of life. Game dealers will be no exception. This guy (the game dealer not the OP) obviously doesn’t have a clue.

The worst meat damage I have seen came from a traditional soft point driven fast. I used to use Nosler BT 150gn for a while, I liked them, the damage was acceptable. Tbh you have to do some damage or the thing won’t die!
 

Marcher

Well-Known Member
I have heard that the Military don't use plastic tips, because they don't show up on X-Rays when dealing with wounds. Maybe the venison processors have the same problem, with bits of plastic cropping up in the pre-packs.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
All very interesting stuff - the last post about non-toxic materials in military rounds made me wonder whether the incendiary part of tracer bullets was/is toxic?

Same as with the exemption for incendiary bullets. They are "war legal" as they are designed for a purpose other that use against personnel. The Royal Armoured Corps were asked at one stage what mix of rounds they wanted for their 7.92mm BESA machine guns. As being unique to them they had the luxury of having whatever mix they desired apparently.

They replied that they wanted the belt to be all tracer. It intimidated enemy troops hiding in hedgerows. And was easier to walk onto target. They were told that this wouldn't be "war legal" as effectively they'd now be using tracer in an anti-personnel role. They'd have to think again. OK, the RAC replied. In that case we want one ball one tracer. Which as it complied with the letter of the law (if not actually the spirit of it) they got.
 
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