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M700
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Posted: January 22 2017 at 2:00pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Safari100 brought up some interesting info re bonded bullets in my discussion on the 180 gr .30-06 load. I thought we could share experiences and thoughts re various premium bullets.

We're all free of course to define "premium" bullets any way we'd like. To me, they're hunting bullets that are supposed to offer some significant advantage over "standard" hunting bullets, and are typically rather more expensive.

In my mind, standard hunting bullets, at standard velocities, in normal hunting scenarios, perform well. Most of us hunt deer, at ranges from up close, out to 200 or 300 yards. I've found that standard "cup and core" bullets do just fine.

Sometimes though, we may push the velocity pretty high, or we may be after larger, heavier game than we normally hunt. Either situation prompts me to at least consider some of the premium bullets available. Here's some examples, and how they worked out for me:

.375 H&H, 260 gr Nosler Accubond, black bear. I've shot three bear with this combination now from 300+ yards down to about 10 or 15 feet. That was exciting... Muzzle velocity on my load is 2620 fps, fairly mild, but still over 4,000 ft lbs of energy. See how the lead kind of "flows" with the bullet jacket as it peels back? That seems to be pretty typical of bonded bullets. The core stays with the jacket, rather than separating as is often the case with more conventional bullets.

The bullet recovered from the bear shot at close range:


BTW, I've found that high impact velocity, such as at short range, seems to hurt penetration, rather than helping it. This bullet looked remarkably similar to other samples of this bullet I tested in one-gallon milk jugs filled with water, and shot at 20 yards:



When I was hunting often with a .45/70 Marlin, I handloaded 350 grain Swift A-Frame and 350 grain Hornady soft points for a comparison. I actually came away impressed with both. Sadly I don't have any on-game tales to tell with either bullet. In these photos the A-Frame is on the left. Isn't that about the best looking danged mushroom ever? These were tested in the water jugs too:




When I bought my .25-06 Rem 700 CDL, I was looking for a flat-shooting, accurate, high velocity rifle. I got it. Loaded 100 gr bullets to 3340 fps via a book load, and was concerned that they might over-expand and fail to penetrate on large mule deer. So... I gave the Barnes TSX bullets a try.



That's the remains of a Barnes TSX slammed into the water jugs at 20 yards. It penetrated well, shed the expanded petals and the remnants still weighed something like 99 grains I think. I shot two mule deer with the 100 gr Barnes TSX, but had pass-through shots and the bullets couldn't be recovered. These things penetrate GREAT, but I wasn't convinced one of them had actually opened up on the mule deer, though it did kill quickly.

Barnes got a lot of reports of their smaller caliber TSX bullets having questionable expansion, and in short order the Tipped version was introduced, which I hear has solved the expansion issues. I've never tried the TTSX.

Biggest reason I stopped using the Barnes bullets was excessive copper fouling in the .25-06 barrel. That soft copper fouled the rough factory barrel badly. I did not get that same result when I tried the 168 gr TSX in my Krieger barreled .308 Win.

Nosler Partition:




I had to resort to a bullet tested in the water jugs, because I've failed to ever recover a Partition from game, despite having used them off and on since the 1970's. I used a 7mm 175 grain Nosler Partition for my big bull elk 16 years ago. Used them on wild hog and mule deer too, and my son has used them on black bear.



Everything Safari100 said about them is true. They do tend to lose that front end, it expands very rapidly, and then there is usually an exit wound, though often it's not very big. But the penetration is usually very good. I actually like them a lot in both small calibers like 6mm, and in the bigger calibers too. Accuracy these days is much better than it was in the day of the old "screw machine" Partitions. In my experience anyway.

So ya, I like "Premium" bullets and am glad they're available, but for most of my hunting, I'm quite content to use a more conventional bullet. This past season I used the 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip from my .30-06 on four big game animals (elk, bear, mule deer & pronghorn) and it worked very, very well. But it's nice to have the premium bullets avail if we may want them.

Oh, and I'm not real big on "retained weight" of the bullet normally. Just dead game, quickly...

Discussion?

Guy





Edited by M700 on January 22 2017 at 2:10pm
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: January 22 2017 at 7:50pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Guy, those are all some great looking results and no doubt would do the job, no matter the game, just fine.

I have not really hunted much that would require the higher dollar premium type constructed bullets. I did use some 95 gr. Partition bullets in the .243 Win. with great results years ago. Never recovered any of those bullets.

For jacketed, I mostly have just stuck to cup and core bullets and mostly Sierra. Deer and coyotes are not hard to kill. Still, I like to get two holes instead of one and some cup and core bullets are certainly better than others so one has to match the bullet design to the need in order to still get proper penetration.

I have cast bullets for most all my handguns and rifles anymore, so I have not bough any jacketed bullets for likely 15 years. I still have plenty of jacketed loads boxed up though. Lots of new stuff out on the market now that I am not familiar with.



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richhodg66
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Posted: January 22 2017 at 8:20pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Same as Ham Gunner. I used Nosler partitions in a .25-06 on two deer one year. Both broadside shots and fairly close, certainly not much of a test.

Haven't killed one with a jacketed bullet in about seven years now, for the game and conditions I hunt, a .30 caliber or bigger cast bullet works fine.

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safari100
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Posted: January 22 2017 at 9:14pm | IP Logged Quote safari100

It will take some trying but I will give it a go to post animals taken along with Partitions and A-Frames recovered.
I do not mind spending $1/bullet shot at game when it gives me the confidence that it will do the job without fail when the time comes. It is all in what you prefer.
I said that Barnes X bullets are premium bullets but I do not hunt with them anymore. I did not like the performance I got on a zebra. I shot up hill and the shot went in low on the near side angling forward and exited on the off side at the base of the neck. The shot made a pin hole going in broke a rib and showed no sign of expansion tumbled and exited side ways. Dead animal I guess I am just picky.

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M700
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Posted: January 22 2017 at 11:51pm | IP Logged Quote M700

That's similar to what I found in one mule deer, while using the 100 gr TSX from my .25-06 rifle. Trouble finding the entrance, and not much of an exit. Bullet did not appear to expand at all, but, it surely did kill the mule deer!

Guess I can't really complain, since the deer died, filled the freezer and his antlers are on the wall.

However, that caused me to look at different bullets, and I haven't hunted with the Barnes since. I probably should try the Tipped version someday, as I understand they expand much more reliably. But, I'm pretty satisfied with the bullets use now anyway.

Regards, Guy
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joed
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Posted: January 23 2017 at 6:31am | IP Logged Quote joed

For what I hunt anymore I just don't have need of premium bullets.
My hunting is mostly varmint and rarely deer.

I will confess that I used Nosler Partitions in my earlier days with the .25-06
when I hunted bear. But I no longer hunt large animals so cup n core works
fine for what I do.

Edited by joed on January 23 2017 at 7:41pm


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JD45
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Posted: January 23 2017 at 8:19pm | IP Logged Quote JD45

I'm shifting my beliefs too. I only hunt southern deer. I've used partitions with good results.
I always believed that you must have an exit hole, especially in the thick areas we hunt.

Some places are so bad, if a deer ran 75yds. you'd have to set the woods on fire to find it.

However, I've used and seen lots of bullets that make big ENTRY holes. And they bleed. A lot.

Still a work in progress.
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safari100
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Posted: January 23 2017 at 10:00pm | IP Logged Quote safari100

I can't figure this pic posting thing, will keep trying.
I have made the leap of faith and am loading the Barnes 200 GR. LRX BT in my 300 H+H. I hope the tip helps in expansion as they shoot great. Spring bear coming which is not a fair test as the bullet will pass thru. I will just look for evidence of expansion. If it is pin hole in and out I will pass on the rest.

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M700
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Posted: January 23 2017 at 10:08pm | IP Logged Quote M700

safari100 wrote:
I can't figure this pic posting thing, will keep trying.
I have made the leap of faith and am loading the Barnes 200 GR. LRX BT in my 300 H+H. I hope the tip helps in expansion as they shoot great. Spring bear coming which is not a fair test as the bullet will pass thru. I will just look for evidence of expansion. If it is pin hole in and out I will pass on the rest.


Sounds good.

For photos I rely on "Photobucket" a web-based photo hosting site. It's free, and easy to use.

Guy
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Posted: January 23 2017 at 10:52pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I loaded the Barnes TTX in my two 25-06 now.
Even though a deer I shot 9 years ago with the TSX had a small entrance hole and a 5" exit hole. Destroyed the lungs and heart but this was only a 45 yd shot broad side.
Last buck was 125 yds but only could see shoulder, neck and head.
Went down but not out. Had to use my S&W 44-40 for the finishing.
   

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rednekpaul
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Posted: January 24 2017 at 8:15pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul


Top 2 bullets on the upper left were picked out of the far side of a cow elk my wife shot. .270 Winchester 150 Hornady SST @ 3010 fps.

The 3 bottom left picked out of the far side of 3 different elk. .270 Weatherby 150 Hornady spire point @ 3300 fps.

The far right was picked out of a Bull elk that was shot @400+ yards. .30-06 180 nosler partition.

The 3 in the middle were picked out of elk and moose. .270 Weatherby 150 Nosler partition @ 3300 fps.

Conclusion....All these bullets killed the animal cleanly. As you can see the hornady 150 spire points performed as well as the nosler 150 partitions.

Considering the high velocity of the .270 weatherby these bullets performed well.

Real world results that I thought I would share.

IMHO...premium bullets are overrated. bullet manufacturers and ammo company`s push them and lot of people buy into it.



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safari100
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Posted: January 24 2017 at 9:20pm | IP Logged Quote safari100

Point made by all and point taken. When I am spending $10-$15K on a hunt for me and my bride I am not concerned about $1 spent for a bullet. I am not with deep pockets and save every nickel to pay for these hunts. I guess I am just a dope that has been sold a bill of goods from the ammo makers.
Guy, Thanks, I am not a computer geek and can not even figure out how to open two sites at the same time.
By the way the Partitions pictured above are exactly what I spoke of and why I don't like them, but they do perform as advertised.

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JD45
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Posted: January 25 2017 at 5:45am | IP Logged Quote JD45

rednekpaul, that's some great info.

Can you tell us this distance fo those shots?

But I'm really impressed with the Hornady's. Thats the first bullet I ever loaded.
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M700
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Posted: January 25 2017 at 8:53am | IP Logged Quote M700

duplicate somehow. Sorry.


Edited by M700 on January 25 2017 at 8:56am
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M700
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Posted: January 25 2017 at 8:55am | IP Logged Quote M700

I understand Paul's point completely. Did all of my big game hunting this year with the .30-06 & 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets - my personal favorite hunting bullet:

Bear, pronghorn, mule deer and elk. All four were quick kills, and there was no tracking involved in recovering fallen game.

Managed to recover a bullet from the bear:


And from the mule deer:


I think highly of the Ballistic Tip, and of several other "standard" hunting bullets, including Hornady.

Regards, Guy
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rednekpaul
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Posted: January 31 2017 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul

JD45 wrote:
rednekpaul, that's some great info.

Can you tell us this distance fo those shots?

But I'm really impressed with the Hornady's. Thats the first bullet I ever loaded.


The range was 260 yards with the 2 Hornady 150 grain SST (upper left). The 150 grain nosler partitions were 150 yards or less. I can`t remember specifics about the rest as it was over 10 years ago.
In general...the closer the range, the less weight retained. These bullets were found under the hide on the far side. I don`t have any recovered bullets from deer or antelope because they almost always full penetration.
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