- August 18, 2018 at 7:28 am #68796GoodsteelKeymaster
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As I gain experience in the shooting sports, something I have kept an eye on is jacketed bullet design and what bullets are best used where.
Some of the very best hunting bullets that I have used and I have feedback from clients are as follows, and I’d love to hear what your experience has led you to trust in what situations.
Hornady SST and its ilk (FTX)
This bullet style is fragile. It can tear up some meat when used up close in high power rifles but by the same token, really shines at long range where energy is waning and you need a bullet that pops open easily. I guess I would lump the Cor-loct in this category too. In my mind, the most ideal application for the SST is in 308 based cartridges for shots out to 300 yards, and in 30-06 and magnum cartridges for shots out to 800 yards on deer sized game.
These seem to be a little tougher than the SST, but still fly like a match bullet. Ideal for closer ranges than the SST and bigger game like Mule Deer and Elk. In 30 caliber, they sometimes will not perform correctly on game that is too close and not big enough to make the bullet pop open. Such as a small arkansas deer I shot at 30 yards with the 165 Gameking @3200fps and had a long track, vs. the exact same load, rifle, deer, and shot placement, but at 300 yards where the deer fell in its tracks with a much more pronounced exit wound.
Best way I can describe this bullet is “violent and deep”. They really made a bullet that works at any speed due to a very fragile tip and a protected core that just keeps trucking no matter what. However, I’ve never seen much in the way of accuracy from them, and it’s best to use the slowest twistrate possible (or match the bullet length to the twist you have) to not let centrifugal force get ahold of the imballanced construction. I reserve the Partition for situations where dangerous game are present, or I have relatively close shots (300 yards and less) where I need the animal to STOP. It’ll turn your 1MOA gun into a 2MOA gun, but if you connect, it’s curtains.
Barnes TSX and TTSX
Pretty epic projectiles here. Sometimes they shoot well, sometimes the gun hates them. I’d say by and large, they are more accurate than the Partition, but made of solid copper alloy. There are several advantages to this bullet.
1. When it works it works REALLY WELL. We call it the meat propeller. Without a doubt, it’s a no bones about it-stopper, and is anyone surprised? It’s a monolithic bullet just like our cast bullets and cannot come apart as it traverses the body of a game animal.
2. In a world where every rifle on the shelf is an over twisted ballistic joke, the Barnes makes sense. Because of its lighter than lead construction, you get a longer bullet per bullet weight which is all to the good for internal, external, and terminal ballistic performance.
3. The Barnes needs speed to work. Plain and simple, but if it has speed, it’s a kinetic tyrannosaur. This is extremely useful for those who want to hunt with less rifle but get big performance. Likely candidates for use with these bullets are the 223 remington, the 243 winchester, 25-06, and 22-250. These warp speed ground hog cartridges become viable for taking down Mule deer, and even elk when pared with the Barnes bullets. They have the speed, so they can take full advantage of the performance.
4. The Barnes bullets are tougher, and raise chamber pressures. This is a trait that can be a HUGE boon to people who shoot straight walled cartridges and need every advantage they can get to make the powder burn better. People who couple Barnes bullets with their 357mag-44mag-45Colt-454Casual-45-70-500S&W will likely enjoy better precision than could be had by any other bullet because the increased back pressure makes the powder burn more consistently (which is the biggest reason precision is hindered in these cartridges).
The only thing that worries me about the Barnes in rifle cartridges is long range performance. I don’t know if these babies will open correctly at 800 yards and I’d love to hear your experience if you have any to offer.
Are the best.
At normal hunting distances of 100 yards and closer.
Speak to the hand cause the face aint listening.
They are ultra reactive, monolithic, and don’t have to ruin half the deer to make it suddenly and surely dead.
- August 19, 2018 at 11:54 am #68799HarterParticipant
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SST etc yep there is no way I’d slip a 120 in a 270 unless the pink mist of an under 200 yd coyote was on the table . They’re great in the 6.8 down in the 22-2400 mv range . They kill hogs quite well .
I had the exact pencil through experience with a 243 and the 100 SGK at what should have been about 2900 MV load on a 80 yd mulie . I would use them maybe for a WM or the like but not anymore in standards .
Yeah it was exactly like it didn’t have enough dwell time to open up which is completely counter intuitive to bullet function .
Dad always liked the Partition 115 in the 25-06′ at 3100 MV . They always exited the mulies ……except that one that took the shoulder hit , holy hamburger with bone meal . A proper boiler room hit and I’ve seen a warm heart full of blood jello and a 28-30 cal exit …..
For what ever reason I just can’t get excited about the X clan including the Hornady GMX . It might be the $1 each price tag or the real world lost petal reports or that state that mandated them then burned down all of the forest lands .
I’m partial to the Hornady Interlok line at least for the 06′ and 308 although the preferred bullet was dropped from production several years ago . With the 2 cartridges , in my rifles , being a dead heat it was a no brainer since they both shot under an inch and did good work at 50, 150 , and 300 yd . 30 in baseball cavities and a half dollar hole in the skin . They do almost identical damage from a nominal 7×57 hot and mild 280 loads . I don’t think they would be good idea for a <200 yd 7mm RM .
With every cast bullet I shoot I like them better even in little high speed rocket cartridges . Construction isn’t the right word but alloy and treatment combined with nose shape gets us everything you could want from 6.5 or 7mm up in standard cartridges and in practice probably 30 and up mags . I don’t see any contest at all in pistols . Even Barns has trouble with double dia expansion and I’ve hit a place where I can do it with 45 Colts and ACP 100% ……ok fine they 45-200s and only .750-775 from .452 but the 200 gr 30 cal went .610 and the ad guys won’t be bothered by .006 any more than me .
- August 31, 2018 at 6:41 am #68810GlennParticipant
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My absolute favorite bullet of all time is the 165 pspcl in 30-06 loaded to around 2700+. I have taken somewhere around 13 Elk and I don’t remember how many Mule Deer with this load. Ranges have been as close as 80 yds and out to around 500ish and most were one shot drops. My oldest Son has used that bullet/load and has taken more Elk than I have with it. One year he was hunting without me and ran out of our handloads so he bought a box of 150 corelokts and had terrible performance on an Elk. The bullets kept blowing up and wouldn’t penetrate deep enough. He says that they work great on Mule Deer.
One year I thought I’d try some 180 core lokts and loaded them up to 2850fps-ish in the old trusty 06′. I got a shot at a cow around 70yds, I tucked it tight behind the shoulder and it staggered at the shot, but then got back up and tried to keep up with the rest of the herd. I had to shoot it 4 more times to finally anchor it. Cleaning it showed that all 5 shots took out both lungs. Several years later I went back to Idaho to hunt Elk with my son. He couldn’t find any 165 Core Lokt factory ammo, so he picked up some 180s instead. We both shot smallish cows and they dropped with one shot each. Mine was around 350yds, I don’t remember how far my son’s was.
- September 1, 2018 at 5:43 am #68815lead-1Participant
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I can’t argue with this, when I first started casting and shooting lead bullets I had friends that would say you can’t kill anything with lead bullets. I would just reply back, tell that to 50 million buffalo and that would usually stop the gums from flapping while they thought about it. I haven’t killed anything but paper in over twenty years but I still remember how if I have to.
- September 5, 2018 at 8:57 am #68821GoodsteelKeymaster
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I just found out that Barnes has made a bullet that is suitable for hunting with the 300 Blackout. Very impressive. I Believe I’ll have to try that one.
Now before you bust on me too bad, just think about a solid copper bullet that is made to expand correctly at lower velocities. That could be used in many situations with down loaded 30 caliber cartridges!
- September 5, 2018 at 11:20 am #68822popperParticipant
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175gr PB trying for 1700 fps. Target is same but pistol powder, slight tipping, POA is ‘0’ circled – no optics on pistol. Tested on hog carcass (30/30 light load – 30 in 45 out).
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