Nosler says that beginning with the 30 caliber 180-gr. Ballistic Tips (and larger), the jacket's profile is changed or upgraded to a much stronger contour similar to the AccuBond (shown below). The lead core is also hardened over the 165-gr. and below bullets.
Lighter weight bullets like 165-gr. 30 caliber and lower (shown below) do not have the thicker contour which starts in the middle of the shell and goes down to the base.
In summary, one might suggest that the 180-gr. Ballistic Tip is simply a non-bonded AccuBond.
* Standard bullets generally perform better on deer in lighter to mid-weight sizes.
* Ballistic Tipped rounds are the exception to the rule as outlined in the opening post. Reported problems of a BT blowing up too quickly are generally associated with too light of a bullet.
I like a bullet to perform two things in my 30-06:
1. Violent expansion / shock.
2. Plenty of penetration for a pass-through.
Nosler makes 4 great rounds to accomplish any North American task - listed in order of toughness:
1. Ballistic Tip
2. Solid Base
* Light skinned / boned deer: 180-gr. Ballistic Tip / Solid Base / AccuBond
* Heavy skinned / boned elk: 180-gr. Partition / AccuBond