Are you referring to the old solid bases they made before their Ballistic Tips got popular.
I've still got a box of 100gr 243/6mm that I used for deer in the 243 win I don't have anymore.
They performed the same as the big game Ballistic Tip.
Don't know if the old Solid Base (SB) version is different than the ones that returned, but Nosler says that the SB is a little tougher than the Ballistic Tip (BT) - and - gave me the impression that these two bullets are the same, except the Solid Base has lead in the areas the BT doesn't (hollow point cavity and polymer tip).
BC's are almost the same as well. Using a 180-gr. 30 caliber bullet as an example, the Solid Base achieves a BC of .491 with an exposed lead tip and the BT eakes out a little more at .507 - mostly due to the sharp pointed polymer tip. If the SB's exposed lead tip was at a sharp point, I suppose it too would be around .507.
Have you used any of the new solid based bullets, as yet.
What did you find?
I'm curious as to why they brought them back. I'm getting the feeling that they are getting some bad press on the Ballistic Tips.
I like the Nosler bullets. I've used the Ballistic Tip big game and varmint, the old Solid Base, the Partition, the Accubond and the Failsafe. Never had a disappointment. Don't use them beyond their capability.
I lived in Bend, Or. for a couple of years. My dad is spending his retirement years there. So, I visit quite frequently and have had the opportunity to see the Noslers factory and talk with a few of the them. They've got a very busy operation going.
Amazingly, Federal 180-gr. Solid Base (SB) loads at 2,710 fps were the ones used to shoot the 5/8" groups from my 30-06 autoloader.
Federal is the exclusive loader of Nosler Solid Bases and they are slightly more accurate than the Winchester 180-gr. Ballistic Tips (that I love) with 1 1/8" groups in the semi-auto - both of which are more than accurate enough for hunting purposes.
Previously, I had my mind made-up to use the BT's for the fall Mule Deer hunt with my son; now I'm not so sure as the Solid Base is now into play as well, as I feel comfortable with either bullet.
My son and I drew 4 Deer Tags this year and we're practicing a lot together at the range. So far, his new Remington 700 SPS 30-06 is shooting everything well - especially the Winchester Supreme 180-gr. BT's at 2,750 fps that's achieving 3/4" groups several times.
A Nosler Technician mentioned that the Solid Base (SB) was brought back for two main reasons:
* Public Demand
* Federal's request for a premium bullet they could package for $2.00 - $3.00 less per box.
Nosler Solid Base
In addition, the tech mentioned that the SB and Ballistic Tip (BT) have the exact same shell and percentage of lead-alloy content, with the SB getting a lead tip and the BT being capped off with a polymer tip over a small hollow point cavity (which accounts for the BT's explosiveness). There is no HP gap in the SB as it is a traditional designed bullet.
Nosler Ballistic Silvertip CT
As far as expansion, obviously the HP gap of the BT allows it to immediately start expanding, with the SB's lead tip allowing for more penetration before expansion.
BC's of the two bullets are similar and using 180-gr. 30 cal. as an example, the SB = .491 and BT = .507. Tech said if you smoothed up the exposed lead tip with sandpaper the SB's BC would be close to the .507 of the BT. They are that close.
The thing that impresses me with Nosler bullets is their quality control and ballistic efficiency. No other manufacture out there specializes in making such a broad array of bullets with such high BC's.
Having shot thousands of rounds from the major ammo manufactures, I would rank the following MAJOR bullet makers in the order of their quality control and ballistic efficiency (according to how they are doing NOW):
* Winchester (fair quality control on low-end bullets)
* Remington (low quality control on low-end bullets)
As far as MAJOR ammo assembly manufactures, things change a little:
* Federal (2nd in sales)
* Hornady (4th in sales)
* Winchester (3rd in sales)
* Remington (1st in sales)
Furthermore, quality control and ballistic efficiency go way up with Premium ammo, which is basically why I prefer to use it when hunting - shooting the standard stuff at the range.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...