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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 361
Win Ballistic tips

Just a few comments. Firstly I'm and L.E. officer and hunter. The ballistic tips that L.E. use are for a lack of better words a varmint round and in no way should be compared to a big game round, ever. And yes you are correct they are used because they don't over penetrate. The big game ballistic tips are a FRANGABLE round and are designed to cause a crap load of terminal ballistics very quickly at ranges from 0-father than most can shoot. (This is unlike the Barns, Nosler Partitions which are controled expantion.) I have shot the ballistic tips (handloads) for many many moons and killed whitetails, mulies and antelope with them. I have had bullets exit and I haven't had bullets exit. I can say that they are nasty and kill great and are normally more accurate than the core locks. Most the horror stories you hear are because hunters make a poor shot and want something or some one to blame. This can be said with ALL bullets. Keep making your shoulder shots and don't worry about it. Congrats on your deer. Good hunting , be safe and buckle up.

Joined: 12/07/2005
Posts: 6
frangible hunting rounds

I'll share a story I have about a soft bullet I shot in my 308. Before this year I have not reloaded for my deer hunting. After having purchased reloading equipment last year and gaining confidence with it I decided to cook up a hunting round using a 150 grain seirra game king. I picked it because I have shot many of their match bullets and they were very accurate. I was shooting the game king inside an inch at the range @ 100yrds. WOW I thought this was great. Anyway it came time to hunt and I bought a doe and buck tag and went to the woods. Day 2 I was starring down a nice doe and a spike. I decided to take the doe. I made a shot and the doe went down in about 10-15 yrds. A perfect shot. Then to my suprise the spike got disoriented and gave me a shooting opportunity after I let out a grunt. I lowered down and made a good feeling shot on the spike. I saw him flinch like he had been hit and stumble off. I waited a few minutes and went to find my 2 dead deer. I came to the doe which had been shot just exactly were I had placed the crosshair. However I couldn't even tell the thing had been hit. No exit wound and only a small entry wound that I had to search for. Not a single drop of blood to be found on the ground. I went in search for the spike. I started looking for blood were I shot almost certain I hit the critter. No blood!! I figured that bullet probably performed like the other one and fragmented on target. I looked and looked but found no deer or no signs. I have hit deer before with my 7mm mag and destoyed the heart and had the animal go 300yrds on adrenaline. But I was shooting Nosler Partitions in the 7mm and always had a nice bloody whole to track the deer with. This spike could have gone 300 yards and layed down in a number of places I could never find it. Upon cleaning the doe I noticed the bullet hit right in front of the heart but didn't touch the heart itself. It kind of exploded around it. It killed that doe deader than sap but my spike got away and is probably coyote food. All because I had absolutely no way of tracking it. I will definately be switching back to a controlled expansion bullet like the nosler partition. A friend told me afterwards that a big hole going in lets in lots of air and a big hole coming out lets out lots of blood. I think thats what I want next time I look down my scope.

Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1585
Win Ballistic tips

Ballistic Tip Bullets are not "bad" bullets, they are just designed for a different type of shot than other bullets are.
Ballistic tips are designed for low velocity impact bullet expansion where the expansion of regular jacketed bullets is hampered by such low velocity. This is why you hear alot that Ballistic Tips are for long range shooting.
Fragmentation is most often a product of High Velocity impact and causes the bullet to literally explode which causes weight loss which causes a much shallower penetration, however you get massive tissue damage from all the fragments just not an exit wound or, at best, a small exit wound with little or no blood trail.
All that said, with-in the last 15 years I have killed close to 50 hogs of all sizes using Ballistic Silver Tips, 165 grain and in .308 cal. All but one 175 yard shot, were under 100 yards with majority being less than 50 yards.
While I know that your H.V. shooters such as .270, 30.06 and 7mm are what these were designed for, I do honestly believe that a .308 is the most perfect calibre for shooting these tipped bullets at normal hunting distances of 100 to 200 yard shots. The velocity of this short action round is low enough for the Ballistic tip to work its magic with-in these distances. They were the only round I would hunt hogs with until this gun (along with 7 others) was stolen from me about 4 years ago during a house burglary. Use them, you wont be disappointed.

Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1572
Win Ballistic tips

well,well, well, for the sake of non arguement and assuming everyone is absolutely correct, how many differnt handload should I carry when hunting as i have shot deer form a distance of 40 feet out to well in excess of 350 yrs with 150 gr boat-tailed ballistic tip Nosler bullets, as well as with Federal, Remington and Winchester factory rounds. I can comeup with some good excuses, but blameing the bullet, I don't think so!

Joined: 09/17/2005
Posts: 58

Well i have read everybodys comments and i have found that shoting silver tips out of the 30-30 is the best round yet next to thr hornady revolution. I have killed more deer close in like the 280lbs 5 x5 i shot this year and the deer drop dead. yes the do make a mess of the deer where you shot it. But i also shot a deer with a 12 gauge slug it fell down and the got up and ran away no blood so is it really about the bulit or is it about shot placement because 385 grs of lead out of a shot gun at 40 yards should kill almost anything Think Think

Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 369
Win Ballistic tips

Ballistic Tip Overview:

Ballistic Tips (BT's) were designed by John Nosler for violent expansion / explosion and medium penetration on light-skinned animals like deer.

For most calibers shooting fragile BT's, you're better off using heavier projectiles with larger Sectional Density's (SD's) than you would normally use for a regularly constructed bullet.


1. Heavy for caliber bullets are better in a BT because they tone down the violent expansion a bit and still have enough weight leftover for a extra penetration or a complete pass-through. Lighter BT bullets often fail to penetrate to the other side of the animal.

2. In a 30-06, the shock-value with the heavier BT will still be more than lighter standard bullets like 150-gr. and you get more downrange energy on target with the 180-gr. (fragile) load.

3. Short range shots also suit the heavier 180-gr. round with a higher SD versus lighter weight BT'd bullets with less mass.

4. Raking quartering-away shots obviously benefit from a heavier bullet for adequate penetration.

5. A larger BT'd bullet is also more forgiving if you shoot accidently into the shoulder.

* 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 - to include the 150-gr. you're considering.

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 infer that the 180-gr. Ballistic Tip is simply a non-bonded version of the AccuBond.

In Summary:

* Standard bullets generally perform better on deer in lighter to mid-weight sizes, but BT's do not!
* For best performance, Nosler recommends heavy for caliber BT's.
* Reported problems of a BT blowing up too quickly are generally associated with too light of a bullet.
* Remember, remember.... Ballistic Tipped rounds are the exception to the rule!


P.S. I like a bullet to perform two things in my 30-06:

1. Violent expansion / shock.
2. Plenty of penetration for a pass-through, which 150-gr. and 165-gr. most likely will not do the majority of the time!

Nosler makes 4 great aerodynamic rounds to accomplish any North American hunting task:

1. Ballistic Tip
2. Solid Base
3. AccuBond
4. Partition

* Light skinned / boned deer = 180-gr. Ballistic Tip / Solid Base / AccuBond
* Heavy skinned / boned elk = 180-gr. Partition / AccuBond

Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 369
Win Ballistic tips

Using a bullet that's very aerodynamic can make a difference as well, as shown in this example (below) using Winchester data.

When comparing a bullet's energy in a 30-06 versus a 300 Win Mag, if you put a premium 180-gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip or AccuBond bullet in a 30-06 at 2,750 fps MV and compare it to a plain jane Winchester 180-gr. Power Point in a 300 Win Mag at 2,960 fps MV, the 30-06 will have an amazing 104 ft. lbs more energy at 300 yards: that's right - 2,005 versus 1,901 (Source: Winchester's 2005 Ammo Catalog, p. 10 - 13).

This is called Ballistic Efficiency!

Note: Federal, Hornady, and Remington all report similar data when comparing premium ballistically efficient bullets to their standard line, with a 30-06 being equal to 300 Win Mag performance. Basically, the principle is the same as outline above.

Nosler AccuBond

The 30-06 180-gr. Ballistic Tip with a BC of .507 easily makes up for and surpasses the 210 fps velocity advantage the 180-gr. Power Point had (to begin with) because of its much lower BC of only .349.

In short, an aerodynamic bullet with a high BC can turn a regular caliber like the 30-06 into a magnum, as far as performance is concerned and in this case, the 30-06 180-gr. Ballistic Tip or AccuBond outperforms a 300 Win Mag 180-gr. Power Point at 300 yards, but give the 300 Win Mag the Nosler bullet and the tables are reversed.

In summary, there's two ways to get extra performance out of a 30-06:

1. Upgrade to High Energy or Lite Magnum ammo.
2. Upgrade to a premium bullet with a high BC for more energy downrange.

Joined: 12/07/2005
Posts: 6
Win Ballistic tips

Here is a cross section of the gameking that I wrote about in my post. Notice the thin jacket from tip to tail. The base is thin as well. This looks like the construction of a match type bullet not a hunting bullet. The Nosler BT has a jacket that gets increasingly thicker toward the base. Also the base is quite thick. I am quite sure the Nosler BT would be a better hunting bullet than the gameking.

gameking.jpg1.85 KB
Location: fla.
Joined: 03/06/2006
Posts: 5
Win Ballistic tips


Location: Longmont, Colorado
Joined: 04/29/2006
Posts: 17
Win Ballistic tips

I know this is kind of an old thread but I wanted to give my $.02. I tracked and shot a small 4x4 muley using a 270wcf using 130gr Nosler Ballistic Tips loaded with 58 grains of H4831. I place two shots, both through the lungs. When the first bullet he didnt even act like he was hit, I actually thought I missed somehow. When he turned away I thought he may run so I thumped him again in a somewhat quartering away angle. He hunched up, then fell dead. I paced off the distance and came up with 28 strides. Upon inspection, both bullets entered and exited without expansion(little hole in, little hole out). The second bullet even hit a rib on entry but it still didnt expand. I love the accuracy of the ballistic tips, but Im making the transition to 130gr Nosler Partition for deer and 150gr Barnes Triple Shock for Elk.
Just my $.02.
Best of luck,

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