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Deer and Ballistic Tips

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Unread 02-12-2009, 12:11 AM
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Deer and Ballistic Tips

Alright guys, I hear ballistic tips are generally explosive and that most people have the problems when they shoot a light for caliber bullet.

I shoot a .30-06 and I'm wanting a bullet that will perform well. I am wondering what you guys think of using the 180 grainer? Yes or No? I know dead's dead an all but whats the point of a 180 grainer, advantages/disadvantages please of it compared to the 165 grain bullet. Will I notice a difference? Will the heavier one penetrate bone better or will they both just explode?

I want a more premium deer bullet with a higher BC compared to just the soft points. Other recommendations welcome as I am preparing to get reloading supplies for this up coming summer.

Also last question, the nosler partition, does it expand just like any other soft point bullet? but the partition holds the back half together or does it expand slower? I'm talking about say a corelokt vs partition.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 12:23 AM
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips

I think the 180 bt is a great bullet in the 30-06. I have been loading them for the last 15yrs or so. I have shot lots of deer w/ them and they make them very dead. All kidding aside, they shoot very well, and are large enough to shoot anything if needed. They tend to be a little destructive at close range. If you are concerned about the destructiveness then you may want to try the Accubonds. Will shoot basically the same, but hold together better.

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Unread 02-12-2009, 06:54 AM
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips

I agree on Accubonds for all around use.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:16 AM
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips


A 165g bullet in a .30-06 (with a 22"bbl that is standard) is only shooting around 2750fps (at the bbl) or so depending on the load and rifle. That really isn't smokin fast.

Where you run into big problems is when the bullet is shooting 3000 fps and the shots are closer to 100yds. As an Example, I shot a Forked Horn Muley about 10 Yrs ago (I only had 1 day to hunt) at 75yds using a 7mm Rem Mag and a 150g Nosler Ballistic tip. I hit it in the shoulder and it blew up Immobilizing the deer and when I went up to it it was very much alive. I had to shoot it in the neck at put it down. I quit loading them in my 7mm Rem mag even though they were extremely accurate in that rifle.

I now load 165g Sierra GameKings and they perform quite well. There aren't alot of people who reccommend Sierra Gamekings on this site. Not quite sure why, as alot of them will hunt with Matchkings. GameKings are cup and Core style bullets, but are built better than Remington CoreLokts. Sierra holds their Tolerances for the Gameking closer than most companies do their Match bullets. The 165g 30cals hold up really well. I shoot them out of my .30-06 AI going 3125fps out of a 26" bbl. I have never had a Failure, Lots of Muledeer have fallen to this bullet.

It seems that the 165g Bullet is a match made in Heaven for the .30-06, and I'm not just refering to the Gameking either. I load 165g Nosler BT for my Father they shoot really well and hit hard in his .30-06 Ruger No1. However If he had his way he would be shooting the Nosler Solid Base Soft point Boattail. It's essentially the same thing as a Bal Tip, just with out the polimer tip.


Last edited by Dano1; 02-12-2009 at 09:34 AM.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:33 AM
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Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips

Oh yeah,

180g bullets are more suited for larger game like Elk and I would probablly load them as well if you live in a place where Elk Seasons overlap a Deer season and you have the opportunity to shoot either.

You are only talking about 15 grains diffrence. If shooting out to 400yds or so the 165 will shoot a little flatter, and the 180 will drop a bit faster, but there is only 3 inches diffrence in drop at 400 yds.

A 180g will have more retained energy, however, I don't think that it's that much to worry about. We're talking about deer, they do die pretty easy.

For hand loading I'd reccommend H4350, H414 & Imr 4350 as they seem to be about perfect for propellants for the .30-06. You'll find that the .30-06 is underrated and that with handloading they will easily outperform the Factory loads in a good modern rifle. All of the Factory stuff is made to shoot out of the weakest rifle, so there fore, is pretty weak stuff.

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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:33 PM
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips

I would go with the 165 ballistic tip for deer at long range. When you keep them below 3000 fps muzzle velocity they really get the job done for me. I have had very good results with the 125 BT from my 308 Win @ 3050 fps & 30X47HBR @ 2850 fps from 50 to 300 yards on deer. I have killed around 20 deer with this bullet and never had a deer even take a step after taking a front shoulder hit. Never shot anything over 300 yards yet with them.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:47 PM
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Re: Deer and Ballistic Tips

Todays med. game weight BT's (those packed 50 per box) is the exact same make-up as the original solid base boat-tails, with the exception of the polymer tip.
years ago they were tender, especialy in 30 cal, but when nosler changed them they started packageing the med. game BT's 50/box and the varmint bullets are 100/250 per box.
I've taken 25-30 deer and 1 black bear with the 140 BT in my 7 STW, very few have even taken a step, the farthest one traveled 35 yards.
These deer were taken at from 70 to 626 yards, inside 300 yards I stay off the shoulder and they mostly exit, beyond 300 they all do. this is with a muzzle velocity of 3550 fps.
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