Deer and Ballistic Tips

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Jerry D, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Jerry D

    Jerry D Active Member

    Dec 28, 2008
    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.
  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2007
    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.

  3. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    I agree on Accubonds for all around use.
  4. Dano1

    Dano1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008

    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: Feb 12, 2009
  5. Dano1

    Dano1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    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.

  6. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    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.
  7. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    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.
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Jerry D,
    If I were reloading for a .30-06 I would go with the 165/168gn Ballistic Tip or Swift Scirocco. I think it's just the ideal bullet weght for that caliber. I shoot the 150gn in my 700P/7mmRemMag and they are deadly accurate and hold together when they need to. I say "when they need to" because they are accurate enough I will take head and neck shots with this rifle. There's nothing left of either the bullet or noggin' when they meet. It has always performed well for me out to 500yds with shoulder and lung shots. JohnnyK.
  9. 308

    308 Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    I've lived and hunted all my life in Fl, so my experiences are based on 100lb deer and a huge one maybe 150, and hogs generally less than 200 lbs, generaly I'm looking for a eating hog when I shoot one.

    I've shot 150 grain bt's in my 308 and probably kiled 25-30 deer with them moving at 2875 over a near max charge of varget. Ranges generally under 200 yards but with a couple killed near 300.

    Do they all ways penetrate through and through, no but they kill stuff like it was struck by lightning, lots of times under 100 yards the bullet will not exit but the stuff thats shot is usually bang flop! I've gotten some deer with fringe hits that I probably would not have gotten with a more stoutly constructed bullet.

    Where I hunt I don't think accubonds or partitions are needed at least not in the 7mm and 30 calibers, on the other hand if you are going to shoot deer with a 22 or 6mm of some kind I think they would have a place.

    I know that if I were hunting where 200lb deer were common or I targeted the largest of hogs I would step up in bullet weight, I would go with a 165 or 180 bt until I saw solid proof I needed something like a partition or accubond.

    I keep mentioning noslers but could be just as happy with same same bullets from sierra,speer,hornady etc.

    So to make a short answer long, shoot 165 bt's in your 30-06 or if you just have to have exits 85% of the time shoot a 180 , if you still don't see exits maybe then try the accubonds or partitions, I guarantee the partitions will exit in any kind of deer.

    I think bt's are the!!! deer bullet, just my 2 cents: 308
  10. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I think you'll find the 180gr Ballistic Tip a fine bullet for deer, it has a slightly heavier construction than either the 150 or 165.
    I don't believe that Ballistic Tips 'explode' as some people say, they lose around the same weight as conventional bullets, and the 180 loses a little less, up close they can lose an excessive amount from a magnum, but in your 30-06, they will be perfectly adequate.
    They are also an extremely accurate bullet.
    I highly recommend them.
    If you're going to be hunting large deer or elk, I would recommend the Accubond, either 165gr or 180gr.
  11. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    Ultimately, I say shoot the bullet weight that your rifle likes best. Who gives a sh_t if it's overkill. I personally prefer the 168 class bullet primarily, but I've loaded plenty of 180s, 185s, 150s, and 200s in mine. They all shoot great. As far as shooting a deer, even the 165 is overkill. I've used the btips for over 20 years and have never recovered any of them. I've never witnessed one blow up either. I shoot for shoulders when I can. I've zipped deer in Missouri at 30 yards with a 7mag and 150 btip....bullet always exited.

    The partition nose mushrooms just like any other soft point but in no way is necessary for any deer on earth. You would find no difference in frontal expansion b/w a corelokt or partition, but the latter will out penetrate in general.

    One powder that never gets enough praise in the 30.06 is IMR4064. You put that stuff under a btip, especially a 165 or 180, don't load them to screaming velocities, and you'll likely never ever have a problem. I usually keep about 8 pounds of the stuff b/c I load for a lot of 30.06s and 308s. Can't go wrong.

    4350 is certainly another prime choice, as is H414.

    A general rule I go by is this: If you intend to shoot a more frangible bullet, slow them down with a medium speed powder and watch what happens. Almost every deer I and my brother killed with a rifle prior to 2003 was with the btip. I'm talking about hundreds of animals, and most from Alabama with a liberal deer season.

    To give you an example, in one of my 270s with a 22" barrel, my btips were loaded to the following velocities:

    130: 2900fps
    140: 2800fps
    150: 2700fps

    Most all kills were bow range. If there was ever a test for having one of these bullets blow up, I would think after 20 something years, I would have noticed.

    Keep your bullets around 2700 fps and no deer inside of 500 yards will like you very much.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  12. thocon

    thocon Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    I shoot a 338-378 Weatherby,200g bt It Explodes at 40y or less,I mean a bad gut shot will put them down,and keep them there.But i would not make a up the but shot with it.It will not exit on a 15 foot broadside shot on a Small deer.I load 155 amax for a friend with a 06,he shot a big buck perfect at 30y and it still went 20 more.The a max left a 4 inch entry hole,jellow on the other side,no exit hole.Same thing no up the but shots.That seems to be the answer not the question.Most will work,some alot better than others for certain shots Tom