Soft Point vs Ballistic tip

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BearDog, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Like some people on here, I opted to go the route of gradually upgrading my rifle instead of going fully custom or having a ton of work done to it right off the bat. I went this route mostly because hunting the mountains in the west will teach you a new lesson every time, and make you think, "oh, I wish I had done that with my rifle".

    On a recent trip to Idaho a buddy spotted a great mule deer. Having not taken one yet, both myself and another friend hit the dirt, got a solid rest and a range. Before I could even reference the correct range on my range card that's taped to my stock, my friend had it dialed and ready to rock. He of course had a custom turret made, which made all the difference in that instance. After about 10 seconds and a nicely placed 450 yard heart shot, he had a great mid 170" deer on the ground. Typically on long shots you have all the time in the world to dial up your shots, but in this case, with the buck being spooked and ready to bolt by deer up above him, it was the difference between watching the deer run off, and being ready before he bolted. This made me think, is a custom turret the way to go? Which also made me think, it is time to start investing in reloading gear.

    Up to now I have been shooting factory Remington Core Lokt. Nothing I have shot (off bench) shoots better groups. I've been happy with the groups out to about 500, but beyond that and out to my effecting hunting range, I think the groups can be a lot better. This led to a conversation with a rep about custom turrets. He says about 80% of the customs turrets he makes are for soft point rounds. He says SP rounds grip the barrel a lot better ( I don't know how much truth there is to that).

    My question is, since SP bullets tend to have deformed tips, how much does that effect accuracy out past 500, and is a ballistic tipped round the way to go for consistency past 500?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  2. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Anyone want to give an opinion about this???
     

  3. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    I believe the b-tip adds consistency to the shape (and therefore BC) of the bullet.

    My question would be "how does a SP 'grip' the barrel better?" I call BS on that, especially since the jacket is often times made of the same material, and the bearing surface is very similar, if not the same.

    I believe it's worth the time to test different bullets (higher BCs, bonded & non-bonded, monometal, etc...) and see what your gun likes best. Might make the world of difference on a windy day.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
  4. skyfish25

    skyfish25 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the plastic tip help BC, slightly. At least over a SP pointed bullet. And very slightly over a well designed HP bullet.

    But the plastic tips seem to be like hood scoops on a performance car, most people want them.

    Accuracy, depends on rifle, should not matter if tipped or not. May matter in particular rifle, but not because of the tip. Most likly a different bullet profile. Look at Hornady's 140gr BTSP and compare to 140gr SST in 270. Totally different profile.

    Also, the base of your bullet is MUCH more critical than the tip. Many match shoots use Flat base bullets for shorter range work.

    If you want to test, reload some bullets that you mare up the bases. Then do some that you mare up the tip. I would make an educated guess that the messed up tip would be hard to tell a difference from "normal" bullets.
     
  5. Jim in Cali

    Jim in Cali Well-Known Member

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    Soft point or poly tipped point they all have the same jacket unless your using copper and in any event neither even come close to the rifling so the grip deal is BS. Nothing wrong with soft points and just check them before loading if they looked out of shape just grasp in hand at an angle and roll the tips on a hard surface and get them as straight as you can. I do prefer NBT and use them for all my shooting and hunting. But I'm a bias type guy.
     
  6. mattri

    mattri Well-Known Member

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    Reloading has a lot of benefits- it allows you to tailor a load to your specific rilfe, and even for specific applications. You may find that with certain combinations your rifle will shoot a particular ballistic tip better than a sp but not necciisarily- the only real way to know is to eest different powders/loads/bullets/etc etc etc- its half the fun of the sport. Best of luck.
     
  7. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I had figured the line about the SP gripping the barrel better was bs. I have a few different recipes to try from other sendero owners. Interesting point about the base of the bullet being more important than the tip. I don't think I would have thought about that. Thanks for the input!
     
  8. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Lets cloud the water a bit... My personal centerfire, large caliber loads are all Sierra with ballistic soft tips and the tips do deform from shipping trauma and loading trauma (if you use the wrong insert that is) and to some extent by rough handling when loading a rifle.

    I typically point all my soft tipped rounds and store them in plastic ammo boxes (usually Basttenfield) with a sponge insert to keep the tips uniform during handling. A deformed tip will impact not only BC but trajectory to some extent on a longer range shot, especially at elevated muzzle velocities on lighter pills.

    Any soft tip pill has to be handled with care, before, during reloading and after in storage prior to loading in the firearm and whn loading, care must be exercised not to deform the tip.

    I do load some plastic tipped smaller caliber pills, mainly Hornady V-max in 22 cal for 223 varmit use. While a platic tip is less probe to deformation, I see no difference in terminal accuracy so long as the soft tipped pill is properly prepped and handled carefully.
     
  9. Farmer Rob

    Farmer Rob Active Member

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    over the years i have tried b-tips, softs and hollows but always end up back at the softs.

    B-tips are theoretically perfect but i cant tell the difference in accuracy between b-tips and undamaged softs, hollows make their own tip from air and supposedly are perfect and i can tell the difference. This would be why bench resters love them.

    But we are still talking less than .2 moa at best so i end up back at the soft points because.

    B-tips and hollows blow up om impact, thats perfect for a fox or goat but terrible on a pig or a deer. I have shot a good boar at 50m with a 55gn b-tips and not penetrated his armor and similar with hollows yet at 250 plus with softs and never had an issue.

    Humane kills is why i use softs.