225 Accubond vs Elk Report

Long Time Long Ranger

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2002
A few more elk tags to fill yet with family and friends shooting this bullet but enough info so far for preliminary results. Have seen 8 elk taken with these so far by other hunters and the bullets recovered. So far every recovered bullet was completely spent with just a small portion of the jacket base and a small amount of lead remaining. No mushroom effect, just a small peice of the rear of the bullet remaining. Maybe 25 grains remaining on average. I shot a very large old bull, + 10 years-900+ pounds, with three shots through the chest at 750 yards and all three bullets recovered against the off side hide. All bullets completely spent, blown apart with no mushroom effect remaining. 338 ultramag at 3264 fps at 9000 ft el.

Some of these bullets went through shoulder bone and some through the ribs but all the results were the same. Not much remaining. One that went through the shoulder bone was a fragment of the base of the jacket and that was all the guy found. I am very concerned about these bullets for use on elk. All elk died quick and that is the primary goal but very concerned over the bullets not retaining their integrity. I have shot the 200 grain nosler ballistic tip out of my 338-378 at 3640 fps since that bullet came on the market. So have many guys I built guns for and family primarly using that bullet in 338-300 ultramags at 3360 fps. These were premium bullets that always had perfect mushroom performance from a hundred yards to a thousand. Never heard of a bad one out of a 100+ elk, deer, caribou, etc.

The AB has the great accuracy and BC but not the terminal performance I desire in a big game bullet. I wonder how Nosler can replace the great results of the 200 ballistic tip with an inferior 225 accubond product and double the price at the same time. I will report back in about six weeks after the cow elk hunts are over. Several friends and family are shooting these bullets so will report more results.

Looking for more info out there from other hunters using these bullets on elk. With the high BC and accuracy they are the best bullet I know of out there for elk out to a half mile where the 300 matchking takes over. Me and quite a few others spent quite a bit of time and expense switching over to these bullets mostly at my advise when the ballistic tips were no longer available. I want to know from other hunters are these results a fluke or is this what other guys are getting. Please include other calibers also, in particular the 200 grain 30 caliber accubond. Thanks for any help.
I used a 225 accubond last year out of a .340 with great results at a closer range.
About 150 yards
Retained 62% weight

Did just what I wanted.....

Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience with these...
Your experience is atypical, but please keep the information flowing. Some pics would be appreciated by all I'm sure. I'm wondering if there was a hiccup in the Nosler production line? Are your bullets all the same lot number (mass purchase)?

Thanks for reporting.
I use the 250gr Accubond In my 338 and have had very good results with them.

I started using the 225 s but did not get a chance to try them at extended distance (600
yards+) so I cant speak for them at long distance.

Both the 140 and the 160 accubonds in .284 have exceeded my expectations and the 200gr
in .308 also.

If I get a chance I will do a jacket thickness comparison to see if there is a difference between
the 225 and the 250 bullets.

Like you I used the Ballistic Tips for years for the long shots and was never disappointed.

I wished Nosler would make a 300 grain Accubond so we could compare them to the Match

I used a .284 160 accubond to shoot a red hind at 300 yds. The hind was quartering towards me, the proj went through the neck vertebrae, through the chest and was lodged under the skin on the offside.
The projectile looked exactly like it should, good mass retention, nice looking mushroom. Unfortunately I lost it on the trip so could do no measurements.

On the 225 accubond I seem to remember Goodgrouper using them in his 338 thunder with good results. Here is his thread on elk at 700 with a 225 accubond http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/700-yard-bull-elk-46766/

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I have shot the 200 grain nosler ballistic tip out of my 338-378 at 3640 fps since that bullet came on the market. So have many guys I built guns for and family primarly using that bullet in 338-300 ultramags at 3360 fps. These were premium bullets that always had perfect mushroom performance from a hundred yards to a thousand. Never heard of a bad one out of a 100+ elk, deer, caribou, etc.

Did you know that Nosler still makes this bullet? Only now it's under the Combined Technology, Ballistic Silver Tip line.
I have had good results with 140grs Accubonds in 7mm-08 on deer. Last year I shot a moose at 504 yds with a 200grs Accubond in a 300 WM at 2935 fps at muzzle. The bullet entered behind the right leg, blew off half the hart and exited through the right shoulder. Exit hole was about 1 1/4" in diameter. So far from my perspective ABs are good to go.
My daughter shot a moose with a 180 Accubond out of 338WM. The moose was laying down at about 75 yards in thick cover. This is not a good shot and normally I would wait for the animal to get up. But given that she was a novice and this was probably her best chance I told her to put it behind the shoulder and squeeze. At the shot the moose quivered and then struggled to stand. I told her it was already done in but to put another one in it for insurance. It took a few steps and tipped over. The autopsy revealed that the first shot had hit its elbow, splattered, and did not even enter the rib cage. If she had not shot it a second time we would have been tracking for a long time.

It would seem that some one needs to cut a couple of these in half. I shot a few 140 Accubonds out of my 270WSM into dry printer reams at 25 yrds to see if I could blow them up and out of all the none mono metal bullets I shot the Accubond was the only one to mushroom and retain any weight the rest blew up.
My experience with the Balistic tip how ever has been nothing but terrible and will never, ever shoot anything with them again, but this is all out of smaller cals than the 338. I have alway gotten the total fragmentation from the balistic tips similar to what your getting with the Accubond.
Do the copper fragments have a lead coating where it is bonded? I have noticed on all the Accubonds I've looked at there was a clear indication of being a bonded bullet.
Could there be two different jacket thickness between the 250's and the 225's and smaller?
I was fondling a box of this very bullet the other day as I'm contemplating some 338 action for next year, I was kinda expecting them to be very good. I'll definatly watch this thread with interest.
Here is my info. I just shot a blacktail buck on Monday with a 180 grain accubond in a 30-378. Ended up being a 295 yard shot. I found the bullet in the right front shoulder. It did go through the backbone first, however it made a hole that I might have been able to put my fist in. This in now the fourth buck I have shot with accubonds and this is the only recovery of the bullet. The three other bucks died instantly without movement. Tells me the bullet delivers great energy.

Granted two of these have been mule deer and two blacktails. I have not shot an elk with this rifle and bullet. Hope to give you a report next week on how it does on Elk.

I have a picture of the bullet and am trying to post a picture. Not sure how to do it.
I had nothing but good experiences with the 200g AB from a 300 RUM at 3100fps. Took a couple spike bulls, furthest being 525 yards and they left baseball size holes while going through shoulders.

Never did recover one so I guess thats a good thing.

I have heard of the 338 225g AB's coming apart though as well. Your not the first one.

I have a friend that took his 338 Win mag to Africa a couple years back and he said every single one of the animals he shot with the 338 and 225g AB died quickly, but they never exited and didn't hold there weight very well, think he shot 4 animals. None exited. Thats just very odd to me at 338 Win mag velocities and a bonded bullet.

Kinda makes me rethink about using them in my EDGE at 3300-3400fps.

I have been looking at the sierra 250g gameking and its looking better everytime I see the BC and price.

Hard to get away from the 300g SMK's though.
Only one experience with an AB on game...

300 WSM, 180 AB, MV~2990

Cow elk ~ 200 yds

Impacted the lower/thicker part of the spine just behing the last rib. Exit wound was about 2-3"... and I found a 9 gr piece of the bullet in the exit wound area.

For a .308 180 bullet, my first choice would be the E- Tip, but if the AB more accurate, I would go with it.

I killed a small 5 point bull elk two weeks ago with the 225 accubond out of my 338 rum. The shot was a running shot at about 150 yards and I hit a little far back breaking the elks spine. He was down, but required a finishing shot to keep him down. I was cutting up the front shoulders yesterday and did find a chunk of bullet fragment close to where the finishing shot nicked the shoulder blade. Last year I killed a big muley with the same load at about 350 yards and drilled him right in the shoulder. Totally desroyed the shoulder, but bullet did exit. These bullets at the very least, seem to blow up on the front portion.

I killed a nice antelope several weeks ago with my 300 rum with 180 gr NAB's and the bullet appeared to blow up on impact. There was an 8 inch hole in the hide at the entrance. I recovered the mushroomed bullet on the off side just under the skin. This shot was right at 400 yards and the antelope died instantly. For a bonded bullet, the results are disappointing. Might be time to try some swift sciracco's, they do hold together. Maybe the new tipped trophy bonded might also be a good choice.
All of this discussion on the accubonds might have me looking for a new bullet. I do a fair amount of hunting in Griz country and if I have to count on one shot to save my life, I don't know that I am going to be happy about a bonded bullet that turns to bits and pieces. Several years ago I killed a six point bull at 540 yards with a 250 partition that had a mv of 2950. It hit the bull in the shoulder and the bull dropped within a few steps. While quartering the elk, I noticed a fair amount of damage to the shoulder, but only a tiny hole going into the rib cage. This tells me that the bullet shed the front portion going through the shoulder and only the shank entered the rib cage. This discussion makes me re-think the barnes bullet. I had good luck with the 210 grain x bullet with the blue coating, but then they started making the tripple shock. I recovered a 210 grain x bullet that broke both shoulders on a cow elk that my brother had hit in the ham with a 160 partion out of a 7mag and was leaving the country. I dropped that elk in her tracks at 550. The bullet performance was great with 3 petals in tact out of 4 and about .750 mushroom. The main reason that I quit on the barnes bullets was because barrel #2 on my 338 rum didn't like them. Now that I have a real good barrel, maybe it is time to try the tipped tripple shock in a 225. Barnes is listing the new BC as .514 and I think I can live with that if the bullet will group.
On the older x bullets, I had a couple of cases where the bullets didn't expand at all on 500+ yard shots with my 338 win mag and that is not a good thing either, because it leads to lots of tracking and a slow death for the animal. I only have one kill that I remember with a 200 gr balistic tip from my 338 win mag on elk and it was recovered from the off side under the hide on a bull that was taken in the timber at about 70 yards. The bullet had a nice mushroom, however there was no lead remaining, only the jacket. The jacket weighed about 130 grains. Maybe nosler has lightened the jacket on the newer accubonds.
My dad managed to kill a nice high country mulie this year with his 338 win mag that I loaded with 200 gr accubonds. 275 yard shot, and the bullet was recovered in the off side shoulder with no good explanation of how it got there. The entrance hole was quite a ways back and broke the spine. The recovered bullet was a perfect mushroom that appeared to be about .750 in cross section and probably about 75% weight retention, a perfect example of what the accubond should do.
Maybe the hornady gmx will be another good bullet to try.
On a side note, my dad has some very old nosler partions that appeared to be hand turned. They had machining marks on them and probably didn't have a very good BC, but we recovered several of them with excellent mushrooms.
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