A-Tips, terminal performance on big game

Rflamm250

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Apr 1, 2018
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306
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Florida
Not sure if this thread is dead or not but I have shot a few hogs with the 230 A tips running around 2900fps . Results have varied depending on distance. Shot 1 200lb boar at like 50 yards with pass through and a little expansion, not a lot but it did not pencil. Shot 5 more from 350 to 700 and all but 1 went in and blew up like a Berger VLD . The one that did not blow up was small and he had half his intestines blowed out a golf ball size hole on opposite side. Based on what I have witnessed so far, They perform very similar to a Berger VLDH. If you want or need a pass through you should probably look at something else.
 

DJ Fergus

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Dec 25, 2015
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Not sure if this thread is dead or not but I have shot a few hogs with the 230 A tips running around 2900fps . Results have varied depending on distance. Shot 1 200lb boar at like 50 yards with pass through and a little expansion, not a lot but it did not pencil. Shot 5 more from 350 to 700 and all but 1 went in and blew up like a Berger VLD . The one that did not blow up was small and he had half his intestines blowed out a golf ball size hole on opposite side. Based on what I have witnessed so far, They perform very similar to a Berger VLDH. If you want or need a pass through you should probably look at something else.
That's some good feedback. Thank you for the data. I've got some 230s that I haven't had a chance to take game with but I'm planning on hunting with a 135 atip 6.5 at around 3200 fps. I'm starting to feel better about this projectile.
 

hunterbob

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Oct 19, 2011
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394
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Montgomery TX
Not sure if this thread is dead or not but I have shot a few hogs with the 230 A tips running around 2900fps . Results have varied depending on distance. Shot 1 200lb boar at like 50 yards with pass through and a little expansion, not a lot but it did not pencil. Shot 5 more from 350 to 700 and all but 1 went in and blew up like a Berger VLD . The one that did not blow up was small and he had half his intestines blowed out a golf ball size hole on opposite side. Based on what I have witnessed so far, They perform very similar to a Berger VLDH. If you want or need a pass through you should probably look at something else.
Berger has never impressed me. I have reloaded ammo since 1974 , used it on hogs. It's not the speed of the bullet nor the kinetic energy. Its shot placement for a hog. Head shot or heart if you want to drop them. They don't bleed because of thick hides and a boney armor. I use 165 gr SST on them. I ALSO USE 110 GR Vmax, and 125 gr HPBT Sierra, for my 308. Shoot just below the ear. Or right threw the ears. Also a 270 will go from front back and out of a 200 lb hog. Zip !
 
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2ndson

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May 14, 2020
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OK
I killed a good size mule deer buck this morning with my 300 RUM and a 230 A Tip. 759 yard shot. I was off a bit on my wind call, and hit him in the bum he bedded just before I shot and was quartering away. Did not hit the large bone but ahead of it and into guts and blew hole in liver. No blood trail and the buck went about 10-12 yards and expired. Major mess internally. I actually found the Aluminum tip and another chunk of bullet. I recorded the entire episode thru my spotter and Phone Skope. I will post pics and video once I get help from someone with more computer skills. Muzzle velocity was 3030.
 

DJ Fergus

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Dec 25, 2015
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2,803
I killed a good size mule deer buck this morning with my 300 RUM and a 230 A Tip. 759 yard shot. I was off a bit on my wind call, and hit him in the bum he bedded just before I shot and was quartering away. Did not hit the large bone but ahead of it and into guts and blew hole in liver. No blood trail and the buck went about 10-12 yards and expired. Major mess internally. I actually found the Aluminum tip and another chunk of bullet. I recorded the entire episode thru my spotter and Phone Skope. I will post pics and video once I get help from someone with more computer skills. Muzzle velocity was 3030.
Sounds like that 230 may have done the trick.
 

CONatureBoy

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May 19, 2021
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Colorado
I

i personally like match bullets for hunting. I religiously use Sierra Match Kings after having a Berger failure. The Berger .284 168 grain vld would have worked fine which it did at 400 yards on the follow up shot but at 70 yards hitting the shoulder quartering towards me it just curled up in a ball under the hide! My .338 250 grain SMK smashed through that very shoulder joint almost the same angle then penetrated through lungs hitting the backbone destroying 8” of backbone then traveled down back strap and broke leg bone at the pelvis with a softball sized exit hole!That range was just shy of 600 yards. 2 completely different scenarios but it convinced me so I never looked back.
Many years ago, when long-range hunting was a less-understood subject than it is now, long-range hunters used (and encouraged each other to use) the Sierra Match King .308 220-grain bullet to hunt. See for example https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/ammunition_st_matchbullets_200909/100063. This "first generation" of long-range hunters based their use of the SMK for long-range hunting in part on the military's use of the same bullet for the Mk 248 Mod 1 sniper round (see https://www.americanrifleman.org/co...iping-ammunition-from-vietnam-to-afghanistan/).

For the same reasons (back then) I developed a 2,850 fps load for the SMK 220-grain bullet in my 300 RUM (RL-25, 0.3 MOA three-shot groups). Soon enough I shot a mature bull elk through the lungs at 460 yards with that load. The bullet should have arrived with over 2,500 ft-lbs of kinetic energy at well over 2,000 fps, more than enough to initiate expansion. But the bullet evidently did not hit a rib on entering or exiting, because it failed to expand at all. The bull humped up on impact, and then walked slowly away. About 50 yards away he lay down in the snow to catch his breath. I later found a round bullet-hole sized bright-red blood spot in the off-side indentation where he lay in the snow, reflecting the lack of expansion (as well as the through-and-through rib/lung shot).

I shot the bull in the late afternoon. I trailed him in two-foot deep snow, into a growing blizzard. He dragged me over hill after hill, dropping into the snow several times on the way up each hillside, each time leaving that pin-hole red dot in the middle of the indentation. I never caught up to him. I gave up trailing him around 10 p.m., when the blizzard got bad enough that my GPS receiver failed, and I had to walk miles back to my truck on the strength of a compass bearing. I went back after the storm passed, but never found him. I believe I found one of his antlers while scouting the next year. It was a mile or so from where I had shot him.

I discovered and started loading the Berger 210-grain VLD hunting bullet the following year. I've since taken many animals with Berger VLDs and Elite Hunters, at ranges from 25-525 yards. None of these animals has taken more than a couple of steps after I've shot it.

I've read that the SMK has a very thin skin. I haven't cut one open, so I don't know. Perhaps my experience was an anomaly. (I'm a data scientist by trade, and I do believe in thinking statistically about such things.) But I felt really bad about losing that bull. And every time I watch a Berger bullet drop an animal right where it stands, I become more convinced that the best way not to lose an animal is to shoot it with a bullet that will reliably transfer all of its kinetic energy to the animal's insides upon impact.
 

arb5087

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Jul 20, 2021
Messages
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Location
PA
Yes, the A-Tips by Hornady is what I'm talking about. I've seen a few threads early on discussing or referencing some scattered experiences of others, but haven't seen or heard much on a broader level or of much personal experience on game. (I prefer personal over 'hear-say') I'm sorry if I'm missing something. If anyone would be so kind as to send the link(s) of any in-depth reports, I would be
The atip 156grs out of a 6.5 prc are devastating on whitetail a friend of mine shot this doe last fall in South Central PA dropped in her tracks at 250yds.
 

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yobuck

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east central fl. /n.c. pa.
Many years ago, when long-range hunting was a less-understood subject than it is now, long-range hunters used (and encouraged each other to use) the Sierra Match King .308 220-grain bullet to hunt. See for example https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/ammunition_st_matchbullets_200909/100063. This "first generation" of long-range hunters based their use of the SMK for long-range hunting in part on the military's use of the same bullet for the Mk 248 Mod 1 sniper round (see https://www.americanrifleman.org/co...iping-ammunition-from-vietnam-to-afghanistan/).

For the same reasons (back then) I developed a 2,850 fps load for the SMK 220-grain bullet in my 300 RUM (RL-25, 0.3 MOA three-shot groups). Soon enough I shot a mature bull elk through the lungs at 460 yards with that load. The bullet should have arrived with over 2,500 ft-lbs of kinetic energy at well over 2,000 fps, more than enough to initiate expansion. But the bullet evidently did not hit a rib on entering or exiting, because it failed to expand at all. The bull humped up on impact, and then walked slowly away. About 50 yards away he lay down in the snow to catch his breath. I later found a round bullet-hole sized bright-red blood spot in the off-side indentation where he lay in the snow, reflecting the lack of expansion (as well as the through-and-through rib/lung shot).

I shot the bull in the late afternoon. I trailed him in two-foot deep snow, into a growing blizzard. He dragged me over hill after hill, dropping into the snow several times on the way up each hillside, each time leaving that pin-hole red dot in the middle of the indentation. I never caught up to him. I gave up trailing him around 10 p.m., when the blizzard got bad enough that my GPS receiver failed, and I had to walk miles back to my truck on the strength of a compass bearing. I went back after the storm passed, but never found him. I believe I found one of his antlers while scouting the next year. It was a mile or so from where I had shot him.

I discovered and started loading the Berger 210-grain VLD hunting bullet the following year. I've since taken many animals with Berger VLDs and Elite Hunters, at ranges from 25-525 yards. None of these animals has taken more than a couple of steps after I've shot it.

I've read that the SMK has a very thin skin. I haven't cut one open, so I don't know. Perhaps my experience was an anomaly. (I'm a data scientist by trade, and I do believe in thinking statistically about such things.) But I felt really bad about losing that bull. And every time I watch a Berger bullet drop an animal right where it stands, I become more convinced that the best way not to lose an animal is to shoot it with a bullet that will reliably transfer all of its kinetic energy to the animal's insides upon impact.
Well for what its worth, many years ago means different things to different people, depending upon age and when they themselves became involved.
But if we were to go back say 50 years for example there were in fact a considerable number of long range hunters, at least in some areas of the country.
But what there wasent back in those days were any Berger bullets being used because there werent any.
And the fact is there were SMKs, and lots and lots of various type animals were killed with them at some very long distances.
Including one by a very good friend about 25 years ago, a cow Elk at 2000 yds with a 220 gr SMK shot from a long barrel 30/378.
A human spotter on that scope as opposed to a recording device would have been the proper choice, and might well have caused a follow up shot for the poorly placed first one.
The problem was caused by the system you used and not the bullet.
 
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