Flat Base versus Boat tail



I read someplace where a flat based bullet is more accurate then a boat tail bullet.

Of all of you that shoot/hunt at long range which do you find to be more accurate?



Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2003
Newburgh NY
Flat base bullets are easier to make shoot accurately at short range but boat tail bullets are the best for long range however more finicky when trying to get them to shoot good. Slight variations in wind would affect a flat base bullet more dramatically than a boat tail. Generally speaking a boat tail has a higher ballistic coefficient than a flat base. One exception that comes to mind is the Berger 87gr flat base having a higher bc than the 90gr Sierra Game King. They do say that the boat tail helps keep a bullet stable when the bullet goes sub sonic. I would have no experience with this because I have only shot to around 1000yds and what I have shot is not going subsonic at that distance.


May 22, 2003
A bullets accuracy starts at the base and moves forward. I think that a lot of the problems (not all) when dealing with boat tale bullets are found in the barrels crown. In my experience I have found that a perfect crown on a barrel is critical to the accuracy potential of both the rifle and the bullet. With a boat tail design the effect of a poor crown is amplified. When the gas escapes on one side of the boat tail first it will cause a bullet to “yaw” a bit before it completely stabilizes. The gasses hitting the angled base will force the bullet to yaw. Barrel “whip” also contributes to bullet yaw to an extent. H-BAR is right when he says “Flat base bullets are easier to make shoot accurately at short range,” The key word is “easier,” due to their design. Consistency is everything when talking extreme accuracy and of course the faster you can get a bullet to stabilize (any bullet) the better off you are.

Good hunting.



Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2002
Wyoming, USA
I believe another important factor when using BT bullets is the seating process. A good inline seater that supports case and bullet go a long way toward BT accuracy.

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