Flat based bullets



I just heard that at the Hawks Ridge 1K shoot that the small group for the light and heavy gun were won by guys shooting BIB 187 gr. Flat based bullets!!! What is the myth behind the boat tails? I heard that the boat tail design really doesn't come into play until the bullet slows below supersonic???

HELP me understand... ;-)

Darryl Cassel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2001
Hello Ric

No myth about the boat tails, they shoot flatter then the flat base bullets the further you go out in distance.

Some shooters have found that the flat base bullets shoot well and a slower twist barrel seems to be the answer. This, along with a certain amount of rifle grooves and widths to make them perform well must be considered also.

Comparing the 200 gr Barnes Flat base hollow point bullet to the Sierra 200 gr MK with 108 grs of the SAME powder (in both) in the 300 Tomahawk, the Barnes flat base will be 10' low at 1100 yards. The boat tail is a flatter shooting bullet by far.

From what I have heard, the boys at Hawks Ridge have been trying the flat base for sometime now and maybe some are getting better accuracy from them now as compaired to what they first did.

Paper shooting and hunting are sometimes much different concepts. As you know, the flattest shooting and highest BC bullet will out perform a lessor bullet at extended range.

I think if you check out the most wins and records held at 1000 yard matches and ranges, you will find that a Boat tail bullet did it. It will be a custom BT or the Sierra MK in most cases.


Steve Shelp

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
I know all the shooters that shot Randy's bullets at that match and there's more experiementing going on than meets the eye and can be said at this point also. What isn't shown and what I can say is that they are shooting them faster and through 13 and 14 twist barrels which helps makeup for the lack of BC as compared to a boattial bullet.
But the original theory that got this whole experiement started about a 1yr ago was in the manufacturing process of the bullet itself. Normally the boattail of the bullet is formed while the lead core is being seated causing bleeding of the lead core because of the extra pressure needed to form the boat tail down below. This caused concentricity issues. So a couple of guys worked with Randy Robinette to make a long ogive flat base bullet. The thinking was if you don't form the boat tail you eliminated the concentricty issues. So far it has worked. There were 2 HG targets that fired 99 scores with very good groups also and both were shot with this bullet. We're only looking for accuracy and not killing power.

But also don't underestimate the quality that Randy puts into these bullets either. All experiementing aside, if any other bullet was as consistantly top quality as Randy's bullets they would shoot a lot better also. The Clinch River bullets are also unique in the way they are made to get around the boat tail issue and they are very quickly being accepted in BR circles also. But they maintained a boattail that is much longer and formed in different steps to get around this issue. They are top quality bullets also.



Darryl buddy, Steve, Thanks for the info. I am starting to see more and more flat based bullets and just wondered what all the hub-ub was......

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