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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot has been written about Nosler BTs not staying together. Has any of the members actually seen this? I would understand it, if it was a magnum cartridge pushing over 3000fps with a close range impact. I have had good performance from my 30-06s. The .308 165gr have done everything that I could have asked. I don't try to load my 06's to be 300WMs. If there is really an issue with the Nosler BT are the Hornady .308 165gr SSTs a sturdier bullet? I don't have any experience with them, on game or at the range punching paper. Again I am just asking for observed performance and your personal opinions, there is no right or wrong...

Karl
 

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I shot the nosler ballistic tips for a few years and on deer was dissappointed. Seldom did they exit and most of the time came apart inside the deer. I was hard pressed to find a couple of deer and switched to another bullet.
 

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I've used both BT(nosler) and SST bullets. IN my 243 i have never had BTs fail. My son shot a mule deer 2 years ago thru the shoulders at about 30 yards and the BT perform flawless. This year he shot a whitetail thru the shouders at about 25 yards with a SST and it blew up and never made it to the vitals. Both were 95 grains and had a muzzle velocity around 3000fps.
In my 7mm Rem Mag, i've only used sst's and they have worked great! But all shots have been 150 yards or more. And bullets have entered through the rib cage not the shoulder.
Soooo... my thoughts are if you use any ballistic tip aim for a spot just behind the front shoulder and the bullets will perform as intended, close shots at high velocity will probably not penetrate through heavy bone.
One more note, a few years back i shot a whitetail buck at about 80 yards with a 243. He was broadside with his head facing away from me. When i shot he turned his head straight(never jumped or even acted like he had been hit) put his head down, blood started gushing from his nose and he was dead before he hit the ground. when i got to him he looked as though he was bedded down sleeping but he was a dead as dead can be.
 

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that is a problem with these type of bullets, if you make a poor shot they do not leave a blood trail. If you want a good blood trail, stick with conventional bullets as ballistic tips and the all copper(Barnes, Hornady gmx, and nosler E) do not leave much blood trails.
 

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I have usd them in my .270 (under the "magical" 3,000fps) awesome bullet never had an animal take more than a step or two. period. used some in my .300 wsm and shot an 150 class 11 point at 82 yards and it did't make an exit wound. Hard tracking job but the animal was recovered. Shot a Sika buck at 90 yads....same thing. shot a blackbuck with my .257 weatherby and used 115 gr. ballistics. shot him at 250 yards. killed him dead,but the bullet did the same thing. it came apart and didnt push on through and leave a blood trail. I have since stopped using ballistic tips in anything that travels over 3,000 fps and started using the barnes triple shock bullet and haven't had a problem since
 
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it sounds like they did their job. bullets shouldn't pass through. they should deliver their full energy in the animal not leave some on the table by passing through. that said i've never been a fan of ballistic tips anyway except for varmnit bullets. always used serria softpoint boat tails and if i hit it it was dead right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your input on Nosler BTs

I guess I have been lucky up to this point using them. I haven't lost an animal yet. I have a small supply of 165gr partitions and will start using them for hunting. I will still use the ballistic tips at the range, they do shoot really nice. It sounds like from your input that Hornady SSTs perform the same as Nosler BTs.

Karl
 

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I have used and loaded ballistic tip noslers for many years and I love them. I have loaded them in 30-06 , 300 win mag,257 roberts , and 7mm and all though they usually don't have pass throughs , which as ronnn said you should load a round so that all the energy is absorbed in the animal. Anything else is wasted energy. Ronn and I also shoot them in our 22-250 which is over 4000fps and they hold up fine.
 
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here is the reason i prefer not to use ballistic tips, on big game, even though they for all purposes they deliver all their energy. they fragment. so if you have 165 gr fragmenting its like the difference between a 1 oz load of bird shot at 100 yards or a 1 oz slug at 100 yards. so i want something that will hold together like a solid copper. now i my opinion there is a problem with solid copper. at short range they will pinhole in and pinhole out. this is why i choose to use soft point boat tails. yes they will pass through at short range but not before turning inside out and they don't frag as much as a ballistic tip. at range they still mushroom out delivering full energy. these are issues with most bullets and why i feel lighter rounds/calibers could be considered iffy and prefer bigger calibers with higher velocities, to make up for the short comings of the bullets in any given scenario.
 

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I've killed lots of deer and antelope with several different bullets (mostly handloads), and in my expeience, the Nosler BT has been the most deadly. It doesn't stay in one piece, if that's what you want, and I wouldn't use one on a large thick-skinned animal like an elk, moose or bear. But for deer, I don't think there's a better bullet out there. Here are some bullet performance facts from my experience: Two 140 gr. NBTs recovered from deer; one weighed 106 gr. and had expanded to .530 inches; one weighed 108 gr. and had expanded to .495 inches. Both bullets lost jacket material only - the cores were intact and firmly bonded to the remain sides and base of the jacket. The inner lead core had flowed into a "perfect" mushroom shape. An expansion to 1/2 inch is pretty impressive. It looked like the deer were pretty impressed too as they dropped in their tracks.
 
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its amazing the technology that has gone into a simple piece of lead in the last oh 10 20 years. its hard to find a bullet that will be optimum in all scenarios out of all calibers. but they are working on it all the time. there are the bt, solids, soft solid, fail safe, hybrids, bonded, partition, soft point, just amazing. then you get into bc's and frontal area. pretty cool if you think about it.
 

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left is a 180 grn swift a frame retrieved from a buck,center is a 180 grn barnze retreived from a buck at 221 yards, and last is a nosler 180 grn retreived from a end to end buck 230 lbs. all from a Ruger 300 win mag. No pass throughs and all died with in there tracks , not a one moved !!
 
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left is a 180 grn swift a frame retrieved from a buck,center is a 180 grn barnze retreived from a buck at 221 yards, and last is a nosler 180 grn retreived from a end to end buck 230 lbs. all from a Ruger 300 win mag. No pass throughs and all died with in there tracks , not a one moved !!
is that a nosler ballistic tip?
 

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I use the BT's at the range to punch paper. I use the Accubonds to hunt with. The point of impact on both bullets for me are nearly identical. Both bullets are very accurate. I get good results from Hornady SST bullets. Barnes constructs a great bullet but I refuse to use them due to there high cost.
 

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I guess it just a difference of opinion here. Yes the animals were killed, yes the animal's were harvested. but if a 180 gr. ballistic bullet, fired from a .300 wsm is not going through and through on a 160 pound deer at 82 yards, instead it is fragmenting and not staying together AT ALL, then in my opinion, it is not doing the job that it is designed to do and not doing what they are supposed to do.

it sounds like they did their job. bullets shouldn't pass through. they should deliver their full energy in the animal not leave some on the table by passing through. that said i've never been a fan of ballistic tips anyway except for varmnit bullets. always used serria softpoint boat tails and if i hit it it was dead right there.
 
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I guess it just a difference of opinion here. Yes the animals were killed, yes the animal's were harvested. but if a 180 gr. ballistic bullet, fired from a .300 wsm is not going through and through on a 160 pound deer at 82 yards, instead it is fragmenting and not staying together AT ALL, then in my opinion, it is not doing the job that it is designed to do and not doing what they are supposed to do.
i don't think so, maybe. if you read my other post on ballistic tips i'm not a fan for deer size animals but the one in the pic seemed to work, the accubond ballistic tip. through and through is for arrows not bullets that kill by the shock of the cells blowing up like shooting a jug full of water.
 
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