View Full Version : Boattails VS. Flatbase for Hunting
March 9, 2006, 12:38 AM
I've always used boatail ammunition on all my rifles for hunting and I've been successful with them. It's been a few years since I've reloaded, but now that I have more time, I'm getting back into it. After research several different brands of bullets, it seems like most of your premium bullets are flatbase bullets. I'm talking about the barnes, swift, winchester failsafe. Do the flatbase bullets hold up better on impact than the boattails bullets. I've heard they do at closer ranges but work about the same at longer ranges. Are you going to get much more accuracy out of boattails than flatbase, if any? I'm not shooting for competion shooting or long range shooting. They will primarily be used for hunting, so I don't see a half inch here or there that much more effective for hunting. If anyone has experience with both, let me know what you think.
March 9, 2006, 10:33 AM
In 2004 I practiced all summer with my Rem 700 for my ( first ever big game) Caribou hunt in northern Canada mostly using Rem express rounds. For the hunt I bought a box of Rem Scirocco bonded, fired 3 at the range and they grouped sub 1” at 200 yards so I was all set. The express rounds were flying around a little more but I was confident I could hit any caribou sized target at 200 yards with them as well.
So I arrived in Montreal at 12 mid night with plans to board the plane for the hunt at 7am the next morning. Unfortunately at the baggage claim the rifle never came out. I managed to learn from the French speaking baggage handler that my rifle would be on the next plane in at 10am the next morning.
There was only 1 plane to Caniapiscau and I had to get on it so my rifle was left in the care of United.
When I got to Caniapiscau the guide service loaned me a Win model 70 with a random scope and a box of random 30’06 ammunition that he had laying around. When I got to camp I fired 2 rounds and it seemed to shoot straight enough at 80yrds so I was off.. Later that afternoon I shot my first Caribou at about 170 yards, It keeled right over on the spot. It was on my second trigger pull as the first one I had left the safety on and literally hauled back on the trigger. I flipped the safety off and tried to keep my heart in my chest as i settled down and went in to the 3 breaths, let it half out and squeeze drill.
So long story short, today’s high quality rifles, and high quality ammunition will get the job done. All my fancy Scirocco ammo didn't matter at all sitting in Montreal airport... I personally think what really makes the difference when everything is on the line is the training and practice of the guy pulling the trigger.
Its not an exact answer to your question but maybe it is...
PS my buddy’s rifle was in the same case as mine, so he ended up with a borrowed older Rem 700 .270 with an even more random scope and ammo and managed to easily shoot 2 caribou as well.
PSS a week later I returned to the Montreal airport and retrieved my rifle, the good news was I didn’t have to pay the CN$100 import fee into Canada as it stayed in the airline locker the whole time….
March 9, 2006, 01:05 PM
onemsumba, I usually say, "I'll take luck over skill, anyday," but it's good to see skill win out over bad luck. :)
We had a thread hee a few years back where a Sierra person offered some comments about their bullets. Limited to 30-caliber.
For a comparison between the 150-grain flat-base vs. boat-tail: The jacket of the boat-tail, due to manufacturing process, is a bit thinner. It tends to blow up if driven at or above 3,000 ft/sec and the game is up close. The flat-base is a bit stronger in the jacket, and won't. But, if the BT exits at no more than 2,800 ft/sec, there shouldn't be a problem.
Similarly for the 165-grain bullets.
For the 180-grain, however, the jacket thickness of the BT is gonna be okay. In part that's due to the fact that an '06 won't drive it to near-3,000 ft/sec. The jacket is also a bit thicker. Good elk bullet.
The discussion came about because I had a 150-grain SPBT blow up in a mule deer's neck. 30 yards. My 26" '06 is pushing that bullet at near or a bit over 3,000.
I did a comparison on steel at 500 yards between the 150-grain SPBT, the 165-grain HPBT and the 180-grain SPBT Sierra.
The 150 made a barely noticeable dent. The 165 made a bit more of a dent, with minimal cratering. The 180 gave much more cratering; deeper and wider.
Miscellania: The jacket material of the Winchester FailSafe is harder than the Sierras. Start with a beginning load and work up.
The Federal High Energy loads in .308 and .30-'06 use the Sierra bullets.
If one is not anticipating shots beyond 300 yards, the slightly flatter trajectory of a boat-tail is unnecessary.
March 11, 2006, 12:39 AM
The main calibers that I was looking into would be my 7mm Weatherby Mag and a 7mm Rem Mag. The weatherby has been shooting great with 175 gr hornady and weatherby brand bullets, as far as accuracy. My wife shot a doe this year with it at about 65 yds. Yes, my wife shot the weatherby. She wasn't plaining on shooting anything, so I left her gun at home. She changed her mind when the opportunity arose. Anyway, it was a perfect heart shot right behind the shoulder. I don't think the deer even knew it was hit. It ran about 40 yds and fell over. The exit hole was about the same size as it entrance hole. I kinda want to play around with a lighter bullet for deer size game, but the accuracy with the 175 gr has been great. The 7mm rem mag I have in a Ruger #1 has been a different story. It took me 2 boxes to get it to start grouping where I wanted. And it still isn't what I would like. It has a Zeiss scope on it, so that shouldn't be the issue. I was using 150 gr winchester ballistic tips. I took about a 300 lb hog with it at 230 yds. Perfect shot about 2 in behind the shoulder. Dropped it in its tracks and it passed straight through leaving an exit hole about the size of a quarter. The next was a 9 pt that was a 320 yds. The deer was quartering towards me and the bullet hit right where I was aiming. I hit it about 3 in behind the shoulder. If I had it to do again, with the quartering shot, I would have aimed in front of the shoulder instead of behind the shoulder. Anyway, the deer ran about 200 yds and tried to hop a fence. It couldn't make it and killed over up against the fence. With not much of a blood trail, high grass, and getting dark on me, I nearly lost it. The bullet didn't pass through and I found part of it underneather the skin on the other side. I think this had more to do with shot placement than the bullet, but I would like to get a bullet thats going to hold up better. Although it did wonderful with the hog. I'm kinda debating over the 150 gr barnes boattail and the 160 gr barnes triple shock. I might load them both and see which works better even though that might get a little pricy with the barnes bullets. I've heard good things about the failsafe, but I've heard they are going to discontinue making the bullet. I have a 270 that I've always loaded with 130 Speer SPBTand they have worked great, so I'll stick with that one. Anyone else have experience reloading the 7mm rem mag. Tell me what you have had luck with.
March 14, 2006, 04:01 PM
I have been shooting a 7 mag for over a dozen years. I started with 150 grain Ballistic Tips because I love one-hole groups :D .
However, after too many blood-shot shoulders (uhm, the critter's, not mine), I switched to 150 Grain Partitions. Still get .75" accuracy, and the bullet holds together at magnum impact velocities (3000+ fps at the muzzle).
March 14, 2006, 04:59 PM
I thought the idea was to kill the animal, not blow it up!
FB or BT, it's all the same. Put a hole in them, they fall down. Shooting a bullet that is too tough or too fragile will result in disappointment at best, a long job of blood trailing at worst. It's the bullet construction that matters, not the shape.
March 14, 2006, 05:14 PM
The boatail will get stable and stay stable and be more accurate at longer ranges...
Also at longer ranges it will maintain speed longer...
Match grade rifle ammo is usually BTHP
The Barnes TSX will maintain virtually 100% of it's original weight, even through bone.
Barne' rendition of the ballistic tip will maintain 100% with the possible exception of the "tip". :)
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