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Old February 19, 2009, 09:26 AM   #1
landcruzr
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BTHP for hunting deer?

I'm new to the forum, not so new to hunting and rifles, but would like to hear the opinions of many on this subject.
I've always been of the opinion that a BTHP would be adequate for Whitetails out of my 30-06, however after recently purchasing a 25-06, I was told that I may want to consider some of the "tipped" ammo instead of BTHP's, especially from the 25-06, which will be shooting lighter bullets.
(the 30-06 does well with 168gr, and the 25-05 seems to like the 100gr)
Looking for opinions on this matter-
Should I start reloading for both rifles with "tipped" ammo, or should I be happy with the success I've enjoyed, using well placed BTHP's
I'm not opposed to change, but generally want to change for the better perfomance, not "just because"
Thanks in advance
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Old February 19, 2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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Personally, I see no reason to use a "target" bullet for hunting deer-sized game when there are so very many better choices out there. I know it's become somewhat popular to use these bullets made for extreme accuracy for hunting, but it's simply not what they are made for. The fact that one of these bullets may allow you to shoot 1/2" groups compared to 1" or 1 1/2" groups with a true hunting bullet is kinda lost on me, when talking reasonable ranges for either the '06 or it's little cousin.

I do not doubt for a second that these bullets will work on a perfect shot, but again, deer hunting (at least the type I do) doesn't always allow for taking perfect shots. I'd also suspect that these HP bullets would be more prone to deflection or blowing up on any brush as well. No, I don't advocate shooting through brush, but know there are, many times, unseen branches and brush throughout most deer hunting areas.

A little experimentation with typical SP, bonded core or even solid copper bullets will likely yield most any hunter excellent accuracy from their rifle and little excuse for using a bullet not designed to take game in a consistent and proven manner.
Simply my opinion
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:01 AM   #3
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I've had mixed results with ballistic tips. The older lot ammo (15 years ago) was unreliable IMO. I hit a rib on two occasions and the bullet grenaded. I found bits of lead from the throat cavity all the way back to the guts. Newer ballistic tips seem to have a heavier and tappered jacket that holds the bullet together better. In either case the deer was DeadRightThere or dead within a few yards.

I would guess the 30-06 would be a better cartridge to use ballistic tips on with all the mass of the bullet following the explosive tip, but with modern bullet making technology both would be good candidates for trying today's version of the ballistic tip (I wouldn't buy any old ammo though).

JMO
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Just because it is a HPBT bullet doesn't make it a "Target Bullet". A 120 grain HPBT Sierra Gameking bullet is designed for deer hunting. In a .25-06 that is the bullet I'd use if you want to stick with a HPBT design for hunting. Other than that Hornady offers a 120 grain HP flat base bullet for a .25 caliber rifle. I'm not discounting the recomedation for the 120 grian NP bullet either as I love those bullets for hunting as well and would be my choice for hunting game larger than deer with a quarter bore rifle.
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:15 AM   #5
kjack
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Observation

I associate a BTHP with a match round. The general idea is that there is a slight weight differential - the weight is shifted farther back due to a small hollow space near the pointy end - which will aid in stability (hence, accuracy).

Also, the jacket (in the match round) is generally constructed so that it is uniform thickness throughout. A projectile that is designed to expand has a tapering of the jacket thickness so that the forward part will give (expand). A non-expanding bullet may not provide consistently lethal damage to a game animal without a perfect hit (although solids and non-expanding bullets have their place in hunting).

Manufacturers most often specify if the round is for targets or hunting. It's usually a good idea to follow their suggestions.

[The above is NOT true in very thin-jacketed hollow-point varmint bullets where violent upset (even disintegration) of the bullet is desirable because the target is smaller and deep penetration is not required. (There is, of course a heavier hollowpoint for varmints - 130 gr .308 - which could be used for small deer)]

Hope this helps.
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Old February 19, 2009, 12:50 PM   #6
jckeffer
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Bullet Nomeclature

I got confused with the designation of BTHP, HPBT, Ballistict Tip. I alway thought that the desgination was set up from the point to base, i.e., HPBT= Hollow-Point Boat Tail (typically a target bullet). BTBT = Ballistic Tip Boat Tail (not a hollow point, both target and hunting bullet).

Anyone know if there is a formally accepted desgination?

Wikipedia, while not necessarily 100% accurate, list the following bullet types - notably absent is the Ballistic Tip/Accubond/Bronze Tip

ACC – Remington Accelerator [3] (see sabot)
AP – Armor Piercing (has a steel or other hard metal core)
BBWC – Bevel Base Wadcutter
BEB – Brass Enclosed Base
Blitz – Sierra BlitzKing
Bt – Boat-tail
BtHP – Boat-tail Hollow Point
CB – Cast Bullet
CL, C-L – Remington Core-Lokt
DEWC – Double Ended Wadcutter
EVO, FTX – Hornady LEVERevolution® Flex Tip® eXpanding
FMJ – Full Metal Jacket
FN – Flat Nose
FP – Flat Point
FST – Winchester Fail Safe Talon
GC – Gas Check
GD – Speer Gold Dot
GDHP – Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point
GS – Remington Golden Saber
HBWC – Hollow Base Wadcutter
HC – Hard Cast
HP – Hollow Point
HPJ – High Performance Jacketed
HS – Federal Hydra-Shok
HST – Federal Hi-Shok Two
J – Jacketed
JFP – Jacketed Flat Point JHC – Jacketed Hollow Cavity
JHP – Jacketed Hollow Point
JHP/sabot – Jacketed Hollow Point/sabot
JSP – Jacketed Soft Point
L – Lead
L-C – Lead Combat
L-T – Lead Target
LFN – Long Flat Nose
LFP – Lead Flat Point
LHP – Lead Hollow Point
LRN – Lead Round Nose
LSWC – Lead Semiwadcutter
LSWC-GC – Lead Semiwadcutter Gas Checked
LWC – Lead Wadcutter
LTC – Lead Truncated Cone
MC – Metal Cased
MHP – Match Hollow Point
MK – Sierra MatchKing
MRWC – Mid-Range Wadcutter
NP – Nosler Partition
OTM – Open Tip Match
OWC – Ogival Wadcutter [4]
PB – Lead Bullet
PB – Parabellum
PL – Remington Power-Lokt
PSP – Plated Soft Point
PSP, PTDSP – Pointed Soft Point
RN – Round Nose RNFP – Round Nose Flat Point
RNL – Round Nosed Lead
SJ – Semi-Jacketed
SJHP – Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point
SJSP – Semi-Jacketed Soft Point
SP – Soft Point
SP – Spire Point
Sp,SPTZ – Spitzer
SpHP – Spitzer Hollow Point
SST – Hornady Super Shock Tip
SSp – Semi-Spitzer
ST – Silver Tip
STHP – Silver Tip Hollow Point
SWC – Semiwadcutter
SX – Super Explosive
SXT – Winchester Ranger Supreme Expansion Technology
TC – Truncated Cone
TMJ – Total Metal Jacket
TNT – Speer TNT
VMAX – Hornady V-Max
VLD – Very Low Drag
WC – Wadcutter
WFN – Wide Flat Nose
WFNGC – Wide Flat Nose Gas Check
WLN – Wide Long Nose
X – Barnes X-Bullet
XTP – Hornady Extreme Terminal Performance
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Old February 19, 2009, 12:55 PM   #7
fisherman66
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try to figger this out...

SPCE - one of my 7x57 bullets (from a factory load).
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Old February 19, 2009, 12:56 PM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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I thought boat tails were designed to tumble when they hit a target.
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Old February 19, 2009, 01:14 PM   #9
fisherman66
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I thought boat tails were designed to tumble when they hit a target.
It's my understanding that boat tails are designed to have a higher BC than non BTs.
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Old February 19, 2009, 01:54 PM   #10
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SPCE stands for soft point, cut edge. They are popular in the Sellier & Bellot line in both 7x57 and 8x57. I shoot 196gr SPCE in the 8x57 and 173gr SPCE in the 7x57. Pretty accurate in both my two 8x57s and one 7x57 rifles
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Old February 19, 2009, 01:57 PM   #11
fisherman66
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Yup, that's the SPCE

odd looking bullet...I have yet to fire one, but I couldn't pass up the deal (12.99 or something like that). Hornady's 139 Spire shoots best so far, so I figure the heavy SPCE might not like my 7x57's twist.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:29 PM   #12
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If you're hitting your target then I don't see a need for plastic tipped bullets. For hunting it's more important to get a bullet that expands reliably.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:38 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
I'm new to the forum, not so new to hunting and rifles, but would like to hear the opinions of many on this subject.
I've always been of the opinion that a BTHP would be adequate for Whitetails out of my 30-06, however after recently purchasing a 25-06, I was told that I may want to consider some of the "tipped" ammo instead of BTHP's, especially from the 25-06, which will be shooting lighter bullets.
Bogus. Whitetail deer are not hard to kill. Any bullet issuing forth from a 25-06 is sufficient. I personally use poly-tipped rounds because I like all the advantage I can get and I've seen that they perform admirably. To say that you NEED them is an exaggeration at the least.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:56 PM   #14
pilothunter
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Quote "Yup, that's the SPCE

odd looking bullet...I have yet to fire one, but I couldn't pass up the deal (12.99 or something like that). Hornady's 139 Spire shoots best so far, so I figure the heavy SPCE might not like my 7x57's twist."
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I have harvested deer-sized game with the 8x57s and they worked just fine, as anticipated. My Ruger #1A in 7x57 actually shoots those 173gr SPCE loads even better than the Hornadys I was using before, so you may be pleasantly surprised. By the way, that's some serious SD on those 7x57s!
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Old February 19, 2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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Quote"Just because it is a HPBT bullet doesn't make it a "Target Bullet". A 120 grain HPBT Sierra Gameking bullet is designed for deer hunting. In a .25-06 that is the bullet I'd use if you want to stick with a HPBT design for hunting. Other than that Hornady offers a 120 grain HP flat base bullet for a .25 caliber rifle. I'm not discounting the recomedation for the 120 grian NP bullet either as I love those bullets for hunting as well and would be my choice for hunting game larger than deer with a quarter bore rifle."

I do appreciate that information and find it down right intriguing that the 25/06 are listed as "Game Kings" and NONE of the 30/06 Sierra HPBT are listed other than as "Match Kings". Even those with excellent S.D. like the 168 and 190gr. Interesting. It's still my opinion that there are lots of better bullets for hunting than target style bullets and Sierra likely has good reason to market them as so. Some shooters also proclaim FMJ ammo as good for game, but very few, if any, states allow that, for good reason.
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have harvested deer-sized game with the 8x57s and they worked just fine, as anticipated. My Ruger #1A in 7x57 actually shoots those 173gr SPCE loads even better than the Hornadys I was using before, so you may be pleasantly surprised. By the way, that's some serious SD on those 7x57s!
I assume my #1 RSI has the same twist as your A, so you might be spot on. I'll make sure to grab those next range trip. I would expect that heavy of a bullet to expand too slowly to work well with deer, especially with that funky "cutting edge" band.

SD? ~ Sectional Density?
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Old February 20, 2009, 12:42 PM   #17
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Yes, Sectional Density. The SD of that 173gr bullet is about .308 and the recommended minimum SD for CXP2 game (deer-sized) is .230. The recommended minimum SD for CXP3 game (elk, moose, etc) is .280. Me thinks it will penetrate quite well....lol. Mine may travel with me on a bear hunt in September.

I also have one of those pretty #1 RSIs, but mine is a .270. Nice rifle.
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Old February 20, 2009, 12:47 PM   #18
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The Siera .30 cal 165 gr HPBT has killed deer for me since 1975 or so. It is a great bullet and designed for hunting. Expense drove me to other bullets.

Last edited by Hamour; February 20, 2009 at 12:48 PM. Reason: added .30 cal
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:18 PM   #19
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A Game King, or Match King bullet? the only 165gr Sierra BTHP I've seen is a Match King. Of course they also make a BTSP 165gr
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Old February 20, 2009, 04:39 PM   #20
Art Eatman
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I only shot one deer with the Sierra 165-grain HPBT (Gameking). The doe was sorta close; I hit bone, and the bullet blew garbage out the far side like something from a Peckinpaugh movie.

I've used more Sierra GK 150-grain soft-point bullets than anything else from my '06. The flat-base is a slight bit tougher than the BT. I discovered that above some 2,900 ft/sec, the boat-tail can blow up. The Sierra folks who came to the thread here and discussed such stuff spoke of the difference between the flat-base and the boat-tail. The boat-tail does very well at or below some 2,700 ft/sec--as out at longer distances.

The comparative ballistic coefficient between flat-base and boat-tail is of no importance, IMO, for ranges inside of 300 to 400 yards. An inch or so one way or the other is trivial.

(As near as I can guesstimate from performance, my '06 loads through a 26" barrel were somewhere between 3,000 and 3,100.)
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Old February 20, 2009, 07:01 PM   #21
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Sierra bullets

Pilothunter,

In .308 Sierra makes a 135, 150, 155, 168, 175, 180, 190, 200, and 220 grain HPBT MatchKings. And, 160 and 165 (my favorite) grain HPBT GameKings. The major difference is a uniform copper jacket thickness for the MatchKings. BC for the 168 gr MatchKing ranges from .405 to .462 depending on velocity and for the 165 gr GameKing it is .404 to .419.

When I shoot my 165 grain HPBT GameKings through my .30-06 Remington 700 I get exceptional and consistent accuracy at 100 yards. I quit hunting many years ago but my last mule deer was shot with the GameKing with excellent penetration and expansion. No bullet or fragments wandering throughout the deer's body. Now I use the same bullet for target shooting.
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Old February 20, 2009, 09:19 PM   #22
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A buddy and I went antelope hunting a few years back. I was using my 7mm mag with 145 grain Speer BTSP's, and he was using a .308 with ~165 gr BTHP's made by Sierra.

We both got antelope, but his bullet wasted a whole lot more meat than mine did. For stuff I'm going to eat, I really like a well constructed soft-point bullet.

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Old February 21, 2009, 11:12 AM   #23
Art Eatman
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Daryl, Sierra's boat-tail bullets are admittedly more likely to "over expand", and I guess that's particularly true for the hollow points. The flat-base bullets don't have that problem. And, apparently, the 180-grain SPBTs work okay at all velocities.

But you're not supposed to hit an antelope in the eating part.
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Old February 21, 2009, 12:00 PM   #24
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But you're not supposed to hit an antelope in the eating part.
That's just it; neither of us did. Marc's buck looked like a grenade had gone off inside of it, and he took a head on chest shot. He used them because they were "slightly more accurate" in his rifle.

Mine was broadside, and I might have lost 4 ounces of meat.

I used Sierra boattail bullets for a lot of years, and I know for a fact that they're fragile and cause some severe meat damage. I was using soft points, and they just didn't stay together very well.

For what I want from a bullet, Speer work pretty well. I usually use SPBT's for deer and such, and switch to Grand Slam bullets for the bigger stuff. In a pinch, I've used either for either purpose, and the Speer BTSP's work well enough even on larger critters.

Not trying to downplay anyone's favorite bullet by any means. I'll tell anyone to use what they're confidant with, but that's what's worked for me.



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Old February 21, 2009, 01:35 PM   #25
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Tuzo, Thanks for the info. I'd thought they were Game Kings.
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