View Full Version : Ballistic Tips vs. Deer

September 21, 2009, 07:12 PM
Has anyone here ever taken a deer using Nosler Ballistic Tip Bullets? How did they work, where they effective? I ask because I plan on going deer hunting soon. The rifle I am going to take really likes these bullets. I have never used them on big game. So some input would be helpful.

September 21, 2009, 07:17 PM
New manufacture NBTs work great. I have a problem with some pretty old ammo ~ 10 years or more, that failed to open. I recovered the game, but it was a through and through. After a little research I learned I wasn't the only one to have that problem.

I have found them devastating for both broadside and neck shots on White Tail. I would hesitate to use NBT to hunt feral boars unless I planned to go exclusively with head and neck shots.

September 21, 2009, 08:03 PM
I have used them on texas deer in 30-06 150gr. and 243 in 70gr.

The 06 worked great but the 243 faild to enter the chest on a broadside shoulder shot at around 250 yds.

September 21, 2009, 08:06 PM
I have some original "Solid Base" that were like solids. As mentioned, the recent NBT's are accurate and deadly.

September 21, 2009, 08:08 PM
What cartridge are you using? My experience is based on the 280.

September 21, 2009, 08:34 PM
with my .243, using the 95 grain Ballistic Tip, and all of them fell in their tracks except one, and it ran about 35 yards before collapsing. KILLER bullets.

September 21, 2009, 09:45 PM
2Rugers says:

"I have used them on texas deer in 30-06 150gr. and 243 in 70gr.

The 06 worked great but the 243 faild to enter the chest on a broadside shoulder shot at around 250 yds."


That is why you don't use a 70 grain pill. I gotta ask, what were you thinkin'?

September 21, 2009, 10:47 PM
My son and I have used Combined Technologies (Nosler & Winchester) Winchester Silver Ballistic Tip ammo for deer here in South Alabama for several years. Calibers are 30-06, 308 and 300 Win Mag. We have had no problems and none of the deer shot have traveled more than a few yards.

September 21, 2009, 10:55 PM
The smaller caliber, and especially the lighter BT bullets are thin jackets meant for varmints, such as the 70 gr. in .243. The heavier weight for caliber BT bullets and those for larger calibers are thicker jacketed for big game.

September 22, 2009, 01:09 AM

September 22, 2009, 01:13 AM
I used Winchester Ballistic Silvertips almost exclusively in my .30/06, 7mm-08, and 7mm Rem Mag for everything from deer to elk with great results.

September 22, 2009, 03:31 AM
Deer and antelope,I use them in my .257 (115 gr)with very good results.I suppose if I wanted a little more penetration,I could try an Accu-bond.It is a whack them in the slats bullet(in small calibers).I would not try shots that require serious penetration,but ribs to heart lung it performs well.

I load the Accubonds in my 30-338 and my .375

September 22, 2009, 06:35 AM
ive used them in .270, .308, .30-06, and 7mm mag....seemed to work fine... not sure how much penetration or mushroom compared to other bullets.... only that they killed what I shot at with it.

roy reali
September 22, 2009, 07:29 AM
I have never used them for big game, yet. I have used the smaller ones for varmints with devastating rsults. In most of my rifles they are the most accurate hunting bullets. I wouldn't want to get by any bullet, but I imagine that a ballistic tip's wound would be ugly to say the least.

Wild Bill Bucks
September 22, 2009, 09:10 AM
I use Combined Technologies ballistic silvertips, in 150 grain through my .308 and they put a hole about the size of my little finger going in, and about the size of a tobasco bottle coming out. Pretty much everything in between is mulch. I Have also used them on hogs out to 100 yards. Deer or Hog, I have never had anything go over 30 yards from point of impact, with most of them dead where the stood.

September 22, 2009, 09:44 AM
I have used this for years on deer and hogs with great outcomes. I have taken all head and neck shots though, untill last year. Shot a buck in the chest, came out the front shoulder whit a TON of damage to the meat. It's a great round from a 308, but it will cause a lot of trama to the meat. IMO

September 22, 2009, 03:41 PM
I don't like them. Ballistic tipped bullets were designed for long-range shooting with hot calibers. The idea being that they would still open up at the terminal end of their trajectory. All of my hunting is going to be at less than 200 yds. That is too close for a BT bullet and you'll loose more meat than you need to by using one.

September 22, 2009, 03:48 PM
I have used ballistic tips ( win supreme combined technology, rem accutips, NBTs) in .243 win, .260, 7mm-08 and .308 win.

I have nothing but great things to say about the bullet performance when the shot is a standard broadside shot into the ribs. They turn the lungs into a gooey mess and drop deer as well as any other fast opening soft point.

The only time I would be hesitant about them is in the .243 if you are faced with a quartering shot and have to get through a shoulder to get to the lungs.

September 22, 2009, 05:01 PM
That is too close for a BT bullet and you'll loose more meat than you need to by using one.

Not my experience at all. Most of mine (maybe all) right around 100 yds (30-06), no more meat lost than any other same weight bullet.

September 23, 2009, 03:05 AM
In modest calibers,the Ballistic tip will expand and perform at modest velocities.For example,a 150 gr BT would probably perform very well in a 7x57 at all practical ranges.But,once again,I would not ask it to do the same job as a Nosler partition .Its not a deep driving ,bone smashing bullet..

I would expect an Accubond to likely shoot about the same as a BT,giving a choice.It will penetrate deeper.On a deer with,say a 7mm mag,I think I'd use an Accubond to save some meat but with a .257 or a 7x57 or 308 I use a ballistic tip ,probably on the heavier side,like 115,150,165 repstively.

Then just accept you want to hit ribs just behind the foreleg.

September 23, 2009, 08:37 AM
Well Water,;) I was thinking I would have a closer shot, (which would have made the .243 and 70 gr. BT a good choice).

As it were the second shot through the neck did the trick.

Certainly a learning experience.;)

September 23, 2009, 10:20 AM
Bella It would help to know the cartrage your looking to use. I have shot a 308 with 125grain BT at around 3000fps and a 7rem mag 140gr at 3200fps. I can say with the larger slower bullets in a cartage they work very well. In the higher velocity liter bullets a baddly placed shot can destroy alot of meat. To light a bullet in a small round like the 243 is more of a critter bullet that deer, go to a 100gr. I now shoot the 139gr SST at 3300+ fps in the 7mm and still use the georga arms 125gr BT in the 308 . With good bullet placement i never have a deer run more than a few steps. Thats more than can be side for some bullets. I hate haveing to look for deer at dark.

Hog Hunter
September 23, 2009, 04:41 PM
I myself dont prefer the Nosler BT because i have shot them and have seen deer and hogs lost to them. Shot a good buck a few years ago in the sholder at about 200 or so with a .270. Knocked the deer down he got up and ran, i waited close to an hour, went and looked where he was and there was hair, meat and very lil blood. No more blood found, a lil hair bout 20 yards from where he was hit and that was it. looked for the deer for bout 3 hrs, finally found him on the neighbors property, prolly a half mile from where i shot him.

When we skined him out the left sholder was all messed up, and the right there wasnt a peice of meat cut. After that i started shootin accubonds out of my 270 and 7mm RM. Have'nt had many deer or hogs run from either bullet, 20 or 30 yards a couple times

Lawyer Daggit
September 23, 2009, 05:54 PM
I use 120 gn BT's in my 7x57 Mauser to good effect.
The 225 gn 35 cal ones I have used in my 35 Whelen flatly refuse to expand even when pushed at about 2,700 fps.

September 23, 2009, 06:42 PM
Daggit, is it safe to assume you handload? The only factory 7x57 ballistic tip I have found is the Hornady Light Mags. Did I miss another ballistic tip?

September 23, 2009, 07:01 PM
Noslers' BT was designed for long range after velocity has dropped off--in big game calibers. There have been reports of bullet being destructive at close ranges' higher velocities.

I've always been a 150 Sierra Sptz. type fella' myself, for deer sized critters, but I loaded some 30-'06 150 gr. Nosler BT's for a friend, who likes that bullet, at about 2800fps. That's fairly moderate, and closer to .308 velocity. Pleasant to shoot.

He and his partners have used this ammo on antelope and deer, over several seasons, and they performed vary well (not too destructive) from fairly close range out to moderately long range. Also an accurate bullet, and good for testing a rifle to get a feel for it's accuracy potential.:

In Varmint calibers, they are, of course, rather destructive as designed.

September 23, 2009, 07:36 PM
I've been loading the 30/150/BT over H4895 powder in the 30-06 for years; use in here in MO where you're unlikely to trip over anything big, inclined to eat/stomp you. I get 2940 fps and it shoots a shade over 1 MOA from Peg's old 78 Remington, with its old Tasco 4X scope. I suspect with a good clear 9+ scope it would be capable of substantially better- but she's used to it, likes it and shoots it well. A smart man don't go triflin' with the Princess's rifle, unless he's asked ;)

A couple of seasons ago I saw a decent 8 point buck trailing some does around, about 350 yards from the house. That old 78 was the closest rifle to the door so I ran in and grabbed it, along with a couple of the aforementioned Nosler BT loads. When the buck showed himself again in a drywash, just his neck & leading shoulder were unobstructed and the bullet went in right where they meet. Even at 210+ yards it sounded like you hit a watermelon with a baseball bat...put him in a heap and he never moved.

My friends who load the BT report similar results. It wrecks more meat than some others but ruined meat means little when you lose the whole animal. I stand convinced that it just might be the best bullet available for broadside shots at thin-skinned game, to about 350 pounds.

September 23, 2009, 07:40 PM
I am curious about reports of BTs blowing up at close ranges....Anyone that has had that happen please chime in : Where did you hit the deer, with what caliber and bullet weight?

I've yet to recover a single BT/ CT/ Accutip from any deer ( 25 + deer over the past 8 years ) at ranges from 10 yards to 200+. All were broadside complete penetrations. even at close ranges they haven't " blown up " and have completely penetrated in all the calibers that I have used - even the relatively light 95 grainers in a .243 win..

I'd like to hear more about the failures that people have had with them

September 23, 2009, 09:03 PM
I've used 165 gr BT in 30-06 reloads for several years with very good accuracy. They have been consistent performers on deer.

September 24, 2009, 07:40 AM
About the delayed reply here. The cartridge in question is a 7mm-08. I tried the 140 grain and the 150 grain ballistic tips. They grouped about the same, maybe the 140's were slightly better.

I appreciate all the reponses here. I don't want to sound like a whinner, but I am a bit confused now. Reading the the replies I have figured out one of three things is going to happen if I shoot a deer with my 7mm-08 using 140 grain ballistic tips.

1. The deer will drop dead where it stands.

2. I will loose half my venison due to bullet damage.

3. The deer will run off and die slowly and suffer greatly.

Maybe I should try some other projectiles.

Wild Bill Bucks
September 24, 2009, 11:16 AM

Out of the 29 readable posts that have been posted: 19 are for the bullet,3 are against the bullet, and 7 are mostly info posts.

If this were the presidential election, the yea's would have it.

I would load em up and go.:)

September 24, 2009, 02:43 PM
I would never use a BT on a hog and on the deer,,,Its all about bullet placement. Not on the shoulder. Hornady light mag is a BT for the 7x57? hornady does use a SST that works well, abit tougher bullet. I have had both recoverd case's of BT but only if hit middle lung/heart. Had some both low and hit hits that blow off chuncks of backbone and above or low heart shoots that did the same when hit a bit low. But deer did not move in either case ,well exect to hit the ground. Now the ct and accutip are different enought to be in a different group. More like the sst.
Bella if you don't make a bad shoot nothing will drop a deer quicker than a BT and the 140gr in 7-08 is a great choice. Just put that bullet in the heart/lung area and it's down.

September 24, 2009, 05:19 PM
I have used them in my 270win.That said they killed the deer,But the hole was as big as my fist going out.They will work if you don't get to speedy with them.Your milage may vary!Good Luck

September 24, 2009, 08:56 PM
It is a great choice in a 7-08.A very tiugh bullet ,designed for a 7mag,might just punch through.

There is a fine point,here.If you choose to shoot the shoulder,you have heavy bone and meat to go through,and you will trash a lot of meat.I ,personally,do not think the shoulder is a good target on a deer.Ribs,just behind the foreleg.Right behind them,heart ,lungs.

Big magnums and over 3000 fps tears up meat.Trust me,experiences like hitting shoulder on antelope with a 7 rem mag helped me discover the .257.

I'll guess youll get a path of destruction about like a football,maybe more.

A 140-150 gr BT in a 7-08 is about as good as it gets.

September 24, 2009, 10:23 PM
i shot 180 grain ballistic tips out of my 338 federal and at 100 yards i put a hole in one side of a whitetail 338 caliber and the other side...... well lets just say that not much was left in a basketball size area.... they are good for stopping things in their tracks

September 24, 2009, 11:39 PM
good choice for me, love the 130 gr NBT in my 270 win. Been keeping the freezer full for years with it, almost all deer droped in their tracks. As far as the shoulder shots, i have no clue why this is considerd a good shot, theirs no vitals their, wait for the right shot and put it where it belongs. No problems. Ive never lost an animal with them so far, but i wait for good shots and dont take potshots just to hit the animal. longest was out to 340 yards. Shot a buck, dropped him right their, then 20 min later my freind i was hunting with shot a doe about 10 feet from the buck, ( with my rifle)she also dropped in her tracks.... yummy!!!:D

September 26, 2009, 11:48 AM
30-06 150 gr NBT's
300 Win Mag 150 gr NBT's (simply because it is lazerlike in accuracy)
30-30 125 gr NBT's in super 14" contender
25-06 100 gr NBT's

All of the above have killed multiple deer & hogs. They are very accurate and kill like a lightening bolt as far as I'm concerned. Meat loss is inconsequential.

None, however, were used on really, heavy bodied game.

September 26, 2009, 03:57 PM
Used Layne Simpsons loads in the 7mmSTW when it was still a wildcat. 86 gr of H1000, 140gr NBT. Velocity was 3425fps 12 ft from the muzzle. Killed a buck at 265yds and when I opened him up it looked like a grenade went off. have killed quite a few whitetails with the STW and the Nosler, no problems, no excessive meat damage, but I always shoot for the lung shot when I can. Also killed a caribou in northern Quebec with my 7mag and the 140gr NBT...66 gr of RL 19. Velocity 3050fps 12 feet from the muzzle, duplicating the Rrem factory 140gr load. Penetration was great, actually through and through with a great exit hole. both rifles are Rem 700's. The STW has a custom Douglas 26" stainless steel air guaged barrel, and the 7mag one of the originals with a 24" stainless barrel. Other deer I have seen not shot in the lung/rib areas were quite messy.

September 27, 2009, 02:37 PM
i use 57grs of imr 4350 with the 165gr nosler bt bullet in my 760 and 7600 rem pump 18 inch barreled carbines,with that load the speed is 2700fps and i,ve killed over 30 deer with it here in pa., most shot thru the lungs and they die very quickly with no meat wasted. and they shoot into 2 inches or better and 100yds from a rest. thats all i use for deer. eastbank.

James R. Burke
September 27, 2009, 04:07 PM
I load them for a friend in a 7mm mag, and they all worked great for him. I use the Nosler partition for my 30-06, and my wifes .243 for deer. I just feel better with the partitions on deer, but like I said that is all my freind use's he as dropped on the spot everything he has shot at.

September 29, 2009, 04:54 PM

I've been using 120gr. BTs @ 3000 fps in a 7-08 for years. I started more than 15 years ago so I know some were the 'old type'. They weren't available in a factory load back then and that's one of the reasons I started handloading metallics. I've never felt like they wasted more meat than any other bullet and none of my deer ran more than 30 yds. most just fell over DRT. I wouldn't hesitate to load up with them and go hunting tomorrow.

FWIW - I usually try for double lung broadside shots but I've also taken shoulder shots and I love these bullets.

September 30, 2009, 06:43 AM
I've has a few negative experiences with NBT's, but it could just be due to my application and prefrences. I've shot (and killed) numerous whitetail deer with Win. factort NBT loads in my .300WM. Two stand out as negative IMO. About 80 yards broadside shot in the ribs, bullet failed to exit. Saw the deer drop about 25 yards away though. Poor blood trail. Second was about 65 yards quartering to me, shot went into right side, failed to exit, no blood trail. There was a light mist and I couldn't find deer. Found it the next AM by accident as I was driving along the trail. It went maybe 40 yards. I lost a good buck from a shot at 50 yards due to no blood trail. Quartering towards, good lung shot, no exit or blood trail. I prefer good blood trail and full penetration due to the heavy brush I hunt in. I think the bullet/gun combo in my case causes the NBT to open up too quickly and reduces penetration. It shoots identical to the Accubond, so that's what I shoot now. I would not hesitate shooting it at distance through my .300, but I don't have that range in the area I hunt.

September 30, 2009, 10:42 PM
I hunt with a choice of 3 rifles. Ruger M77 in 30.06, with Federal Premium 165gr. NBT--Savage 110 in 30.06, with Federal Premium 165gr. NBT and Hornady 165gr. SST--Remington 700 SPS in .308 with Federal Premium 150gr. NBT. All these rifles are "dead nutz" zero at 300yds. 9 years- 23 white tails, 5 mule deer, 5 pronghorn, 4 elk, 2 moose, 2 black bear, too many ferel hogs to count, and all these critters fell over dead bang with "ballistic tip rounds." They make a mess of where ever they hit,, without a doubt. Depending on the circumstances, I try to take one of three shots. 1. low behind the front leg (turns the heart and lungs to pudding) 2. high behind the front shoulder (done right it severs the spine-- ya loose some backstrap with this one) 3. neck shot. If your rifle "likes" a certain ballistic tip round, then by all means use it. Its a confidence thing that you need with your rifle,, and remember--their may be 10,000 guys on this forum, and all of them have probably taken game of some sort,, but not one of them has taken "your shot' with "your rifle". You have a rifle and a round that you have confidence in-- then go for it and never look back--just my 2cents.