View Full Version : Elk Bullet Question

Bud Helms
July 24, 2001, 11:10 AM
Okay, all you Elk hunters, I have a specific question about the difference between the Nosler Partition vs the Ballistic Tip Hunting bullets. Here's the deal: a friend of mine is heading out to NM for elk this year and doesn't reload. He shoots a Weatherby chambered in .300 Weatherby Mag ('not sure which model of rifle). He buys Weatherby commercial loadings and shoots 180 gr Partitions. He wants to know if the Ballistic Tip Hunting bullets are adequate for Elk. I expressed some doubt about it, but thought I'd ask some experts.

BTW, this friend is a fairly good shot. He has taken Elk before, in CO, with the Partitions. He claims he doesn't take shoulder shots, only lung shots. Welllllll, if that is true, would it make a difference?

The difference in muzzle energy/velocity, retained energy/velocity at various ranges, BC, etc., etc., etc., being so close for the two designs, they have a very similar trajectory, so the big difference is bullet construction. I say, don't take a chance, stay with the Partitions. But, I don't have any experience with the Hunting version of the BT.

What say the Elk hunters on this?

Jay Baker
July 24, 2001, 01:49 PM
Sensop, you gave your friend sound advice. Stick with the Nosler Partitions. (If he's already killed elk with the Partitions, I don't even know why he's thinking of changing. ????)


Bud Helms
July 24, 2001, 03:03 PM
Jay, what I suspect is he is trying to do is take advantage of minutia like 50 fps faster, .024 better BC, 90 ft lbs difference at 300 yds, 0.1 in difference in trajectory at 300 yds, etc. These aren't precise quotes, but you get the idea. I call it pickin' fly poop out of the pepper. With loads and bullets that close together, though, bullet construction will be the deciding factor ... at least for me. That's why the post. I think you're right. That I'm right, that is ... :D

July 24, 2001, 07:53 PM
Between the two, I'd stick with the Partitions.

I play with the numbers (BC, down-range energy, etc. to no end as well - part of the fun of reloadin'), but you have to have a well-constructed bullet to deliver the goods once it gets there. A "more frangible" bullet is not desireable for elk - they be pretty tough critters.

That said, got a bud who uses nothing but the Ballistic Tips (.30 cal 180s) from .300 Win Mag to .30-378! One shot for each & he (obviously) swears by 'em.

Shoulder shots aren't required, but do stop 'em a lot faster than do lung shots. Tellin' 'em "whoa!" is a good thing in my book. Elk can run a l-o-n-g way with a killing shot through the lungs.

Dan Morris
July 24, 2001, 08:37 PM
I got away from the partician...they are the best of the two mentioned. I just like the Barnes better.....

Bud Helms
July 24, 2001, 09:38 PM

Have you recovered any of the Barnes Xs from an Elk yet? How do they perform?

July 24, 2001, 10:24 PM

Look here for hunting questions.

These guys know thier stuff when it comes to hunting just like we here know our guns.


Dan Morris
July 25, 2001, 06:32 AM
The Barnes X Molly performs just as advertised. Roughly
90% retention and excellent penitration and expansion!
I wouldn't trade them!

Bud Helms
July 25, 2001, 10:02 AM
I appreciate the opinions, guys.


July 28, 2001, 09:43 PM
Howdy Guys I've been a hunting guide in the great state of NM. for a while and have seen a good number of elk shot and have shot a good number myself. Use the partitions don't even consider using balistic tips with a hyper .30 like the weatherby. Your asking for a non penetration nightmare. I've personally seen a 180gr sierra out of a .300 Weatherby stop on the near shoulder leaving a barely bleeding flesh wound. If your going to shoot a fast gun on elk use a solidly constructed bullet.

Bud Helms
July 29, 2001, 01:06 AM

Thanks for the solid opinion.

- sensop

July 29, 2001, 01:25 AM
Personally, I'm using the Sierra 180 GameKIng in .30-06 & have had excellent results - but, that is at a spec'd 2700 fps - certainly lower than the .300+s. It's accounted for a good 8 elk & is a very accurate bullet. Weight retention/penetration is "right there." Sometimes we find the bullet, sometimes it blows through the other side. Point is - we always find the elk. Enough said for performance.

I also use the Barnes XBT in .308 Rem M7 & .309 JDJ TC pistol. Each are right at 2400 fps. I couldn't find another bullet in the weight range that is spec'd to expand at this velocity (Barnes claims 1600 fps as minimum expansion velocity & that's well w/in any shootable distance for either of these shooters). Although many will at 2400fps, the bullet won't be going that fast further out. +, Barnes claims better penetration than "standard" bullets & I wanted to check up on that "edge."

Shot one elk - ~15 yds, butt-on with the Barnes & it blew right through - ~5' of penetation. Only elk experience I have w/'em to date - ask me again in late October. ;) One deer at about 35 yds broadside, but any bullet would have done the trick there ...

Many rifles seem not to shoot the Barnes bullets very well. They are longer than "standard" bullets for any given weight, so it may be the twist rate - may be that some rifles just don't like 'em. Seems to be the case. I've lucked out in those that I've tried. They are not as accurate as many other bullets, but still well within "minute of elk" vitals for any expected range I'll shoot.