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#6098632 - 12/23/15 02:38 PM Please help me understand bullet options
Arrowslinger82 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 352
I hope this doesn't come off as an idiotic question. But what's the advantage of a nosler partition over a ballistic tip, or an accubond. I've used partitions mainly just cause that is what my dad used. But why would you choose one vs the other, and what's the best overall? I've looked at charts, etcetera and it seems very close no matter what you do.

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#6098700 - 12/23/15 03:28 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Partition- known to expand and retain weight evem on the toughest of animals. A really good choice for tough skinned animals (elk, feral hogs) within 300 yards. A bullet that many are measured against in impact behavior.

Ballistic Tip- higher BC, has been known to fragment too early after impact

Accubond- even higher BC and, by all reports has done a good job penetrating as well as retaining weight.

Why is BC important? The faster the bullet is going the more energy transfer and more penetration it delivers. BC is the ability to maintain velocity. So if you take equal bullet weights, one with a BC of .600 for example, and one with a BC of .500. Get them the leave the barrel at the same velocity, the higher BC bullet will have a higher maintianed velocity down range than the lower BC bullet. Inside 300 yards it isn't as important as outside 300 yards. Also, since the higher BC bullet is maintaining more velocity it is not getting wind drifted as much as the lower BC bullet.
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#6098774 - 12/23/15 04:17 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
headhunter54 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 07/07/11
Posts: 577
Loc: Longview, TX
Was not a stupid question and was well replied to by a guy in the know.

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#6099059 - 12/23/15 07:38 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
Arrowslinger82 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 352
I would also be willing to try Hornady's sst bullets

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#6099069 - 12/23/15 07:45 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
They shoot well. I hear they perform well.
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#6099117 - 12/23/15 08:16 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
RiverRider Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 6207
Loc: Wise Co.
JG's provided a good answer, and I'll add a thing or two...

BTs generally are best avoided when high impact velocity is a possibility. Partitions tend to withstand just about whatever impact velocity you can achieve (I've never heard of an upper limit, but surely there's a point where things go to heck n a handbasket). Accubonds are a very good "in-between" and generally will stay together and offer lower cost than the Partition but more reliable terminal performance than the BT.

I've heard some say that Partitions are not very accurate. No doubt, some rifles won't shoot them well but I don't think there's a bullet on the market that every rifle will shoot with outstanding precision. I have witnessed some pretty tight groups using Partitions and even fired one or two good ones myself. Same goes for the Accubonds and BTs, but BTs seem to enjoy a notable reputation for accuracy. In my experience, Accubonds will shoot very well in some rifles and not so hot in others. YMMV.
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#6099141 - 12/23/15 08:28 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: RiverRider]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
To go with what River Rider wrote.

Pick a bullet, pick the best powder, tune it until it does the best it can do at your choice of testing range. There are plenty of times one bullet just can't shoot as tight as another. If the partition shot 1 1/2" at 100, and the BT shot 1", but you are going after 200 yard elk, I'd lean on the partition simply because I'd trust it more upon impact. We want hand loads to shoot as consistent as possible, but we also have to consider how it behaves in flight (read wind if shooting some distance), and how it behaves on impact.
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#6099282 - 12/23/15 09:32 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
bo323 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/24/11
Posts: 706
Loc: Snyder, tx
The partition has a copper decided in the middle. It is designed so that only the front half of the bullet can expand. The bullet can shed the entire front half of the bullet while the back half stays together offering expansion and deep penetration. The BT is a fast expanding bullet. It originally had a very thin jacket and was known for fragmenting. It was been redesigned with a better jacket but as fireman said it can still fragment at high velocity. The accubond can be thought of as an upgraded BT. Its jacket is bonded to the core to resist fragmentation and aid in weight retainment.

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#6099408 - 12/23/15 11:18 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1989
Loc: Dallas, TX
Bullets are designed for different purposes. Some are designed to be exceptionally accurate, others are designed to be very inexpensive, yet others are designed to behave in a specific manner on impact. There is no bullet that can be all things to all people, as the requirements of the various disciplines frequently come into conflict. Therefore, the "best" bullet really depends on your intended purposes and your priorities.

If you're hunting varmints in a populated area, your top priorities are accuracy and minimizing potential ricochets.
If you're shooting steel at 800 yards, your priorities are accuracy and flat trajectory.
If you're shooting deer at 50 yards in thick brush, your priorities are quick expansion and complete penetration.

It goes on and on. The point to be made is that most bullets are a combination of one or more of these desirable qualities. The arguments revolve around which is most suitable for a particular purpose. The reason why everyone disagrees is because our priorities and experiences differ. Returning to your original examples:

The Nosler Partition is the gold standard in hunting bullets and has been so for over 60 years. It's not perfect, but it set such a high standard that it's still the measuring stick. This would be considered a controlled expansion bullet.
The Nosler Ballistic Tip has a reputation for excellent accuracy and flat trajectory due to high ballistic co-efficients. Performance on game has been spectacular. Unfortunately, it's been both spectacularly good and spectacularly bad. The bullet originally had a very light jacket that did great things on lung shots at moderate speed, and very poor things on shoulder shots at high speed. The bullets have been significantly improved over the years and seem far more predictable these days. This would be considered a quick expanding bullet.
The Nosler Accubond was designed to be a more predictable version of the Ballistic Tip. It should open quickly, but retain the majority of its bullet weight and give good penetration. It would also be considered a controlled expansion bullet. That said, it behaves somewhat differently than the Partition. Whether that's good or bad depends on your priorities.

Now we've only looked at three bullet types out of the dozens we have available. There's been no discussion of the Berger VLD bullets, the Barnes copper bullets, E-Tips, GMX, the Sierra ProHunters, Hornady Interloc and Interbond, etc., etc.

All of these bullets are exceptionally good at something or they wouldn't be on the market. The trick is to match your use with their design parameters. Then find one that shoots well in your rifle.
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#6099438 - 12/24/15 12:16 AM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
Arrowslinger82 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/10/14
Posts: 352
well honestly, I'm using factory ammo... with that said, I'm looking for the most efficient and hardest hitting. What I'm down to is most likely the federal with either nosler bt or partition. or possibly the hornady superformance sst. however, I've not had luck with hornady in the past. Im open to options if there is better


Edited by Arrowslinger82 (12/24/15 08:47 AM)

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#6099448 - 12/24/15 01:19 AM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20287
Loc: Texas
Federal loads some very good bullets for hunting in the preminum line. Which to choose depends a lot on what you are hunting, what caliber you are shooting and expected range. The smaller diameter bullet the more solid construction for better performance. Almost all the time if someone is looking to use a 22cal bullet for deer I will recomend the Partition. In a 30-30 with their low velocity cup and core bullets work great.

John Nosler set out to design a better bullet after having poor results on a moose hunt with cup and core bullets of the day (1940's). Back at home he designed and built the first partitions on the next year moose hunt he got very good performance as did his hunting partner one shot each for their bull moose. Partitions have been getting it done eversince.

Ballistic Tips replaced the Nosler solid base bullets in the 1980's. Basically the same bullet with a polimer nose instead of a spft point. Good reliable bullets with good BC but are basically a cup and core bullet with a hollow point covered in plastic. Keep impact velocities below 2600 fps and the hunting weight for caliber will perform well on game, get much above that and they expand mych more than I like. The bullets are known for accuracy though.

Accobonds when the designers were given the project for them the mandate was for a bullet that flies like an ballistic tip and performs like a partition when it hits game. The overall shape is like a ballistic tip with a heave jacket along the shank to tetard expansion while the front part easily expands, the combination of the new jacket and a bonded coer gets it real close to that goal.

With the new accubond bullet jackets for the accubond working well in accuracy but for less expansion wanted for a hunting bullet than the first ballistic tips provided. The hunting ballistip was created using an accubond jacjet with its thicker shank but non bonded core.

John Nosler liked a bullet that would shed some lead on expansion causing more damage along the wound cannal while still maintaining 66% or more of the original weight post expansion for deep penetration. Hos partitions do just that. I think Mr. Nosler was a smart man with knowledge of what good bullets for killing game should do.
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#6099521 - 12/24/15 06:46 AM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
scottfromdallas Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/23/15
Posts: 351
Loc: TX
Let me add that a lot of opinions on Ballistic Tips are old news. They have changed several times over the years. The current production of Ballistic Tips not only have a solid base in the boat tail, like always, but a very thick tapered jackets. In fact modern ballistic tips have 50-60% of their weight in the solid base and jacket. Even if the core separates, jacket and solid base will usually penetrate plenty deep.

I pilfered this photo from another site but is shows how they have changed. The 30 calibers (168 &180 grain) on the left are the newer Ballistic Tips. When the Accubond came out with it's thick jacked, the Ballistic Tip benefited.



Edited by scottfromdallas (12/24/15 08:02 AM)
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#6099608 - 12/24/15 07:59 AM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: scottfromdallas]
nyalubwe Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 233
Loc: Montana
Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
Let me add that a lot of opinions on Ballistic Tips are old news. They have changed several times over the years. The current production of Ballistic Tips not only have a solid base in the boat tail, like always, but a very thick tapered jackets. In fact modern ballistic tips have 50-60% of their weight in the solid base and jacket. Even if the core separates, jacket and solid base will usually penetrate plenty deep.


I will second what scott said. Ballistic tips have 'evolved' and are currently even marked on the box "hunting" or "Varmint"...the Hunting variety being a more controlled expansion. What kmon said on Partitions and Accubonds was right on. The accubond basically performs like a Partition with a higher BC. Nosler Partitions are one of the few sure bets in life. They perform every time out of the gate.

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#6100223 - 12/24/15 03:05 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
WileyCoyote Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 4527
Loc: The Dogwood Capital of Texas

cheers so far so good...ya'll keep going with the insight and explanations. cheers

Merry Christmas & Better Tommorows...
Ron
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#6101525 - 12/25/15 02:07 PM Re: Please help me understand bullet options [Re: Arrowslinger82]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1989
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: Arrowslinger82
well honestly, I'm using factory ammo... with that said, I'm looking for the most efficient and hardest hitting. (snip)


Your comment is very reasonable and is the typical response of most hunters. Unfortunately, even this is ... complicated.

The fastest kills are direct central nervous system hits with bullets that transfer energy effectively and are not deflected by bone. Similar reactions can occur when game is hit by high velocity bullets that transfer energy quickly when the circulatory system is in a certain state; this is the "hydrostatic shock" that people talk about. In both of these circumstances, the game will drop on the spot, or "DRT" as it's commonly described. Notice, however, that the bullet does very different work in each case. In the first situation, the bullet will impact CNS protecting bone, either immediately or after impacting muscle or other bones. In the second case, flesh or lungs are hit, possibly very light bone, like ribs. A solid or fmj bullet, can be very effective for the first shot, but is very unlikely to produce the desired effect for the second shot, which requires quick and violent energy transfer against only moderate resistance.

The most common bullet failure mode of the first shot is for the bullet to break up and fail to break bone. The bullet fragments and the pieces slide along the bone, causing an ugly wound but failing to inflict immediately fatal damage. The bullet breaks up and doesn't penetrate. The most common bullet failure mode of the second shot is for the bullet to either fail to expand or to expand only moderately. The lack of expansion reduces energy transfer and limits the diameter of the wound channel, thus reducing the hydrostatic shock to an insignificant level. The bullet punches a modest hole, but doesn't do much damage.

The next fastest kills are those that cause immediate blood loss and the resulting blood pressure drop. A non-DRT heart/lung shot is a good example. These hits cause enough damage that blood pressure drops within 20 seconds or so and the animal just falls over. The bullet in this case may hit bone, flesh or lungs or some combination of the three. The most common bullet failures in this case are lack of expansion and excessive penetration, excessive expansion and insufficient penetration and, occasionally, bullet deflection.

Everyone knows most of this, if only empirically, so what's the point?

Well, the point is that "efficient and hardest hitting" depends on both your target and your chosen point of aim. If you only take lung shots, you can use quick expanding varmint bullets most of the time and get excellent results. If you only aim at bone, you can use fmj bullets most of the time and get excellent results. Most game bullets are a compromise between expansion and penetration. Expansion transfers energy faster and causes large wound channels, but penetration lengthens the wound channel and may be a necessity to reach the vitals of larger animals. Complete penetration may aid in trailing your quarry, but some energy transfer is obviously wasted.

Most "normal" factory ammunition is a compromise. It is designed with a primary use in mind, which for most big game ammunition in the US is reliable performance on whitetail deer. It will expand reliably under most circumstances and it will penetrate reliably under most circumstances for most cartridges of "normal" velocity. Once you step outside of "normal", you have to pay more attention to get your expected results. Some examples are of abnormal situations are shooting an elk at 30 yards with a conventional 150 grain bullet out of a .300 Weatherby. The bullet is very likely to disintegrate on impact if it meets significant resistance, which may or may not be what you want and expect. Hitting a coyote at 800 yards with that same bullet will produce a very different effect on the bullet; it may not expand at all.

I think that by "most efficient and hardest hitting" we mean that we want the animal to drop DRT as often as possible. When that doesn't happen, we want a good hit to be followed by recovery within 50 yards or so. Again, for most normal cartridges and most normal situations, which ever factory ammo shoots well in your rifle is likely to do excellent work if your bullet weight and type is appropriate for your quarry. If you feel that you're likely to have an exceptionally high velocity at bullet impact, switch to a tougher or heavier bullet. If you feel that you're likely to have an exceptionally low velocity at bullet impact, switch to a bullet of lighter construction.

At the end of the day, we want a bullet to hit the target at a velocity for which it was designed and we want the penetration / expansion ratio to be as we expect, whether that be high penetration and low expansion, vice versa, or somewhere in the middle. Ideally, we'd like the trajectory to be as flat as possible, since that simplifies aiming greatly, so velocity and high ballistic coefficient values are very helpful. In counterpoint, it is important to remember that trajectory is meaningless at ranges under 100 yards where the vast majority of deer are shot.

I suppose the moral of the story is that only you can decide what is most efficient and hardest hitting, since the terms mean different things to different people.
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