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Boattail or flat base bullets #7852212 05/27/20 01:32 AM
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sbushee Offline OP
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Saw an interesting article today while waiting to get my haircut discussing bullets. It found that flat base bullets were more consistent from an accuracy standpoint than boattails. I’m fairly new to reloading and just assumed boattails were better. What has been the experience for you guys with some time doing this?

Thanks!
Shawn

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852230 05/27/20 01:55 AM
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Boattails are designed to have a better BC. I have saw good accuracy from both and couldn’t say that one is superior.

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852288 05/27/20 03:15 AM
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Flat based bullets are supposed to be much easier to manufacture with maximum consistency versus boat tail.
I know short range Bench rest shooters favor flat based bullets but both designs can be made very accurate.


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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852370 05/27/20 11:01 AM
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Too broad of a statement. As DStroud mentioned, short range Bench Rest, they are favored. But, the boattail is going to be very helpful when the distance is increased. Higher BC holds more speed down range, and wind drifts less. Every time I top a personal record, at various distances, it is with a Boattail bullet.

One example here. SMKs are Boattail bullets.

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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852419 05/27/20 12:05 PM
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I love the boattails for the simple fact that they're easier to load. I'm probably not accurate enough to observe any difference between the two.

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852446 05/27/20 12:25 PM
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For cup-n-core hunting bullets, there use to be a common opinion that boattail bullets would shed cores more easily than flat base. Funny thing is, it is obvious that if anyone ever recovered a separated core/jacket the bullet had done it's job. For me, I agree with kry226 - boattail's are easier to load & perhaps they improve seating alignment.


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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852667 05/27/20 03:53 PM
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Thanks guys! My shooting ability/rifles are not going to be setting any distance records. I appreciate the input. I get about 1” MOA with my loads. That’s good for me. My shots are inside 400 yards

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7852673 05/27/20 04:00 PM
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Inside of 300-400 yards, I personally do not look at BC. High BC bullets are great for long range, but are not needed for your standard distances for hunting inside of 200 and 300 yards. I run a basic 150 grain Speer Gold Dot in my 308 that is a flat base soft point design, and it works great. I want a certain bullet performance on game, and gear the bullet for that. I have other rifles/loads for longer range shooting if needed. I think too many hunters "think" they need a high BC bullet for hunting, but it's a benefit until longer ranges.



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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7853098 05/27/20 10:56 PM
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I like flat base bullets but they are becoming extinct. I just bought some 130 flat based interlocks for my 6.8 bolt gun. Figured I get some before Hornady discontinues them.

One of my favorite flat based bullets was Hornady's .257 120 Interlock HP. That bullet was a hammer and never lost its core. Too bad Hornady discontinued them.


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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7853223 05/28/20 01:28 AM
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The following is not necessarily just for bullets/ballistics, but in general.

A tapered shape on the tail of something like that usually provides better aerodynamics because of the vortex it leaves behind. So if u put a bullet in a wind tunnel, then you'd see a more chaotic swirling pattern behind a flat base bullet vs a boat tail. Even the size of the vortex, the swirly air right behind the bullet near its central axis, should be smaller.

Now what that means for accuracy, I have no clue. But I've seen enough wind tunnel test to know the shape of the tail matters. The smaller and less chaotic vortex is why I'd guess the boat tail is actually a better design. My reloading experience is very limited but I've only done boat tail bullets.

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: ChadTRG42] #7854213 05/29/20 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ChadTRG42
Inside of 300-400 yards, I personally do not look at BC. High BC bullets are great for long range, but are not needed for your standard distances for hunting inside of 200 and 300 yards. I run a basic 150 grain Speer Gold Dot in my 308 that is a flat base soft point design, and it works great. I want a certain bullet performance on game, and gear the bullet for that. I have other rifles/loads for longer range shooting if needed. I think too many hunters "think" they need a high BC bullet for hunting, but it's a benefit until longer ranges.


It's refreshing to hear some common sense, especially from someone that is a long range shooter. Too many people pick their hunting bullet based on nothing more than BC. But hey, it's the latest fad.


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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7854571 05/29/20 01:35 PM
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Based on what I read many years ago, the flat base bullet was said to have better accuracy due to the flat base. The logic being that as the bullet exited the barrel, the flat base was square to the muzzle and less likely to be unequally disturbed by the gases exiting with the bullet. The boat tail bullets, with bullet technology of the time, were more difficult to produce with a base that could exit the muzzle without some unequal disturbance from exiting gases.

That made sense to me at the time. Whether it was precisely correct then or now, I do not know.


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Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7854960 05/29/20 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sbushee
Saw an interesting article today while waiting to get my haircut discussing bullets. It found that flat base bullets were more consistent from an accuracy standpoint than boattails. I’m fairly new to reloading and just assumed boattails were better. What has been the experience for you guys with some time doing this?

Thanks!
Shawn

I have loaded both for years. Since I'm not a long range shooter, I merely search for the bullet that performs best in the particular rifle I'm reloading for and go with it. If it happens to have a boat tail, well and good; if not, I'll shoot it anyway because it gives me the tight groups I'm always looking for.

Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: 603Country] #7856346 05/31/20 02:18 PM
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The article I read I said pretty much what 603Country said

Last edited by sbushee; 05/31/20 02:19 PM.
Re: Boattail or flat base bullets [Re: sbushee] #7856439 05/31/20 03:57 PM
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Ive said many times on here Im more of a hunter than a shooter but i totally respect the great lengths some go to achieve higher performance in the entire shooting system. So with all due respect, my only comment is that for shooting big game at conventional distances the 'other' end of the bullet is much more important. I know thats not specifically on topic but its closer than some of the tangents we often fly off onto. Carry on gents.


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