Which of these three bullets would you try first?


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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 6, 2009, 10:11 PM
to accuracy test for hunting for this fall for whitetails, from a .260 Remington with an 18" barrel?

Can't seem to decide what will work best for the money - I seem to find good reviews on all three of these bullets:

1. 100 gr Hornady spire point FB, .358 BC, $23.49/100, vel around 2975-3000.

2. 120 gr Speer Hot Cor spire point FB, .433 BC, $18.99/100, vel around 2800-2825.

3. 129 gr Hornady SST ballistic tip boattail, .445 BC, $26.99/100, vel around 2750-2775.

Want to be ready for any shot - neck, high shoulder, anything. Was going to run with #3, but #2 seems like a great value (price & BC). #1 will also gain some nice vels to buck the wind and expand violently for neck shots, and also be light recoiling. Again, all three get pretty nice reviews for accuracy and game performance, with the SST getting the best accuracy reviews it seems.

Max shot would be 275 yards, and *most* shots will be under 125 yards.

Which would you try first? Tough call for me. Thanks.

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ArmedBear
July 6, 2009, 10:19 PM
IMO SST.

The plastic tip makes for very consistent bullet length. I can get better groups with the SST than the otherwise-similar Hornady BTSP, and from what I can tell it's because I can just caliper the cartridge OAL and get an accurate indication of seating depth. The spire point is just a lead blob, compared to a precisely-molded piece of plastic.

My experience with them is the 165 grain .308" bullet, though.

Haven't tried the Speers.

oneounceload
July 6, 2009, 10:32 PM
The 260 is very close to the 6.5 x 55, and in my 6.5, the 120 is the most accurate of the loads I have tried over the years. I would start with your #2 choice

jmorris
July 6, 2009, 11:14 PM
Not sure how big the deer are in your area but inside of 300 you don't need a lazer beem. I would use Nolsers 140 grain partition they also make a 125 grain. Partitions have done better than most others IME.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 6, 2009, 11:28 PM
These are small-medium Okla. & Texas deer. Thanks for the input so far!

The plastic tip makes for very consistent bullet length. I can get better groups with the SST than the otherwise-similar Hornady BTSP, and from what I can tell it's because I can just caliper the cartridge OAL and get an accurate indication of seating depth. The spire point is just a lead blob, compared to a precisely-molded piece of plastic.

Very interesting, AB!

ArmedBear
July 6, 2009, 11:55 PM
Oh yeah...

I didn't think about bullet weight.

100 isn't 129, and I'm not sure what style is available in what weight, etc.

But all else being equal, I'd consider the SSTs.:) Too bad they're not cheap, but they're not dramatically more expensive than the Hornady SPs.

Uncle Mike
July 7, 2009, 12:08 AM
Max shot would be 275 yards.

That far with a little .260, and to have 'some' authority when it got there, I should think the 129gr SST would be best.

The 100gr will probably act a lot like a .243... smack! This of course would be for fairly close(out to 150y) shots, loosing much of its punch thereafter pretty quickly.

I don't have any experience with the 120gr Speer Hot Cor SPFB., but it more than likely will be the 'best of both worlds', energy and speed(wind resistance) of the three.

Just do the math to make sure that 129gr SST will still have enough velocity to expand 'like you want' by the time it's out to 275y. We know the 100gr won't do well in the expansion department at that range.

Back to the 120 grainer again... should be moving fast enough at 275y to expand, but I do not know what speeds the Speer Hot Cor expands at, respectively.

:D

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 7, 2009, 12:40 AM
Please note some of the multiple bad reviews on the Speer "SP", "SPBT", and "Hot Cor" here:

http://www.reloadersnest.com/bullet_review.asp

Which is why I'm leaning toward the SST or the 100 soft point, probably the SST.

interlock
July 7, 2009, 03:22 AM
Dr Tad,
Speaking from personal experience. speers hot cor is a truly impressive on game performer. They stay together, penetrate fully and the couple i have recovered have been nicely mushroomed.

i have used 105gr 6mm,130 gr 7mm, 145 gr 7mm, 150 gr 30 cal. all have been excellant. i have shot lots of deer with them and can't fault them on game.

I have also used hornadies interlock on deer from a 6mm, found them excellant.

the prohunter from sierra are good.... but expand quickly and when driven fast are quite destructive.

interlock

dakotasin
July 7, 2009, 07:32 AM
1, 3, 2 would be my order of preference - and i'd expect to be done before i ever got stuck w/ #2...

Grumulkin
July 7, 2009, 07:56 AM
I believe any of the bullets mentioned would work well so my main criteria would be accuracy.

I have some fondness for Speer Hot Cores probably relating to a 360 yard 1 shot kill on a deer with a .224 caliber 70 gr. version out of a 22-250. The bullet went clear through both lungs at that range. I took another deer with one shot out of a 222 and, once again, a complete pass through and prompt death of the deer.

Art Eatman
July 7, 2009, 10:58 AM
What's been repeatedly found for hunting accuracy is that battering of the lead bullet tip has no practical effect. I managed to stay at one MOA with the fifth round from my '06 having suffered the recoil of four previous rounds; flattened, yeah, but it went right in with the others at 100 yards.

A flattened tip would likely hit an inch or so lower out at 300 yards, of course, but not many deer are ever shot that far out--and not with a fifth round, most likely. :)

I'm a bit dubious that the difference in uniformity of seating depth/OAL would be of any effect, comparing plastic tip with lead tip. Maybe for benchrest competition, but not for Bambi.

ArmedBear
July 7, 2009, 01:24 PM
I'm a bit dubious that the difference in uniformity of seating depth/OAL would be of any effect, comparing plastic tip with lead tip. Maybe for benchrest competition, but not for Bambi.

Don't you shoot rabbit-sized deer at long ranges, usually, in Texas?

I can get some interesting flyers when the bullets aren't consistently seated. You're right that I'm still getting maybe 2 MOA, but that's a big nasty excuse for a group at 300+ yards.

At 100, wouldn't matter at all.

But if I have to choose, I might as well choose the one that shoots straight if it's neither here nor there.:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 7, 2009, 03:42 PM
In November, I'm gonna take my buddy, who's never hunted, and his 16 year old son, who's never hunted. I am supplying all 3 rifles with ammo, and I'm going to work up handloads for all three. As mentioned, I'll be using a rifle chambered in .260 Rem.

A. For the boy, he'll be using a .243 Win rifle of mine. Bullet question on this one is which of these to use:

1. 85 gr Speer Spitzer boattail, $22.70/100, .404 BC.
2. 90 gr Nosler Ballistic tip, $26.98/100, .365 BC.
3. 90 gr Sierra Game King, $19.99/100, .387 BC.
4. 95 gr Hornady SST $26.99, .381 BC
5. 100 gr Speer Spitzer Boattail, $22.39/100, .430 BC
6. 105 gr Speer HotCor, $21.49/100, .443 BC

I think #5 and #6 are out, because I read that the T/C Icon in .243 has a stinkin 1 in 12 twist, so that leaves 1-4. #4 (the SST) is best choice for torso vitals shots where a bone may be encountered or a quartering shot, and best all-around choice, but 1-3 are better for neck shots. Thinking of going with #1 or #3 (probably #3), and telling the boy "neck shots only" allowed. This way, with this rule, he won't be hasty and be tempted to just shoot for the brown torso *somewhere*. It's neck shot if you have it, or nothing at all - seems to me to be a good rule for a newbie 16 year old like this.

B. Then finally, last of 3 rifles is the one my friend will use, chambered in .280 rem. Narrowed it down to one of these two bullets -which?:

1. 139 Hornady SST, $26.99/100, .486 BC
2. 140 Nosler Ballistic Tip, $29.58/100, .502 BC

Probably will go with #1 here (SST), but this one is a close call. Thanks.

P.S. Almost forgot - pigs will be available on this hunt, too, in all likelihood, since it will be in east-central Texas, so does that sway your choices? Probably better run with the SST in .243 for piggies, eh?

P.P.S. Of the three, the only one I'd be willing to use factory ammo for is the .243, so if you have a recommendation on that (Hornady Light Mag?), rather than a handload, let me know. Also please let me know your pet handloads for the chosen bullet weights.

~z
July 7, 2009, 04:58 PM
"It's neck shot if you have it, or nothing at all - seems to me to be a good rule for a newbie 16 year old like this"

Gotta dissagree...I’d advise against the idea of recommending a new hunter take a shot that is better suited for an experienced hunter with a solid idea of deer anatomy. If anything, advise him to wait for a closer shot and give him a high percentage target (shoulder). Game King gets my vote, don’t get so wrapped up on BC for relatively short range shots, it is a variable you can take out of the equation to simplify your decision.
$0.02
~z

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 7, 2009, 06:18 PM
OK, z, taken under advisement. 90 gameking for .243.

Which for .280?

You're definitely right about BC not mattering for this particular hunt - I just threw in those stats for good measure I guess. I'm mainly concerned with bullet construction and its performance at the vels generated by the cartridges mentioned.

jim in Anchorage
July 8, 2009, 01:13 AM
The tip can be 2 foot past the barrel as far as seating depth goes.Its how far the ogive is from the bore that counts. How many of you are using seating dies that apply pressure to the tip of the bullet?

hardluk1
July 8, 2009, 10:06 AM
Dr. Tad sense you are a reloader and are looking at both the SST and BT as possible bullets why not also look at noslers newer accubond design. It carries the down range performance you might need and is a bit tougher that the sst and byfar better than the BT . I love and shoot both the SST abd the BT but i do know that both can be a bit explosive if the bullet is at a high velocity and the BT will just turn insides to liquid with bad bullet placement and high velocities. Nosler also has some good loading info on there site and you could talk to them and they will give you some bullet jump info. Just a thought.. Like said before don't put so much worry in to BC. of the bullet for the ranges you are looking to shoot at, just does not matter . And old lead conical will do just as well at those distance in the habds of a shooter that knows his gun.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 8, 2009, 10:16 AM
Jim, you or anyone else have recommendations for my new questions from post #14? Thanks.

Hardluk, when you say "BT", do you mean the Nosler ballistic tip, or just ballistic tips in general, or something else?

And though I believe you entirely, what I've been reading seems to suggest that the SSTs actually hold up much better at all vels, high vels included, than ballistic tips or Sierra GameKings, or Speer hotcor or Speer regular spitzers, I suppose due to the crimp or cannelure that holds the jacket on better, but possibly also because of harder lead. Maybe they SSTs are a nice happy medium between the non-premium bullets and true premium bullets, in terms of the expansion/penetration balance. I'll consider the Nosler accubonds, but it just seems to me I shouldn't need to pay for a premium bullet for small southern whitetails.

Look at the SST reviews here:

http://www.reloadersnest.com/review_result.asp?Bullet=Hornady%20SST

Almost universally positive on everything: expansion, and penetration (mostly claiming through and through), and accuracy, albeit with some slightly contra opinions on penetration.

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 11:35 AM
Tad, as you know bullets are designed to expand in a 'range of velocity'.
What most of the guys at reloaders nest stated was they are running the SST's at pretty high velocities, except for the few that experienced the though and through phenomenon, I assume their velocities were low for that bullet upon impact and or less than optimal shot placement.

A quick call to Hornady will satisfy your knowledge for the spread, if you will, of velocity need to make their SST's preform.

As always, the most accurate bullet that will also expand accordingly is the one to hunt with...?

If your iron will place the Hornady 95gr SST or the Sierra 90gr Game King on target to your satisfaction, then I favor these bullets/loads.

As for the .280, either of these bullets will turn off a whitetail... I prefer the Nosler Ballistic tip as they have a slightly thinner jacket of approximately the same toughness as the SST, which allows for more explosive expansion.

In short... the SST is a tougher bullet, given striking the target with the same velocity, than the NBT.

I tend to like the explosion of the NBT on deer, as I generally shoot them in the ribs closest to the front as possible. But even when I have made quartering shots, I have never had to shoot one twice.

For insurance purposes, maybe the SST would be better in BOTH of your calibers of choice. Even when faced with a bad angle, or a really close shot, the SST is going to preform predictably.

NBT= Nosler Ballistic Tip

:D

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 12:15 PM
Hey Tad, more BS for your muse.

for the last 3 years I have shot several deer with my grandfather and I use the 7mm-08 and I use Hornady 139 grain light mag bullets.
The last deer I killed, Uncle Mike and my uncle said the SST was to tough a bullet for whitetail deer.

Sorry Tad, my Granddaughter is here with us today and couldn't resist a post!
True the last 3 deer she hosed with the 7mm-08, using the Hornady 139gr SST Light Magnum went like this, I'll be quick...

Deer 1: broadside shot 133y ranged, mid lung shot, two ribs hit, in hole bullet diameter, out hole, dime size, two broken ribs, lungs jellyfied.

Deer 2: Lying down, 88y ranged, sternum shot, in hole bullet diameter, out hole none, bullet found in left side ham, good mushroom of about 50% length.
heart, lungs turned to liquid.

Deer 3: From treestand, 102y paced, in hole at base of neck, took out 2" of spine, angled right, broke 1 rib, exited right side, out hole 2" diameter.

All the animals except the first one dropped within 2 steps, first one ran 50y then expired.

Thank you dr.Tad for my hunting stories ashley.:p

Hehehe, OK, there you go. SST's do work well, NBT's do too but make a bigger mess.:p

:D

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 8, 2009, 12:36 PM
Ashley, thank you I enjoyed it! Glad to see hunting is a family shared passtime - wish I could say the same for my close family.

Great info, U.M. and Ashley; this will really help! :) On the first one that ran 50 yards with dime exit, was there a good immediate blood trail? Within how many yards did the blood trail start?

I am far more concerned with getting EITHER a bang-flop OR good large exit hole for tracking, than I am about losing bloodshot meat.

What I'm thinking here is that the .243 is gonna give higher vels than the other two (3000-3150 with 85-95 grainers); therefore the SST is probably the better choice for that caliber, but the NBT or Gameking or a Speer, etc. would be fine for what I'm trying to do for the other two calibers at 2750-2900 ish.

I just have to decide which rifle/caliber I'm giving to the boy and his dad (my friend) who are BOTH noobs, AND decide what to tell them about shot placement. Maybe this whole trip is a bad idea without taking them to the range a few times first (which is hard to do as they live 7 hours away and lead very busy lives).

I have another hunting .243 I could take - maybe I should give both newbs a .243 (T/C Icon to my friend, and the Handi-rifle to the boy), and then use my DPMS in .260 myself. Simplifies things and reduces recoil relative to the .280. I'll just work up a 95 SST load that shoots well in both .243 rifles, and then explain shoulder shots / vitals shots to them. I've already told the 16 year old that he must be able to cite the 4 rules of gun safety to me by heart or else he cannot go on the trip. As a quick tangent, here's how I packaged that for him:


Rule # 1

"Never let the muzzle end of a gun point at anything you do not want to destroy or kill."


This is the most important safety rule, and if it is always followed, you and the people around you will not be harmed in the event of an accidental discharge, even if you inadvertently break some of the other three rules. Always be very aware of exactly where the gun's muzzle end (the end the bullet comes out of) is pointing. Always keep the muzzle pointed away from people. Pointing the gun directly up or directly down is a good safe bet because then it's not pointing at anyone or anything (except the ground or sky). If you are at gun range, keep the muzzle pointed downrange at all times.



Rule # 2

"Treat all guns as if they are loaded."

Always treat all guns as if they are loaded, even if you think they are unloaded, or even if you are absolutely sure they are unloaded. When handling guns, never hand a gun to another person unless you have first: removed the magazine (if it is removable), and then opened or cycled the action, and then checked the chamber to see if it's loaded, both with a visual check and a "tactile" check (with a finger); then you may hand the gun to another person. Never accept a gun from another person who is attempting to hand it to you, unless you saw THEM do these same steps (removed the magazine, opened or cycled the action, and then checked the chamber to see if it's loaded, both with a visual check and a "tactile" check).




Rule # 3

"Keep your finger off of the trigger, OUTSIDE of the trigger guard, until you are ready to fire."

At all times before firing, you must keep your trigger finger straight, and off the trigger, outside of the "trigger guard" on the gun. Only once you have aimed and have your target in the sights should you then permit your finger to go inside the trigger guard, and then gently rest on the trigger. This prevents accidental discharges should you stumble, trip, or be startled.



Rule # 4

"Be absolutely sure of your target, and what is behind it, before firing."

Before firing, make sure that the target you are shooting at is the target you intend to shoot at, and think about what would happen if the bullet went THROUGH the target and kept on going. Is there something behind the target, even a long way off behind it, such as a house or people, which you don't want to kill or destroy? Make sure you have a safe background to stop the bullet behind the target, in case you miss or the bullet goes on through, and never shoot when the bullet could ricochet off water or a hard rock, after going through the target or in case you miss the target. This rule always applies, whether shooting at the range, or hunting.

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 12:48 PM
http://www.reloadersnest.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1252

Tad, check this out.(above link)

Your on the right track with the hunting safety education. It IS the MOST important aspect of the sport.:D

Hope you guys do well, just reinforce that hunting is just that, hunting not getting... often times noobs tend to get all tore up if they don't get a 200" deer the first time out, then passing on what a terrible and useless sport we enjoy... hey, that might not be a bad idea though...:evil:

:D

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 8, 2009, 12:58 PM
Decided that I'm running with these for this fall, in my handloads, in these rifles (at least until such time as I find them unable to produce an accurate load):

1. 95 gr Hornady SST for the two .243 wins (90 Sierra GameKing was VERY close 2nd place)
2. 120 gr Speer HotCor FB spitzer for .260 Rem (129 SST was close 2nd place)
3. (if I do use this rifle) 140 gr Nosler BT for .280 Rem (139 SST was VERY close 2nd place)

This will give me some good variety to compare brands generally. Thanks again all; time to place a Midway or Natchez order.

Edit: Oops, no, changed my mind on the .280 -also going with the 139 SST - those NBTs expand too violently for a reliable exit hole / penetration. They'd be the shiznizzle for neck shots though. I figure the 139 SST is the perfect whitetail round for .280 because at short ranges, where the velocity is pumped up to 2900-3000, and where you are close enough to take a neck shot, they're going to violently expand at that vel, so you're good for any type of shot at close range. Then at further ranges (say, past 125 yards), where you wouldn't normally take a neck shot anyway, the SSTs will still work well to penetrate through and through for an exit hole, so shoulder or ribcage shots are fine at longer ranges, even if quartering.

U.M. Yes, I'm going to emphasize the whole hunting experience thing, not shooting/harvesting thing, you betcha. Thanks! :)

hardluk1
July 8, 2009, 03:02 PM
Dr Tad yes i did mean Noslers BT, and i would also shoot the same bullet in all calibers. You and others are spot on with the NBT about expantion in game . It more than likely will never exit unless you just shoot near the edge of that deer and blow off a chunk. I have blown out the spine several times on midrange shots ,say 250 yards. Before the sst rounds i have killed alot of deer with the NBT and never had a deer run. Just go to where i shot and theres my deer. The sst is a bit tougher and may pass through but i have not had that happen, but can also do some major damage. Both are great buck rounds. Also have not had a liquefied inside with the sst. Nothing worse than haveing to find a well shot deer after dark because of pore bullet design, i am not a fan of speer. I you just as soon shot factory core-locks. To darn many better bullets out there. Spent to many hours look'n for them deer because of good shots and bad bullet performance. Hard call, just keep the same bullet design SST in each round and you will be happy. You do have the velocity with the 260 for the sst,it works better than you think across a wide range. I have shot the 7mm mag 139 gr at 3400 fps out to around 2100fps and the deer did not know the difference, just hit the ground. I shoot factory loads and use the sst because its in the heavy mag loads from hornady but it works well. I have killed more deer with the NBT but its not for a new hunter.

Kentucky Windage
July 8, 2009, 08:59 PM
I'd roll with the SST, although I'm a huge fan of 120-grain Nosler Partitions out of my 257Wby Mag. I'm not sure how they would perform downrange, expansion-wise, out of an 18 in. barrel.

jim in Anchorage
July 9, 2009, 01:21 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In November, I'm gonna take my buddy, who's never hunted, and his 16 year old son, who's never hunted. I am supplying all 3 rifles with ammo, and I'm going to work up handloads for all three. As mentioned, I'll be using a rifle chambered in .260 Rem.

A. For the boy, he'll be using a .243 Win rifle of mine. Bullet question on this one is which of these to use:

1. 85 gr Speer Spitzer boattail, $22.70/100, .404 BC.
2. 90 gr Nosler Ballistic tip, $26.98/100, .365 BC.
3. 90 gr Sierra Game King, $19.99/100, .387 BC.
4. 95 gr Hornady SST $26.99, .381 BC
5. 100 gr Speer Spitzer Boattail, $22.39/100, .430 BC
6. 105 gr Speer HotCor, $21.49/100, .443 BC

I think #5 and #6 are out, because I read that the T/C Icon in .243 has a stinkin 1 in 12 twist, so that leaves 1-4. #4 (the SST) is best choice for torso vitals shots where a bone may be encountered or a quartering shot, and best all-around choice, but 1-3 are better for neck shots. Thinking of going with #1 or #3 (probably #3), and telling the boy "neck shots only" allowed. This way, with this rule, he won't be hasty and be tempted to just shoot for the brown torso *somewhere*. It's neck shot if you have it, or nothing at all - seems to me to be a good rule for a newbie 16 year old like this.

B. Then finally, last of 3 rifles is the one my friend will use, chambered in .280 rem. Narrowed it down to one of these two bullets -which?:

1. 139 Hornady SST, $26.99/100, .486 BC
2. 140 Nosler Ballistic Tip, $29.58/100, .502 BC

Probably will go with #1 here (SST), but this one is a close call. Thanks.

P.S. Almost forgot - pigs will be available on this hunt, too, in all likelihood, since it will be in east-central Texas, so does that sway your choices? Probably better run with the SST in .243 for piggies, eh?

P.P.S. Of the three, the only one I'd be willing to use factory ammo for is the .243, so if you have a recommendation on that (Hornady Light Mag?), rather than a handload, let me know. Also please let me know your pet handloads for the chosen bullet weights.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow; Yesterday at 11:55 AM.


If you can hold a never hunted 16 year old to neck shots only,you are a better hunt leader than me. I have had trouble trying to keep them on legal game[example-no does-"what did you just shoot at?" "A deer" "How did the antlers look? "I dunno,I never saw them":banghead: Anyway,as far as your OQ, I can't be much help I use nothing but Nosler partitions-although I think they would ideal for what you want-violent front expansion[neck shot] deep penetrating rear half [body shot].

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 12, 2009, 08:12 PM
If you can hold a never hunted 16 year old to neck shots only,you are a better hunt leader than me. I have had trouble trying to keep them on legal game[example-no does-"what did you just shoot at?" "A deer" "How did the antlers look? "I dunno,I never saw them"

Taken under advisement, Jim; what do you recommend in this situation? Seems that if they're limited to neck shots, it makes them stop and think about exactly where they are aiming before shooting (even if it's a buck on a doe day or vice versa)!

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