Any downsides to hollowpoint boat tail bullets?


January 29, 2004, 09:26 AM
Well, I'm probably going to get started reloading, so I need bullets. Are there any disadvantages to a nice boat tail hollowpoint (besides lack of penetration)? I figure I won't have to shoot through any armored cars...yet.

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January 29, 2004, 09:35 AM
What will you be shooting at? Game? Targets? Plinking?

Regarding game, how big? Vermin? Medium?

For perforating paper you won't find anything better than the HPBT beyond 100 yards, IMO. Flat-base benchrest bullets will trump the longer BTs at 100 (and maybe even 200) with the right gun/load/shooter combo.

For other uses, there are other bullets. Pick and load accordingly.

January 29, 2004, 10:37 AM
I'm probably going to target shoot mostly, with some occasional whitetail hunting.

January 29, 2004, 10:57 AM
If I remember correctly I read somewhere on here that boat tails have less stability to them than a regular bullet. I may be wrong but I could almost swear I read that somewhere.

January 29, 2004, 11:06 AM
The BT was developed for long range. It does a couple things; first, it is a little longer for its weight because of the reduced heel, so SD, IIRC, is better. Second, since the rear end of a bullet is the steering end, any imperfections in the base will affect accuracy. A flat base bullet can have little fins of metal from the rifling lands bollux up the stability of the rear. The BT obviates this. To pay for these benefits, we get decreased bbl life since the hot high pressure gas gets to try to work itself around the bullet during its passage up the bore. A flat base bullet upsets to form a gas seal and keeps the gas behind the bullet. Shooting BTs will eat the throat out of a bbl faster. How much I'm not sure but it has been measured and the BT life is definitely less. HTH

January 29, 2004, 11:15 AM
I stand corrected....ty BigG.....I am also curious as to how much it takes away from barrel life as i shoot m193 in my ar which is a boat tail.

January 29, 2004, 11:46 AM
Hmm. Makes sense. Maybe I'll save the boat tails for long range work. ;)

January 29, 2004, 11:59 AM
Hi Procharger & Mulliga,

The BT for all practical purposes probably won't affect the individual shooter. Where you would get a difficulty would be a large cap magnum case driving a bullet to high velocity. These cartridges are already hard on bbls and the BT would allow the hot gas to just get more bite on the steel. The M193 is a pretty small or med capacity case, I would say. My AR15s are chrome lined which means the bbls are even harder than steel. So, fire away!

January 29, 2004, 12:06 PM
Incidentally the reason BT HPs are used in target shooting is the way that bullets are manufactured. The Jacket starts out as a tube closed at one end. If you form the nose on the solid end you have a FMJ, if you form the end on the lead part, you have a SP. The BT HP is just a bullet where the closed end was formed into the BT base and the HP is the remnants of the jacket drawn to a fine point. Nothing about expansion. The hunting HPs are formed usually out of soft points. JMTC

January 29, 2004, 12:23 PM

Check the product description of version of HPBT bullets you might want to use. For example, Sierra makes a HPBT bullet for use on game animals(Gamekings), and another version for punching paper (Matchking). The Gameking would be entirely appropriate for whitetails, but they don't recommend using the Matchkings on game.

Another Sierra bullet that I've good luch with is their SPBT bullet. The .30 165gr SPBT gives me good accuracy in my handloads, and has been used to good effect on deer and elk.

Hopes this helps - JohnDog

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