Ballistic Tips vs Partition vs Antelope


February 10, 2012, 07:37 AM
I have been trying to dial in my new rifle. It is a Savage Bolt Action in 257 Roberts. So far so good.

My hope is to draw an antelope tag this year. I also have dreams of running into Jessica Alba on a secluded, tropical beach. I sometimes wonder what is more likely to happen.:D

My first tests have been with Ballistic Tips. They are the bullets I just happened to have. The rifle really likes the 100 grainers. I want to eventually also test other bullets, including Partitions.

Now, for antelope, would you prefer Ballistic Tips or Partitions assuming they are both similar in the accuracy department?

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February 10, 2012, 07:43 AM
Nosler accubond :D reason i say this is its basically as strong as a partion with the long range abilitys of the ballistic tip

February 10, 2012, 07:59 AM
I've taken several dozen 'lopes with my .243 rifle. Most accurate so far is 95 grain Ballistic Tip loaded by Black Hills Ammo.

Antelope are easy to kill. A really big buck has live weight of only 120 lbs. Many South Dakota locals hunt them with 22-250 rifles.


February 10, 2012, 09:35 AM
Partitions are designed for penetration against larger, harder to kill animals. No need for them on antelope. If I were taking the 257 elk, moose or bear hunting then I'd probably use them.

February 10, 2012, 11:55 AM
Lizzie dog,
There are lots of variables to this equation. the biggest being the muzzle velocity for your rifle. How long is the barrel?

The ballistic tip would be good for longer 200yard + shots. It will be getting there at a velocity that is quite moderate so therefore its quicker expanding properties would come into thier own. however, if your shots are under 100 yards or so the velocity of the .257 (3000 plus) will mean that the expansion of the bullet will be very quick and probably cause it to fragment.

A partition will hold together very well at all impact velocities... but the expansion will be more limitted at longer ranges. Although, this will still be deadly... it will still expand pretty well. I don't think that partitions have the same accuracy potential as the ballistic tip... but it will still be as accurate as you need.

I understand that most antelope shooting is at pretty long range. This makes the ballistic tip, SGK, ballistic silver tip, speer spbt good choices.

of course, it depends on if your rifle likes them?

if the ranges are short one of the bonded or locked bullets might be a good call, or a slower heavier bullet 115gr partition? 117gr interlock?

(i love the interlock, it is cheap, accurate, holds together well and hits like thors hammer. if i was going i think i would take the interlock and zero an inch high at 100 so it is an inch low at 200ish)

I am sorry i can't give a definitave... there are so many variables


Lloyd Smale
February 10, 2012, 12:03 PM
ballistic tips and antelope were just made for each other

February 10, 2012, 09:07 PM
I loves me some Ballistic Tips on antelope. The added penetration of a Partition buys you nothing in this application.

February 11, 2012, 11:35 AM
Agreed with what's already been said here. The partitions are made for heavier game. The ballistic tips are probably a better choice here. I've taken several WY antelope and have had great results from Hornady SSTs, which perform similar to the ballistic tips.

February 11, 2012, 11:53 AM
I have used BT bullets in 25, 7mm, and 338 to take antelope, mule deer and elk in 100, 130, 200grs respectively. They have all done a fantastic job at all distances with the most surprising being the 338. With it I have taken deer and elk as close as 60 yds without the mythical exploding carcass and have gotten good penetration on elk at 400+ yds. This is in the 338-378.
I am a fan and believer and until I find better accuracy and all around performance I will stick with them in my current loadings for those particular rifles.
I am not saying they are the only bullets I will hunt with but they are right up there.

February 11, 2012, 12:01 PM
I've shot many 100gr Ballistic Tips through my .257. They are good for longer shots such as encountered in Antelope hunting. My only complaint against them is the closer in shots such as we encounter in the S.E.USA hunting deer. They can and will fail to penetrate at 3,100+fps at ranges under 50yds. Even the 115gr B.T. has failed me from a .257wbymag.

But, the 100gr Partiton will do in a pinch on elk and black bear (I'd prefer a 115 or 120gr for black bear).
So, it's a personal decision. I'd carry the B.T.'s and a couple of rd's of 117gr BtSpts (the 117gr Hornady Interloks perform much like the partitions IME) for "something" bigger if you have a mule deer tag, or bear or elk tag.... I've also found that the much less expensive 100gr Hornady Interloks perform much like a partition without the price tag. Even from my .257wby at 3,600fps m/v, at 90yds they retain ~67% weight and penetrate well, but less than they do from the .257Robt. I've never recovered one from a deer shot from the Roberts. I'm looking over my left shoulder at the largest whitetail I've ever shot, taken DRT with the 100gr Hornady from the .257Robt @ ~200yds. Broadside spine shot exited with a 2" hole on off side. Load was the 100gr Hornady over 48.5gr of "original" H4831. That's a max load with newer lot's btw. Gets 3,100fps from my 22" bbl.

IMO no need for the "partitions" with better built softpoints for much less money to be had. I also like the Speer "Hotcores", but can't wait to try some of the "DeepCurls"... Of course for accuracy, the Sierra's are incomparable. Also, for longish shots on the Pronghorns, the 115gr Berger VLD over some IMR4831 just might be the ultimate load... 45.0gr gives 2,970fps from my 22" bbl and is awesome effective on whitetails.

February 11, 2012, 12:05 PM
personally i would try hornady's sst or a sierra gamekings. You definitely don't need a partition for antelope. I took one with a 257 weatherby mag at a lasered 516 yards with 100 grain factory s.p. So by the time that bullet got there it had about as much power as your roberts does at 300 yards and it dispatched him quickly. He took about 10 steps then did his final flip.

February 11, 2012, 02:59 PM
No need for controlled expansion bullets on light game like pronghorn. I'd personally use my 1/2 MOA 100 grain Sierra Game King in MY .257. It's taken quite a few whitetail with that bullet. Leaves the muzzle of my 24" barrel at 3150.

February 12, 2012, 10:24 AM
I have shot one antelope with an 85 grain partition from my .243AI.

About 3400 fps out the barrel.

The bullet is simply spectacular. The first half grenades and the second half flies right through. I skinned and tanned the hide with the hair on. There were five exit holes. One where the bottom half of the bullet passed through, the other four were very small 1/8th inch holes where the grenaded pieces flew through.

When we field dressed the animal the lungs fell out in four pieces, the top of the heart was clipped. The antelope ran about 20 feet and expired.

I have no experience with any other round but I am sold on partitions from my .243.

February 12, 2012, 12:56 PM
Very happy with the performance of 100 gr Sierra Pro Hunter SP bullets (#1620) thru my Cooper Model 52 Excalibur in 25-06.

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