New bonded 22cal bullet from Nosler


December 31, 2012, 12:32 AM
For anybody that may be looking for a new .224 diameter bullet for medium game, take a quick look at Nosler's 2013 catalog ( There's a little gem on page 25.

OK, without a polymer tip, it isn't exactly the 22cal Accubond that a lot of folks have been asking for, but it might just be close enough. A spitzer with a solid base and a bonded core... what's not to love? Alright... it doesn't have a great BC due to the (missing) polymer tip. But, even though the local Blacktail deer are only about 125 pounds, I still won't be using a 223 for very long hunting shots anyway, so that shouldn't be an issue for me.

It's obviously too early to tell how it will perform compared to similar bullets, like the 60gr Partition, 62gr and 70gr Barnes TSX, or even the 75gr Swift Scirocco. But, there certainly shouldn't be any expansion issues like has been occasionally reported with the Barnes, and the 1:9 twist in my AR shouldn't have any problem stabilizing a 64gr pill like it may with the longer Scirocco or Barnes Tipped bullets.

Hmmm... I gotta say, I'm definitely intrigued.

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December 31, 2012, 08:31 AM
Seems the perfect weight anyway. I'd like to see some expansion tests out of a 16" rifleat .223 velocities before I picked any up. Till then I'll stick with my 65gr Sierra Gamekings...
Definitely not a long range bullet with a nose like that.
No wonder they have to protect the tip with a jacket, imagine a blunt tip like that hitting the feed ramps...
Seems like it might overpenetrate at lower velocities.

December 31, 2012, 06:02 PM
Can't see what it offers over their 60 gr Partition though they claim a slightly higher BC for the new bullet that seems a bit hard to believe?

January 1, 2013, 01:21 AM
Might be cheaper to produce than he partition.

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January 1, 2013, 03:05 AM

January 1, 2013, 02:54 PM
Can't see what it offers over their 60 gr Partition

I can't say there's anything wrong with the Partition, but there are better bullets on the market. And I'd imagine this new bullet offers the same benefits as any other bonded bullet - more consistent mushrooming and better weight retention.

Although I wish it was just a bit heavier ... maybe 68-70 grains ... I'm definitely a fan of bonded bullets, and I'd like to give these a try.

January 25, 2013, 07:34 PM
I'm guessing significantly higher weight retention than a Partition. That might be useful in a .22 bullet when overmatched shooting pigs or deer, etc.

January 26, 2013, 10:37 AM
I'm with ngnrd - bonded bullets are hunting bullets .... would prefer to see a heavier version around 70 grains. Speer makes a real nice 70 grain round nose for medium sized game if you meat hunt with 22 caliber.

January 31, 2013, 02:58 PM
Well, I've got a couple of boxes of these new 64gr bonded Nosler's coming my way. I can't wait to do a work up and see how they shoot. It'll be interesting to compare them to the 60gr Partitions and 62 gr Swift Sciroccos I already have loaded and waiting for a day off with good weather. (Although I really wanted the 75gr Sciroccos to work, they proved to be too long to stabilize from the 1:9 twist of my Remington R-15.).

Heck, with all these choices, I might even find something my Mini-14 likes... But I'm not going to hold my breath.

January 31, 2013, 03:35 PM
Might be cheaper to produce than he partition.

It would seem that you are correct. What I just paid for these new bonded bullets is about 80% of what I paid last year for 60gr Partitions. So, while they're certainly not cheap plinking fodder, I'm definitely happy that they're less expensive than any other .224 medium game "hunting" options currently available for a 1:9 twist (the 62gr Scirocco's, 62gr or 70gr TSX's, and 60gr partitions).

Now, I just have to verify that they will fly straight, expand well, and retain the majority of their mass before I launch them towards any four-footed freezer fare. Of course, I still have to get ahold of some load data that uses a powder that I already have sitting on the shelf, or I'll get to start my workup from scratch. :banghead:

January 31, 2013, 03:42 PM
Where are you guys finding these in stock ??????????????

January 31, 2013, 04:09 PM
In stock? Heck, I couldn't even find them actually listed for sale anywhere... So, I contacted Nosler directly, and went from there.

I guess you really gotta want 'em in order to find 'em. I had to turn over a few rocks...

February 8, 2013, 05:48 PM
Two boxes of the "baby Accubond's" arrived in the mail today. And, I even found load data in Nosler's new book that uses a powder I happen to have. I'm looking forward to loading some this weekend.:cool:

March 18, 2013, 03:29 AM
Alright, it took me a while to get to there, but I finally have a range report for the 64 grain Nosler Bonded Performance .224 bullet:

I fired groups of five shots at measured 100 yards, using 22.7g to 24.5g of TAC, and 24.2g to 26g of CFE223, each in 0.2 grain increments. I used a Lead Sled Solo to steady my Remington R-15 VTR SS Varmint rifle on an otherwise very solid wooden bench. Mounted on the VTR was a Burris 3-9X50mm Fullfield E1 scope, set at full 9x magnification. The first group fired (22.7g of TAC) was used to sight the rifle and position the chronograph, so no data was recorded for this powder charge.

It was about 25-30 degrees (F), mildly overcast, with a light right-to-left breeze occasionally gusting to ~15mph. The snow on the ground was drifted between mid calf and knee deep with a crust on top, making walking back and forth to the target a lesson in the merits of staying healthy.

All recorded velocities come from a Beta model Chrony set 10 feet from the muzzle. The chrony decided to stop operating after the second group using CFE223 powder, so I have no velocity data for that combination. (I don't know if it was a bad battery, the cold, bad lighting at the end of the day, or something else entirely.)

Finally, the data (given as: powder charge - average velocity - group size):

Powder: Ramshot TAC
22.9 - 2704 - 1.78
23.1 - 2751 - 1.34
23.3 - 2770 - 0.96
23.5 - 2744 - 1.88
23.7 - 2794 - 2.71
23.9 - 2863 - 1.54
24.1 - 2879 - 0.68
24.3 - 2934 - 1.55
24.5 - 2987 - 2.06

Powder: Hodgdon CFE223 (Note: no velocity data available)
24.2 - 1.67
24.4 - 1.25
24.6 - 0.91
24.8 - 0.99
25.0 - 0.99
25.2 - 0.94
25.4 - 1.31
25.6 - 1.29
25.8 - 1.17
26.0 - 1.55

As you can see, the group sizes of the CFE223 charges vary only about a third of an inch from just over minimum charge to just under maximum, with all of those groups under an inch and a third. That's very consistent, and worth another run to verify the data (and to get velocities).

Quite differently than the CFE223, the TAC provides two very distinct accuracy nodes, each substantially more accurate than the surrounding groups - and at much tighter powder weight tolerances. It would certainly be acceptable to settle on a load in the high 2800fps range for this bullet, but with such a narrow target charge weight, it would likely be problematic to make consistent loads with a powder measure. So, if I were to settle on this load, each charge would have to be weighed. But, this node is accurate enough that I will definitely load a set from 23.9 to 24.3 in 0.1 grain increments to see just how wide/sensitive it actually is.

All-in-all so far, I'm satisfied with these new "mini-AccuBonds" from Nosler. They certainly look like they will provide acceptable accuracy at respectable velocities. Now, I need to set up some penetration/weight retention tests to estimate how they will perform on the terminal end.

Also, I still have some H335 and AA2230 I can experiment with at the next range session.

EDIT: One last note... A velocity of 2879 at the chrony means the muzzle velocity is right at about 2900fps. So at 125 yards, the bullet is travelling about 2370fps (well above the published minimum impact velocity of 1600fps) and is still retaining 800 ft-lbs of kinetic energy (the accepted minimum for CPX2 class game). And with a scope mounted 3-inches above the barrel (like mine), the bullet will maintain a direct sight-to-target impact range of +/- 3-inches. So, that effectively makes this combination a 125 yard point-blank light deer rifle - assuming the bullet performs as I would expect it to. And, it will hold a +/-3-inch point-blank range all the way out to 270 yards for smaller targets like coyote.

March 18, 2013, 07:41 PM

Basically a 'Trophy Bonded Bear Claw'. I'm glad they are only 0.8" OAL. My 60gr Partitions measure 0.804" and shoot perfectly out of my 1:12 Ruger, and to the virtually the same POI as my 50gr varmint bullets. While not an optimum caliber for Midwestern whitetails, worked fine for the last deer I took. This looks like a good bullet, and cheaper is always better with me.

March 19, 2013, 01:11 AM
ngnrd ,,,,,,,,,,,,Good job on load data,Iike to see how yu make out with the H335 powder,I'm still trying to wrap my head around the difference between the H332 and H335,, I have both, and tried both on 45 -60gr. they both seem to wrk fine, would the H335 work best with the bullet weigt 60 plus,?

March 19, 2013, 02:08 AM
Looks expensive. While I like Nosler products alot some of them are too rich for my blood seeing as I practice with what I hunt with. That looks to be a pretty radical jacket taper, I imagine that bullet would expand to a pretty remarkable diameter for a .22 cal kind of like a higher end Deep Curl. While I know full well you could make a .224 cal deer hunting rifle with a tough bullet like that it would be kinna hard going from a .500+ BC to a .231 BC that is the reason I have avoided anything smaller then a .243 cal thus far, there tends to be a huge difference in external ballistics between a 6mm and a 5.56mm and a 6.5mm blows them both out of the water.

March 19, 2013, 02:19 AM
BC? Yeah, but hardly an issue at 150 yds. and less. Again, bigger bullets are certainly more authoritative on deer size animals, but a Partition, or one of these (I would guess) at 3000 fps through the vitals will drop a deer for a fact. Cost.. I bought 1 box of 50ct. 60 gr Partitions, had enough to load, test, (they shot to the same POI at 100 yds.), take a nice doe, and still have probably 20 left. Not a bad investment.
Don't mean to sound snarky... :-)

March 19, 2013, 02:45 AM
Yeah but when deer hunting I load under the assumption that I need at leased 300 yards of effective range on all but my brush gun, and as a brush gun no 22 cal will ever compete with a 30 cal or larger simply due to the need for a sizable blood trail when visibility is limited to just a few feet. My standards for performance with most bullets is 2000fps and 1000 ft/lbs I can do that with a 243 out to 300yd if I push it and 500 yards with a mild 6.5mm but the 22-250 is limited to 150yd max with a .231 BC that is the only reason I have never owned a 22-250 or 220 Swift.

March 19, 2013, 02:50 AM
No argument there. The truth is, the only reason I ever used the .223 for a deer was more of an experiment! I knew the range wouldn't exceed 100 yds. in the first place. Different hunting conditions for sure, if you're looking at a possible 300 yd shot! My 7x57 with a 140gr Sierra ProHunter was the magic wand whenever I needed it.

March 19, 2013, 02:58 AM
For sure there is no doubt a 22 cal can put a deer down, I don't need to experiment to know that, but the trade offs are kinna rough, I did a detailed comparison of all the sissy kicker cartridges on the market in the context of deer hunting and the 22 cals ranked dead last, the mild 6.5mm-7mms and hotter 25 cals all scored very high.

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