Ballistic tips


March 25, 2013, 10:09 PM
has anyone used these for deer and if so how did they work

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March 25, 2013, 10:20 PM
In my experience they work quite well if you go for the heart/lung area. They also can ruin a lot of meat if you make a poor shot, as they tend to expand more than most. But in the right spot they will turn the lungs to jelly, and I've found them to be very accurate as well.

March 25, 2013, 10:21 PM
Nosler Ballistic Tips are essentially a hollowpoint with a plastic tip to give a very sharp, aerodynamic bullet that maintains speed, trajectroy and energy at long range. Put one in a game animals vitals and they kill fast. They are not the best choice if you are planning on shooting game at bad angles where several feet of penetration are needed to reach the vitals.The Hornady SST and several other work the same way. As do the Berger Hunting bullets.

Don't confuse them with the plastic tipped solid copper bullets such as Barnes. These bullets look silmilar, but the solid copper will not break up like a hollowpoint lead bullet. The solid copper bullets are an EXCELLENT choice if you need very deep penetraion.

March 25, 2013, 10:22 PM
I got some 165 grain to start working up a load soon

March 26, 2013, 06:51 AM
I've taken deer &/or hogs with 30-06 150 gr, 300 Win Mag 150 gr, 25-06 100 gr, 30-30 125 gr (from a 14" TC Contender), 308 with 150 gr, .35 Whelen 200 gr--all with Nosler BT's.

Each and every one has been VERY effective and the blood trail (if needed) was short when the bullet was placed well. Ranges varied from 3 steps to 175 yards for me.

I got into BT's because they shot very to VERY accurately in everything I tried them in.

I love the things.

March 26, 2013, 07:20 AM
Early production hunting type BT were "soft" and expanded quickly-maybe too quickly in my estimation. Later productions runs were were tougher and didn't have quite the explosive expansion while still opening up decisively. I've used the 140 BT extensively in hotloaded 7x57 and 7mm08 on deer with excellent results and the differnece in early vs later construction is quite apparent. The 90-95 grain .243 BT do well at 243 Win velocities but the jury is still out on the 115 grain .257 at 257 Wby velocities. Top of the line is the 165 grain(early production) .308 as loaded in some old stock Ultramax 30/06. This has accounted for a significant number of deer but is very destructive on the meat. The amount of expansion of this load was displayed by a couple of coyote kills with it that resulted in 1.5" exit wounds.

March 26, 2013, 09:10 AM
I load 165 BT's in -06 over a midrange load of 4895 with good results. I could get a lot more velocity out of it with a slower powder, but this load shoots good and gives good expansion and doesn't blow up at close range (most deer I've killed have been less than 100yds). 180's do a good job too, but don't shoot as well for the rifle I typically use.

If you want to have fun w/ a yote, groundhog, crow, ... load, try some 125 BT's. I have a load in .300wm that shoots around 3600 fps. I've killed one deer with that load and it was obvious to me that it would not be a good deer load (neck shot @ ~100 yds caused near decapitation). It will turn a yote inside-out. :)

March 26, 2013, 10:01 AM
I have had good results in 25-06 120gr for deer and 300 WM 180 and 338-378 210 for elk. No blow up or penetration issues, most pass through leaving some fragments along the way in the wound channel. Loaded some 7mag for a friend and he was pleased with the performance on antelope deer and elk.

March 26, 2013, 10:55 AM
Over the years I've killed maybe 60 deer with them. I take mostly broadside lung shots. I've never had a bullet fail to do it's job...but they do the job in a different manner than other bullet types. I use a Rem 7mm Mag loaded and most of my shots are between 80 and 120 yards, with the farthest shots being 300 yards. Bullet weights will generally be either 140 or 150 grains.

When they hit a deer broadside the bullet penetrates the chest cavity and then blows up in a bunch of fragments. Of the bullets I've recovered, they had roughly 30% weight retention. I don't get a lot of pass throughs with that bullet/shot placement.

That's not neccessarily a bad thing though because the damage done to the lungs/heart is devestating. Many times it looks as though the lungs have been through a blender. Picture a small grenade going off in a deers chest...when the bullet fragments that's the type of damage it does.

Becuase they dont' often achieve pass through's they dont' leave a great blood trail. If you use heart/lung shots and you want consistent pass throughs then you might want to use a different bullet.

I've never lost a deer from them. Never shot a deer with them that wasn't recovered quickly. Most fall withing 25 yards of the crime scene...the furthest managed to run 100 yards with his heart blown out. I shot him at a distance of roughly 7 the noise alone might have pushed him that far. :D

March 26, 2013, 11:57 AM
I have had exceptional performance from Ballistic Tips. I have never had one fail to pass through so I cannot comment on weight retention other then to say they always exited. The norm is a rather small entry wound, an aprox 6" shotgun like pattern of bullet fragments lodged in the offside rib cage and a 1.5-2" exit, terminal performance can only be described as devastating. I try BTs in every rifle I handload for, some like them some don't. For those that do I prefer BTs to most other bullets on the market for deer they are good for really quick kills though meat damage can be excessive if you hit the tasty bits.
I have hunted with 130gr in my 270 WSM (3300fps) and 120gr 6.5x55 (3000fps) I also load them in my 30 calibers but have yet to try them on deer.

Arkansas Paul
March 26, 2013, 12:15 PM
The norm is a rather small entry wound, an aprox 6" shotgun like pattern of bullet fragments lodged in the offside rib cage and a 1.5-2" exit

I have observed the same exact thing. They are extremely effective on deer. I've killed several with them and never had to track one at all. They do come apart however, so make sure that shot lands behind the shoulder and not in it. If it hits shoulder, you aren't going to be eating much of them.

I also load them in my 30 calibers but have yet to try them on deer.

No difference with the .30s. I've killed a few with 150 grainers in my .30-06 at about 2,900 fps (according to load data. I haven't chronographed them) with the same results. Huge wound channels.

March 26, 2013, 12:24 PM
Yeah I have the utmost of confidence that my 30-06 and 308 would drop any deer I ran across, but the smaller calibers with BTs are more then enough for any deer around here no sense in tearing them up any more with a 30 caliber.

March 26, 2013, 12:33 PM
Just a guess, but I'd think your 270wsm would do a lot worse damage than either of your 30 cals. That thing is moving!

March 26, 2013, 12:53 PM
+100 for ballistic tips. I confess to having used them on small game only, but the effects were devistating. Started loading them in 1992 and have not stopped.

March 26, 2013, 12:54 PM
I only break out the WSM if I am fully expecting shots in excess of 200yards. It has only taken two deer closer then that, one was a close range neck shot, and yes the damage was intense. BTs expand very quickly making them a great neck shot bullet should you be in a close range situation. BTs have a unique design with a very thin jacket up front and a VERY thick jacket at the base making them expand/fragment the front portion very quickly and the super tough base keeps enough mass to keep going, very good design.

March 26, 2013, 01:24 PM
I have been using Hornady 165 gr SST with 43.4 grains of IMR 4895 with excellent results. The expansion is impressive on light skinned game. I agree with previous comments that this is not a good choice if you are looking for some serious penetration.

March 26, 2013, 01:30 PM
I have been using Hornady 165 gr SST with 43.4 grains of IMR 4895 with excellent results. The expansion is impressive on light skinned game. I agree with previous comments that this is not a good choice if you are looking for some serious penetration.
Exactly, BTs (and the SSTs) cause traumatic wounding through CXP2 class game, but the tradeoff is less then stellar penetration on larger game making them very much a deer/pronghorn bullet, but darn near perfect for that role assuming you want a very wide wound tract.

March 26, 2013, 03:21 PM
150 grain 7mm rem mag vs. 180 lb texas white tail. they tear up meat but good insurance. I never lost an animal to ballistic tips. I had a .308 ballistic tip disintegrate on the shoulder of an 80 lb doe, didnt even enter the rib cage but she bled out and dropped in 25 yards regardless.

March 26, 2013, 05:36 PM
I used a 100 gr. .243 on a Whitetail doe. 125 yards hit one of her lungs she ran about 15 yards. Also they are very accurate bullets. Get some and use them you will not be disappointed.

41 Mag
March 26, 2013, 09:56 PM
If you have some H-4350 that is an excellent powder to go with those bullets using between 55 - 57 or so grains. Or if you have some IMR-4350 usually between 57 - 58.5grs has worked best, but work it up slow for your rifle.

If you also have access to a chronograph try to get them in the 28-2900fps range and you will be good to go.

The best over all lenght I have found is 3.250" with those powders, and it has shot quarter or smaller sized groups at 100yds or further, in every bolt action I have tried it in.

March 26, 2013, 10:12 PM
41 Mag are you talking 150, 165, 168 or 180gr? Please specify weight so we don't have a newbie kaboom anything. I am assuming you are talking about the 30-06.

March 26, 2013, 10:21 PM
I have H414 is all I could find I e mailed Nosler and they sent me some info on the load. Im not a newbie did reload some for a few yrs just now getting back into it.The trouble im finding more than anything,is I have 3 older loading manuals .and most of the bullets today have changed

March 26, 2013, 10:25 PM
With H414 max load should be around 58gr start 10% lower and work up. 414 is a good powder for 165gr 30-06 but my personal favorite is IMR 4350

March 26, 2013, 10:28 PM
kacock thats what I wanted but every place around me is out of it :( They just happened to get in some H414 and thought it would beat not having any. which 4350 your referring to H or IMR

March 26, 2013, 10:34 PM
IMR, I use both but I get very slightly better results with the IMR version, I use 57gr in my 30-06 with my 165gr Serria Game Kings which is another fantastic bullet, but as I have said before that is a very destructive combination at close range even more so then the Ballistic Tips I have used, had a 9"+ exit wound on the last deer, never seen anything like it.

March 26, 2013, 10:41 PM
thank you Kacock im hoping to find some sooner or later I git a question for you about 50% say I need a magnum primer with H414 whats your take on it

March 26, 2013, 10:55 PM
I have never used a magnum primer with 414 so I cannot comment on if it is any better, but I have had satisfactory results with 414 and standard primers, 414 is a slow burner but not that slow, if you are inclined to use magnum primers by all means give them a go, but start 12-15% below max seeing as the longer burn of magnum primers can slightly increase pressure, nearly all published data for 30-06 is done with standard primers.

March 27, 2013, 04:40 AM
kacock I have just read that sperical is harder to ignite,and some say a magnum primer.I have not used 414 yet but used to reload a 220 Swift and it loved H380 which is sperical and I just used standard primer

41 Mag
March 27, 2013, 04:50 AM
Rem700CDLSF3006 -

I got some 165 grain to start working up a load soon

Kachok -

41 Mag are you talking 150, 165, 168 or 180gr? Please specify weight so we don't have a newbie kaboom anything. I am assuming you are talking about the 30-06.

I was talking about the 165gr BT that Rem700 said he had, and was going to load. I presumed that by the fellows handle, and the weight of BT mentioned, that yes we were discussing him loading for a 30-06. However, he never actually has mentioned exactly what caliber, so I guess I shouldn't have offered any data, or should have allowed it was specifically for the 30-06.

That said, the same powders will work equally as well for other weights "in a 30-06" using the BT as well, but not with the listed loads. The load ranges I listed are mid ground loads listed on the Hodgdon loads for either of the powders, and can be found in the Reloading Data Center on their site by going here, Hodgdon (

I personally have found that around 57.5 of either, or, works equally well using either the 150 or 165gr Nosler bullets, in all of my rifles and every one of my friends rifles. I use either Win or Rem cases and Win-WLR primers most of the time, but CCI-200 or BR-2's have worked equally as well. I also use the same overall length I listed above of 3.250" from base to tip. For what ever reason that length just works.

Sorry for the confusion, next time I will press the OP for exactly what their intended use is for. Something I normally do, just in this particular case didn't.

March 27, 2013, 04:53 AM
thank you 41 mag and yes it is a 30-06

March 27, 2013, 05:08 AM
I would not call H414 a spherical powder, but it is not a stick powder either so I guess it is kinna hard to describe. Big Game is a real spherical powder, like a million little super slick ball bearings, H414 is a bunch of little oddly shaped lumps like a crushed stick powder or something. Anyway that is beside the point as I have said I have never used a magnum primer with it or any powder spherical or otherwise faster the RL22 unless I was using a load that specifically called for a magnum primer, no doubt you could use a magnum primer with it (or any powder really) but personally I don't.
I kinna figured we were talking about the 165gr 30-06 but wanted to clarify for any new comers that might not read between the lines, sorry 41 I was not trying to pick on you or anything.

March 27, 2013, 06:40 AM
I've taken deer with the following ballistic tip ammunition. They are accurate, and hit hard.

.270 Win, 130 grain, Hornady SuperFormance

.308 Win, 150 grain, Horandy SuperFormance

I am a strong advocate for hand-loading ammunition because I usually get better accuracy, and lower cost. I can not out-do Hornady's SuperFormance ammunition for accuracy. Cost is another matter; it is pricey! I do not like Nosler's ballistic tip projectiles because they foul the barrel so badly. There are several companies that manufacture bonded ballistic tip ammunition, such as Winchester.


41 Mag
March 27, 2013, 01:38 PM
No worries Kachok, I'm with ya.

I understood completely and I was somewhat reading between the lines myself. And now with the large abundance of new folks coming in, looking around for info, but not necessarily being signed up, it is best to get into a bit more detail when posting loads.

March 30, 2013, 11:31 AM
I've loaded 165 BT's (30-06) over a mid range load of IMR4350 (from Nosler's manual) with impressive results on want to make sure you hit mostly ribs (lungs) though....shoulder shots will ruin a lot of burger and roast meat.
I also get near identical results with Hornady SST bullets in their factory Superformance ammo.

March 30, 2013, 03:23 PM
I just posted this on another thread but also helps answer your question. Not all ballistic tips are the same. When they first hit the market, the NBT's were highly frangible and thus earned a bad reputation as a hunting bullet secondary to poor penetration when hitting shoulders and such. However, over the years, Nosler has tweaked the jacket thickness of the NBT in certain calibers. A prime example is the 7mm 120gr NBT which is a fairly tough bullet. Nosler thickened the jacket of this bullet to appease the silhouette shooters who complained about the frangibility of this highly accurate 7mm bullet when shooting steel targets at distance. As a side benefit, it's become a dang good hunting bullet, my go to for deer and hogs in my 7mm-08. The 6.5mm 120gr NBT is similar. Another is the 6mm 95gr NBT. This is one of Nosler's most respected ballisticians pet bullet. He is a big fan of the 243 and designed this bullet specifically for deer. He regarded it as one of the best bullets he ever designed. Other "tougher than normal NBT's" are the .277 150g NBT and 30cal 165 and 180gr NBT's. I'm sure there are others. Excluding CNS shots, these bullets have accounted for more instant drops when placed in boiler room than other mono metal bullets that I've used, just less forgiving with errant shot placement.

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