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Ballistic Tips VS Hollow Points

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ben86, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I am trying to decide whether I should invest in some ballistic tip ammunition or hollow point ammunition. This is for my 5.56/.223 AR and for use in a HD role. I want to replace my soft point ammo because I realized after finally shooting some that the soft point deforms quite a bit because of the way the AR eats its ammo. I'd like something with a sturdier tip that still expands.

    I am considering Hornady TAP ballistic tip or Winchester PDX1 hollow points.

    If anyone can paint a comparison of the performance of hollow points vs ballistic tips I would really appreciate it. Does one generally expand more than the other?
     
  2. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I might shoot Winchester if it was free, but I'd think about it first.

    Ballistic tips are JHPs, they have the hollow filled with a plastic piece that improves the ballistics, provides material to expand the JHP, keeps the hollow from clogging with wallboard or cloth, and makes for easier feeding since the bullet profile resembles a FMJ.

    As the guy said: What's not to like?

    BSW
     
  3. willypete

    willypete Member

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  4. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I would base my choice on expansion and penetration alone. Unless your home is the size of a football field, the tip of the bullet getting lightly deformed during feeding isn't going to affect anything. Hollowpoints are also likely to get damaged. The problem that I've had with hollowpoints is that they tend to snag and fail to feed where a softpoint has a little spot on the tip smooshed but feeds just fine. Protected points work just fine, but they also can get the tip deformed slightly during feeding. It usually isn't enough to affect accuracy (neither is the deformity on a softpoint or hollowpoint) as the heel of the bullet is more important to accuracy. None of the accuracy issues matter at HD range, anyway. Choose a bullet that is 100% reliable in feeding and has good-> excellent terminal performance.
     
  5. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Hollow Points.............
     
  6. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    ^^^That's informative...
     
  7. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Hornady loads their TAP 223 ammo with the VMax ballistic tips.
     
  8. willypete

    willypete Member

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    Isn't it though? I spent quite a while reading and learning. Love fonts of information like that!
     
  9. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Some of them. Others are loaded with their 75gn match BTHP and 62gn SP.
     
  10. willypete

    willypete Member

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    Regarding the Hornady ammo, seems like the Match stuff would be the better deal. Should be a bit cheaper than the TAP, same bullet (75 gr BTHP) and you can get the Superformance stuff which is about 140 fps faster. I don't know if it's flash suppressed, though.
     
  11. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    M193 ammo. 1 in 12" twist barrel.
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Unless you have a helluva big home, home "defense" is pretty much up close and personal. Even out in the yard, likely no more than ten to twenty yards or thereabouts? "Defense", not "assault" or "attack".

    Anyhow, inside of fifty or so yards, I don't see what difference it makes as to the particular ammo. Most anything, including purely-hunting ammo, will create a world of hurt and be effective. I've never seen much difference in performance on jackrabbits and coyotes, anyhow, regardless of the sort of bullet.

    Note that I'm deliberately leaving "over-penetration" out of my comments.
     
  13. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    I would not use M193 simply because it penetrates much more than something like a 64gr Power Point. While my first concern is ending the immediate threat, a little foresight could save heartache later on. There's a good chance that your bullets will go through your attacker, then they have to end up somewhere....
     
  14. pabst_20

    pabst_20 Member

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    ballistic tips are way better for maximum damage.
     
  15. willypete

    willypete Member

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    This post:

    Immediately after this post:

    Cracked me right up.

    To answer the longer quote: you think you're going to hit with every shot? It's been demonstrated again and again that misses are more of a threat to bystanders than overpenetration, and that penetration is what's necessary to down an assailant.

    Anyway, as has been noted, within home defense distances, most every wounding mechanism inherent in every type of ammunition will be able to effectively occur. You want fragmentation with M855 and a 14.5" bbl? You'll probably get it when shooting across your living room. Same goes for "heavy" HPs or SPs out of similar length barrels.

    Basically, when it comes down to home defense with a .223 carbine, hitting what you aim at and being able to practice and ID your target are more important than worrying about ammo type.
     
  16. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    That seems to be a useful nugget of knowledge.

    I know I am splitting hairs here, but one naturally seeks the ideal tools for the job.

    From what I can tell there is no definite answer as far as hollow point vs ballistic tip, because some are designed for rapid varmint killing and some for defense and barrier penetration. I think I'll just go with whichever one I can find the best deal on. ;) I am partial to the ballistic tips because I think they provide more positive feeding with less damage to the bullet tip. They also look nicer (irrelevant I know).

    I agree. But, my humble abode is out in the middle of no where and I take my AR with me sometimes when wandering around the acres of woodland surrounding my house. Even so I do doubt a genuine case of defense would erupt from a threat even more than 25 yards away. Unless I stumbled on a meth lab. Gotta watch those meth zombies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  17. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    Why not get a box of each and do some testing. Shoot into some wet news papers to check expansion and consider getting some construction debris and shoot through some sheetrock and plywood, etc., which would simulate home walls and check for penetration and over penetration.

    You wouldn't be guessing by doing this.
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey, I could use a Barrett .50 and not endanger a neighbor! :D

    Just my eardrums. :D:D:D

    I'd likely go with whatever load was the most reliable for feed and extract/eject.
     
  19. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    At the short ranges, soft points won't be sensationally inaccurate. A shoot at 100 yards will demonstrate that.

    As for penetration, there are plenty of circumstances where you do want it. It's the LEO liability concept that impedes some shooters considering it. Apparently they have innocent bystanders stacked against every wall of the house. Think about it - if you're really practicing Home Defense, the first weapon in your hand will be the CCW pistol in your holster you carry. After the third shot, it's likely over 85% of the time.

    Then you can start thinking about where your external security failed.
     
  20. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    Either will do. I would prefer a 55 Nosler Ballistic Tip, because my rifle shoots them well. (Sub MOA)

    I'd also feel fine with a 75 grain BTHP from Hornady.
     
  21. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    My best accuracy has been with HP's. I've shot a lot of everything out there and those seem to produce the most consistent groups. But bearing surface is another factor in bullet accuracy too.
     
  22. jhnrckr

    jhnrckr Member

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    i shoot ballistic silvertips and have had spectacular results on game. the tip does not deform in my AR but the jacket always gets scored up pretty good prior to going bang and there is probably nothing you can do about that
     
  23. michael5446

    michael5446 Member

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    does anybody make a shotgun upper for the ar? :)
     
  24. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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  25. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    While I have no doubts that either would work well for the stated purpose, I choose to use 55gr. Hornady TAP as my primary load, and keep some of the cheaper 45gr. Winchester HP as an emergency supply/varmint control. I'm confident that I can make first rounds hits with either...or my target ammo, and that's what really counts.

    I chose the 55gr. TAP as my primary load because I was impressed with the terminal ballistics and its trajectory closely matched my standard plinking load (55gr. FMJ). IMO loss of a little penetration (a trait that I value, rather than try to avoid) is worthwhile for the zero retention (which isn't likely a concern at HD ranges, but one less thing to think about if an unexpected circumstance arises).

    Whatever you decide, just make sure that it is utterly reliable and consistent.

    :)
     
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