Polymer Tips in Magnum rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JRWhit, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    I've been trying to find some accuracy in a 7mm Wby mag off and on for some time now and today I finally made an accidental discovery that has me completely abandoning polymer tipped bullets in this cartridge. Passively I have been trying different loads using Hornady eld-x and sst bullets at different weights with different powders and all I have ever been able to produce was about 1-1/2" groups and only ever in a 3 shot group. I was close to deciding that this was the accuracy of the rifle but it bothered me that a Weatherby Mark V wouldn't do any better than that. Finally today as I was working up a load with Viht N-165 behind a 162 ELDX, It really stood out that shots 3 and 4 were the offending outliers. Suspecting bullet walk I checked round 3 and then round 4 loaded in the receiver after shooting the 1st and 2nd. No bullet walk but I did find that the polymer tips were smashed from the recoil of the first two shots. Next I loaded all 4 one at a time and wouldn't you know it, all 4 held a great 3/4" group. I repeated both scenarios a couple more times to confirm the result. Nice I was able to find an accurate load for my rifle, but it's pretty useless for hunting beyond having two in the rifle. I can't think of a time when I've needed a 3rd and 4th shot but I'm not willing to give up that reassurance. I'll be moving to a different bullet for this rifle.
    I can't be sure that this would be a problem in all magnums but the 7mm Wby is far from the hardest recoiling of them. I have used the polymer tipped ammo in several lower recoil rifles with great success but If your having issues and struggling for an explanation it may be worth checking. I'm sure many have already ran across this scenario but hopefully it's useful to somebody.
  2. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    Good observation!

    Haven't NOTICED tip deformation as an issue yet, and I run them in pretty much everything.
    My .375 will completely flatten the tip on a 270gr speer if run thru the magazine twice, but still shoots sub moa groups. The 260ablrs get scuffs, but their tips hold up better than the speers.
    I've also bought some eld-m seconds with crooked tips that shot fine at the ranges I generally shoot.

    While i haven't seen it be an issue. I can see how it would be a problem.
    Especially if there are other stability issues, like a slightly off crown, or slow for length twist..... interesting, might have to revisit a couple rifles and loads.
    WisBorn, horsey300 and Speedo66 like this.
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    I've never had an issue with plastic tipped bullets in a pretty light 30-06 with 22+ ft lbs recoil. I've used both Hornady and Nosler. Lots of people use them in various 300 magnums with no issue. I'm thinking it may be a quirk with this particular rifles magazine.
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