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SP vs HP vs BT-cost-accuracy?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, Feb 12, 2018 at 12:28 PM.

  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I'm trying to find a new 223 bullet and looking at Nosler Varmegeddon, Hornady z max and Midsouth shooter Varmint Nightmare. Nosler BT offers the highest BC but also higher cost 1-2 cent per bullet than the rest while the Midsouth HP offers the lowest price and BC is higher than Nosler HP. I also checked into Hornady 55gr SP w/c and its BC is higher than Midsouth SP/HP and cheaper! The z max comes in at just under the BC of the Nosler BT but also cost about 2-3 cents more.

    When selecting a bullet I see guys say a HP will shoot better than a SP or FMJ and BT always shooter better than FMJ, SP, HP. Is this because of the higher BC or the manufacture or the bullet using better material?

    Just trying to see what i should try next but also be cost effective. Right now the highest to lowest BC is the Nosler BT, Hornady Z max, Hornady SP w/c, Midsouth HP, Midsouth SP, Nosler HP. I guess im not getting why something with a higher BC cost less and something with a lower BC cost more in some cases. Ultimate goal here is accuracy but if i can save a buck or two even better.
     
  2. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    What distance are you planning to use these for?

    Often, flat-based bullets will shoot more accurately for the first 50-200 yards, with the higher BC boattail bullets surpassing them as the ranges stretch out.

    As for why costs don't align strictly with BC, it's because there are a lot of other dimensions beyond BC in play, such as QC/consistency, recency of design (got to recoup R&D and marketing costs!), material costs, and simple marketing decisions by the maker as to what price point they want to set.
     
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  3. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Just punching paper at 100-200yards and hunting out to 300yards. I will always shoot v max for woodchucks cause of the explosiveness but getting a little expensive sending them at paper.

    So if i read that right a flat base will be more accurate at 50-200yards than a boattail? If i interpreted that right why is that?

    Would you say a SP with high BC would shoot just as well as say a v/z max? Kind of wondering should i fork out the $10+ for the BT or something mid range with the higher BC?
     
  4. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    In 40+ years of reloading, I have never considered Ballistic Coefficient in selecting a bullet for a load I developed. This is because at the ranges I shoot (never more than about 25 yards with pistol, never more than 300 yards with rifle, usually under 200 and often under 100) the BC has little effect. There have always been other factors that weighed more heavily in my decision.

    For hunting and self-defense, I long ago settled on a Hornady 60 grain bullet in either soft or hollow point (which I treat as interchangable) loaded to about 2850 fps out of an 18 inch barrel (2800 out of 16). These bullets are comparatively expensive running as much as 20 cents each (taxes, shipping, etc. included) when purchased retail.

    For practice and casual shooting, I developed a load built around one of Evergladesammo.com's 55 grain FMJ bullets. It is loaded to just at 3,000 fps and at 100 yards gives the same point of impact as the 60 grain load. If I wait for sales and buy in quantity, these bullets can run around 8 cents each and thus make an economical alternative to the more expensive Hornady.

    The "always" rules I have heard from un-named or self-appointed experts are generally wrong.

    In my experience, Hollow pointed bullets are chosen for their terminal effects or their diminished potential to ricochet, not because of any subjective assessment of their shooting "better" or "worse" than other configurations. Some guy in his garage can make hollow points out of soft points using a Black & Decker drill. The hole in the nose doesn't make them any better.

    As ATL_Dave already pointed out, the boat tail really doesn't contribute much until it is already well on its journey, so for guys like me shooting inside 200 yards most of the time, the only thing I notice about a bullets' base is that the boat tails are a little easier to make stay put on the mouth of the case when I seat them.
     
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  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I am right at the edge of my knowledge, just parroting things I have read on this topic. Best I can tell, it has to do with a couple of things: 1) it's perhaps easier for the manufacturer to create a perfectly consistent and concentric flat-base bullet than a boattail and 2) something to do with the exit of the bullet from the muzzle and perhaps the high-pressure gasses swirling around it when the bore "uncorks." The boat-tail is dragging its tail through that venting gas, whereas when the flat-base uncorks, it leaves it behind.

    IDK if these are correct and/or if there are other larger factors/drivers. It is my understanding, though, that pretty much all the 100-yard benchrest guys use flat-base bullets.
     
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  6. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    I want to point out that I settled on my 223 hunting/self-defense load in 1980 and it has not materially changed since then.

    I settled on a 223 practice/casual shooting load the following year and it did not materially change until about 2014 when I ran out of the bullets I had been using and couldn't get them at a reasonable price any more.

    In the intervening decades there have been many changes/additions to what bullets and powders are available for loading the 223/5.56 round, but I am familiar with how my 60 grain load performs and I know how to hit targets (paper as well as animal) with it so I will not be abandoning the load for the marginal improvements I might realize from switching to a different bullet/powder.
     
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  7. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I wish i didn't have to switch but the Z max which i currently use exclusively for target is getting harder and harder to find so before i run out of the 400 i have left i would like to find something that might be around a little longer.
     
  8. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    No.

    The best way to read what ATL_Dave said is that a flat base bullet will be be no less accurate at shorter ranges than a boat tail. The fact the drag reduction produced by the boat tail configuration doesn't begin to really be noticeable until the distances lengthen doesn't mean it is is inferior to the flat base bullet at shorter distances.
     
  9. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am going to respectfully disagree, but will add that the difference is so tiny that unless you are shooting aggregates in the teens and don't want to get beat by say .0025 in a 25 shot aggregate, you won't need to worry about it. I lost one by .0012 once, but it was almost surely me and not the bullets. :)

    You are over thinking this. The groups you are reporting are very good, and switching to another quality bullet that may be a little more or less accurate isn't going to show up as big differences. The closer you shoot the harder it is to make the differences show.
     
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  11. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I just didn't want to go from say groups like this to 1.5" groups. even if they weren't that tight id still be happy.
     

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  12. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Member

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    I second the Hornady 55 gr SP. They are very accurate and within 300 yds for varmints should be plenty good. VMax is also excellent but cost more. For pure accuracy my experience has been that quality 55 gr (e.g., anything Hornady) and 68-69 gr BTHP bullets seem easy to find accurate loads in every rifle I have tried. For factory ammo the Federal Match 69 gr SMK and Federal Fusion bonded 62 gr are very accurate. I have not tried Hornady factory ammo but based on their bullets I would expect any of their ammo in 55 gr or 68 gr would be superb.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I get it, and you/they shouldn't, but never say never, just have to try them in your gun. And nice shooting. Don't you hate the shots that get away when you have the rest in one hole? Yea, we all do. :)
     

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  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I shot knots with the 68 Hornady Match and 69 SMK's which are both boat tails. Friend of mine won 100 yard reduced matches with flat base 223 bullets.

    You just have to shoot the bullet(s) in your rifle and see how they perform. I am currently shooting flat base bullets in my 35 Whelens, and the rifles hate the loads I am testing. However, the boat tail bullet shoots good. Heck if I know what is going on.
     
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  15. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I found some Hornady 62gr BTHP w/c I never knew existed while trolling midsouths site a minute ago. any experience with them? they seem affordable.
     
  16. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    You know I have only been able to do that one other time. Any other time they are much more open. All touching but not a perfect hole like that. :(.

    I was down range dancing when I walked up on that group! :)
     
  17. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    And I will third the Hornady 55gr SPs. Excellent all around bullet for shooting targets and hunting coyotes and smaller. Accuracy with these hovers under an inch generally and are excellent out to about 300 yards. And the price is excellent, same as a good FMJ.

    Only down side? Kind of a PITA to load as they are really flat based bullets. I use an M-Die in my progressive to make then alot easier to seat, with a very slight crimp from a Lee FCD to just remove the flare.
     
  18. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    So your SP bullets are flat based and not boat tail? I could have sworn the ones i tried a few years ago were boat tail.
     
  19. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    Yup, the ones in the Monmouth link someone provided before are flat based. They run about 7 cents a piece, which is honestly pretty hard to beat. Ive shot a few thousand of them, never had any issues, and definitely more accurate than any FMJ Ive shot.
     
  20. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Thanks. I think i still have some in my these suck box at home i will be checking when i get home. I started with H335 which doesn't seem to work with any bullet I've tried in my rifle so this might be why i brushed them off. Now that i have a little more experience and some other powders if i have a few left ill try them again.
     
  21. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Poacher,

    I think i have some of these left from my very first reloading batches. I have a small box where bullets that don't shoot well go to sit for awhile and sometimes load them up for fouling shots after a good cleaning. I very much appreciate the offer.
     
  22. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    Ive found H335 accuracy to be somewhat just OK. Id try them with something like 8208 or maybe some CFE 223. I did get get them down to right around an inch on H335, but it took some serious testing. Ill be retesting these this spring with CFE223 and 8208 when I have some time.
     
  23. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I went through 2lbs of it with maybe 1/4 pound on the floor when i forgot to close the hopper before lifting it up and FMJ, SP (maybe 30rds) varmageddon HP and v max and couldn't get it to even touch each other but did keep v max under and inch. Someone said try benchmark and my first accuracy node with v max put them all 5 touching at 100yards i said ill never use another powder until i discovered h322 which is a little picky in the summer (temp sensitive my butt) I still have a pound of h335 left and might try it again now i have a hornady OAL tool i can play around with jump to the lands and also going to try it in 45-70.
     
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  24. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    The BC shouldn't be the deciding factor for 100-300 yards. Just like what was said, your aggregate workups with group test data should be the deciding factor. If I wanted the smallest groups from most 223's (I'll let you guys argue about twist rate), I would expect the Nosler BT or the Hornady Vmax/Zmax to get me there. I'm sure some get great groups from HP's, I just haven't used them much to comment. What I will say though is that the OP should not expect one hole or even 3/4" groups from a bulk 55gr SP w/ cann or FMJ bullet. More consistency usually does cost more money.
    The problem is that none of us can tell how a particular bullet will shoot in anyone's individual rifle.
    I've seen things that don't always follow internet logic, like 1:8's that absolutely prefer 55gr to 65/68gr.
    I get the cost comparison - no one wants to pay more if a substitute works just as well. If the goal is really a "good enough" load that shoots sub-moa sometimes, then bulk bullets might get you there....sometimes. However, if the goal is consistent accuracy, it usually isn't found in a bulk box.
     
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  25. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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    8208 works well for me.
     
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