Quantcast

Speer HotCore terminal performance

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by splattergun, Sep 23, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Utah
    I've come across some promising results with my Howa 1500 30-06, loading 165 gr Speer Hotcore over 55-56 gr of IMR4350. I'm getting sub-moa groups in that range, so I think I can work with that :)

    However, I neglected to check into the terminal performance of the HCs before I loaded. So before I crack open the dusty old wallet to buy some more, what I would like to know, now that the cart got before the horse, is what have you experienced when hunting with these bullets? Good expansion? As good or better than ol' reliable Rem Core-Lokt? Or should I just keep them for targets?
     
  2. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Central Utah
    If you're talking about our local mule deer, they'll never work. Neither will the 30-06. You need at least a 300 RUM and a 220 gr monolithic bullet to penetrate properly. :neener: (that's what guys at work keep telling me. :) I don't know when deer mutated into having armor plating. )

    I've never shot anything with them, but I have many, many friends that swear by hot cor for deer and antelope. They aren't bonded, but they seem to hold together a little better than normal cup-n-core bullets.

    Matt
     
  3. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    Works Swell.

    Congratulations on a fine load. I have had several different caliber rifles that had Speers put thru them and the HC worked great out of all of them. My go to bullet for 243, 6.5 Swede, 270 to 30-06. When I go to my magnums I switch to the Grandslam or some of the bonded bullets.

    BTW: The 165gr over IMR-4350 is hard to beat.
     
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    Allow me to provide some examples of how the Speer Hot Core performs.

    Back in the 1980's my god friend and I got drawn for bull elk and antelope in N. Arizona, in the same year none the less. I loaded up 165 gr. Hot Cores for my friend's Rem. 700 chambered in 30-06 with 56.0 grs. of IMR-4350. They shot beautifully, good tight groups @ 200 yds.. They were hitting about 2900 fps across the chronograph.

    I was also shooting a Rem. 700, but chambered in .270, I loaded the 130 gr. Speer Hot Core for my rig. These also groups absolutely awesome @ 200 yds. @ 3100+ fps across the chrony.

    Opening day antelope presented me with a nice buck at 600+ yds., I nailed him right through the pump station, and left a base ball sized exit hole. He ran dead until I put one more through his neck while on the run, he flipped and went down for the count.

    Elk, this story is amazing. My buddy nailed his bull in the shoulder, punched in and out both shoulders / lungs, DRT.

    Mine was a bit different, the only shot I had on the last day was with his butt facing me, so I took it. The bullet entered just above the poop shoot, and the 130 gr. Hot Core punch through every single vertebra, coming to rest at the base of his neck. It didn't damage one ounce of back strap. When I recovered the bullet, it has mushroomed almost all the way down the heel of the bullet, and there was zero jacketed separation. When I cleaned the bone off, and weighed it, I found it had retained over 90% of it's original weight.

    Hot Cores are excellent bullets and have been my exclusive choice for deer, elk, antelope, and bear ever since.


    GS
     
  5. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    Wild & Free Oklahoma
    I've been shooting animals with the Speer HotCor since back in the 1960's and they are just as good as any so called premium bullet you can buy. They are a very reliable cup & core design. I've used them in a 25-06, 270 Winchester and 30-06. They hold together well and expand reliably. On deer sized game it's normal to find a fully expanded bullet under the skin on the far side of the deer. They work really well for a high shoulder shot which is devistating on a deer size animal. If you use a high shoulder shot on a deer it will be bang flop. They are far better and cheaper than any bullet with a plastic tip. Many of these expand too quickly and others come apart on impact. I do taxidermy work and see the results of bullets on deer and I always ask what did you use to shoot the buck. The old reliable HotCor won't let you down. They are good enough that I use them as the baseline for comparing other bullets. Any cup & core bullet made by Speer or Sierra is worth using.
     
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    Actually, they aren't a traditional cup and core bullet at all. They are a bonded core, in which the core is actually injected hot, molten, and becomes a soldered integral part of the jacket, which is why they don't separate.

    GS
     
  7. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,035
    Location:
    N. Alabama
    I'm glad this thread popped up. I've got Speer HC in 130gr for my 7-08 that I plan on using this year for deer. I also have 165gr Speer BTSP for my .30-06 I'm gonna use to. Looks like I made an excellent choice.
     
  8. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    Wild & Free Oklahoma
    gamestalker, thanks for making that point about the hot lead injected core. The HotCor is also made with a tougher jacket than the boattail design used by Speer so they are designed for deeper penetration on large animals. The boattail bullets made by Speer are the traditional cup & core design so they expand faster but both designs stay together and retain most of their bullet weight. Both the HotCor and the boattail bullets made by Speer are excellent hunting bullets.
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    Right you are sage5907, those BTSP's are an excellent bullet. They work wonders for long shots also. Last deer season my one of my Son's and his wife each killed good sized bucks from over 300 yds., both were through and through the shoulders.

    And another great thing about both the standard cup and core BT's, and the Hot Core, is they don't cost an arm and a leg like other high quality projectiles. I just bought a box of HC 165's to load for 300 Win mag. only $30 100 ct. and that was higher than I usually get them for. The other day I picked up a box of HC 130's for the .270 and they were only $26 100 ct..

    GS
     
  10. interlock

    interlock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, England
    Carjunkiels1... I used that on my 7mm08 and also the 145. Both on all sorts of deer including big lowland red deer stags, like your elk. Always performed superbly. Terminal performance was superb. 145 was a little more accurate. I also have used the 150s from my 3006 on all deer, also very good. The 150, with n140 is really accurate for me
     
  11. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Utah
    Aww nutz! Just when I thought I was on to something. :banghead:
    I guess I'll have to give the antlers back to a few bucks that I killed over the years in Juab County, Utah with my 30-06, and my SKS, and my bud's 7-08. They ain't really dead.:cuss: You can tell 'em that's just what I plan to do. :neener:
     
  12. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Utah
    Well it's great to read about such good, solid reliable results. If I bag one this year I'll let y'all know the results. I believe I will stock up on some Hot-Cor.

    Now, if I could only run into some more IMR4350...
    :uhoh:
     
  13. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,035
    Location:
    N. Alabama
    Thanks Interlock. I'm glad to hear that. I've not shot this bullet yet, but I'm gonna have to try and see how it shoots. I hope it shoots well as I like all I've seen have been good reviews.
     
  14. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    Hang in there Splatter. 4350 is starting to show up. My LGS has had it coming in regularly for a month now.
     
  15. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Central Utah
    PM sent.
     
  16. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    4,043
    Location:
    W.GA
    I consider the Speer HotCors to be among the best hunting bullets available.

    I've used them since the mid-1970's to kill many deer. IMO they are more dependable and accurate than the Hornady Interloks, and are only slightly if any behind the Sierra's for accuracy.

    I've never seen one separate. I've seen a few Sierra's (but only boat-tails), but not often separate, but deer always died regardless.

    The only "problem" I've seen with them was with a single box that I got about 1975 but were probably some of the first production runs of .270 (.277") 130gr Flat-base.
    A friend put 3 through a ~270lb 14pt buck in Greene County Alabama in Jan of 1978. It took a 4th shot through the neck at ~10ft to finish the deer that had gotten hung up in a barbed-wire fence.
    Upon dressing the deer, it had 3 pass through wounds to the lungs, but not hitting the heart. Bullets didn't seem to expand whatsoever.

    Load was 55.0gr of IMR4350 in Winchester brass with CCI LR primers. Fired from Rem. Mod 721 with Bushnell Banner 3x-9x scope. (data recorded in my Speer #3 manual !).

    I've only recovered one "HotCor".
    It was a 120gr .264" from my .260Rem. 2,800fps from 20" bbl over 43.5gr of RL17. Bullet impacted the deer just behind shoulder and angled rearward into the pelvis. The bullet shattered the acetabulum (hip socket) and was lodged just under the hide of the opposite ham. Expanded bullet weighs 109.6gr. None of the 140's I shot deer with have been recovered.

    I don't feel that I "need" a "trick" bullet like the Nosler Partition, Swift A-frames, "Bonded" or "Monolithic" such as Barnes, ect in "normal" cartridges.

    I have had "problems" with SST's, BallisticTips, and hollow points intended for varmints, ect.

    Just give me a Speer or Sierra "flat-base", any day... (Cor-lokts, too!).

    Edited to add: A couple of years ago, it seemed that Speer had determined to discontinue the Hot-Cor's and replace them with the "Deep Curl" plated bullets... seems that they have all been removed from recent listings... Same bullet used in the up-priced Federal "Fusion" line of factory ammo.
    personally, I'm glad they've kept the Hot-Cors'. They are too good (and inexpensive) to discontinue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  17. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    Wild & Free Oklahoma
    GooseGestapo, I recover many of my HotCor bullets in deer because I use a high shoulder shot. I don't shoot them in the lungs because I like the deer to fall immediately. A shot through the lungs will usually pass through the animal. Your point about flat base bullets is well taken. I have shot hundreds of Speer HotCor 120 grain bullets in my 25-06 and I can't imagine a bullet working better. When Speer made the noise about discontinuing them a couple of years ago I bought every box I could find.
     
  18. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    4,043
    Location:
    W.GA
    There aren't too many deer around here that will stop a 200gr .338" "HotCor" at 2,800fps.
    A 120gr HotCor from a .25/06 at 2,900fps might be a bit different, on deer larger than ours.

    Most of my "hotcor" deer have been with 130gr .30 (.30/30) or 150-165gr .30/06.
    Even with a shouder/spine hit, exit wounds run 4-6" in diameter... Lots of damage from bone shards.
     
  19. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    Wild & Free Oklahoma
    GooseGestapo, I don't see the large exit wounds. Most of the deer I shoot weigh between 180 & 200 pounds field dressed and the average shooting distance is around 200 yards. If I was using a bullet on deer in my area that gave me 6 inch exit wounds I would be looking for a different bullet.
     
  20. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Magnolia AR
    in my '06 I shoot 165 gr. I can't tell enough difference between the 165 gr BTSP to matter between Speer, Sierra, and Hornady. I don't need super bullets for anything I hunt. I'm old fashioned I guess. I don't care for the "plastic "tips either. I've used all three since the 60"s. Times being what they are I'll take any of the 3 I can get.
     
  21. LOBO

    LOBO Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I sure do appreciate all this good information on the HC. I have just started thinking about trying this bullet in my .243 & 30-06, so this is very timely info.
     
  22. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Utah
    I certainly appreciate the opinions and info too. I haven't had a chance to hit the range again since my OP, but I should be able to get out to shoot next week. Hope I have some good results to share. I also plan to use some HCs for my deer hunt in a couple weeks.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice