Why the “Ballistic Tip” hate?

pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
I’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of folks who hate polymer tipped bullets... whether it be Nosler’s Ballistic Tips, Hornady SST or what have you.

Personally I’m a die hard Nosler Ballistic Tip fan. I’ve killed over 70 with them, and seem 5x that many that others have killed with them. I’ve only had one that didn’t perform as I expected, and that was my fault. I was pushing it beyond maximum recommended velocity.

So I’m curious as to why the hate for them.


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45/70 hunter

Twelve Pointer
I like the Nosler ballistic tip and they have worked well. The 125 gr at 2800-2900 fps in an '06 is a hammer. I can load them faster but they come apart to fast. The only exception was the 120 gr at around 3400 fps in a 7 mag. The one deer shot with it looked like it was hit with a howitzer!!
 
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pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
I like the Nosler ballistic tip and they have worked well. The 125 gr at 2800-2900 fps in an '06 is a hammer. I can load them faster but they come apart to fast. The only exception was the 120 gr at around 3400 fps in a 7 mag. The one deer shot with it looked like it was hit with a howitzer!!
The maximum recommended velocity for the Ballistic Tip Hunting bullet is 3200 fps.

The one that didn’t perform was a 140 gr 7mm going 3550 out of a 7mmSTW


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firedawg60

Eight Pointer
I have never used a BT but most of the complaints I have heard and read are too much meat damage and too much bullet fragmentation. Some like deer to drop in their tracks and don't mind the excess damage and others like to be able to salvage meat all the way up the bullet hole and don't mind the deer running a little ways.
 

Mr.Gadget

Old Mossy Horns
I’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of folks who hate polymer ripped bullets... whether it be Nosler’s Ballistic Tips, Hornady SST or what have you.
Some, they just don't know any better. ..

Others it is a ford chevy dodge thing...toyota don't even rank... ...
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
I think some of the hate came from the early years of BT's.
I only use them in 2 of my guns now but have always been a BT fan also. Never had any bad luck with them just like to try other bullets.

Its hard to beat a BT for accuracy and performance IMO.

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bigten

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Some that love them, well, they just don't know any better.
The ones that do not, have their reasons.
For some, it seems to be the excessive damage.
For some, it's the complete passthrough on shorter shots without any expansion.
For some, they see no need to reinvent the wheel.
For some, if they want to shoot a hollow point, then that's what they will shoot.
What it boils down to is personal preference and what you are comfortable with. Confidence comes with successful use. If anybody is comfortable with their choice, while having bad results with another style that diminishes their confidence in that specific type, not using it would be expected.
 

klim

Twelve Pointer
The first box of factory ammo (Nosler ammo) I ever bought for my 264 win mag was 120 Ballistic tips. I shot a doe at 146 yards and when I pulled the trigger. Her butt was the first thing to hit the ground. When I got to her the exit wound was about the size of my fist I’ve taken a couple more deer with same combo and haven’t been disappointed yet. The Hornady SST bullet performance out of my 6mm (95 SST) and 308 (125 grain SST) haven’t let me down either. I’m fan of soft point bullets but I won’t knock ballistic tips because they have worked for me in the past.
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
Because I’ve had several SST in my .270 shed their jacket on antelope... and have seen them break into shrapnel on Whitetails. Not to mention they make a mess of the meat

So last year I went to a Barnes X copper solid with a polymer tip... won’t look back after seeing how it performed accuracy wise and on a 210# buck last year.
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
For some, it seems to be the excessive damage.
For some, it's the complete passthrough on shorter shots without any expansion.
For some, if they want to shoot a hollow point, then that's what they will shoot.
^^this, because I don't want to worry HOW it will perform. With a ProHunter or Game King I know it will mushroom like I want it to.
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
It's funny how things workout....the worst experience I have ever had with a bullet was a 30 caliber 165gr Speer spitzer(I think it was called hot-cor).
It was a very accurate bullet but performed terrible on the 5 deer that I used it on before moving on to something else. The guy that talked me into using them had nothing but great things to say about them.


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Tipmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Every single deer Ive shot with a 150gn SST in my 300 win mag has dropped right there...or very close to right there. And the blood trails have been a dream.

I don't have a problem with the 'extra meat damage' because I shoot them in the ribcage and love the Ray Charles blood trails that last all of 30 yards.

I think a lot of the hate comes from bad shot selection or poor choices during the reloading process. But I'm sure there are instances out there where they failed. And I'm sure people will point to the one case they read about after hearing some dude at a QDMA meeting swear up and down about it.

FWIW... The absolute worst performing bullet I ever had was a 150 gn Remington Core Lokt on a liver shot deer. Very poor blood trail and if a buddy hadn't tripped over the deer by accident we never would have found him. I have no doubt an SST would have left a fist sized exit and 10x better blood. Hence I've never shot another Core Lokt at anything living. They're my cheapo, get the new scope on paper rounds.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
will point to the one case they read about after hearing some dude at a QDMA meeting swear up and down about it.

but but my brother's cousin's Aunt's oldest son (me) said BLAH BLAH BLAH

about all bullets work well,,,,when used well,,,some folks like damage,,,some like holes,,,

me,,,I like dead critters,,,,

ain't got no issue with a ballistic tipped bullet,,,heck some of my 17 HMR rounds are ballistic tips,,,kill hogs and deer just fine,,,,,,,,o_O:ROFLMAO:
 

HarryNC

Four Pointer
I'm sure there are instances out there where they failed.
I picked up a box of factory Winchester Ballistic Silvertips a couple of years ago after hearing good things about them, and my .270 WSM shot them well. I shot two deer with them. The first was a shot quartering towards me at maybe 50 yards. The bullet destroyed the nearside shoulder, and left a nice, big exit wound about halfway back the offside ribcage. I was impressed with the performance. The second deer was a broadside shot at about 70 yards. The bullet entered the ribcage about 2 inches behind the shoulder, and just came apart. There was a small entrance wound, and 3 small exit wounds; one directly across from the entry, one almost straight down through the brisket, and one just ahead of the offside hindquarter. The blood trail was spotty, and it took me an hour to find the deer, about 250 yards from where it was shot. You might shoot 100 deer and never have a Ballistic Tip perform poorly like that, but it was enough for me. I went back to using Nosler Partitions, and haven't looked back.
 

pattersonj11

Old Mossy Horns
I think ballistic tips are highly effective. They can definitely blow some meat up. They are pretty reliable these days.
 

FishHunt

Twelve Pointer
The maximum recommended velocity for the Ballistic Tip Hunting bullet is 3200 fps.

The one that didn’t perform was a 140 gr 7mm going 3550 out of a 7mmSTW


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Just for curiosity's sake what was the load and barrel length on that load that ran 3,550 fps?

<>< Fish
 

FishHunt

Twelve Pointer
My only complaint with them is faint blood trails if they don't pass through. I have been in on the recovery of all sizes of deer shot with non-bonded tipped bullets where the bullet didn't pass through and left a very sparse blood trail.

<>< Fish
 

Downeast

Twelve Pointer
I've been a big fan of BT's for decades. But I have always been a fan of heavier bullets, the exception being a 100 grain BT in my 257 Wby. I shoot 140's in a 7mm-08, 165-180's in my 30's. If I do my part, they have never failed to kill (DRT).
 

pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
My only complaint with them is faint blood trails if they don't pass through. I have been in on the recovery of all sizes of deer shot with non-bonded tipped bullets where the bullet didn't pass through and left a very sparse blood trail.

<>< Fish
I’ve never seen one that was shot broadside or quartering not have an exit wound, with 2 exceptions, and those were shot with a Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint bullet, and not the Hunting bullet. Even the one I shot with the overspeed Ballistic Tip exited, it just exited in 2 pieces.
I’ve even had 2 or 3 that exited after traveling length wise through a deer.

But I will admit that any bullet is subject to fail. I’ve just never been that unfortunate with the Nosler Ballistic Tips.


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pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
I've been a big fan of BT's for decades. But I have always been a fan of heavier bullets, the exception being a 100 grain BT in my 257 Wby. I shoot 140's in a 7mm-08, 165-180's in my 30's. If I do my part, they have never failed to kill (DRT).
I’m a fan of heavy for caliber bullets as well. I shoot 150’s in my 7mmSTW, my 7mm-08, and my .270 Win.
180’s or 200’s in my 30 cal stuff with 1 exception, and I shoot 168’s in it.


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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
having to readjustment my reading skills,,,

for 50+ years the abbreviation BT always meant "boat tail" to me (and the industry),,,,,but here it means "Ballistic Tip",,,,,or have we mixed the two,,,,and if so,,,why the hate on Boat Tail (BT) bullets?

who'd a thunk it
 

pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
having to readjustment my reading skills,,,

for 50+ years the abbreviation BT always meant "boat tail" to me (and the industry),,,,,but here it means "Ballistic Tip",,,,,or have we mixed the two,,,,and if so,,,why the hate on Boat Tail (BT) bullets?

who'd a thunk it
To me, BT means boat tail, so I generally spell Ballistic Tip out so I’m clear.

I titled my post “Ballistic Tip “ because most folks generally call any polymer tipped bullet a “Ballistic Tip”, even though there are many manufacturers who produce polymer tipped bullets other than Nosler

But I’m a boat tail guy myself... as my beloved Nosler Ballistic Tips are generally boat tail bullets.



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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
To me, BT means boat tail, so I generally spell Ballistic Tip out so I’m clear.

I titled my post “Ballistic Tip “ because most folks generally call any polymer tipped bullet a “Ballistic Tip”, even though there are many manufacturers who produce polymer tipped bullets other than Nosler

But I’m a boat tail guy myself... as my beloved Nosler Ballistic Tips are generally boat tail bullets.



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you sure did,,,I was more having fun with the abbreviations later,,,,it's Monday and got to have a small bit of fun

though I do have to admit, I had to go back and read twice to make sure I knew which BT some folks were talking about!!
 

pattersonj11

Old Mossy Horns
I’ve never seen one that was shot broadside or quartering not have an exit wound, with 2 exceptions, and those were shot with a Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint bullet, and not the Hunting bullet. Even the one I shot with the overspeed Ballistic Tip exited, it just exited in 2 pieces.
I’ve even had 2 or 3 that exited after traveling length wise through a deer.

But I will admit that any bullet is subject to fail. I’ve just never been that unfortunate with the Nosler Ballistic Tips.


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I’ve had multiple sst bullets not exit. .243 and .30-06. I cannot think of any of the deer that dropped either. None have went over 50 yards. As far as exits, I just have not gotten more than 1-2 ballistic tips to exit in my use. They are like a grenade inside though. Almost all of the deer seem like jello when cut open.
 

pcbuckhunter

Twelve Pointer
I’ve had multiple sst bullets not exit. .243 and .30-06. I cannot think of any of the deer that dropped either. None have went over 50 yards. As far as exits, I just have not gotten more than 1-2 ballistic tips to exit in my use. They are like a grenade inside though. Almost all of the deer seem like jello when cut open.
Hornady SST’s have a thinner jacket than the Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting bullet. It’s very similar to Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint bullet. I’ve never been that much of an SST fan, unless it is an Interbond SST.


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JJWise

Eight Pointer
I have some for my 270 but never shot anything with them because I got slightly better groups with different bullets. I’ve heard that they used to be more fragile but Nosler has made them a little sturdier now. After I shoot up all the federals I’m using now, I’ll probably load those up for deer. I do like the polymer tipped controlled expansion bullets I have currently (TTSX, Accubonds and Federal TBTs). Hornady SSTs seem okay if you go with heavy for caliber bullets.
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
I’ve had multiple sst bullets not exit. .243 and .30-06. I cannot think of any of the deer that dropped either. None have went over 50 yards. As far as exits, I just have not gotten more than 1-2 ballistic tips to exit in my use. They are like a grenade inside though. Almost all of the deer seem like jello when cut open.
Funny....I cant remember how many deer I have shot with a ballistic tip and only 1 time did the bullet not exit.
I shot the deer facing me in the chest and the bullet came to rest in her left ham.
I have had a very high percentage drop stone dead too, but thats more about placement.

Either way I do find it wild how everyone has different experiences with bullets and sometimes even the same cartridge and bullet.

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BWard

Button Buck
I have been using 125gr SST's for several years. 2200-2300fps out of a 300 Blackout. Inside the chest not terribly destroyed but have had an exit hole on all of them. Blood trails are decent but none have made it more that 50 yards. Shots are less than 100 yards where I hunt.
 
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