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Just got back from deer hunting in Georgia with my 30/30 Handirifle. Took two deer the first morning. One head shot while field dressing the first deer.Used 125 Gr. Ballistic tips and was not real pleased with the performance. The jacket separated from the lead core and did not exit. Looked more like a Varmint round with the one shot in the head. Did not have to track that one. Plenty of fresh deer in the freezer now. Going to try the 45/70 next on deer.
 

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Congratulations...You said that the bullet acted like a varmint bullet. Did it hit bone? how far did it ultimately penetrate? Did it retain very much of the bullet weight or did it fragment, other than the loosing the jacket? What did it mushroom to if it did not fragment? Sorry for all the questions, I was planning on using 130 grain Hornadys SP Pistol interlocks in my 30-30 and wanted to know a little more.
 

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In my opinion a 125g bt is a varmint bullet in a .30 cal.
Ballistic tips are just hollow point bullets with a plastic tip to help with ballistics. they are supposed to come apart.
You don't suppose it's a coincidence that the 30/30 has been offered and used on deer in 150g or 170g for ever.
 

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I think most weights of ballistic tips have a base that is solid and and I have never recovered a jacket base from one that was not intact with some side wall still attached. Some still have some portion of the core intact regardless of impact velocity and some seperate and cause two wound channels through the soft tissues inside a deer. I have driven lightweight BT bullets from 6mm and 257 mags at 3800 fps into deer and coyote ribs and lungs for years with never failing to recover one of the animals shot. In my mind the bullet didn't fail if you got the deer. There are probably better bullets for non broadside shots, but through the ribs and lungs BTs are fine in my book.
 

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I've always been impressed with the knock down power of a 170 grain 30-30 out to 125 yards. Shot a lot of management doe and spikes with it in lever action over the years. Currently have my levers sighted with the Hornady 160 gr pointed ammo but wonder if it has the knock down ability of that old slow moving round nose bullet. Those Hornady's don't shoot well in my Handi so I've experimented with 130 Spire Points but not on a deer yet. It's just hard to beat the 150 and 170 gr flat and round nose bullets that are designed for 30-30 velocity.
 

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If you want pointy bullets and like the ballistic tips, use the 150 grain. I use them in my 30-30 model 058 and my 300 savage contender 15 inch. Shoot great and perform well at those velocities. I never cared for 125 BTs for deer sized animals, work good on coyotes.
 

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oneredbarn congratulationns on your hunt, i killed my first deer back in the 1970's with a 30/30, the 30/30 is a great brush rifle, i have three of them now, marlin,winchester, and handi-rifle, i shoot remington 170 gr. core-lokts in all these rifles, most of my 30-30 shots are 100 yds or less in thick woods, of the three rifles i use the handi-rifle most often, it is short and light, but my all time deer killer is my old beat up duck-tape 30-06.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The 125 Ballistic tip that came apart was a broadside shoot. Did not hit a rib just went in about 4 inches and the jacket peeled back with 5 petals and the lead core just slide on out. The core went through both lungs and stoped at the fare side rib cage. I had picked up these 125's at a gun show and thought the would be good for small deer in the 30/30. They do shoot very well in the handi but will probably not use this load for deer again. Just wanted to try them on this hunt. Need to use some of my other handis so they can take a deer to.
 

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It was my understanding the ballistic tip bullets, in general, were made for guns like the Contender and Encore, in pistol form. At those velocities, I understand they perform very well.
 

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oneredbarn said:
The 125 Ballistic tip that came apart was a broadside shoot. Did not hit a rib just went in about 4 inches and the jacket peeled back with 5 petals and the lead core just slide on out. The core went through both lungs and stoped at the fare side rib cage. I had picked up these 125's at a gun show and thought the would be good for small deer in the 30/30. They do shoot very well in the handi but will probably not use this load for deer again. Just wanted to try them on this hunt. Need to use some of my other handis so they can take a deer to.
That is exactly what I would expect and want from a Ballistic tip bullet.
 

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Yep, two deer with two shots is exactly what I expect from Ballistic Tips. I also expect wider wound channels than the plodding 170 grain bullets but if long narrow wound channels are you then the 170 is a great bullet. If you pick your shots it's hard to find a better bullet than the proper weight ballistic tips. I'm not sure but isn't the 125 for varmints? I can't exactly tell as the website says "for thin skinned game", either way I would pick the 150 for deer.
 

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I load 125gr. Ballistic Tip in .308 for my wife and Dad. I have found them nothing but effective after about 15 deer killed.
 
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