IMHO most shooters/hunters load boat tail bullets because they are easier to seat in the case. In reality you have to be shooting beyond 300 yards to get any real difference in ballistics between standard BTs and flat based bullets. I say standard because of the newer super aerodynamic hunting bullets out now. I like 165gr Core-Lokt and Hornady flat base bullets in .30 cal..
For the 'where' and 'what' I have either hunted lately or handloaded for others lately, I find that the Hornaday 180 gn flat-base RN is absolutely excellent. None of the folks I hunt with have a need for a premium bullet and teh Hornaday has always worked extremely well for us.
As Dave in WV said, out to 300 yds, bevel base or flat base makes no difference. There was also an article in one of the shooting magazines within the past year that showed the same to be true.
Whitetail within 300 yds don't need a premium bullet. You can't make up for poor shot placement with bullet style or velocity, which is why the old 30-30 works so well for so many.
However, I have found that the Ballistic-tipped bullet is very expansive on whitetail amd creates too much meat damage for my preferences. If I was to go strictly with a boattail bullet I would still stick with the Hornaday but probably not their premium line, their everyday bullets have worked fine for me for 40 years. JMHO. Mikey.
For a good look at bullet performance, pick up a copy of the Aug Petersen's Hunting magazine, they compare Barnes TSX, Win failsafes, Hornady Interbond, Norma Oryx, Nosler Accubond, Rem Core-lokt Ultra, Sierra Pro Hunter/Gameking, Speer Trophy Bonded, Swift A-Frame and Scirocco.
Where's the place to vote for a Nosler Partition? The standard by which all other jacketed hunting bullets are judged. Not a boat tail, but so what. A boat tail, in 30-06 may give 3"more at 300 yards, but doesn't offer any other advantages. In fact, they tend to separate jacket from core easier than a flat based bullet on close-in shots where most game is taken.
I would strongly recommend that you try the Barnes TSX in 168gr. for your all around hunting bullet. It offers %100 weight retention almost all the time, along with the proper amount of expansion often sought in many hunting bullets.
I've fired the 180gr. TSXs in my 300 Wby, and recovered two that hit into the dirt at 100yds; probably going around 2800fps out there. They both retained at least %99 of their weight (one was still at or near the 180gr. mark!). They expanded in the usual fashion. They held together impressively well, even while impacting at that velocity.
IMO, they are the premier bullet for pretty much any hunting situation; exception would be varmints. You would want a frangible bullet for them.
I'd say all of the bullets listed will do well on deer without problem. We could argue the point all day and the result will always be inconclusive....because opinions, rifles, loadings, and trigger pullers will always differ.
There is no 1 best of any bullet.Each have their own applications....and as hogship has already said...every rifle is different...There are bullets that have a proven tract record..and one would lessen the odds of bullet failure by using one of them...but even this isn't written in stone...because there have been stories of failure of them...and since some folks use bullets not normally associated with hunting with great sucess.I will say that using one of the better bullets gives a person more confidence in his load...and this does help some in the field..provided they are accurate out of his rifle...so...as too my personal preferences...I have confidence in the Nosler Partitons...but I'm not afraid to try other makes and brands...I have good luck with the CT/Combined Technology's Silver Ballistic Tips accuracy wise...and wouldn't hesitate to use them in the field...
Don't shoot deer.
Shot a lot of roos including big 'uns with the Sierra .257 cal 90gn in my 303/25.
Accurate, reliable, deadly and affordable.
If Sierra can read this I'll definitely work out an endorsement deal with them. :mrgreen:
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