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Discussion Starter #1
One of my deer loads this year is the 150 grain uncoated Combined Technology Ballistic Tip loaded on top of 48.0 grains of H414. This gives around 2700 fps out of my 19 inch barreled 7x57. Last night, right at dark a nice 10 point walked around the end of some timber less than 30 yards from me and I shot him right in the middle of the shoulder blade but just a little off the bottom of it. The bullet went thru the blade, destroyed two bertabrae, mushed the lungs and the jacket was found in the offside shoulder blade and the core either exited or bone went out the other side leaving a 3/4 inch exit hole. The hole in the onside shoulder blade was 2 inches across, the bone damage area thru the vertabrae was 3 inches across though the bullet did not center the backbone, the hole in the offside shoulder blade was around an inch across. A faster bang flop I have never seen. There was little solid mass in the chest cavity. Interestingly neither shoulder was a total loss. The jacket had expanded to almost an inch. Being a practical man I can't say this was a bullet failure even though the core and jacket parted ways.
 

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rickt300 said:
... The bullet went thru the blade, destroyed two bertabrae, mushed the lungs and the jacket was found in the offside shoulder blade and the core either exited or bone went out the other side leaving a 3/4 inch exit hole. ... The jacket had expanded to almost an inch. Being a practical man I can't say this was a bullet failure even though the core and jacket parted ways.
Its not a bullet failure if you are happy with the results. I would not be.

The judicial ruling of “Not guilty by reason of insanity” has never made sense to me. I would like to see “Guilty but insane” instead. Same with that bullet and its performance. I would consider that the bullet failed (as it did not perform as I would like) yet, as often happens, the animal died any way.
 

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I'm sure glad I glad I don't make bullet's for a living. Nobody makes even one bullet that everybody loves. Two guy's standing over a dead deer; a bang flop. First guy says, "boy. Ripped it right off it's feet. Never saw a deer die so fast". The other guy look at it and shakes his head and says, "Yea, but the bullet failed. To bad". ::)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lets see, it penetrated bone most of it's travel and left an exit hole while providing dead right there instant death. Yeah it must have failed.
 

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No bullet failure IMO......30 yards, 2700 fps, through bone? That's just about the result I'd expect from any bullet.
 

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If that is a failure could someone please define success for me?
 

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Yup, the deer died, a good thing.

Yup, IMHO, the bullet failed. It came apart at relatively low velocity on a broadside shot. Not so good in my book.

'Success' and 'Failure' are judgement calls, not absolutes.If you expect a certain level of performance, like the bullet maintaining its integrity and weight, a bullet that does not do so is rightfully said to have failed. If you're happy with a dead deer regardless of how the bullet accomplished the goal, then even varmint bullets that blow up would often perform wonderfully and could be called 'successful'.

Sorry, I plan for the worst and work for the best. A bullet that falls apart on such a shot is of little interest to me. But if you're happy with such performance, use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No bullet is perfect. I have to look at results, my 358 winchester would have done the same thing with the exception of the massive internal chest damage and it most likely would not have lost the 200 gr. RNCL's jacket to the stringy web like stuff on the inside of a shoulder blade and the bullet would have exited mostly intact. As long as the deer drops I can't actually call it a failed projectile. Maybe we should come up with some kind of scale to measure bullet performance, points for accuracy, wound width, penetration, exit hole, quickness of demise etc. So rated this ballistic tip would have to get at least an 85 or so. considering there are no 100's thats good enough for me.
 

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I gotta know CH. If that jacket he found in the deer had exited and nothing was found inside, would the bullet have still failed?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The fact is I didn't use them because of all the bad web commentary up until recently. A couple of years ago I used a Combined Technology version of this bullet on a small feral hog and it exited the broadside ribcage hit making a large exit hole and this pig ran maybe 40 yards. All of the other lease (non mossbacks) guys that aren't using 30-30's use them and like em. I finally broke down this year and decided to use them for all my deer hunting and so far I can't really complain. This is not to say other bullets are off the list or that tougher bullets don't have their place, bullets are tools and some are more specialized than others.
 

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Don said:
I gotta know CH. If that jacket he found in the deer had exited and nothing was found inside, would the bullet have still failed?
Yes, but no one would ever know unless the jacket or core was later recovered. Ignorance of a fact does not change the fact.
 

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Good expansion with high weight retention are what I look for in a jacketed hunting bullet. No lead core bullet, whether bonded or not, will retain 100% of its original in all situations. When bone is encountered, exposed lead gets wiped away. I can accept that.

I can also accept that deer are not that hard to kill and almost any bullet will work on a broadside. What I am more concerned about, however, is when things go wrong. Will a bullet that falls apart on a broadside be able to make it to the vitals if the angle is bad? I choose to minimize the possibility that it might not by choosing bullets that are more solidly constructed.

Nor am I alone in doing so - few would intentionally choose a varmint bullet for deer when an identical bullet designed for deer was available. For decades many people have chosen Nolser Partitions because they have a mechanism designed to limit weight loss. Bonded and monometal bullets provide the same advantages to a greater or lesser degree and are quite popular.

A couple of weeks ago while elk and deer hunting I had an opportunity to appreciate my choice of bullets - in this case a 7mm 140g bonded North Fork launched at 3200fps. A buck mule deer provided me with a fleeting shot opportunity which I took. The buck was standing still, quartering away, and I placed the crosshairs so the bullet would enter just behind the ribs. Just as the trigger broke, though, the buck decided it had had enough and stepped forward. Instead of entering behind the ribs the bullet entered the right ham.The buck dropped in its tracks and while gutting it we recovered the bullet from the lung cavity. That was 3 feet of penetration. The bullet retained 131.2g or the original 140g.

Here's a few pictures of recovered North Fork bullets. From left-to-right:

.30-06, 165 grain @ 2800fps, recovered from dirt
(500 yards, 145.0 grains retained weight, 90.9%)

.30-06, 165 grain @ 2800fps, recovered from cow elk
(~25 yards, 133.2 grains retained weight, 80.7%)

7mm 140 grain @ 3200fps, recovered from buck mule deer
(~150 yards, 131.2 grains retained weight, 93.7%)








Here's links to full-size pictures:
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Side
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So what is pass percentage and what is fail percentage on recovered weight?
 

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180 grain Ballistic Tip hand loaded 300 Winchester Magnum. Over a dozen deer taken with this round. All one shot kills, all pass through, all angles. A high performing bullet in my experience.

Cheese
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All those prettily expanded bullets "failed" simply because they didn't exit or you wouldn't have them. I don't take poor percentage shots so especially deep penetration isn't needed.
 

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rickt300 said:
All those prettily expanded bullets "failed" simply because they didn't exit or you wouldn't have them. I don't take poor percentage shots so especially deep penetration isn't needed.
As I said, its up to the person behind the trigger to make the judgement call as to whether a bullet failed or not. If you think the North Forks failed, I’m comfortable with that. I disagree.

The first bullet (left) was recovered from Mother Earth. If it had been able to drill another quarter mile through the hill it would have succeeded in exiting. Don’t know any bullet that could do that, though.

The second bullet (center) was recovered from a cow elk after breaking bones in both the near and far sides. The cow dropped at the shot, which I consider a good thing. A failure? I doubt a Ballistic tip would have fared as well as the bonded North Fork with its monometal rear section. If you look closely you will see that much of the lead core was wiped away, exposing the solid rear shank. Would a Ballistic Tip have dropped the elk? Probably. Would it have exited? We’ll never know.

The third bullet (right) also performed well in my estimation. The buck dropped with the shot. The point of aim, behind the ribs and quartering away, was not a low percentage shot in terms of placement, although I was gambling the buck, already alerted, would hold its position for a quarter-second longer. It did not, hence the hit in the right ham. But the North Fork penetrated well and did its intended job regardless, with excellent weight retention. Again I doubt that a Ballistic Tip would have fared as well but I guess we’ll never know that, either.

If Ballistic Tips turn your crank, use them. I consider them just another cup-and-core bullet with typical cup-and-core performance. Adequate in most cases, not as well suited for difficult shots as some other bullets. Since I never know when I might have to stop a fleeing animal or when Murphy might come calling (meaning we don't always get to pick our shots the way we would like or get the results we intend), I prefer to stoke my rifles with something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wouldn't use Ballistic tip bullets on elk. It would be unlikely that I would have taken the shot at the deer with them either. I'd just wait for my next opportunity, sometimes the deer win one.
 
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