There are two forms of expanding big game hunting bullets. The initial are conventional copper cup bullets and the 2nd are premium or, controlled expansion, bullets. Premium bullets are considerably more pricey than conventional bullets. At what point does the excess cost become justified?
The reduced cost conventional hunting bullets have a lead core that is encased in a copper jacket. This copper jacket is what is supposed keeps the bullet intact during the expansion process as it’s being driven at top speed, to the vitals of the game animal. federal bismuth shotgun shells The task for bullet companies is to generate a bullet that will remain intact and retain a high percentage if it’s weight over a vastly different velocity range. The impact velocity of the bullet can differ from as high as 3400 fps for a bullet fired from a magnum cartridge right into a game animal at close range, to as low as 1700 fps for a bullet from an inferior cartridge striking the game animal at 400 yards away. This scenario could be compounded by the truth that the close shot from the magnum could strike the shoulder bone of a sizable, tough animal like a moose or buffalo and the long range shot might be put in the softer behind the shoulder part of a small-bodied deer or antelope. A mainstream bullet simply can not be made to execute perfectly or even satisfactorily under every situation. The bullet maker is left to generate a bullet that is, in lots of situations, a compromise. This results in less than satisfactory results, at times. The bullet in the close shot may disintegrate and neglect to penetrate sufficiently, whilst the bullet in the long shot may neglect to expand properly, leading to minimal tissue destruction.
It is generally known a conventional bullet will perform reasonably well for a direct effect velocity all the way to about 2700 fps. Beyond this time, the performance can be erratic. There are lots of stories of how the bullets from high velocity cartridges like the Weatherby Magnums, disintegrated on impact and didn’t penetrate, leading to long tracking jobs or lost game. These bullet failures are what generated the creation of controlled expansion, or premium, hunting bullets.
Premium bullets have revolutionary designs that enable them to be driven to magnum velocities, while still delivering outstanding terminal performance. The first to arrive on the scene may be the Nosler Partition bullet, that includes a copper partition at around the midpoint of the bullet. The bullet tip is made to start expansion easily at lower velocities, but once the expansion reaches the partition it is stopped, causing a large portion of the bullet remaining in-tact, therefore driving deeply to the animal’s vitals. The Swift A-Frame bullet improves with this design by the addition of a bonding process, which fuses the jacket to the core, leading to even more retained weight. It’s this retained weight that ensures outstanding performance, especially on large game. The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet is another very good design, that includes a lead core only in the forward portion of the bullet, while a corner part is solid copper.
Like the Swift, it can also be bonded. After the expansion reaches the solid rear part, it is progressively stopped, therefore ensuring the bullet retains most, or oftentimes, most of it’s weight. The Barnes TSX bullet is possibly the most revolutionary premium bullet of all. The complete bullet is constructed of pure copper and includes a hollow nose cavity which promotes expansion. The TTSX and MRX versions, use a plastic tip to promote expansion and to boost their Ballistic Coefficients. These bullets expand to create 4 sharp petals which slice as they spin and travel forward, creating immense tissue destruction. They often retain 100% of the weight and are proven to be extremely deadly. There are other premium bullets from various bullet companies with bonded cores which can be vast improvements over conventional bullets. Some of them are Woodleigh Weldcore, Nosler Accubond, Hornady Interbond and Remington Premier Core Lokt.
When does the excess cost of premium bullets become justified? They do whenever employing a high velocity cartridge where in actuality the impact velocity of the bullet will exceed 2700 fps, especially when hunting large game where deep penetration is needed. Also, use premium bullets whenever using light-for-caliber bullets or when working with any smaller than normal caliber, such as for example a.223 Rem on deer. Also, anytime dangerous game like grizzly, cape buffalo or lion are hunted, reasonably limited bullet is always the most effective option, regardless of cartridge being used.
Considering the expense of the various expenses that get into any hunt, the excess cost of premium bullets is negligible. Some well-informed hunters use premium bullets for all of their big game hunting. I am some of those hunters.