You will find two kinds of expanding big game hunting bullets. The very first are conventional copper cup bullets and the second are premium or, controlled expansion, bullets. Premium bullets are considerably more pricey than conventional bullets. At what point does the additional cost become justified?

The low cost conventional hunting bullets have a lead core that is encased in a copper jacket. This copper jacket is what’s supposed keeps the bullet intact during the expansion process as it’s being driven at high speed, in to the vitals of the game animal. The task for bullet companies is to make a bullet that’ll remain intact and retain a high percentage if it’s weight over a vastly different velocity range. The impact velocity of the bullet can vary from as high as 3400 fps for a bullet fired from a magnum cartridge in to a game animal at close range, to less than 1700 fps for a bullet from a smaller cartridge striking the game animal at 400 yards away. This scenario can be compounded by the fact that the close shot from the magnum could strike the shoulder bone of a big, tough animal such as a moose or buffalo and the long range shot may be placed in the softer behind the shoulder part of a small-bodied deer or antelope. A conventional bullet simply can not be made to perform perfectly as well as satisfactorily under every situation. The bullet maker is left to make 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, while the bullet in the long shot may neglect to expand properly, causing minimal tissue destruction.

It is generally known a conventional bullet will perform reasonably well for an effect velocity as high as about 2700 fps. Beyond this time, the performance can become erratic. There are many of stories of the way the bullets from high velocity cartridges like the Weatherby Magnums, disintegrated on impact and failed to penetrate, causing long tracking jobs or lost game. These bullet failures are what resulted in the creation of controlled expansion, or premium, hunting bullets.

Premium bullets have revolutionary designs that allow them to be driven to magnum velocities, while still delivering outstanding terminal performance. The first ever to arrive on the scene could be the Nosler Partition bullet, that includes a copper partition at across the midpoint of the bullet. The bullet tip was created to start expansion easily at lower velocities, but after the expansion reaches the partition it’s stopped, producing a large percentage of the bullet remaining in-tact, therefore driving deeply in to the animal’s vitals. The Swift A-Frame bullet improves on this design by adding a bonding process, which fuses the jacket to the core, causing even more retained weight. It’s this retained weight that ensures outstanding performance, especially on very large game. The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet is another great design, that includes a lead core only in the forward percentage of the bullet, while the trunk part is solid copper.

Just like the Swift, it is also bonded. Once the expansion reaches the solid rear part, it’s progressively stopped, therefore ensuring the bullet retains most, or oftentimes, all it’s weight. The Barnes TSX bullet is perhaps the most revolutionary premium bullet of all. The whole bullet is made of pure copper and has a hollow nose cavity which promotes expansion. winchester small rifle primers in stock The TTSX and MRX versions, make use of a plastic tip to advertise expansion and to increase their Ballistic Coefficients. These bullets expand to form 4 sharp petals which slice because they spin and travel forward, creating immense tissue destruction. They often retain 100% of their weight and are which can be extremely deadly. You will find other premium bullets from various bullet companies with bonded cores that are vast improvements over conventional bullets. Many of them are Woodleigh Weldcore, Nosler Accubond, Hornady Interbond and Remington Premier Core Lokt.

When does the additional 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 a.223 Rem on deer. Also, anytime dangerous game like grizzly, cape buffalo or lion are hunted, a premium bullet is obviously the best option, whatever the cartridge being used.

Considering the expenses of the different expenses that enter any hunt, the excess cost of premium bullets is negligible. Some well-informed hunters use premium bullets for all their big game hunting. I’m one of those hunters.

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