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The "Perfect" Bullet???

This is a discussion on The "Perfect" Bullet??? within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; To simplify The following statement/question I would like to keep this post in check by limiting this to non DG ...

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    Default The "Perfect" Bullet???

    To simplify The following statement/question I would like to keep this post in check by limiting this to non DG bullets. Anything Coyote to Moose or Eland in size.

    Reading these threads, past and present, I was curious if there ever has been a "Perfect Bullet". Whether a perfect broadside shot or a terrible angling shot, as long as the bullet makes it to the vitals, the bullet does it's part BETTER than the compitition.

    Prefer comments on actual experience not what we have read in the past, we are not trying to sell them on this site, just wanting to know if all the hooplah is normally just hooplah.

    Personally I have had great luck with TBBC, Remington Core Lokt(regular and ultra), TSX, and yes Federal (Sierra) Game King. The animals I have taken with any of these bullets has died, plain and simple (as long as I do my part) most of the Whitetail and smaller size animals I have taken has been with the Remington brand ammo, and I have had no problems. If a second shot is required, once that animal was recovered I found I botched the first shot.

    I find that almost all modern bullets preform damn near as good as the next. I do not handload so I do not get the super high velocity that hand loaders do, and I probably get less velocity than what the manufatures post on the websites, but I'm fine with that. Again, if I practice as we all should, and I do my part, what makes brand XYZ better than brand ABC???
    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche // That which does not kill me, better run like hell" Scott Smith

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    To me that would be a Swift A-Frame.

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    I like the question. In my mind there is no "perfect" bullet. Shooting a 60 ld Springbuck and a 1500 lb Eland with the same bullet and expecting top quality performance doesn't seem to exist. It bad enough with the difference in deer and elk. A good premium bullet will work for either, but may not be the "best" choice for either. If you want a Springbuck drt then a bullet that opens up fairly easily is where you want to start. With the Eland you need a "tougher" bullet, that doesn't go to pieces and drives deep into the animal. I guess thats why we have so many bullet choices.
    You are right that modern bullets tend to work very well. There are some that I personally don't like. My 1st trip to Africa I hit a Red hartebeast right where the leg joins the body, on the leg. My PH said it was 1/2 inch too low.... I was shooting a .300 WSM with a 168 gr Berger. The Hartebeast was about 150 yards away. The bullet essentially blew up on the leg. 20 hours later we recovered the Hartebeast after he had traveled close to 5 miles. The leg was not broken. Lots of hunters swear buy the Bergers, but I'm not sold on them. I have also had bullet failures with Speer. I will readily admit that this was over 20 years ago and things may of changed.
    Conversely, I have had good luck with Hornady interlocks. Several elk have died with the bullet lodged just under the hide on the far side. .270 with a 150 gr. bullet. Lately I have used the Barnes TTSX with great success. One of these was a mule deer running directly away. I thought my partner had hit him. Using a .270WSM and 130 gr TTSX that bullet penetrated over 30 inches. I've killed several elk and used it in Africa last year. The TTSX seem to open up a little faster than the TSX. In one of the other threads Sat/Sun. Tap spoke about the accuracy of the TSX in his guns. He doesn't like them for smaller animals, but the accuracy is so good he has trouble not using them. In my .300 WSM I get 1 1/2 inch groups at 300 yards. Best accuracy of any rifle I have. I have tried 4 other bullets in that gun and that is what it seems to like. On a smaller animal you had best shoot it in the shoulder or be prepared to track it a ways.
    I have been doing a little research and I'm going to try a 130 gr Swift Scirocco II in my new 6.5-06 when it is finished next month. If it doesn't like that then I'll try the 120 gr TTSX. So many choices and animals and not enough time and $$ to hunt them. Bruce

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    The perfect bullet makes a small entrance hole in the cape, a massive wound channel through the vitals, does no meat damage, consistantly goes end for end yet never makes and exit wound in the cape, 100% weight retention 100% of the time and expands instantly to full size no matter the velocity and a box can be bought with the change from your morning coffee. When you find this bullet please let me know!

    However even if the imaginary bullet above existed there would be many who hated them, you can please some of the people some of the time but you can never please idiots! LOL

    There are certainly some excellent bullets out there though. My dream bullet would be a TSX with XLC coating, fast, flat(er) and deadly. Nosler partition BOAT TAILS, now there would be a bullet! TBBCs with a high BC that perform just as well as the originals. As to what is actually out there, for me, #1 is the TSX and a close #2 (only because of penetration in relation to the TSX) would be the Partition. There are of course many others that are great too and new ones coming out all the time but these are my favorites.
    The journey is the reward.

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    We all will have stories. I had Hornady points in my 375HH, kept missing. Got a friend and went for a wildebeest, he saw the dust come off the side. I grabbed the 270 and shot the same one again. When skinning we found a huge bruise on the side. The bullet was coming apart in flight. Took it to the 300 yd range and one shot had holes all over the paper.

    A comment was made on needing a different bullet for springbuck and eland. I have taken several thousand animals with a 270, including these, with Nosler ballistic tips. Fly straight, flat, and puts em down.

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    I am not a ballistics expert nor salesman.
    I am a hunter. I target shoot for practice and proficiency in the field.

    Perfect bullet, never found one..... One that seemed to work and get the job done...

    My rifle loves Core-lokts, I mean loves them. All I use at home for everything hands down. If the rifle shot something else well I would use it if required. (The Remington Munitions factory burned to the ground)

    They have done the job perfectly on every Moose, Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetail, Sheep, Antelope, Prairie Dog for more years than I can recall. Various ranges.

    They expand like crazy close up and hold together at distances too.
    They are not bone crunchers though!!
    They also deflect of brush, grass etc. May be the caliber (270) , no idea.
    But, I never shoot them through cover ever.

    I would have just taken Core-lokts to Africa, but I was told I needed Premium Ammo from every reliable source.
    So, the old reliable ammo was staying home.

    So I tried premium versions, did not work.
    Went through the line ups on Federal, Winchester, etc. Nothing.
    I could shoot better groups at 100 yards with my shotgun.

    Never reloaded until the Africa trip.
    This new foray into reloading was necessitated by the fact that I could get nothing to work in my rifle that was available at the local stores. No premium ammo worked. I got tired of this really fast.
    I have no idea why this occurred, beyond the fact that the rifle is as insane as my Kudu.

    I was getting close to borrowing the outfitters rifle at this point and shooting anything they put in the rifle.
    Money, time and patience were starting to get really thin.


    On a suggestion from a knowledgable friend I bought TSX and reloaded them, they were like all the others.
    One last recipe and then I was done with this....
    I then bought some TTSX and MRX. Upon inspection they seemed to be about the same shape at the Core-Lokts. Maybe this would work.

    Finally, got groups at 100 yards. The two types did not fly exactly the same, but patterned in different holes. At least they patterned.

    I sighted the rifle for the TTSX and I took both loads to Africa. I only used the TTSX. Bushbuck to Kudu they were fine. 20 to 150 yards.
    One day soon I will have trophies on the wall to prove it.
    Even with minor deflections that the Core-lokts would not have handled, the penetration with these was adequate to get the job done.
    Every animal was hit by a bullet that started expanding before it reached the animal due to cover.
    They did the job.

    Since then they have now done the job on Mule Deer and Whitetails just as well.


    Another encounter:
    I used HIGHLAND AX .243 100gn Soft Points on Blesbok and Springbok and they dropped like stones. No pass through and no spare animals. 80 to 200 yards)

    Another encounter:
    I used the PH's rifle 8x68S and his reloads. 200gn Round Nose Soft Points. (Eland, Gemsbok, Warthog)
    All taken between 100 and 200 yards.
    The Warthog dropped. The Gemsbok dropped shortly and the Eland, for whatever reason took 1200 gns into the vitals.
    The first two shots broadside into the lungs. No exit wounds. I have no idea why this performance occurred beyond adrenalin and a worried impatient hunter. (I could not let my first African animal get away)

    So, the only difference I saw in performance from my personal experience (same weight of bullet) in my rifle was ability to carry on to the animal after encountering cover.
    For Africa I will take the TTSX back next go round.

    Shoot what you trust.

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    BRICKBURN, I have heard time and time again that premium bullets are needed for African game. When I hunted SA (rented rifle) the ammo of choice in the trusted 30-06 was Federal silver box and they handled everything but the Gemsbok (not recovered). Now forgive me, but, why can't we take Core Lokt's ??? Is it a fashion statement or is there enough people saying they aren't good enough???

    Good expansion, good wound channel, energy dump..

    Should have been more specific, I am talking bullets, not caliber... Whether it is a .244 in brand X or a .308 in brand X. Thanks gillettehunter for your point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35bore View Post
    BRICKBURN, I have heard time and time again that premium bullets are needed for African game. When I hunted SA (rented rifle) the ammo of choice in the trusted 30-06 was Federal silver box and they handled everything but the Gemsbok (not recovered). Now forgive me, but, why can't we take Core Lokt's ??? Is it a fashion statement or is there enough people saying they aren't good enough???

    Good expansion, good wound channel, energy dump..

    I followed the suggestion of experienced people and the PH's.

    My experience and only point of comparison was deflection from cover.
    TTSX handled it better in my mind.
    They also crunched large leg bone and carried on. (Crappy angle shot required for quick follow up)
    The Core-Lokt would not have carried on as the TTSX did.

    Now that I know a lot more. If I was certain to be out in the open I would use Core-Lokts in Africa without a qualm.
    If I am going to be in the bush I'll use the TTSX.

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    gillettehunter is online now AH Enthusiast
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    Hi Saeng101. Talk to me a bit more about the Nosler Ballistic tips. I have used them in my 25-06. For years it was the only bullet I could get to group well in that gun. My only problem was penetration. They almost blew up on impact with PRONGHORN antelope. Hit a shoulder bone and that was as far as they would go.
    Used my .270WSM w/ them and accuracy was again good. Penetration was not. What grain do you shoot and what speed? I have another friend and that is all he uses in his 25-06. My experience is that they are on the fragile side. On another forum a member was also telling about using them on Oryx and had good results. Not sure if I'm missing the boat.... Bruce

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    Hi Bruce

    Normally I load 130 gr at 3250fps. If a bigger animal will go to 150gr, a bit slower. Interesting is that to 300m the rifles don't seem to change zero with the load. I have recovered some lead and the weights were 60-75% of original and a beaut of a mushroom.

    The 25-06 is VERY popular with local hunters in my area. I loaded up 200 and passed them out, begging for more, that also be from our ammo price. I have not experienced penetration problems unless long distances, one was 400m by laser on a gemsbok that had been wounded. Found the bullet in the rib cage opposite side, and the heart gone. One happy farmer as it was moving and going to be lost to the neighbors in short time. Same farm on an eland that had been wounded had the bullet pass through both shoulders.

    Sounds cocky but I have no tolerance for an inaccurate rifle. I do a lot of culling and head shots are the need. I have tested a lot of points and never had any others shoot like the Nosler. Generally a five shot group can be covered with a R5 coin.

    To each their own, for me I would be hard pressed to change. Will say that the 375 and solids is the order for the buff next week.

    John

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    6MM
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillettehunter View Post
    Hi Saeng101. Talk to me a bit more about the Nosler Ballistic tips. I have used them in my 25-06. For years it was the only bullet I could get to group well in that gun. My only problem was penetration. They almost blew up on impact with PRONGHORN antelope. Hit a shoulder bone and that was as far as they would go.

    Used my .270WSM w/ them and accuracy was again good. Penetration was not. What grain do you shoot and what speed? I have another friend and that is all he uses in his 25-06. My experience is that they are on the fragile side. On another forum a member was also telling about using them on Oryx and had good results. Not sure if I'm missing the boat.... Bruce
    Watch out for the partition's as well. I loaded mine a little hot in my 30.06 Ackley and had similar issues. My PH swore on Accubond's.

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    I was going to use the accubonds in my 7mm last yr in Africa. Couldn't get it to group. Have read good things about them. Loaded some up in the finicky 25-06 last year. 3 shots in 1 ragged hole at 100 yards. So I took it deer hunting. Shot a spike whitetail last day, last 10 min. that I could hunt. Hit him in the ribs, a little further back than what I wanted, but still in the lungs. Little bugger still ran close to 200 yards. Bullet exited so I'm not sure how well it mushroomed. Thats my only experience with accubonds to date.
    Had some Nosler ballistic tips as well as the Bergers my first trip to Africa. 165gr in my .300 WSM. Wasn't impressed. Still I see those who have fantastic results. Makes me wonder some. Bruce

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    Hands down on the last trip it was Barnes TSX out of the .375 H&H that really anchored the game.

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    Nosler Partition

    I don't know that I'd call it the "Perfect Bullet" because I think there are at least near perfect bullets for the various game we chase under various conditions. My perfect bullet for Coues deer under longer shot conditions is the Nosler Ballistic Tip. But I've killed one with a Partition, but there almost a bit on the tough side and penetrate almost too well on the little guys.

    I loaded 140gr Partitions in 7mm Mag for a friend of mine's whitetail hunt in Wisconsin. 75 yard shot, legs up in the air.

    I've used 160gr Partitions in my 7mm Mag for mulies, elk and Shiras moose, all of them died quite quickly, but for one young bull elk that drained virtually every drop of blood before he collapsed 150 yards later in DEEP snow.

    I have no doubt that Partions in the appropriate caliber and weight would take even the largest of PG in Africa. I do believe that once you get up to Eland however that bullets such as the TSX, A-Frame and North Forks which retain their weight better will give you better penetration.

    But overall, I would label the old boring Partition as the best all around bullet.
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    Week to go for my 1st Africa so no exp on african game, but I am firm believer in using the bullet that shoots in each gun the best. Wanted to use Partions for lions in 375 but after 23 loads later changed up and went with Swift A, instant better groups
    So I make a point of shooting differant bullets in the same class so I stay confident no matter what may shoots a tad better, Was a diehard partion guy but accubonds have took 1st place if I had to pick just one, from ELk to Coyote 1 shot kill and great BC.
    Bigun

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    I have tried a lot of bullets I don't like and a few I like.
    I have never lost an animal because of the bullet myself yet. But I have been close.
    I have tracked down and killed wounded animals for other hunters with my tracking dog where the bullet had the blame for just wounding and not killing(or the hunter for using a crap bullet).

    I sort of use my 6.5-06 to decide what bullets I will use in my other guns. If it works well in that, then it works well in the others as well.
    For many years I used Hirtenberger ABC bullet and it was great in my 6.5-06.
    Then they stopped making it and I had to look for something else.
    I tried many bullets including the old Barnes X and they all performed totally crap in the 6.5-06 speed.

    Then I tried Swift A-frame and I have stayed with that for many years now.
    Only issue I have with it is the low bc and I prefer a higher bc bullet in the 6.5-06.
    I have also tried the Scirocco II bullet and it is a great bullet, but I have a small instability issue with it in my 9" twist barrel in my 6.5-06.
    It is great in my friends 300 WSM!

    I have used Barnes TSX and TTSX bullets in other guns with great results and I will this year try out the 120 grain TTSX bullet in my 6.5-06.

    I am also looking at the Non-Con and Raptor bullets from CEB and I am going to try them in my 375 Ruger.
    I might also try the Raptor in my 6.5-06.

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    Nosler Partitions have never let me down for my 30-06 (165gr) 300H&H (180gr) and 375H&H. If it works - don't fix it!
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    Perfect bullet is the one that gets the job done. I don't used all the hyped up bullets, factory Federal Classics 150gr. Speer (which replaced the Sierra bullet) holds together better. 300WGS stock number. I've shot Steinbok to Eland with these. Most, one shot kills.

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    I am of the opinion that Phil is as close to correct as any, the old, staid, boring Nosler partition solves a lot of problems and doesn't seem to create any in and of itself.

    When you stop and think about the physics and the dynamics a modern bullet is subjected to, throw in the vagaries and preferences of individual rifle bores and couple that with all the external forces present, wind, brush, temperature, it is almost a miracle that any of us can get anything to work effectively and reliably .

    I prefer the Noslers and some of the Swifts but the fact of the matter is that that is determined by my preference and the preference of my rifles.

    The perfect bullet for one may the the dud for someone else, In the final analysis the perfect bullet is the one that you can make work in your gun

    However, I still hold to my opinion that there seems to be a tendency for some to create some of their own problems in the field. I know Bell killed a thousand elephants with his 7 x 57 but, these days, our trips to Africa are brief and expensive and none of us, I think, wants to spend a lot of time chasing wounded game, hence the original saw handed to me by a retired PH

    "on plains game, a 375 Holland with 260/270 grain bullets covers up a lot of sin"

    A bad set up, a rushed firing solution, poor angle etc. Those things happen in the field and a little more gun often will get you past that
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    SW, I do agree that there are some great bullets out there (modern). If one person has bad luck with one, then, they go to another and make bad remarks/statement about said bullet without giving details i.e. where the bullet hit for starters and angle of the shot.

    There have been several posts on bullets/performance/construction etc,etc.... Like I said in my original post, I have had great luck with the Core Lokt bullets, sometime complete pass though (actually most of the time) then depending on angle of the shot, the animal absorbs every ounce of energy the bullet has to offer, which in my mind is not a bad thing.

    I was more than curious and from the post thus far, seems like everyone has their favorites. I personally am going to stick with what my rifle likes, the Core Lokt and the TBBC. BRICK said that his PH wouldn't allow the Lokt bullets, so he found something else, and I have heard time and time again, that they won't work in Africa, which I still don't get, but I have the TBBC to fall back on for my next trip... Guess the part I don't understand, is that every animal I killed the last time in Africa was killed using Federal silver box ammo, I trust the Remington ammo more.

    Regardless, thanks to everyone for their input, but, I am no more knowledgeable than I was before, because it is all based on personal preference. If you have had good luck with a bullet, then of course you will recommend it. If you had ONE bad experience with a bullet, then the gloves are off.

    I'll stick to what the rifle/rifle's like, because shot placement seems to be more of the issue, because if a "bad" bullet hits the heart, it still kills. I don't think there has been a bad bullet mentioned in this thread.
    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche // That which does not kill me, better run like hell" Scott Smith

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