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Why not the Nosler Partition?

This is a discussion on Why not the Nosler Partition? within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I know this kind of thing has been covered before, but I had to get this out of my system ...

  1. #1
    PHOENIX PHIL's Avatar
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    Default Why not the Nosler Partition?

    I know this kind of thing has been covered before, but I had to get this out of my system as some sort of Mea Culpa to the folks at Nosler. I have used the Nosler Partition in the U.S. for everything from 90-100 pound Coues deer to a Shiras moose that would've tipped the scales in the 900-1000 pound range. The moose was taken with a 160gr NP out of my 7mm, the same was used for a number of elk. Not a single animal hit in the boiler room with these has ever made it very far except for one small elk that went a 100 yards or so leaving a blood trail that Ray Charles could have followed.

    I don't know how many times I read or hear someone say that the NP is an okay bullet but lacks accuracy. I can't and won't argue with someone else's results, but it always makes me chuckle a bit because I can always find an accurate load recipe for the partition. And I've done so not just for my rifles but usually my loads work in others rifles in like caliber.

    So during this year I've working on loads for my M70 in .300WM. I was bound and determined to find a load in either the TSX/TTSX, A-Frame and/or the North Fork. Eventually I settled in on a good 200gr A-Frame load that consistently gives groups right around 1", give or take a 1/4". But along the line as I cleaned my rifle I started sending NPs down the tube as just fouling rounds. On one particular trip to the range I notice the partitions were grouping well with whatever powder it was I was using. Again I wasn't trying to develop a load for these, but dang it if it wasn't finding me.

    So I decided a couple of days ago to buy a box of 200gr Partitions and give them a go. This first picture is of a H4831 load at 71.0gr. Note this is a bit above max as listed in the Nosler manual but below max per the Hodgdon website. I also am seating these bullets to 3.38", 0.04" more than SAAMI.

    IMG_0214.jpg

    Of the H4831 loads this was the most accurate. On to IMR7828 loads. The next pic is of the 73.0gr load. I was not using my chrony today as my tripod was devoted to using the new spotting scope that Santa brought me, so I don't know the velocity. But by the charts I'm guessing it's only plodding along in the 2700fps range, but with this kind of accuracy.....

    IMG_0216.jpg

    The next pic is of the 73.5 and 74.0gr loads again in IMR7828. Noticing that the 73.5gr load POI was virtually the same, I went ahead and shot the 74.0gr load at the same target to see how they'd overlap. The three shots most to the left are the 73.5gr and those most to the right are the 74.0gr loads.

    IMG_0217.jpg

    So if anyone from Nosler ever reads this, my hat is off to you. That old ancient Partition just continues to work for me.

    I still plan to use my .375 with the 250gr North Fork for Eland but if the .300 is in hand and the right bull presents itself, I do believe the 200gr NP will be up to the task.
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    Well you can't beat that. Nice groups. I've never really used partitions. I have used both H4831 and IMR7828...both excellent powders. If you do eventually chrono those loads please share your findings. I'm curious to know the MV.

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    Very nice grouping Phil. Funny I've never heard anyone around my neck of the wood say anything bad about them in fact a few of my Buck Masters buddies swear by them.
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    I am with you. My .338 loves the 250 gr partition and I have used it on two safaris on everything from impala to leopard to include zebra, wildebeest, and several gemsbok. I don't think anything required a second shot and every bullet went through.
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    I've used them for everything from 2000 lb eland on down in my 338/06 and never had a problem. Found the bullet under the skin on the far side of the eland (almost 3' of penetration). 225gr at 2550fps into 1 to 1 1/4" all day long
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    There isn't too much of a difference in performance between the NP and Swift A to cause me any concern. I'd be using the NP's if they grouped that well. Yes, the TTSX and North Fork are the gold standard but don't discount the performance of the NP's.

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    Bullets dont always group well in some guns, no matter the brand or style. Partitions have grouped well in any gun I wanted to use them, and they are a fine hunting bullet. Animals have been falling to lesser bullets for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

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    BTW Just to blow my own horn :-) I built the 338/06 in my garage from a barrel blank (not tapered) and an old Rem 700 receiver.
    It shoot NPs and Accubonds very well but won't throw Barnes in any manner.
    IF YOU GO ONCE-YOU WILL GO AGAIN-DEAL WITH IT

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    Quote Originally Posted by sestoppelman View Post
    Bullets dont always group well in some guns, no matter the brand or style. Partitions have grouped well in any gun I wanted to use them, and they are a fine hunting bullet. Animals have been falling to lesser bullets for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.
    +1,

    I have owned several rifles that would not group with the NP. BUT, I currently own two rifles that love them, and produce excellent groups. The bullet is well constructed and the accuracy is there, so why would I switch?
    "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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    I guess I just disagree with you other guys
    Yes, the NP was a great bullet when it came compared with most of the other bullets at that time and it still works rather well at lower speeds, but I think we have bullets today that are very much better. Specially when the bullet leaves the barrel at 3000 fps or faster.

    I find many bonded and monolithic bullets to be so very much better than the NP, so I choose to use some of them for my hunting instead.

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    Nosler partitions have never failed me, and most of my rifles shoot them much better than any monolithic bullets.

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    Years ago when I first started traveling to hunt big game here in North America I started using NP in my .338 WM. Once in a while I would recover a bullet and everyone had one thing in common, the front piece of lead was missing and the jacket was expanded down to the partition. This caused alot of weight loss and I started thinking that maybe there was something better out there. Back in the day there was not a big variety of what we now call premium bullets, but I did come across one from Speer called the Grand Slam. I gave them a try, same weight as the NP, same load but higher velocity and less felt recoil. I first tried them on moose and caribou they worked great the only two that I was able to recover were from a moose that attempted to flee but was unsuccessful he was hit twice behind the ribs and the bullets were found under the hide on the opposite side after passing through the shoulder. Both bullets retained 85% - 90% of thier weight and expanded perfectly. I recently took some of those old GS to Namibia to give them a try on PG, took eland, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, zebra, water buck and wart hog all took one shot and no bullets were recovered so I guess I can say they worked. So I guess what I am trying to say is that the NP's are agood bullet I just found one that I think is a little better. ( higher velocity, less recoil, smaller group, better weight retention, less money). Just my 2 cents although I still think that bullet weight and placement are the keys to success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jduckhunter View Post
    Years ago when I first started traveling to hunt big game here in North America I started using NP in my .338 WM. Once in a while I would recover a bullet and everyone had one thing in common, the front piece of lead was missing and the jacket was expanded down to the partition. This caused alot of weight loss and I started thinking that maybe there was something better out there. Back in the day there was not a big variety of what we now call premium bullets, but I did come across one from Speer called the Grand Slam. I gave them a try, same weight as the NP, same load but higher velocity and less felt recoil. I first tried them on moose and caribou they worked great the only two that I was able to recover were from a moose that attempted to flee but was unsuccessful he was hit twice behind the ribs and the bullets were found under the hide on the opposite side after passing through the shoulder. Both bullets retained 85% - 90% of thier weight and expanded perfectly. I recently took some of those old GS to Namibia to give them a try on PG, took eland, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, zebra, water buck and wart hog all took one shot and no bullets were recovered so I guess I can say they worked. So I guess what I am trying to say is that the NP's are agood bullet I just found one that I think is a little better. ( higher velocity, less recoil, smaller group, better weight retention, less money). Just my 2 cents although I still think that bullet weight and placement are the keys to success.
    Thats one of the reasons I use all copper bullets, Barnes, GMX, and Etip by nosler the Etip is in my opinion the best bullet nosler makes and is what I used in my 308 on my last trip have not been able to recover a bullet yet (pass through). I loaded some SST for my brother for deer hunting he shot a doe on a quartering away shot through the gut/ liver hitting no bones when loaded it was 150gr when recovered it was 114.4 gr with Barnes TSX and Hornady GMX I have only recovered three and that was because the were chest shots and the bullets were found lodged against the hide in the butt and still retained 100% bullet wieght. But for our thinner skinned game animals the Nosler Partition will work just fine.
    Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.

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    On my PG hunt I also took some 225 gr. interbond bullets along but quit using them when one was recovered from an impala that was shot in the chest, head on at about 150 yds. the bullet was found in two pieces the jacket in one piece and the core in another. I was very disappointed by the jacket/core seperation after reading the marketing hype about the bullets holding together in a single destructive mass delivering a deep, wide wound channel without over-penetrating, even through tough hide and bones. Really tough hide and bone on an impala. The only part that I can agree with is the not over penetrating. I took a picture of the bullet in two pieces and will post it if I can figure out how to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jduckhunter View Post
    On my PG hunt I also took some 225 gr. interbond bullets along but quit using them when one was recovered from an impala that was shot in the chest, head on at about 150 yds. the bullet was found in two pieces the jacket in one piece and the core in another. I was very disappointed by the jacket/core seperation after reading the marketing hype about the bullets holding together in a single destructive mass delivering a deep, wide wound channel without over-penetrating, even through tough hide and bones. Really tough hide and bone on an impala. The only part that I can agree with is the not over penetrating. I took a picture of the bullet in two pieces and will post it if I can figure out how to.
    I would really like to see that after hearing that they are so great. I loaded some hornady interlock for my wifes bear hunt last year, boy did I screw up I got it on tape the bullet hitting a sapling less then 3/4" in size and the bullet exploded. Thats why lead core bullets are for fun at the range and copper are for hunting. she still gives me sour looks now and then on the other side of that sapling was a 400-500 lb bear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobpuckett View Post
    I would really like to see that after hearing that they are so great. I loaded some hornady interlock for my wifes bear hunt last year, boy did I screw up I got it on tape the bullet hitting a sapling less then 3/4" in size and the bullet exploded. Thats why lead core bullets are for fun at the range and copper are for hunting. she still gives me sour looks now and then on the other side of that sapling was a 400-500 lb bear.
    Bob I was able to download the picture to my gallery, maybe one of my kids can show me how to do more with this computer but there not here now. (old dog new tricks kind of thing) Phoenix I didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.


    225 gr interbond separated on an impala

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    Quote Originally Posted by jduckhunter View Post
    Years ago when I first started traveling to hunt big game here in North America I started using NP in my .338 WM. Once in a while I would recover a bullet and everyone had one thing in common, the front piece of lead was missing and the jacket was expanded down to the partition. This caused alot of weight loss and I started thinking that maybe there was something better out there. Back in the day there was not a big variety of what we now call premium bullets, but I did come across one from Speer called the Grand Slam. I gave them a try, same weight as the NP, same load but higher velocity and less felt recoil. I first tried them on moose and caribou they worked great the only two that I was able to recover were from a moose that attempted to flee but was unsuccessful he was hit twice behind the ribs and the bullets were found under the hide on the opposite side after passing through the shoulder. Both bullets retained 85% - 90% of thier weight and expanded perfectly. I recently took some of those old GS to Namibia to give them a try on PG, took eland, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, zebra, water buck and wart hog all took one shot and no bullets were recovered so I guess I can say they worked. So I guess what I am trying to say is that the NP's are agood bullet I just found one that I think is a little better. ( higher velocity, less recoil, smaller group, better weight retention, less money). Just my 2 cents although I still think that bullet weight and placement are the keys to success.
    As the late great Jack O'Connor once said about such things, "one would have to be a guru of heightened awareness to tell the difference". I dont believe its possible for a human to tell the difference as you suggest, between bullet brands of the same weight and reputed higher velocity as well, as regards felt recoil. Are you really suggesting here that you can tell the difference?! I dont buy it. You may like the bullet better but lets not get silly about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sestoppelman View Post
    As the late great Jack O'Connor once said about such things, "one would have to be a guru of heightened awareness to tell the difference". I dont believe its possible for a human to tell the difference as you suggest, between bullet brands of the same weight and reputed higher velocity as well, as regards felt recoil. Are you really suggesting here that you can tell the difference?! I dont buy it. You may like the bullet better but lets not get silly about this.
    Ses, I'm not asking you to buy it, but if you doubt it then try it, if you can't tell the difference then I suggest that your shoulder is numb from shooting your big guns. And as far as being silly, man you don't know me when it comes to shooting I'm as serious as they come. Don't get me wrong I'm just having fun with you, I quit posting on other forums cause guys couldn't take a joke but I'm pretty sure you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jduckhunter View Post
    Bob I was able to download the picture to my gallery, maybe one of my kids can show me how to do more with this computer but there not here now. (old dog new tricks kind of thing) Phoenix I didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.


    225 gr interbond separated on an impala
    Wow won't be hunting with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jduckhunter View Post
    Ses, I'm not asking you to buy it, but if you doubt it then try it, if you can't tell the difference then I suggest that your shoulder is numb from shooting your big guns. And as far as being silly, man you don't know me when it comes to shooting I'm as serious as they come. Don't get me wrong I'm just having fun with you, I quit posting on other forums cause guys couldn't take a joke but I'm pretty sure you can.
    Yes I can take a joke. Been shooting for nearly 50 years. I can maybe tell the difference between light bullets and heavy, but not same weight, different brands, same powder charge. Just sayin.

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