Info on Winchester Fail Safe Ammo

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Biddleman, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Biddleman

    Biddleman AH Veteran

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    I recently fell into a remington .375 h&h and the seller threw in 2 boxes of .270 gr. Winchester Fail Safe ammo. I'm not familiar with this ammo and really haven't been able to find much info on it. All I know is that it's no longer made. What's the verdict on it for those have used it? I'm hoping my rifle shoots it well and I'll practice with some other ammo I have and save some rounds for my trip next year. The gentleman who owned it before me never got a chance to use the ammo to hunt with and I'll like to make a small tribute to him by taking a trophy with the ammo he bought. hopefully an eland.
    Thanks
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Shooting Times:
    Needless to say, we were impressed by the performance of the new bullet. The name of that bullet is Fail Safe. Winchester could not have come up with a more descriptive name for the bullet. As hunting seasons came and went, I took enough game with it to conclude that when used on elk, moose, Cape buffalo, nilgai, and other heavy game, it simply would not fail to perform properly.

    "The Fail Safe is a great bullet, but it has one flaw. It works perfectly on the larger game animals out to about any reasonable distance, and it is one of the few bullets available that will smash through both shoulders of an elk and exit the offside hide. It also works fine on smaller game at close to medium ranges.

    But its performance on deer can become a bit erratic at extremely long range where impact velocity is too low to cause it to expand to a large frontal diameter. All big-game bullets share this same limitation, but most will expand at lower impact velocities than the Fail Safe. This holds especially true when the target offers light resistance to the bullet, as is the case with whitetails and pronghorn antelope.

    Before going any further, I want to point out that Winchester should not be criticized for any of this. The company set out to design a bullet that could not be destroyed even when fired into heavy bone at close range, and Winchester did a better job of doing that than most bullet manufacturers.

    At the same time, Winchester has offered ammunition loaded with bullets such as the Power-Point, Silvertip, and Ballistic Silvertip that are designed specifically for use on deer, and all do a wonderful job there. The problem with the Fail Safe has been with those hunters who incorrectly choose an elk bullet to shoot a 100-pound whitetail at 400 yards and then complain about poor expansion."


    Read more: 2011 January 04 - Shooting Times


    Sounds like it will do the job at medium range. sneak up on your Eland and pay a fitting tribute.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I have had poor luck with it and the only ballistic get test I have seen rated it the lowest. This was due to the fact that it did not expand properly which is a well documented problem with it, hence removing it from the market, replaced by the more well reliable XP3. They (failsafes) can and do work well but they also can and do fail regularly (performing more like a solid than a soft point). My advice is use it for target practice and buy a different premium bullet for your hunt. African game is too damn expensive to trust to luck.
     
  4. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I guess it is good for the tiny ones if you want to mount them :)

    Some years ago I talked with a hunter that had used the bullet on Moose one year(I don't remember with what caliber).
    He had shot 5-6 Moose that year with it.
    He told me that the bullet worked very well when he hit the shoulder, but if he shot behind the shoulder, some bullets didn't seem to expand and the wound channels looked like he had used a solids.
     
  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    That is exactly what the ballistic gel showed, poor expansion and although we didnt find any bullets the deer we shot with them were just in and out and went a long way. Not versatile enough for the variety of game sizes in Africa for my taste. As you say they may be a great Duiker bullet.
     
  6. Biddleman

    Biddleman AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the info. guys. Looks like they may be my practice rounds and I'll keep one in my pocket as a tribute.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I guess I disagree, I bought a ton of failsafe bullets when they decided to discontinue them. They are a really great bullet. All the XP3 did was put a polymer tip on a failsafe type bullet to improve expansion and aerodynamics. I still think the failsafe bullets without the glitz and glamor of a XP3 are a excellent bullet.....definitely a eland, kudu bullet.
     
  8. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Me too, enysse. I check the Nosler Pro Shop online regularly for close outs, got some Failsafes a while back in .375/300 and .308/180 and I'm hoarding them. :thumb:
     
  9. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    The only reason I never really gave them a chance is because of that moly coated B******t on the bullet. I had a really bad experience with the moly coated bullets, (due to my ignorance about the substance) and will never recommend them again. Not saying the Failsafes are bad though, there are several bullets, handgun and rifle calibers alike that have the same basic design, they just don't have that crap on the outside. Matter of fact, I have 15 failsafes left over in 7mm rem mag, dont' really know why I haven't gotten rid of them yet.

    My advise, don't shoot them, sell them to someone who really loves the things.
     

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