premium bullet rant (read at your own risk)

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by matt85, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. matt85

    matt85 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    WA, USA
    1.
    2.
    no offence intended to the people who use these qoutes, but these are the same lame excuses people use over and over again to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest new fangled bullets. if you shoot an animal with a decently constructed bullet of proper weight at a proper velocity and the it goes running off into the bush never to be found then its your fault for being a bad shot!

    load developement with a bullet is hardly the cheapest part of a hunt. especially if your using a bullet that costed you $4 a piece. proper load development usually takes around 100 rounds to perform fine tuning and thats only if your rather skilled at developing loads. this adds an extra $400 in just bullets and that doesnt include brass, powder, primers, gas money, and range time. the full cost of load development can easily be $1000+ if your using a large bore gun. (the bigger the gun the more expensive!)

    sorry about the rant, i just had to get that off my chest.
    -matt
     
    Jaco Strauss and accipiter like this.
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    3,346
    Likes Received:
    738
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    It can get expensive, no doubt. I've had help given to me and it's why everytime I come up with a good load I share it here on AH. But $4 a bullet? Even the North Forks run about $2 a piece. I don't think I've gone more than a 100 bullets of the North Forks without finding a good load. With powder, primers, brass, maybe for the worst case.

    In other cases I've gotten it done with one box of 50 such as in my older son's .308 and my younger son's 7x57. I probably take it too far, but it's my hobby when the weather isn't scorching hot here in Phoenix. I'd by far rather spend 3-4 hours on the range learning more about shooting bullets than swinging a stupid golf club and paying $50 or more for that privilege.

    But I've been where you are and got a bit frustrated with the costs at times. That's why I spent so much time here on the good old internet learning from the experience of others. It's time, but at least it doesn't cost me anything and it's saved me a lot of time and money at the range fooling around with loads that just won't work.
     
  3. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    41
    My Photos:
    44
    Member of:
    SSAA
    Hunted:
    Australia, Zimbabwe, RSA, NZ, UK.
    That's not a rant that is very well written OP. +1
    My mantra for years has been the same. Premium bullets are a product of marketing.
    If your a hobbiest then fine, no problem from me. BUT, a conventional 175 grain from a 7x57 still works on plains game in Africa (and around the world) just as it has for the last one hundred+ years.
     
    Velo Dog likes this.
  4. matt85

    matt85 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    WA, USA
    phoenix phil, the Woodleigh hydrostatic solid runs around $4 a piece for the 416 caliber.

    im a fan of the Swift A-frame. they aren't the cheap but they aren't silly expensive either and ive yet to see or hear of a failure. when it comes to solids, I like the idea of the CEB Safari Solid (haven't tried them on game yet). again not cheap but not super expensive either.

    -matt
     
  5. gordon-kruger

    gordon-kruger AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Zambia
    100 rounds to find the load ????? I use to load 9 rounds in 3 powder weight for the 416 with 1 grain difference powder load when I have a new bullet to test. I take my time with a super good rest in the bench shooting at 90 yards. I let the barrel cool down 5 minutes between the shots and off course shooting in chronograph so I can simple see the different speed in combination of grouping. With this I decide if the rifle "like" the bullet at all from the first 3 rounds. I keep notes and measure carefully the groups and speed in combination of eventual case pressure, most of the time down here its warm temperature and its wise to not use hot max loads. With this I have always find a load that shooting - MOA. with not more than 9 rounds, last time I find the first load that sending a 410 "Woddie" Weldcore at 2400 fps and after 3 shoots 0.7 MOA. It was not any reason to shoot the rest of the other loads... The same with the old Hornady 400 gr RN soft, they simply shooting good in my rifle do not matter of powder load.

    One more interesting thing, I have a 25 year old Mannlicher Luxus full-stock in 30-06, scoped with a Zeiss 2,5-10 and it do not matter if I shooting 120 gr Nosler ballistic tip or 180 gr Partition or even the last bullet I test named Vulkan from Norma also 180 gr... its always have the exactly same impact and shooting under 1 MOA, I have no explanation for this mystery, can be the short 51 cm barrel maybe ???

    This is my experience, I simply do not trust factory loads in DG hunting, there is always a risk even if its small that a cartridge is wrong loaded or with out powder in mass production, and it can be a deadly misstake !!

    Cheers, Gordon
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  6. matt85

    matt85 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    WA, USA
    not all of us are as skilled or as lucky as you my friend.

    the round count needed for testing greatly depends on what type of gun im shooting. if its a double rifle chambered in a wild cat cartridge with no data then im betting it will take at least around 100 cartridges to find my ideal hunting load with a single bullet. first I have to find a bullet and powder combo that regulates, then I have to dial that load up and down along with seating depth play to find a spot that gives best accuracy.

    now if its a nice bolt gun in a common cartridge with tons of reloading data available. I can usually find the guns sweet spot in about 50 cartridges.

    another problem that's probably unique to the USA at the moment is the serious reloading supply shortage going on. I regularly have to use powders that are less then ideal or simply not in any loading manual. these problems also increase the number of bullets needed to find the desired load.

    -matt
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  7. gordon-kruger

    gordon-kruger AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Zambia
    Can you not find Norma power in US, I think them main reason was to support the high demand of reloading in US so they introduce "Norma USA" ?? I have always prefer them 202 powder for the loads in 416 and 458, check with Ron Petty at Norma USA and if you like his direct e-mail send me a PM.

    Best reg. Gordon
     
  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    361
    Location:
    Hill Country
    My Photos:
    79
    Member of:
    SCI NRA DSC life memberships
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique
    We'll written rant, but I could not disagree with you more ( even if less articulately). Having experienced it, a bad bullet in the right place can be a fiasco for both hunter and the poor creature which just had its shoulder cratered or bone shattered by a fragmenting bullet. In a place like Africa, where a drop of blood equals a trophy fee, then I will gladly pay that little bit of extra insurance to make sure that first round down range is as effective as possible. I think that responsibility becomes far greater when that shot is at dangerous game. When other people can get hurt, I think we have an ethical responsibility to make that first shot as decisive as we can. If a premium bullet increases those odds by only a couple of percentage points (and I think it is much more) then that cost would indeed seem to be well worth the investment.

    And assuming your math is correct, and it takes a grand to develop a dependabletle load for Africa ........ We'll then what is your point? Compared to scope, rifle, getting there, trophy fees, and daily rates - heck just tips - it is still the smallest part of your investment.

    I suspect that a huge part of your enjoyment of our sport is the whole load development thing - that is a good thing. That is of very little interest to me, though I spend a lot of time at the range. I try to find something that works in a particular rifle and then spend my time shooting field positions on the 300m range. But, again, that is just my choice.

    So if you want to save money on cheap bullets, have at it. But a silver tip is not a bear claw. And if that difference only costs me an animal once a decade, I'll gladly pay the insurance. My rant :)
     
    woods1126 and Jaco Strauss like this.
  9. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    367
    My Photos:
    8
    Member of:
    SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
    Hunted:
    Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province), Cameroon, Argentina
    I've had the same experience as Red Leg. Bad bullet in the right place didn't do the damage necessary, and the result was a charge by one very unhappy leopard. Badly hurt - he didn't move from the bottom of the tree until we got there - but should have been dead, and would have been if the bullet hadn't prematurely separated and failed to go right through - as a premium bullet would have.

    I'm a big fan of Barnes X. If you don't reload - and I don't - then I believe you owe it to the game, the PH and your trackers to use the best bullets for the job that you can.

    And let's be candid. The increased cost of a premium bullet is nothing in the context of the cost of the hunt and the number of bullets you will use.
     
    woods1126 likes this.
  10. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    483
    Location:
    Eastern Cape, South Africa
    My Photos:
    150
    Member of:
    PHASA ; SCI ; DSC ; Eastern Cape Game Management Association ; PE Pistol and Rifle Club
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand
    +1
     
  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,214
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    My Photos:
    40
    Member of:
    RFEC, RFETO
    Hunted:
    Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
    For hunting, I use the best factory ammo I can find, with a premium bullet, of course.

    For training, I develop loads which give me the same point of impact, with the cheapest bullet available.
     
  12. CAustin

    CAustin AH Elite

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,830
    Likes Received:
    658
    My Photos:
    44
    Hunted:
    South Africa
    Matt 85 I'm in your camp! There seems to be a few people on here who don't like Hornady DGS and DGX bullets because they have had a poor experience with them at one time or another. Well I'm the guy on the other side of the fence who has had "0" problems with Hornady loads. In fact, I have posted several results photos on this site. I just posted on another thread about these loads. If the critter runs off it's the hunters issue because you didn't hit it in the right spot. I have also used Winchester Ballistic Silver Tips in 300 win mag on two South Africa hunts. Not one of the 14 plains game animals I've shot at got away. Only one did we have to look hard for. My PH told me last year when he saw what I brought that he was not pleased with that brand. Well they worked fine and I took the same brand back this year and had great results again. Shoot straight and hit the right spot....you will smile all the way to the taxidermist.
     
  13. matt85

    matt85 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    WA, USA
    red leg, it appears you misunderstood what I was saying. if you read further down you'll see that I don't recommend cheap bullets, just not the most expensive ones you can find. unless you consider Swift, Woodleigh, Nosler, and Barnes to be "bad" bullets... in which case you are correct I am recommending "bad" bullets.

    seems like every time I say I wont use the most expensive bullet, people immediately assume Im suggesting to use the absolute cheapest bullet. its always one extreme or the other with these internet forums.


    -matt
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    woods1126 and Velo Dog like this.
  14. gordon-kruger

    gordon-kruger AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Zambia
    Yes that's what I also reacting on Matt85 and also one more thing that need to be clear out, everybody know that the word "PREMIUM" is used in different situations, there is Premium Oil for the cars with the same API classification as other brands that do not use the Premium word and this is the same in the bullet industry.

    So, is a cord-bonded bullet a "Premium" bullet because of the production process, or a A-frame because the separate the lead parts same as Partition ? And is then the Barnes X or TSX a "non premium" bullet because its actually a very simple constructed bullet...

    So, I think that the "premium" word is wrong to use because its do not indicate anything except that the producer like to say its a exceptional product and with this put up the price.

    Gordon
     
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    9,200
    Likes Received:
    1,521
    My Photos:
    401
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    It seems to me that when you weld two large diameter metal tubes together, it somehow necessitates a "healthy sticker price" for those tubes and anything associated with it.;)
     
    Jaco Strauss likes this.
  16. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    3,346
    Likes Received:
    738
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    Woodleighs are one bullet I've not played with. Read about them a bit, but could never find reloading data on them, so I didn't bother. Now that I've been made aware of their price, I'm all the more convinced I won't.

    If the A-Frames are working for you and you've got a good load, stop tinkering, it's a great bullet!
     
  17. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    109
    agree
     
  18. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    109
    I have chan
    I have switched all my large calibers to swift A frames , mostly because of inconsistent grouping on the range .
     
  19. matt85

    matt85 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    WA, USA
    Gordon you are absolutely correct! after some thought, the use of the word "premium" was in poor taste.

    my gripe is people claiming that using anything shy of the absolute most expensive bullet will somehow be detrimental to your hunt. when ever you mention the cost of a bullet peoples knee jerk reaction is to tell you that "bullet cost is nothing compared to trophy fees".

    while bullet cost is hardly the biggest expense on your hunting trip, it is decent sized additional expense. the old saying "death by a thousand needles" comes to mind. one of the most costly parts of an African safari is the hundreds of small expenses that are often hidden or not considered. a hundred dollars here, three hundred dollars there, and before you know it you've added $3000 to the cost of your hunt.

    -matt
     
  20. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    483
    Location:
    Eastern Cape, South Africa
    My Photos:
    150
    Member of:
    PHASA ; SCI ; DSC ; Eastern Cape Game Management Association ; PE Pistol and Rifle Club
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand
    Agreed Matt. Stick with the A-frames if they work for you. Can't recall ever hearing of a failure in DG calibers from Swift.
     
    Jaco Strauss likes this.

Share This Page