Ballistic Tip target projectiles for varminting

Alexandro Faria

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Spoke to a guy a while back about projectiles for varminting and he recons the best results he gets (ITO explosive expansion) are with ballistic tip match projectiles.

Has anyone else had this experience? I'm talking strictly vermin up to pigs, no big game species.

The logic kinda makes sense to me, with all these 3 gun and PRS competitions, it would make sense that these match bullets would disintegrate pretty readily as it would avoid the likelihood of a ricochet... Isn't that disintegration exactly what we want with vermin? Explosive expansion and no exit?
 

Eric Anderson

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For varmits, yes, but pigs?

Pigs are tough, and dense.
Ever try to manhandle a 100lb domestic pig? I can manhandle a 300 lb steer easier

Most people I know who shoot feral pigs use FMJ or monometal projectiles. A armpit projectile has a decent chance of not penetrating, and just making a large shallow wound. Even shooting dangerous pest, I try and kill as humanely as possible. For coyotes that is with a varmit bullet. Pigs get FMJ to ensure penetration.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Pigs are a handful, if only they were as chilled as Merinos :p

I shoot with a guy who uses 243 with the 87gr Vmax for everything from Warthog down and I must say that they work really well. Guess I was curious if one could expect the same from a target projectile.
 

WAB

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I use a 6.5 Grendel with 123 gr Hornady SST ammo on feral hogs with great effect. The shots are relatively close as we are shooting at night with thermals.
 

njc110381

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I used to use Hornady A-Max in my .223 for animals up to small deer. They worked well. Since Hornady have stopped the A-Max I don't know about the newer stuff. I use Berger Varmint bullets now.

I'm not sure I'd want to shoot a fragmenting bullet at a pig. I'd at the very least use a fast expanding medium game bullet like a Nosler ballistic tip or Hornady SST.
 

ZG47

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I have never shot a pig, although I have tagged along with some guys who alternated between knife and lever-action (with cast lead bullets). It is my understanding that the more explosive projectiles can work, if:
  • You put the bullet behind the front leg; and
  • The pig is not a boar with a thick coating of mud on his hide.
Usage of those softer projectiles seems to be more of an open country thing, which has reportedly been a rarity in New Zealand over the last 70 years or so.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Think the general consensus is that it's a bad idea... Unless I have conclusive evidence that target projectiles will work on pigs, I think I will stay away. That Vmax really is a killer, I think it best to stick with that. Thanks all.
 

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The best I have found as a super accurate, varmint bullet is the Sierra blitzking. It reacts explosively on impact and is as accurate as any other Sierra bullets including the matchking. I still wouldnt go after a large pig with one though... I would definitely want at least a mechanically locked cup and core big game bullet if not a premium bullet.
 

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