Have you ever seen the 180Gr Sellier & Bellot round nosed soft points break apart or distort when striking heavy leopard bones ?
Me, yes. Many of my friends use it, and I did at the beggining of my hunting carrier.
On european wild boars. Fragments often, looses penetration
Similar bullet type that fragments too much is bellot SPCE (Soft point cutting edge), I believe it is same type of lead alloy, very soft.
SPCE (soft point cutting edge), has design (in theory) to make shock effect with fast expansion, and deliver full energy to the animal, without pass through - no exit wound.
Cutting edge of the bullet jacket has purpose to cut the skin and make nice round hole (like wad cutter bullet on paper target), to allow for good blood spoor from entry wound.
In my country, with many rural hunters: bellot SP and bellot SPCE are most popular due to low cost, but also accompanied with occasional wounding and loss of large boars if shot in shoulder bone, or even in rig cage area, as I have described
But because of wide popularity of this bullet based on retail price, the same account for large number of animals taken per year.
moreover, if used for night hunting from high blind, these bullets are very effective because with NV optics, hunters often shoot boars in the head. (every bullet is effective with head shots, bellot Sp and SPCE are no exeption)
But it is less effective on driven hunts, where head shots are only accidental.. this I have seen
Often is the case in similar situation with SP and spce - bellot the lead is swept out from the jacket, and jacket is found in the tissue. this is not supposed to happen.
Above that I mention is related to large percentage of rifles in caliber in range 7 - 8 mm with that bullet. 7-8 mm, are generally fast. Velocity 800 meters/second and more.
I used it at begging of my hunting carrier in 308 win (180 grain) and have witnessed other hunters using it in driven hunts. Soon I changed ammo for above reasons. (tjhen switched to norma oryx, 180 grain, 308 win, much better)
However, on a positive note I was using for several seasons 286 grain round nose soft point by bellot, in 9.3x62. with good effect, shoulder shot to boars, or in driven hunts. The trick is, bullet 9.3 travels at 700 m/s, much slower, so does not fragment (too much) and keeps some mass, and penetrates sufficiently. Usually, pass thorugh on broad side shots in vital area. With 9.3 nothing to complain with europan game
The last lot of 9.3 Sp bellot, did not cicle the bolt on my semi auto rifle in 9.3, and I stopped buying them, for this reason.
lets put it this way: Bellot SP in 7-8 mm, questionable, 9.3 usable for European game, and not recommended for African safari. my point of view
It has to be noted that sellier bellot produces premium ammunition as well, particularly exergy bullet, tipped exergy bullet and they also load nosler partitions.
General local reputation that I hear, and not dispute - of SB is that factory rifle loads are mild, and not overly fast. they also are of lower retail price compared to other makers. Reloaders do not like their casings, cannot make more then very few or less reloads with their casing.
becasue they are cheap, I use bellot FMJ 180 grain (bulk pack) for training in 30-06, shooting from stick. (in sub moa rifle they have accuracy between 1-2 moa, sako 85) for training ok.