Nosler Partition - Efficacy and Defects

Brent in Az

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I have killed Elk, deer, and Javelina with Nosler partitions in my 30-06. 150gr & 180gr. They did well. I have found other bullets that have better accuracy out of my rifles,.
 

Akhutr

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And remember the Nosler may be a 1940's design but they have improved the design over the years. Jacket material, consistency and partition location have all been tweeked.
 

James Cook

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Have shot a few partitions, but use other bullets as well. No bias against or preference for them - they seem to work fine in the 7mm mag. Seems like the problem bullet would be the one not recovered due to the animal not being recovered. Otherwise, not really concerned by the shape or condition of the bullet in a dead animal that was easily recovered. With proper selection of caliber and velocity for the game being hunted, most modern bullets do a fine job, if the hunter does his.
 

Paul Homsy

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Actually I'd say what Nosler was after was compensating for the poor cup and core performance of the time with the solid partition toward the rear of the bullet. One needs to remember this was at a time when bonded bullets hadn't even been imagined. It truly was innovative for the time but with more advanced metallurgical processes it's become easier to retain weight at the front of the bullet, negating the need for a solid partition in front of the rear of the bullet. This has unquestionably resulted in more accurate bullets. If there's been one constant knock against Partitions it's accuracy.

Not to contradict you but strictly to state my personal experience. I've used partitions of different weights in a variety of rifles and calibers such as; .25, .284 .30, .338, and .375 calibers. Particularly because I was able to obtain very satisfactory hunting accuracy out of all of them. Under one MOA and at times much better. ( All reloads, with the exception of the .375 which I full length resize, neck sizing once fired brass with a very middle of the road initial load to fire form). Bullets not touching the lands and cycling easily.

If you don't reload, it's quite different and I understand your comment. Manufacturers take their precautions to fit a variety of chambers under all circumstances and accuracy can be a toss of the coin.

As an alternative to perhaps consider, just a suggestion. I've found extreme accuracy in proprietary Barnes 180 grains Vor-Tx 300 Win. Mag and Hornady Superformance 165 grains 300 Win Mag. ammunition. (these are the only combinations I tried but was extremely impressed). As good or better than my best reloads...The speeds as advertised or exceeding as well as superbly consistent. If one likes non leaded bullets, for hunting, these quality off the shelf manufacturers render reloading for the field a very moot point. (I don't have a dog in that race, no one is paying me or supplying me with anything :)).
 
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WAB

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I used the partition a fair bit back in the 90’s. I found them reasonably accurate but was not satisfied with terminal performance. I seemed to get either core separation with poor retained weight or no expansion at all. I actually had two deer with perfect heart shots that ran off with no signs of a hit. Knowing the shot was good in both cases, I followed and eventually found them, both perfectly heart shot, both with perfect 7mm exit wounds. The rifle was a 7x57 with 150 gr partitions. I’m sure they’ve been improved since then but it soured me on them.
 

Paul Homsy

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This experience would undoubtedly sour me as well.
In light calibers, I've used the 115 and 120 grains in 25-06 at 3000 fps or faster for the 115 and the 160 grains in a 7mm. Rem. Mag at 3000 fps. Shots from 80 to 450 yards and results were very good with both rounds. the 25 for deer and antelope, usually when close enough, neck shots which may not tell the whole story about the bullets but they dropped on the spot, the 7 for a lot of game, but mostly deer, boar and sheep, all one shot kills in the shoulder or boiler room. I would have thought that the 150 in 7 caliber was a perfect match for your 7x57...That's exactly what I would have used. I know an elk guide who shoots a 270 Weatherby loaded with 150 grains Partitions with excellent results. (heavier for caliber than the 150 in 7mm, equivalent to the 160 I shot). I met him in the late 1980s. It makes me wonder if relatively high speed is a criteria for the performance of these bullets...
 

WAB

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Good question. My general impression is that they have a fairly narrow operating range in terms of velocity. I’ve moved on to bullets that have provided very consistent performance over a wide range of conditions. Anecdotal at best I know.
 

rgsiii

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I have used Nosler Partitions in two cartidges--7x64 and 9.3x62. I did not reload them in the 7x64, Federal Premium had a loading with the 160 gr Nosler Partition that was able to get 1 MOA or less in 5 different rifles. I stocked up on them before it was discontinued. I reloaded the 9.3 mm 286 grain for Africa and was well satisfied with its performance --Kudus, Zebra and multiple types of smaller plains game taken without problems. Very happy with these loadings. Federal listed the 7x64 velocity as 2,600 FPS and the 9.3 choreographed out at 2,2oo.
 

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Actually I'd say what Nosler was after was compensating for the poor cup and core performance of the time with the solid partition toward the rear of the bullet. One needs to remember this was at a time when bonded bullets hadn't even been imagined. It truly was innovative for the time but with more advanced metallurgical processes it's become easier to retain weight at the front of the bullet, negating the need for a solid partition in front of the rear of the bullet. This has unquestionably resulted in more accurate bullets. If there's been one constant knock against Partitions it's accuracy.

Research into bonded bullets actually started in the 1890s, as a possible solution to jacket separation with the new jacketed military bullets BUT once it was understood that those bullets worked best when the barrel groove diameter was slightly greater than maximum bullet diameter (and with heavier jackets) the research was abandoned.
 

Paul Homsy

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This is quite interesting. I've measured the diameter of many different Nosler Partitions over the years and noticed that they are approximately 1/1000th of an inch narrower than their counterpart from other manufacturers.
 

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I have used Nosler Partitions in .243, .257, 25-06, .270, 7x64, .308, 30-06, .35 Whelen, and .375 H&H usually in middle to heavy weights per caliber, with complete satisfaction to take deer, sheep, elk, moose, and bears. I also use other bullets, just to see how they work, and to see if they offer any advantages. In my experience standard cup and core bullets that open a little quicker might kill smaller animals like deer quicker, but damage more meat. If hunting larger and tougher hoofed game like moose and elk, 7mm and larger caliber Nosler partitions always gave adequate penetration and quick kills. Tougher bullets like the Barnes TSX penetrated a little better, but killed a little slower. I may have a different opinion if shooting faster cartridges or bigger animals, but for me and my local hunting the old Nosler design does not need improvement.
 

1dirthawker

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i had a couple gripes with the noslers,

first, they were not accurate in my rifle, a 7mm model 700 ADL. best i could get from it was 1-1/2 to 1 3/4" groups. it grouped 3/4" with sierra game kings. they did not group well in my 338 win mag either, but i gave up after a couple loads and switched to barnes bullets. (lazy, i know)

second, i always wished for them to move the partition forward, so the base part of the bullet was larger, like 60+ percentage of the bullet weight. you would still get explosive expansion, with a heavier shank.

i recovered nosler bullets from a dall sheep and a couple of caribou, they did a fine job, just wished that they would have retained more weight. did they fail, not at all. i just found they were not as accurate as the rifle was capable of.

the sierra's 175 game king did fail. shot a blacktail deer at 200 yards and the bullet shed its jacket and core separated. i contacted sierra, told them the issue. they told me "you got the deer didn't you" yes i replied, but it would have been a failure on a brown bear or a moose. asked them to bond some bullets (this was in 1992) they blew me off.

anyway, ended up shooting a heavier rifle (338 win) and barnes bullets because they shot well and did not fail.

all this to say, i still believe the nosler is a great bullet, just not a tough one. and, as stated by rook hawk, with a more sedate velocity, and heavy bullet, it is plenty tough enough. have seen outstanding performance from nosler 375 bullets on brown bears. perfect mushrooms and very high weight retention.
 
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Paul Homsy

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i had a couple gripes with the noslers,

first, they were not accurate in my rifle, a 7mm model 700 ADL. best i could get from it was 1-1/2 to 1 3/4" groups. it grouped 3/4" with sierra game kings. they did not group well in my 338 win mag either, but i gave up after a couple loads and switched to barnes bullets. (lazy, i know)

second, i always wished for them to move the partition forward, so the base part of the bullet was larger, like 60+ percentage of the bullet weight. you would still get explosive expansion, with a heavier shank.

i recovered nobler bullets from a dall sheep and a couple of caribou, they did a fine job, just wished that they would have retained more weight. did they fail, not at all. i found they were not as accurate as the rifle was capable of.

the sierra's 175 game king did fail. shot a blacktail deer at 200 yards and the bullet shed its jacket and core separated. i contacted sierra, told them the issue. they told me "you got the deer didn't you" yes i replied, but it would have been a failure on a brown bear or a moose. asked them to bond some bullets (this was in 1992) they blew me off.

anyway, ended up shooting a heavier rifle (338 win) and barnes bullets because they shot well and did not fail.

all this to say, i still believe the nosler is a great bullet, just not a tough one. and, as stated by rook hawk, with a more sedate velocity, and heavy bullet, it is plenty tough enough. have seen outstanding performance from nosler 375 bullets on brown bears. perfect mushrooms and very high weight retention.

I happen to agree 100% with your second paragraph regarding moving the partition a bit higher to retain a higher percentage of bullet weight.

Regarding your experience with brown bears, I think they make the bullets' jacket a bit thicker as you go up in caliber. Many manufacturers do.
 

1dirthawker

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Regarding your experience with brown bears, I think they make the bullets' jacket a bit thicker as you go up in caliber. Many manufacturers do.

paul,

ya know, i kind of wondered if they actually did make them thicker in larger calibers. just never cut any up and compared. thats interesting though because i thought they did great work in the 375. i was afraid to spend much time on them in my 338.
 

Paul Homsy

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Dirthawker,

I believe Sierra and Speer do for their hunting bullets. It would make sense that Nosler does as well. I also never cut any to compare. I wouldn't hesitate a minute to use a Partition 225 grains or 250 grains bullet in .338 caliber on dangerous N.A. game.
 
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Dr Ray

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I have used Nosler Partitions in .243, .257, 25-06, .270, 7x64, .308, 30-06, .35 Whelen, and .375 H&H usually in middle to heavy weights per caliber, with complete satisfaction to take deer, sheep, elk, moose, and bears. I also use other bullets, just to see how they work, and to see if they offer any advantages. In my experience standard cup and core bullets that open a little quicker might kill smaller animals like deer quicker, but damage more meat. If hunting larger and tougher hoofed game like moose and elk, 7mm and larger caliber Nosler partitions always gave adequate penetration and quick kills. Tougher bullets like the Barnes TSX penetrated a little better, but killed a little slower. I may have a different opinion if shooting faster cartridges or bigger animals, but for me and my local hunting the old Nosler design does not need improvement.

The only deer I ever lost was when I shot one using 130 Nosler partitions (hand loaded). Bullet placement was fine I believe and the deer went down like a bag of potatoes. Next moment the deer was up and ran never to be found!
Nosler’s fault?? I doubt it. Maybe I shot a little high. I use Nosler partitions in my 375 and they seem to work fine although in my 416Remington magnum I’ll be using 400 grain hand loaded Woodleigh bullets for nasty buffalo.
 

Bushpig4Ever

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With a .30-06 165 gr Nosler Partitions I have culled around 100 bushbuck and bushpig, used it on other species as well. I was always extremely satisfied, so I‘ll stick to Nosler Partitions.
 
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Nevada Mike

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I've used the 7mm NP 160 on elk at 2700 - 2900 fps impact and they always shed the front core, but they killed well. Only one exited the off side (a high hit just below the spine), most were found under the hide on the opposite side of the animal. They are accurate enough in my 7mm Mag.

I have often wished that they would bond the front core and retain 75% or more of initial weight.

I have had poor performance on deer with Sierra in my 6.5 X 55, but, again, the animal died. On one deer I did find some pieces of jacket on investigating. This was a large mule deer shot at about 325 yards with a 120 grain spitzer. That's when I finally switched to premium bullets.
 

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I like the partitions. Shoot the 120gr in my .257 Roberts and gives good performance on everything from I've tried from muntjac to large fallow.
 

MS 9x56

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I have used 100 grain partitions in a 243 on deer to good effect with no recovered bullets. Also 150 grain in 308 on both deer and wild hogs again with good performance and no recovered bullets. It is true they have not shot the best groups in either rifle but they shot minute of deer and hog. I will continue to use them in the future. I know if place them correctly they will result in a short easy to follow blood trail that ends at a dead animal. Just my experience. Never needed to hot rod them as my hunting ranges are typically 100 yards or less. I like entrance and exit holes for good blood trails and have found that is exactly what partitions provide.
 

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