You will find two types of expanding big game hunting bullets. The very first are conventional copper cup bullets and the 2nd are premium or, controlled expansion, bullets. Premium bullets are considerably more costly than conventional bullets. At what point does the additional cost become justified?
The reduced cost conventional hunting bullets have a lead core that is encased in a copper jacket. This copper jacket is what’s supposed keeps the bullet intact throughout the expansion process as it’s being driven at top speed, into the vitals of the game animal. The challenge for bullet companies is to produce a bullet that’ll remain intact and retain a high percentage if it’s weight over a vastly different velocity range. The impact velocity of the bullet may vary from as high as 3400 fps for a bullet fired from a magnum cartridge into a game animal at close range, to as low as 1700 fps for a bullet from a smaller cartridge striking the game animal at 400 yards away. This scenario can be compounded by the truth that the close shot from Winchester large rifle primers the magnum could strike the shoulder bone of a big, tough animal just like a moose or buffalo and the long range shot might be placed in the softer behind the shoulder area of a small-bodied deer or antelope. A conventional bullet simply cannot be made to do perfectly as well as satisfactorily under every situation. The bullet maker is left to produce a bullet that is, in lots of situations, a compromise. This results in significantly less than satisfactory results, at times. The bullet in the close shot may disintegrate and don’t penetrate sufficiently, while the bullet in the long shot may don’t expand properly, leading to minimal tissue destruction.
It is generally known that a conventional bullet will perform reasonably well for a direct effect velocity as high as about 2700 fps. Beyond this point, the performance can be erratic. There are plenty of stories of how the bullets from high velocity cartridges such as the Weatherby Magnums, disintegrated on impact and failed to penetrate, leading to long tracking jobs or lost game. These bullet failures are what led to the creation of controlled expansion, or premium, hunting bullets.
Premium bullets have revolutionary designs that allow them to be driven to magnum velocities, while still delivering outstanding terminal performance. The first to arrive on the scene may be the Nosler Partition bullet, that includes a copper partition at round the midpoint of the bullet. The bullet tip was created to start expansion easily at lower velocities, but once the expansion reaches the partition it is stopped, producing a large portion of the bullet remaining in-tact, therefore driving deeply into the animal’s vitals. The Swift A-Frame bullet improves on this design with the addition of a bonding process, which fuses the jacket to the core, leading to a lot more retained weight. It’s this retained weight that ensures outstanding performance, especially on very large game. The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet is another excellent design, that includes a lead core only in the forward portion of the bullet, while the rear part is solid copper.
Like the Swift, it can be bonded. When the expansion reaches the solid rear part, it is progressively stopped, therefore ensuring the bullet retains most, or in many cases, every one of it’s weight. The Barnes TSX bullet is perhaps the most revolutionary premium bullet of all. The complete bullet is constructed of pure copper and has a hollow nose cavity which promotes expansion. The TTSX and MRX versions, work with a plastic tip to market expansion and to boost their Ballistic Coefficients. These bullets expand to create 4 sharp petals which slice while they spin and travel forward, creating immense tissue destruction. They often retain 100% of these weight and are which may be extremely deadly. You will find other premium bullets from various bullet companies with bonded cores that are vast improvements over conventional bullets. Some of them are Woodleigh Weldcore, Nosler Accubond, Hornady Interbond and Remington Premier Core Lokt.
When does the additional cost of premium bullets become justified? They do whenever using a high velocity cartridge where the impact velocity of the bullet will exceed 2700 fps, specially when hunting large game where deep penetration is needed. Also, use premium bullets whenever using light-for-caliber bullets or when using any smaller than normal caliber, such as for example a.223 Rem on deer. Also, anytime dangerous game like grizzly, cape buffalo or lion are hunted, reduced bullet is definitely the most effective option, whatever the cartridge being used.
Considering the expense of the various expenses that enter any hunt, the additional cost of premium bullets is negligible. Some well-informed hunters use premium bullets for all of their big game hunting. I am one particular hunters.