What Bullet??

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Trez, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I havent seen this asked, so Im gonna ask it...

    How do you choose what bullet to use?
    FMJ, Soft Point, Hollow point?
    Jacketed, Plated, Lead?
    Flat based, Boat-tail?
    Weight?

    Specifically, my question is: I understand that Boat-tail have less drag and are more accurate.. So why are there still flat based bullets?

    Just interested in seeing some answers... :confused:
     
  2. trex1310

    trex1310 New Member

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    I think bullet choice would depend on what you intend to do with it
    i.e.; hunting, target shooting, self defense, etc.

    Boattails are not always more accurate than flat based bullets. It depends
    on the gun as well as the application. My T/C Contender 7mm TCU shoots
    140gr flat based bullets much better than boattails. The reason, I think, is
    that flat based bullets perform better at lower velocities than boattails.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

  3. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    All about use. If the flight path over a long distance (like for long-range hunting or match shooting) is important, a boat tail and maybe a spitzer tip would be very important.

    If stopping a threat is more important than perfect aerodynamics, then the hollow point would be your choice.

    If you are loading your own and want to save money, then use lead bullets you cast yourself would be useful.

    There are a million answers to this seemingly simple question. Do some research on bullets. Wikipedia has a page on just about every bullet type. Read up!
     
  4. Josh1158

    Josh1158 New Member

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    I dont shoot lead because it fouls up the rifling to fast
     
  5. W. C. Quantrill

    W. C. Quantrill New Member

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    I shoot a lot of lead, and I havent had any trouble leading. Just clean it now and then.

    Bullets are selected, based upon what you want to do with them. That has to do with sectional density.

    Flatbase and boat tail have to do with ballistic coefficient, or how true they fly and how far they fly.

    Reloading ballistics get really detailed.
     
  6. 1hole

    1hole New Member

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    "I understand that Boat-tail have less drag and are more accurate.. So why are there still flat based bullets?"

    I've been doing this since '65 and don't understand that at all; it's the rifle that determines what it will shoot most accurately and most prefer flat based bullets for pure accuracy.

    Boat tail bullets mean little so long as the velocity is supersonic and even then it's benefit is usually due to a slightly flatter trajectory rather than pure accuracy. Few hunters shoot far away enough for boat tails to mean a thing.

    I choose my bullets by what I expect them to do when they hit my target. Point shape - or base - has a lot less to do with what happens then than is commonly supposed.
     
  7. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    The boat tail is used to off set "Yaw" bullet drift to twist direction over long ranges. The boat tail and flat point both suffer equally in the Coraelle Effect at 1,000 yds. Not all rifles will shoot BTs. The K-31 Swiss 7.5 X55 [.308] a very common Milsurp and a very accurate rifle seems to prefer the flat base bullets over the BTs. The old M-1 Garand 30-06 [.308] does very well with the 147 FMJ BT at 1,000 yds. Check your own rifle for best results they all vary.

    Lead does not foul gun barrels. The wrong choice in lead bullets foul barrels. You need to know you bore and forcing cone demensions. The bullet in most cases .010+ over your bore size is often best. A .45 ACP nominal .452 lead bullet .453. A bullet that will up set in the forcing cone based on your ballistics. A BHN of 14 for instance would be best for a CUP of 20,000 CUP plus or minus 8%. You can in most cases just go with a medium hardness of 11 or 12 BHN. Check with your source and ask these questions.:)
     
  8. ktmboyz

    ktmboyz New Member

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    I just got the free Hornady catalog in the mail and it gives very detailed info in the bullet types and their main purpose. . Its a good thing for any reloader to have around, no load data but a lot of info on bullet types and ballistic data.
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You are using the wrong lead bullets. I shoot tens of thousands of lead bullets and have ZERO leading.
     
  10. Josh1158

    Josh1158 New Member

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    I guess, I didnt know all this stuff about bullets. I don't reload so the only lead I've shot was factory loads. I just notice more crap in the bore then when I shoot fmj.
     
  11. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    A bullet needs to do two things:

    1. Fly straight and true with little drag like an arrow.
    2. Hit like a Mack truck once it arrives.

    Those two things are very different and the better a bullet is at one the worse its going to be at the other. As a result all bullets are a compromise of sorts. A boat tail has less drag, but a flat nose hits harder. Some people lean more towards the arrow and others towards the truck. You can see that same balancing act in bullet weight and even calibers (.45 vs 9mm or .45/70 vs .223).

    Then there is also what the rifle likes which might not be what you like.:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  12. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the Boat-tail comment, but every "match" grade bullet ive seen does have a boat-tail and in the product description it usually says something to the effect that the boat-tail reduces drag and increases the ballistic coefficient... :confused:

    Another thing I dont understand.. It seems that Match grade bullets have a hollow point, how does that increase accuracy more than a FMJ spitzer?

    So, I take it that this is another one of those questions that doesnt really have a answer - More of a "what your gun likes" type of thing?
     
  13. trex1310

    trex1310 New Member

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    You are partially right. There are just so darn many variables to take
    into account.
     
  14. Nickwashere

    Nickwashere New Member

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    Boat tailed bullets have less drag allowing them to hold accuracy for longer distances and hallow points or better yet ballistic tips mushroom out with greater uniform causing more damage to soft targets without sacrafising much penatration.. Typically
     
  15. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    I don't shoot jacketed anymore for the very same reason. I am not going for top velocities out of either the rifles or the handguns. I am looking for terminal effectiveness. The jacketed rounds just don't cut it for me anymore unless I am planning on shooting over 250 yards or so.

    With proper fit, a decent lube and gas checks, you can push lead to more than adequate velocities to take down elk or moose even out to the 250 yards without leading (or fouling) the barrel. If you choose to use paper patched lead bullets, you can take them up to the jacketed bullet velocities and still not have any fouling. You have to start out with a spotlessly clean barrel though before shooting any lead as the copper fouling tends to really grab onto the lead.
     
  16. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    Trez, in my limited understanding of match bullets, the small hollow point is used for shifting the weight back a little to provide greater stability in flight. Since in competition we generally don't care about expansion, the greater stability makes more sense. That is also why match grade bullets often don't make very good hunting bullets.

    Why the slight shift of weight toward the back of the bullet makes for better stability is probably another one of those questions.
     
  17. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    Josh, are you talking about handguns or rifles when you say factory loads tend to be more fouling than factory FMJs? I can understand it if you are talking about handgun loads. The lead is usually a very soft lead, often swaged from pure lead, and could be undersized for YOUR gun. As indicated earlier, proper fit is absolutely critical to shooting lead without fouling. Commercial manufacturers of ammunition go with the most common diameter of bullet to make it work reasonably well in the most guns. The makers of commercial hard cast bullets use too hard of an alloy and also go with a "one size fits all" type thing in most cases. They cast them too hard so the bullets don't deform in shipping. They often measure between 18-26 on the BHN scales when a BHN of 12-13 is all that is needed for even the magnum handgun loads.

    If you are looking to purchase commercial hard cast bullets, try to find a source where you can specify the diameter you need to fit YOUR gun. That will solve most of your fouling issues. Some places will even allow you to choose betwen several different hardnesses to better match the bullet up to your needs.

    Happy shooting!
     
  18. Josh1158

    Josh1158 New Member

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    I noticed it in my ruger 357 speed six and I shot some led slugs in my rifled 870 that left a mess in the rifiling.
     
  19. The_Kid

    The_Kid New Member

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    "reduces drag and increases the ballistic coefficient" is the same thing.
    Which translates to less drop and less susceptible to wind drift.

    No. Unless your crown is damaged, boat-tails will shoot as accurate as your firearm does. I've shot just about every type of jacketed bullet and they've all shot just as well as the next.

    Accuracy has to do with bullet quality; how well the bullet is balanced, how well the bullet holds together remaining balanced.