American hunters love bullets, and for good reason. Ultimately, it’s the bullet that is responsible for making the kill. Jacketed bullets were the thing in the 1880s, and the ability to expand or mushroom the bullet was developed in the 1890s. Velocities increased to the 3000 f.p.s mark by 1910 and expanding bullets really upped the ante between WWI and WWII.
Changing Concepts of the Big Game
Changing Concepts of the Big Game
American hunters love bullets, and for good reason. Ultimately, it’s the bullet that is
responsible for making the kill. Jacketed bullets were the thing in the 1880s, and the
ability to expand or mushroom the bullet was developed in the 1890s.
Velocities increased to the 3000 f.p.s mark by 1910 and expanding bullets really upped
the ante between WWI and WWII. So many bullets have come out ever since, and it’s
impossible to claim that you’re entirely aware of everything that’s available.
The Underlying Principles
The basic principles used to make frangible projectiles haven’t changed for more than
a century. Two underlying principles you need to be aware of are that velocity has
always been against bullet performance and bullet expansion causes greater
resistance, decreasing the chances of a successful penetration. Varmint bullets often
come apart upon impact and this is great for non-edible pests because it reduces the
chances of a ricochet.
However, you need a bullet that
stays put when dealing with big
wounds make it easy to follow the
animal. Others want their bullets to
stay within the animal, making sure
that the energy isn’t wasted on
trees and rocks. And both choices
deserve equal merit. The third
thing that you need to understand
is that bullet weight can actually
help cover up flaws in bullet
The Bullet Shape
Bullets tended to be round or flat-pointed when the tubular magazine lever action was
popular. However, modern day frangible bullets rely on sharp points to retain better
velocity. However, increased velocity isn’t usually a thing for many. Take the case of a
deer hunter. One would always prefer a blunt-nosed bullet knowing all too well that it
tends to deliver a far better impact.
The Tipped Bullet
Tipped bullets were
Nosler’s Ballistic Tip.
The tip is driven into
impact, allowing for
absence of design
most beautiful thing
Many preferred the Bronze Point, but most would agree that it expanded way too
quickly. These frangible bullets are great for mid-sized game, but one would always
prefer a tougher companion while hunting larger game.
The Bonded Bullet
The Bitterroot Bullet of the 60s was the first chemically bonded bullet, a bullet that
uses chemical bonding in its core for excellent expansion without having to suffer from
weight loss. These bullets may not offer the most penetrating designs, but they retain
most of their weight while penetrating the body to offer a decent combination of
penetration and expansion. However, bonded bullets aren’t always the most accurate
choice and their complex design often makes them more expensive as well.
The Homogenous Bullet
The Barnes X was the first bullet made without a lead core. These lead free bullets
have polymer tips and they tend to expand due to their skived noses. Expansion in
such bullets is usually limited and the bullet can only shed off its weight by shearing off
Today, manufacturers are concentrating on frangible bullets that offer greater
reliability and better aerodynamics across the velocity spectrum.
Browning BXR Deer Centerfire Rifle Ammo present rapid expansion ballistic tips that
offer a decent balance between design features and expansion. ELD-X is another
popular hunting bullet that offers consistent expansion from up close to a distance of
roughly 300 yards.
Bullets like the
Mailing & Shipping Address
4101 Parkstone Heights Dr.
Austin, Texas 78746-7482
Technical Sales and Support