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Why are some bullets boattail like winchester ballistic silvertip and some are not like power max bonded.

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  • Why are some bullets boattail like winchester ballistic silvertip and some are not like power max bonded.

    Why are some bullets boattail like winchester ballistic silvertip and some are not like power max bonded.

  • #2
    boat tail have a lower drag so they shoot flatter and retain more velocity. Flat base still get the nod for better accuracy, IMHO.

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    • #3
      Ever since the cast round lead ball bullets have become more purpose built. Bonded give better penitration and less fragmentation.

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      • #4
        Let me see if I can spell this! LOL!

        "aerodynamics"

        Loading manuals don't differentiate between bullets when giving "advertised velocity for a powder charge. There may be something to the accuracy of boat tail vs flat base. I was taught BT was more accurate than FB.
        I shoot a Sierra 130 gr BTSP in my .270. It's what I've "always" shot!
        If the FB hits a deer at 2850/fps and the BT hits within 1" at 2900/fps. Will the deer die quicker?

        Well, guess what? Next time I buy bullets, I'll ask for BT! If they're out? I won't buy FB!
        I'm an "Old Fart"! It's what I do! LOL!

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        • #5
          Boat tail bullets also have a more balanced center of gravity, especially in the heavier weights, which helps them stay on track better during penetration (less likely to tumble after hitting the animal). The drag element has already been mentioned. This is also an important consideration when using heavier bullets because the weight is by necessity added in length. A boat tail will help reduced the increased drag caused by increasing the length of the bullet because it reduces the area in contact with the bore while preserving the heavier weight (longer length).

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          • #6
            I'm "old school" before boattail bullets became a thing. Like my gunsmith I shoot flatbase bullets all of the time and find them to be extremely accurate. The only time I shoot a boattail bullet is when I have done everything I can and can't get a flatbase bullet to shoot, then I try the boattail variety and then sometimes it won't shoot either.

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            • #7
              As long as all screws are tight and you have a good scope, the next most likely cause of the problem is the bullet velocity. The vibration characteristics of each rifle are different and you have to find a harmonic velocity/bullet for each rifle. Some of my best rifles shoot 2 1/2 inch groups with the wrong bullets and sometimes those bullets are only 50 fps different than my best. Do that by stepping reloads. It can be expensive to do with factory ammo and you may never find a harmonic factory load. It is best to reload and use an accurate powder like Varget or H335.

              If you reload, I suggest starting with Sierra Game King flat based bullets. The top slotted muzzle brake exerts unbalanced force on the bullet as it passes the slots. This could more severely affect boat tail bullets so you might try flat base bullets first and concentrate your shooting on 100 yard targets. If you get a an accurate flat based bullet grouping well, then test a great long range boat tail bullet like a Berger or a Sierra Match King. They might not be quite as accurate as the flat base at 100 yards but they might still be better at 500 yards because they might straighten out consistently as they fly.

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              • #8
                As long as all screws are tight and you have a good scope, the next most likely cause of the problem is the bullet velocity. The vibration characteristics of each rifle are different and you have to find a harmonic velocity/bullet for each rifle. Some of my best rifles shoot 2 1/2 inch groups with the wrong bullets and sometimes those bullets are only 50 fps different than my best. Do that by stepping reloads. It can be expensive to do with factory ammo and you may never find a harmonic factory load. It is best to reload and use an accurate powder like Varget or H335.

                If you reload, I suggest starting with Sierra Game King flat based bullets. The top slotted muzzle brake exerts unbalanced force on the bullet as it passes the slots. This could more severely affect boat tail bullets so you might try flat base bullets first and concentrate your shooting on 100 yard targets. If you get a an accurate flat based bullet grouping well, then test a great long range boat tail bullet like a Berger or a Sierra Match King. They might not be quite as accurate as the flat base at 100 yards but they might still be better at 500 yards because they might straighten out consistently as they fly.

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                • #9
                  Sorry folks... I have no idea where the above comments came from. They are comments I made to another question a few days ago. I will try one more time:
                  As others have said, the boat tails (BTs) significantly reduce drag at longer ranges. They pay a penalty for this though. The muzzle blast makes them wobble more than a flat base at the start of their flight. The flat based bullets lose accuracy to them though beyond about 200 yards. Most 100 yard competitive shooters use flat based bullets for that reason. All long range competitors use BTs since they stabilize well at about 200 yards and fly staighter from there on out. One is not necessarily better than the other; they just have different purposes. The short V-Max bullets are not nearly as affected by the muzzle blast and make the light for caliber bullets accurate at 100 yards and far beyond.

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                  • #10
                    Dakota you have your Sierra bullets mixed up. Game Kings are boattails and Pro Hunters are flat base. I shoot Pro Hunters when I shoot Sierras and it comes in handy when the box on your gun is too short and you need to seat the bullet farther out in the case. Sometimes with a boattail the bullet is longer and you can't get the proper depth. I ran into that one time with a Browning 7MM-08. I wanted to shoot 120 grain Nosler Balistic Tips which are boattails but when seated so they would shoot would not go in the mag box. I ended up having to shoot 120 grain Sierra Pro Hunters which shot extremely well and were short enough to fit in the mag box. At 300 yards I don't think the average big game hunter can tell the difference in a boattail and flat base bullet as far as tragetory goes.

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                    • #11
                      DakotaMan is right. Flat base bullets are accurate short and mid range bullets boat tails are accurate long range bullets. An added benefit of boat tail bullets is they seat easier.

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                      • #12
                        Sarge, thanks for the correction. You are right on the Sierras. I use the 100g Game King as my 500 yard 25-06 bullet for deer and antelope. It one of my most accurate bullets at that range and it seems to have big impact at those slower velocities. Seems to put them down fast at that range as well as anything I've seen.

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                        • #13
                          Good point, Safado. It is pretty hard to ruin the neck of a shell when reloading with boat tail bullets. Not that often, but crumpling the neck does happen sometimes with flat-bottomed bullets when reloading. What a pain! Better not make the mistake of running it accidentally through the loader again with live primer in it. Have to dump the powder back in the measure and set the shell aside to expend the primer with a gun in the back yard later. Did that once with a bum shotgun reload and the neighbor guy happened to just step out his back door as I fired it off. Yikes! Had to run right over and explain what was going on. The cops take a dim view of firing guns in any way, shape, or form within city limits (even starters pistol can get one in very serious trouble here). Whew!

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