You will find two forms of expanding big game hunting bullets. The initial are conventional copper cup bullets and the second are premium or, controlled expansion, bullets. Premium bullets are considerably more expensive than conventional bullets. At what point does the extra cost become justified?
The lower 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 through the expansion process as it’s being driven at high speed, into the vitals of the game animal. The process for bullet companies is to produce a bullet that will remain intact and retain a higher percentage if it’s weight over a vastly different velocity range. The impact velocity of the bullet may differ from as high as 3400 fps for a bullet fired from a magnum cartridge in to a game animal at close range, to as low as 1700 fps for a bullet from an inferior cartridge striking the game animal at 400 yards away. This scenario may be compounded by the truth that the close shot from the magnum could strike the shoulder bone of a large, tough animal such as 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 Springfield 1911. A traditional bullet simply cannot be made to execute perfectly or even 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 an impact velocity of up to about 2700 fps. Beyond this aspect, the performance may become erratic. There are lots of stories of how a 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 resulted in 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 ever to arrive on the scene may be the Nosler Partition bullet, which has a copper partition at across the midpoint of the bullet. The bullet tip was created to start expansion easily at lower velocities, but when the expansion reaches the partition it’s stopped, resulting in a large part of the bullet remaining in-tact, therefore driving deeply into the animal’s vitals. The Swift A-Frame bullet improves on this design by the addition of a bonding process, which fuses the jacket to the core, leading to even more retained weight. It’s this retained weight that ensures outstanding performance, especially on huge game. The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet is another very good design, which has a lead core only in the forward part of the bullet, while the rear part is solid copper.
Just like the Swift, it is also bonded. When the expansion reaches the solid rear part, it’s progressively stopped, therefore ensuring the bullet retains most, or oftentimes, every one of it’s weight. The Barnes TSX bullet is probably the most revolutionary premium bullet of all. The entire bullet is constructed of pure copper and has a hollow nose cavity which promotes expansion. The TTSX and MRX versions, use a plastic tip to advertise expansion and to increase their Ballistic Coefficients. These bullets expand to make 4 sharp petals which slice while they spin and travel forward, creating immense tissue destruction. They often retain 100% of their weight and are shown to be extremely deadly. You will find other premium bullets from various bullet companies with bonded cores which can be vast improvements over conventional bullets. Some of them are Woodleigh Weldcore, Nosler Accubond, Hornady Interbond and Remington Premier Core Lokt.
When does the extra cost of premium bullets become justified? They do whenever employing a high velocity cartridge where in fact the impact velocity of the bullet will exceed 2700 fps, particularly 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, reasonably limited bullet is definitely the most effective option, regardless of cartridge being used.
Considering the costs of the different expenses that go into any hunt, the extra cost of premium bullets is negligible. Some well-informed hunters use premium bullets for their big game hunting. I am some of those hunters.