cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items
SELECT CURRENCY

Discussion Forums

Search forums

Smoke & mirrors

03 Feb 2020
@ 11:27 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

The "North American Non-lead Partnership" had a booth at a hunting & fishing trade show here in Eugene, Oregon this weekend. It was interesting to see the ballistic gel blocks close-up. They had on display blocks of gel shot with several .308 nonlead bullets, and one SST for comparison The SST's lead fragments were arrested within a couple inches of the "wound channel". The wound channel itself was pretty much the same diameter in all the samples, although the SST's was an inch or two shorter. This gave the illusion of equivalent terminal performance with a slight edge to the nonlead bullets, seemingly proving their point. To their credit, they had heard of DRT, Cutting Edge, and Lehigh, but hadn't tested them. Oregon does not ban lead, but the exhibit rekindled my interest. My question is unrelated to the above observations. On the Cutting Edge website is this statement:

"Boat Tail - Rear tapered portion of a bullet intended for shooting further than 400 yards. It is useless under that yardage and flat base bullets are a better choice as they stabilize, or go to sleep, quicker than boat tailed bullets. At further distances however boat tails have a higher BC and retain their energy much better than flat base bullets. Boat tail bullets do not fully stabilize in less than 300 yards but may still group well."

It's the first time I've run across the concept. Berger says a boat tail adds 8% to a bullet's BC, but doesn't elaborate on how much that might affect velocity at various distances.

Replies

04 Feb 2020
@ 07:28 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
I've read elsewhere that flat base bullets are inherently more accurate than boattail bullets because it is difficult for manufacturers to form the boattails on them with perfect uniformity and concentricity. I've also read about the distinction between the G1 and G7 models. Sierra publishes the diminishing G1 BCs of their bullets as velocity decreases. But to say that the boattail is useless under 400 yards seems to defy physics. Berger says the boattail decreases drag, without qualification. Maybe what Cutting Edge is saying is that within 400 yards your chances of accuracy are better with a flat base.
04 Feb 2020
@ 08:24 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Scott, I'd be lying if I pretended to have any real knowledge or insight. I don't. But it is interesting that benchrest shooters at 100 and 200 yard competitions win with flat based bullets. I don't know if they universally favor them or not but I was just reading about competitions over the weekend in Australia and noted that flat based bullets were used by one of the winners. Obviously, a lot of variables change when you alter distance and if you have to factor in terminal performance. But if you're only talking pure accuracy the benchrest competitors bear watching.
04 Feb 2020
@ 10:09 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Smoke & mirrors
OK, time to cut through some of this bullshit.

Some years ago, I was contacted by a group from Oregon. I explained the problems I had encountered with the bullets that they were then using (They were being funded by Barnes via donated ammo). I spoke about a new bullet called the DRT which I would soon test.

The exchange went back and forth a few times. But I only have so much patience for the ignorant.

Not too long ago (in other words - after some years), this group contacted me to ask if I had tested the DRT. My wife deleted this email on the grounds that I am not responsible for their research. If they are so lazy that they cannot even bother to read the pages on this site (copper can be inhumane page) or study our youtube DRT vids, that's on them.

"Yeah, we've heard of them"... Really.

You guys are being bent over and fked in the arse every which way when you buy into these fear based agendas.

Flat base - more bullshit agenda pushing. Copper bullets are long and therefore more difficult to stabilize in traditional twist barrels. Get rid of the fucking copper, problem solved. Regarding BC, this is very basic. You need a certain impact velocity to get most out of these pieces of shit (hydraulic force). The bullet either gives you this speed (at your intended max range) or it doesn't. Do the math.

From my emails:

Being stuck in the great state of Commiefornia, I am now forced to use lead free ammo. My results on deer etc with the popular brand name copper bullets has been in my opinion dismal. Way to much tracking on animals that were very good kill shots. Small blood trails as well. Most exits aren't much bigger than entrance holes. I tried the brass raptors and they work better but they are no longer state approved so I have to go back to copper...

So, does this mean that brass is now also bad for the environment along with the DRT bullet which is also not State (or is that Barnes) approved.

What is worse that being a socialist? Pretending to be a conservative while using socialist fear based tactics to push your agenda.

You guys have got to learn to follow the money trail!

04 Feb 2020
@ 10:19 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Enough subtlety, Nathan. Tell us how you really feel, please. Ha!
04 Feb 2020
@ 10:23 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Well said Nathan, well said. Definitely could not feel the frustration there. Now we know exactly where you stand on this issue Lol, although weve always known.

After talking to some friends from the west coast I believe it won't be long before Washington and Oregon go lead free, the question is not if they will but when?


04 Feb 2020
@ 10:57 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Thanks, Joshua. Good info. I hesitated to post on an ad nauseam topic like this. My interest is terminal performance at normal hunting range: <= 400 yards. Velocity retension, accuracy, and bullet construction all come into play - in that order of importance - which would seem to militate in favor of boattails.
04 Feb 2020
@ 11:17 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Nathan, I didn't see your post before I responded to Joshua's. I didn't think you'd respond because you have given the nod to cutting edge in your article and blog - wide meplat, custom deep hollow points for distributors, etc. Your research is what gave me the knowledge to know the exhibit I saw was bullshit.
04 Feb 2020
@ 11:49 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
My original post was confusing because it started with poking fun at the libtards, and ended with a question unrelated to lead-free bullets. If you look at the BC of, say, a core-lokt, or a partition, neither can sustain the velocity of a gamechanger at 400 yards. I find cutting edge's assertion that a boat tail is "useless" under 400 yards highly suspect.
04 Feb 2020
@ 12:14 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Smoke & mirrors
No worries Scott, your post title said it all.

You will all have to excuse me sorry. I am having another bash at a book that has been sitting on the back burner for a while called The Door. It recounts a decade I spent working in the clubs. Writing it puts me in a gritty mood to say the very least.
04 Feb 2020
@ 02:47 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
The reason I like this forum (other than the expertise of the moderator) is the lack of braggadocio so common on other forums. So indulge me, please. In 1984 I shot a pronghorn at 450 yards (measured with a vehicle odometer), with a 150 grain 30-06 Federal soft point factory load. I have no idea what the muzzle velocity was, let alone the terminal velocity. It was a heart shot, like I was taught. Not sure if it hit a rib, but the bullet (which I found in the heart) could have been reloaded - no deformation at all. That's why I'm hung up on velocity retension, BCs, etc. It's not purely academic.
04 Feb 2020
@ 09:12 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Just thought I would throw this in here.
This is about french 8mm label ammo.

In 1898, trials of a new spitzer bullet concluded with the adoption of Balle 1886D. This was not just a spitzer bullet, but actually a solid 90/10 brass bullet instead of a lead cored bullet, as this type was simpler to manufacture. The bullet weighed 12.8g/198gr and had a muzzle velocity of 701mps/2300fps.

so mono projectiles are nothing new yet for some reason they never really gain popularity funny that.


04 Feb 2020
@ 10:27 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Interesting, Thomas. With modern CNC lathes, the manufacure of monos is probably even easier, and more precise. I wonder if Barnes anticipated the lead ban when they developed their product, or just lucked out. Lead shot was an issue at the time, so probably a little of both. We all fear and know that all jurisdictions will ban lead bullets sooner or later, which will be the death knell of long range hunting if the bullet makers don't come up with something better soon that is effective at modest velocities.
05 Feb 2020
@ 08:12 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Hi Scott, to answer your above question. The old Federal Hi-Shok load of that time period chronographed at about 2800fps. Impact velocity at 450 yards was around 1650fps which is about 150fps beyond the max design limitations for that bullet - even though it had a soft lead core. This and similar 150 grain bullets lack retained energy to initiate expansion of this particular copper jacket thickness, let alone a full copper bullet design.

There are some other contributing factors which can either enhance or degrade performance but the above is a sufficient explanation.

It does not really matter whether we are talking about bullet makers, hunters or policy makers - a large number of people do not fully understand the scientific principles of terminal ballistics. Many do not care about the potential suffering of animals and are far more concerned about winning arguments, sales pitches or ticking environmental boxes. The proof of this can be found in the rejection of the DRT by the Californian government, a decision that was made without any scientific qualification.
07 Feb 2020
@ 05:02 am (GMT)

Alvaro Piqueras

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Quote:

Scott Struif
...

On the Cutting Edge website is this statement:

"Boat Tail - Rear tapered portion of a bullet intended for shooting further than 400 yards. It is useless under that yardage and flat base bullets are a better choice as they stabilize, or go to sleep, quicker than boat tailed bullets. At further distances however boat tails have a higher BC and retain their energy much better than flat base bullets. Boat tail bullets do not fully stabilize in less than 300 yards but may still group well."



Apart from other opinions that have been posted... there seems that many people confirms bullets going to sleep, but Bryan Litz (Berger / Applyed Ballistics ballistician) was not able to find any ballistic model or whatever that explain this situation. So, not being able to explain, he tryed to prove that... result: he was not being able to get anything different from linear dispersion. So he also offered anyone to go to Applyed Ballistic´s range to prove that... but, as far as I know... no one of the many people saying bullets go to sleep goes there to prove that... LOL

You can have your own conclussions ;)

https://www.longrangehunting.com/threads/applied-ballistics-shoot-thru-target-challenge.144359/

07 Feb 2020
@ 07:21 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Thanks, Alvaro. I've pretty much given up on scouring other forums - too much BS to slog through. Not Litz, of course. He's who said a boattail adds 8% to BC, which he has no doubt proved empirically. Coming from a manufacturer, Cutting Edge's statement surprised me, and not so much for the dubious theory that bullets go to sleep. (Litz's experiment would suggest the opposite, although it's odd he used a bullet that keyholes at 300 yds.) Nathan has actually tested the effect of lower BC on terminal performance -
Core-Lokts at longer ranges, for example. I threw a red herring into this by prefacing my post with a comment about nonlead bullets. Cutting Edge's assertion that a boattail is "useless" under 400 yards is what's really bizarre. I would like to know if there's anything to the theory that flat base bullets are more accurate at modest ranges. Joshua's comment suggests there may be.
07 Feb 2020
@ 11:13 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Hi!

Very interesting subject, Scott. You have a few of those!

And a very refreshing reply from Nathan. Actually made me chuckle to myself, as if reading Terry Pratchett or something of the sort.

The first time i read about the claimed phenomenon of bullets "going to sleep" a few years ago, it immediately jumped in my face as totally unlikely, and continues to do so every time I read about it. And the more I think about it, the more unlikely it gets. Sure - A certain bullet might be slightly unstable at 100 yards, and then stabilize at 300, but the dispersion has already happened. Any claims of accuracy getting better down range due to ballistic factors is just a complete load of horse shit. I naturally agree with Litz' theory, that any such results are related to optics, aiming or psychological factors, and perhaps the use of a different rest at long range vs short range. Based on his books, methods etc, Litz strikes me as a very thorough, sober person with great attention to detail, so whatever he concludes is probably not far off.

A good (but very tedious) way to almost prove or disprove the phenomenon, could be by sheer volume and consistency, giving a statistically likely answer. Take 5-10 claimed reverse-spreading rifles/ loads, clamped up in some ideal vice with tension gauges and what not, and fire 10 groups from each rifle at 100, 200, 300 yards, preferably in a tunnel. That should give some results that are hard to argue against.

The reason why an up and coming/ established manufacturer such as Cutting Edge will write something as ludicrous/ questionable as that on their website could in my opinion stem from a number of reasons:

1 - They could be using the argument to justify their heavier bullets which will not stabilize with a boat tail, but market still wants (like the theme in your post "Twisted Logic"). But in doing so, causing an explanation problem for them selves, regarding their boat tails, and having to justify those at the same time, end up with such blabber.

2 - It could be that they just purposefully dumb things down and take things out of context, till the whole meaning is lost, and they just don't give a shit so long as they sell.

3 - It could be that they actually fully believe this. But to me that does not rime with the kind of mindset of people who starts up a business like this (entrepreneurs). I haven't tried their bullets, but some of the designs look like there is a keen, creative mind somewhere in that company. Similar bullets I've tested suggests the same.

4 - It could be poor internal communication within the company. There might be one cynical or stupid person in charge of marketing/ web site (writing such statements), while the brightest heads are in R&D, and for some reason don't speak up or get through.

5 - Most likely, I believe it's a case of The Emperors New Clothes. They probably don't fully buy the theory in the depths of their secret hearts, but everybody says so, so they just have to go with it. This, combined with the fact that it can be used to sell both flat base and boat tail bullets, makes it best to just keep their secret thoughts to themselves. After all, they are just people.

But regardless of the reason, I find it very hard to trust the integrity, quality control and judgement of any company that can write something so absolute about something as questionable and unproven as this, and therefore base a huge part of their philosophy upon it. And I had such high hopes for this brand..

When it comes flat based bullets being more or less accurate at shorter ranges than boat tail bullets at short/ medium/ long ranges, I'm afraid I can't offer anything useful from my own experience. There must be something to it though, as bench rest shooters use them a lot. But this accuracy advantage could just as well be related to bullet lengths and slower twist rates, rather than the actual flat base it self. Therefore not applicable to the long for caliber flat base monos in question, fired through fast twist barrels. Anyway, These things could also be tested in the same way as suggested above, if one would really want to know. But for hunting purposes it would be a whole lot of work for nothing. After all, one doesn't really need any kind of real accuracy under 300 yards, making the whole argument of Cutting Edge pointless. Also, in real world hunting, wind (and therefore BC) really comes into play way before this 400 yard limit/ tipping point of theirs. Far more than any tiny accuracy advantage. Even at 200-250 yards, the roughly 8% higher BC/ less wind drift will nullify any accuracy advantage. This is also true if you step down to 100-150 yards and shoot birds with a rifle. Bottom line is really that as far as hitting an animal/ target in the real world, a boat tail is better.

But like you Scott, I would also really want to see some hard data on flat base accuracy. Just for fun.
07 Feb 2020
@ 01:35 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Hi, Magnus. I'm flattered. I'm just trying to learn. When I read your "Brush gun test" post, my mind's eye told me we hunt in very similar, forested landscapes, where a 200 yard shot, let alone a 400 yard shot, is rare. These conditions make terminal performance critical. Until recently, the bulk of my deer hunting was in a "slug--only" midwestern state, Illinois. To me, "knock down power" is meaningless. I've seen deer, hit in "the boiler room" with 12 gauge slugs at 20 yards, run a long way. So, while not knocking the 45-70, I'm not convinced bigger is better. I like your compressed tungsten idea. It's heavier than lead. But the environmentalists would find fault with its toxicity. As Nathan says, "aim small, miss small." Velociy is key to that concept.
07 Feb 2020
@ 07:28 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Yes, the area where I hunt is very forrested withc birch, spruce and pine. But at the same time it's very mountainous and hilly, so shits in thick stuff and 3-500 yard shots across valeys are both common. But these shots put certain demands on both external and terminal performance, so the holy grale is a rifle that does it all. 450 yards reach, combined with brush busting abilities would cover just about everything. My desired end goal with the whole project. Testing is well into second phase.

I must say, I feel very sorry for you guys in slug only areas where it's a safety precaution. Especially as it's just theoretically safer anyway. Sure, when fired at ideal angles into the open sky, a bottle necked rifle will travel further than a straight walled or a slug, but when fired more or less horizontally through the woods, they all come to rest more or less at the same plase anyway. Buck shot/ BB only would make much more sense, but then there's the wounding. I bet the original idea was shot only, and then opened up for slugs from a humane point of view, then rifled slug guns, then straight walled, and next bottle neck. Maybe in 20 years...

If the concern is safety, they should ban copper and brass, as it riccochets much more on hard ground. A much more real problem.

Regarding the 45-70, I've shot quite a few animals with copper and brass bullets of 250/ 300 grains at 2400/ 2250 fps, and they have been very effective at woods ranges. Even took a 2500 pound giraffe at 100 meters with the 250 monoflex loaded to 2400, and it died just fine.

So the 45-70 with hand loaded monos is great. They rarely drop at the spot, but seldom run very far.
07 Feb 2020
@ 09:32 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Just a couple of things that should be emphasized.

The good experiences with the 45-70 are with full power hand loads from a 22" barrel. My south african friend and regular guide got all excited and bought a 45-70 himself, but due to a lack of ideal powders, he basically ended up with just a little over factory velocities, and had lots of crappy experiences, with animals showing no sign of being hit, or running far. I forgot to ask, but I suspect this was primarily at the longer shots, 100-150 meters, the bullet falling beneath the cut off point of good performance. An extra 300 fps translates into more than 50 meters extra effective killing range.

After I wrote about my idea for the tungsten bullet, I googled a bit, and found out that at least at some stage in development, DRT was using tungsten. I do not know what metal they are using now. But half the idea was the plastic/ metal tip, combined with a sleek ogive and boat tail, to get high BC. There is of course nothing revolutionary about this idea, as it's quite obvious. So it's more of a hope for the future, that some brand can make this concept functional and financially viable at the same time.

We just came out of a 10 year shotgun led ban here in Norway (miracles do happen), and during that ban, Remington Heavy Shot and Nittedal Matrix were both approved. Both using tungsten dust, baked in iron and plastic, respectively. Cant see any logical reason why tungsten in rifles should be treated differently, when it comes to environment.

The Remington was harder than steel shot, but the Nittedal with its plastic substance was claimed to be similar to lead in weight and malleability, therefore approved for older guns. I never tested any, as I just so happened to have some "more suitable" ammo just laying around for 10 years, but the material could be very interesting for rifle bullets.
08 Feb 2020
@ 06:56 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Smoke & mirrors
Quite a few record-book white tail deer have been taken in Illinois. There's a theory that the slug-only law is designed to limit the harvest somewhat, but I've never seen an official statement from the state to that effect. So far they haven't allowed straight-wall rifle cartridges, like some of the other midwestern states. There's an interview on YouTube with Olin-Winchester's 350 Legend product manager, who lives in my hometown, Alton, Illinois, where the company was founded and still makes ammunition. It's mildly amusing to hear him tout the new cartridge, but admit he hasn't hunted with it because it's not legal where he hunts - Illinois. Also, that he thinks former 12 gauge slug hunters would run out and buy it. Nathan is anxious to test it, so we'll see. If it were me, I'd be looking at something with some thump to it, like your 45-70. Thankfully, I can now use whatever I want where I live now.
 

ABOUT US

We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.

store