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#12253978 - 09/06/17 Boat tails vs flat base bullets  
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ALLongshot Online happy
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How many of you have rifles that just doesn't like boat tail bullets? What style have you had better luck with? I understand the concept of the boat tail design but for my hunting situations I have no place to shoot over 250 yards, so the design doesn't have that many advantages at that distance.

AIH 300 L
#12254087 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I shoot mostly FB bullets like you not into the ultra long range stuff as much anymore, more and more lately I find Speer's bullets seem to be my favorite good selection and great accuracy

#12254965 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I have two rifles that don't seem to like boat tails. They shoot flat base bullets fine. I usually buy flat base bullets because the distances here hunting are not long enough a boat tail will have an advantage. I usually buy Honady bullets but I bought Rem Corelokts for years.


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#12255046 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I did read some data stating that because of the design on the BT the internal pressure can vary more than the FB. I personally have no data to support their claim. I can see where the design of the bottom could cause a difference in pressure but to cause a spread in pressure variance from round to round would more data. That being said, yes I can see, with all other variables being the same (weight, length, material, diameter, manufacturing process), how the bottom design would effect pressure and thus the downstream effect of how a round will shoot.

Some say to use your load data using the same lot of materials (powder, bullets, primer, cases). When a lot changes, re-develop / tweek your load. If I were shooting a 1000 yard competition, I might do just that. If I'm shooting a Bull Elk at 200 yards, uuuuhhh maybe not so much not so much.

That's me ... YMMV

BJ


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#12255304 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Flat base bullets are shorter. Some rifles like this. Also I have read the Crown is less critical with flate base bullets.


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#12255486 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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For people that like to seat their bullets out further than normal, the boat tail bullet does not allow one to get a good grip on the bullet because of the length of the boat tail itself. powdr

#12255503 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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How much grip do you need?

#12255524 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Mathman, most say at least a caliber. I know when seating the 180gr BT in the 338-284... that with the boat tail and an average of .338 grip on the straight shank of the bullet it left the bullet dreadfully low in the neck of the case. As a matter of fact, it went all the way to the neck shoulder junction. powdr

#12255554 - 09/06/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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I was wondering if that's what you were thinking. But thousands upon thousands of great shooting 300 Win. magnums and 300 Savages ought to put that idea to rest.

#12256391 - 09/07/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: mathman]  
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Don't forget .223's...


Shoot as if your first shot is the only shot you'll get.
#12257416 - 09/07/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Not really Mathman, everyone knows that to shoot a boat tail bullet in a 300 W or S the bullet still must be seated lower in the case. It has nothing to do with a certain caliber or cartridge. It has everything to do with getting a bullet seated straight w/a good grip and it's hard to do w/a short neck cartridge. Now there's always the guy that comes along and says mine shoots boat tails fine w/an .055 grip on the bullet. The problem w/that is I've just never met him. And don't give me the age old, well the target shooters often have very little grip on their bullets. That's an entirely different discussion. You might want to go measure yours Mathman, just as a point of interest. You see there's not one in ten that can tell how far down in the case their bullet sticks. They all can tell what their COL is but don't have a clue what grip they have on their bullet. powdr

#12258138 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I believe the point he was trying to make was certain cartridges don't even have 1 caliber worth of neck available (like the 3 mentioned so far) and there are plenty of examples of accurate arms chambered for those cartridges.


Shoot as if your first shot is the only shot you'll get.
#12258195 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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Originally Posted by Azar
I believe the point he was trying to make was certain cartridges don't even have 1 caliber worth of neck available (like the 3 mentioned so far) and there are plenty of examples of accurate arms chambered for those cartridges.


Pretty much it.

I have a 700 Classic in 300 Savage that's a super shooter, and no matter the loading procedure there's only about .2" of neck to work with.

#12258209 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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Originally Posted by powdr
Not really Mathman, everyone knows that to shoot a boat tail bullet in a 300 W or S the bullet still must be seated lower in the case. It has nothing to do with a certain caliber or cartridge. It has everything to do with getting a bullet seated straight w/a good grip and it's hard to do w/a short neck cartridge. Now there's always the guy that comes along and says mine shoots boat tails fine w/an .055 grip on the bullet. The problem w/that is I've just never met him. And don't give me the age old, well the target shooters often have very little grip on their bullets. That's an entirely different discussion. You might want to go measure yours Mathman, just as a point of interest. You see there's not one in ten that can tell how far down in the case their bullet sticks. They all can tell what their COL is but don't have a clue what grip they have on their bullet. powdr


Actually, whether or not you can get "a caliber's worth" of grip depends exactly on the particular cartridge. If there isn't a neck that long then it can't be done, as in the examples I mentioned.

As far as seating bullets straight, measurements beyond simple COL and the like I'm pretty sure I have a decent grasp of the subject.

#12258407 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Well I've loaded for my 7 x 57 Featherweight for this season...

30 grains of 4198, with a 139 grain Hornady...

but my local source has dropped the FB version, and is just selling the boat tailed version..

so I'm grumbling away to myself...

but truth be told, once I quit crying in my beer over it...

I am sure the combo will be just fine...

I think we all get particular over change, if it is not our choosing...

The deer will never know the difference, believe me...

heck, I've been bitching for 20 plus years as they keep on dropping Round Nose bullets
from product lines...I just don't need all the changes that everyone else thinks they need..

I also don't need a 500 yd load, to drop a raggedy blacktail at 100 to 150 yds...

heck I was feeding them moldy biscuits out of the frig yesterday, that my wife hadn't thrown out..
out in my front yard....


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#12258682 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I never said anything about the darn length of the neck. I said a grip of one caliber has been used for a long time standard no matter how long the neck is. So you want to argue over .2 or .3 on a 300 Savage. You win Mathman. powdr

Last edited by powdr; 09/08/17.
#12258702 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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My point was the "standard" doesn't hold much water since there are so many well functioning counterexamples to its necessity.

It's not about "winning," it's about logic and facts.

#12258785 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I'm sure some have already seen this, but it seems appropriate to put it here: Flat-Base And Boattail Rifle Bullets by John Barsness

#12259498 - 09/08/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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Originally Posted by powdr
I never said anything about the darn length of the neck. I said a grip of one caliber has been used for a long time standard no matter how long the neck is. So you want to argue over .2 or .3 on a 300 Savage. You win Mathman. powdr


If you want to use that as your yardstick, go for it. There's nothing wrong with doing that at all. I don't know who initially suggested it years ago, but it's an easy thing to do.

In cases with shorter necks, I limit my bullet weights so that the base comes to the bottom of case neck, and never deeper than the bottom of the shoulder. If I need a heavier bullet, I change cartridges. Some people do not have that option though. A few guys at my club lengthen the throat so they can use heavier bullets, but I've never done that myself.

WRT cases with short necks, when I first built loads for my 6x45mm (made from 223 Rem cases), I seated the base of the bullet to the bottom of the neck and saw if it would chamber. Then went from there with powders.

Almost everything I read about this cartridge suggested a max. OAL of 2.26 inches, but that was only because of the AR mags. After all, is a wildcat, so there is no SAAMI spec. Even then, chambers are different, rifle to rifle. I built a varmint rifle from a Savage Model 10 action and the mag length was 2.39 inches. Lots of room, so the only restriction was the chamber. As a result, I don't load anything over 85 grains in that rifle. In my case, the max OAL with that bullet is 2.31 inches. And the long bullets are BTs. The base sits at the bottom of the shoulder area.





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#12261114 - 09/09/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Steve, that's exactly what I do. I don't want the bullet below the base of the neck shoulder junction. It's just that some of the younger guys don't understand that it's not easy to shoot boat tails and keep them straight in the case w/only a slight grip on them. Wasn't trying to win anybody over or change anyone's mind. powdr

#12263345 - 09/11/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I think most people's lack of results with Boat Tail bullets lies more with their chosen bullet than it does with the design. I don't have a single rifle that doesn't shoot Nosler BT's as well or better than anything else. As to the short grip subject, my .30BR only has about .135 of bullet seated into the neck when it's ready to fire, and it will make any factory cartridge look bad. Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


"Give a lazy man the toughest job, and he will find the easiest way to do it"
#12264510 - 09/11/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: FC363]  
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Originally Posted by FC363
I think most people's lack of results with Boat Tail bullets lies more with their chosen bullet than it does with the design. I don't have a single rifle that doesn't shoot Nosler BT's as well or better than anything else. As to the short grip subject, my .30BR only has about .135 of bullet seated into the neck when it's ready to fire, and it will make any factory cartridge look bad. Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


Actually, the NBT's don't have much of a boat tail. The NBT is a very forgiving bullet, but those with a sharper boat tail are not.


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#12264724 - 09/11/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: FC363]  
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Originally Posted by FC363
Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


How is the having the base of the bullet below the neck shoulder junction bad? And what difference does it make that the base of a FB buillet is 0.0005" larger than the shank (assuming that is necessarily so), since the whole thing is going down the bore anyway one way or another?

#12264849 - 09/11/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Not saying seating bullets below the shoulder/neck junction wont shoot. Seating below the shoulder/neck junction takes up case capacity and changes internal case volume. I believe flat base bullets work better in barrels that the bore is a little large because they have more bearing surface. couple weeks ago i was reloading for a semi-custom gun and it would absolutely not shoot Berger VLD,s better than a 1"no matter what i did. I bought a box of Remington core-loc factory rounds and it shot them about 5/8" I believe it was the flat base bullet that made it shoot better. First time ever i tried bergers and could not get them to shoot in a Rifle. I don't believe it was the bullets fault.

#12265170 - 09/11/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: powdr]  
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Originally Posted by powdr
Steve, that's exactly what I do. I don't want the bullet below the base of the neck shoulder junction. It's just that some of the younger guys don't understand that it's not easy to shoot boat tails and keep them straight in the case w/only a slight grip on them. Wasn't trying to win anybody over or change anyone's mind. powdr


That's alright. I didn't figure you were trying to convince anybody of anything. How deep a bullet should be seated seems to generate that kind of discussion. Another is - which bullet is better - BT or FB. I wouldn't worry about them. Do what you like and what feels right.

Try this next time you're with a group of reloaders. It's guaranteed to stir things up. Tell whoever is listening that Nosler Partitions are garbage. They are terribly overrated. And it doesn't matter how deep you seat them. smile They are inaccurate and over priced. That will get the discussion going. After a bit, when they ask you what bullet you use, tell them Partitions - even if you don't. You'll get a bunch of puzzled looks. That stirs things up all over again. laugh


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#12265706 - 09/12/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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I my experience it doesn't make much difference. Ten years of High Power Silhouette Shooting was all boat tails. Mostly Sierra'a and a few Hornadys and Speers when I was out of Sierras. The one exception is with factory Weatherby rifles. I have .257, 270, 7mm, 300, 30-378, 340, 338-378. none shoot boat tails worth a hoot, except the 340 which shoots 250 Sierra's great. That has been my experience. Mule Deer has had different results then me with his Weatherby's.

#12266660 - 09/12/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: RiverRider]  
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Originally Posted by RiverRider
Originally Posted by FC363
Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


How is the having the base of the bullet below the neck shoulder junction bad? And what difference does it make that the base of a FB buillet is 0.0005" larger than the shank (assuming that is necessarily so), since the whole thing is going down the bore anyway one way or another?


Because the doughnut that forms at that spot can make pressures erratic and affect accuracy. You can use a reamer to get rid of it, or run the cases back through a case neck turner after it has been run over a mandrel.

You answered your own question with my comment. It makes the bullet fit tighter in the bore. Loose bores and bullets don't shoot very well.


"Give a lazy man the toughest job, and he will find the easiest way to do it"
#12266667 - 09/12/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: antelope_sniper]  
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Originally Posted by antelope_sniper
Originally Posted by FC363
I think most people's lack of results with Boat Tail bullets lies more with their chosen bullet than it does with the design. I don't have a single rifle that doesn't shoot Nosler BT's as well or better than anything else. As to the short grip subject, my .30BR only has about .135 of bullet seated into the neck when it's ready to fire, and it will make any factory cartridge look bad. Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


Actually, the NBT's don't have much of a boat tail. The NBT is a very forgiving bullet, but those with a sharper boat tail are not.

They may not have as extreme of a BT as some others, but no one can make the argument that they're a Flat Base bullet.


"Give a lazy man the toughest job, and he will find the easiest way to do it"
#12268499 - 09/13/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: FC363]  
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Originally Posted by FC363
Originally Posted by RiverRider
Originally Posted by FC363
Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


How is the having the base of the bullet below the neck shoulder junction bad? And what difference does it make that the base of a FB buillet is 0.0005" larger than the shank (assuming that is necessarily so), since the whole thing is going down the bore anyway one way or another?


Because the doughnut that forms at that spot can make pressures erratic and affect accuracy. You can use a reamer to get rid of it, or run the cases back through a case neck turner after it has been run over a mandrel.

You answered your own question with my comment. It makes the bullet fit tighter in the bore. Loose bores and bullets don't shoot very well.


If I am understanding your intent, you are pointing out this dimensional characteristic (which I am accepting at face value for argument's sake) in conjunction with any hint of "the dreaded donut" are acting in concert and in a deleterious manner. Interesting analysis.

I've perceived the presence of the dreaded donut myself and have no reservations that it certainly can develop. In my opinion, it can and will have negative impacts on ammo quality regardless of the bullet type used.

Can you point me to an authoritative source on the 0.0005" base diameter disparity? There's lots of chatter to be found on the net, but as so often is the case the real bottom-line information can be hard to dig up.

#12269149 - 09/13/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: RiverRider]  
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Originally Posted by RiverRider
Originally Posted by FC363
Originally Posted by RiverRider
Originally Posted by FC363
Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


How is the having the base of the bullet below the neck shoulder junction bad? And what difference does it make that the base of a FB buillet is 0.0005" larger than the shank (assuming that is necessarily so), since the whole thing is going down the bore anyway one way or another?


Because the doughnut that forms at that spot can make pressures erratic and affect accuracy. You can use a reamer to get rid of it, or run the cases back through a case neck turner after it has been run over a mandrel.

You answered your own question with my comment. It makes the bullet fit tighter in the bore. Loose bores and bullets don't shoot very well.


If I am understanding your intent, you are pointing out this dimensional characteristic (which I am accepting at face value for argument's sake) in conjunction with any hint of "the dreaded donut" are acting in concert and in a deleterious manner. Interesting analysis.

I've perceived the presence of the dreaded donut myself and have no reservations that it certainly can develop. In my opinion, it can and will have negative impacts on ammo quality regardless of the bullet type used.

Can you point me to an authoritative source on the 0.0005" base diameter disparity? There's lots of chatter to be found on the net, but as so often is the case the real bottom-line information can be hard to dig up.


It's well known that Benchrest bullets that are Flat based using the J4 jacket develop a slightly larger diameter at the base when the bullet is pointed up in manufacture. It depends on the thickness of the jacket whether or not a usual hunting bullet would have the same condition. Go to any dedicated Benchrest site, or even the Competition forum here on the 'Fire. If a search doesn't turn anything up, I'm sure one of them can tell you about it. I have heard that K&M makes a tool that gets rid of the donut by reaming and turning at the same time, but I have never seen one. Never really looked for it either as I have the tools to do both. All of the books written by David Tubb, Tony Boyer, Mike Ratigan, and Sinclair Intl go to great lengths discussing the donut. How it's formed, it's effects, how to get rid of it, and how to work around it, which in a nutshell is to avoid seating a bullet that deep in the case by having the barrel throated to accept your bullet at a length that prevents it.


"Give a lazy man the toughest job, and he will find the easiest way to do it"
#12269192 - 09/13/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: FC363]  
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Originally Posted by FC363
Originally Posted by antelope_sniper
Originally Posted by FC363
I think most people's lack of results with Boat Tail bullets lies more with their chosen bullet than it does with the design. I don't have a single rifle that doesn't shoot Nosler BT's as well or better than anything else. As to the short grip subject, my .30BR only has about .135 of bullet seated into the neck when it's ready to fire, and it will make any factory cartridge look bad. Seating below the neck/shoulder junction can be bad for any bullet. Most FB bullets are about .0005 bigger at the base than the shank, and that can make a bullet fit the bore tight enough to make a difference.


Actually, the NBT's don't have much of a boat tail. The NBT is a very forgiving bullet, but those with a sharper boat tail are not.

They may not have as extreme of a BT as some others, but no one can make the argument that they're a Flat Base bullet.


Don't think of it as a binary question. The shape of the boat tail matters.


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The U.S Government has a unique capacity for getting things upside down.
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Go quiet or full tilt, just don't get caught in the middle of the stupids. DD
#12274360 - 09/16/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
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Originally Posted by ALLongshot
How many of you have rifles that just doesn't like boat tail bullets? What style have you had better luck with? I understand the concept of the boat tail design but for my hunting situations I have no place to shoot over 250 yards, so the design doesn't have that many advantages at that distance.

To answer the original post, one rifle stands out - a Kimber 325 WSM I picked up off the used rack at the LGS. I really wanted to shoot the 200 Accubond and started with that. They shot horribly and my first thought was - 'crap, lost at Kimber roulette'. It wouldn't shoot E-tips or Ballistic Tips either. Then I loaded three different flat base bullets with the same powder as the Accubond and shot back to back sub-MOA groups with all three.

I generally seem to get to a good shooting load quicker with flat base bullets than boat tails, but not always. My new Ruger African 275 Rigby is shooting the 160 Accubond better than any flat base bullet I've tried so far.

Last edited by JGray; 09/16/17.
#12277105 - 09/17/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 10,757
hanco Offline
Campfire 'Bwana
hanco  Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 10,757
Texas
I have a L-61 pre Garcia in 270 that will not shoot boat tail bullets at all. It's great with flat base Sierra's. Only rifle I've had like that.

#12278113 - 09/18/17 Re: Boat tails vs flat base bullets [Re: ALLongshot]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,309
Uncas Offline
Campfire Regular
Uncas  Offline
Campfire Regular

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,309
Kansas and Alaska
Predicting an accuracy outcome is silly!
I have dozens of loads that should not be accurate...but ARE.
Two different length 30/40 Krag Contenders I own shoot most everything well in spite of about 3/4 inch of FREEBORE. 150 Sierras RN crimped or 165 Accubonds not crimped...are one holers, as are 190 AB LRs , as are 147 pulled FMJs over a pinch and a half of Unique. A six inch 25/20 SSK barrel is well under a MOA subsonic or 1600 fps with Speer 75 grain flatpoints.
Nosler BTs and Sierra BTs and especially Barnes TSX BTs are some of my very best consistant and deadly hand loads.
Shoot more...worry less. Best Wishes.


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