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What is the difference between the two? My tendency is to shoot boat tail bullets because we hunt fields a lot. It is becoming very hard to find sierra hunting bullets now so I’m looking at Speer bullets now. Iv heard that boat tail Speers are soft and are not as consistent on game as hotcore flat base bullets. Advice or Experiences?

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Speer boat tails are softer than Hot Cor flat bases. It's not a rumor, Speer says so in their manuals. Nevertheless, if used appropriately they're fine on game.

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I like the Speer BTSP. And like mathman said, they are indeed soft. They work well, though, particularly if you match weight and velocity with application. They can be a bit frangible at higher impact speed, but still kill well.

Examples: the .243" 100gr version started at 3100 fps fragments quite a bit on broadside deer at close range, but it has always killed quickly, often without exiting. Better at 200 yards and beyond as far as exits.
The 30 cal 180 BTSP from a 30-06 started at 2700 fps is a great longer shot bullet, exiting a broadside elk and leaving a 2" hole from 450 yards. Shot a doe at nearly the same range, in exactly the same spot, with exactly the same result.


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Originally Posted by HuntnShoot
I like the Speer BTSP.

I shoot the 7mm 145 gr. in 284, 7-08, and 7 mag. One hell of a killing bullet!


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Even the 270 gr .375" BTSP is soft. No exit on a ME whitetail after punching the offside shoulder. Impact would have been around 2500 fps.

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I believe there is a big difference between the two styles of bullets. The BT Speer bullets are very soft and volatile compare to the flat base. I shot a bull elk with 160gr Speer BT this Fall at 280 yds in a 7mm saum at 2900 and never made it to the off side lung. Bullet came apart completely where it should have been a pass through with most bullets. My favorite cup and core BT bullet is Sierra Game King. And yes Sierra bullets are tough to find and that is why I used the Speers. Just my experience of 50 yrs of hunting and 35 yrs of guiding.

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I've been deer hunting for decades now with 130gr Speer HC-FB in my .270 Win. I've also heard before that the HC-BT's are "softer" & not a 1-to-1 comparison. My big question is WHY not?

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The BT is not an HC. Like I said, Speer deliberately makes them softer for more dramatic expansion. They suggest them as excellent for lighter species of big game.

See for example the Speer #12 manual, page 27.

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I like a medium-weight Speer BT on deer and hogs when the velocity is not going to be very high, like in a short barreled carbine in 7-08, 308, etc. You'll still get good expansion at the lower impact speeds. I've had a couple fail to exit, but the animal didn't wiggle, so I keep using them in that role. I find them to be easy to get to shoot well also. Good practice bullets to boot, as they are often cheaper than everything but FMJ.


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I dropped a pretty good size hog with an 85 grain Speer BT out of a 243. The range was just under 200 yards. I hit him quartering away a bit, into the chest just behind the leg. His head and neck were obscured by the brush he was going into. He dropped, squealed and thrashed a bit, and that was that.

I can't say what the bullet did beyond that since I gave the hog to another guy at camp and I didn't attend the "autopsy".

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I have not used SPEER boat tails in the last 50 years, I like the hot cores though.


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My wife and i shoot the Speer 130 gr HC in the 300 Ham'r for WTs and IMHO it does a great job.








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I have fell many animal with a Speer flat base hot core. Its a very reliable bullet design. Most have a heavier tapered jacket paired with there hot-core process make for not as violent action as there bt design.

Just my thoughts, Speer is kinda in-neutral anymore with there rifle bullet offerings compared to other bullet companies.

Anyhow.... Only one whitetail doe couple decades back with the Speer bt. It was a not anticipated shot and hit her a little far back with a Speer 150 gr. Bt from an old sporterized enfield '06. But with not a got hit, a good trail of blood and other things led me to an expired deer. Bullet passed clean threw, damage was extensive.

The Speer bt model is of a lighter build and is assembled in the standard cup and core bullet method.

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I shoot the 165gr hot cores in a 30-06, they are deer hammers. Never shot a deer with the boat tails, they don’t shoot as well in my rifle as the hot cores do.

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Speer doesn't keep it a secret how the bullets are designed to work. If you expected their BT to make it through a elk out of a 7 mag, you didn't do your homework.

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I've never used the Speer Boattail so i can't really comment on how it shoots or performs in the field. I have been using the Hot-Cors for over 30yrs and they are without a doubt my favorite hunting bullet. I use them in 25.06, 260rem and .308 with excellent results in accuracy and on game. I also used them in 30.06 when i owned one with equal results. I'm sure the boattail is a good bullet as well because lots of people use them and i see lots of positive reviews on that bullet.


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Originally Posted by ChaseA1
What is the difference between the two? My tendency is to shoot boat tail bullets because we hunt fields a lot. It is becoming very hard to find sierra hunting bullets now so I’m looking at Speer bullets now. Iv heard that boat tail Speers are soft and are not as consistent on game as hotcore flat base bullets. Advice or Experiences?


IME the boattails are too soft.


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Originally Posted by Fotis
Originally Posted by ChaseA1
What is the difference between the two? My tendency is to shoot boat tail bullets because we hunt fields a lot. It is becoming very hard to find sierra hunting bullets now so I’m looking at Speer bullets now. Iv heard that boat tail Speers are soft and are not as consistent on game as hotcore flat base bullets. Advice or Experiences?


IME the boattails are too soft.

Shot at Weatherby speeds?

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Used to really like the Grand Slam boat tails. But the newer model Grand Slam fragments more for me. Perhaps I should try the Hot Core.

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Originally Posted by ChaseA1
It is becoming very hard to find sierra hunting bullets now so I’m looking at Speer bullets now. Iv heard that boat tail Speers are soft and are not as consistent on game as hotcore flat base bullets. Advice or Experiences?
I am in the same boat and discovering that developing loads using Accurate 4350 and Speer bullets is not as easy as Sierra's with H4350.
Still, I thought a 90grain hard-ish hot core for my 6mm might be the ticket and a 140 from my 260 work as well as the Sierra's did- which were the ultimate performer of any load I ever used on anything.


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