.30 cal 165 gr Ballistic Tip & recovered bullet from bear

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Got out with a favorite rifle today, and tested a favorite load & bullet, the same combination I used to take a young whitetail buck a few months ago.

Used the 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip from my .308 Win, loaded in a Federal case, with 45 grains of Varget and a CCI 200 BR primer. Muzzle velocity was 2750 fps in 48 degree temps today. Accuracy of the load is terrific from the 24" Krieger on my Rem 700 Green Machine. The water jugs were 20 yards distant:



Expanded diameter is .67" and retained weight is 112 grains. The bullet was recovered from the 5th jug and looks like a real nice mushroom to me. No wonder this bullet does so well on deer sized game. It's hardly the "fragile" bullet some label the Ballistic Tip. The B-Tip exited the young whitetail buck last November with a 2" high, 4" long exit wound through the ribcage after penetrating the on-side shoulder and dropping him instantly. He had been standing, quartering towards me, at about 70 yards.

A favorite bullet of mine for both accuracy and effect on target.

That is awesome Guy! Who needs an AccuBond for the 308?
I will try them in my 308 Sako Finnwolf :mrgreen:

It doesn't get any better than that!
Excellent performance.
Thanks for sharing.

At this rate, you could induce me to try these in my 30-06, Guy. Great performance with that bullet.
Guy, I've run those BT through a lot of game. Broad side, quartering in, quartering away, head on, and heading out, and never recovered one.
Looks text book perfect . We have used these ever since they discontinued the "solid base" and replaced it with the BT . I have seen alot of garbage printed about them by people that just dont know what they are talking about . They are about a perfect fit for deer sized game, when pushed down the line at 2700-2900 fps. Shot a beautiful big Canadian Buck with one of these bullets, a few years ago up on the Manitoba line, in NW Ontario, that was jumped onto me by a fellow hunter. The buck was almost flying he was trying to get as far outta there as he possibly could! Hit him with one of these in mid stride and folded him right up instantly from high over the shoulder placed shot. Never knew what hit him . Buck weighed 242lbs dress out. We recovered the bullet against the hide on the farside of the deer over the outside shoulder it looked very similar to the one you have pictured on this thread just slightly bigger accross the mushroom. I have never had a BT, let us down . They just getter done! But I am trying out some Hornadys SST'sm which is soposed to be very similar, but I cant comment on them yet, as dont have the testing done yet. :|
I used this bullet in a .300 Weatherby at a modest 3100 fps a couple years ago. I was among those who were gun-shy about using ballistic tips due to blow ups years ago, but decided to give them a go.

I ended up killing an average size 4x4 mulie with them. He was trotting away quartering to my left at about 225 yards. When I shot he absolutely bang flopped. The bullet went in half way between the last rib and the hip and lodged under the hide on the far side of the off shoulder, just back of any bone.

The bullet was perfectly mushroomed and had hung together well, with retained weight of 117 gr. Now granted it only hit one off-side rib before entering the right shoulder, but I won't hesitate to use them in the future on deer in my 06'. Sold the .300 Wby.
Wow, that is excellent performance Guy. Yeap, those will be getting a go at the 308 in my safe as well. I am not sure if I have 168's or 165 BT's though. I am sure either one will be good though. Haven't done much with the 308 in awhile. Need to break it out and give it some use.
I recommend that the BT in in the sub-30 calibers should be avoided when impact velocities may exceed 2900-3000fps when hunting big game. I feel the same about the Hornady SST.

When used when impact velocities are 2300-2900fps, I feel they perform great.
I'm safe then, the only rifles I have that even launch at over those speeds are my .25-06 and .204 Ruger! :grin:

Everything else sends bullets downrange at 2850 fps or less, even my .300 WSM, 'cause I cripple it with heavy 200 gr bullets.

I think you're right - the Ballistic Tip and others perform very well at more modest impact velocity. As we have grown to expect more and more velocity from our hunting rifles, the bullet makers have had quite a chore, keeping up with our demands. At .30-06 velocity levels though - most bullets work pretty doggone well in my experience.

Regards, Guy
That looks great, Guy. I'm thinking that they have beefed them up a bit because I used the 180's years ago in my 300 and they were explosive at those velocities. A few hundred fps makes a big difference in expansion characteristics, for sure.
Would this be good enough for a 20 yard shot at a black bear even if it struck bone? Caliber would 308 Winchester and impact around 2700?
I like the Ballistic Tip a lot, it's my favorite deer bullet. It would probably work fine on bear, at 20 yards, but I prefer the Nosler Partition of the AccuBond for black bear. Particularly up close where bullet impact velocity is high.

My son has had excellent results on bear with his .30-06, using 165 Nosler Partitions loaded to 2750 fps.

Regards, Guy
I've been a BT skeptic, but I have my father's rifle rigged up to shoot this exact bullet out at about this same speed (from a 30-06...might a smidge faster, but not a ton). Seeing around MOA at 300 yards with it....and this thread makes me feel good he'll get the job done with the load I have set up for him.

I also have 150BT's in my 270, too. May as well practice what I preach, and if they are ok for my dad, they are ok for me too. Hope to have pics about a month from now!
I have used the 165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips in both a 18 1/2" & 20" .308 and 24" .30-06. In the .308 I used the same load as Guy posted in both barrel lengths. From the short barrels velocity was right at 2600 FPS. In the 24" .30-06 T/C Encore I loaded them to 2940 FPS with H-4350. Bullet performance has continued to be GREAT. In fact I use Nosler Ballistic Tips in every caliber I reload for when I can.

I am going to start loading 115gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips in a Stevens Model 200 .25-06 when I get my lay-a-way paid off. Not sure what I am going to get for Velocity out of the 22" Barrel but am sure the Ballistic Tips will do the deed when called upon to do so.

I shot a buck back in 2012 at about 40 yards with this same bullet. He was hauling @$$ uphill and slightly quartering away when I saw him. My shot hit him in the right ham and traveled lengthwise thru the body exiting right in front of the left shoulder. He dropped like a stone and rolled down the hill coming to a stop on the logging road I had just climbed up to. The rifle was my .30-06 (Model 70 24" bbl.) and the load was my old standard of H4350 at about 2800 fps mv. He was a 3x3 mule deer who looked gangly and dressed at 140 pounds so not a ton of resistance but impressive just the same.

This is a good bullet for the standard .30s.

I am merely sounding a shared sentiment here but on the review of the 165 grain Partition, the penetration is the same as the ballistic tip here. To wit, 5 jugs.

According to the reports, the Partition retained 107 grains of original weight and the Ballistic Tip retained 112 grains. That's not a lot of difference.

While I have struggled to get accuracy where I would like it with the Accubonds in my .30-06, the Ballistic Tips have always shot beautifully. This bullet seems to think its a boattail Partition at these velocities!!!

I like that!