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flight, but may result in slow, inconsistent or non-existent bullet expansion. Some manufacturers recommend match bullets not be used for hunting.

Bullet designers have many tools to affect bullet expansion. Factors such as hardness of the bullet core, thickness and hardness of jacket material, scoring the interior of jackets, using interior barriers, and bonding cores to jackets are among them. All things being equal a big hollowpoint will expand more quickly and reliably than a small one.

A big hollowpoint has a blunt profile, similar to a flatnose bullet. Shooters, though, want sharp-pointed bullets with high ballistic coefficients, to retain velocity better and drop less at long range.

Nosler Reloading Manual No. 3 says, ". the solution to the problem of tip damage and the resulting effect on ballistics came in the form of a new bullet that combined the accuracy of a hollowpoint match bullet, the ballistic coefficient of a sharp-pointed spitzer and the game-taking expansion qualities of Nosler's own Solid Base bullet construction."

The bullet was the Nosler Ballistic Tip, one of the most successful and influential bullets ever designed. It quickly gained a reputation for outstanding accuracy. This was mostly due to Nosler quality control and the hollowpoint match construction. What shooters saw, though, was the racy plastic tip and it's not surprising it got the credit for accuracy.

Magically Accurate?

Nosler referred to it as a "polycarbonate" material. Actually polycarbonate is a very tough, strong plastic. Nosler also introduced the idea of using different colors for different calibers (yellow for .270, red for 7mm, green for .30, for example).

Hornady developed plastic-tipped bullets called V-Max, A-Max and SST. These too have proven sensationally accurate. Again, I believe this is more due to the design and Hornady's superb quality control than any magic in the plastic tip.

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