Well in this little piece I am going to answer a recent question that a reader asked, and at the time I couldn't answer it off the cuff because as I have said many times American hand loaders have it lucky. We have some great bullet companies with some really well constructed bullets on the market.
The question was as follows, “what would I say would be the ten best bullets on the market?"
Now I can't speak on anything that I have not tried so I am going to limit my choices to the bullets I have used in my reloads, or ammunition I have tested.
1. Barnes Tipped TSX 130 grain .270 - Now many are familiar with the Barnes solid copper TSX bullets. They are great bullets that have been on the market for some time now, but Barnes added a polymer tip to the design, and I think it is a great choice for your needs. This version has the same great weight retention, but seems to expand better than the original TSX. I have to say that I honestly feel that the Barnes TSX Tipped and the MRX are the best bullet designs on the market.
2. Barnes MRX Bullets – I like any caliber with these bullets, and I think the web site gives a good description of them.
Barnes’ MRX Bullet features a patented Silvex® core surrounded by an all-copper body. The dense, tungsten-based core makes MRX bullets shorter than their TSX and TTSX counterparts, increasing case capacity. Deep penetration—even through heavy bone—makes MRX bullets ideal for raking shots at large game. Streamlined polymer tip boosts BC for flatter long-range trajectory, and enhances expansion with longer-range shotsOn impact, the MRX expands into four tough, copper petals, doubling the bullet’s original diameter. Creates maximum shock and tissue damage. Effective at short or long range. Multiple rings cut into the base increase accuracy and reduce fouling.
3.Nosler Partitions - I have tried these in many different calibers from .357 to 7MM and they always workwell. With this bullet you get the expansion of a soft point above a partition, and then below the partition a compartmentalized lead core that helps with penetration.
4. Hornady GMX 139 grain 7MM - This is a really great bullet, and really ties with the Barnes. It has a more malleable quality that I really like, because it allows it to mushroom similar to the way a lead bullet would. The only thing that puts it in second is the weight retention. I really love this bullet in the Superformance ammo that Hornady has introduced.
5 Sierra Pro-Hunter 180 grain .308 RN - I use this in my favorite .30-30 hand load, and it works great as do all of the Pro-Hunter bullets by Sierra. They have quality, affordability, and availability. This bullet performed better in this particular hand load than any other 180 grain RN on the market. I tried them all, and they all worked great, but with this particular load the Sierra was the top performer.
6. Hornady Interlock 140 grain .270 BTSP – This is a good general use bullet that holds up very well in a variety of conditions.
7. Barnes 300 grain .458 (.45-70) S.S.P- This is a really big chunk of lead, and it is not intended for use in a lever action rifle. I use it in a New England Arms Marlin Single Shot .45-70 this has been mentioned in the last couple of issues.
8. Winchester Power Points - This is another bullet design that I have tried in various calibers. I think they are a great choice for Deer sized game. They are really cheap as they can be bought in bulk, and they perform very well. There is a reason they have been around so long
9. Speer 160 grain 7MM Grand Slam - Excellent bullet that will not let you down, and if it was easier to find in my region would have probably been higher on the list.
10. Remington Core-Lokt 130 grain .270 - This is a design that has been around for some time. They can be bought cheap in bulk, and work really good.