Coyote Hunting photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

One the one hand, I don’t give an assfull of ashes for the idea that shooting lead-free bullets will do the planet one iota of good. We get lead from the ground and we return it to the ground, albeit at very high speeds, so BFD. On the other hand, mandated lead-free zones have given us some dandy new homogeneous bullets by Hornady, Nosler, and Barnes, so it’s not a total waste.

The most recent of this genre is from Nosler–a lead-free Ballistic Tip for varmint hunters. The batch I tested is .224-inch and 35 grains, but there will be lighter and heavier slugs out shortly. These new Ballistic Tips are made with a disintegrating copper core, an alloy jacket, an extra-large expansion cavity in the nose, and an attractive polycarbonate tip.

To test them, I fired …… a batch in my supernaturally accurate .223 Savage Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter Dual Port (try saying that in one breath). I found that, with the same powder charges I used for 50-grain Ballistic Tips, I could get 3,600 fps as opposed to 3,400 fps. Accuracy was not as good as with the conventional Ballistic Tips, although the average was a half-inch, and I got some groups quite a bit smaller. The Model 12 Etcetera has a 1-9 twist, and I suspect that is a bit fast for these short, light, bullets; I think I might have done much better with 1-12 or 1-14.

Are the Lead-Frees frangible? Rest easy. They frange just fine. Small rodents being in short supply, I shot apples, and they disintegrated in a cloud of apple juice. You can read more about the new BTs at Buy lots and save the environment.