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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

Understanding that all bullets are simple machines, and they are designed to  do something when they hit where they are headed, I fail to grasp the mechanical purpose of Winchester Silvertips.  I remember hearing once upon a time that the nose of the bullet was slightly harder, and looking at them, the tip phsyically makes up a pretty good part of the bullet.  Would this facilitate expansion or control it?  Is the performance of this bullet much improved over the power point?  Or does winchester sell a bunch of them only because they are pretty?

I have actually killed a couple three critters with them, in 270 and 308, but conditions where perfect, lung shots, through and throughs, etc.  Those were shot in my formative years before i was a handloader, so now 99% of the time my rifles shoot handloads, although i have a few of these cartiridges still hanging around.  I'm just curious about their utility.

I would be interested in  ya'll's expirences with these bullets, both in terms of accuracy and performance on game.  

Thank you for your support.

Steve
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Steve,
    In the past that silver cap was of a harder metal, gilding metal colored silver, and actually made the bullet a bit tougher. Now the silver tip is made from a soft metal (tin I think?) and the bullet performs pretty much like any other softpoint. This is what I have read as stated by someone from Winchester Ammuntion, Mike Jordan I believe? I read it in a magazine a while back. I have no actual experience with Silvertips, never having fired one at game or paper!         ID
 

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I quit using silvertips years ago. At that time we were shooting a lot of hogs and blacktails. We would consistantly find some of the "silvertip" on the outside of the hide naround the entrance wound. The tissue destruction was really ugly and resulyed in a lot of lost meat. Way more so than any other bullets we tried at that time. Anyway we quit on silvertips.
 

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Quit using Silvertips after a short introduction to elk hunting that culminated with a factory 220 grain Winchester Silvertip fired into the neck of a spike bull elk from around sixty yards, and the bull falling down, then running off!  The bull was later killed with a shot into the ear at about seventy-five yards with more of the same fodder.  

Post-mortem examination showed that the first bullet began violent expansion perhaps on the hair of the neck, and the bullet fragments were lodged against the neckbone of the elk, at the bottom of a two inch hole in the neck hide and muscle.

The bullet fired into the ear penetrated the brain pan, but failed to exit!  Go figure.

That's now been over twenty years ago, and I'm sure that the bullet's construction has changed since that time.... I'll just not trust them again on game of any kind.

Just a perspective from the past!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Worst bullet performance I ever saw was with a Silvertip loaded for 7mm mag. Hit a deer as it was running past me at about 50 yards. Bullet struck the front, left shoulder. Bullet exploded on impact, completely destroyed the shoulder. Zero penetration, I think the deer died from shock. Was not a pretty site, that shot and performance of the bullet caused me to go to Noslers. That was a long time ago, before all of the premium bullets were available in factory loads. Boy that sounds bad... a long time ago... am I getting old? Say it isn't so!
Joel
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gentlemen,

Seemingly, we have a small consensus on this bullets being too fragile for consistant penetration in respect to varied hunting conditions.

Do you think it is because the tip is harder, and drives down through the jacket, causing it to rupture too quickly?  Or, the tip is as soft or softer than standard core bullets, and expands too quickly because of the generous amount of exposed un-jacketed  tip?  

Either way, i am starting to think the the boys at Winchester missed the boat.  They sure are pretty though.  

Take care,

Steve
 

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I think that the jacket is too light and too much exposed nose. I do know some deer hunters that swear by them though. I have not used them for 20 years so they may be better now.
 

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I think Taos is right, there's too much exposed lead coupled with a frangable jacket that is too thin.  The "hard" tip doesn't do anything but keep the large exposed soft lead tip from being radically deformed in the magazine from recoil.

As also observed, I too haven't used them in 20 years.... so there well could have been positive changes since that time.  My experiences are two decades old with their product, so probably have little or no bearing on their current offerings or performance levels acheived with them.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Note,

To add to the confusion, Winchester has recently introduced a "Ballistic Silvertip" which is nothing more than a Nosler Ballistic Tip, in a different color scheme.

I have not used original Silvertips but have shot a few deer, hogs, and javelina with Ballistic Tips in .30 cal.  Although they work OK, penetration is somewhat limited (and you're in for one heck of a mess when you open the chest cavity!).

Supposably, the Ballistip Tips over .30 cal (8mm, .338, .358, .366, and .375) are tougher.  I am going to shoot a hog with a 200gr. .338 and see if this is true.  Don't know whether the same can be said for "Ballistic Silvertips" from Winchester or if they are even offered in these calibers.  I would think that they should have a .338 Win Mag offering, anyway.
 

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I'd have to echo the opinions that Silvertips are too weakly put together, at least in fast cartridges and on tough game.  I think they came from a time when explosive rounds were considered preferable.
 

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While I'm not exactly sure about this, the Anchorage paper reported the bankerman bear was killed with a "silver tipped slug".  You know reporters, the shooter probably said "silvertip" and the paper thought he was using silver bullets.  Anyway, he got lucky and hit the spine on a large bear and was enough to put it down with a broken spine.  He was shooting a 300 winny with 220 grain bullets.
http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin....=26;t=3
I don't use silvertips, I've tried a couple of loads with them, but my rifle didn't like them and I haven't tried them since.
 

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I have but one experience in shooting game with the Silvertip. This was with my wife's grandfather's pre-64 Model 70 .30-06 and ammo that is upwards of 18 years old. (That's when he died.) The whitetail buck was moving left to right, angling away. The range was about 30-35 yards. The bullet entered about three inches behind the near shoulder and exited through the left, farside shoulder. Everything in-between was jello. We never found a significant portion of the heart that was identifiable as such. Exit wound was about the size of a quarter. Needless to say the deer never knew what hit him. Granted this wasn't much of a test for the ammo but there it is nonetheless.
 
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