TYPES AND STYLES OF BULLETS – They are all different!

It is important understand that each manufacturer makes his/her bullet in a different way.  Copper jackets vary in thickness, consistency, and copper content,  lead cores vary in density.  Even tips can vary in material like aluminum, plastic, lead, nylon, and polymer. There is bonded, VLD’s, bore riders, and more today. Today there are all copper bullets, all lead bullets, mild steel core bullets, even powdered content bullets.  It is very confusing for all of us too. One thing we can say for sure is that we are very happy that they “don’t make’m like they use to”.  The new bullets are so dramatically better than anything made in the past it actually makes it easier for us to do our work for you. We have also found that that “paying more”  for a bullet does not necessarily mean you are getting a better bullet either. Here is a brief discussion the various bullet types;

There is not a bullet that does everything!  The US military has a single bullet that is armor piercing, tracer, incendiary, and explosive.  It actually shoots very well too.  That is the only one we know of that is a one bullet that almost does it all.  That bullet is not available to the average citizen either and is very expensive too.  Outside of that one, we are unaware of a single bullet commercially available that does it all.  Be very careful of claims of such a bullet.  At ARIZONA AMMUNITION, LLC.®  we focus on selecting the proper bullet for the planned application.  We strongly feel it is very very important and take it very seriously. Here are our thoughts on bullets from our testing and experience.

Jackets- From bullet manufacturer to manufacturer they all have their own specifications for bullet jackets.  It is an absolute fact that the more consistent the jacket the better performance one will gets from the bullet.  Know that bullet jackets are different thickness and different grades of copper.  THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!  We know one 50 BMG bullet manufacturer used copper water pipe from the local hardware store as jacket material.  We feel that the J4® copper jacket that Berger Bullets uses the best in the business. All other bullet manufacturers use their own made to their specifications, copper content, and tolerances.  Never assume they are the same. Some are very good and others are…well so so.

Cores- There are the common lead core bullets , steel core, and now powdered copper core bullets. Did you know that the lead core can actually soften to a point were bullet makers feel it is in a molten state while in the barrel?  With the low temperature for melting lead at only 621.43 Fahrenheit  and a large caliber like 300 Remington Ultra Mag at —– it is very possible for the lead to be molten for a short time while in the rifle barrel.


1. Hollow Points-Immediately expands on contact-Not for Big Game

2. Full Metal Jackets-Minimum damage and deep penetrating-not for hunting (average accuracy)

3. VLS’s- For Long range  accuracy-may not be good for hunting-DEPENDS ON DESIGN-(good  to excellent accuracy)

4. Polymer Tipped-hits and penetrates and then expands-light skinned animals- and target shooting.

5. Aluminum Tipped-Deeper penetrating and then expands.  Can be for target shooting too.

6. Soft point- Hits and started to expand as it penetrates (average accuracy)

7. Spire Point- Hits and starts to expand on game and better in accuracy

8. Solid Copper- (generally with hollow point) hits hard and penetrates and opens for max damage.

9. Solid Brass (lead mixture)- Best for target shooting and some dangerous game

10. Bonded-Lead core bonded to copper jacket & provides hard hit and deep penetration.

11. Partition-Two piece bullet for large heavy skinned game- has average to good accuracy

12. Flat Based- This is the base of the bullet design and is for ranges out to 300 yards generally

13. Boattail- This the design of the base of the bullet and is excellent for long range shooting.

14. Bore Rider- Copper or brass intended for bore rider chambers-  Generally excellent in target shooting accuracy.Tipped TSX Fired/Unfired Bullets

15. Extended range- generally a marketing name for a VLD boat tailed bullet

16. Rebaited Boat tail- A boat tail like bullet with a unique shape.  Can have good accuracy depending on the design.

17. Round Nose- Short range, hard hitting, and deep penetrating

18. A-Frame-A special lead core design shaped like and “A”.  Can be bonded too

19. Steel core-Non Armor piercing- Mid steel and can be good for dangerous game.

20. Frangible- Not of hunting and generally for short range shooting-average to poor accuracy.

FINALLY- WE ALSO STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT IF “IT ISN’T BROKE WHY FIX IT”??? If you have a combination that is getting the job done why change? We do believe in improving and keeping up with technology but, if there is not a great improvement then leave it alone! Be very careful what you read or hear…check it out…call us! Do something that actually makes a difference!


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