January 04, 2011
By Joel J Hutchcroft
Bending the rules of terminal ballistics
By Joel J. Hutchcroft
For years magazines such as Shooting Times passed on the sage advice that one should use only roundnose or flatnose bullets in tubular-magazine lever actions. The reasoning was that if you used pointed bullets, the bullet tip would rest against the primer of the cartridge in front of it, and under recoil, the bullet tip could very likely set off the primer. You can surely guess the consequences of that!
The folks at Hornady solved the issue when they introduced the Flex Tip bullet in about 2005. The Flex Tip features a soft, spongy polymer tip that acts as a buffer and doesn't detonate the adjacent primer.
And the Flex Tip bullet has other advantages, including a higher ballistic coefficient, flatter trajectory, less wind deflection, and more downrange energy. ST was on hand for the Flex Tip's first field trials (loaded in the .444 Marlin LEVERevolution ammo), and it proved its value. Writer Jim Wilson downed a 900-pound bull elk at 70 yards with the powerful 265-grain Flex Tip. He described the bull as being "DRT" (dead right there). I think that sums it up pretty nicely.