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Does anyone know of a good website where I can look at expansion effects of different bullet types (ie: Hollow point, FMJ, pointed soft points, etc.)? For example: what is the point of having a softpoint vs. a hollow point?

Also, how does the tip configuration effect the accuracy of the bullet? What is the most accurate configuration? I've heard two opposite opinions - one saying the FMJs are more accurate than HPs and the other saying vice-versa

Also I'm looking for an explanation of what exactly a boat-boattailed, flat base, round, spitzer shapes etc. is, and what effect do these characteristics have on the ballistics/accuracy of said bullet.
 

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I don't have any authoritative sites, but I have really strong opinions!

(grin)
 

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Here are a few, I'll elaborate further later.

Hollow point vs. Soft point.

First, there are two types of hollow points. First is one designed for expansion (defensive or hunting round), and another is designed for target shooting. Target hollow points are hollow simply to change the center of mass to something that is better for that round, and have nothing to do with predictable expansion.

Hollow points are hollow to create rapid expansion. Mostly we see them in pistol rounds, versus soft point in a rifle round (excuse, for a moment, a 3rd class called Ballistic Tip, as made by Nosler and others).

Rifle bullets generally travel much faster than pistol bullets.If you had a hollow point rifle round, there are two issues: It will likely expand uncontrollably due to the velocity (exceptions include very LARGE and massive rounds, and they tend to carry less velocity as well). Second, a hollow point rifle round generally doesn't feed as well in a semi-auto rifle (can catch on the feed ramp).

So, rule of thumb: slow and heavy pistol slugs would be made in hollow point for defensive or hunting purposes, rifle rounds will be made in soft point.

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Boat tail vs flat base.

A boat tail is generally more aerodynamically efficient than a normal "flat base" bullet. But if you want a lighter grain bullet (example: 50gr and under in .223), you need to remove the mass from somewhere, and still maintain a sufficient contact with the bore and have a stable design. The flat base is the resulting design. Less efficient aerodynamically, but the light mass will help give you great velocities, at least over reasonable ranges.
 

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Unless otherwised marked, HP would be hunting. If it is labeled as "match" components or ammo, it is for target.

Bullet mass affects the velocity and energy of the bullet. In addition, heavier bullets tend to be longer (given the same caliber), so they have a better ballistic coefficient (i.e are more aerodynamic). Up until a point.
 
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