may seem puzzling to suggest that a bullet as popular, proven, and
successful as Hornady's XTP could possibly be considered underrated
at this stage of the game-- but, that's exactly what I believe it
is. Long considered one of the finest self-defense and hunting pistol
bullets ever designed, it is that-- and a whole lot more. I can't
begin to guess the tens of thousands of deer that have fallen prey
to this superior bullet over the years, but I can tell you that
the .452 300 gr. XTP married to the short, black "MMP"
MMP sabot has accounted for over 1500 head of deer taken by Savage
10ML series rifles in one small area of Coastal Carolina alone.
Henry Ball actually designed his smokeless muzzleloaders around
the Hornady 300 XTP, and they remain his favorite muzzleloading
bullet to this day on the basis of accuracy, and as the letters
stand for: "Xtreme Terminal Performance." They have taken
muzzleloading deer from distances of 3 feet to 327 yards in one
hunting camp alone-- and have also cleanly harvested bear, elk,
and moose with equally devastating results. Even Hornady underrates
their .452 300 grain bullet, if you examine their performance graph
could reasonably believe that the .452 300 gr. XTP has design parameters
inclusive of strike velocities ranging from 750 fps to 1700 fps.
Well, I'm here to tell you that in terms on terminal velocity, field
results have shown no core separation and 70% plus weight retention
at past 2100 fps terminal velocity.
are several components in the XTP design that allow for this. Yes,
it is a "handgun bullet"-- but, not just any handgun
bullet. It is relatively long for caliber compared to other pistol
bullets, and the crimp (cannelure) that may steal a point or two
of ballistic coefficient clearly helps inhibit core separation,
even when smashing through heavy bone. The tapering of the jacket
allows for a far tougher bullet than just using the same jacket
thickness throughout, and it is the generous hollow point that ensures
good expansion down to the anemic velocity of 750 fps-- certainly
"anemic" in terms of the Savage 10ML-II.
is another factor that is a clear trend in the Savage 10ML-II that
accounts for its superb accuracy: the XTP has a flat base. Jacketed
bullets with concave, indented, "ringed," or boat tail
bases have generally given me problems in the accuracy department
from otherwise promising bullets. No problem with the XTP in this
regard. As a bonus, its economy is startling: $14 or so for 100
bullets. You just cannot buy this level of performance for anywhere
near fourteen cents per bullet, except in the case of the XTP. I
believe I can show that the XTP is a far superior terminal performer
as compared to the Hornady SST-- there really is no dispute about
that. It just isn't my fault that Hornady's .452 300 grain XTP is
so darn good-- Hornady is to blame for that.
reference's sake, let's take a moment to look at the exterior ballistics
of the 300 gr. .452 XTP out of the Savage 10ML-II, as powered by
45 grains of Accurate Arms 5744. You can expect a muzzle velocity
in the general area of 2100 fps, and a six inch kill Maximum Point
Blank Range of about 190 yards. At that range, the bullet is still
traveling about 1400 fps-- right in the middle of its design parameters.
Over 1300 fpe are injected into your game animal at 190 yards.
to how the lethality of this load compares with the .35 Remington
factory cartridge shooting a 200 grain bullet, you might be surprised.
The .35 Remington is also traveling about 1400 fps at 190 yards,
but has only 873 fpe of energy left to harvest with. A far larger
permanent wound cavity, and deeper penetration of our 300 grain
10ML-II load vs. the .35 Rem is the very likely result, as in quicker
harvesting of deer-sized game, and the ability to cleanly drop where
the .35 Remington runs out of gas.
Triple 7 powered 1:28 rate of twist barreled inlines, the 250 gr.
XTP is likely a better choice than the 300 gr. to keep the velocity,
energy, and trajectory reasonable at range for deer: with 2100 fps
MV, 182 yd MPBR, 908 fpe @ 190 yards.
the Savage, though, the 300 gr. XTP shines by comparison. For the
dollar, it is the most performance in a muzzleloading projectile
that can be had-- and a far tougher bullet than even Hornady will
readily admit to.
© 2005 by Randy