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Latest in supreme bullets.

First it was Federal with its Premium line; that really started it all. Then came Winchester with Supreme, PMC with Eldorado, and Remington with its Extended Range. All four represent premium-grade ammunition assembled with premium-type bullets. Some of the makers went outside for their bullets -- Federal to Sierra and Nosler, PMC to Barnes, and Remington to Swift, but only for the Safari line; the Extended Range slugs they make themselves.

For the latest Federal again went outside, this time to Jack Carter's Trophy Bonded Bullets. The result is the Premium Trophy Bonded line comprised of five loadings: a 140-grain .270, a 165-grain .30-06, a 200- grain .300 Winchester Magnum, a 225-grain in .338, and a 300-grain in .375 H&H. All feature Trophy Bonded's Bearclaw soft points which are fashioned from solid copper with a lead-filled nose cavity. The copper is "selectively annealed" to be softer in the nose section where the lead is fusion bonded to its copper sheath. Trophy Bonded bullets generally retain well over 90 percent of their weight and have earned an enviable reputation on tough, dangerous game throughout the world. Federal chose well.

Winchester on the other hand, again chose to develop their own bullet and it, too, is a beaut. Called Fail-Safe, it's the heart of the new Supreme Black Talon line of rifle cartridges just introduced. The Fail-Safe bullet is primarily the work of Winchester's Alan Corzine, with whom I hunted down at the King Ranch in south Texas testing these bullets on Nilgai.

These transplanted Indian antelope which can weigh upwards of 500 pounds, are very likely the toughest animal pound for pound walking this earth. Of course walking is something they don't do a helluva lot of. Hell, I think they breed on the run.

Anyway, flightiness notwithstanding, a big bull Nilgai is one tough test of a bullet; it's virtually impossible to shoot through one with any sort of conventional slug having a simple, cup-type jacket and homogeneous core.

But the Fail-Safe bullet is far from conventional; it's sort of a cross between a Barnes X-Bullet and a Nosler Partition. The nose section has no lead, only solid copper with a small but deep hollowpoint cavity with four inner grooves along which the nose peels back like the Barnes X-Bullet. The bottom two thirds of the bullet, i.e., the bearing surface portion, is thickly walled with a lead core inside.

The alloy used in these Fail Safe slugs is very tough, so the four "petals" that form when the bullet peels back on expansion do not break off under any circumstances, and since the lead core is encapsulated in a closed cavity, there's no potential for weight loss there, either.

The result is a bullet that expands to "picture book" perfection -- at least in ballistic gelatin -- and retains virtually 100 percent of its weight. Our visit to the King Ranch was to see if that same kind of performance could be expected on the real thing.

The Field Test

To make a long story short, I was fortunate enough to get a shot on a bull facing me, so the chance of recovering a bullet was good. The recovered slug -- a 250-grain from a .338 Winchester Magnum -- looked just like the ones recovered from gelatin ... and it weighed 250 grains! On most of the Nilgai the bullets exited, but the handful that were recovered looked just like the one from my bull -- perfectly expanded to over twice original diameter and 100 percent weight retention. You just can't ask for more than that from a bullet.

Obviously, ammo like Federal's Premium Trophy bonded with five offerings and Winchester's Fail-Safe Black Talon with four (180-grain in .308 Winchester, .30-06, and .300 Winchester Magnum; and 250-grain in .338), are not high volume items, but they are ones on which a dealer should be able to make a decent profit. It also affords your customer the opportunity to purchase over-the-counter hunting ammo that's as good as any handloader can produce.
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Title Annotation:Special Intelligence; high quality ammunition
Author:Sundra, Jon R.
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Words:667
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