Spitzer (top) v Roundnose (bottom) bullets

Spitzers Versus Round Nose Bullets

Spitzer (top) v Roundnose (bottom) bullets
Spitzer (top) v Roundnose (bottom) bullets

Q: I’ve often read that a nicely pointed bullet holds its velocity better and is more efficient for long range shooting. But I also read somewhere that a round-nose bullet bucks brush better and expands more reliably on game than a pointed bullet. Is this true?
William Gregory

A: The days are long gone when a roundnose bullet showed any real advantage over a streamlined spitzer. As far as brush bucking goes, it’s fallacy that a roundnose bullet will hold a straight line better than a spitzer. Extensive testing I carried out years ago, showed that even a heavy roundnose bullet from the .458 Win. Mag, will be deflected by twigs and light branches. It was also thought that medium velocity bullets were deflected less than high velocity ones. I found that untrue. I’ve found modern controlled expansion spitzer bullets from various manufacturers all perform very well. I’ve not had a single problem with expansion or penetration, whereas I experienced core and jacket separations many times with old-style cup and core bullets. Only seldom do current design bullets fail to perform the way they are supposed to. The usual reason for “bullet failure” is that the hunter selects the wrong bullet for the task. I always use a semi-spitzer or spitzer bullet to take advantage of its higher downrange velocity, less wind drift, and high energy retention. My favourite bullets feature monolithic copper-alloy construction and are guaranteed to give deep penetration and make exit.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.