Heat Shield Technology

At what temperature do standard tips melt?

Every bullet manufacturer's tips begin to melt and deform depending on their specific material properties. In general, standard acetals and Delrins, currently used in bullet tips, begin to soften and deform at 150 to 200 degrees (F). At 250 to 350 degrees (F), they will begin to melt and badly deform. The longer the exposure to these types of temperatures, the more deformation will occur. This generally begins to occur from 50 to 100 yards of the bullet leaving the muzzle. Even though the effect is measurable with Doppler radar early in the bullet's flight, the effect on point of impact for ranges out to approximately 400 yards is small enough that it can't be exposed during shooting. Time of flight is not long enough up to 400 yards to expose the increase in drag that is measured by point of impact. Beyond 400 yards, however, the time of flight becomes long enough that the increase in the drag due to tip melting can be exposed during shooting and will result in vertically elongated groups and a lower point of impact than predicted.