A Couple of Bullet Success Stories

By Don

April 1, 2020

Dear Hornady Folks,

Living and hunting in California, I am required to use bullets with no lead. Working up hand loads has been challenging, but rewarding. I have heard and read many stories of folks who have had no good luck at all in developing loads with non-lead bullets. Here are a couple of experiences I've had that will hopefully provide some encouragement.

The two bullets I want to discuss are Hornady's 7mm 139 gr GMX, and their 17 CAL 15.5 gr NTX.

I needed a load for my 7X57 Rifle for Deer and Antelope Hunting.

My rife is Montana Rifle Company ASR (American Standard Rifle) AKA Model 1999.

The load I ended up with is as follows:

BRASS: Nosler Custom ------ PRIMER: Winchester WLR ---- POWDER: Hodgdon H414 49.0 Grains ---- C.O.A.L. 3.120 ---- LEADE: 0.090 (just short enough to feed from the magazine. MV: 2760 FPS (Approximately)

This load groups at 1 1/4" X 1 1/16" at 100 yards from my rifle if I'm doing my job. Good enough grouping for deer and Antelope.

Obviously, the terminal ballistics had yet to be proven, I was reasonable sure that I could hit where I was aiming, but what the bullet would do once it got there, I had no idea. As many of you know, ballistics falls into three general categories...Internal, External and Terminal. I had the first two down.

TESTIMONY: I went on a Pronghorn Antelope hunt last October in Wyoming, and harvested two. The nonresident tags and licences I got were for antlerless critters. This was strictly a hunt for meat. The first one I took was at a ranged 297 yards, according to my Leupold Rangefinder. This one was standing still. It took me three shots because I didn't realize this bullet shoots as flatly as it does. The first two rounds I aimed over her back, and missed by a mile shooting well over her. For the third shot I placed the crosshairs right at the nape of her neck and touched off my third shot. It hit her in the throat, and she went right down. I'm new at this TEAM HORNADY thing, so I have yet to learn how to include photos. Those will come later.

The second one, was running and quartering away from me at a ranged 154 yards. My first shot hit her very low in the paunch. My second entered behind her left shoulder and exited out her chest. She went down like she'd been sledgehammered.

Other than the sloppy paunch shot, these animals died quickly. Obviously merciful one-shot kills are the ideal. All-in-all, I am very pleased with this bullet's performance. Also, I am REALLY enjoying the meals my wife prepares using this harvest! (smile)

Now the 17 caliber bullet: I have been desperately searching for a non-lead bullet that will shoot well in my .17 Remington

Fireball. I have tried seven different bullets made by two different manufacturers...all of them monolithic bullets. This rifle groups sub-moa groups all day long using Hornady .172 20 gr. V-MAX, so I know it is accurate. Plus this bullet is devastating on small critters with my longest shot being made at 300 yards. I turns the critters into pink clouds.

With the monolithic bullets from those other manufacturers, sometimes I was lucky if I got 2 or three on the paper. Very frustrating. When Hornady came out with their 15.5 gr NTX I had VERY high hopes, and it did NOT disappoint!!


Remington Model 700 SPS Heavy Barreled Varminter 26" Barrel

BRASS: Remington ---- PRIMERS: Remington #7 1/2 Small Rifle Bench Rest ---- POWDER: HODGDON CFEBLK 17.0 Grain C.O.A.L.= 1.810" ---- LEADE: 0.942" ---- MV: Approx 4100 FPS ---- GROUP: 1/2" X 5/8" X 1/2" at 100 Yards. I haven't hunted with it yet, so I have no experience with the bullet's terminal ballistics. However, let it suffice to say that I am VERY HAPPY so far!

PERSONAL NOTE: I have used Hornady bullets in .17 Remington. Fireball, .223 Remington, 6mm Remington, .30-06, .32 Winchester Special, and 7mm Rem Mag, for 40 years, and you folks have never let me down! (smile)

Also. I've been using my old Pacific 007 Single-stage press and Hornady Rifle and Pistol dies with great success. I just wanted to give you folks some positive feedback from someone who appreciates you and looks forward to many more years of this happy association. In closing, I want to wish all you folks at Hornady the very best, and that you remain in good health in these challenging time. Best regards, Don

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