boat tail vs flat base

boat tail vs flat base

This is a discussion on boat tail vs flat base within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; currently im using boat tail .224 bullets for my AR. i'm wondering if i buy flat base bullets... 1. will i have a decrease in ...

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Thread: boat tail vs flat base

  1. #1
    Member Array spyshot's Avatar
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    boat tail vs flat base

    currently im using boat tail .224 bullets for my AR. i'm wondering if i buy flat base bullets...

    1. will i have a decrease in accuracy at 100 yds?

    2. will i have a harder time seating the flat base bullets when relaoding. i know the boat tail helps to start the bullet when seating.

    thanks for you advice!

    adam


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyshot View Post
    currently im using boat tail .224 bullets for my AR. i'm wondering if i buy flat base bullets...

    1. will i have a decrease in accuracy at 100 yds?

    2. will i have a harder time seating the flat base bullets when relaoding. i know the boat tail helps to start the bullet when seating.

    thanks for you advice!

    adam
    1 - not enough to ever measure, unless you are into benchrest shooting - but then you wouldn't be shooting an AR.

    2 - probably slower than harder. I've never really noticed much difference, though. If there's a problem a very slight flare on the case mouth will solve the problem.
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  3. #3
    Member Array samh's Avatar
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    question #1. it all depends on the rifle and what it likes. I've got an old Ruger 77 in 30/06 that will shoot great ( 1.2 to 3/4 inch groups @ 100yds) with flatbased bullets, but with boattails, same weight and powder charge, open up to 2 to 3 inches. Got a Tikka 25/06 that shoots both style bullets the same. Every gun is different with what bullet and powder and bullet weight and powder charge they like.

    Question #2. Boattails are a little easier to start in a case, but not so much that I'd pick'em over a good flatbased bullet if that's what my gun liked or I just wanted to try them.

    Biggest difference in boattailed and flatbased bullets is down range trajectory and unless you're really reaching out there at very long ranges, the average shooter won't be able to tell the difference.
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    Usually no reduction in accuracy, but that depends on the gun.

    The boatail has a better ballistic coefficient, which means it slices through the air better,which means that it shoots flatter but it is generally not so noticeable until long range is encountered...that being several hundred yards.

    No problem in loading flat base bullets. As mentioned, just a small flare will do wonders.
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  5. #5
    Member Array spyshot's Avatar
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    ok thanks for the replies. i noticed many mentions of a small flare to help seating...how do i acheive that with a standared die set?

    thanks again
    adam

  6. #6
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I have on occasion crushed case necks with the flat base bullets. Very seldom since I ream the inside and outside of the case mouths and use spray lube. Flat based bullets and accuracy? I'm no pro in the field, but I have reloaded plenty of flat based bullets along with my boat tails, and I can't tell much difference. My accuracy results rely mainly on my primers and powder as well as free-bore. If you are loading to the OAL generic specs for an auto-loading rifle, the flat base bullets may go further downrange before stabilizing depending on the twist rate of the barrel, and the weight of the bullet. For most serous rifle shooters, results start at 100yds and go from there. Your flat based bullets will likely stabilize well before that (depending on some of the variables mentioned). Increased drag on flat based bullets compared to boat tails? Inevitably. But again, doubtful this will make itself known out to 100yds. Flat based bullets normally won't seat as deeply as the boat tails if you're going off the ogive,and if you're going to use the same charge in powder, this may decrease velocity as well. A cronograph is nice. I wish I had one sometimes, but the paper tells most of the story.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Most all the flat based bullets I have seen have a very slight bevel at the edge of the base to help you get them started into the case. Dont worry about it, the difference in accuracy is minimal at most.

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    You've already received some good advice here. I just want to concur with others in that it really depends on what your gun likes. If you try a flat based bullet and it's inaccurate, don't assume that your gun will dislike all fb bullets. You may have to try other brands/designs to find the one your gun likes best.

    On my new Remy 700 in .204 Ruger, I tried some of the Midway Dogtown bullets (a FB bullet) and couldn't get better than 1 1/4" groups. I gave some of my loaded rounds to two friends who both have Savage rifles and it shot right around 1/2" out of both rifles. I switched to a Nosler BT bullet and my groups dropped to 3/8". It's all what a particular rifle likes the best.

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    There's lots we don't know from what you gave us. Assuming that your shooting .223 out of it it won't matter much IMO. Boat tails are a little easier to load IMO...and they shine for longer shots as the drop is a little less...with that in mind if your shooting a .223 a boat-tail won't matter within it's effective range. My 2cents.

  10. #10
    Member Array spyshot's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies! best way is to try them and see how they work for me and the gun. but at least now i feel better about spending the money to do so. thanks again!

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