bullet weight

Myth Busters – The Perfect Bullet Weight

Live the Legend |

In the 2014 Winchester product catalog, longtime gun writer Ron Spomer tackles some commonly held myths by many shooters and sets the record straight. One myth, that there is a perfect bullet weight for every caliber just doesn’t hold up. Here’s what Spomer has to say to those shooters who claim there is a perfect bullet weight for their caliber:

“There is really no such thing. There could be a perfect compromise, but hardly a perfect weight. Bullet weight reflects certain chores you want a rifle to perform. If you want it to shoot fast and flat with minimum recoil at varmints or coyotes, you want the lighter bullets offered in that cartridge. If you want deeper penetration and more downrange impact energy, you should shoot the heavier bullets. If you want to minimize drop, drift and wasted energy, you want a long, sleek, pointed bullet with a high ballistic coefficient. If you want straight penetration through massive bone, you want a flat-point solid.

“One key exception to this line of thought concerns the popular 5.56/.223 chambering when fired from older AR-style rifles with a 1:12-inch twist. These guns most often shoot only lightweight bullets (40 to 55 grains) accurately due to the slow rate of twist in the gun. Heavier bullets tend not to stabilize at the slow twist rate, which sends them wobbling in flight and key-holing the target. This can drastically negate any long-range accuracy. Fortunately, most of today’s ARs are made with a faster 1:9-inch twist, which helps mitigate these problems.

“For truly long-range shooting with ARs with heavier bullets, some barrels come with a 1:7 twist. For most guns and calibers however, manufacturers are pretty good at ensuring the rate of twist of the barrel optimally matches the caliber for which it is intended.”

One Response to “Myth Busters – The Perfect Bullet Weight”

  1. Understanding that bullet wait and rate of twist have always had a relationship to accuracy. With newer lighter materials being used (because of state requierments.) How will overall bareing surface and size become a factor? I have recently “Had “to swithch to nonlead ammunition in my .243 fortanalty I was able to find a really accurate load within my first ladder test. Yes I was reloading wich I have found to be the easeist way to fit my needs. Now on the comercile\retail side. How are lighter bullets (nonlead) that are the same size as heavier standared bullets (lead) going to play a role in accuracy for the general consumers rifles? As a more spacific question; I am shooting a 165gr bullet in .308win with one inch groups at 100 yards would I? A. go to a lighter (bigger profile) bullet hopeing for the same accuracy. Or B. Stay with the same bullet wait in the lead free ammunition the bigger profile will only help your bullistic coefficient. The reason I have ask this question is due to some of the complaint I have heard at a local range about lead free bullets. I also whot to here from someone that has the creadabiltiy in the indeistry. Thanks for your time.