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Mike's Monthly Monologue About Shooting
Volume 2, Issue 5 - July 1, 2013  -  Other Issues  -  Articles/Downloads

WHEN THE BULLET IS ACTUALLY DIFFERENT?
by Mike Price
Easy-access URL (Copy & paste into emails, forums, etc. - no login required):
http://ammoguide.com/?article=pricescorner/130801

 

GS HV - South Africa to the USA


The morning sun just broke over the horizon and between the trees lighting up the forest floor. I heard a limb break and slowly turned my head in the direction of the noise. After a few minutes a 225 pound boar stepped out into the open at my 150yd mark. I lifted my 30-06 drove home a 150gr GS HV and the boar was immediately down. Two weeks earlier I dropped a nice buck at just over 230 yards and he was immediately dispatched and on the ground. I was impressed with this 150gr grain bullet, but even more impressed with the wound channel it left. It was a beautiful straight line with and exit on a quartering shot I took when shooting the boar.


The GS HV is actually a different bullet in its design and performed better than the other monolithic bullets I had used to date. I have become fascinated with the GS HV over the years. Since it is now produced in the USA, I am able to easily obtain them and do not have to wait long to receive them or pay shipping from South Africa.

The GS HV is designed different than standard or monolithic bullets we are familiar with. The rules can only change if a given bullet is different enough in the way it interacts with the lands and grooves when traveling down a rifled barrel. This would mean the difference is enough to give results outside the standard norms that we are use to experiencing with cup-core, bonded or grooved monolithic bullets. I have been a reloader, shooter, and hunter for over 30 years. I have come through many experiences with a fair understanding of what good results are in the field as well as accuracy at the range, especially with the GS HV.


Over a 4 year period I used only monolithic bullets on my hunts (Barnes TSX, TTSX and GS Custom HV) when using different cartridges and rifles I own. It was a very interesting time and also for the most part disappointing as far as terminal results with the TSX and TTSX were concerned. I know there are those who swear by the TSX and TTSX, but I found myself wanting to swear at the Barnes monolithic bullets. I was not impressed with wound channels on my longer shots. Yes, the Barnes bullet killed every animal I shot with them (they should have), the shots were placed exactly where they were supposed to go. Only problem was I ended up having to hunt for a period of time for all but two of the animals I shot with the Barnes bullets. There was a consistent and bright side during those 4 years of trying monolithic bullets. When I used the 150gr GS Custom HV in my 30-06, not only were there great wound channels, but I did not end up chasing my game.


There are some good reasons for better results with the GS HV and I will explain why in just a moment, but first lets talk about a few things important to a bullet's ballistic performance internally, externally and terminally. All hunting bullets have what we call an ogive. The ogive is the curved portion that ends in the bullet tip and a shank or the cylindrical section behind the ogive. This section behind the ogive defines the bearing surface, the portion of the bullet that touches the lands and grooves when the bullet is riding down the barrel. The diameter of the shank must match the largest inside diameter of the barrel, called the groove diameter - for .30 caliber it is .308"-. A rifled barrel also has lands and the lands diameter is smaller than the groove diameter.

When a bullet moves through the barrel, the lands carve out a groove in the bullet which runs the entire length of the bearing surface of the bullet. The lands grab the bullet and cause the bullet to rotate and spin which is necessary for good accuracy. The lands carving out a groove in the bullet and the obturation of the bullet as it fills the bore, presses against the wall of the grooves and increases the friction between bullet and barrel. Bullets with

long shanks will create higher pressure due to more friction area than bullets of similar weight with shorter bearing surfaces, if all else is equal.

Higher pressure can and generally means higher velocities. The problem comes when increasing the powder charge you will eventually reach a point where the pressure rises very rapidly with very little or no gain in velocity. A bullet with a shorter bearing surface of the same weight will reduce friction in the barrel by reducing the amount of surface contacting the barrel. This would allow a reloader to increase his charge, hence also the velocity.

The trick is to reduce the bearing surface enough to really make a big difference in pressure and velocity, while still having an accurate bullet. That is exactly how GS Custom HV bullets work, they have reduced the bearing surface and are very accurate. They have small thin concentrical driving bands (not grooves cut in the bearing surface like Barnes or Hornady) on the shank and only these driving bands will touch the groove diameter of the barrel. This means that the lands engage far less copper (as they cut through these thin driving bands) than with conventional bullets or grooved monolithic bullets. The GS HV bullet will build up pressure much slower and in general, achieve higher velocities than conventional or grooved monolithic bullets of similar weight in any given caliber.

Example: In my 30-06 with a 22" barrel with 150gr standard cup core bullets, I can get 2900-2925fps. With Barnes TSX and TTSX I can get 2935-2978fps with a 150gr in my specific 30-06. Yet, with the GS Custom 150gr HV I am getting on the average 3086fps. This greater velocity is a huge advantage when you consider down range ballistics and time of flight.

Also, the HV is designed to act totally different terminally than either the cup core or grooved monolithic bullets mentioned above.

GS Custom HV bullets are designed to give the lowest possible total air drag in flight, that is possible for a given caliber. Coupled to the fact that they are turned from pure copper, these bullets are on average 20% longer than jacketed lead bullets of similar weight. The result is a range of bullets with ballistic coefficients comparable to the heavier bullets, but with the speed advantage of lighter bullets. When the HV is moving 2800fps or faster it will lose its petals and this is by design. It has been proven that a high velocity flat fronted cylinder shape will leave a larger primary wound channel than a slower, double caliber mushroom. GS Custom HV bullets are therefore designed to start mushrooming reliably from much lower speeds than most other premium bullets, typically from around 1000fps. Three quarters to one and a half inches of penetration is all that is required to fully expand an HV bullet. With high velocity the flat noise (meplat) creates a consistent cavitation wound channel, which allows for deep penetration in a straight line and will drop game immediately in their tracks.

What is so cool is the 150gr HV in my 22" 30-06 barrel traveling 3086fps will drop deer size game in their tracks even on long shots. It is capable of dropping dangerous game effectively on up close shots and out to 115 yards and still has over 2,000 pounds of energy at 260 yards. This is unheard of for a 30-06 with a 22" barrel shooting a 150gr bullet. An added plus is the bullets ability to actually begin to open up as low as 1,000fps, far better than any other monolithic bullet, allowing for effective shots at longer distances. As I have already mentioned earlier, that at higher speeds, HV bullets will lose the petals entirely, shedding 12% to 15% of weight and presenting a flat cylinder shape to the direction of movement (not like some other monolithic bullets that can and do lose one or two petals at high velocities causing the bullets axis to change and beings to tumble not traveling in a straight line). I have actually had a Barnes TSX that changed direction after four inches of penetration and ended up exiting in front of the opposite shoulder, missing the heart and lungs due to the change of direction and needless to say I looked for 2 hours before finding that animal. The GS HV concept offers at worst, a good double caliber mushroom, with extremely high retention

and, at best, a high speed cylinder shape for dramatic primary wound trauma - the best of both worlds in one design.

GS HV bullets are turned on high-quality, Austrian-made CNC machines from 99.9% pure copper bars and tolerances are held to less than 0.005mm. GS makes sure the room temperature is controlled to ensure that heat expansion of the equipment or copper bars does not affect the final sizing of the bullets. The GS HV Custom bullet is measured four times on a Swiss digital micrometer (accurate to 0.001mm) to ensure that dimensions are kept within specs.

Load development is simplified with the driving bands and the bullets are not speed sensitive for grouping. Copper fouling is reduced to levels not previously possible. Barrel and throat life is more than doubled and barrels run cooler. Due to the monolithic construction, terminal performance is enhanced and bullet failure due to complete fracture is eliminated. Less wind drift due to good BC and much higher velocities than standard bullets can give. Trajectories are flatter, making range estimation less critical. Time of flight is reduced. Even if an animal moves unexpectedly as the shot breaks, the point of impact will be closer to the mark. Momentum and energy levels are elevated, enhancing terminal performance over a wider range of distances and speeds. Meat damage is confined to the bullet path and bone fragment damage is also reduced, putting more meat in the freezer.

I will have to say I am highly impressed with the GS Custom HV bullet allowing all my rifles in different cartridges to perform above their standard performance levels and the terminal results are not matched by other offerings. They cost more than other bullets and they should, they give you more. Your bullets are the cheapest thing you take on a hunt, don't sell the hunt short. When the bullet is actually different, it gives different results and in this case, the results are very impressive with the GS HV. I can't wait to try the 116gr HV with a BC of .468 in my M48 TGR 7mm08 this year. The GS HV bullets are unique, they are different, not a copy or dressed up version of an already existing bullet. They are a new idea and a good one at that. I like them!



Mike Price is a lifelong shooter, hunter and reloading enthusiast. He has been published at AmmoGuide.com, Guns & Ammo and Nosler. His article "Green Boxes", available at AmmoGuide.com, is posted in the bullet production area at Sierra. Mike has traveled to Africa, Europe, Asia, parts of Central America. His favorite two hobbies are spending time with grand children and taking them hunting. Mike holds a Ph.D in Philosophy and Psychology, is a licensed clinical therapist, adjunct professor and Minister in the Church of Christ. To read more by Mike, CLICK HERE.

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