Ammunition: Is Bullet Weight or Bullet Quality More Important?

In the never-ending search for slightly more accuracy we’ve all heard that X brand is better than Y brand, or to only use X-weight bullets with Y twist rate.  I had always believed that until a recent test with the Ranger Proof rifle when we saw great accuracy with projectiles that traditional logic would argue were too light or too heavy for the rifle’s twist weight.  In that test Nosler’s 35gr lead-free .223 round did impressively well out of a 1:8 .223 Wylde barrel.  That got me wondering, is bullet quality more important than bullet weight?

The logic is simple.  If the projectile is concentric, that is the core is solid and even, and the jacket is of equal thickness all the way around, the bullet should stabilize well regardless of twist rate.  We visited Nosler and spoke with their ballistician about this.  He agreed that in most cases a concentric weight is more important than spin rate.  There are of course exceptions.  It is possible to over-spin a bullet, but that has a negligible effect aside from a slight loss in velocity.  Under-spinning the bullet will more likely show imperfections in the bullet.

Think of throwing a football.  Putting a good spin on the ball may cost you some range, but it will definitely fly well.  Hurl the football without much spin effort and the ball will tumble.  The questions we were looking to test was if the ball is made well enough does the amount of spin really matter?  Nosler provided the ammunition, and the rifle tested was the Midnight Dragon from DoubleStar.  The Midnight Dragon is chambered in 5.56mm, adding another variable and myth to our test.  See the video below for the results and let us know what your thoughts and experiences are.

 

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