Bullets With Battered tips
Q: Every time I fire my Mauser .30-06 the lead tips of bullets in the magazine get battered and deformed. How does this affect accuracy? Is it true that the soft lead tips of pointed soft- point bullets melt at high velocity?
A: Some time ago in an article, I mentioned the difference in downrange bullet performance resulting from tip deformation. There's no question that a bullet with a deformed or flattened tip has a reduced ballistic coefficient, but its effect upon accuracy is minimal. Any damage to the bullet's base, however, does have an adverse effect upon accuracy. There is little question that the lead tip slumps back during firing due to the force of acceleration. But it is doubtful that the tip actually melts from air friction as it travels downrange because the time of flight is too short.