By: Tom Claycomb
I don’t think I’ve ever written an entire article on one particular bullet. But the Nosler Match Grade Ballistic Tip 300 AAC Blackout 125 gr. BT impressed me on a recent Texas hog hunt, so I wanted to write about it. Let me throw out one disclaimer: I’m not a ballistic nut. In fact, if you knew how much that I don’t know you’d wonder how I even make a living as an outdoor writer.
Ok, now back to the article. The publisher of Texas Outdoor Journal told me he was lining up a Texas hog hunt for us, so get ready. At the SHOT Show I’d stopped by the Caracal booth at the Media Day at the Range and told Jeff about the hunt. He suggested I shoot their CAR814 A2 Patrol .300 Blk. I emptied a mag and immediately told him I’d be getting back with him. Then I talked to Riton Optics guru Justin Stewart. We decided that due to the close, fast shots that I ought to test out their RT-S MOD 3 GEN2 2-7x RT-S MOD 3 GEN2 2-7×32 scope.
Ok, we had the rifle and scope decided, now which ammo should I use? After a little investigation it seemed like that Nosler owned the market on .300 AAC Blackout ammo, so I called their marketing guru Patrick Mundy whom I have known and been buddies with for years.
Pat suggested I use their .300 AAC Blackout 125 gr. BT ballistic tip ammo. 125 gr. sounded a little light to me for hogs, but I trust Pat, so that is what I went with.
Next step was to go to the gun range and sight in the Caracal using the Nosler ammo. Due to the fact that we’d be hunting with Slow Glow, we’d have close shots of 15 feet to 25 yards. And, even if we ended up hunting over a feeder, it’d still be a max of up to 75 yards, so I sighted it in for close ranges. So yes, it was short ranged shooting, but I was impressed with the groups I got.
Now fast forward to the actual performance. We snuck in close to a sounder of hogs feeding under a Slow Glow. The largest hog was about 25 yards away. I tapped her and all heck broke loose. Hogs blew every which way.
The 175 lb.-hog ran right at us, and at the last millisecond turned to the right and went back down the knoll and shot up the creek. We waited a few minutes to give her time to bleed out before we started tracking.
When tracking, I always go to the point of impact and start there. Many times I’ll see hints of what may have happened that will help me. A handful of brisket hair will tell me that I just grazed the brisket. A piece of lung tells me it won’t be a long track. But since it had run within about 14 feet of us, I started at that point.
I was using an ASP XT DF flashlight, which I have grown fond of. There was a good blood trail. I could tell exactly where she had run up, saw us, and jumped to the right. She ran down the small embankment into the creek and started upstream. She was bleeding out of both sides. Good. That means they bleed more plus are easier to track.
It had left a good blood trail, but one spot is what instigated me to want to write this product review on the Nosler Ballistic Tip 125 gr. ammo. I saw where she darted under a limb. There was blood squirted out on the right side 12 feet and on the left eight feet. My gosh, I’ve never seen that wide of a swath in my life!
So, needless to say, I didn’t track another 20 yards after the above description before I came upon where she laid. So yes, I am totally sold on the Nosler .300 AAC Blackout ammo. If you’ve ever hog hunted much, then you know that hogs can take a big hit and still somehow manage to escape. It can take a lot to nail them down.
A week later, after getting back home, I took this ammo out on the prairies ground squirrel hunting, which, I admit, might have been a little bit of an overkill!
And as we close, here are the specs from the Nosler website:
300 AAC Blackout
BRAND: Match Grade Ammunition | BULLET STYLE: BT
PART #: 43924 | COUNT: 20 | MSRP: $36.90
BULLET WEIGHT: 125 | BBL TWIST RQMT: 1-8"
FOR USE: Varmints-Targets- Deer | LEAD-FREE: N
Yards / Muzzle Velocity(FPS) Energy(FT-LBS) Drop In Inches(100YD) Zero Drop In Inches(200YD) Zero
MUZ: 2,250 1404 -1.5 -1.5
100: 2031 1145 0 3.5
200: 1826 926 -7 0
300: 1636 743 -24.4 -13.9
400: 1464 595 -54.8 -40.9
500: 1314 479 -101.5 -84.1
600: 1189 392 -168.4 -147.5
700: 1095 332 -259.8 -235.4
800: 1025 291 -380.2 -352.4
Tom Claycomb III is a product tester for outdoor manufacturers, hunter, and outdoor writer, writing from Idaho.