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May 02, 2007

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E-Tip Bullets: Go with the Gild

A guest-written gear review by Executive Editor Mike Toth

The PR: Anticipating a possible demand for rifle bullets that do not contain lead, Winchester Ammunition [www.winchester.com] and Nosler Bullets jointly developed the E-Tip, a bullet constructed totallly of gilding metal. A polycarbonate tip sits atop an internal chamber to promote mushrooming. The companies claim that the boattail bullet retains 95 percent of its weight after expansion. Available calibers are .30-06, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, and .308.

Etip_web2The Takeaway: The day before the NRA Show opened, I watched company executives fire .300 WSM E-tips into ballistic gelatin at the Olin manufacturing facility in East Alton, Illinois. The recovered slugs had mushroomed beautifully (as shown in the photo), fired at 3000 (left slug) and 2500 fps (right slug). If state and/or federal agencies start talking about requiring lead-free bullets in certain areas (there has been an ongoing stink about carrion-eating California condors that are supposedly getting lead poisoning by ingesting slugs in deer that were shot but never recovered), Winchester and Nosler will be ready.

The Cost: Winchester says E-Tips will fall into the same price range as their premium-bullet line.—Mike Toth


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Very Nice Article.

The Nosler site shows that the bullet will initially only be available in the 180 grain weight. Do you know if they will produce them in the lighter 30 cal (165....). Or is it a design restriction???



I'm glad to see Nosler and Winchester getting into this type of bullet design. I just bought a box of Barns XPB for my .460 S&W Magnum, and I love the performance and the terminal ballistics of them (devastating to say the least). Do you know if Nosler has any plans to market any other calibers as components for hand loading?


Those of us interested in this article should all be aware that .30-06, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, and .308, not mention many other cartriges, all take a .308 caliber or diameter bullet. So the leadless bullet in question is available in only one caliber, but can be loaded in wide variety of cartriges, not just the four mentioned. Too picky? Not for a gun nut. What I want to know are the bullet weights available.

I doubt it will perform as well as the lead core jobs. I used the new Remington Scricco's in l80 grs last yr in MT and performance took my breath. I Had my 700 CDL /24" bbl zeroed in at 200 yds. On this big deer I held on hair line at rear rib on left side. Bullet entered 4" below hair line and out the right foreleg.Deer fell in his tracts at 345 yards, When any Co,. produces a better bullet, I want to use it. On same trip west last year I used Winc. Ballastic tip on Lopes, Killed a nice one at 325 using a 25-06 ll5 gr./Poly Tipped bullet. Never used the poly tip until a couple years ago, but will use nothing else now. They expand perfect and the boat-tail design makes them a really flat shooting gun, even in the 06 with l80 gr bullets.

Mike Toth

Tom: A Winchester spokesman tells me that they plan to introduce more bullet weights and more calibers in the E-Tip line next year.


Here we go again. Same deal as with bird-duck hunting with steel shotgun Ammo years back.As for the California Condors, from what I see on TV there is enough crap in Hollywood to feed the Condors for years with- out the worry of lead in dead animals. To me, just another excuse to require us hunters to buy another product. Will never prove to me, that enough un-found shot game(using lead Ammo.) is a problem to the ugly birds. As for new ammo, it kinda like the WSM and WSSM buzz, re-chamber present firearms to the new fat, stubby, useless firearm ammo. One well known writer stated early on when the WSM's came out, don;t sell your old faithful firearms and buy the new WSM's, if you do you will be sorry. I did not listen and bought a 300 WSM. Shot that sucker 3 times and found it a new home. Kinda off tract , but I doubt the lead ammo is a problem in California, I believe it's another ploy to sell extra, useless, un-proven in the field ammo. Just hope the major Ammo mfgers continue to make the lead and poly tipped ammo as long as I am able to hunt. I do not re-load, but if it comes to no lead ammo, can rest assured I will start reloading.There is bushels of old wheel wts available at most tire centers.If us hunters don;t buy the new junk ammo, it will fade away, but too late for many dealers who will have to stock the junk.


Is there any chance the price could drop if they are put into use more? The premium ammo seems to often cost at least twice as much as the standard rounds, so it would be nice if they found a way to cut down the price a bit.

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