When you think of the word ballistic, it conjures up images of nuclear missiles in the 1980s film War Games, so what does it mean when rounds are referred to as ballistic tip 5.56? Well, when talking about nuclear missiles, it’s a term that relates to its trajectory, as they rise and fall before hitting their intended target. So, you see the word ‘ballistic’ is a fairly benign one that’s often misunderstood.
Without a guidance chip inside a ballistic missile, it would simply be a rocket, and when discussing ammunition, the word is used in the same way.
Ballistic Tip 5.56 Refers to Air Time
When talking about ammo that features ballistic tips, it’s describing a round that better controls its flight through the air. As such, it has absolutely nothing to do with the payload that’s delivered and much to do with how it gets to its intended target.
Whenever a bullet is fired from a gun, it’s fighting against both gravity and wind resistance that are both trying to slow it down and return it to the surface of the earth. A ballistic tip is so designed to minimise the effect of wind and gravity, meaning that they’re able to stay in the air longer.
Great For Long-Distance Hunting
So, if you’re firing a ballistic tip round from a rifle, it’s going to travel further, and straighter than a regular round. If you’re a hunter who prefers to approach deer from a long distance, the chances of you hitting your prey are greatly improved due to the minimisation of effects from wind and gravity.
You’ll find a number of ballistic tip rounds that feature plastic or polymer tips that offer improved trajectory and stability. Wind can have a huge impact on accuracy, especially when using a regular cartridge, but with a ballistic tip, rounds can fly straighter for longer.
Low-Velocity Expansion = Cleaner Kills
No hunter ever wants the animals they hunt to suffer, and a ballistic tip 5.56 certainly helps in terms of lethality. That’s because they behave in a similar way to hollow point rounds that expand on impact, causing more lethal damage. This means clean kills are that much easier to achieve.
Long-distance hunting is also helped through the use of ballistic tip rounds, as their design results in a flatter trajectory. On the other, if hunting over short distances, the benefit of the ballistic tip is largely negated, so a different round is perhaps advisable.
Long Distance Hunting? Then Consider the Ballistic Tip 5.56
Our brief blog has got to the heart of the matter pretty quickly. Ballistic tips carry that name because of how their design makes them behave when flying through the air over long distances.
You should only really be considering using this round if you’re shooting over long distances, as otherwise, there isn’t much point in doing so.
However, if you hunt when it’s windy over long distances, you’ll notice what these rounds offer so much more. And that is ballistic rounds in a nutshell.