One of the biggest challenges gun writers face is trying to keep our work fresh. I have been at this game a long time and have published over 6 million words in my career. One of my biggest fears is that I will start to sound like a senile old uncle who repeats himself over and over while thinking he is still cutting edge. But there is one thing that I'll keep saying until every hunter understands: The only physical connection with the game we hunt is the bullet. If the bullet fails to do its job, nothing else matters. So why gamble by using anything less than the best?
The newest bullet from Federal was developed using the latest in cutting edge technology; it's the bullet I selected when I laid it all on the line for a once-in-a-lifetime mountain goat hunt. I worried about a lot of things on that hunt, but never my bullet.
The Trophy Bonded Tip takes its daddy, the highly respected Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, to a new level of performance.It's sleek, accurate and deadly on game. It's also cute.
The first thing most people notice about the bullet is its looks. The Trophy Bonded Tip has a bright silver coating. This flashy coating of nickel is partly for marketing, but it also protects the bullet from the elements. It doesn't take a lot of humidity or rain before most copper bullets start to oxidize and tarnish; this coating prevents that.
The jacket and solid base are one piece of 95-5 gilding metal. There are a series of concentric rings around the bullet's shank, the size and number depending on the bullet caliber. The rings reduce friction in the bore and provide a place for the displaced metal to move into as the rifling engraves the bullet. This is a well-proven concept that serves to improve accuracy and reduce fouling, and helps the bullet shoot well in a wider range of rifle-bore variations.
Federal engineers learned a lot about controlling a bullet's rate of expansion when they were designing the Fusion line of bullets. They applied that knowledge to the Trophy Bonded Tip to "pre-program" its expansion. Federal's manager of product development told me, "We no longer allow a bullet to expand randomly. In the past, the jackets just ruptured where they might as the bullet expanded. Today we know how to control the bullet and make the jacket split during expansion exactly where we want it to."
This control ensures positive expansion and a predictable frontal diameter for the expanded bullet. It also keeps the expanded bullets centered so that they will track straighter as they penetrate. The solid base creates a physical barrier to prevent over-expansion. Of course, the pure lead core is bonded to the jacket, so weight retention will always be high.
As you might conclude from the name, there is a polymer tip on this bullet. It's a translucent, neon-orange that adds to the eye appeal. The tip adds to the ballistic coefficient on the bullet by making the meplat smaller and the tip more pointed. With a boattail base, enhanced ogive profile and the addition of the polymer tip, Federal has picked up on average 30 percent more ballistic coefficient over the older design. This means higher retained velocity, more energy downrange and of course a flatter trajectory.
This technology has created a versatile bullet that will hold together with a high-velocity impact yet still expand reliably at long range and lower velocity. The result is a much wider range of performance as well as greater reliability and enhanced accuracy. The Trophy Bonded Tip may well be the most technologically advanced, lead-core bullet currently available to big-game hunters. And it's priced very competitively for premium bullet ammo, well below the cost of some other "super bullets."