by Bryce M. Towsley - Tuesday, April 6, 2010
In dangerous-game cartridges the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw has received all the updates of the Trophy Bonded Tip, except the tip and the boattail. The reason is because these big cartridges typically need all the magazine capacity they can get. A polymer tip (and, to a lesser extent, a boattail) creates a longer bullet. This will rob magazine capacity by making the cartridge longer or rob powder capacity because the bullet must be seated deeper. They are not needed with the big, dangerous-game cartridges, as they typically are not used at long range.
I tested the new version of the 300-grain TBBC in .375 H&H in Zimbabwe last year. I shot nine animals, including a leopard and a couple of tough zebras. This bullet worked extremely well. In fact, my professional hunter, a guy who is impressed by nothing and who believes that only solids should be used for hunting, raved about it. The penetration was amazing on zebra and kudu, yet the bullet expanded well on small animals like the impala and bushbuck. It killed the leopard so fast the PH insisted I missed, because he didn’t hear the death cough. He later told me that in more than 40 years of big-game hunting it was one of the most impressive leopard kills he has witnessed.
The traditional Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) is still loaded in several cartridges by Federal and is available for handloading. In my Mark Bansner custom Model 70 chambered for the wildcat .358-300 WSM, the 225-grain will shoot sub-MOA groups. My handloads push it at 2950 fps. The bullet has shot through both shoulders of a bull elk at 250 yards, yet it expands quickly enough to work well on antelope and whitetails.
Federal loads the Trophy Bonded bullets in factory rifle ammo. They also offer them as components for handloading.
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