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Hornady Interbond accuracy and performance curiosity.

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,426 Senior Member
I have been having mixed results with performance on paper from my .243 when I have been able to get it to the range.  It is a Win. M70 CRF with a factory 1:10 twist barrel.  I have had some decent 100 yard groups and some that were just completely unacceptable.  So far the winner seems to be 100gr Nosler Partition with some RL-17 (I think it was 17 anyways) pushing it to just under 3000 FPS.  I say so far as that is what I have a velocity number for and a nice group, well nice by my standards anyways.  Other bullets have just been a complete flop.  Sometimes powder has been the issue and sometimes i just cant find a bullet/powder combination that works.  I had some decent hope for the 80gr GMX, but after a box I was only able to manage a best of something like 1.5" and that was at a lower velocity than I would have liked for the Gr. weight.

The last time I was able to get to the range was pre virus shutdown.  I decided to try some Speer 90gr Hot-Cor and Hornady 85gr InterBond.  For this round I tried both with H4350, IMR 4064, and Varget if my memory is correct.  Some H4895 may have been in the mix as well.  This was only a trip to test three loads of three rounds for each powder and bullet combination I tried.  No velocity numbers, just a quick test to see if there was even potential.  I went in with some trepidation about how the 85gr InterBonds would perform based on quite a few reviews I have read about them.  I was quite surprised by how they performed on paper with just some quick test loads.  Assuming I still have the targets I will have to try and get some of the groups up here.  I dont know velocity yet and will be working out some new load options to try next time to see about getting it more dialed in though.  I plan on taking the magnetospeed for that trip, but it means extra rounds need to be loaded.

My question here is, who has experience with the InterBonds and in what cartridges?  I have never used them on any game and with my recentish plastic tipped bullet performance I do hesitate to try them on game.  For those that have used them, how would you compare them to other bullets you have tried on paper, and how have they performed on game for you?

I gave plastic tipped bullets a try, but have been going back to more traditional soft pointed bullets for anything I intend to use on game.  The InterBonds are a pricy option compared to something like an InterLock or SST, but in the ballpark of Partitions.  I am willing to give them a chance though.  Maybe being bonded will help them perform properly??


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,884 Senior Member
    This is outside the parameters of your question, but it might prove helpful. I handload for a 6mm Rem (a .243 Win on mild steroids). My 2 go to bullets are 75 grain VMax at 3750 fps, and 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at 3250. Both are pushed by H4350. The common denominator seems to be fast. 

    3k in a .243 Win with 100 grain Partitions is nothing to sneeze at by any means, but you may have a bit of room for improvement. Sometimes 25-50 fps makes all the difference in the world.

    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    I class 6mm/.244 Remington and .243 Winchester as the same.  Based on what I have looked at to compare them its close enough to not really give either an advantage to worry about for the average shooter/hunter.  Key here being the average shooter or hunter.  I dont need to chase the extra hundred or so FPS if what I already have will do.  If I was starting from scratch it would be a harder call as to which cartridge I went with though.

    I did try 95gr NBT and they shot to the same POI as the 100gr Partition, but almost doubled the group size and were running about 75 FPS slower if I recall correctly. I need to check my load data, but it may have even been the same powder charge.   I am sure that bullets have improved over the years, but one of the reasons I have avoided NBT for hunting has been my dads repeated experience with them not performing well.  I am pleased with the velocity of the 100gr Partition.  I may look for a more temp stable powder to try and duplicate the velocity and accuracy with though.  Once I was able to repeat the group on two different outings I stopped tweaking as I needed the rifle as a back up for a cull.  My .458x1.8 with 325 FTX let me down twice, but I did not get a chance to test out the .243.

    I guess I should have mentioned it, but this is a bullet for deer sized game.  I am not a fan of using varmint type bullets on non varmint animals.  Some have great success, I just am not comfortable with it.

    The goal with the 85 IB would be something in the 3100 FPS range while still grouping well and no pressure signs.  I will be switching my primer choice due to having Winchester primers go flat even on middle of the road loads.  I used to use them as one indicator I was getting close since they seem soft, but this current lot seems to go flat even with very mild loads
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,826 Senior Member
    I load the 139 grain Interbonds in my .284.  I get about 1 MOA accuracy, and have taken an antelope and a mule deer with them.  The antelope was hit too far back for a drt kill, and ran about 100 yards before it stopped and eventually laid down.  It was about a 230 yard shot.

    The deer was hit high in the shoulder, and dropped on the spot.  I think it was probably dead before it hit the ground.  According to my range finder, distance was 188 yards.

    That pretty much sums up my experience with them.  I suppose you could say I have no complaints.

    Like Linefinder, I load 95 grain NBTs in my .243, and it has worked well on antelope.  That's all I've ever shot with them, though, but don't see any reason why they wouldn't be effective on deer size animals.  They have proven effective on the prairie goats I've shot with them.

    For tough bullets that provide good penetration, my go to bullet is the Speer Grand Slam.  I get good accuracy and good terminal performance from them.  My only problem is finding them.

    Good luck.

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 575 Senior Member
    No experience with reloading for a 243. As far as the GMX is concerned I have reloaded them in several calibers. I have found the gmx likes some jump to the lands. I’ve found that the mono bullets like to be pushed fast and they need a jump to the lands of 30 to 50 thousandths. 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,884 Senior Member
    As to your fathers experience with NBT's, that was common during the early years of their existance. Splat on front, and not much more. Lots of game ran off with superficial surface wounds.

    Nosler thickened the jacket of actual hunting weight bullets, and that problem went away.

    I've shot antelope from 250 yards to a quarter mile with 95 grain NBT's. Complete pass through in every case, excellent expansion, and DRT.

    I like 'em.

    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    edited April 23 #7
    I did manage to find a box of Speer Grand Slam to try as well.  They seem to be another one of those random batch production bullets.

    Good to hear that the on game performance with the 139gr IB is about what I would have expected with a conventional bullet.  

    The GMX bullets just got worse with velocity in my rifle.  If I remember correctly the best group I had was at just above the starting charge weight.  Even that wasnt that good of a group.  I may some day revisit them, but for now i have written them off.  It has been a similar story with my 6.5 Grendel and Barnes bullets.

    I am sure the NBT has changed a lot since my dad used them.  Based on how they used to perform Nosler would have to change them if they wanted to keep selling the bullet.  QC is slightly lacking with them though.  Lots of bent or broken tips in the last box i purchased.  I was getting better groups out of the Hornady 100gr and about equal groups with the 95gr SST.  I just lost trust in the SST and FTX lines after my personal experience and seeing the results of other experience this past fall.

    I have been slowly trying to narrow down cartridges to one specific load that works well for them so that I can reduce inventory and simplify the stocking process for future use.  So far I only have one cartridge dialed in as far as bullet and powder, and that was a load worked up for it back in 2003.  The other stuff has been a more recent desire to just pick one and stick with it.  

    So far this has been the winner with the 85 IB.  It is a C-C measurement Measure widest point of mark from bullet impacts and then subtract one diameter method.  I do not know the exact velocity though, but it was just above the minimum start charge weight.  The next closest group was double the size and the worst group of the day was just over an inch.  While all groups were within acceptable size for deer at the range I would anticipate using them at for now, the other groups were not what I would call nice triangles.  I will be tweaking some of them to see if the groups become more uniform or not.

  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 575 Senior Member
    When you decide to try the GMX or any monolithic bullet start with seating the. 30-50 thousnaths off the lands. Glad you found a load that works for u
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    The GMX rounds were seated to the OAL that was in the load manual.  i didnt mess with seating depth, but if memory is correct I can seat just about everything a good bit further than book.  I may revisit them again at some point and see if I can find my notes on what was the best group.  From there see about seating longer until I see a change in performance one way or another.  At this point I kind of wrote them off.  My .458x1.8 patterns with the 250gr MonoFlex and my 6.5 Grendel is a mixed bag with Barnes as far as what looks like a possibility for potential. 

    I do know that over 100gr is out of the question in my rifle.  Tried some 103gr ELD-X and gave up after 3 shots.  Not a chance in making those fly straight in my rifle.  Maybe a fast twist 6mm-ARC is in my future???  One of the reasons I started looking at the 85gr IB and 90gr Hot-Cor was to increase the margin for stability.  I may look into some 95gr Partitions as well.  Not thrilled with paying the price premium, but if thats what it takes to get reliable good performance then so be it.  I have cheaper to shoot paper punchers if I just want to make holes in paper.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    edited April 24 #10
    Went digging through the pile of targets and found these from the trip out with the Interbond loads.

    IMR 4064



    For comparison, Speer 90gr Hot-Cor and Nosler 100gr Partition.

    I'm sure that in more capable hands the rifle can do better.  I see a good bit of potential in all three bullets.  I really would like the 85gr InterBond to be the winner though.  Once things open back up I plan on getting some velocity numbers as well as dialing in a load.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    You better hang on to that 35 Whelen with a white knuckle grip. Its a life long freind that you can't replace right there.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Ha, didn't double check which pictures I uploaded from the phone.   That one was an oops to be included. 

    My .35 whelen was my first rifle to build under the guidance of a professional.  I restocked it after building a second rifle as it started life in a recontoured military stock as I was going to outgrow it.   It has shot like that since the beginning with a Hornady 250 and that charge of IMR 4064.   We tried some "premium" bullets before the trip it was restocked for and went back to the Hornady 250.  Good enough to drop a Kudu in a step and a half with a 50 yard shot.

    I see potential in the .243 loads, and honestly they would have probably all been fine for the use I am likely to have for it.  I would just prefer to have it dialed in better and not worry about a flyer.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    edited April 24 #13
    I think the 243win is one of the most popular cartridges of all time. I had an old bull barrel Ruger 77 chambered for it that was a laser. I hated that heavy barrel and it went down the road. The cartridge made an impression though. 
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Its not terribly common around me, and I really dont know why.  Its a lot of fun to shoot.  I have only used one hunting once and it was an estate rifle.  Worked well on a hill stag in Scotland.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Just an update since I finally had a chance to get to a range again.  I think I have found my load for the .243 with the 85gr InterBond.  I am a little over book listed velocity, but not enough over to even think there might be an issue.  I still plan on trying some Nosler 90gr AccuBonds and 85gr Partition since I have them, but I think this will be my load.  I should have enough powder left in the jug to load up another 25 or 30 once all sighted in.  That will for sure last a while.  

    I am happy with the velocity and group size.  Sure more velocity and a tighter group would be nice, but lets be honest about what this rifle is.  

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    More speed won't win any races. 3,000fps should do anything that needs done with room to spare.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    More speed would probably just come at the cost of barrel life.  This one already runs hot.  Hopefully I can manage to have it all sighted in where I want it in a handful of shots and be done for now.  It should be fairly close as it is.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,482 Senior Member
    Try a box of Federal Fusion 95gr. for giggles, they are cheap. Not trying to steer you away from Science! mind you, but I have not reloaded a single round of .243 because I figured I was good to go out of my kids Mossberg ATR.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Finding a consistent supply of any particular ammunition around me has become difficult over the last couple years.  There have been times where I tried a box of something to see how it would shoot, had great results, and when I went back for more it was gone and unavailable for months.  I have also run into issues with lot to lot consistency with factory ammunition.  One lot would shoot sub 1" groups all day and the next would look like someone fired buck shot at the target.  
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    As far as the NBTs go I had bad experience with them years back. But they improved them and made them a little tougher. I've had excellent experience with the newer ones. Also, another bullet it seems you have avoided that I consider as good as the NBT is the Sierra Game King. In a 6mm or .243 a 100 grain NBT or SGK with some IMR or H4350 or RL-17 they are the cat's meow. Accurate and good performers they are great killers of deer size game. I haven't had a NBT fail in over 10 years and I've never had a SGK fail on deer. I won't use either one on larger game than deer but for deer size game they're the best I've ever used and both are as accurate as a hunting bullet gets.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Only reason I am really playing with the 85gr IB is that it is bonded.  Otherwise I have about zero trust in plastic tipped bullets anymore.  I have experienced myself or have seen the results of too many cup and core plastic tipped bullets that had unacceptable failures.  

    I do use some Sierra bullets for paper punching, but have no experience on game.  They shoot acceptable for paper punching, but finding a load that groups well has been an issue for me so far.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,148 Senior Member
    I know I've stated this on the forum a few times before, but it's always seemed more difficult to get really good accuracy with bonded bullets pushed fast than with their cup-n-core counterparts.  No clue why that is, but it's been a trend for me over multiple samples/brands tried.  Otherwise great groups marred by uncalled flyers, like you see in the last photo of post #10, are exactly what I've experienced. 

    As for non-bonded plastic tipped bullets, I agree with you.  The Hornady SST is a shining example of a non-bonded, plastic tipped bullet that does fine on whitetails, but has proven way too explosive/fragile on bigger game.  My buddy for this out the hard way on a Colorado cow elk that took off and was never found after being hit with one in the shoulder.

    That said, it looks like you've got something still worth working into your field rotation with the IB going at 3,166 fps.  That's more than acceptable accuracy and the bullet should have no issues holding up at impact.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    My personal issues with SST and FTX have been on what I would call smallish whitetail deer.  My dad has had issues with SST and ELD-X on deer and an elk, and a family friend has had failures with SST on quite a few deer as well.  

    As far as the flyers, I have that with every kind of bullet when trying to work up a load.  Until getting the load dialed in it seems to happen.  Given the overall group size I also cant rule out error on my part for most of the sample groups.  The horror stories I read about the .243 85gr IB would suggest that I could never hope for a sub 2" group with it.  Given past experience with "premium" bullets I am quite happy with how these seem to be grouping.

    If I can get my 6.5x55 to shoot 140gr bullets I plan on using that for my upcoming "trip" but the .243 is my back up.
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