YouTube personality, Graham Baates, explains why GBGuns shoots Nosler ammunition in every gun review.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- While reviewing more than 90 handguns in the past year or so it became necessary to find ways to reduce inconsistencies in our shooting performance.
If you’re familiar with the channel you’ve seen that both Erika and I shoot a group to demonstrate how the pistol handles, gather some experience for initial impressions, and potentially demonstrate how well the particular handgun and sight combination works for aimed fire.
Variables in personal shooting performance can come from weather, stress, sleep, diet, mood, and more. Without taking on the lifestyle of an Olympic athlete we can’t control those within reason.
Performance of the handgun boils down to mechanics and ammunition. This means the easiest variable for us to control is ammunition. The goal in any gun review is not to make every handgun look like a gem, but we also want to be fair and so the search for the ultimate consistency in handgun ammunition began.
We finally settled on a manufacturer located not too far from us, Nosler Ammunition. Before getting into the company itself a quick demonstration of how their Match Grade 115gr 9mm performed in our Walther Q5 Match:
We’ve been impressed, and since Nosler is quasi-local to us we decided to make a visit. Unfortunately we weren’t permitted to take photos or video of either of the two main processes used by Nosler in the manufacture of their ammunition, but we can tell you that each and every projectile is inspected by hand and measurements are taken from the moment the raw materials are put into the machine to the final packaging before being sent out the door.
Those measurements are so tight in fact that a variance of more than .2gr is considered unacceptable. To put that in perspective such a variance on your standard 168gr .308 round would be just 3%!
Nosler began after a failed hunting trip in which a mud-caked Moose refused to drop on a hunt after being hit with a .300 H&H. John Nosler realized that the projectile was failing to penetrate and so began work on what is now Nosler’s famous Partition bullet design. After a successful hunt with his new prototype bullet, John Nosler was disappointed to be told by major manufacturers that there was no way to produce his design on a large scale. That wasn’t going to stop Nosler and in 1948 the Nosler Partition Bullet Company was formed.
Today’s Nosler Ammunition continues to make partitioned bullets as well as traditional match-grade ammunition. One of the questions I had for them was why hunting rounds cost more than match ammunition. The answer was simple. The steps required to make those partitioned bullets and design the varying thicknesses of jacket that ensure expansion, penetration, and weight retention are a bit more time consuming than “simply” ensuring that the round impacts in the same spot consistently.
This has been proven to us in our own rifle testing such as the recent test of the Enhanced ELC by Ranger Proof Arms. In that test we deliberately chose Nosler’s light-for-caliber 35gr .223 round expecting a loss in accuracy.
We were wrong. Despite being such a light projectile the precision with which it was made meant that the mode accuracy for a ten-shot group with a hot barrel and split between two shooters was just .5moa!
Being able to comfortably run loads outside of a rifle’s standard comfort zone makes for good potential to try different types of bullets and not be stuck with the exact grain weight that you know your rifle to normally prefer. We may test this soon with our Marlin X7VH in .308 which seems to shoot very well with 168gr but nothing else.
All-in we’ve come to understand that Nosler Ammunition is the round of choice when your shot must count. Be it in competition, self-defense, finding dinner, or filling that trophy tag of a lifetime. They aren’t priced for high-volume shooting because they aren’t made in high volume. They have a sharp focus on quality over quantity. Each lot is checked by their ballistician before being approved for shipment. This same sharp focus is what has driven them to develop new calibers like the .22 Nosler which we’ll be reviewing soon. Nosler is your choice when every shot must count.
About Graham Baates
“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .