You’re destined to find something you can use with Hornady’s hollow points.
It’s not every day that a company finds something truly better to do with an item as simple as a bullet, but Hornady has managed it with their XTP line of hollow point handgun bullets.
During the years that XTPs have been on the market, they’ve remained incredibly popular due to the fact that they’re the first and still some of the best hunting handgun bullets on the market. They’ve begun to see use in various law enforcement roles over time, but hunting is still their bread and butter.
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The design of the XTP isn’t that special in and of itself. These hollow points are built to expand when they contact the target, open a certain amount and retain as much of their weight as possible on the way through.
What makes the XTP different from all the other hollow point pistol bullets that came before it is the simple fact that the various bullets in the line are tailored to expand correctly for the cartridges they are meant to be loaded in. A 38 Special is the same caliber as a 357 Magnum, but there is a world of difference between them in terms of muzzle velocity.
A bullet that holds together well at 38 Special speeds might just blow up when you push it at the speed limit of the 357, and a good 357 bullet might not do much of anything in terms of expansion loping along out of a 38 Special. With XTP bullets this ceases to be a problem because you’re guaranteed there is a bullet in the lineup that fits your particular cartridge.
Running the gamut from diminutive little 30 caliber pills up to hulking 50 calibers, Hornady offers an XTP for just about every application.
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In terms of real world performance I’ve had the chance to do quite a bit of testing with the XTP over the years, and have always been pleasantly impressed. I can’t really speak about them in terms of weight retention because I’ve never recovered one out of a game animal, but I consider that a good thing.
I can say that out of a 44 Magnum, a 10mm Auto or a 357 Magnum, they’re extremely effective on big game and I can’t recall a situation where more than one was required to bring home the bacon.
There is one interesting oddity about XTPs that make them extremely useful to the handloader. Unlike most pistol bullets, the XTP doesn’t taper. The bearing surface of a 44 caliber XTP is .429 at the base and remains at .429 up until it curves to form the nose of the bullet, whereas with most pistol bullets the base would be .429 and they would then taper down to some smaller number.
The XTP’s lack of taper adds a great deal of bearing surface to the bullet and makes it a great choice for use in rifle loads at higher velocities, which isn’t normally a very accurate proposition with a pistol bullet.
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For low recoil loads or varmint fodder, .312 XTPs shoot great out of a 7.7 Arisaka or the 303 British. The XTPs in .357 can be great fun in the 35 Remington or 35 Whelen and last but not least, the .410 XTP makes for great plinking fun out of the 405 Winchester.
Given a little imagination — and maybe a touch of boredom — there’s nothing the XTP can’t do.
Featured image via Hornady