Northern Precision Custom Base Guard Bullets

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Here’s the loaded rounds with the Base Guard bullets in front.
Notice the copper base “riveted” on the bullet bottom.

If there’s anything you know about me, it’s my passion for cast bullets. If I’ve yet to cast you under my spell for worshiping the silver stream, I have other ways of capturing your attention for lead slugs. Northern Precision Custom Bullets offers an interesting slug that just may pique your curiosity.

A close-up of the Base Guard bullets.

Base Guard Bullets

Made of a mostly lead alloy, this bullet has a copper bottom on it to scrape away any “fouling” that may pollute your barrel. These bullets have a generous nose-flat, technically called the meplat, which transfers energy with a kinetic slap when hitting something. For game animals, this is effective — and deadly. Since the bullets are mostly lead, it will also expand, creating large, bloodletting, permanent wound channels.

It’s a simple concept that’s worked hundreds of years with muzzleloader round balls and paper-patched lead projectiles. But these bullets offer something more — the lead-killing copper base.

The 300-grain bullets really fill out the cylinder chamber.

One Man Show

Northern Precision is a one-man shop owned by William “Bill” Noody. He has a variety of bullet styles, including jacketed, bonded, hollow point, sabre star and others. When swaging the bullet to shape, the process attaches the copper base by creating a rivet of sorts, meaning it’s there to stay. Being mostly lead, Noody suggests velocity be limited to 1,400 fps or less. For testing, Bill sent me some 0.429″ 300-grain flat-nosed bullets.

My Dillon 550C just happened to be set up for .44 Magnum with a 10-grain charge of Unique powder, as I’d just loaded some rounds for “Doc” Barranti for an upcoming deer hunt. This powder charge would be perfect for the velocity constraints of no more than 1,400 fps. I used some spent PMC brass for the re-loads and CCI 300 large pistol primers.

A soft lead alloy slug would be devastating as a hunting bullet to any soft-skinned game.

The Gun

My test gun was my beloved Ruger Hunter, complete with Leupold fixed 2X scope. Barrel length is 7.5″. This gun wears stocks given to me from Ken Kelly, which were left over from a special hunter series of revolvers he and his dad, Larry, built back in the ’70s. They have scrimshawed ivory inserts of a lion. Besides dressing up the gun, they are very special to me, as you can imagine!

Shootin’

Shooting consisted of using a 6″x6″ carpeted wood block with a sandbag on top and a sandbag for my off hand. In other words, I was rock solid. Distance was 25 yards, and I was aiming at 2″ fluorescent orange stick-on squares from U-line. Velocity was just over 1,120 fps and accuracy was just under 2″ for five shots. As I only had 10 bottom guard bullets loaded, that was it for testing.

When I was done shooting, I pulled the cylinder and examined the bore. It was cleaner than when I started. The copper base guards definitely worked, scraping any lead deposits left behind from the high lead alloy bullets. Northern Precision carries the base guard bullets in 0.308, 0.358, 0.416, 0.429 and 0.458″ diameter. Pricing starts at $20 per 50.

These slugs would be wonderful for the handgun hunter, or anyone looking for a less expensive alternative for reloading bullets. The low velocity threshold makes these perfect training loads for beginners as well. William “Bill” Noody is a one-man shop who promises quality products and reasonable prices. He’s knowledgeable and willing to share information if you need any hints or product information. Bill can be reached at (315) 955-8679 or at npcustombullets.com. Tell him Tank sent you.

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