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Winchester Supreme E-TIP Range

Winchester Supreme E-TIP Range

You’d have to be blind not to have noticed the increase in non-lead cored bullets over the last few years. OK, Barnes has always been there with their TX range, which offers an alternative and highly effective expanding projectile. But the current thrust in this area seems to be more environmentally oriented!  Lead has been banned in shotgun shells for wildfowling and one possible future is that there might be restrictions on bullets too. With this in mind more and more manufactures are offering alternative ammunition and projectiles.
Winchester is no different and is now offering their Supreme range of ammo with Nosler E-TIP, non-lead bullets. I have tested the E-TIP before, but this is the first time I have got some in factory loadings. My initial findings using my 300 WSM custom Win Model 70 were that velocities were slightly down on a comparable lead-cored design and accuracy was not as good, not by much but noticeable.

Gilded Cage

Unlike my first batch of E-TIPS which were plain gilding metal, the Supremes have a black, Lubalox coating to; and in Winchester’s words: “reduce engraving forces and barrel fouling.” The build is essentially a boat tailed, monolithic hollow point with a long “energy expansion” cavity topped with a green polycarbonate tip, which initiates expansion. This sort of build does promote good weight/mass retention, though I never recovered one but feel this comment is valid. However expansion on lighter game and at longer ranges is also critical, as this tougher material will require a solid backstop or high velocity to achieve maximum effect.
For the test I got 130-grain 270 Winchester and 180-grain 30-06 Springfield loaded into nickel cases, as all the Supreme range are. This does make the finished product more weather and grime proof and should be no hassle on feed and extraction. Testing was done with a Sauer 202 Take Down (270) and a Kimber Montana (30-06). I know both rifles to be accurate with the 202 shooting ¾” and the Kimber around ½ - ¾”  with the right ammo.

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Group Hug

As always I would be shooting for group and then over the chrono. Typically the bullets are quite long as with this sort of build the weight can only be made up in material and not density as with lead. First up the 270s. Groups averaged 1 –1 ½”and where perhaps less consistent than both lead-cored PPU 140-grain SP and Winchester 130-grain ballistic tips. The quoted muzzle velocity is 3050 fps, average readings were 2973 fps/2550 ft/lbs, so still fairly clocking on. The 30-06s were much the same with groups opening up to 1 – 1 ¼” and muzzle velocity down from the quoted 2750 fps to 2653 but still with an impressive 2812 ft/lbs of energy.
These findings certainly seem to match my first contact with E-TIP bullets however; different rifles might show alternative results. I have no doubts that both loads are highly effective and would be a good choice for heavier game, plus if you’re hunting in Europe might be mandatory in certain countries. Non-lead bullets might not be the whole future of shooting, but they will be some of it; so these new Winchester Supreme off-the-shelf loads offer an effective, available and workable solution.

For: Effective non-lead solution
Against: Perhaps not quite as accurate as lead-cored ammo
Verdict: It’s available and will be of use

270 Winchester £44
30-06 Springfield £42