Open Tip Match Bullets Explained

The open tip match bullet (OTM) is primarily used as a target shooting ammo hence the word “match”. There seems to be a massive debate about this particular term (OTM) because it comes across as a hollow point that isn’t technically a hollow point and causes some confusion depending on who is shooting it. The military can use it because it’s technically not a hollow point but some hunters can’t use it because it is a hollow point. This is probably the most controversial term of any bullet terms currently in use today. We don’t need to get into all of that so we’ll focus on what this bullet is and what it does.

The most popular open tip match bullets you’ll come across are the Sierra MatchKing line and these have been in use for decades.

Open Tip Match FeaturesSierra MatchKing (top) and GameKing (bottom)

Jacket – The open tip match bullet will either be jacketed in a copper-alloy or another harder than lead material to prevent deformation when firing and help accuracy at long range.

Core – The open tip match core is poured in through the hole at the nose of the bullet. This creates a very uniform bullet that is weighted pretty much the same with each bullet you’ll fire. This is one of the methods that makes this bullet type so accurate.

Accuracy – These bullets are designed for one basic purpose and that’s accuracy at range. You have a very high ballistic coefficient and any OTM bullet will be highly regarded for the ability to consistently hit a target with great grouping.

Open Tip – The only reason these bullets have an open tip is because of the way they are made. There’s some politics behind whether or not they are hollow points and depending on who you ask the answer you get will be very different. Technically, these are not hollow points in the traditional sense that they were not made to expand on impact.

Open Tip Match Advantages

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more accurate bullet. The weight distribution of these bullets is near perfect and that’s why they are so popular among target and match shooters. Many OTM bullets feature a boat tail design to improve long range accuracy even more.  Many popular manufacturers use Sierra and their own OTM bullets in match grade ammo, so it is not difficult to find this ammo.  Some of the most well known manufacturers include:  Federal, Remington and Winchester.

Open Tip Match Disadvantages

Leaving politics aside, the main disadvantage to the open tip match bullet is that it’s not designed to do anything specific on impact. Even the most popular manufacturer, Sierra, says what happens after it hits the target isn’t any concern, it’s designed for a single purpose and that is to hit the target. There are some open tip match bullets available for hunting but they aren’t particularly popular when there are so many alternatives out there specifically designed for hunting things of various shapes and sizes.

The open tip match bullet is one of the best bullet types you’ll find for target practice and competitive shooting and depending on the manufacturer, some can have different features making them more or less tailored for certain uses. They may or may not be classified as hollow points in some areas so double check that before taking them with you. The US military uses them as they aren’t technically made to expand so that’s a good case against them being called a true hollow point but it’s better to be safe than sorry and call ahead.