Soft Point (SP) Bullets Explained
The soft point bullet is primarily used for hunting and the deformation of the nose creates slower expansion and greater penetration than a hollow point of the same caliber would. Naturally, there are times where this is very desirable such as hunting big game in areas where hollow points aren’t allowed or where other restrictions have been imposed.
The soft point isn’t as popular as the hollow point and most people are probably more familiar with the cousin to the soft point, the jacketed soft point or JSP. The jacketed soft point is partially jacketed so you have penetration followed by deformation of the nose which leads to “tumbling” through vital organs of large game.
Soft Point Features
Soft Point – As the name implies, the nose is made of a softer lead than some other bullets and while typically not the first choice for extreme range hunting, at close to medium ranges, the impact and wound creation of these bullets is devastating and similar to hollow point performance.
Variety – This type of bullet comes in a huge variety depending on the manufacturer, ammo line or intended use. This bullet can be found in most any popular centerfire caliber. You will most likely be able to find multiple brands in each caliber that use soft point bullets.
Lever-Action Compatible – If you have a lever action rifle, the soft point bullet should already be your best friend. Since the rounds are stored front to back in tubular mags, flat-point bullets were the most common ammo type until these were truly perfected. LEVERevolution is by far the most popular brand for lever-action rifles.
Soft Point Advantages
The biggest advantage aside from the lever action use is that these are typically ok for use in areas where hollow point bullets have been banned. This is as close as you’re going to get to hollow point performance on a soft target.
Soft Point Disadvantages
These don’t quite have the same "Stopping Power" of a hollow point nor the penetration of a FMJ type bullet so they are a fairly niche round in some cases. Although some manufacturers have special lines of soft point ammo that really shine, such as Power Point and Core-Lockt bullets.
This is a pretty versatile bullet type and it fares pretty well in all applications from plinking to hunting. A lot will depend on the weapon being used as well as why you’re using this type of bullet in the first place but it does what it’s supposed to do and is a fun bullet to shoot no matter what brand you’re using.