Soft Point Ammo: SP Bullets Explained
The soft point bullet is primarily used for hunting, with the deformation of the nose creating slower expansion and greater penetration than a hollow point of the same caliber. Naturally, there are times where this is very desirable – such as hunting big game in areas where hollow points are banned.
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, similar to hollow point performance.
- Variety: This type of bullet comes in a huge variety depending on the manufacturer, ammo line or intended use. It can be found in most popular centerfire calibers from multiple brands 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 allowed 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 an FMJ bullet, so they are a fairly niche round in some cases. Although, some manufacturers have special lines of soft point ammo that really shine – including Power Point and Core-Lockt bullets.
This is a pretty versatile bullet type, and it fares 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's a fun bullet to shoot no matter the brand.