So you’re thinking about hunting this year, and you’re wondering what would be the best bang for your buck? Depending on what you plan to hunt, Hunting in Idaho or Montana, we recommend one or the other in our article linked below for various purposes. What do these two bullets have in common? They both provide excellent accuracy at long range while maintaining enough energy to dispatch big animals. They have to be hunted and hunted well to provide value, but the key here is hunting. Hunting well includes gaining accurate information during preparation, stalking, and getting off a shot. It also includes knowing where you’re headed before going there. So which bullet does that better than the other?
If you’re an experienced hunter, the chances are that you already have an idea of what we’re talking about here. If you’re new to the hunting lifestyle, these two bullets have a lot in common. Both the SST and Interlock provide excellent performance on medium-sized games. Either one of them can bring down deer-sized game within reasonable distances and with good shot placement. Unfortunately, that’s precisely where the similarities end. As we discussed previously, there’s a reason that these two bullets act so differently from one another when it comes to velocity and weight retention.
The Hornady SST Bullets
It is a super sleek, mono-metal design made to get through the air faster and straighter than any other round. The polymer tip provides the balance in the equation, giving the bullets their aerodynamic qualities. When the mass is moved to the front of the bullet, it creates a significant instability factor. In other words, it’s no longer streamlined at that point. The polymer tip was added to provide a backspin and ensure that the tip doesn’t peel off in flight. The polymer tip also has a proven ability to retain weight in the air and on impact. It is excellent for duck and turkey hunting and hunters looking for good penetration through deep brush. It’s also one of the flatter-flying bullets on the market today.
Now let’s look at our other contender and arguably the most popular big game hunting bullet on the market today.
The Hornady Interlock Bullets
However, if you’re seeking a bullet to keep on target during long-range shots, look no further than Hornady’s Interlock. It’s an excellent long-range hunting bullet because it’s not only accurate but also has a relatively straight trajectory. The Interlock is made out of a copper-alloy jacket with a lead core. It was explicitly designed to prevent tumbling and increase the accuracy at long ranges. Thus, it is the bullet that you can depend on when you’re about to take that 300+ yard shot. If you’re not sure about your equipment or your skills, however, we recommend using something else for long-distance shots.
As a result of these extended ranges, both bullets can penetrate profoundly and remain perfectly intact throughout their travel paths. However, the Hornady Interlock works slightly better than the SST bullet regarding penetration and its rapid expansion. It can also shoot further because of its weight and then retain its speed in flight. On the other hand, the Hornady SST is an ideal bullet for minor games requiring light recoil and precision at medium range.
Both bullets feature a copper-alloy jacket. The Hornady Interlock’s jacket has a polymer core, while the Hornady SST’s is made out of copper. This component in the bullet gives it its intended performance. Copper jackets are known to give bullets more energy and accuracy at long range, but they’re also quite brittle. Therefore, they are typically more expensive and heavier than other options (including lead). However, they can offer a lot of benefits in return.
For one, they’re waterproof. Both the SST and Interlock bullets can also be fine-tuned more than other materials and often have better penetration and expandability. Sure, lead is much cheaper, but this is the better choice if the quality is what you seek.
Both the SST and Interlock bullets contain lead, but the Hornady SST has a pure lead core, while the Hornady Interlock uses an alloy of lead and tin. The tin in the alloy increases expansion and adequate penetration without sacrificing too much weight. That gives the Interlock bullet a solid base to build upon and is necessary for precision and distance.
If you’re shooting at longer ranges, this is likely a better option than pure lead for its ability to retain speed and energy over distance. So, the more lead you have, the less speed and energy it retains. The trade-off is that pure lead is exceptionally soft. It’ll slow down to expand, but it isn’t going to do a lot of damage when it hits your target.
The Hornady SST has a more traditional lead core with a boattail base design. That allows for consistent expansion while maintaining some hardness for penetration.
Both the SST and Interlock bullets have a lead core, but one is heavier than the other. The Interlock’s core is more extensive, while the SST’s is smaller. That being said, you can use both across different game categories without any problems whatsoever.
Both cores are heat-treated, which means they can withstand the impacts and roughness of the game. Their structure makes them insensitive to extreme temperatures as well.
The Bullet Weight
The Hornady Interlock weighs in at over 200 grains, while the Hornady SST tips the scales at 160. That means that the Interlock will be much more damaging and retain its stability longer than the SST. It’s not just about weight, though. The Interlock can be used for heavier games with heavier bullets, making it suitable for large games like boar and black bear. The SST might not have its penetrating capabilities, but that’s what makes it so versatile as well.
Fast and Accurate Bullets
A vital factor to consider with any bullet is its speed. That is not a problem with these two bullets at all! Each one can analyze speed and match it to its bullet performance requirements without any problems. The SST is fast, though slightly slower than the Interlock. That’s because the Interlock has less weight behind it as well. Still, both of them can run between 2300 and 2400 feet per second (fps).
A lightweight bullet like the Hornady SST is known for its accuracy but can only take a few shots before losing its stability and becoming inaccurate. An Interlock is an excellent option for long-range hunters that hunting deer because it doesn’t lose its energy from a distance. It retains its energy at higher velocities than other bullets, allowing you to get more shots out of your ammunition and far more accurate with each shot.
Both the SST and Interlock bullets are loaded at 2800 fps. That is to ensure that they hit their targets without any issue. A lighter bullet that can gain a lot of speed from a high velocity is also an excellent choice for long-range shots because it won’t lose its velocity at a distance of over 300 yards.
If you’re looking for more power and energy, consider the Hornady Interlock (which has less weight) or the SST (heavier). The Interlock might be a little bit slower than the SST, but it is designed in a way that it can keep on flying after it’s been fired. That means it can still retain its energy and speed even if you’re firing more than one shot. You can also have more accuracy with each shot by using an Interlock bullet.
Hornady SST VS Hornady Interlock: Which is the better bullet for deer?
As good as both of these bullets are, they’re also better for one game than the other. The Interlock is ideal for larger animals, like a blue and red stag hunting , elk hunting , and moose. The copper jacket gives it the performance needed to penetrate deer at extended ranges with high power. However, it can also be used on more minor games like squirrels and rabbits if you don’t mind using a heavier bullet or dealing with extra recoil from your firearm.
The SST is somewhat lighter, which makes it ideal for mule deer hunting. It might not have the same energy as the Interlock, but it can still deeply penetrate when you need to take down a young deer. That is what makes it the better choice for these smaller game animals and situations.
If you’re looking to hit your target at longer ranges, both of these bullets will get the job done well. However, for better penetration and adequate expansion, the Interlock bullet is your best bet. You can use this option for a heavy game like a black bear and more minor games like squirrels and upland birds. The SST bullet was designed with versatility in mind. It’s accurate and retains more energy and speed than the Interlock, even at longer ranges.
They’re both excellent long-range cartridge choices, but they serve different purposes at the range. The SST’s performance is more consistent than the Interlock’s, which means that you’ll get more accuracy and deep penetration with fewer shots while using it. It might be possible to get more than one shot with the SST, meaning you have more chances to strike your target. But, the Interlock bullet can still serve those purposes at longer ranges.
One thing is sure: Both the SST and Interlock bullets are excellent options when it comes to long-range hunting! They will take care of your game without having any issues. With either of them, you’ll have an excellent long-range hunting experience! Please ensure the one you choose is appropriate for your level of skill and game.