Hawk is the original developer and producer
of "SOFT" copper jacketed hunting bullets. We began doing
research on hunting bullet design in 1987, and soon learned that even with the additional
production difficulties and added cost, the soft jacket has several advantages, and is
well worth the extra work.
Almost all jacketed bullets currently manufactured use gilding metal or
a similar alloy for jacket material. Gilding metal is hard, brittle and work hardens in
forming even faster than copper. Thus, after the many forming operations needed, we end up
with a jacket that is hard and brittle, and fractures on impact, instead of stretching and
flowing with the soft lead core. When the soft lead flows beyond the support of the
jacket, it either is torn off or thrown off by the centrifugal force of rotation. This is
the primary reason it is common to have jacket separation and poor weight retention. Good
weight retention is essential for deep penetration.
Annealing the copper jackets to a "dead-soft" condition
gives a number of improvements over any other design. They seal the bore and engage the
rifling more completely, improving accuracy and eliminating gas blowby. Barrel friction is
about half that of a hard jacket bullet, thus fouling is reduced. All of the forgoing
Our "soft" jackets stay together, even with 3 diameters
of expansion. They stretch and flow to support the mushrooming lead core, keeping the
bullet intact even in extreme deformation or expansion.
Hawk Precision Bullets, recovered
.338 x 275gr x .035 RT
Left: .875 dia. x 87% weight retention
Right: 1.05 dia. x 90% weight retention
We would quickly agree that there
are designs that perform well in particular cases, We have not discovered the universal
magic answer to all situations. However, our design has demonstrated a real improvement in
performance on game and with its accuracy, at a reasonable cost.
The "soft" jacket doesnt do it all. Uniformity and
quality are crucial. We draw our own tubing, make our own jackets, and extrude our own
lead cores to insure complete control and the highest quality. Virtually all bullets are
made with a much harder alloyed lead core that contains tin and/or antimony. The Hawk
Precision bullet uses a pure lead core which is softer and ballistically superior. We are
able to hold our weight control several times closer than commonly used industry standard.
Every run, even 400 & 500 grain bullets are held within 1/2 gr. We dont sort and
sell different grades. We actually make every production run to this high standard, and
then check every bullet and mark the variation on each box before shipping