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          "Classic Hunter" and "Target" Bullets from Fox

           Tomáš Prachař  Tomáš Prachař
          Tomáš Prachař 
          Classic Hunter and Target bullets from Slovenian ammunition Fox.

          In this article, we will look at the Classic Hunter and Target bullets from Fox ammunition and boldly test the manufacturer's claim that both achieve the same point of impact without major tuning.

          This time we will focus on the .308” bullet weighing 165 gr, in combination with extensive experience in the hunting use of Hunters, which we also subjected to competitive comparison with Target bullets from the same manufacturer. As the name suggests, the Target is a bullet intended for the range "on paper." What good is some thing like this for hunters? But first, a little summary to start with.


          Exotic at First Glance, but High Quality

          The Classic Hunter from Slovenian ammunition manufacturer Fox is a series of monolithic lead-free bullets made from a copper and zinc alloy, available in calibers from .223 to .413, covering the needs of most hunters. If you don't reload, you can also choose from the most popular calibers in the form of factory ammunition. For instance, you can buy a .308 Win cartridge in practically the same configuration that I reloaded for the tests, optimized for standard barrel lengths of 558 mm, at a price of 69 Kč per piece, with the advantage of slightly higher performance.

          In any case, the bullet features a polymer ballistic tip set in a hollow point and isintended for medium and large game. The base is slightly beveled (BT), and the body has several prominent grooves that help reduce friction when the bullet passes through the barrel, which is particularly important for long monoliths that, thanks to this, can also boast high sectional density and ballistic coefficient. Reloading is relatively trouble-free; the bullet performs best with a high percentage of case fill with powder and a "jump" – the distance between the rifling and the bullet surface – of at least 1.5 mm. Although this can vary, and to achieve maximum potential, you need to "tune" it a bit. On the range, even in this caliber, it proved to bean exceptionally accurate bullet. The quality is evident during reloading on the bullets themselves, and their weighing confirms excellent uniformity, which is a basic prerequisite for accurate shooting.

          In this case, I tuned the cartridge for a relatively short 457 mm barrel. I used Lovex D073-04 powder with a charge of 37 gr, an overall cartridge length of 69.6 mm, and a measured muzzle velocity of 758 m/s. The performance could behigher, but this configuration proved to be the most accurate of the several tested and absolutely sufficient for the intended shooting distances.

          There is no risk of accidentally taking Target bullets for hunting. The bullets are easily distinguishable by the color of the tip.

          Wide Range of Options

          Since the last article, the range of Hunter bullets has significantly expanded to 37 options, from a diameter of .223 Rem to .413, and in all common weights. The vast majority of them are tipped with a plastic tip, but some are without it and thus deform a bit more rapidly. Additionally, there are 8 options for target bullets (Target), with the number expected to grow rapidly in the future. As mentioned, Fox targets not only reloaders but also those who preferfactory ammunition. The Fox Ammunition line includes most commonly used hunting cartridges. In total, there are 21 options, and it will surely please our local readers that this includes some of the traditionally over looked European calibers like 7x57R, 8x57IS, and 9.3x62. This is premium quality ammunition equipped with Fox Classic Hunter bullets. These are not "small calibers" – for instance, the .270 Win cartridge with a 130 gr bullet boasts a velocity of 920 m/s. The prices of Fox factory cartridges range from 69 to 81.5 Kč per piece.

          Experienced reloaders know that talking about "identical ballistics" is very bold.

          "Target Bullets" in the Service of Hunters

          The Target bullets are essentially the same as Classic Hunter, but instead of a hollow point with a ballistic tip, it's a solid mass of the same shape. This makes the bullet significantly less prone to deformation. This can be useful for hunting small game, where we also want to avoid damaging the fur. Conversely, it is also a valid option for hunting extra heavy and tough game, where maximum energy must go into penetration, even though the Target is not primarily intended for this. After all, we don't have many buffaloes and elephants grazing in our fields, but the bullet is an interesting option even if you don't leave the Czech Republic and don't shoot small game. It is a cheaper alternative to Classic Hunter for training purposes. If you don't shoot your game just at short distances of a few dozen meters, then range training should be a regular part of your hunting preparation, and then bullets costing 23 Kč each (.308/165 gr) can get quite expensive. In contrast, the Target with the same parameters as the Hunter costs significantly 5 Kč less.

          The manufacturer claims that Target and Classic Hunter have identical ballistics, so Target at the range and Hunter for hunting, right? Experienced reloaders, however, know that "identical ballistics" is a bold claim. In practice, it usually requires quite a bit of time tuning the powder charge and seating depth, and even then it may not be perfect. I decided to test this inpractice. I took a Target of the same weight and reloaded it almost the same as the Hunter bullet. The difference was in the cartridge length being a third of a millimeter shorter due to slightly different placement of the grooves on the surface of the bullets and two-tenths of a grain less powder charge to compensate for the slightly smaller combustion space in the cartridge case. It wasn't any major tuning. Besides, I am sure that the cartridge length and powder charge could be unified if I started optimizing with the Targets and not the other way around.

          Target bullets are packed in sets of 100, while Classic Hunter is more conveniently packed in sets of 50.

          The Target bullet has the same ballistics as its counterpart from the Classic Hunter line. This means that without adjusting your scope, you have a cheaper alternative for the range.

          "The bullets fly the same. Nothing stands in the way of range training!"


          Comparison of impacts - on the right Classic Hunter, on the left Target, both shot at 100 m with five shots each. The difference in the mean point of impact is less than 1 cm, which is practically negligible.

          Results from the Range

          The difference in the groups is convincingly demonstrated in the attached photograph, where I shot three sets of six shots each of Hunter and three sets of Target at a distance of 100 meters. The difference in the mean point of impact, after deducting the worst hit in the set, was between 8-10 mm in all the groups. So, there is a difference, but so small that it is negligible except for serious competitive shooting. Shooting at 300 meters confirmed the identical ballistics of both bullets and uniform shift, which at a distance of 500 meters would be around 45 mm according to the calculation. For better confidence, you can adjust the scope by two clicks to get the identical group. In any case, the thesis is confirmed; they really fly (practically) the same. Therefore, nothing stands in the way of cheaper training at the range.

          Moreover, if your passion besides hunting is shooting itself, the Target will be a good choice in this direction as well. True, even 18 Kč per bullet can add up, but among lead-free monoliths, it is one of the cheapest bullets, with premium accuracy. It was no problem achieving groups around 16 mm. I also believe that the bullet's potential, combined with better equipment and more thorough tuning, lies even a bit lower. It also depends on how the specific rifle likes the bullet. Just for comparison, in the 6.5 Creedmoor caliber, I was able to achieve groups of 19 mm. Thanks to the high ballistic coefficient, which is characteristic of all Fox monolithic bullets, the bullet's trajectory is flatand stable. It is worth mentioning that it is not an ideal choice for shooting steel gongs at short distances, due to its ricochet and the hardness of the impact. However, over 300 meters, where the impact velocity is significantly lower, I see no problem with that.

          Back to Hunting

          If we return to the hunting Hunters, for .308 Win everything applies without exception, as I found out in the 6.5 Creedmoor test. The bullet is a bit harder, which means shooting weaker game through the shoulder so it has something to properly deform against. The chest wall alone, especially if it fails to hit a rib, may not be enough. The manufacturer states that the bullet deforms adequately even at lower impact velocities around 500 m/s. At the same time, as with all monoliths, it behaves better at higher velocities, so it is advisable not to fear lighter bullets and stronger powder charges. The Hunter convincingly brings down medium game in its tracks or nearby "within a stone's throw," and in my experience so far, without any mysterious escapes or other undesirable phenomena. The impact usually reveals a negligible entry wound, an exit hole the size of a dime, and exemplary damage to vital organs. The bruise on the side where the bullet exited would be rated as average insize, nothing particularly devastating. I have also not noticed anythrough-shots without fragments in the game meat. Overall, I have little to complain about. While using the Classic Hunter does have a handful of basic rules, apart from that, it is a top bullet for hunting, whereas the Target is a top bullet for the range with the advantage of almost identical ballistics.

          I have excellent and quite extensive hunting experience with Classic Hunter bullets in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win cartridges.

          You can purchase FOX bullets and ammunition from us at Strobl s.r.o. More information is available at or on the manufacturer's website

          Advantages/ Disadvantages

          + Excellent accuracy and terminal effect

          + Reasonable price for monoliths

          + Availability of both bullets and factory ammunition

          + Identical ballistics for training and target bullets

          - These are generally harder bullets, which has its own usage rules

          Photo sources: Author's archive

          Article author: Tomáš Prachař

          The article originally appeared in the Lovec magazine by Extra Publishing.

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