North Fork – .458″ – 300gr FP – Bullet test

The North Fork .458″ 300gr FP (flat point) will be the first bullet for our .458″ bullet test section!

Manufacturing of North Fork bullets were formerly located in Oregon USA, but in the year 2020, the production were sold and moved to Sweden. For us, the Finnish hunters, this is of course the great thing.

As they say on their homepage: “Over a decade ago, North Fork Bullets began with the goal of creating the best hunting bullets in the world while providing exceptional service to its customers.“. What they want to offer are the bullets that are extremely accurate, bore friendly and devasting.

We want to give our thanks to the new Swedish manufacturer of North Fork bullets for the possibility to test the North Fork bullets in our Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. You can found North Fork bullets on their homepages : &

But to the results!

North Fork .458″ 300gr FP bullet results!


Testing was made by reloading the bullets to the .458 Winchester Magnum cartridges. We measured the impact velocities ca. 5m from the muzzle. Harder impact velocity was 759m/s (2490fps) and the lower impact velocity was 618m/s (2028fps).

We do not know the ballistic coefficient of this bullet, but it MIGHT be somewhere around 0,225 (G1). If the velocity at the muzzle is 759m/s (2490fps), the lower impact velocity of 618m/s (2028fps) would simulate the impact at the distance of 113 meters (123 yards). Note: There might be error of guessing the ballistic coefficient!


They say that the bullets are : “Engineered to give you the utmost in expansion and unfailing reliability over the widest Range of velocities possible whether shooting a high velocity magnum or a standard Cartridge. North Fork bullets produce the “perfect mushroom” every time. The benefits, Whether the game is up close or at a longer range, are predictable expansion and high Retained weight providing deep penetration. With the lead core in front of the bullet and the Solid copper shank in the rear, impact results in a “perfect mushroom” over a large range of Velocities. At impact, the front lead core expands until it reaches the solid copper shank Stopping the mushroom at its maximum diameter.

The jacket of the bullets are made of pure copper, and gilded metals or copper alloys are not used. Lead core is bonded to the jacket to produce a bullet, which will have a high retained weight and which will not break and separate under the impact.

We believe this bullet is made for a .45-70 government cartridges, so the higher impact velocity of 759m/s (2490fps) was little bit out of the specifications! But we wanted to try it! The bullet held up the abusing really well, and did not break! Width of the mushroom narrowed little bit because of the high impact velocity, but the retained weight is still at the acceptable level (83%).

At the slower velocity of 618m/s (2028fps) bullet expanded well. Retained weight is also at the exellent level (ca. 99%). You don’t need to reload this bullet to the 760m/s muzzle velocity, because this bullet will also work on the lower velocities! But if you want, you definetely can!

It would have been great to test this bullet with even slower velocities for the .45-70gov users, but we run out of bullets. If we have possibilities to test lower velocities on the future, we will update the results to this article! We believe, this bullet probably will expand at the impact speed of 550m/s (1804fps).


Test targets were wet newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 759m/s (2490fps) penetrated 57cm (22,4″) of wet newspapers, and the bullet with impact speed of 618m/s (2028fps) penetrated 56cm (22″). The amount of expansion of the bullet was really good for the weight of it, and it leaded also to the good penetration.

The wound channels can be seen below. The harder impact of faster bullet can easily be seen from the cavitation.


Really good bullet choice, for a many different type of guns! The lowest velocities are still untested, but we would easily recommend this to the .45-70gov caliber. With the muzzle velocity of over 700m/s (2300fps) this bullet is really good choice for moose or bear hunting. Good penetration, nice velocity for moving subjects and really manageable recoil. Like Doug Marcaida would say; it will kill.

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Sako Gamehead Varmint RX – 308win Factory cartridge – Bullet test

At april we had a “Sako Shooting Day” at the Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab! We tested the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win factory cartridge at the same day, when we tested the new Sako Powerhead Blade 308win cartridge. Sako Powerhead Blade test you can find here -> LINK

Before we go to the test results, we still want to give our big thanks to Sako Oy, who handed these brand new Sako cartridges for us to test! Really great gesture for the enthusiasts, because there are a lot of people who are intersted about these new Sako cartridges!

But, to the results!

Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win cartridge with 130gr varmint bullet!


Tests were shot with the Tikka T3x Tactical rifle with the 600mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 942m/s (3090fps) impact velocity. Manufacturer promises the velocity of 940m/s (3084fps) at the muzzle, so it was spot on!


The optimal working style of the varmint bullet is to explode to pieces! This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX, is the hollow point, boat tail bullet for the varmints! Developed by Sako Oy. With the weight of 130gr it is little heavier than the other manufacturer’s varmint bullets in 308win. Maybe it will have same kind of trajectory than the normal hunting bullets, because of the weight? The possibility to use also the varmint bullet without the need of re-adjusting the rifle scope? I do not have answer to that yet, but I am eager to see it.

First target was 70cm of wetted newspapers and after that a 5-liter water jug. Our idea was to secure also the end part of the bullet, if the bullet would not explode completely. I can tell, the first shot was a blast! The water jug fell off the table, though it was on the other end of it! There was a huge crater emerged on the newspaper pile! The hole on the external surface of the paper, was almost 10cm (3,9″) wide! After our laugh little settled down, we noticed that there is a huge wound cavity inside the newspapers! It was 24cm (9,4″) deep and it was getting even wider inside. We measured the width of the cavity to be a 16-17cm (6,5″) wide inside of the crater!

Below you can see the wound channel of the Gamehead Varmint RX.

Second target was 5-liter water jugs. Those exploded one after another. Yes, we could not stop after the first one. It was a great joy! =D What we noticed, was that if the backside of the water jug did not rip apart, there still were no exit holes of the bullet at the back wall of the jug. The bullets were completely exploded before the back wall. I would say that Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullets works as good varmint bullets should work… they explode!

Below you can see the picture from the homepage of Sako Oy, it shows the structure of the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet.

Image copyrights: Sako Oy


At the moment, this bullet is only available in factory cartridges.


The Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet exploded almost completely, as you can see on the photos above. It is a true varmint bullet. When you are shooting a fox with the Gamehead Varmint RX the skin of that fox will be a quite tight at the short period of time! It would not take a single step after the impact. I am sure of it!

PS. This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX will also be available in 30-06spr caliber, which is really great, because the selection of 30-06 varmint cartridges in Finland, is completely zero at the moment. The velocity of the 30-06 is adverticed to be 975m/s (3199fps).

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab