Bullet Choices for Deer

posted on May 29, 2009

1. Trophy Bonded Bear Claw Weights for Deer: .270: 140-grain; .30 calibers: 165- to 180-grain
Comments: Copper jacket and lead core with fusion bonding for controlled expansion and intense penetration. The 140-grain .270 TBBC blew right through the first buck I shot with it years ago; the deer ran 70 yards and left a gushing blood trail. When I gutted the deer I found the lungs destroyed, which meant the bullet expanded well inside the animal before exiting. I've had similar results on the other deer I've shot with the TBBC.

2. Remington Core-Lokt PSP Weights for Deer: From a 100-grain .243, up
Comments: This is the original controlled-expansion bullet. Its copper jacket is locked to the lead core (hence Core-Lokt). It's a great all-around bullet-accurate, fabulous mushrooms, good weight retention. I've used it on and off for years, and quite a bit recently with the 7mm Rem. Ultra Mag. (RUM).

3. Sierra GameKing BTSP Weights for Deer: .243: 100-grain; .24-06: 117-grain; .270: 130-grain and 150-grain; .30-06: 150- and 165-grain; .308: 165-grain
Comments: This is a tapered bullet with a boat-tail base. It has been popular with hunters for years, especially Westerners. It's an accurate bullet that, by design, has reduced drag and wind drift. It has impressive downrange velocity and game-thumping power, too.

4. Nosler Ballistic Tip Weights for Deer: .270: 130-, 140- and 150-grain; .30 calibers: 150-, 165-, 180-grain; 7mm: 140- and 150-grain
Comments: This is one of the first bullets to use a polycarbonate tip to initiate expansion. It has a fully tapered jacket and lead alloy core. I remember the first of many bucks I shot with the Spitzer Ballistic Tip, a rutting 8-pointer in Alabama at 120 yards. When the 130-grain bullet struck, he shook violently, jumped 20 yards and fell.

5. Barnes MRX Weights for Deer: .270: 130- and 150-grain; .30 calibers: 150- and 165-grain; 7mm: 140- and 160-grain
Comments: This is the newest addition to the line of excellent X-bullets. The MRX (Maximum Range X) features a unique, dense tungsten core and Delrin tip to initiate rapid expansion. Definitely worth a look if you expect a 250-plus yard shot at a buck this fall.

6. Winchester XP3 Weights for Deer: .270 and .308: 150-grain; .30-06: 150- and 180-grain; 7mm: 160-grain
Comments: XP3 stands for "precision, power and penetration." It has a solid copper alloy with lead cover and a polycarbonate tip for expansion. This is another all-purpose premium hunting bullet.

7. Hornady LEVERevolution Weights for Deer: .30-30 and .308 Marlin Express: 160-grain
Comments: Hornady's LEVERevolution ammo is changing lever-gun deer hunting from a 100-yard to a 250-yard game, especially with the .308 Marlin Express. This bullet has a pointed soft tip for safe loading in a tubular magazine (like the polycarbonates, the tip also initiates good expansion).

Build Your Skills

The Three-Shot Zero

1. Rest your rifle on sand bags/vise on solid bench, crank your scope to 9X so you can see 100-yard target clearly. Lock on the bullseye and fire.

2. Don't move rifle or a muscle (forget where first bullet hole is for now).

3. While holding the crosshairs on the bullseye, have a buddy turn scope's knobs with a coin-first horizontal and then vertical-until the cross-hairs intersect the first bullet hole in the target, regardless of where it is.

4. Once your crosshairs are aligned on the first bullet hole, presto, your rifle is zeroed from the bench! Fire a shot from the benchrest to confirm.

5. From a field position, fire another shot to confirm zero for hunting.


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