Best deer ammo


November 23, 2008, 03:19 PM
My son shot his first rifle deer today. He shot it with a Savage 223 at 100 yards. That was the furthest I was going to allow him to shoot. Perfect flat broadside shot. The problem we had was almost no blood ttrail. When we cleaned the doe I noticed a part of a curled bullet fragment had almost exited (next to the skin) on the other side and all the insides was really torn up so the bullet must have separated thus no good exit hole. The ammo we used was Hornady 75 gn bthp match. I was using this ammo because it was so accurate from the rifle. I also really want to stay with the heavy grain ammo but its not a must. Does anyone know if the Hornady TAP 75 gn Personal Defense bullet would stay together ? Should I try to find a heavy FMJ ?

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November 23, 2008, 03:44 PM
You should try to find dedicated deer bullet ammo.

Match ammo is not intended to work on game, and TAP ammo is designed to work on scrawny little drug fellers gone berserk. They are designed to break apart & tumble.

Any non-bonded boat-tail bullet like the 75 grain match are almost always going to fail and shed their jacket. The boat-tail acts just like a Morris Taper chuck on a drill press.
As soon as the core slips in the slightest, it is free of the jacket and can squirt out on it's own.

Look for Nosler Partition, Barnes DPX, Remington 62 grain Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded PSP, or other bonded core, premium hunting loads.

Regardless, IMO, the .223 is not a good deer rifle with even the best of ammo, and barely adequate performance is always going to be there with any load.


November 23, 2008, 04:12 PM
"Should I try to find a heavy FMJ ?"

I don't think that you can legally hunt with FMJ, can you?

And for me, 223 seems more of a varmint round that deer. Obviously it worked and lots of others will attest to the same. But for an exit wound and blood trail to follow, my own opinion based on personal preference is that heavier bullets at moderate velocities trump lighter speedier bullets on deer size game.

Well now, that didn't help a bit, did it? So much for my opinion.

November 23, 2008, 04:21 PM
You owe gratitude to rc model for taking the time to explain. Your bthp bullet is for shooting paper targets, and to make it accurate it has a very thin copper skin that sheds instantly. It is NOT a hunting bullet. Your son will lose too many deer using target bullets.

Go to the Speer web site, and I think maybe Hornady also and maybe Sierra, for a full explanation of how bullets are made for either target, varmint, big game, or dangerous game. (And fmj for military or plinking.) Then you select the proper bullet for the purpose.

And be sure to give a big pat on the back to your son! Go shooting, son-of-WormCan!

November 23, 2008, 04:25 PM
.223 NOT legal for deer in Va. Book states .23 or larger. Game warden looks at you funny when you pluck one with a Armalite AR50 also, but, that's ok in Va.

November 23, 2008, 04:26 PM
Look for Nosler Partition, Barnes DPX, Remington 62 grain Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded PSP, or other bonded core, premium hunting loads.Huge ditto.

November 23, 2008, 04:26 PM
"Game warden looks at you funny when you pluck one with a Armalite AR50 also, but, that's ok in Va."

I WANT PICS:neener:

November 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
Look for Nosler Partition, Barnes DPX, Remington 62 grain Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded PSP, or other bonded core, premium hunting loads.

I like the DPX, but if you handload, there is the swift sirricco II, that is a erally nice bullet. In 75gr.

November 23, 2008, 04:40 PM
+1 for partition

Or what about Win Ballistictip?

November 23, 2008, 04:41 PM
Very, very hard to beat the Nosler Partition or Remington Core-Lokt bullets for Deer. They worked back when, and they still do.

November 23, 2008, 04:43 PM
Although deer can be killed with a .223, that is not what it was designed and intended for. It is certainly not the best choice out there. I think we owe it to the deer to used something more appropriate.

November 23, 2008, 04:49 PM
A .223, (or another of the .22 caliber centerfires) is more than adequate for deer, when used with proper bullets, and by a guy that knows what he is doing with the rifle. You could say that hunting large game with a .223 is an experienced hunter's game.

Your son might be better served, if he were hunting with a caliber more suited for big game, and certainly if he were using a proper bullet.

November 23, 2008, 04:57 PM
Are we talking those wimpy little scrub-brush Florida deer, or 300 pound corn-fed Kansas deer?

Lotta different sizes of deer over the country!


November 23, 2008, 05:58 PM
Thank you all very much. You have been a tremendous amount of help. Our oldest son is very small and timid for his age. It took him a long time not to flinch with the 22 long rifle. He seems to be doing just fine with the 223 and I dont want to push him too fast. We been through 270, 243, and now we have backed up to the state minimum of 223. He knows we arent going to take shots over 100 yards. He hit the nail on the head this mourning but I didnt think those bullets would separate. Now I know we need something to stay together and hold its momentum.
Thanks again.

November 23, 2008, 05:59 PM
These are TN deer...

November 23, 2008, 07:12 PM
The last deer I shot with something of the .22 variety was with a .22 LR. Dropped like a light switch went off, (Back of the head from the side) and the statute of limitations is out, so don't even say it. :cool:

I agree, a bigger caliber than .223 would be better, but with proper bullet placement, almost any round will do.

Hostile Amish
November 23, 2008, 07:14 PM
Nosler Partition, Barnes Triple Shock X-Bullet, Core-Lokt, and Bear Claw (for .223 and similar cartridges) are all good choices.

November 23, 2008, 07:18 PM
I think Nosler Partition 55gr soft point is the way to go in .223.

November 23, 2008, 07:29 PM
Since I hunt in heavier cover 75 yards is a long shot for me. I usually use my Browning B92 in 357, but this year my son decided to go so I was left with my Tikka T3 223 Remington. Sierra makes a fine 65 gr. Gameking so I loaded some up, checked for POI change, and have been trying to find Bambi to try them out on.

So far son 1, me 0 :banghead:.

He poped a good sized doe at 40 yds with a 158 gr HP and she hit the ground, kicked a few times and that was it. He hit her at the base of the left shoulder/neck and it exited midway right side rib cage.

November 23, 2008, 07:34 PM
Try .243 or .270

November 23, 2008, 07:35 PM
If we're talking different calibers, I'm giving 7mm-08 a try this year... heard nothing but good things.

November 23, 2008, 07:48 PM
I understand wanting to make it as accurate as possible, but ask yourself, how much accuracy are you going to lose by using a non-match bullet? Probably not enough to make any difference at all with his shooting abilities.

Yeah, match bullets are only hollow-points to shift their center of gravity, not to expand effectively. I've used Winchester ballistic tip for years, but I recently started using Barnes bullets, since they are local.

Mike J
November 23, 2008, 08:50 PM
I've always used Remington core lokt soft point 180 grain 30-06. Last deer I killed I lung shot only found one little spot of blood & chunk of bone. But we did find the deer about 30 minutes later. He was laying in grass about 4 ft tall. Wasn't 50 feet from where I shot him but was tough to find. Sometimes its like that. Lots of guys use ballistic tips I prefer core lokts. I think ballistic tips do okay in the open-core lokts do better where its thick

November 23, 2008, 09:08 PM
The first one Im going to try is:
Federal Premium 223 Remington
60gr Nosler Partition
Im looking for the heaviest bullet I can find at a fair price.

November 23, 2008, 09:11 PM
I recently killed a 240 lb buck with a .223 55 gr Black Hills psp. One shot to lungs.

November 23, 2008, 10:31 PM
Another good deer load is the Federal with 60 gr. Nosler Partition.

November 23, 2008, 10:40 PM
Good choice, WormCan!
Best regards to you and your son, I hope you enjoy a lifetime of hunting together.

November 23, 2008, 10:52 PM
When I buy Factory, I go for Core-Lokt

November 24, 2008, 06:27 AM
Buy the kid a 30-30.

November 24, 2008, 06:58 AM
+1 on a .30-30. You can get managed recoil ammo in .30-30. Start him with that for practice then give him full loads to hunt where he won't even notice the recoil. In my opinion, a young hunter who shoots deer with an inadequate round is learning a very poor lesson about sportsmanship.

November 24, 2008, 07:05 AM
You were fortunate considering your choice of bullet. I've had similar or worse luck with hollow-points and .223 on deer. (I've shot a lot of deer with .22cfs.)

Use the 63gr or 65gr Sierra GameKings. I've had excellent performance with both on deer. I've never recovered either from deer shot either from .223 (both) or from .22-250 (63gr only, my 1/14" twist 22-250 won't stabilize the 65gr bullet).

Also, consider the 60gr Hornady SoftPoint. It's worked well. DON'T consider the 60gr HP, It'll breakup just like the 75BTHP you used.

I don't think you need the "Premium" bullets others have recommended, though they're OK if you think you do......

Any of the 55gr or heavier Soft Points will work with the .223 given reasonable shot placement. I've gotten complete penetration at 30-300+yds on heart/lung shots. Ditto spine shots 30-250yds.

No, you won't get horrendous blood trails with the .22cf's, unless you make a low chest/heart shot. Then the blood trails are adequate (about like a 170gr .30/30).

BTDT; most internet experts are just that: they regurgitate what they've read, and only that. Listen to those who "have" BTDT for REAL.

As you found out, it's shot placement that kills. A 25yd "miss" with a 40mm grenade, is still a miss !!!!! (wound radius is 15m, kill radius is 5m).

November 24, 2008, 12:45 PM
Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 55grain

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