Best bullets for deer, antelope, bear & elk


December 4, 2008, 01:19 AM
I know this may start some disagreements!What bullets do you all use for deer, antelope, bear, elk, hogs or whatever else you may hunt? Are there any bullets you used to swear by but for some reason you no longer feel comfortable hunting with?

Thanks for your input.

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December 4, 2008, 01:56 AM
There are so many new and improved bullets out there it's enough to spin your head. Most of them will do a good job but you will also have to pay a high price to buy them. I feel the old and time tested Remington Core-Lokt bullet is still one of the best bullets ever made and they won't cost you a lot either.

December 4, 2008, 01:57 AM
elk (and maybe bear if they are brown) is the kicker here. if you have to choose one for all i would go with a nosler partition, barnes x-bullet or an a-frame. ANY bullet will pretty much do for deer, antelope, and hogs.

December 4, 2008, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the input.

fireman 9731
December 5, 2008, 12:06 AM
+1 for the Barnes TSX

December 5, 2008, 12:10 AM
I bet the core lokt has taken more game then any other bullet.

December 5, 2008, 12:22 AM
I will jump in and make some waves:evil:, I like the hornady sst for thin skinned critters and nosler partitions for hogs,bear,&elk that need the penetration to nock them down. The SST is a real performer on deer, just this year I took a buck "blacktail" at 220 yds(270 WIN 140SST 2995 FPS) with a hit behind the front leg and he dropped where he stood and my father using my loads and rifle took a even larger buck @75 yds and hit just the very back of the lungs/diaphram and he made one jump and piled up 6 feet from where he stood. The shock of these bullets if amazing!!! but that said they blow up going in and leave a small hole of just the core exiting so I will only use these for smaller thin skinned game.

December 5, 2008, 01:21 AM
With regards to Remingtonís bullets... just because a bullet is mass produced doesnít make it good quality. Core lokts donít retain there mass they fragment like crazy thus loosing energy. I would highly recommend noslers partition or accubond bullets for the applications you have mentioned they retain more of their mass and will provide better penetration and more knock down power. I havenít had a nosler fail me yet. just my .02

December 5, 2008, 01:45 AM
For the Nosler Partitions and Barnes, good medicine for those tuff critters that might take a disliking to being shot.
For anything else, of the thinskin variety, if something like a 30-06 or 300mag is at hand, basically any hunting type bullet should do the trick, and the rest is in your hands, to put the shot where it counts.

December 5, 2008, 04:35 AM
What do you do if your rifle does not like Partitions ? Mine prefers Gamekings or Hornady Interlocks.

December 5, 2008, 11:39 AM
What do you do if your rifle does not like Partitions ? Mine prefers Gamekings or Hornady Interlocks

dont worry about it. both will do fine. just might have to take a closer shot.

i will not even insult everyone by delving into the whole accuracy and placement issue since we all know this.

millions of deer and elk have fallen to crappy old "non-premium" bullets and are still just as dead as ever!

December 5, 2008, 11:48 AM
The Rem Core-Lokt's have the advantage of being available as a bulk component, which makes it cheaper to practice more with the same projectile.

December 5, 2008, 02:38 PM
+2 Barnes TSX

December 5, 2008, 03:46 PM
I've had great luck with the Nosler BT 180gr on deer. Heavy enough to always go through, quite accurate, and at under $20 a box, affordable.

December 5, 2008, 07:11 PM
With regards to Remington’s bullets... just because a bullet is mass produced doesn’t make it good quality. Core lokts don’t retain there mass they fragment like crazy thus loosing energy

I have found core-lokts to perform completely the opposite of this statement. We have found core-lokts hold together very well, I have never seen any signs of fragmentation. The pics below are of a bull elk I got this year, shot with 150gr core-lokts out of a .30-06 at around 150 yards. Bet you can't tell the difference between the entrance and exit hole, this bullet did not fragment. All the core-lokt bullets we have found in elk have excellent mushrooms, and the whole bullet appears to be intact (unlike others, sierra green box in particular-this bullet usually fragments on us). I do not have any pictures of these unfortunately but I bet someone does. I have used core-lokts in the past for deer out of a .243 also with good results. We have also had good success on deer and elk with hornady softpoint bullets, they also perform well.

December 6, 2008, 01:24 AM
I agree with you about Core-Lokt bullets. That's why I suggested them in post #2 so thank you for posting a conformation they do a good job. I wasn't going to argue the point because I didn't have any proof to post like you have. Good post Sir! I have shot and do shoot other bullets I like better but for a new reloader looking for 1 bullets to shoot different game I felt that bullet would do a good job for him without emptying his pocket.

Alpine Storm
December 6, 2008, 01:42 AM
I have been fortunate to harvest 5 bull Elk and probably 10 Mule deer. On the deer I found the Game Kings, and typical soft points work fine. My only bad experiance was with some Hornady's that wouldn't expand at close range with my 30.06

However on Elk you really need to shoot the Nosler partitions as everything else comes apart on big bones, and thus doesn't penetrate. (Lost a spike for that very reason)

The Barnes X out of a magnum works pretty well, but they aren't dense enough to retain energy after impact and even at higher velocities (30-378 at 30 feet) get stuck on the other side of the rib cage.

I bought several boxes of Nosler Partitons from the same Lot #, sighted my gun in and shoot them year after year. They are in my opinion the perfect balance of expansion and penetration.

December 6, 2008, 10:38 AM
BTW, my experience with Federal 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tips in 30-06 is that they tend to explode in deer. The deer don't go far, up to 50yds is not unusual, but finding them can be a chore. I find my handloads with the 180's, being a little slower, stay together and finish the job better. If they don't drop immediately in their tracks, they don't go far and there's a very easy trail to follow.

XD-40 Shooter
December 6, 2008, 11:41 AM
Remington Core-Lokts are cheap and they work. I shoot the 150's and 180's out of my .308, both work good.

December 6, 2008, 02:25 PM
Welcome to the Forum, ORXD40. Nice to have you join us. Nosler Partition is excellent. However, I respectfully disagree with your observation:With regards to Remington’s bullets... just because a bullet is mass produced doesn’t make it good quality. Core lokts don’t retain there mass they fragment like crazy thus loosing energy. Dad and I have been using them (along with Partition and other good bullets) since the 1970's with outstanding success. Such a simple design and mass produced, they haven't been fragmenting on our deer and elk.

December 6, 2008, 03:35 PM
well, i'm a barnes 3x fanatic.
i've taken white tails, sitka deer, moose, wolves, coyotes, and a brown bear with these bullets.
i shoot a browning lever rifle in 358w and 308. friends up here --i'm in southeast alaska, livin' the dream! but i come from michigan/wisconsin originally--shoot blr's in 3006. i know you asked about bullets, not calibers, but for anyone who cares, i see lots of stuff about using nothing smaller than a howitzer or shoulder fired rocket for brown bears...but people up here who have been born and raised up here all just smile at talk of tank-killer guns, and sling their 3006s, 308s, and 7mm rem mags over their shoulders and head out into the bush...

December 6, 2008, 03:37 PM
one more thing...those folks who oughtta know, who have been running these parts longer than i've been alive...use nosler partitions, grand slams, and barnes 3x in their various preferred calibers for taking moose, deer, black and brown bear, etc, year after year...

December 6, 2008, 05:49 PM
There are, of course, lots of excellent bullets available today, but I truly feel that if cost is not a factor, which it shouldn't be for a hunting bullet, then it is awfully hard to argue against the Barnes bullets in their latest stage--today that is the triple shock. When their furthest development was the X, the same applied. That is not saying anything against other manufacturers, but I have yet to hear a logical argument, other than cost, to use other than Barnes for hunting bullets. I think it's safe to say "they NEVER fail". I certainly have never heard of such (the bullet, not the operator!). But there are a half dozen excellent hunting bullets out there that will do the hunter well. How about the old Remington Bronz Tips? Too bad they aren't available any more.

Of course, you'll never get agreement on this question.

December 29, 2008, 03:18 PM
I never had any core lokts come apart on me and the ones that I recovered looked picture perfect from my 30-06. I do not use them any more but back in the day they worked great. Those winchester silver tips worked great for me too.

Jerry D
December 29, 2008, 03:31 PM
What do you guys think of the new .30 cal 168 grain "hunting" nosler ballistic tip. It has a thicker jacket compared to the varmint ballistic tip to stop it from "exploding?"

I'm thinking I might make a few rounds and test them out. Also how do the accubonds perform on deer compared to the partition?

December 29, 2008, 04:05 PM
I shot this deer at 500 yards.
The muzzle velocity of the 130 gr Ballistic tip 270 was 2900 fps.
The velocity at 500 yards was 1900 fps.

The exit hole is much bigger than the entrance hole.
The lungs were turned to mush.

My friends all use partition bullets that expand extra slow.
I am looking for a bullet that expands extra fast, when I am shooting a 200 pound deer.
I want the bullet to expand before it goes out the other side.
Entrance hole...........................................................................................exit hole

December 30, 2008, 02:28 PM
does any one have any pictures of a core lockt after they hit a elk or moose shoulder?soft tissue is one thing bone is my experince core lockts havent provided the performance I desired in the applications in which it has been used.thus my recommendations for the premium bullets such as nosler, barnes or hornady( cant wait to see how hornadys new gmx shoot)..... again not trying to offend any one simply stating my experince

Clark... look in to hornadys SST's or Interbond i think they will do you well

December 30, 2008, 10:18 PM
I think we have to look at the particular applications for the bullet design and use it to that design.

ie if you push a hunting ballistic tip very fast into a deer really close up it will fragment.

if you push a sierra game king really fast int oa close deer it will fragment.

if you shoot them at longer ranges (as they were designed for) so they are striking the target at a steadier velocity you will get the nice even mushrooms we all seek.

I have found that speer hot cors expand nicely but stay together well even when driven fast into close targets. so i use different bullets for different jobs. 165 gr sierra gamekings from my .30-06 with 60 gr of imr 4350 for longer ranged deer (most are around 200 yds over open fields). 130 gr speer hot cors with 42 gr of N140 from my 7mm08 for close woodland deer (most are 50-100 yards). although sometimes i take 120 gr pro hunters. they seem a lot faster but have the same poi but group tighter.

for bigger animals like your elk or black bears i would use .30-06 with 180 gr partitions (although the 165 partition would be ok)

i quite liked Hornady interlocks in 243


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