Couple of White Tail Ammo Questions


August 25, 2010, 12:22 AM
I'm going to be going deer hunting this fall for the first time in 25+ years and I'd like some opinions on ammo for my hunt. I haven't decided which rifle I'm going to use yet. It's either my Remington Model 740 in 30.06 or my home grown AR.

With the 740 I've always used 150gr Rem Core-Lokt ammo. It's very effective, but the rounds always seemed to over penetrate. On all of the deer I've taken with this rifle, the bullet always passed clean through, leaving a large exit wound. Does anybody have any recommendations on a round that dumps more energy into the deer and has less over penetration?

As for the AR, if I decide to go with it I was looking at this round:

Federal Premium 223 Rem. (5.56x45mm) Nosler® Partition® 60gr (

Any opinions on this for white tail? Ranges in the area I will be hunting will be under 200 yards.

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August 25, 2010, 01:08 AM
I would prefer a round to pass thru as the exit wound makes for a better blood trail.

August 25, 2010, 01:50 AM
Try this load; very accurate and does plenty of damage, I often find them under the skin after punching through the far side shoulder blade.

30-06 Springfield 150 gr. Supreme® Ballistic Silvertip®

Art Eatman
August 25, 2010, 09:39 AM
I've never seen where it makes one iota of difference if the bullet does or does not exit. A proper hit in either instance means meat in the pot. I guess that's maybe 25 or so deer with my '06. I've killed about the same number with my .243.

Were I to use one of my .223s, I'd likely go with a hunting-designed bullet of around 70 grains, and not use a bullet in the 50- to 55-grain size that's designed for varmint hunting.

Taurus 617 CCW
August 25, 2010, 10:07 AM
I have used ballistic silvertips in the past with no problems. That round will get the job done. I am trying the Nosler 165 gr. Accubonds in my 30-06 this year just for giggles.

Ranger J
August 25, 2010, 10:14 AM
Ah, the old question. Is it better for a bullet to pass all the way through and thus leave a large blood trail or for it not to pass through and transfer all its energy to the animal. For what my money go with the 06 whatever bullet you choose.


August 25, 2010, 10:22 AM
I am also a believer in a large exit wound. I have used the Nosler Partition in 150 gr in a .308 and the 165 gr in my .30-06 for years with complete success. I had a bad experience with the Nosler Ballistic Tip and use it only for practice (although I know it is highly regarded by others).

August 25, 2010, 12:58 PM
I've got to give the nod to the Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silvertip.

I have found nothing better in my 7mm-08. Very accurate....devistating on deer and small hogs.

August 25, 2010, 02:13 PM
30.06 is a much better choice than .223 for whitetail, esp at 200 yards. any reasonable bullet will do the job and if shot broadside through the heart/lung area all your going to sacrifice is a small handfull of meat even with a substantial exit wound. "overpenetration" is when the round passes through more than one animal.

August 25, 2010, 04:41 PM
with 223 at 200 yards you should pack something better then 60 gr bullet, however it should be fine up to 100 yards, 75 gr A-Max from Hornady would be better choice it will have about 1000 of foot-pound (energy) at 200 yards, with 30-06 depends on the twist either 150 gr or 175 gr soft point jacketed bullet, your choice they all do fine up to 200 yards.

August 25, 2010, 07:54 PM
Thanks for all the feed back; it's really appreciated.

While I still haven't decided which rifle I'm going with yet, I'll check out some of the rounds mentioned here for the 30.06.

I felt the 60gr bullets for the 5.56 were on the light side as well, but all of the heavier rounds from various manufacturers all seem to be match or varmint. Varmint is out of the question, and the match ammo has thin walls. I would be concerned about the bullet holding together and penetrating.

I did find these:

Swift Scirocco II 75 Grain (

These are dedicated hunting rounds, and should hold together and penetrate. Plugging the numbers into the Hornady Ballistics Calculator, they show 1000+ ft-lbs of energy at 200 yards. Has anybody used these? I see Remington is using them in one of their ammo lines, but nothing in 5.56.

August 25, 2010, 08:21 PM
try 69 gr SMK, I heard they been used on wild boars and deer with good results and whatever you heard about Match not suited for hunting, is just a bunch of talk, somehow military finds them very much suited for soft targets, all of the sniper ammo consist of match bullets of some sort... If you reload try some Berger bullets like 80 - 90 gr they good in 1:7 twist, but 1:8 might be enough

September 4, 2010, 04:20 PM
whatever you heard about Match not suited for hunting, is just a bunch of talk,

Incorrect, Predominantly match bullets are not well bonded for penetration and do not perform well on bone impact situations. They are primarily set up for optimum BC and balance and being close in grain. If they would perform well on game, why would the manufacturers advertise them NOT performing well on game? They are usually in the most expensive bracket so they are cutting their own dollars doing that.

September 4, 2010, 07:27 PM
Obviously match bullets will kill game and humans in a military context, but there are other more reliable options out there for hunting big game, ie. bullets designed for controlled expansion specifically for hunting. Hunting bullets are just more reliably and rapidly lethal than match bullets or FMJ bullets used by the military. Use an appropriate bullet when hunting big game.

September 4, 2010, 08:17 PM
I personally won't hunt with anything less than a .243. (.243's a nice round in 90 grain). I'm a believer that while yes, shot placement is critical, I still want some momemtum and KE put into the boiler room.

I've shot deer with a .243, 25-06 and had no issues. My go-to is a .270 WSM though. I know that 130 grains at over 3,000 fps is going to go flat, and going to go splat once it hits the vitals.

Never once had bambi get up and complain that I didn't wallop her hard enough with a .270

That said, I personally think the .223 is a bit small. Good hunters are both humane and ethical hunters. Wildlife provide us with meat and sport. I think we owe them a little respect.

Use the .30-06. Bambi's mom will thank you for it.

September 4, 2010, 10:47 PM
Any bullet that can leave all its "energy" in the animal, I believe, is a poor hunting bullet.
Everything that has been developed in bullet technology in the last three decades has been based around making a bullet that will expand, maintain 90%+ weight and penetrate. A 60 grn 223 is a poor choice for hunting deer, despite the fact that some have been killed with a 223. Some have been shot in the shoulder and never found. Likewise, some have taken quartering shots and left wounded animals due to lack of penetration. Penetration into vital organs results in kills. That is pretty well established. Heck, deer have been killed with 22 lr but that doesn't qualify it as adquate.

September 4, 2010, 11:32 PM
Alakar, deer are thin skinned. Your going to get a full pass through with most rounds. As for the AR (223), I personally think that's too light. Can it kill a deer? Of course, but so can a 22. Take your 30-06, buy some Hornady 150 gr Interlok ammo, put a bullet above the shoulder, and post the pics later.

September 4, 2010, 11:35 PM
I have used the RemCL 150 & 180, but prefer Hornady 150 &165g in the 30-06. Seem to make wider channels. Exit holes do show that energy was lost, but what matters is what happens on the trip. Once found a the side of a heart and valve while easily following a 25y trail. Twin leaks result in hydraulic low pressure and inverted hoofs.

Most important is to enjoy the hunt and make every shot you take

Arkansas Paul
September 5, 2010, 01:21 AM
+1 on those Winchester Ballistic Silvertips. I've used them in my .280 Rem and love them. I've still had pass throughs, but I've never shot a deer with them over about 75 yards. I like pass throughs though.
If I had your two guns there wouldn't even be a decision for me. A .30-06 beats a .223 for a deer round any day of the week, pass through or not.

Just one feller's opinion.

September 5, 2010, 06:35 AM
Jay, I round that expands transfers it's energy better than one that doesn't, no? I have no disagreements with anything that you said. In fact, your example of "never finding the deer" is precisely why I would rather not go down to .223 caliber. True, I suppose one could go (overkill) in the other direction, shoot it with a .375 H&H, and still lose the animal. There's no "magic deer stopper". But certain rounds are more effective than others and reduce the odds of losing an animal to a wound that's not immediately lethal (within a minute or so). That's my point about humane hunting. Kill it as quickly as you are capable of. If your choice is a .223 or an aught-six, the later gives you much better odds of doing so.

September 5, 2010, 08:48 AM
Akakar Hornady has there SST bullet that works like a tougher nosler ballistic tip. I have shot many BT's but this might also be a good option.

September 5, 2010, 01:34 PM
In theory, you want the but energy expended inside the animal but in practice, I feel that you are better off erring on the side of over penetration. You may aim for a lung or heart but end up hitting a shoulder. Break a shoulder or two and the animal is going down. That is the theory anyway when hunting dangerous game that you want to track as little as possible. Many times you have a quartering shot and need penetration. I know with humans, you will die faster from blood loss than anything else. With an animal, an exit wound will give you blood loss and a trail. When you simply must kill what you are shooting at or else, solids! I know that is an extreme example but we have all heard of someone wasting shot after shot at dangerous game.
Plus, the 223, you look at the energy @ 200 yards and you have like 700 ft lbs!

September 5, 2010, 05:07 PM
Well any of the companies that load barnes X type bullets can do both better than most anything out there. Will double in size,opens 4 peddles to peal back and bore a great hole and will break both shoulders on deer size game in a 30 caiber. On deer up to 300lbs it will travel from one end to the other. I took one out of a mulely that covered right at 53" of ham, ribs with back strap,front shoulder and ended under the skin. I just never had deer run more than a few steps when hit with a SST or NBT. Have had some really messed up insides with the NBT out of the 7mag. There use to be a 180gr 30-06 Bronze tip bullet that remington loaded . If they still make it you might have to order some, it will make a fair mess of the insides and more than likely leave out the other side. Just don't see them much with all the new stuff out today.
jaybird. Solids?? shoot'n deer here. Many rounds will punch a hole in a deer. If bear hunting have a friend with a slug gun too

Russ Jackson
September 5, 2010, 05:24 PM
The 30-06 leaves no questions or doubts. The standard 180gr Core Lokt has killed more Deer I bet than any other bullet...Russ

September 5, 2010, 06:26 PM
Jay I think we're probably talking a little past each other buddy. I agree that a round that is going to dump all of it's energy into a thin-skinned animal like a deer isn't a good round. Most of my .270 WSM hits were "little hole in the front, big hole out the back" hits. But it dumps MORE energy into the game than something that penetrates 90%.

Funny you mentioned shoulder. Sure I aim for the heart and lungs. But if I told you that I never miss the boiler room you'd know as a fellow hunter that I was fibbin'. LOL

In 09' up in NW Georgia I shot a buck at about 200 yards. Aimed for the heart, hit the shoulder. A good round like the 270 WSM blew that shoulder bone apart, flew upwards and lodged in it's spine.

Went through the left lung, missed the heart because of the bizarre internal richocet. Still went down "right now". But most shots have been through and through and I haven't had any long blood trails to follow (so far).

September 5, 2010, 06:55 PM
I agree that a round that is going to dump all of it's energy into a thin-skinned animal like a deer isn't a good round.Maybe not a good round for moose, but just fine for deer. The round I mentioned Post #3 will go through a 200 lb. deer, breaking a couple ribs and punching a hole in the offside shoulder blade. What different does it make if it doesn't break skin on the far side? If you saw the internal damage and blood loss, you wouldn't worry about needing a better blood trail to track the animal.

Anything from a 30-06 will kill a deer. I could use a tougher heavier bullet, but that would just mean more lead zipping through the deer woods after it passes through.

September 5, 2010, 10:30 PM
I like exit holes. I like 150 to 165 grain Power Points in my .30-06 and .308 Win for southern whitetails. These bullets work well out to 350 yards or so.

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