Expensive bullets for whitetail?


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JonathanE
September 18, 2012, 11:42 PM
Can anyone testify to the benefits of using a premium bullet (Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX, Nosler Silver Tip) on whitetails under 150 yards?
Do they kill more cleanly or quickly than a plain-old soft point?
Do they make tracking easier?

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janobles14
September 18, 2012, 11:49 PM
in a word...nope. in four...not even a little.

R.W.Dale
September 18, 2012, 11:51 PM
Can anyone testify to the benefits of using a premium bullet (Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX, Nosler Silver Tip) on whitetails under 150 yards?
Do they kill more cleanly or quickly than a plain-old soft point?
Do they make tracking easier?

Yes and no

For a 30-30, 270, 06, 308 ect ect no not at all


But for a 223, 22-250, 243, 7.62x39 or 6.8 you bet they do!

janobles14
September 18, 2012, 11:54 PM
^^^
a valid point!

Craigman
September 19, 2012, 12:17 AM
Also depending on the caliber, speed and bullet construction, they may hold together better through shoulder bone if your shot is off a bit.

R.W.Dale
September 19, 2012, 12:32 AM
Also depending on the caliber, speed and bullet construction, they may hold together better through shoulder bone if your shot is off a bit.

Or in the case of magnum calibers close in mean the difference between deep penatration with controlled expansion OR blowing your deer in half

jmr40
September 19, 2012, 01:01 AM
When using chamberings that are borderline for the job at hand they help. Otherwise standard bullets are just fine. But, you don't always know. For example here in GA a deer or bear is legal on the same license. If I were deer hunting with a 243 in an area where a 500+ lb bear was a possibility I'd look hard at the premium bullets.

Their advantage is that they give much better penetration than would normally be expected. For example a solid copper bullet weighing 130 gr will often equal or beat a comparable 165 or 180 gr bullet in penetraion. They often don't expand as well, especially if impact velocity drops below about 2000 fps. so often take a little longer to bring game down compared to conventional bullets.

A 243 with standard bullets is fine on deer, might work on a standard 200 lb bear, but I'd feel better with Barnes bullets if I stumbled on one of the really big ones. Rather than have to work up several different loads, and learn several different trajectories many hunters just use the premiums on everything.

jmr40
September 19, 2012, 01:02 AM
Double post deleted

Lloyd Smale
September 19, 2012, 07:31 AM
I totaly agree. Ive killed 46 deer this year so far, all with cup and core bullets in both mag and standard rifles at ranges from 100-500 yards and have cleanly killed every one. Only thing premium bullets do for your deer hunt is insure you can afford less beer and the only one that will benifit from that is your wife.

Sav .250
September 19, 2012, 08:51 AM
The bullet does the damage.........the choice is yours.

303tom
September 19, 2012, 09:48 AM
Can anyone testify to the benefits of using a premium bullet (Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX, Nosler Silver Tip) on whitetails under 150 yards?
Do they kill more cleanly or quickly than a plain-old soft point?
Do they make tracking easier?
In a word; No. Here is a little secret for ya, now don`t tell nobody.......Core-Lokt now you got a great bullet.

T.R.
September 19, 2012, 09:59 AM
I've had very good luck with Winchester Power Point, FEDERAL, and Remington Core-lokt ammo. By good luck I mean to say lethal results every time. Deer are not armor-plated at all.

Premium bullets were initially designed for high velocity magnums. "Plain bullets" in these magnums had poor penetration due to blow up.

Some cartridges have been improved a great deal by advent of Premium bullets. .243 is one which comes to mind. Better overal perforamnce with 100% penetration being typical. .243 with 95 grain Premium bullet actually behaves more like a 25-06 with 117 grain bullet.

TR

MCgunner
September 19, 2012, 12:06 PM
Yes and no

For a 30-30, 270, 06, 308 ect ect no not at all


But for a 223, 22-250, 243, 7.62x39 or 6.8 you bet they do!

ding, ding, ding...Best answer...

Use enough gun and you don't need no stinkin' Barnes. :D

I shoot a 100 grain Sierra Game King in .257 Roberts and it does a great job on deer. It's a bit light for large hogs, but it knocks down anything I'd wanna eat. I shoot Game Kings, 150 grain, in 7mm Rem Mag. Great bullet for long range out west, BC of .535. I shoot Nosler BTs in .308 and .30-30 (Contender Pistol) and they're deadly on deer or hogs in either gun. I'd worked a load up with Barnes 140s, but I've been quite impressed since then with 150 Nosler BTs on hogs and deer, great penetration and expansion. Sorta makes the penetration problems I've read about them seem like myth. I trust 'em fine.

As for Core-Lokts, they've been around for a long time, work fine in cheap factory ammo if you don't handload. But, I prefer what I shoot to them. They've never impressed me for accuracy. I handload so that I can shrink my 100 yard groups to under 1MOA. It ain't that the bullet kills any quicker, but I'm more confident I can hit with it, especially in West Texas or New Mexico where I might be on the far edge of my 400 yard self imposed limit. If you never get out of the woods, boring, but if you never get out of the woods, you don't need such demanding accuracy standards. I really don't "NEED" it where I hunt now mostly, but hell, I've got a fetish for accuracy in a rifle and handloading helps this fetish a lot. :D

Oh, 7.62x39, hell, I don't need no stinkin' high priced bullets. I've used the now extinct 135 Sierra Pro Hunter (.308 caliber) in the woods successfully, but I get better accuracy out of cheap Wolf 154 grain soft point and they're cheap. At woods ranges, they work, though I'll never brag about 2.5 MOA. ROFL It's a truck gun, knock about, not a hunting rifle for me. But, I took the scope off it and it's a beat around gun now, sort of a semi auto .30-30 utility rifle. It'll take anything the .30-30 will to 150 yards.

Fremmer
September 19, 2012, 12:07 PM
The inexpensive soft point rounds work just fine. Shoot whatever is most consistently accurate in your rifle. If that's expensive ammo, then use it.

627PCFan
September 19, 2012, 12:18 PM
I shoot Nosler BT's for my 7mm. Velocity is 2950fps. Not hauling out by Magnum velocities, but it works and I havent shot a deer where the bullet exited yet. Im not fond of the price or the idea of a expanded partition or Barnes bouncing around the countryside after a through and through on a deer. Its just not needed.

MCgunner
September 19, 2012, 12:22 PM
I shoot Nosler BT's for my 7mm. Velocity is 2950fps. Not hauling out by Magnum velocities, but it works and I havent shot a deer where the bullet exited yet. Im not fond of the price or the idea of a expanded partition or Barnes bouncing around the countryside after a through and through on a deer. Its just not needed.

Taht's where I differ. If the shot doesn't put him down, a large exit wound gives a nice blood trail. Now, you may have had all bang/flops, but some day, you'll have to trail a deer that didn't bang/flop and a blood trail sure is nice to have. I've never needed premium bullets to get a good exit wound, though, but I use enough gun. :D If I insisted on .223, I'd use a partition or Barnes or something.

627PCFan
September 19, 2012, 12:36 PM
If I insisted on .223, I'd use a partition or Barnes or something.

Definitely use enough gun, unless your shooting them dog sized deer in Texas :D

Captcurt
September 19, 2012, 04:05 PM
In a word; No. Here is a little secret for ya, now don`t tell nobody.......Core-Lokt now you got a great bullet.
Although I shoot several different calibers and load my own stuff with Nosler Accubonds I have to agree with 303Tom. The old Remington bullet works great on deer and I wouldn't be worried if an elk came by as long as I had a 270 or up.

The premiums come into play when you are shooting max loads in your super mags, especially at close range. Large critters that bite would be another reason for them, but deer are easy to put down with a well placed shot. I have taken many whitetails with the old Speer HotCore.

BBQLS1
September 19, 2012, 05:08 PM
Core-Lockts work fine, but they seem to suffer in the accuracy department.... many of the ones I've had are a little funky looking at the tip which might be what throws them off. As long as you don't shoot at long distances, they work fine.

I like the Federal Power Shoks better. They seem to group better for me.

H&Hhunter
September 19, 2012, 05:38 PM
IF you feel the need to use a eargasplittinloudenboomer that spits pills at hyper velocity then a premium bullet might do less meat damage on a deer. But from a kill/performance standpoint you are not gaining anything measurable on a deer sized critter by using super premium bullets.

JonathanE
September 19, 2012, 10:12 PM
Gentlemen (and ladies if appropriate),
Thank you very much for your input. Have a great season!

DM~
September 19, 2012, 10:59 PM
I just don't understand anyone whineing about the extra, "expensive bullets" cost??

When i buy NP's, there's 50 in the box, and once i have a HUNTING load worked up, (which i did nearly 30 years ago) how long does it take to shoot 50 animals????

My "go to gun" shoots 8mm bullets, i shoot 200 NP's for all of my hunting with this gun. For practice i can shoot 200 Speers if i want, but at 2 or 3 deer a year, how long will it take to use up a box of 50 bullets???

With my "go to gun" loaded with NP's, it's sighted in for anything i come across, and because i use the same bullet/load all of the time, i know exactly where that bullet will go! No guessing/re-sighting/looking at drop tables or anything else needed!!

I've shot everything from moose on down to coyotes and LOT'S of deer with this load, it works EVERY time! I like being ready with one gun and one load that will work for everything!!

Do they REALLY cost me all that much extra??? I think not!

DM

MCgunner
September 19, 2012, 11:06 PM
Well, it's just that there ain't a lot of Moose in Texas and I mostly hunt Texas, so I don't need no stinkin' NPs. :D They do shoot great in my Savage 110 7 Mag, though. All I ever shot with 'em is paper, deer being killed with the 150 Game Kings. More gun than I need for Texas game, but it still kills just fine with 150 Game Kings. :D

Texan Scott
September 19, 2012, 11:32 PM
+1 apiece for 627 and MCg... and +1 apiece for cheap bullets and dog-sized deer. +1 for exit wounds an blood trails while I'm at it.... bottom line: Fancy bullets- if you put small bullets in big deer, you might need 'em... I put big bullets in small deer, and I don't need 'em.

Lloyd Smale
September 20, 2012, 07:04 AM
sure they may not exit but in my experience its pretty rare. Ill give you an example from this year. Ive shot a dozen deer with the 257 wby so far and the load is a pretty hot one using 100 sierra prohunters. Two nights ago i shot two deer neither exited but it was the first ones i shot with that combo that didnt. Ive shot probably another 10 with the 7rem mag and 7stw. Both this year are being fed 150 nos bts and believe me there not idleing. Ive yet to shoot a deer that the bullet didnt exit using them. shot another at least 10 with the 264 mag using 120 ballistic tips wth the same results. My buddy has shot well over a dozen with his 257 (my old gun) using sierra 100 boat tails and hes yet to have one not exit. Hes not a gun nut, he loads his own ammo but does it on my equitment. He was talking the other day and was more conserned that they havent been opening up enough because of the small exit wounds about the size of a nickle. I checked out a few of his kills while he was gutting them and found that they sure did ample internal damage before they exited. Weve shot 62 deer now so far and the only tracking weve done was one with the 7stw. It blew a hole about the size of a 50 cent peice out the off side but some of the lungs went with it and plugged the hole. Ive shot enough deer at about any range to know for a fact that if your loosing deer due to cup and core bullets you need to spend some more time at the range, not spend more money on fancy bullets.

sleepercaprice1
September 20, 2012, 08:27 AM
I developed a load for my .30-06 Sako Finnbear years ago that uses 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips. They are a little more expensive than a "standard" hunting bullet, but in my rifle they are very accurate and deadly on deer. I consider them worthwhile just because of the accuracy.

j1
September 20, 2012, 08:40 AM
Now, in a Weatherby I can see advantages. In my shooting for over fifty years I have not needed or used premium bullets. I would use them if I felt undergunned.

H&Hhunter
September 20, 2012, 02:40 PM
Now don't get me wrong there is definitely a place where premium bullets have a niche. But deer hunting is not one really of those.

sage5907
September 21, 2012, 01:48 PM
For practical purposes a standard Speer or Sierra boattail bullet will perform as well or better than the so called premium bullets. Especially if you are a deer hunter a controlled expansion bullet usually creates more problems than benefits. When I see a hunting film and see the dirt fly up on a hill on the far side of the animal I know that there was big energy waisted. The best situation is to have all the bullet energy expended inside the animal. Shooter

Patocazador
September 21, 2012, 05:11 PM
I shoot nothing but Nosler Partitions when hunting everything. That way I have the right load for everything in any situation. It has delivered the goods when I haven't done my part due to the expansion plus the penetration. They just don't fail.

Patocazador
September 21, 2012, 05:16 PM
I totaly agree. Ive killed 46 deer this year so far, all with cup and core bullets in both mag and standard rifles at ranges from 100-500 yards and have cleanly killed every one. Only thing premium bullets do for your deer hunt is insure you can afford less beer and the only one that will benifit from that is your wife.
If I shot 46 deer per year, I probably wouldn't be using expensive bullets either for a culling operation. That IS why you're shooting that many deer a year isn't it?

GJgo
September 22, 2012, 12:05 AM
R.W.Dale nailed it. That said, I uses Barnes bullets because I don't want no stinkin' lead in my family's meat! Oh yeah & they're very accurate (for me) and they kill deer & elk very dead (for me).

Art Eatman
September 22, 2012, 12:21 AM
I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks via Sierra in my .243, and the same number with my '06 with mostly a Sierra bullet. Mostly bang/whop/flop with never any tracking.

Lloyd Smale
September 22, 2012, 07:59 AM
If I shot 46 deer per year, I probably wouldn't be using expensive bullets either for a culling operation. That IS why you're shooting that many deer a year isn't it?

yes it is. Ive been doing it for years. We kill alot of deer and take pride in the fact that we recover almost every one. My point is ive had alot more experience in what it takes to kill deer them most. If i thought they did a bit better it sure wouldnt be much more expensive to buy a 50 premium bullets then it is 50 standard bullets and its not like i dont have premium bullets in about every caliber sitting on the shelf. Bottom line is the standard cup and core bullets in my experience actualy work better. They put deer down quicker and with the same bullet placement dont really do any more meat damage. Hit a deer in the shoulder with any bullet premium or not and your going to loose those shoulders. I can afford premium bullets and if i thought they would actually put down deer better id be the first to sing there praises but in my opinion the thing they do best is drain your wallet.

Lloyd Smale
September 22, 2012, 08:06 AM
R.W.Dale nailed it. That said, I uses Barnes bullets because I don't want no stinkin' lead in my family's meat! Oh yeah & they're very accurate (for me) and they kill deer & elk very dead (for me). Cant see anyone getting lead poisoning from lead bullets. Most cut away any blood shot meat and even if there was a minute amount left it surely isnt going to add up to much. Any chunks are going to pass right though you anyway and its probably no worse then coppper or brass in your system. Beleive me if anyone was going to see lead levels raise from eating vension shot with lead it would be me. Venison is about the only red meat thats served in this house and its all shot with lead cored bullets. Lead cosumption for eating game is nothing but another scare tactic the antis use to ban ammo which just leads to there big picture. taking guns out of our hands totaly. Your kids probably are exposed to more lead using there pencils at school then youd ever put in there systems eating game shot with lead bullets.

sixgunner455
September 22, 2012, 09:02 AM
Lloyd Smale - I agree with you on every point about lead poisoning from hunting bullets but one - your kids aren't exposed to ANY lead from a U.S. made wooden pencil. The "lead" in such a pencil is actually 100% graphite.

I can't speak for China made pencils, but I suspect that if there is any lead in one of them, it's in the paint.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 22, 2012, 09:33 AM
In using the smaller .224" caliber for deer and black bear, I choose Barnes' TSX solid copper bullets. As others had mentioned, for how many bear or deer I take, fifty loaded rounds will last me decades, if not my lifetime. My gun happens to like those particular loads, so that is what I shoot.

When I see how the TSX rolls back four petals to a razor-sharp X that will plow through most anything I will shoot, that means more hydraulic shock for any arteries I may hit.

I don't know if the shot I will need to take will be 30 yards from me or 300 yards. So, to be on the safe side, I shoot 62 grain TSX bullets. I realize, with a lot of things in life, you don't get what you pay for when you buy premium, however, I feel confident that what I am paying for is well-worth the extra money I need to spend every five to ten years when I go to load another box of 50.

GJgo
September 22, 2012, 11:02 AM
Lloyd, while I agree with you for the most part let me expand on what I mean. Even if I don't think you can get lead poisioning from lead chunks, it's worth another 25 cents a bullet for me to not take the risk. By far the cheapest portion of my hunt. Of course I'd also cut out any shot or blood shot meat so the odds of any lead chunks getting to the table are slim. However, here is one situation that occurred to me when I was using lead core bullets.

One time I shot a mule deer. It was a long shot, lasered at 420 yds. Just as I squeezed the shot off the grazing deer took one step forward & the 6.5mm 140gr Amax drilled right through the deer's liver, the quarry expired about 50 yards of running later. As I was quartering the animal I saw that the bullet had fragged, and the tenderloins had evidence of shrapnel damage- metallic flecks in the meat. I made the judgement call to leave the loins- which are IMO the best eatin' part. Wasn't happy. If I would have been hunting with a Barnes I would have gotten to eat those loins. The moral of the story is that if you hunt with lead & you're prudent you may come home with less meat. Of course, I only get to shoot one deer a year and not 46...

1911 guy
September 23, 2012, 12:40 AM
Here's my opinion, worth every cent you paid for it.

Work up a load for your rifle using an expanding (non-FMJ and non-match)bullet that is accurate. In any .30 caliber rifle round, the accuracy of the shot will trump bullet performance on deer. Your rifle might actually prefer the "expensive" bullets. Of course, none of them are cheap anymore. If so, use them. If you were talking truly large game or dangerous critters, I'd opt for every percieved advantage I can get.

Lloyd Smale
September 23, 2012, 08:23 AM
In using the smaller .224" caliber for deer and black bear, I choose Barnes' TSX solid copper bullets. As others had mentioned, for how many bear or deer I take, fifty loaded rounds will last me decades, if not my lifetime. My gun happens to like those particular loads, so that is what I shoot.

When I see how the TSX rolls back four petals to a razor-sharp X that will plow through most anything I will shoot, that means more hydraulic shock for any arteries I may hit.

I don't know if the shot I will need to take will be 30 yards from me or 300 yards. So, to be on the safe side, I shoot 62 grain TSX bullets. I realize, with a lot of things in life, you don't get what you pay for when you buy premium, however, I feel confident that what I am paying for is well-worth the extra money I need to spend every five to ten years when I go to load another box of 50.

This shows the differnce between theroy and actually use. I agree that with a 22 cal gun youd want any advantage possible to make it more effective but in actual killing of game you might find out you overthought it. Two years ago my buddy and I. (mostly my buddy) decided to test a bunch of 223 bullets for effectiveness on bigger game. First (he) did a bunch of penetration and expansion testing. He shot those bullets into both wet print and also through deer bones and then wet print. He found one star performer out of the bunch and that was the nos partion 60 grain. The tsx did realitively poorly. It didnt expand much and in some cases didnt expand at all. Wound channels were small but they did at least penetrate well. Game shooting started with coyotes. Hes kind of overrun by them around his house. He again found the tsx a poor choise for anchoring even coyotes. He then took the tsx, the partition and the 64 grain winchester (which did well too) after some pigs. He shot 2 each with them and I will be the first to say that thats not enough to really get a handle on it but found about the same. The partitions hammered them and the two shot with the tsx bullets need some tracking. I then took my ar out crop damage shooting and shot 5 deer with each bullet and again found the partition to be hands down the best bullet for deer sized game followed by the ww bullet. Every deer shot with the tsx bullets ran off and out of the 5 we only recovered 4 of them.

What did all this show me. First that the .223 is marginal for deer. Sure it will kill them and if its all i had id surely shoot them with it but it surely wouldnt be my first or even 10th choise for a whitetail gun. Second is that barnes bullets have a rep allready for not opening up enough to really anchor animals even in larger calibers. Some swear by them but just as many swear at them. Deer are surely not larged boned or hard to get penetration with. If your in an area where tracking is easy go for it. But most want there kills to be quick and humane and dont want to spend the night following blood trails. Its just not in the 223 that ive had the problem. I shot a bunch of deer last year with tsx bullets in the 2506 and the 257 wby and ran into the same thng. Rarely were animals anchored on the spot. Yes we shoot alot of deer, but we take pride in the fact that we do it right. We get enough deer that we dont EVER take marginal shots. We dont need to as if a good shot doesnt present it self it will in a half an hour anyway. We dont want deer running out into the crops and then have to damage them dragging them out and we shoot sometimes 6 deer or more in a night so we dont want to be tracking deer that ran off. All points that apply just as much to a guy who shoots one deer a year or one that shoots 50. Now i dont claim to be an expert in what it takes to kill elk and moose. Youll have to find someone else for those recomendations. But I have killed a few deer and think ive got a pretty good grasp on what it takes to do it right. Some say they will buy the best and the cost of a premium bullet isnt a consern. I agree with that. Even shooting 50 deer the cost of bullets is a minor consern. But money doesnt allways buy you something better. Ill relate it to cars. A 20000 dollar chev might just be a more reliable and consistant unit for day to day use then a 200,000 dollar ferrari. Why? because it was designed for the purpose most use it for. Some will preach that premium bullets are great for taking a .25 or .24 caliber gun out for elk or moose. Me i think thats a silly arguement too. Have you looked lately at the cost of a elk or moose hunt. even just the tags if you can do it on your own!! Go and buy the right gun, even if you have to sell it when your done with the hunt.
Im kind of a hypocrit in a way as i do use nos partitions quite often and you may even see me with a speer grand slam. Why? because a partiular gun likes them and shoots them best. Accuracy is my main consern. I surely dont use partitions because i think they kill a deer a dammed bit better then a ballisitic tip. There may be a use for premium bullets but it surely isnt on deer sized game.

kgpcr
September 23, 2012, 10:58 AM
Its FAR more important where you put the bullet than what bullet you use. Any good quality bullet will do just fine.

Taurus 617 CCW
September 23, 2012, 11:36 AM
I mainly use Nosler bullets because I reload. The Nosler bullets are extremely accurate and I am happy with their performance. Remington Core-Lokt were the best value for the money on loaded ammo for a poor college student (at the time).

rodinal220
September 23, 2012, 02:58 PM
Remington Core-Lokt always worked for me.

MachIVshooter
September 23, 2012, 04:01 PM
Yes and no

For a 30-30, 270, 06, 308 ect ect no not at all


But for a 223, 22-250, 243, 7.62x39 or 6.8 you bet they do!

This. If the round is plenty for deer with a regular old soft point, no, the premium bullets at moderate range really will not perform any better. But.......if the round is rather marginal for the animal with "regular" bullets, the technology and quality of the high end bullets does make a difference.

WardenWolf
September 23, 2012, 04:37 PM
Prvi Partizan has an evil 7.62x39 roundnose soft point that strongy resembles a .30-30 round. I honestly don't think a more expensive bullet would outperform it. We're talking a huge amount of exposed lead up front. A good soft point is really all you need in most calibers.

Kachok
September 25, 2012, 09:47 PM
Nice thing about shooting 30cal is that you really never need any fancy high dollar bullet for deer, any old Speer, Serria or Remington soft point will perform just fine :) With smaller calibers (or larger game) high tech bullets come into their own.

adelbridge
September 25, 2012, 10:41 PM
I just shot a hog in the dark at 40 yards the other night. I used a 150 grain winchester ballistic silver tip. I shot it in the dark with only moonlight and I couldnt tell head from tail. I picked what I thought was the vitals and fired. I guess the wrong but the balistic silver tip did its job. When I went to pick up the blood trail there was a gut pile, the rapid expansion took out everything internal south of the vitals and dumped them in the dirt. I swear by ballistic silver tips, the results are almost always devastating.

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