30.06 Mule Deer factory ammo


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VegasAR15
September 19, 2012, 11:04 AM
What factory 30.06 ammo should I pick up for my mule deer hunt that is coming up? Yesterday I went to Sportsmen's Warehouse with the intention of picking up some Hornady Superformance SST 150 grains. I started looking at a few other boxes of ammo, mainly the Federal Fusion which seem to have some really good reviews. The Hornady SST seem to be a lot flatter shooting. Any other choices I should look at, just go with the old Core-Lokt? The SST is just $30 a box, so I am not super worried about their price. Also, 150 or 165 grain?

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X-Rap
September 19, 2012, 11:25 AM
It's pretty hard to beat the Rem CL, you can pay a lot more but for mule deer they will do the job very well.
For deer I would use the 150's

Captcurt
September 19, 2012, 03:09 PM
SST, Accubonds, or Core-Lokt work swell. As for weight, I would pick the one that shot best out of my gun, which in my case is the 165.

H&Hhunter
September 19, 2012, 04:41 PM
A 165 or a 150 or a 180 will all work great. Bullet construction is not a big factor on a thin skinned light boned critter like a mule deer. Core lokt are a very good deer hunting bullet. As are Sierra game Kings and Hornandy Interloks and just about anything else. You don't Superformance ammo for deer hunting but if blows your skirt up I guess you should go for it.

VegasAR15
September 19, 2012, 04:47 PM
I think I may just pick up a box of Core-lokt in 150 and 165. Sight it in close, right now it is sighted in for 180 grain Hornady SST's. Shoot a few of each, see which one groups best, and then do the fine tuning with the one I like best. Either that or do the same with the Federal Fusion, a lot of people seem to be saying those are very accurate out of their rifles. I dont think there is a huge price difference on them.

H&Hhunter
September 19, 2012, 06:53 PM
Why not just stick with what you are sighted in for?

VegasAR15
September 19, 2012, 06:56 PM
Why not just stick with what you are sighted in for?

I didn't think I needed 180 grain for a mule dear. Wouldn't the lighter grains preserve more meat? The 150 and 165 grains were also flatter shooting. The Hornady SST seemed a lot flatter shooting in general to the other ammo I was looking at.

X-Rap
September 19, 2012, 06:59 PM
Shooting the buck through the ribs will preserve more meat. If you hit shoulder, hind, or loin it doesn't matter what you shoot it will wreck meat, the difference in those bullets won't hardly be measurable.

H&Hhunter
September 19, 2012, 07:04 PM
Actually a faster lighter bullet with less sectional density will be expand faster/come apart easier therefore it'll do MORE meat damage than heavier bullet with a higher SD moving at a slower speed.

This is a common misconception.

VegasAR15
September 19, 2012, 07:09 PM
Actually a faster lighter bullet with less sectional density will be expand faster/come apart easier therefore it'll do MORE meat damage than heavier bullet with a higher SD moving at a slower speed.

This is a common misconception.

So if I find a 180 grain that is reasonably flat shooting should I go with that one, or are the difference pretty minute? I still have a box of my Hornady SST's in 180 grain, I could just go with those, but I figured a lighter grain would be better.

Partly because they dropped off faster, but everything looks to drop off faster than the Hornady SST. I want to say it was about 6" at 300 with the SST, about 12" with the Fusion at the same distance. I think 0" was at 200 with the SST, 100 with the Fusion, could be wrong. I'm not the best shot and I may under the pressure of buck fever, so I figured the flatter the better, less thinking and guesswork for me.

VegasAR15
September 19, 2012, 07:11 PM
I realize it won't be much of a difference to me or the deer, I just have a tendency to pick things apart and overanalyze everything.

jmr40
September 19, 2012, 07:53 PM
You really need to just shoot your gun and use what it shoots best. A mule deer is not hard to kill and most any will work. A few points:

I've tried the Superformance ammo. The loads I shot over a chronograph were more than 100 fps slower than advertised. My handloads are slightly faster than what I was actually getting with Superformance.

The SST is a good deer bullet, but it tends to give pretty dramatic expansion and will mess up more meat than a standard 180 gr bullet. The sharp plastic tip makes the bullet more aerodynamic.

If the Superformance ammo shoots well in your gun it will work as well as any factory load for your purposes.

As to bullet weight. A 150 gr bullet is plenty big enough for deer in a 30-06, but do not discout heavier bullets if they shoot more accurately in your gun. I get slightly better accuracy with 165's so that is what I use most. The difference in trajectory is a lot less than most consider. Heavier bullets are longer, and more aerodynamic. While a 150 starts out faster, it also slows down faster because of poor aerodynamics. At longer ranges a 165 or 180 will eventually reach a point where it is moving faster than a 150.

With a 200 yard zero 165 gr bullets in my 30-06 loads are only 1" lower at 400 yards. The 180's are only 2" lower than the 150's. Both 165's and 180 hit harder at long range and are less effected by wind. They will also destroy less meat.

I a nutshell any old bullet that shoots well in your gun will be fine. If you were planning on elk hunting and shooting at 500 yards then bullet selecton is more important.

Patocazador
September 19, 2012, 08:39 PM
I realize it won't be much of a difference to me or the deer, I just have a tendency to pick things apart and overanalyze everything.
You must be an engineer.

All of the advice you have received thus far is good. H&H hunter's advice about shooting what you have makes perfect sense.

H&Hhunter
September 20, 2012, 12:32 AM
Plain and simple you can't shoot good enough and your rifle isn't accurate enough to allow to take advantage of that 2" difference in drop at 400 yards. if your gun is shooting the SST well and you already have them I'd stick with that.

BTW that is not a slight to your ability or your rifles ability it's just the cold hard truth in regards to field shooting.

VegasAR15
September 20, 2012, 01:06 AM
No offense taken, although the rifle is very accurate, love my Tikka. Any ammo I get will be more accurate than I am, and the rifle is more accurate than my capabilities too.

Davek1977
September 20, 2012, 02:33 AM
While slightly larger on average than a whitetail, mule deer aren't incredibly difficult to put down. I've taken them with .223, .243, 30-30, 7.62x39, and 7mm mag. All put the deer down. Any quality bullet that shoots well in your rifle will serve you fine

interlock
September 20, 2012, 04:59 AM
Actually a faster lighter bullet with less sectional density will be expand faster/come apart easier therefore it'll do MORE meat damage than heavier bullet with a higher SD moving at a slower speed.


this is absolutely right. go with the 180. it will kill well and not smash the carcass to pieces. you are already zeroed for it...

T.R.
September 20, 2012, 08:11 AM
I typically reach for Core-lokts or Winchester Power Points.

TR

Captcurt
September 20, 2012, 08:33 AM
Actually a faster lighter bullet with less sectional density will be expand faster/come apart easier therefore it'll do MORE meat damage than heavier bullet with a higher SD moving at a slower speed.


this is absolutely right. go with the 180. it will kill well and not smash the carcass to pieces. you are already zeroed for it...
Actually a 180 gr is not a handicap at long range. Although the bullet starts out slower than a lighter bullet it will retain its speed and energy longer than a lighter bullet. Where the 180gr shines is past 400 yds. There it surpasses the 150 with a flatter trajectory and more energy. Plus you will get deeper penetration than you would with a lighter bullet of the same construction.

Arkansas Paul
September 20, 2012, 09:33 AM
Hornady Superformance SST 150 grains
Federal Fusion
the old Core-Lokt


Seriously, any of those you mentioned will do the job splendidly.
Like jmr40 said, see what your rifle likes the best and go with that one. A deer will not be able to tell you any difference performance wise.

interlock
September 20, 2012, 01:08 PM
Actually a 180 gr is not a handicap at long range. Although the bullet starts out slower than a lighter bullet it will retain its speed and energy longer than a lighter bullet. Where the 180gr shines is past 400 yds. There it surpasses the 150 with a flatter trajectory and more energy. Plus you will get deeper penetration than you would with a lighter bullet of the same construction.
__________________

Yes for sure. I agree

H&Hhunter
September 20, 2012, 01:36 PM
Actually a 180 gr is not a handicap at long range. Although the bullet starts out slower than a lighter bullet it will retain its speed and energy longer than a lighter bullet. Where the 180gr shines is past 400 yds. There it surpasses the 150 with a flatter trajectory and more energy. Plus you will get deeper penetration than you would with a lighter bullet of the same construction.
__________________

Yes for sure. I agree

As my South African friends like to say " Yea Bo YES EIN HUNDRED PEEERSENT!!":)

threefortyduster
September 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
I vote for any of them. I've never had much of a difference in ammo where one bullet would hit outside of the kill zone when aiming for it. Successfully used plenty of core-lokts and winchester super x power points, gonna use fusions this year, and have some power shoks as well. I just buy what's on sale.

AJumbo
September 23, 2012, 10:10 PM
The last time I bought ammo for my '06, I had sighted it in with 180gr Core-Lokts the season before in preparation for an elk hunt. I didn't have time to buy 150s for the upcoming muley hunt, so I figured I'd "sacrifice a bunch of bloodshot meat" and stay with the 180s. Not only was i happy with the performance of the 180s on my buck, but I used a round from the same box to anchor a good bull elk a few weeks later. I see no reason to switch back to 150; in fact, the rifle shoots better groups with the heavier bullets in any case.

When I buy rounds these days, I get four or five boxes from the same lot number. Short of having to re-zero the rifle, that's enough ammunition to get me through about thirty seasons. No more often than I draw, I'll be passing three unopened boxes down to my grandkids.

Chuck Dye
September 23, 2012, 11:07 PM
I, too, recommend going with what your rifle prefers. That being said, my .30-06 bolt guns are most accurate with the Federal High Energy w/ 180gr Partition. Cataloged as P3006R, they are no longer made but are still available. My rifles also like the older Hornady Light Magnums.

I had great fun at a local club's sight in day when my '06 chronographed faster than another hunter's .300WinMag. :D

H&Hhunter
September 25, 2012, 08:16 PM
I didn't have time to buy 150s for the upcoming muley hunt, so I figured I'd "sacrifice a bunch of bloodshot meat" and stay with the 180s.

And of course just the opposite is true, as mentioned above.

Lennyjoe
September 27, 2012, 11:58 AM
Or, you could enter the world of reloading............like some of us....;)

I've shot many a factory loaded ammo but my Savage 110 loves 165gr Sierra Gamekings over IMR 4350. Using the same bullet, but in hollow point instead of soft point made a big difference. The exit would with the hollow point 165gr Gamekings was gruesome. The soft points did a much better job.

Like others have said, shoot what you got and works the best for you. No need spending big bucks on deer. Elk, Bear, Moose or Caribou, then maybe but for for Mulies and Whitetails, you'll be fine with what you have.

303tom
September 28, 2012, 09:49 AM
Here is all I got to say............
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/167224/remington-express-ammunition-30-06-springfield-180-grain-core-lokt-pointed-soft-point-box-of-20

SHR970
September 28, 2012, 07:03 PM
Shoot what you are already sighted in for. In a 30-06 at the ranges we have any business shooting at the animal won't know the difference. This close to season, why bother resighting for different ammo and learning a new trajectory curve due to new ammo? Just two more things that can go wrong for you.

If you have sighted with Core-lokt stay with it. That ammo has worked for decades...and I don't recall the deer getting tougher or using ballistic armor in the last 27 years I have been shooting them.

VegasAR15
October 3, 2012, 10:58 AM
I am sticking with the Hornady SST 180 grains. I went shooting last weekend and fine tuned it a tiny bit. Hopefully I see something good to put it into. I am leaving tomorrow night, season opens at sunrise Friday morning. SUPER EXCITED!

interlock
October 3, 2012, 11:06 AM
vegas... good choice. sst 180gr. if you are accurate and confident go for it. have a great trip, please post pictures of your success

VegasAR15
October 6, 2012, 08:42 PM
Second day of season today, about thirty minutes after sunrise. 180 grain SST at 300 yards. Took it in the neck and dropped like a sack of bricks and stayed there. This by the way is the first animal I have ever harvested.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t181/kulryan/87AA475F-821E-4AC6-A68C-AFA797398E02-554-0000004415193882.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t181/kulryan/40248A23-B827-412F-9ED8-03FD5E8628C3-530-000000425EAE47C6.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t181/kulryan/F9C62052-50AD-4F46-A48E-B7D18881886C-530-0000004241ED6D27.jpg

bpl
October 6, 2012, 09:22 PM
Congrats! That's a hellava first animal to harvest! :D

sixgunner455
October 7, 2012, 11:29 AM
That's a very nice buck. Congratulations!

H&Hhunter
October 7, 2012, 12:27 PM
Very very very super ultra cool!!!:)

Congratulations!

VegasAR15
October 8, 2012, 09:17 AM
In case anyone is wondering what a 180 grain SST exit wound looks like at 300 yards here you go. It hit the spine and obliterated it.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t181/kulryan/IMG_3220.jpg

blarby
October 8, 2012, 09:31 AM
Another vote for the SST.

I'm glad its been demonstrated above- this bullet gets mixed reviews by some, but I love its performance in every way imaginable.

22-rimfire
October 8, 2012, 11:43 AM
I also think you should use what shoots well. But if I had to choose without a lot of testing, I would choose Remington 150 gr core-lokt for deer hunting. We all like 1 MOA accuracy, but the reality is that for most hunting situations, it is not necessary.

Congratulations VegasAR15. That is a nice buck and very nice pictures.

MachIVshooter
October 9, 2012, 07:37 PM
Congrats, nice animal.

As for ammo, obviously your selection worked. And any normal bullet design and weight in .30-06 is more than adequate for mulies at any reasonable range.

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