220 gr sp for whitetail??


February 21, 2013, 01:41 PM
I recently came into a quantity of hornady220 gr sp 30 cal bullets. Would anyone try to take a whitetail with one of these or is that overkill?

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February 21, 2013, 01:56 PM
That is what my late Uncle and all his friends hunted with. I have and do use them too. They are big elk medicine and work well on moose. They work great on hogs. They drop a lot after 200 yards. They never blow up but allways open up. The blunt nose adds to the impact reaction and were said to "buck brush". If you shoot under 220 yards I think they are great if you can stand the increased recoil

February 21, 2013, 01:57 PM
220 grain bullets would be much better suited for moose and big bears than deer.I doubt you would get any expansion at all.I think they would not be a very good choice.

February 21, 2013, 02:00 PM
Gordon,if you use them and they work,I stand corrected.Experience trumps theory every time.

February 21, 2013, 02:06 PM
what cartridge are you loading? If you are shooting inside of 200 yards the end result is not drastically different than 150/168/180 grain etc. You end up robbing Peter to pay Paul, energy levels are usually within 10% at 100 yards.

February 21, 2013, 08:46 PM
Dead is dead. To me overkill is blowing good meat apart with a fragmenting bullet, not using a big heavy bullet. Is a 12ga. slug overkill?

Art Eatman
February 21, 2013, 09:51 PM
I wouldn't select a 220-grain for Bambi, but there's no reason not to use them if you have them.

I reload. I generally have plenty of 150-grain hunting bullets on hand. So, "inheriting" freebie 220s, I'd likely load them reduced, for eye-finger coordination practice.

February 21, 2013, 10:40 PM
While a 220gr is excessive for deer I do think that RN bullet will expand on thin skinned game (the Hornady RN 160gr 6.5mm does), mind you it will still expend the majority of it's energy out the far side, but last I checked a big hole through the vitals is still quite fatal regardless of how much energy you dumped in the process, if energy dump killed we would all be hunting with varmint bullets and the Partition would be a piss poor performer on anything. So yeah, while they would not be my first choice I have little doubt they would take a whitetail deer quite effectively at 30-06 speeds.

Texan Scott
February 22, 2013, 03:30 AM
Time to start loading 300 BLK subsonics... Remington make a 700 with a threaded muzzle for it, btw.

February 22, 2013, 07:09 AM
I used a 220 gr Rem RN to take my first deer (an 8 point whitetail) MANY years ago. It was out of an unmodified 1917 Eddystone.

Killed him REAL dead, BUT he ran a bit. Poked a nice .30 caliber hole straight through him. DO NOT EXPECT expansion, but handgunners have been effectively using hard cast bullets (hole punchers-no expansion) for a long time.

Just understand what you are getting and place your shots carefully. While not the latest, whiz-bang bullet and maybe not the top choice, they will surely work.

Sav .250
February 22, 2013, 08:05 AM
Sounds like you got those for nothing. They will take a deer no problem. Use-um.

Assuming you do your part.

February 22, 2013, 08:25 AM
Like others have said, probably overkill for deer, but the price is right. On the up side, the chance of one exploding and ruining lots of meat should be greatly reduced with the heavier/slower bullet combination, kinda like some old timers that used the .375 H&H for deer used to say "you can eat right up to the hole"

Carl N. Brown
February 22, 2013, 08:32 AM
What's the old phrase, "smoke'em if you got'em"?

Paying extra for 220gr for whitetail would be questionable. Using them if that's what you already have is OK. Not using them for deer because they are recommended for bear or moose would be questionable, or using up your 220gr on deer and then hunting bear with 150gr would be questionable.

Just my opinion based on reading "Fur, Fish and Game" fifty years waiting at the barber shop. ;)

February 22, 2013, 09:22 PM
I have used the 220gr rn on deer in the past. Killed 'em the same as 190, 180, 165, 150, and 125gr 30 cal bullets. Used them because I have had them for over 30 years and never tried them.

February 23, 2013, 11:10 AM
I suggest filling a box with newspapers or phone books. Shoot into the box at approx 100 yards. Check for expandion and diameter of "wound channel". In my experience quick expansion and wide wound channels put game down quickly.


February 23, 2013, 11:31 PM
Dead is dead. To me overkill is blowing good meat apart with a fragmenting bullet, not using a big heavy bullet. Is a 12ga. slug overkill?

Agree 100% ^

I prefer my 350 gr .45-70 loads over a 150 gr from my 7mm Mag for whitetail if range is reasonable. Far less violence and no less death from the big slow fortyfive.

February 24, 2013, 04:19 AM
Heavy and slow bullets stopped working sometime during the 1960 when we discovered hydrostatic shock and belted magnums, never mind the fact that 220gr 30-40 Krags and other sub 2000fps projectiles worked for your granddady this is modern hunting where deer's bones are made up of naturally occurring carbon fiber, and they are very hard to kill, much as moths evolved different colors to protect them from predators deer have been slowly developing an immunity to slow moving bullets and you have to have the latest and greatest ultra mag to counteract their defense mechanisms, and if you believe one word of that I have a bridge to sell you :D While I prefer bullets in the 2600-2900fps range a heavy slow mover that is still capable of expansion is as potent a bullet as any, just watch out for the added recoil 220s kick a bit harder.

February 24, 2013, 06:36 AM
FWIW: The worst shot-up deer I've ever seen was the first one I ever saw dead but on the hoof.
It was shot with a 220gr Remington Cor-lokt factory load circa 1969.
The deer was shot with the classic "Texas heart shot". Bullet impacted the left hind leg breaking the femur, transiting the intestines, and broke the right humerous (rt front leg bone) before exiting. The guts were jello and field dressed deer stunk to high heavens. Later, shooter claimed that he got the back straps, right hind leg and left front leg, rest was discarded by the processor as unedible.... (blood shot..).

The Hornady, Nosler, and Sierra's aren't as "soft" as the CoreLokts. Shouldn't be quite as bad... But, for me, I'd sooner use a 210gr cast bullet at nearly same speed before using up the jacketed ones.
But, use what you got !

February 24, 2013, 07:58 AM
deer will never know the diffeence between 150-220

Andrew Leigh
February 24, 2013, 01:18 PM
I think the general point is about using a heavier bullet than traditional weights for traditional animals.

Taking out the exceptions that we can all quote about meat damage it is my personal experience that on AVERAGE, heavier bullets shot slower end in less meat damage irrespective of calibre.

I have hunting friends that use light bullets and prefer to shoot these at the speed of light creating havoc with meat. Every hunt they moan and bitch about meat loss and I leave them to themselves.

I hunt for meat and so reducing the damage is important to me, I shoot heavier bullets slower and get closer cause I can in our conditions. If I was faced with consistent 300yd plus shot I may well re-evaluate bullet mass.

February 24, 2013, 01:30 PM
I've used 180 grain Remington Core- Lokts in the .30-'06 for YEARS in the PA Deer woods with good sucess.
Truthfully, if HUNT is the name of the game, the Deer don't know the difference as far as Bullet/Calibre go.
I shot MOST of my "big woods" (Potter Co.) Bucks at a range of less than 75 yards, trail watching, 98% neck shots.

February 25, 2013, 01:15 AM
There is nothing wrong with the 220 gr SP bullets, especially in a 30/06. Here in NC we refer to them as brush busters. I don't think they will cut brush like a 12 ga slug but they do better than 150 gr bullets. I especially like them for hunting the edge of thick cut overs. Even if you don't make a perfect shot the deer is down right there. Unlike lesser rounds where the deer runs off even though you drilled both shoulder blades.

March 9, 2013, 09:21 PM
Deer_freak doesn't speak for all North Carolinians... many of us know that bullet mass doesn't correct for bad shot placement and that "brush busters" are a myth. I've got no problem with him and am not picking a fight because I've never met the man or woman. I just want everyone to know that "we" in NC don't all agree with those ideas. Oh, and a 220 grn will kill just as dead as any other weight in a bullet meant for deer. just be sure you see how it shoots in your rifle.

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