30 cal hunters - Favorite whitetail bullet weight?


October 21, 2013, 05:33 PM
Hello to all the 30 cal hunters out there. I love the caliber although I also love many others but would like to discuss the 30 cal for this conversation. I am interested in hearing from people about their favorite whitetail bullet. Weight, brand, shape, bonded/non-bonded, style etc... I load several different ones and have taken whitetail with weights from 125 to 200 grains. I know they all work and every rifle is different in which ammo it prefers to eat. I am just looking to pick others brains on what they prefer and why.

Thanks guys.

If you enjoyed reading about "30 cal hunters - Favorite whitetail bullet weight?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 21, 2013, 06:06 PM
Sierra game king 165 grn btsp by federal.

October 21, 2013, 06:11 PM
Nosler "Accubond", 150 gr.
As accurate as Ballist Tips, bonded bullet assures penetraion.

October 21, 2013, 06:13 PM
I have used Hornaday 130's with good results, and my Savage 99 LOVES em!!

I have also used 165's with good results, twas a no-name bullets that worked just fine, and my Savage 99 likes em way better than 150's

Art Eatman
October 21, 2013, 06:48 PM
Me, my father and my uncle have been around 99% 150-grain. That's probably somewhere near 300 tagged bucks, over many decades.

October 21, 2013, 08:48 PM
In my heavy barreled .308 Wins, I like the Lapua Scenar 155 grain for varmint and target. For hunting larger game in this same rifle, I like the Sierra or Hornady 150 grain. (1-12 twist)

In my M1As, and standard weight barreled .308 Wins, I prefer the Sierra 165 grain, Game King BTHPs. (1-11 twist and 1-12 twist)

In my .30-06 Sprg, I liked 165 grain Sierra BTHPs. (1-10 twist)

In my Weatherby Mark V, .300 Win Mag I like the Hornady 165 grain GMX. (1-10 twist)

Sorry if I provided too much info, but I would rather err on the side of too much.


October 21, 2013, 10:43 PM
30-06 / 150 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips over 50.5 grains of 4198. Used this load for years, it's very accurate and will put a whitetail on the ground fast.

October 21, 2013, 11:56 PM
30-06 150 grain Seaira pro hunter or a Remington coreloc.

October 22, 2013, 12:07 AM
150 grain core lokts

October 22, 2013, 12:14 AM
180 gr. core-lokt.....................

October 22, 2013, 12:16 AM
150 gr. Core Lokt for many years now, no complaints at all!

Arkansas Paul
October 22, 2013, 01:02 AM
I only have one .30 caliber rifle, a bolt action .30-06 and I have had excellent results with both 150 and 165 grain bullets. Whitetails aren't hard to kill and either is more than enough. If you want to shoot them at longer ranges however, the 165s will likely be the better choice.

I would have to say my favorite that I have tried is a Nosler Ballistic Tip in either weight paired with IMR4350 for the 165s and Varget for the 150s.

October 22, 2013, 07:13 AM
I've gone back and forth between 150 and 165. Don't think it matters much and use whatever is more accurate in the individual gun.

October 22, 2013, 10:10 AM
Normally use 165gr, but my 308 won't group with them so I had to choose between 150 and 180gr, opted to try 150gr first and I don't regret it yet.

Don McDowell
October 22, 2013, 10:27 AM
165 gr Hornady bt interlock bullet works very well for antelope,deer and elk , out of both the 308's and the 06.
My Winchester 30-30's prefer the speer 150 gr, and the Marlin prefers the 170 gr speer.

October 22, 2013, 03:50 PM
I had a Marlin 336 30-30 for 25 years that liked the Remington Core-lockts in 170 grain.I took 16 PA deer with it.I would shoot 1and1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with only a fore-end rest.

October 22, 2013, 04:20 PM
150 grain bullets for white tails. more than enough to put down a deer.

October 22, 2013, 05:03 PM
30-30: 170 grain Winchester Power Point (flat nose)


October 22, 2013, 09:03 PM
150 nosler b-tip gitser dun in my .308 Winchester and from my .30-30 Contender pistol. :D

October 22, 2013, 09:10 PM
150 gr Nosler BT. 150 grain Core-Lokt when not shooting handloads. .308 Win.

October 22, 2013, 11:28 PM
165gr Sierra Gameking SPBT over IMR 4350 out of my Savage 110 30-06. I've used it for years and every time it hits a deer it dies quickly.

October 22, 2013, 11:33 PM
Yeah the lead tip on that bullet is effective.

October 23, 2013, 12:08 AM
165gr Sierra Gameking SPBT over IMR 4350 out of my Savage 110 30-06. I've used it for years and every time it hits a deer it dies quickly.
+1 I use the same powder bullet and rifle, flattens deer like a steam roller but as Art says "keep it out of the eating bits" because that bullet makes a MESS of a deer at 2900fps.

Andrew Leigh
October 23, 2013, 12:29 AM
We don't have Whitetail here but we do have similar sized beasts. In my 30-06 it would be the 180gr. Accubond @ 2600 to 2650. Slow and heavy. Meat damage is negligable, exit wound is tiny. Sierra's also do the trick but I hate the mess they leave so I pay a little more for a bonded bullet.

October 23, 2013, 01:41 AM
165 grn for my .308 on deer, and my winchester chambered in .300 weatherby prefers180 grn.

Lloyd Smale
October 23, 2013, 06:33 AM
Im with art. My 308s and o6s get a steady diet of 150s unless a particular gun prefers a 165. I use nothing but standard cup and core bullets in them. When i step up to magnums it tend to use 165-180s. But the 150s have never let me down in the standard cases.

Matthew Temkin
October 23, 2013, 02:12 PM
150 PSP in both .308 and .30-06

October 24, 2013, 10:40 AM
It depends on the DEER and "which .30" you're talking about.

With the 7.62x39 and .300Wisper/AAC, and .30Herret; Sierra 125gr Spt or Nosler 125gr BallisticTip.

.30/30; either the 150gr or 170gr Remington CorLokts. Best .30/30 bullets I've ever used. However, I do like the 125gr Sierra FnHp.

.30/06; Sierra 150, 165, or 180gr GameKing and IMR4350 powder. 60.0, 57.0, and 55.0 respectively. This has worked through several .30/06's for over 30yrs for me.

.300RUM; Remington 180gr PtSpt CorLokt is a "sleeper" bullet. Will actually withstand the velocity without breaking up and dosen't batter in the magazine. Typical 'deadliest mushroom in the woods' performance even at 40yds impact distance...btdt... Secondly 180 or 200gr Nosler Partition or Swift A-frame for largest "deer" ie: moose and elk. For longish shots, the 180 or 200gr Sierra GameKings...caribou or mule deer at 300yds+.

October 24, 2013, 11:10 AM
When I hunted deer exclusively in northern michigan, I used 150gr Corelokts.

Now that i'm here in the northwest, and Deer, Elk, and Bear seasons are falling all over each other, I carry 180gr Interbonds. I'm starting to wish my .308 had a 12ga underneath it, given how many legal grouse i've stumbled upon this season *shakes fist*

Fact is, unless you stumble on Deerzilla, most any non-target bullet is gonna work.

October 25, 2013, 05:50 AM
Winchester ballistic silvertips. I think 165 grain. In 30-06

October 25, 2013, 03:44 PM
For many moons, I and the friends that shot my reloads used the 180 Remington Core- Lokt Round Nose in the .30-'06 for deer hunting in Penn's Woods. I started using this bullet years ago because of it's supposed "brush bucking" ability being a round nose. I personally tagged 31 PA bucks with this bullet but sadly the particular slug is no longer available to the reloader.
I have enough in my "stash" for a little while but the 180 Pointed Soft Point should work as well.

October 28, 2013, 08:08 AM
For 308 and 30-06, 165 gr bullets, and for 300 Win Mag, 180 gr.

October 30, 2013, 05:33 PM
My favorite bullet so far has been the 165gr Sierra gamking, as it is the most precise shooting bullet thru my 308 chmbered rifles. I'm also happy with what the bullet does to critters when it gets there.

November 1, 2013, 11:31 AM
Hornady 165 gr BTSP, my preferred in 30-06.

November 1, 2013, 12:55 PM
On southern whitetail I'm a fan of <150g bullets.

A 125g bullet from a 30-06 even at 250yds in the ribs makes a blood trail a blind man can follow in the rare event the deer manages to hobble a few yards after having its lungs blown halfway out of its chest.

November 1, 2013, 04:18 PM
We harvest a lot of game every year in South Africa at our hunting concession. Over the years we have seen about every cartridge and bullet you can imagine.

Our game ranges from the tiny duikers and steenbok, up to 2000 lb eland for non dangerous game. The average body size is 150-700 lbs for the warthogs impala, blesbok deer sized game to the bigger elk sized game of Gemsbok, Zebra, Kudu etc.

We settled years ago on the 30/06 for the loaner rifles. They are simply lethal, easy to shoot, and plenty of range. Plus easy to find ammo anyplace and folks coming over to hunt with our guns can find one at home to practice with before they get here.

In the last ten years one bullet has come to the forefront as the absolute most dependable and consistent performer of all. The Barnes TSX or TTSX. With this bullet you can shoot all the species mentioned and they will almost always give you an entry and exit. Two holes bleed better then one.

One interesting thing we found was that these TTSX and TSX bullets work even better as fast as they can be driven. So dropping down a bullet weight is a big advantage. They do not lose weight, so even shooting a 150 grain bullet gets you better performance and weight retention then a 180 grain Cup and core lead bullet.

Cup and core lead bullets crumble and fracture, solid copper bullets do not. We have recovered hundreds that are still 100% the weight as when brand new. Few are recovered by percentage because they exit most of the time.

So my suggestion would be a 165 grain TSX or TTSX both are going to work exactly the same. If you feel more confident in a plastic tip the TTSX is the choice. I've not seen a single difference in performance myself.

I'll say we have shot 1000 big game with them now in the last ten years, probably more when you consider the culling operations. Nothing has given us the consistent performance that these have.

Texan Scott
November 1, 2013, 08:29 PM
30-30: Cor-Lokt. Either weight, no matter. Both are over penetrative on Hill Country deer, but work well.

7.62x39: Prvi Partisan 123 gn rnsp. Bullet looks- and performs- more like a 30-30 than an AK round from my SKS.

November 1, 2013, 08:42 PM
Been shooting 150's of various brands and profiles for about 45 years. I think.

November 5, 2013, 02:15 PM
Although I prefer lighter, my Tikka seems to prefer 180 gr SP's by Federal Fusion.

Now, I just need to find more before the weekend....as I used up the last I had.

Three stores now, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, an Dick's - no luck. :cuss:

November 5, 2013, 11:41 PM
.308? 150 Remmy corlokt. .30-30. 150 Remmy corlokt. Not quite a .30, but my .270? 150 Remmy corlokt.

Apparently, I lean toward 150 corlokt.

November 6, 2013, 12:41 AM
remington 30-06 bronze tip 150 gr

November 6, 2013, 12:09 PM
180 out of my .308, but 100 yards would be a long shot in the woods I hunt......

November 6, 2013, 07:09 PM
7.62x54r 203gr. 1st year hunting with it in a few weeks. so.... we'll see how it goes.

November 7, 2013, 12:08 PM
No favorites but any thing over 150 grain bullet, is a waste of energy for whitetail deer. hdbiker

November 9, 2013, 05:19 PM
Favorite whitetail .30 cal. bullet weight?.... Depends on the gun; Marlin .30-30 uses Speer 170 gr. flat nose, 300 WSM gets a 150 gr. Accubond averaging 3207 fps and if I ever get to use my M-1 Garand on whitetails like I'm planning to someday it'll be using a 150 gr. Hornady Spire Point.

1911 guy
November 11, 2013, 07:33 AM
I use Hornady 150gr simply because it's adequate and my rifle likes them. If it preferred a different weight, I'd use that.

November 12, 2013, 12:55 AM
M1a in .308 = 150 grain Nosler Partition

K31 in 7.5x55 Swiss = 168 grain Berger VLD Hunting

M-94 Winchester in 30-30 = 160 grain Hornady FTX

Romanian PSL in 7.62x54R = 150 grain steel jacketed soft point bullets pulled from Norma 7.65x53 Argentine ammo that I got really cheap at a garage sale.

Remington 700 in .308 is my "Lab Gun" it doesn't have a "Standard Load" per se, this year my intent is to try out some pulled military 130 grain, Mk319 mod 0 SOST bullets on hogs and deer to see if they're as effective as I've heard.

November 12, 2013, 01:02 AM
150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip over 57 gr of IMR 4350 has worked so well that I never looked elsewhere for my 30-06.

November 12, 2013, 03:34 AM
I don't have a long history of use yet as I took my first deer this year. He fell to a .308 150gr federal power shok soft point. It was at a mere ten yards, broke a rib on the way in, blendered both lungs, broke a rib on the way out and the shoulder blade before leaving a half dollar exit hole. Minimal meat loss.

I have 150gr and 165gr Sierra gameking btsp to work up loads with my IMR4895. I hope for good performance out of both.

November 12, 2013, 09:14 PM
Berger 168 VLD in my Remington 308 VTR will produce a 100 yard 5 shot group the size of a dime. I've killed two deer and it will make a serious hole!

November 16, 2013, 02:49 AM
last 50 plus whitetails, 150 gr. Remington corelokt spire points thru my M1 Garand. Mostly 1 shot kills. 46gr of varget or any 4895 powder. Works good. :)

November 19, 2013, 04:14 PM
110 gr Speer 1835 flat-nose JHP loaded in a 30-06. Might be the lightest mentioned so far, but the flat nose hits HARD.

If you enjoyed reading about "30 cal hunters - Favorite whitetail bullet weight?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!