Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

30.06 Mule Deer factory ammo

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by VegasAR15, Sep 19, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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?
     
  2. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,617
    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
     
  3. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,719
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    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.
     
  4. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    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.
     
  5. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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.
     
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    Why not just stick with what you are sighted in for?
     
  7. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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.
     
  8. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,617
    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.
     
  9. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    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.
     
  10. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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.
     
  11. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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.
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,895
    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.
     
  13. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,662
    Location:
    Central Florida
    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.
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    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.
     
  15. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    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.
     
  16. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,431
    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
     
  17. interlock

    interlock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, England
    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...
     
  18. T.R.

    T.R. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
    I typically reach for Core-lokts or Winchester Power Points.

    TR
     
  19. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,719
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    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.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,333
    Location:
    Central Arkansas

    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.
     
  21. interlock

    interlock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, England
    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
     
  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,724
    As my South African friends like to say " Yea Bo YES EIN HUNDRED PEEERSENT!!":)
     
  23. threefortyduster

    threefortyduster Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    St. Petersburg, FL
    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.
     
  24. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    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.
     
  25. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    938
    Location:
    Oregon-The wet side.
    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
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page