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View Full Version : can someone help me choose a better hunting bullet and load???


Hornet_RN
08-21-2011, 8:38 AM
I recently took my first blacktail deer last week with a Remington 700 BDL in .30-06. I used 150 grain Sierra GameKing soft point boat tail bullets, which are are an exposed lead tipped bullet. My load has a muzzle velocity of 2750 feet per second. I took this deer at about 75-100 yards and it dropped with a shot in the heart.

However, I think I want a better performing bullet. GameKings are good and cheap and they are EXTREMELY ACCURATE! 1 MOA groups are possible with these and these aren't even the MatchKings. But it is still powerful enough that it makes sure that my blacktail will go down. However, I think it totally can ruin meat if I am unable to make the right shot placement. And although I don't think it has happened to me necessarily, there is the possibility of jacket separation.

But when I made my kill last weekend, I was able to see the terminal performance of this bullet.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/marbles71/P1000684-1.jpg

Check out what a handloaded Sierra 150-grain GameKing does!!! The enterance!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/marbles71/P1000685-1.jpg

Not much of an exit, the bullet shattered into pieces!

There was a defined entrance wound, but there definitely wasn't a sure exit hole. The bullet broke into pieces as soon as it entered the skin and fragmented bullet shards cut up the lungs and heart into a pulp. So I didn't even want to bother showing the results of those vital organs, it was all a bloody mess.

GameKings are really lethal against thin skinned game, but now I want to look into some kind of bullet retention and maybe even be able to make a bullet pass through an animal but still have the same knock down power.

I was looking into Barnes TSX bullets, a good NON LEAD (for the condor zone) bullet I heard? Berger bullets look pretty fancy, but I'm not really into long range shooting when it comes to hunting anyway. Swifts look cool, but they are really expensive. What about Nosler Partitions, those are classic? Any of the Hornadys or Speers any good?

Any suggestions would be great!

popeye4
08-21-2011, 9:10 AM
Perhaps go with a heavier bullet? A 180 gr would work fine, would slow it down a bit, perhaps hold together better upon impact. Nosler Partitions are excellent, but you might still get some separation in the front section. The partition ensures that at least some of the bullet holds together. I haven't had any experience with the other, more exotic bullets.

Fjold
08-21-2011, 9:14 AM
The issue is that conventional (cup & core) bullets have a hard time perfoming well at 75 yards with a high velocity and at 300 yards with a lower velocities. Either you get too much expansion or you don't get enough.

That's why many of the manufacturers now offer bonded core bullets:

Swift - A-Frame and Scirocco bullets
Woodleigh - Weldcore
Speer - Trophy Bonded Bear Claw
Remington - Core-Lokt Ultra
Nosler - Accubond
Hornady - Interbond

The bonded core bullets are a lot tougher than conventional bullets but still offer great expansion due to their soft cores.

For myself, I'm slowly converting over to all monometal bullets for medium to big game hunting as I like a tougher bullet. I use the TSX in 6.5mm, 7mm and .375 now and will slowly convert over other calibers.

r3dn3ck
08-21-2011, 9:23 AM
I can't see what you're trying to fix. 30-06 is a bit much gun for most blacktails IMO but it looks like you dropped it like a used rubber anyway so there's no problem. If it's the fact that the bullet fragmented, then I still don't see a problem with that on little ol' blacktails. Any standard remington core-lokt bullet will hold together though. If you insist on spending more money on your projectiles then I like the Partitions as they give great expansion right away and even if you're too close and the mushroom head blows off the shank will still penetrate like a solid and at least leave a blood trail.

I avoid hollowpoints for big game.

I don't dig on barnes bullets as they overpenetrate like a madman.

edwardm
08-21-2011, 9:25 AM
I have had good performance with 165 grain Barnes TSX bullets (the Federal box stuff, not handloads) on pigs. Turned internal organs (hears, lungs) into jelly. I'm going to try the Barnes retail 150 grain T-TSX rounds this year - I want to shoot a little hotter and flatter than the 165's.

Sub95
08-21-2011, 10:25 AM
any of the barns ttsx bullets work great without doing alot of damage to the meat and the ones i have loaded shoot under .300" @100yards

Hornet_RN
08-21-2011, 11:05 AM
thanks for all the input guys, i guess i'm really trying to find a solution to a non-existent problem. i mean, Sierra GameKings put Blacktails down, that's the most important thing, so for now, i'll just stick with the recipe that i currently have.

however, i will look into Barnes though, because next year i want to hunt in the condor zone just to say i've done it. i'm a member of Wilderness Unlimited, and i think there are properties there where i can hunt, thus forcing me to switch to a non-lead load.

but anyway, the GameKing seems to do the job for any kind of Blacktail here in California.

edwardm
08-21-2011, 11:26 AM
thanks for all the input guys, i guess i'm really trying to find a solution to a non-existent problem. i mean, Sierra GameKings put Blacktails down, that's the most important thing, so for now, i'll just stick with the recipe that i currently have.

however, i will look into Barnes though, because next year i want to hunt in the condor zone just to say i've done it. i'm a member of Wilderness Unlimited, and i think there are properties their where i can hunt, thus forcing me to switch to a non-lead load.

but anyway, the GameKing seems to do the job for any kind Blacktail here in California.

Yeah I'm a WU member too. I went inactive for the time being. Their properties in the lead-free zone are just too heavily pressured to be very productive and they've lost some good ranches in the last 4 or 5 years.

bruceflinch
08-21-2011, 12:53 PM
Nice Job, Buddy!

billetmann
08-22-2011, 4:05 PM
i hunt quite a bit- the nosler partitions are excellent ( the fail safe, accubond and partion gold)- the hornady interbond is also very good. they hold together and have deep penetration--and don't destroy alot of meat.

i've used them all in various weights from 140 gr to 250 grain- depending on the rifle and game being hunted. all one shot kills--except for the grizz you don't stop shooting till he's down!!

good job