First time poster. Thanks for having me.
I did a search and found some similar discussions to my questions but not exactly.
Two years ago I shot a nice buck at about 35-40 yards with a 30.06 165 grain Horaday SST bullet. Upon impact the deer appeared to be hit good and mule kicked but he did run off out of sight which was only another 10 yards or so into the woods. I felt good about the shot as it was a good squeeze with the crosshairs right behind the shoulder.
Upon tracking the deer I spotted him as he got up from his bed. No shot. Blood was sparse at that point and he went about 80 yards before bedding . I decided due to the small amounts of blood to let him lay for awhile since it was tough to stay on the trail and hope he died without pushing him further. I lost that deer and believe it to be that my SST fragmented upon impact after doing some research. I have since been doing a lot of reading about this topic. I’ve learned that it was a mistake to use the SST at close ranges due many occurrences I’ve read about them failing at those ranges. Previously I simply took the advice that many give and that to shoot what is most accurate out of your gun. Well I did that and this was the result.
Last year I hunted with Remington Core-Lokt bullets due to their “controlled expansion” label they are given. I’ve since read that these expensive bonded premium bullets can hold up better but in most cases they are double the cost.
My hunting situation is as follows:
Wooded hunting situations in northern Wisconsin either in the timber shooting between 30-70 yards. Or Food plots from 30-100 yards. I can’t see a shot being over 100 yards at all.
I now shoot a .308 X-bolt as I like the slower speeds that it provides for those closer distances and my wife shoots a .270. The .270 probably is a little fast for those ranges so finding a bullet that will hold together is important. She loves her .270 as it was her dad's gun. I need to find a bullet for each of us that not only shoots well out of our guns but will take those close ranges.
My line of thinking right now is that I’ll probably be able to use most anything out of my slower .308 but the .270 is going to be tricky. My wife has never shot a deer with her .270 as she has only been hunting 2 years but I want to make sure that deer goes down when she does shoot one.
So what is your opinion on buying the premium bullets vs. your standard type bullets? What should I be trying to look for?
Take accuracy out of the equation for a second. Whatever I use, it will be accurate or I won't use it. I get that some bullets don't work in certain guns. I get that you need to try different loads and bullets to find which ones your gun likes. But as I’ve found just because a bullet shoots good out of your gun doesn’t make it a good choice.
So is it worth the extra money to buy say a Partition bullet or Premium Bonded bullet vs. using say a Remington Green Box Core-lokt or Federal Blue Box Softpoint type stuff. Then there is the federal fusions that are supposedly bonded but at a reduced cost.