The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 12, 2000, 12:40 PM   #1
Dogger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: Virginia
Posts: 481
My previous deer have been taken by bow and by shotgun slug. I am going to hunt this year with either a 6.5x55 Swede Mauser or a 7x57 Ruger M77. I am looking at using the Federal Classic hunting loads in 140 grain with soft point bullet. Is there any real reason to go to the premium ammo -- a Nosler partition in 7x57 or Bear Claw in the 6.5x55? Thanks
Dogger is offline  
Old June 12, 2000, 01:38 PM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1999
Posts: 1,233
Think that two arguments can be made here. I've made both.

Deer are soft targets and it does not take much to dump one. Have hit them with 300 grain arrows at 260 FPS and .357 Magnums with 158 grain defensive loads. Same result, a dead deer with a hole going completely through the chest cavity. If a particular ammunition shoots accurately in your gun, use it.

Now, I say this because I live in wild kingdom. Hunt no more than 50 minutes from home. It is not expensive for me to hunt, do it all the time and no traveling. These hunts, specially dream hunts, are getting more and more expensive every year. Tags, license, gas, food, airfare, and the list goes on and on. If you are spending all that money for hunting, why not spent the extra $20 on premium ammunition. One of the biggest heart breaks while on a hunting trip is having doubts about your weapons (ammunitions) ability or hitting a animal dead on to see it run off into the woods and losing it. There are no guaranties that these thing will not happen, but why not gain as much advantage as possible by using ammunitions that maximize your firearms potential.

Robert
Robert the41MagFan is offline  
Old June 12, 2000, 05:34 PM   #3
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,700
Robert. You make a good point for the "high priced spread", but if I may, let's look at the lesser "spread" for a moment. One of the big reasons premium ammo and bullets are touted so much in the gun rags, is beause the "egg-spurts" get them for FREE. We make up the difference in the higher price we pay for the stuff. With that said,I would imagine that most game shot at with regular ammo, not the premium stuff, is brought to ground, probably 95 percent of the time, if not more. I've only used premium bullets a couple of times on a hunt. I've not been satified with them. Oh they are accurate, all right. Let me give the prime example. This was on a very large bodied Mule Deer. When field dressed, skinned, head removed, legs cut off at the knees, he weighed out at 295 pounds. This was the biggest deer I have ever killed, or even seen for that fact. My usual deer load in the 30-06 is a stiff load of IMR-4831 and the 180 gr. Sierra SPFB. I was out of them, and had to use the load I'd worked up for an elk hunt. Same charge, but with Nosler Partitions. Both shoot to exactly the same place in my rifle. Velocity, 2750 FPS. I jumped this deer at about 40 to 50 yards tops. The first shot was, from his reaction, right in the heart. Number two was a high lung shot. Three broke an antler, four a complete miss, and the fifth and last shot, after I settled down, broke his neck and put him down. After the first two shots, I got a bit rattled. Started thinking maybe that deer wasn't human or something. The autopsy, if you want to call it that, was very revealing. The first shot did indeed hit the heart, fairly high on the top of the organ. The bullet left a finger sized groove in the top of the heart, but failed to break through the wall of the heart. The lung shot left a very narrow path through the lung tissue, not much bigger than a nickel. The neck shot shattered the spinal chord.
This deer BTW, was so old, I doubt he'd have made it through another Winter. His teeth were worn down to the gums, and I'm sure he would have starved to death before Spring. Turns out there was a fairly goodly amount of snow that Winter.
So I'll stick to conventional bullets for my hunting. I may use bullets a bit heavier than what is considered the norm for a particular game animal, but in 45 plus years of hunting, I've lost only two animals. I regret those two, but in one case, it was totally impossible to go where the animal went, and the blood trail quit fairly quickly on the second. The ground was like concrete, so no tracks were left at all. Shot the deer at about 8AM and did not quit till it was too dark to see. I did my best.
So I stick to conventional bullets, try to get as close as possible, and darn well try to put the bullet in the right place.
Paul B.
Paul B. is offline  
Old June 12, 2000, 06:41 PM   #4
Herodotus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2000
Posts: 743
I think you have to ask questions about this premium ammo and the components if you hand load
You note an interest in the 7x57 Mauser. If you habdload, which maybe you don't, you have to consider the bullet carefully. Some bullets made in 7mm are for the 7x57 or 7mm/08, which are rather slow as far as velocity goes. One of the most popular 7mm's is the 7mm Remington Mag., which is fast. Bullets intended for the one probably won't work so well in the other. So if you hand load, you must try to get the right 7mm bullet for you cartidge. The bullet manufacturers will tell you this in their loading manuals (at least Sierra, whose stuff I use a lot, does).
If you are using factory ammo, you can be pretty sure whatever bullet they give you will work. As far as the premium stuff goes, just ask: what are they tring to achieve with this stuff: Better accuracy, higher velocity, a bullet that performs better (holds up better on a bigger animal, goes to peices quicker on a varmint, works better at long or short range??). If there seems to be a real answer that suits your particular needs, give it a try. As far as I can see, the factory ammo manufacturers do not explain this very well, and there is a lot of resulting confusion. I really don't know if its worth buying a lot of this stuff, especially for eastern deer hunting.

[This message has been edited by Herodotus (edited June 13, 2000).]
Herodotus is offline  
Old June 12, 2000, 10:58 PM   #5
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,585
I've killed roughly 40 deer; about half & half .243 and '06.

In the .243, I've used 85-grain Sierra HPBT bullets, exclusively since 1970. Few of the deer field-dressed over 110 pounds. All were one-shot kills but two; these were paralyzed by the neck shot and didn't move.

In the '06, I've taken maybe four deer with the 150-grain Remington Bronze Point. The rest were killed with Sierras. 150- and 165-grain; mostly boat-tailed.

OTOH, my father has taken an incredible number of deer, mostly with Hornady 150-grain in his '06. Generally one-shot kills to the neck.

So, after his 70 years of hunting, and my fifty, (off and on; things like WW II got in his way; Korea and college in mine) I'd say that whatever bullet gives you the best accuracy from your rifle will PROBABLY be the best, whether "standard" or "premium".

I have tried Federal Premium in my .243 and it is as accurate as my handloads. Funniest thing, they use the Sierra 85-grain HPBT!

Were I in your shoes, I'd probably try the Federal...

FWIW, Art
Art Eatman is offline  
Old June 13, 2000, 03:55 PM   #6
Calif Hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 10, 2000
Location: La Palma, CA, USA
Posts: 165
Personally, I think that premium bullets are not needed in non-magnum rifles for deer. I have used Corelokts and the old Nosler solid base (non-partition) bullets on deer and wild pig with excellent results. The premium bullets, in only my opinion, are best in magnums where short-range bullet breakup may occur or for larger game like elk where penetration is a must.
Calif Hunter is offline  
Old June 13, 2000, 04:06 PM   #7
Al Thompson
Staff Alumnus
 
Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,605
The only other point (as Art mentions) is that deer vary so much that you have to take the local body size into consideration. Here in South Carolina a big deer will be 150 pounds field dressed. Texas Hill Country deer were an average of 90 pounds 15 years ago. Go to Canada and a big one is 300 lbs. Same critter, different sizes.

Giz
Al Thompson is offline  
Old June 13, 2000, 04:59 PM   #8
Robert the41MagFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1999
Posts: 1,233
You don't have to go to Communist Canada for 250-300lbs size dear. We have them here in the good old USA, Washington/Oregon Cascades. I am sure that there are other parts of the lower 48 that have these world class animals too.

Robert
Robert the41MagFan is offline  
Old June 13, 2000, 11:17 PM   #9
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,585
300-lb whitetail in Maine--if you're good with snowshoes.

Art Eatman is offline  
Old June 14, 2000, 05:06 AM   #10
45King
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 1999
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,033
My philosophy is that if a game animal is worth a bullet, then it's worth the best bullet you can get. I don't care whether getting that animal in my sights has cost me $10K for a hunting trip, or only a quarter tank of gas and an hour's drive; I owe it to the animal and to the spirit of sportsmanship to make sure the bullet arrives precisely on target and makes a clean, rapid kill.

BTW, while gunwriters do indeed get quite a bit of "free" stuff, much of the free stuff they get is usually worth about what they paid for it. As for bullets, I imagine that the factories probably only send them one free box. After that, if they want to do more, they have to buy it like anyone else.

------------------
Shoot straight & make big holes, regards, Richard at The Shottist's Center
45King is offline  
Old June 14, 2000, 09:00 AM   #11
Dogger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: Virginia
Posts: 481
Well, I absolutely agree that we owe it to the white tail to hit him with a bullet that results in a clean one shot kill with minimum meat damage. I am just trying to figure out what that bullet is, in 6.5x55 Swede and 7x57 Mauser. If the Federal Classic does it, so be it. But, if the Premium really does a better job, then that is what I will go with. Having never taken a deer with a rifle, I just don't know. I know what works with a bow, and I know what works with a shotgun slug, I just don't know what is best for the rifle. I guess the answer is "they all do the job if the hunter does his part". But, I have seen complaints about Noslers not penetrating enough, I have heard about bullet weights too heavy in the caliber penetrating without enough expansion, etc. As I mentioned earlier, I am going to start out with the 140 grain Classic loads unless the experiences of you greybeards dictate otherwise. Thanks!
Dogger is offline  
Old June 14, 2000, 10:25 AM   #12
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,585
Dogger: About the Nosler and penetration, I'd guess--not knowing the circumstances!--that any brand of bullet or a light bullet at (for instance) long range "didn't penetrate enough". So, that sort of hearsay is meaningless.

Some bullets are not intended to expand, or are intended to expand very little. These are, usually, larger diameter bullets which make a large hole, anyway. Their intended use is to break bone and penetrate a long way through thick-skinned, heavy-boned and possibly dangerous animals.

A common malady among handloaders is to use bullets in ways not intended by the manufacturer. A thin-jacketed bullet at very high velocity won't penetrate animals larger than prairie dogs. A thick-jacketed bullet at slow speed won't expand. And so on.

You'll find it rare that factory ammo in the mid-range of bullet weights won't work well on deer. The majority of mid-size rifle cartridges are intended for deer-hunting, and that's what they load for.

Hope this helps,

Art
Art Eatman is offline  
Old June 14, 2000, 09:46 PM   #13
El Lobo
Member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2000
Posts: 57
I've been hunting eastern whitetail deer since the early 1970's with a Marlin lever action in .35 Remington. I shoot 180 grain Speer jacketed bullet(about 2100 fps) and 200 grain cast lead bullet(about 1900 fps), and have never had to take a second shot. Put your shot through the lungs (plural) either broad side or slightly quartering, and get out your skinning knife.
El Lobo is offline  
Old June 16, 2000, 05:13 PM   #14
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,700
Dogger. About the Nolsers not penetrating. I would imagine the the bullet was one of the Ballistic Tips. The Nosler partition penetrates, believe me on that. The only 6.5 I ever had any experience with was a Mannlicher-Schoennaur in 6.5x54MM. The Norma 140 gr. bullets penetrated california blacktails real well even on fairly extreme quartering shots. In the 7x57, I like 150 gr. bullets. I've had good results from the 154 gr. Hornady Interlock. I've been thinking of trying the 145 gr. Speer SPFB Hot-Core bullet, but for some reason, the loacal dealers don't have it in stock. I have had real good results from Speers 165 gr. .30 caliber bullet in the .308, so I see no reason why the 145 gr. Speer 7mm bullet should not work just as well.
Sierra's are accurate, but in my experience tend to be a bit soft. I don't much care for boattail bullets either. They seem to shed their cores to easily to suit me.
Just my thoughts on the matter.
Paul B.
Paul B. is offline  
Old June 17, 2000, 01:20 PM   #15
Keith Rogan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 1,014
Ditto on the Ballistic Tips vs the Partitions! One is designed to penetrate and one is not.
Forget anecdotal stories about how a particular bullet performed on a particular deer. Deer don't know squat about ballistics or bullet performance. You can make a perfect shot and have a premium bullet perform exactly as it should and watch a deer run away for a 1/4 mile. Go out the next day and make a marginal shot with an antique bullet from grandads old gun chest and drop a deer like a house of cards.

A deer bullet should do two things, EXPAND and EXIT the animal. Expansion is obvious but I use the term "exit" instead of "penetration" because any bullet should penetrate enough to hit the vitals on a smallish animal like a deer. Whats important is that it exits and creates a blood trail to follow because sometimes a deer just doesn't fall no matter how well placed your shot. A quarter mile in brush without a blood trail is a lost animal.

Most "standard" bullets will fail at times to exit. They mushroom just fine but lose the jacket and end up being trapped by the elastic skin on the far side of the animal. To me, even if the deer drops on the spot its bullet failure because on another day that would have been a lost animal.

I like Nosler Partitions. I've used them in .243, .7mm and 30.06 and never seen one fail to exit. They usually leave a fan shaped spray of blood at the point of impact and a trail a blind man could follow.

Spend the extra buck or two.



------------------
Keith
The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan

Keith Rogan is offline  
Old June 17, 2000, 02:23 PM   #16
bergie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 19, 1999
Posts: 567
Are premium bullets really needed for whitetails? no. Are they desirable? depends on the circumstances. Will standard off the shelf softpoints kill a deer as dead? yes, provided a good hit.
About the Nosler bullets, the Nosler manual has a good article by Rick Jamison on choosing the Partition or the BT. It says that all BT's of .26 caliber or larger are designed as "hunting" bullets, not "varmint" bullets. He tested the Partition against the BT, 165 gr in .308, and .300Win mag shooting into a "wet newsprint expansion medium". The BT did open up at lower velocities and would expand at longer ranges where the Part. would not with his light loads in the .308. At 2460 fps at 12 feet the Partition penetrated 17" and retained 127.7 grains (77%) the BT 14.5" and 126.3 gr (76.5%).
At the high end 3,143 fps out of the .300 winmag at 12 feet, the partition penetrated 16.5" and retained 67% of its mass, versus 12.7" and 56% for the BT.
He says for large heavy-boned game, or at velocities over 3100 use the Partition, at lower velocities (less than 3100), or on long shots on deer, antelope, or sheep the BT is the choice due to its higher b.c.
bergie
bergie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11651 seconds with 7 queries