The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 16, 2012, 11:48 AM   #1
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Bullets for big game?

Just curious as to opinions on bullets for big game, deer and elk being the primary target. I was taught as a youngster to use a bullet that will expand well yet hold together and not destroy the meat as the main purpose we hunt these species is to eat them. I have tried a lot of bullets over the years and my favorites are the bonded bullets, the nosler accubond being my go to favorite! I have had mixed results with barnes bullets, I don't like them in my 7mag but absolutly love the little 80 grain ttsx at 3700 fps, its the only bullet I've found that will reliably hold together at that velocity, deer react as if struck by lightning. I have tried the berger vld hunting bullets, they shot superb in my 7mag but went against my hold together and not come apart rule, I tested them in a wood and they really come undone! The accubonds retain 80 percent or more of there weight when shot in the same wood. It definately explains to me why you see those big bull elk shot at amazing distances fold up like a chair, also most are high shoulder shots. I would love to see them peel the hide back and see the bloodshot damage and waste. I have great respect for berger the company as they state that the bullets are intended to penetrate 2 or 3 inches and then turn to shrappnel which accounts for some amazing camera footage of big game dropping like rocks. Anyway let's hear some opinions on your thoughts of good big game bullets
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 12:40 PM   #2
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame
jmortimer is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 05:06 PM   #3
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
I have shot the swift scirrocos and they are indeed excellent bullets IMO, but I stil choose the nosler accubonds, I use the same weight nosler BT for playing and the accubond for hunting, the B.C. is the same with the 140 grain bullets for my 7mag and they shoot exactly the same out of my rifle. I tried some 162 grain hornady sst bullets last year deer hunting and wasn't impressed, I shot a buck through the heart at 300 yards with an sst and somehow it bloodshot both front shoulders, the buck went down like a ton of bricks but what a mess it made. I tossed the rest of the bullets I had left in the garbage and went back to the nosler accubonds
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:30 PM   #4
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
Strange but true. I have been using Remington CoreLokt for the past 29 years on white tail deer. They still work so I still use them.

Calibers I use them in.

.243 Win
.30-06 Springfield
.30-30 Winchester

None have failed to do the job.

Oh and I have more boxes then I will ever go though in this life time of them so reloading them is a moot point.

As far as how they group. I do not know. They all passed the minute of deer test at 100 yards or so.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Them Corelokts have accounted for many a critters!
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:38 PM   #6
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
That they have. There may be some bullets that do the job better in some way or other. To me they work, and a dead deer is a dead deer. They do not tear up a lot of meat, and most of the deer I have hit folded at the knees not too far from where they were hit.

Oh I forgot to mention the 7mm Mauser as well. I have about 500 rounds of that left with a sporter Mauser that is like a lazer beam.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 16, 2012, 06:47 PM   #7
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
I tried to use 140 grain factory remington corelokts in a new 7mm-08 this year for my wife to deer hunt with, the gun simply wouldn't shoot them near my expectations, the best I could get was a 5 or 6" group at 100 yrds, I went home and pulled the rest of what factory stuff I had apart and starting reloading for it, the very first load I tried shot sub moa, I decided that was plenty good enough and quit
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:44 PM   #8
flintlock.50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2009
Posts: 197
I've had good luck with the 165 gr Hornady SST in my .30-06. I've hit deer and pronghorns from 50 to 402 yards and all but one dropped within 5 yards of where they were hit. They are very accurate in my rifle.

That said, I loaded 165 gr Accubonds for my elk hunt this past October because I was advised they were much stronger than the SSTs. (Yeah, I succumbed to the hype.) With the right seating depth they proved to be very accurate also. I didn't get a chance to test them because we managed to call the elk to within range of my flintlock.

When I compare total game weight harvested from different bullets, the lead round ball comes up the winner for me, having gotten a big boost from the October elk. But my round balls have also taken a couple black bears and deer.

I think the lesson is that if you put the projectile in the right spot, most will do the job, even the lowly round ball.
__________________
NRA Benefactor member; NRA rifle and home firearm safety instructor; NMLRA member; NMLRA instructor for rifle, pistol and shotgun

A government that takes from Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul's vote!
flintlock.50 is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 10:09 PM   #9
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,095
I used to hold to the controlled expansion theory until Berger came out with their hunting bullet. Now, its Berger for me.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 01:14 AM   #10
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
I tried the bergers and with some tlc i got them to shoot really well in my 7 rem mag but when I tested them for expansion they came undone turning to schrapnel which is what they were designed to do, I ceased production of them and gave the rest of what I had to the guys at benchmark barrels, they have there place and IMO its long range target shooting. I personally want a bullet that will dependably expand and retain most of its weight, the nosler accubonds have worked really well for me
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 09:10 AM   #11
reloader28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2009
Location: nw wyoming
Posts: 922
Right at the moment my favorite for 44mag is an RCBS 250gr gas checked SWC cast from 50/50/2% alloy. Dont even need to be HP. Does a very nice job.

The wife would probly say her favorite for 30-06 is an RCBS 185gr semi-point with 1/16" HP 1/4" deep made from 50/50/2%. Also does a very nice job.

OH, did you mean those copper patched things?



Flintlock
, shame on you. Dont ever, ever mention SST's around here. Everyone will think your the devil and start screaming at you for being an idiot. (But I'm with you)
reloader28 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 09:45 AM   #12
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,699
I use 150grSierra Game Kings in my .270WIN. They work well from 15 feet to 460yards .....

I have not made the transition to the "Bonded" or all copper/guilding metal wonder bullets for two reasons-

1. Several times in the last few years I have shot deer comming down a trail toward me at fairly short range (under 50 yards). There is just not an option- that trail comes up out of the creek 50 yards from the best vantage spot on the property, and goes right to it. If I wait for a broadside shot, the deer will run into me and spook before that happens, and I don't want to shoot at the back end of a fleeing deer. A slow walking/stationary target facing you is a chip shot...... but I would not take it with a bullet that will make field dressing a "crappy" job.... I'm in the game to put good meat in the freezer, and scattering fecal matter through the body cavity is not conducive to that, IMO ..... I know that a 170 gr .30/30 Partition will go through a whitail lengthwise at that range ...... and that a 150gr SGK will penetrate a few inches, and come apart, with none of the parts getting past the diaphram. The same bullet will go through a broadside whitetail's chest out to 460 yards, where there is plenty of time to wait for the animal to turn whichever way you need him, put his head down to feed, etc.

2. What I use works well ..... it performs well, groups well, is fairly low cost. Why would I change for something else (the Hornady SST looks like it would work similarly, with a slightly better BC, and slightly lower cost)..... when I'd have spend the time and $$$ for load development again?
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 11:28 AM   #13
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Jimbob86, sounds like you have a good bullet for your intended use, I hope you whack a monster on its way up that trail! This thread wasn't started with the thoughts of people changing anything, what you are confident in and works for you is the important part!
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 11:37 AM   #14
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,699
Just sayin' what I use, and why .....

Were I to go after elk, I think I might go with a bonded bullet, for more penetration.
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 12:03 PM   #15
JerryM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 1999
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,884
For MANY years I used Speer, Hornady, and Sierra standard game bullets without failures on deer, antelope, bear, sheep, goats, and a few exotics.
I agree that a premium bullets, do a bit better on heavy game, but I neve felt that I needed the premium bullets so touted today. On Alaska Bear I did use Nosler Partition. Today I would probably use Barnes.

Frankly, I think shooters are somewhat brainwashed today for financial reasons. No doubt modern premium bullets do some things better, but what do you need?
For deer and similar size game I would still use standard bullets that shot best in my rifles.

Jerry
__________________
Ecclesiastes 12:13 *┬ÂLet us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 *For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
JerryM is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 12:28 PM   #16
KenL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 136
For deer, I use a 150 grain Nosler Partition in my 308. For elk, I use a 180 grain Nosler Partition in my 300 WSM. I'm very happy with the performance and accuracy.
KenL is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 04:16 PM   #17
5R milspec
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 358
With a Berger VLD hunting bullet you just need to slow it down.Thats if you do not want it to blow up like it will.I did this last year with great results,the 168gn VLD just went right through the deer.The shot was at 150 yards away broad side,and through the heart lower lunge.It turned them into mush.My load is 43gn of Varget with a case over all length of 2.995.If I haven't forgot it is running around 2550 at the muzzel.

I will add that most of my shots are no farther than 200,so the amount of speed I went with works for me.If you are wanting to try a Berger VLD at longer ranges then adjust the FPS to your ranges.You can all so do this with an A-max to keep it from blowing up like it will.
__________________
life is great but its better when you can own as many guns you wish to own.for me I haven't bought enough yet.
5R milspec is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 08:15 PM   #18
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,095
The Berger is made to "blow up." Thats why I like them. The difference in them and other match type hollow points is they are designed to penetrate a sufficient amount before they explode. Everything I have shot with them (except the intentional lung shots to bleed the animal out and have better meat) has dropped like a ton of bricks fell on them.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 11:44 PM   #19
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Reynolds357, you are VERY correct!! The berger vld hunting bullets were designed to penetrate a few inches and BLOW UP sending shrapnell in every direction which is exactly what they do! My experience with shrapnell from bullets that 'fail' leave a serious bloodshot MESS! I enjoy eating the deer and elk I shoot and that's why I choose a premium bullet that WON'T blow up and make a bloodshot mess that I would end up having to trim and throw large quantities of the animal away, I've seen both shoulders totally destroyed (unedible) on deer from poor bullet performance and to me that's a real shame and a heck of a waste! I will say the bergers make good tv, most animals hit with them fold up like an accordian which looks cool but to me personally means diddly nothing! It would be a different picture IMO if they skinned one of those high shoulder shot animals so you could see what you WON'T be eating. To each his own! It would be a boring world if all they made were white shirts, I wear black
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 11:51 PM   #20
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
I am not knocking berger bullets, I have a great deal of respect for that company as they state exactly what there bullets do! That gives us a choice to decide if we want that kind of performance or not! I tried the 168s in my 7 rem mag and after some tinkering with seating depth I was able to get them to shoot very well from my rifle, but after my expansion test I decided they weren't for me and I went back to the nosler accubonds. I think the bergers are a superb target bullet but IMO they are a POOR big game bullet IF you plan to eat what you shoot
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 11:58 PM   #21
reloader28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2009
Location: nw wyoming
Posts: 922
Thats interesting. We never read anything about Bergers, but always figured they were a hard bullet to go that far and penetrate bone.
Thought about trying them, but already had other loads that worked good.
reloader28 is offline  
Old December 20, 2012, 01:29 AM   #22
solocam72
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 221
Reloader28, you might really like the bergers, they are a very precise made bullet with a high B.C. and highly sought after by a lot of the long range shooters, I found them to be finicky when I worked up a load with the 168 grain hunting VLD in my 7 Rem mag, meaning I had to play quite a bit with seating depth to get them to shoot good in my rifle but when I found the sweet spot they shot really well, I just wasn't impressed at how bad they come apart (blow up) any bullet that blows apart sending shrapnell flying through an animal will leave substantial bloodshot and therefore waste of meat especially shoulder shots which is most of what you see on tv, it looks impressive to dump a big bull elk in his tracks as if he were struck by lightning, I myself see it in a different light, guess I'm old school, I shoot for behind the front shoulder and try to take the lungs out with a premium bullet that expands yet retains most of its weight. Again its different strokes for different folks! Doesn't mean my way is the right way, or the only way, but its my way and so far I've had really good luck with the bonded core nosler accubond bullets, they shoot really well and perform very well on game, and by chance I get in the shoulder the bullet expands normally twice its size and drives through, yes they will bloodshot also in a case like this but its minimal compared to a bullet that blows up
solocam72 is offline  
Old December 20, 2012, 08:56 AM   #23
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 3,241
I use Accubonds in every rifle I own except the 3006, I use the 150 grain Ballistic Tip for that rifle, (it shoots them very well) I load the 140 and 160 grain Accubond for my 7mm rem mag, as well as 150 grain Ballistic Tips and Partitions.
My .270 win shoots the Accubond bullet extremely well, and it's my confident "Go To" rifle for most anything. I have noticed that with the three deer I've taken with the 130 grain Accubond is that penetration at a broadside deer, ( through the ribs) was always a pass through and the animal expired quickly.
I just finished a new loading for that rifle, with the Barnes TTSX and H4350, but I haven't taken anything but paper as of this writing, but it shoots this bullet extremely well.
I load 100 grn Sierra Gamekings for my daughters .243 Win, and this bullet penetrates well on deer size game, and it's extremely accurate.
CONFIDENCE!!!! I say again CONFIDENCE!!! is the most important factor for me in my hunting bullet, and these I have confidence in.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old December 20, 2012, 10:03 AM   #24
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,781
They all work. You just have to understand HOW they work and HOW they should be used.

The Bergers and similar will probably give you more DRT results, but are not a good choice for shooting a fleeing animal in the butt and expecting penetration. Put one in the lungs and they kill right now. Since they expand well at lower velocity and have very good BC's they are good at longer ranges.

The TTSX's need speed to work. They are a good choice where you have to shoot larger game with a rifle traditionally considered bordeline for the job. As long as they are used at moderate range before velocity starts to drop off they do the job.

Quote:
The accubonds retain 80 percent or more of there weight when shot in the same wood.
The TTSX's will typically retain 100% or darn close. This means that a 165 gr Accubond will actually weigh about 130 grains after impact. You can start with a 130 gr TTSX, shoot it 300 fps faster and end up with the same penetration and expansion. Shoot the 165 gr TTSX at the same speed as the 165 Accubond and expansion will suffer, although penetration will still be good.

For most people, shooting most game at normal ranges traditional jacketed bullets still work just fine. But overall I agree with you. I'd probably choose the Accubond as the best overall of the premium bullets.
jmr40 is offline  
Old December 20, 2012, 12:42 PM   #25
old roper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 1,050
I've been hunting Co 35yrs now next year be 36 and taken fair amount of deer/elk and antelope here. I've only recovered one bullet always had entrance/exit hold never matter if it was partition or Rem bullet.

One bullet I did recover was from 5x5 buck dropped in his track used 30-338mag with 165gr AB. Recovered bullet weight 80.8gr and I do post also on Nosler site so did get some answer from me shooting him too close to velocity etc and some that post worked for Nosler.

This year I used 270 with 140gr TSX for my buck tag and was toss up between that and 140gr AB. I never did recover the TSX so can't comment on what it would of weighted.

I haven't stopped using AB.
__________________
Semper Fi
Vietnam
VFW
old roper 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 11:08 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 0.12986 seconds with 9 queries