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Old June 28, 2014, 07:48 AM   #1
Twohawks11
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Which factory 30-06 load for whitetail hunting

I am new to rifle hunting coming from a traditional bowhunting background.
I have a brand new Remington 700 cdl in 30-06 caliber.
I know about shooting the round that your rifle likes best and all of that, but what I guess I am looking for is what factory round (or load) is best so as not to destroy a lot of meat on the animal?
I would like to understand more about how the bullet works, grain size and power behind it as well as accuracy and penetration.
I would like something with some knock down power but that also won't blow apart the whole shoulder or neck with a misplaced shot?
I am currently considering 150 and/or 165 Remington core lokt (among others)
Thank you all in advance
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Old June 28, 2014, 08:06 AM   #2
olddav
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I have always heard that for whitetail deer 150 grain is the ticket, however 168 will work. The 150 grain should expend most if not all its engery in the animal where as the 168 grain should go completely through. Penertrating both sides will have the benefit of two points producing a blood trail but will also destroy more meat. You pick your poison.

Hope I got this right!
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Old June 28, 2014, 08:59 AM   #3
std7mag
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Well, the old saying goes, there is only one level of dead, there are infinite levels of wounded.

With the 06 pretty much anything over 150 gr. will work good for you.

I had always had good luck with the Federal Premium with the 165 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip.

I "roll my own" now, but still use the Ballistic Tip for hunting. Going to give Sierra Game Kings a try this year.
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Old June 28, 2014, 10:02 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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The old 150-grain CoreLokt will kill Bambi as dead as anything else.
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Old June 28, 2014, 10:43 AM   #5
Twohawks11
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Thanks Guys for your replies!

What I am trying to understand is which bullet would tend to mess up more meat on the deer the 150 grain or the 165? Is it the lighter bullet that expands too quickly and does more damage? Does the heavier bullet pass through before getting a chance to expand enough to do that type of damage?
The other way around?
I'm pretty sure I can get them dead, I just want the least meat loss and damage.
I would like to understand more how this works.
Thanks again
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:30 AM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I shoot 150s out of mine. {most of the time.} Never could find a store bought or homemade 165 or 168gr. cartridge that gave any type of decent grouping out of my rifle. But than again my rifle is a Rem 742 carbine. 150-180s even the tiny 125gr. Federals gave better groupings than a 168. So, my advice sick with the 150s. Outside of BIG dangerous game the 150 will drop anything its pointed at plain & simple. {so long as your a good shot like Mr. Eastman.}
One small tid-bit to keep in mind. Remington rifles are factory sighted to shoot Remington ammo.
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Old June 28, 2014, 01:40 PM   #7
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just about any will do, I've always been partial to federal powershoks.
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Old June 28, 2014, 02:16 PM   #8
Doyle
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Quote:
What I am trying to understand is which bullet would tend to mess up more meat on the deer the 150 grain or the 165? Is it the lighter bullet that expands too quickly and does more damage?
Bullet expansion and meat loss are the product of many factors including bullet speed at the time of impact, bullet weight, bullet construction, angle of impact, place of impact, etc.

Generally with a hunting type bullet - for a given bullet type, heavier means slower and less expansion. Personally, I have a terrible dislike for ballistic tip bullets because of their tendency to over expand. Other people love them. My favorite bullet in 30-06 happens to be a 180 gr Federal Power Shok. Cheap, very accurate in my guns, and deadly on anything I choose to shoot.

Try several and see what shoots good in your particular barrel then stick with that.
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Old June 28, 2014, 02:36 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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Messing up meat is due to hitting Bambi in the wrong place. You don't aim at the brown; you aim at one particular place--and that shouldn't be in the eating part.
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Old June 28, 2014, 02:43 PM   #10
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What distance will your shots average? The 150 Core-Loks placed in the boiler room thru the ribs will do excellent internal damage w/o to much meat damage, how ever a neck shot will mess up meat no matter what bullet weight or construction is. Just the anatomy of the deer. I prefer 165 Hornady SSTs and 150 ballistic tips due to a range that slows them down a bit but still pretty much drops them there with a heart/lung shot. Our deer here in the South are much smaller thant the northern or western variety.
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Old June 28, 2014, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Messing up meat is due to hitting Bambi in the wrong place. You don't aim at the brown; you aim at one particular place--and that shouldn't be in the eating part.
although this is good in theory and many hunters are good enough to never have this problem but it seems like when I aim right behind the shoulder I almost always end up hitting the shoulder and the bigger/faster the bullet, the more bone it takes further into the wound tract. I almost exclusively hunt with small bore or low velocity for deer for that reason.

last fall I loaned my little brother my 30-06 for his first Elk hunt and he happened upon a whitetail and decided to shoot since he had a tag and it was in season. he was at about 200 yards and he hit it in the spine and a kill shot to the head put it down for good. by sheer coincidence, 2 weeks earlier I happened upon a doe wiith my 9mm carbine. I shot her in the spine to drop her and a head shot to keep her down. this was at 50 yards.
both deer were shot at nearly identical angles in near identical locations but the difference is his deer lost most of the backstraps and the upper portions of one of the front shoulders. mine lost almost no meat at all.

sometimes those shots get away from you and when that happens meat is ruined, the question of caliber is "how much meat". I don't know how the guys that routinely hunt with 7mm and 300 mags have any meat left to bring home.
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Old June 28, 2014, 05:10 PM   #12
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I have killed Mule deer with Remington 150s, 165s and 180s (All standard Core lokt" ) and I have also killed mule deer and white tails borth with Winchester 150 gr Power points.

All worked very well.

Of the 4 listed above the 165 Remingtons and the 150 Winchesters were the most accurate in my rifles.

I should add a note here;
These were kills with the above bullets, not factory ammo. All were with my own handloads. But the bullets are the important part.

Factory or hand load, the bullets are the same.

Last edited by Wyosmith; June 28, 2014 at 05:33 PM.
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Old June 28, 2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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Wyosmith hit it on the head. Pick up a box of 150 Rems, Feds, and Wins. Whichever one shoots the best, that's the one for your rifle. My own experience lends to 150s for deer. I used Corlokts before I began loading. Hornady is my favorite, now.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:35 PM   #14
olddav
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So is it safe to assume you like to shoot for the neck?
At close range I don't think that there is a bullet that won't destroy a lot of meat, just too fast. Lighter bullets do less damage but If the rifle does not like the 150 grain bullets shoot what it does like. Better shots equal less damaged meat.

Wish I could offer more.
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Old June 29, 2014, 03:39 AM   #15
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Neck shots are not the OP's question,but FWIW,the vital part of the neck is a relatively small target,and the neck is subject to sudden movement.A throat shot deer is liable to die slowly.

See if you can find a copy of "The Perfect Shot" open on display so you can browse it.OK,buy it if you like.It shows organ layout and ideal target areas on various game animals.

Do not shoot at the outside of the animal.Learn anatomy well enough to shoot a specific internal organ.That is your target.Grow x-ray eyes.

Do not shoot a deers shoulder.You will destroy a lot if meat.

It is easy to fudge a little "up" elevation for no real good reason...and destroy the backstraps(Major good cut of meat)

So,you know the anatomy,I suggest the ribs just behind the foreleg about 1/3 the way up.Do not go near the midship of the animal,you will blow paunch/liver and make a mess.The diaphragm is your "firewall"Don't break it.

If you hit the foreleg/shoulder bone structure,it will cost you meat.Lots.

How a bullet behaves is affected by hitting bone.

With a good rib heart/lung hit,even a loose bullet may not go too nuclear on a deer.(Some Sierras,Ballistic tip,Hornady SST are loose)

Expect a sudden kill.Inside the rib cage,pretty soupy.Maybe a 4 in radius of some bloodshot meat.

Hit shoulder,you will be searching for chunks to salvage.

A little heavier,lower velocity bullet,and/or tighter construction(Accubond,partition,Interbond,Hotcore) you will shoot through,smaller radius of trauma,deer may travel 25 yds,or not,but you will lose less meat.

With most 30-06 game loads,if you sight in about 2 in,maybe 2 1/2 in high at 100 yds,dead on at about 200,and 8 to 9 in low at 300.

Learn what your reticle looks like on a deer size target at 100,200,300 yds

If you do,you can range estimate,and know a hold.

Velocity and bullet construction do play a roll,but shot placement is the biggest thing.

Bigger the wound channel,quicker the kill,but,dead is dead.Smaller the wound channel,closer to it you can eat.

Its a tradeoff.

Bottom line:Most all 30 cal bullets were designed for the 30-06,especially the older designs.The 30-06 is not extreme,so bullets are less likely to fail.
A deer does not challenge the performance of a 30-06 bullet.

150 gr,165 gr,180 gr,any factory hunting load,including a Rem 150 Core Loct,will do its part if you do yours.
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Old June 29, 2014, 06:27 AM   #16
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
The old 150-grain CoreLokt will kill Bambi as dead as anything else.
Art nailed it. This round will work as well as any others without fail.
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Old June 29, 2014, 08:26 AM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
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The one that's most accurate.

Killing ability is beyond question. Completely irrelevant differences between loads for this purpose.

Only accuracy matters.
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Old June 29, 2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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I've used everything from 135gr to 220gr in my 30-06 and I have to say that if you're only concern is destroying meat then the smaller the projectile the better. The 135gr moves so fast that the exit almost looks like an entrance. You probably won't notice much of a difference in wound channel size between a 135gr and a 150gr, but just something to keep in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind, despite popular belief, the heavier your projectile, the lighter your powder load (because a heavier bullet creates higher pressures which limits how much powder you can safely use in a load). That means that you have even less powder pushing a 180gr than you do pushing a 150gr, so the velocities can be drastically different.

I tend to like heavier bullets because I always grind my shoulder meat anyway and I like the "drop-it-where-it-stands" benefits of a heavier bullet. With lighter bullets the deer do tend to run farther before they stop, so again, just another thing to consider if you're in a heavily wooded area or hunting at dusk rather than dawn.

If you want a happy medium, I'd suggest a 150gr. I've been using 165gr lately and it seems to show more characteristics of a heavier bullet than the 150, despite only being slightly heavier. But for me, the guy who's not ashamed to hunt whitetail with a 300 WBY, that's a good thing.

To the guy who wonders how 300 Mag hunters bring home any meat at all: It really isn't as bad as you think. The super high velocities ensure a clean wound channel. I use 180gr bullet with 85gr of IMR7828 (max load/velocity) and the entrance/exit wounds are tiny, about like a 135gr 30-06 channel, because they're running at comparable velocities. I don't shoot deer in the spine, so I've never had a problem with hitting the back straps. Worst case scenario, I hit them square in the shoulder and have to pick bone out of my burger meat. If I don't have a clean shot to the heart, I don't take it, and I think that's something that should be a standard in hunting, but unfortunately, it gets rarer with each coming season because of guys who are too eager to fill their tags but don't have the patience to do it the proper way. On the other hand, if you're aiming for the shoulder and hitting the spine, I think you need to spend more time at the range and less in the woods.

Last edited by mardanlin; June 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM.
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Old June 30, 2014, 10:28 AM   #19
natman
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Any of the major factory 150 grain offerings - Power Points, Core Lokts or Power Shok will work great on deer. That's what they are designed for.

Save the bullet construction worrying for elk.
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Old June 30, 2014, 07:47 PM   #20
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I use 160 grain for elk in my 30-06, so I would expect 150 would be sufficient with a tad less recoil.
That said, people kill deer by the dozens shooting 115+/- grain bullets from 25-06, so i'd say you've got a large window of options.
Happy hunting, howa-watha
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:10 AM   #21
Twohawks11
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Thank you all for your input!
This holds much information for me and will definately help to get me started
Thanks again
Doug
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Old July 2, 2014, 08:00 AM   #22
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I shoot 180gr Core Lokts out of my '06 because that's what my rifle likes. Never shot a deer with one, but I've never had a hog move farther than it took for them to lose momentum.
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Old July 2, 2014, 10:31 AM   #23
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damage

Shoot deer size critters with an '06 calss cartridge, and result is blood shot and pulped tissue. I've killed more deer with a bow than a rifle. And when I find the destruction a .30 SP leaves, I am always astounded. From my experience, I think I see a bit more of this with lighter, faster bullets than heavier, slower ones, caliber not withstanding.

Theoretically anyhow, a 180 slug, , or even a 200-200, intended for larger game, so jacket may be tougher/thicker, and moving slower, MAY destroy less tissue on a deer size animal. Hit the shoulder or upper leg bone though and there is terrific damage no matter what you shoot'em with. There's trade offs though.

A 180+ "06 slug starts to get in the recoil range that bothers some folks. And a slug that does not expand a great deal, MAY allow your deer to run a bit more before it drops.

Finally, though I hear about "eating up to the bullet hole", (Elmer KEITH put that in print) I don't see it happening much, and who wants to eat lead fragments? Best bet for meat deer is to hunt in locations and circumstances that allow one to pick and choose shots, and put the bullet tight through the ribs, like a bow shot, and avoid the shoulder altogether.

With that said,, we will now no doubt hear from folks who head shoot their deer........a practice I cannot support.
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Old July 2, 2014, 12:52 PM   #24
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Before I started hunting my dad killed a dump truck load of deer with a BSA Monarch in 30'06 and 125grn Federal Cartridges. When I "borrowed" the BSA I killed another dump truck load of deer with the same thing. Never lost one or had one take more than a few steps. I started shooting 150's and 165 grns in other rifles and had similar results. However, the only deer I have ever lost was shot with a 30'06 and a 165grn Ballistic Tip, bullet never expanded and passed between two ribs, lungs and out between two ribs. We did recover it in a swamp but it was a few days after being shot, at 90+ degrees I consider it lost.

If you can kill a deer with a 80-90grn bullet from a .243, about anything from a 30'06 is adequate. It all boils down to you putting it in the right place.
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Old July 4, 2014, 01:45 AM   #25
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The 150gr Core-Loks have always done to job with my father's old 30-06. As long as you place it in the heart/lung area(which as a bow hunter, shouldn't be too difficult for you), they will drop pretty quick.

Any 30-06 will cause a good bit of damage if you miss high and take out the shoulders. There is no two ways around that. Just make sure to practice to make sure that doesn't happen.
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