View Full Version : Premium vs standard ammo for hunting

January 22, 2008, 10:46 AM
This is an offshoot from another thread where the debate came up.

Is it worth it to you to pay the extra $$$ for premium ammunition, or are you fine with just a standard round for hunting? What are the bennies for you?

I pay the extra premium for Corbon hunters, but mainly because most other 7.62x39 ammo is cheap and not much good for hunting. The bullet itself is nothing spectacular, just heavier, and the ammo itself is loaded hotter.

On other rifles, I've used both standard and premo, and got pretty much the same result. Red tasty meat with one shot.

What's everyone else's take on it?

January 22, 2008, 10:55 AM
Premium for small game at long range. Standard for everybody else.

Art Eatman
January 22, 2008, 11:09 AM
Depends on what's hunted and what are the circumstances. If I were going on some high-dollar trophy hunt, I'd be more picky about what bullet I used. Just to go out in the pasture and kill Bambi, any old bullet, generally, would do just fine, just as they always have.

January 22, 2008, 11:23 AM
If I were going on some high-dollar trophy hunt, I'd be more picky about what bullet I used.

With the cost of out-of-state licenses and tags running well over $600, I consider my hunting trips to Idaho and Montana "high-dollar", and am therefore "picky" about the bullets I use.

January 22, 2008, 11:32 AM
To me premium bullets are needed on what I'm trying to accomplish hunting and the rifle I'm using. If I'm using light bullets for the caliber I'll use premium bullets while hunting large game. the same goes if I'm using a small caliber rifle for big game I'll use a premium bullet. Of course there are exceptions to what I'm doing every time as well. I'll give some examples of what I'm talking about.

For deer with my .270 I'll use plain old Sierra or Hornady boat tails in 130 grain, but if I go up to elk I use 150 grain Nosler Partitions. Will the regular 150 grain take out an elk probably but I like the extra insurance the premium bullet gives me. Now for hunting elk with the .30-06 I like just a regular 180 grain bullet as at the speeds they are traveling the standard hunting bullet from Sierra, Hornady, and Speer work just fine. If I were to step down to 150-165 then I would use a premium bullet again like the Partition.

For my large bore rifles like my .338-06 and .35 Whelen I really don't see a need for a premium bullet as I just barely reach 2800 fps with 200 grain bullets with my most accurate load and they standard bullet will perform just fine. For my bores smaller than .270 I prefer the premium bullet for all large game animals, but all varmints just get whatever bullet is accurate in my rifles.

My exception to the rule was when I went to AK to hunt a black bear. I used 200 grain Nosler Partitions in my 06 just because I knew I wanted penetration. I planed on taking the running gear away from the bear with my first shot. Since I planned on breaking heavy bone I wanted a heavy bullet that would penetrate. My first shot at 200 yards shattered both front shoulders and the bear never moved again which is what I wanted.

For premium bullets my favorite is the Partition, but I'll admit I've tried very few outside of the Partition. I've found I get decent accuracy and I've never had one fail on me. I'm sure there have been improvements over this bullet as very little has changed on it since it was designed, but I know this bullet works and will continue to work for most of my hunting situations. For 85% of my hunting regular old Sierra, Speer and Hornady work and have yet to fail me.

January 22, 2008, 11:49 AM
What I like about 150 grain Nosler Partitions in my .270 is the groups I get with a particular load at 300 yards. What I don't like is their price. The 130 Speer flat base I have used on several deer. No need for improvement there! I can't resist a good deal on reloading components at the gun show. I save my Partitions for the pet load and that's what I'll use for hunting. For higher volume plinking and practice I use everything else. I've yet to shoot an animal with the partition but I expect it will at least be adquate.

January 22, 2008, 11:50 AM
For me, in a one-deer-a-year state, I am willing to pay a little extra (If I use more than a few bullets a year hunting, something is wrong).

I have confidence in them, and that is half of the game.

January 22, 2008, 11:55 AM
I have shot deer and elk with Nosler Partitions, Barnes X, Sierra Game Kings, Hornady Ballistic Tips, Hornady Interlock, Remington CoreLokt, probably some others I can't remember

Fact is I didn't much think about it for years, and bought whatever the gun store I was in was selling.

The animals I have had to track more than I wanted over the years was from a bullet being to tough and not expanding.
I have had jackets separate in the hide on the near side of the animal, but the remainder did great damage and he was dead nearby. I would rather have that than an X zipping through and leaving a pencil size wound.

All and all the old standby Nosler Partition is a good balance.

January 22, 2008, 11:58 AM
What I like about 150 grain Nosler Partitions in my .270 is the groups I get with a particular load at 300 yards.

Of all the premium bullets I have tried, that one shoots best in my .270, as well.

What I don't like is their price.

If you reload, at around 40ยข per round they really aren't all that expensive. I figure a box of 20 rounds costs me about $11 dollars to reload.

January 22, 2008, 12:30 PM
Great Premium Bullet !

The K-mart/Wally World promo ammo may work, but we usually take time off work, drive/fly a fair distance and work to get into the habitat.....a premium bullet may make the difference in dropping the game and spending the rest of the day tracking it !

If you dont hand load, loads like Federal Premium are loaded to a tighter spec for consistant velocity and point of impact.

All worth consideration on a hunt !:rolleyes:

January 22, 2008, 01:20 PM
I use premium bullets exclusively I guess because I want my reloads to have every possible advantage of accuracy and terminal ballistics.I spend a lot of time with case prep on rifle cartridges and don't want to leave any details that I have control over.

So if I'm target shooting I'm looking for one hole groups and do not want to take shortcuts at any part of the cartridge. The cost difference is not enough to make me buy non premium.

If I'm hunting there is not enough volume for there to make any difference. This year my rifle shot 5 deer and one hog. Let's see, that amounted to six bullets.

I see no advantage to shooting 500 rounds through my bolt action rifle in one sitting. It will do nothing for barrel life, and it would get so hot your accuracy would suffer anyway.

January 22, 2008, 02:34 PM
Lots of game animals have been killed deaddeaddead with Winchester or Remington factory ammo. Hitting the animal where it counts is what kills them the best. In general, the only premium bullets I pay much attention to are Nosler Partitions. Others either cost too much or are not as good as the Nosler. Unless you find the high priced premium bullets shoot that much better in your gun, I would not waste my money on them.
The animals I have had to track more than I wanted over the years was from a bullet being to tough and not expanding.Exactly my experience, too.

January 22, 2008, 02:49 PM
After looking into bullet separation and fragmentation on inexpensive ammo versus more premium bullet construction ammo, I've decided to use mid-to-high grade ammunition for hunts from now on.

Typically, the cheapest stuff out there tends to explode and separate from its jacket on impact. Nicer stuff sticks together better.

My .308 load from here on out is going to be the Hornady BTSP Interlock 165gr for smaller game and the Speer Hot Cor 180gr for elk.

It doesn't take Nosler/Barnes prices to keep the bullet together, but sometimes you need more than what the cheapo Remington PSP fodder can accomplish.

January 22, 2008, 04:00 PM
It is a real bummer to have a bullet blow to pieces on impact and riddle the meat with fragments. It is also rare but I have experienced it. The deer was killed with a second shot and this time the bullet did its job. After the deer was processed we still ended up picking pieces of bullet out of the deer sausage as we ate it. This was good ol standard rem corelokt sp .270 win which for standard hunting ammo has a pretty good rep so this one must have been a rarity. I shot one deer in the same area as this one (vitals broadside) at about the same distance 75 yds with the same bullet and caliber a couple years ago and it did fine. If anything it didnt expand enough but the deer dropped in his tracks. I shot a deer in the skull with a 7mm rem mag with rem corelokt and there was no fragmentation that time.
I dunno. I have heard of the premium stuff like the hornady accubonds coming apart too so.........
For now I stick with the standard federal powershock and like it fine.
If I was hunting something other than deer especially dangerous game I would upgrade though.

January 22, 2008, 04:31 PM
Traditional bullets work fine for me. That doesn't mean that premium bullets aren't worth the price.

I use mostly Hornady Traditional #3031 .308 I've never lost a deer with them though a couple did run off.
When I've used premium bullets the deer didn't wander off but they also didn't drop any harder than the SP when I was doing my part.

If I was in situations where the chance of losing a deer was higher than where I hunt now I'd use a premium bullet.

Lawyer Daggit
January 22, 2008, 05:04 PM
I agree with posts saying it depends on the situation.

I think if you are 'stretching' a rifle's or rounds capability then use premium.

Thus, I would use ordinary hornady interlock in my 7x57 on Fallow deer, but if after Sambar, would probably use a premium bullet.

January 22, 2008, 05:10 PM
For deer hunting, I use Federal Premium, not because of the bullet performance (which is excellent), but because Federal Premium shoots the most accurately out of my rifle.

If plain-jane soft point ammo (like Core-Lokt) was the most accurate of the my rifle, I'd use it.

January 22, 2008, 07:43 PM
i think the regulars will be fine. as often as we go where we can use a rifle. the ammo we have will be fine last time we hunted with rifle was virginia in1993, the federal hi shok and remington core lokt. we use more of the remington in 30-06 180 gr. and 200 gr. .35 rem. as far as handgun we use are own handloads of .357 magnum with 158 gr. JSP. or factory loaded .45 acp with 185 gr. silvertips. we tried a few different brands and bullet weights. and went with what gave us the tighter group at 100 or 200 yards. kinda hard with the .35 because rem. and federal are the only companies making it.

January 22, 2008, 09:38 PM
I never use factory ammo for hunting. If we're going to call all hand-loaded ammo as premium then all I use is, "premium". However, I don't consider a hand-loaded .270 with Speer 130 grain spitzer to be premium. Never the less, I've killed more than a few deer with them and am convinced that nothing is better for deer. Maybe as good as; but certainly not better. I have faith that some premium bullets are better for Elk, etc.; but that's blind faith. My current .270 seems to have a preference for 150 grain bullets especially Nosler Partitions loaded at or near 3,000 fps. I consider that load, "premium". It leaves nothing to be gained by switching to a magnum and I hope to get an opportunity to use it on Elk. For deer and factory ammo I think that premium ammo is a, "waste of money", unless it's the only stuff that's accurate in your gun or you're using a .223 or 7.62x39 or something similar that's known to be marginal at best for deer. But waste away and have fun; after all, many of us have wives that think hunting itself is a huge waste of money. Mathematically they're probably right, but I'm not going to stop. So I say it's ALL good........

January 22, 2008, 10:04 PM
Depends. I used to have very limited hunting opportunities and had to drive a long way. I wanted to use Nosler ballistic tips and they weren't offered in a factory load at that time. That forced me to take up metallic reloading. :rolleyes:

Now I can hunt from my back yard any day I want. I've discovered over the years that factory ammo from Rem, Win. and Fed. is more than enough if the gun isn't already marginal. Generally, I use core-lokts in the woods and step up to BTs for open-field hunting since they tend to shoot a little flatter and be a little more accurate for me.

Yankee Doodle
January 22, 2008, 10:18 PM
The cheapest part of any hunting trip is the cost of ammo. Considering how much depends on the ammo you choose, I think it only makes sense to go with the best you can possibly afford. Better to have it too good, than not good enough.

January 22, 2008, 11:21 PM
Soft points have been around for a lond time and are never going away. The only huge advantage I see in premium bullets is the polymer tips that make every bullet more uniform. I also don't like using soft points and having the bullet not feed properly and and smash the exposed lead, makes me think I'm gonna have a stray flyer, but I've never shot one of those at a target. I started shooting Fusion, uniform bullet appearance and $16 a box aint too bad.

January 23, 2008, 12:51 AM
Here is my thing. I have 40-50 rounds of ultra premium ammo (Nosler, Hornady, Winchester Elite XP3 etc.) for each of my guns just for self defense and shtf scenarios. Winchester Super X does good for huntin though. But keep a couple of boxes of those ultra premium rounds on hand just in case, because when your life or the life of your loved ones depends on it, ammo is priceless.

January 26, 2008, 10:16 AM
Buy a reloader, make your premium rounds yourself...I make a premium round using the EXACT same bullet for my 22-250 that Federal uses, except I use the soft point version instead of hollow point. (cost is the same though). They cost $27.00/box (or $1.35 a shot) at Academy. My cost, w/ all components is $5.20. (or $0.26 per shot). This is a round custom tailored to my gun and shoots sub MOA.

For my 7mm Rem Mag the cost is higher, but accuracy still impecable...Cost is about $10.00/ box for a premium round using Sierra Game Kings. If I go to a bonded bullet the price goes up, but the game king give me the accuracy I'm looking for, and the bullet stays together. If I were hunting bear, I would move up to a bonded bullet, but for all others, this is the one. I get a clover leaf out of this gun/bullet combo. I think a box of 7mm runs approx. $32.00 for the equivelant bullet.

I only spent about $200.00 for all the components of my rifle press.

January 26, 2008, 06:49 PM
Where I hunt, I'm shooting down a 450 yard, straight section of snowmobile trail lined with small fir trees. It's about 8 feet wide. We've taken about 45 deer out of that stand in the past 15 years, at distances from 15 to 400 yards.

The bullet that seems to take more deer is the .270 Win, 130 grain Ballistic Tip, handloaded to 3,269 fps. It's taken 16 deer in 15 years, the largest being 200 lbs. at an average distance of 220 yards. Zeroed at 255 yards, it's within 3" of POA out to 320 yards. At 450 yards, it's only 16" low.

With no need to hold over or under out to 320 yards, it's very easy to shoot quickly at deer walking across the trail.

Others using the blind use rounds that drop more, or don't sight in to maximize cartridge performance, and they miss more deer as the result. Plus, most don't shoot as much as I do.


January 26, 2008, 08:58 PM
Folks, there is no substitute for shot placement-none. Over the past 20 years I have killed over 125 deer. None were shot with a "premium" bullet. All were shot with a .30-06 or .308 and the 150 grain Sierra Pro-Hunter and Sierra BTSP bullets. Not one deer got away. Fewer than five of those deer required a second shot. Few of them went over 20 yards after being shot.

No premium bullet is going to turn a gut shot into a bang flop every time.

January 26, 2008, 10:44 PM
I use standard bullets for deer. I usually stay a little heavier than usual for the caliber. Take the 7mm Hornady 154gr sp. That is a very good deer bullet. In 30cal 165gr is all you need.

January 27, 2008, 04:16 PM
Thallub said it all...no premium bullet is going to turn a gut shot into a bang flop

I've killed 2 deer and 2 hogs w/ my 22-250 this season. KEY...Shot placement...Didn't trail any of them...50gr. speer soft points. 1 hog in the head, 1 hog in the neck, one deer in the head, one deer in the shoulder...all bang-flops...My total bullet cost (reloads) for all those animals mounts up to $1.04...not bad...

January 27, 2008, 08:39 PM
Most of this discussion has been about domestic deer hunting. I would like to present a view of ballistic requirements for African plains game and dangerous game hunting.

Please keep in mind that a safari requires a flight halfway around the world for what frequently is a once in a lifetime hunt. $3-$5 per round is cheap insurance when the total safari cost is $8,000 to $50,000, depending upon game and the number of days spent on safari. I would also suggest that the following applies to guided Elk, Moose and Brown bear hunts in NA.

The basic recommendation I make to potential African hunters is to:
1. Use heavy for caliber bullets
2. Use premium, bonded bullets
3. Know the animals physiology
4. Practice, practice, practice. Then go out and practice some more.

As to plains game, you will do fine with your deer rifle. I first used Nosler partitions on safari with good results. Then bonded bullets arrived and I ran some experiments with my .300WM while on safari in Zambia with different brands of bullets. I settled on the Swift A-Frame. I would venture that this is now the most popular soft-point among African professional hunters, who have seen a larger variety of bullet performance on game than any other group in the world. Remington currently loads the A-Frame in its' premium safari line. I have used the A-Frame exclusively and with great success in .300WM 180gr, .375H&H 300gr, .416RM 400gr and .458Lott 500gr since 1999. Superior Ammunition will load the A-Frame in virtually any caliber for which Swift makes the bullet.

I have taken large, tough plains game with the .300WM - Zebra and Eland - as well as Leopard and Crocodile, using Swift A-frames in 180gr.

Bullet placement, is of course, the key to one shot kills, and this is why an understanding of the location of heart, lung and brain is critical. The most common complaint of African PHs is that clients cannot shoot well enough to make one shot kills. In Africa you pay for wounded animals and ethics and the law require a sincere effort to follow-up. In dangerous game, wounded animals will be tracked until found and finished or until further tracking is impossible. This can mean days of walking and tracking follow-up - days when you are not hunting other animals.

Practice can be accomplished with standard ammunition of the same grain weight. I shoot a minimum of 60 to 100 rounds in the months leading up to safari. Then fire up a box of the premium bonded ammunition you will be hunting with, to assure zero. You are now ready for the hunt.

As to dangerous game, here is how I load a rifle for specific animals:
Lion - All soft points
Leopard - All soft points
Crocodile - All softs
Cape Buffalo - 1st out a soft, followed by all solids
Elephant - All solids
Rhino - All solids
Hippo - All solids

How much ammo to take? Figure 20 rounds to check zero and adjust if necessary (things can get knocked out off zero on long air flights) and then 5 rounds per animal on license - 10 for Cape Buffalo. Only one load per rifle, ie do not mix weights and bullets within caliber. You are allowed 10 kilos (22 lbs) of ammo by the airlines. While this is well more than enough for plains game, you may come close to this on a 21 day dangerous game safari where both DG and PG will be hunted.

Keep in mind that airlines have reduced the maximum weight of luggage from 70 to 50 lbs on most carriers, with two pieces of checked baggage, one of which will be your firearms case.

January 28, 2008, 09:19 AM
Lion hunter...All the more reason to use hand loaded ammo...when done by an experienced loader, the ammo is precise, consistant, and custom to yourgun. Sometimes you can't find the bullet combo you really want. If I were going to the dark continent - I'd be spending the time to work up the most ballistically efficient, premium round for the gun I would be hunting with, matched to the game I'd be hunting. And yes, I would not hunt there w/out a bonded bullet, just like I wouldn't use anything but bonded for moose or bear...

However, this post I believe is a bit more generic in nature. The general scope of this is production ammo...and all the hype over bonded bullets. Yes, they serve the purpose, but the add wizzards have a bunch of guys buying into the fact that you can't hunt w/ out them. This is true...In AFRICA...but not so true for the average N. American quarry.

January 28, 2008, 10:02 AM
and all the hype over bonded bullets. Yes, they serve the purpose, but the add wizzards have a bunch of guys buying into the fact that you can't hunt w/ out them.

Nobody is saying you can't hunt without them. But there is no doubt that they perform better than the "cheap" stuff.

My point is that when I spend $1000-$1200 to hunt out of state, and I may get one shot at one animal, then I prefer to use the highest quality ammo available. I could do it with "cheap" ammo, many folks do. I prefer to spend the extra $20-$30 as "insurance".

Art Eatman
January 28, 2008, 10:38 AM
sasquatch, the problem for many of us in this discussion is the absence of failure of any "standard" bullet.

I've never lost a deer because of any failure of a Sierra bullet, both .243 and .30-'06.

My father used the Hornady Spire Point (150-grain; '06) from the late 1940s (No premium bullets, back then) until he "hung it up" around 1988. Many of his kills were in front of witnesses, and there were no campfire stories about lost deer.

So, after forty years or more of success, is it so hard to believe there's no justification for my/our view that a need for "premium bullets" is rather overblown? (This doesn't at all denigrate the bullets. I'm talking about the perceptions.)

January 28, 2008, 11:17 AM
So, after forty years or more of success, is it so hard to believe there's no justification for my/our view that a need for "premium bullets" is rather overblown?

Not at all. And folks are free to ignore technological advances in firearms as well, and hunt with the same firearms (and optics) they hunted with sixty years ago. And they can drive to their hunting camp in late 1940s Chevy and Ford trucks, too.

January 28, 2008, 12:55 PM
My biggest thing is confidence in what I am shooting - confidence I can make the shot (practice) and the bullet will do its part (experience).

I started late in life, so started with ballistic tip bullets. I have confidence in them. Do I think premium bullets are required? No, but I choose to use them anyway.

Art Eatman
January 28, 2008, 04:32 PM
"And they can drive to their hunting camp in late 1940s Chevy and Ford trucks, too."

My Lord, no! You sell one of those for an inflated price to some collector, and go buy a new 4x4. :D

I guess my problem--if there's really a problem--is that dead's dead. How do you improve on that? I guess it's the ancient routine of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

:D, Art

January 28, 2008, 04:37 PM
For Castnblast and all the other handloaders out there.

First, I am not a handloader as I never saw the need to be one. I understand the hobby for what it is. Hunting, however, does not require sub-minute of angle hits. The heart/lung shot on most game is what is desired, so if you can place all your hits within a 3-5" circle at 100 yards, you will make one shot kills while hunting big game. My factory Browning A-Bolt .300wm shoots 1.5" at 100 yards with factory ammunition. An Elephants brain is about the size of a loaf of bread and they are shot at less than 20 yards. A Crocodile "brain" is the size of a tennis ball and they are shot at less than 50 yards.

I am considered by others to be a very good shot. I fired possible at 200 yards offhand with the issued M14 rifle and standard service ammo and qualified USMC Expert. I regularly make one shot kills at 250-350 yards on medium sized antelope - think whitetails. I generally average over 90% one shot kills on safari. I also miss sometimes.

Most African PHs will discourage you from bringing handloads on safari. They have seen too many problems. They all encourage the use of premium bonded bullets. With the use of modern proprietary powder - unavailable to the handloader - and premium bonded bullets, commercial premium ammunition provides the degree of accuracy required for hunting. Larry Barnett of Superior Ammunition loads for most of the gun writers and for many African PHs. You can send him your rifle and he will design a specific load to meet your needs, should you feel that is necessary. He will also provide sample packs of 4 different loads for you to try, to determine which shoots best for you in your rifle.

I have seen commercial ammunition failures - a .375H&H Federal premium solid that failed to penetrate the skull of a Hippo and lodged just under the skin in 1999, creating a mess that needed sorting out. I have also seen failures with handloaded ammunition result in catastrophic failure and injury.

I don't believe bonded premium bullets are required for deer hunting in NA, but when I travel to New Zealand later this year for Red Deer, Thar and Chamois, you can be assured I will be taking along premium bonded core ammunition loaded by Superior Ammunition. To do otherwise would be foolish.

Art Eatman
January 28, 2008, 04:47 PM
No argument about using the best bullet available when that sort of thing is necessary. Surely don't want blowups, or failures to expand as expected.

I've been handloading for rifles for 58 years, though, and my failure rate to date is zero, zilch, zip, nada.

January 28, 2008, 05:04 PM
Art Eatman-

Bless you my son and here's wishing you another 58 years without error.:D

We had a saying about motorcycle riders, however. There are only two kinds, those who have gone down and those who will go down. That's is how I view handloading. My own brother-in-law, a Dentist by profession, still has metal fragments in his lower lip from one of his own handloads gone wrong.

January 28, 2008, 05:39 PM
I will give this Larry Barnett credit for doing a hell of a job of marketing. He manages to sell for a ridiculous price ammunition made to a standard that many on this forum have been loading for years.

January 28, 2008, 06:19 PM
My own brother-in-law, a Dentist by profession, still has metal fragments in his lower lip from one of his own hand loads gone wrong.
Sounds like your brother-in-law forgot to pay attention to detail when hand loading. Hand loading is a very cost effective way to shoot more with the same amount of money. If done properly it is as safe and as effective on game as any factory ammunition a person can buy. To me it is more satisfying to hunt with my own ammunition than it is to use factory fodder.

January 28, 2008, 06:55 PM
I used core lokts for years and was very happy with their performance. I've since switched to Winchester ballistic tips. I didn't switch because I think that the ballistic tips are a better round, I switched because those Remington's are so damn dirty to shoot. Other than that, I just don't buy into the premium sales pitch.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2008, 11:49 AM
Handloading (with or without premium bullets :D) is like a lot of things. Whether you drive a race car, fly a plane or load ammo, don't get stupid. Pay attention to detail, just as you pay attention to your Cape buffalo or the IRS folks. I dunno. Life just never seemed all that difficult, to me...

February 1, 2008, 01:58 PM
I do my hog and deer hunting at pretty short ranges. I have yet to see any problems with Federal Classic, or Remington Core-Lokt cartridges.
I realize that using premium ammo when hunting different game, at longer ranges might well be the ticket, but for me, I am good with standard fodder.

February 1, 2008, 08:20 PM
Lethality is an interesting subject. Are premium bullets more "lethal" than standard bullets?


There are two main schools of thought on hunting rounds. "Velocity is king" school and "Heavy bullet at moderate velocity" school. Both schools of thought have their champions, Jack O'Connor and Elmer Keith...

If you believe "Velocity is king" then you are a staunch supporter of premium bullets and like calibers that "shoot flat" like the 270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, and 300 Win Mag. Your bullets are designed not to fly apart on contact and you shake your head in disgust when you see "Heavy and moderate" people buy cheap corelokt or SuperX ammo.

If you are a "heavy bullet at moderate velocity" you think fondly of the 30-30 and 45-70 and chuckle when you see "Velocity is King" people pay extra for "premium" ammo. You think if it was good enough for Grandpa it's good enough for you.


February 20, 2008, 05:30 PM
i try a bunch of different ammo & let the rifle tell me what it likes. some like the standard stuff & some like the premium. as said, with proper placement the all make the game dead.

February 20, 2008, 05:56 PM
All I know is that my uncle and me shot the same moose at the same time at 150 yards. Him a Federal 180 grain soft point me a Federal Premium with Nosler Balistic Tip. His bullet turned to shavings and mine was intact and expanded and is now on my key chain.

Considering a box of 20 should last for 20 or so animals I don't have any problems using premium bullets.

Jack O'Conner
March 6, 2008, 07:51 AM
I agree that long distance shots require upgraded components. My older Remington in .243 shoots better accurasy than ever before by simply switching to the 95 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip.

But I still hunt mulies in the foothills each year with my 30-30 carbine and plain old fashioned flat nose ammo. My shots rarely exceed 125 yards or so and at this distance, my 30-30 still hits with plenty of power.

Elk are notorious for showing little or no response to a good shot into the chest. I've witnessed that Premium bullets bring .308, 7mm-08, 270, and 30-06 to a higher level of penetration than so-called standard bullets. That being said, I've toppled more elk over the years with Remington core-lockt ammo than any other brand or type of bullet. It's a well designed bullet that has proven itself around the world, wherever big game is hunted.

No, I'm not employed by Remington as a spokesman.

I've experienced very good performance with FEDERAL Hi-Shok, Winchester Power Point & SilverTip, and Hornady Inter-lock. Sierra Pro Hunter is worth a second look as well.

Good hunting to you.

March 6, 2008, 02:52 PM
I don't think that on longer shots a premium bullet is going to offer better performance than a standard cup & core bullet. Longer ranges mean that the bullets are traveling slower and premium bullets are usually made for controlled expansion at higher speeds. I think once you fall below 2500-2600 (EWAG) fps all a premium bullet does is cost you more money per shot.

I think premium bullets are a better choice when close range shots are common and using high velocity cartridges or light for caliber bullets are used. You don't hear of too many bullet failures on the far side of 200 yards with standard bullets. Most happen inside 100 yards when cup & core bullet performance is unpredictable.

In fact in recent years premium bullet makers have had to re-design their products to perform at lower speeds. I think most claim to work from 1800 fps and up, because there bullets were failing to open at speeds standard bullets worked well at. I usually don't find a need to step up to a premium bullet until I start chasing elk (.277 150 grain NP), as standard bullets have never failed me on deer and pronghorn or smaller.

March 6, 2008, 10:14 PM
Dont matter all depends on what my gun likes best. I have some great results with standard ammo and the premium stuff. I always pick up at least 4 diffrent types and brands of ammo to try out to get a feel for what the gun likes most :D