View Full Version : Anything wrong with Remington Core-Lokt bullets?

October 23, 2001, 11:30 PM
I'm going out on my first deer hunt this weekend and I picked up a box of 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point Bullets. Anything wrong with that?

I'm hunting in Arizona for Coues Deer. I've read a lot on here about other fancy bullet types and I was wondering what you gained with a $30 box of the fancy stuff over a $10 box of plain old Core-Lokt?

Coues deer are pretty small, the smallest whitetail there is if I remember correctly. So I figure that I won't need anything fancy, just a reliable bullet that will expand quickly.

My tag is only good for 4 days, so I'll be doing pretty darm well if I even get a shot at one. They don't call them 'The World's Toughest Whitetail' for nothing I guess. They're small, smart, hide real well, and live in some of the roughest country out there. Wish me luck, I start on Friday.

Al Thompson
October 24, 2001, 06:25 AM
Make sure your rifle is zero'd with that box/lot of ammo!

Good luck!

October 24, 2001, 09:02 AM
I stumbled on some Remington 120 grain Core-Lokt in 25-06 Rem. some time back. These were loaded cartridges for the grand sum of $2.95 a box of 20! Bought out all the store had, something like 12 or 15 boxes. I have used these for deer and NEVER had one fail. Of course I never recovered one either as all exited the deer. Some as close as 10 yards (no s***) and some as far as 330 (measured and witnissed ;) ). If there is anything wrong with them I never saw it. Like Giz said just make sure you zero in, and dont overfry the backstrap!

Long Path
October 24, 2001, 12:02 PM

Are they as good as the premium bullets or the premium loaded cartridges? Well... no.

150g CoreLokt Remington will likely put down any whitetail in the US. You say 150g, so I'm guessing .308 or .30-06? Either will work fine. But consider-- how much are you spending on this trip? You're spending your days off, your travelling, your lodging, your meals, your guide, if you have one, your tag.... And you're going to save $20 on a box of cartridges?

Also, you state that you've picked up one box. I hope that you've zero'd for this load in the past? If not, I beg you to hit the range and [A]Zero to that load. [B]Practice from field positions.

What would I suggest? Well, I hand load, but if I were to go to the store to buy factory ammo, I'd look real hard at both the Winchester FailSafe line and the Federal Premium line.

I've shot two deer with Remington Core Lokt bullets. One was a small doe (my first deer) that I shot through the shoulder with a 100g .257 Roberts. The bullet blew to pieces. I couldn't find a speck of bullet of more than a grain in weight. The second one was a handload out of an ironsighted Springfield, which was at a running deer (I'd already muddled things up, but that's another story. I thought the deer was wounded.), and the bullet went in the center of the back of its head, and out the left eye. So we have no real data on bullet performance there. (I could have been using FMJ!)



Art Eatman
October 24, 2001, 03:49 PM
Yeah, I'd go back and buy a couple more boxes of that CoreLokt. After you've sighted in about two inches high at 100 yards (dead-on at 200, six inches low at 300), I'd try offhand beer-canning at around 100 yards.

Use up at least a box, in that practice. There's nothing written that you can't shoot once or twice or so, and then take a break for a Coke or a cuppa jamoke. You don't have to beat yourself to death.

:), Art

Al Thompson
October 24, 2001, 08:17 PM
Here, in South Carolina, using standard factory loads, the Core-Lokt's have a very good reputation. But......... Our deer are small, ranges are short and the .30-30/.270/.30-06/.243 are the most popular calibers.

The value that a premium bullet adds is on the long shots, shots at bigger game and shots on animals ia awkward positions.

If you get serious about shooting across bean fields (here), the accuracy and easy opening of some of the premium bullets really matters. Kenny Jarrett and the rest of those guys really like the ballistic tips (et al) for their down range performance and accuracy.

I have had the disgusting experiance of "standard" bullets lacking penetration and riveting in big game. As Long Path pointed out, 5K for a hunt, 10 bucks for ammo. When your talking elk, mulies, etc., split for the extra $$. I have 80 rounds of Federal Premium Trophy Bonded for the '06 salted away in case I get a chance for mulies or as a back up for elk.

The awkward shots is a reflection of reality on a paid for hunt. Several guys I know in Colorado think the .30-06 is plenty of rifle for elk. They also have no problem passing up animals if the set-up is off. They will be back tomorrow or the next week-end. For a paying hunter who has (or wants) to take a less than optimum shot (becouse he flys out two days from now), the use of a premium bullet may make the tough shot a bit eaiser due to better penetration (toughness) or accuracy (longer range). I would also strongly suggest that this is a great case for more practice and a suitable rifle/caliber/scope combo.

Hope this sheds a bit of light on the premium ammo versus "non"- premium ammo.

I have used and recommended Core-Lokt ammo and the Hornady Inter-lock for several years. Just use it at the ranges it was meant for and practice, practice, practice.......


October 24, 2001, 10:19 PM
Don't worry, I've sighted it in. I went out with a buddy last weekend and put a box through it.

I'm just interested in why people shell out the extra $$ for fancy hunting bullets if the standard $10 a box stuff will work every time. Especially since you have to use a bunch of rounds sighting it in.

October 24, 2001, 11:05 PM
Oh, I forgot to add, all the hunting out here in AZ is on public land, so besides the $17.50 for the permit, it doesn't cost anything except for time and gear. You just have to be willing to haul yourself up and down some very rugged terrain. And with permits that are only valid for 4 to 14 days, time really isn't an issue.

If you combine the odds of getting a permit and then the odds of finding an animal, the success rate out here averages about 15% for deer with a firearm, 8% for archery. Elk is worse.

Art Eatman
October 24, 2001, 11:17 PM
Fuzzy, the standard stuff works pretty much every time you can guarantee breaking a neck or hitting the heart. Like Giz said, it's those less than perfect opportunities where the extra edge pays off.

The Florida Key deer are the smallest; the Coues and then the Del Carmen whitetail of the Texas Big Bend and Mexico are next.

(The tremendous over-population in areas of Central Texas causes some little tiny critters. I dropped my jaw at a 14", 10-point buck that probably would not have dressed out more than 65 pounds!)


Long Path
October 25, 2001, 09:30 AM
Well then, I'd take advantage of the low cost of the Core Lokt cartridges, buy a couple of extra boxes, and practice some more, to up those odds!

Betcha come back with some venison!


Johnny Guest
October 25, 2001, 11:13 AM
Several years back, a hunting buddy said he was getting up an order to Midway, for a bunch of stuff they had on sale. We ended up splitting 500 Win .30-06 cases, a thousand 165 Pointed Soft Point Core Lokt bullets, and some other stuff I don't recall.

I had been loading Sierra 165 BTHP bullets for years, and they worked fine, so I was a little leery of these "bargain basement" bullets. I found that, over a healthy dose of 4350 powder, they served us well, and it took us a LONG time to use up those bullets. When they ran low, we just bought some more.

We killed more deer than I can recall, several hogs, some coyote, and I don't know what all, with those bullets. The main thing though, was that they were so inexpensive that we could afford to shoot plenty for practice, and plinking, from field positions. Being comfortable with, and having confidence in, your rifle/sight/abilities all put together, is a big part of a successful hunt. I always KNEW, when Doug said, "Let's run up to Clay County and stalk Bambi," that my rifle and ammo would be ready, up to the limits of MY ability.


October 25, 2001, 05:19 PM
I am sure Core Lok is fine. I don't use them because I found other bullets group better when using my rifles. I want the best performing bullet I can get in my rifle. I am now handloading so I can better customize my bullet to my rifle.

Johnny Guest
October 25, 2001, 06:47 PM
litework - - -

Sometimes, though, I'm taken with a dose or reality, and realize that ther is a point of diminishing returns in my quest for accuracy. With the best, absotively, posilutely, MOST accurate loads I can brew up, my old .30-06, wearing a 4X scope, and with my old eyes, et cetera, in control, best groups I can wring out hover just over an inch at 100 yards. I occasionally shoot a group well under an inch, but, realistically, I have to admit this is NOT my average.

Soooo-- If I can depend on the 165 PSPCL bullet to come in at about 1.5 inches, and enjoy shooting my rifle more for less money, why not? And, from field positions, stuff varies a LOT. 1The modest-size whitetails I usually hunt will not know the difference. Heck, I know guys who bring home venison every season with rifles that won't stay under 3" @ 100 yds from a bench. They depend on fieldcraft and such, to arrange for closer shots, and just don't take shots over 200 yards, and do quite well.

I use the best bullets available in working up new loads for new rifles, and then assess the variables. I've been working up a load for a .308, getting ready for mule deer, out in some W-I-D-E country, where the shots may be pretty long. I'm using Sierra Game King 165 Spitzer Boat Tails, both for accuracy and for retained velocity. I probably won't have time to mess with the Remington bullets after I get the load set up, and will gladly spend the few extra bucks for the nice Sierras.


October 25, 2001, 08:41 PM
Johnny Guest-

I agree that you don't have to shoot 1" groups at 100 yards to kill deer...I usually hunt deer with a bow. Some of my favorite hunting weapons aren't even scoped. You are absolutely correct...there isn't anything wrong with shooting core lokts or any other bullet you are comfortable with. I hope I didn't sound like I was bashing Core-Lokts. Too many people have used them successfully to argue against their affectiveness. I happened to like Federal Nosler Partitions and Winchester Ballistic Silvertips when I set up my rifles and I have become slightly loyal to them.

October 25, 2001, 10:17 PM
No problems here! I prefer it. You can get it pretty cheep at Wally-World, but you might prefer to support your local gun shop for a dollar or two higher per box.

October 26, 2001, 09:32 PM
I went hunting today, the first day of my 4 day season. I didn't see a buck, so I didn't get to try out my ammo on a live target.

The area that I went to was packed with people so tomorrow I'll try another. I got out there at dawn and packed it in at 11:00 when the temperature went above 90 degrees. I figured that when it's that hot, the deer are just going to curl up in the shade and take a nap. That's hot even for Arizona this time fo year.

That particular area was way too crowded, there were people on every ridge. The guy on the ridge across from me got a buck, but he used about 20 shots to get it. After he took his first shot I found him with my binoculars too see what he was doing and to make sure he wasn't aiming in my direction. I didn't see what he was shooting at and I guess neither did he. He took about 10 shots (reloading twice) and then stopped. He and his buddy had a little discussion and then went back to glassing the crevaces. About 20 minutes later he yelled "Buck!" at the top of his lungs and started firing again. He emptied his clip, reloaded, and then started creeping down the hill. After a bit he emptied his clip again and put in a few more rounds, shot those, and screemed to his buddy that he was out of ammo. Then they both creeped down to the bottom to find the deer that he mangled.

I got a good look at his rifle through my binoculars. I couldn't tell what kind it was but it had beautiful wood and a HUGE scope on it. I guess good equiptment don't make up for lack of skill.

That prompted me to skeedadle out of that area and look for another place to hunt. I drove around to the other side of the mountain range and found the spot that a buddy of mine hunted successfully last year. I headed up the four wheel drive road in my non-four wheel drive truck and got it stuck a good 5 miles from the last person that I saw and about 10 miles from a phone. I took a while but I got it unstuck. By that time it was over 90 degrees so I decided to pack it in for the day and try my luck in the new spot tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Long Path
October 28, 2001, 11:59 AM
Wish you luck?

Heck, I'll wish you a Level IV vest and a come-along!


Be careful. (And good luck!)


November 1, 2001, 08:29 PM
The Core-Lokt is a great cartridge. My father, my brothers, and I all shoot them for hunting whitetails (30-06). we have used the 150 and 180 pointed- and my favorite for under 150 yds in medium cover- the 180gr. round nose. The three of us have killed scores of deer with the round and off hand I can't think of one that we lost. I did switch to Federal Premiums for my .270 because of the potential for shots over 300 yds. I still have both my .30-06's (BAR, M17 Enfield) sighted with the Core-Lokt though.


November 7, 2001, 08:10 PM
180 gr pointed soft point Core-Lokt (Remington factory load) worked for me last Saturday. Took a small mule deer buck with it and my .30-‘06. One shot through the ribs directly in front of the left foreleg that clipped a major artery, destroyed one lung and exited the other side, shattering the far-side ribs and the far-side foreleg (femur, if that’s what it’s called on a deer). The exit wound (right chest) was about .50 cal and very round, indicating very even expansion. He was dead in thirty seconds I’d say.

However, I think the 180 grainer was way too much bullet for these tiny little California mule deer, and I think I'm going to switch to 165 grainers for next year, but this is what I was sighted in for, so it’s what I used.

Can't wait for the sausages…

Semper fi,
Bruegger out.

slick slidestop
November 8, 2001, 01:16 AM
I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with them, but I think more trials are needed for you.

Whatever you do, sight in your rifle with the ammo you will be shooting. In my experiments, the different ammo performed much differently from one type to the next, sometimes grouping as much as 12-14 inches in a different direction as the other groups!!!!!

What I did was decided to try 5 different rounds that I thought would be effective for my Hunting. (Whitetail , West Texas shots out to possibly 400 yds) Federal Game King BTSP,Federal Nosler Partitions,Remington Core-lokt, Winchester Ballistic Tips, and something in Hornady cant remember which.

Then I shot groups using all of the AMMO I pre- selected found the one that was the most accurate out of my Rifle (which was ballistically the best round for me anyway) and sighted in my rifle with that Ammo.

The Core-lokt was the next to the last as far as good groups out of my weapon but it was good enough for Deer hunting. Your weapon may like the Core-lokt and it may not, you need to experiment.

I ended up with Federal Sierra Game King Boat tails (BTSP) out of my 7MM rem Mag. They cost about $18.00 per box and I can shoot consistantly less than 1" groups off of a rest, often shooting several 3/4 and 1/2 inch groups.

Sure, I'm not in any Benchrest competition, but that 1 inch on a rest opens way up at 300 yards with no rest and Buck fever to boot, so accuracy is a necessity for me :D

November 8, 2001, 07:10 PM
After seeing slick slidestop note and having just returned from the range I though I would add my comments.

I have a Winchester M70 7mm Remington Mag Wal-Mart package deal and was trying to find a load it liked. The Remington 150gr Core-lokt would give sub1" groups and Winchester 150gr Supreme Power-Point Plus gave 4" plus groups.

I guess the anwser is to try lots of different types until you find one you like.



November 9, 2001, 06:07 PM
I agree you have to see what your rifle shoots well. Core-Lokts shoot remarkably well in my rifle; about one inch or less at 100 yards (some 7/8th inch groups). That’s plenty accurate for hunting mulies at 200 yards and less.

November 13, 2001, 09:50 PM
My Brother in Law gave me his .30/06 Remington 742 when he quit hunting. All I have ever used in it are Rem. Core-Lokt 150 grain. The rifle has taken two deer, both nice bucks, and only one shot was needed for each. Ranges were under 100 yards both times.