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Old December 26, 2008, 09:33 AM   #1
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Premium Deer Bullets

I shoot a .30-06 and I am starting to reload - I want good, but not the best nor cheapest components and recently reading an article made me want to step up my bullet choice to a more premium bullet.

Normally I've shot 150 grain core lokts and this year I switched to Federal Power Shock soft points I believe, also 150 grain...

Anyhow I was always under the impression that the premium bullets are only controlled expansion/deep penetrating bullets, however I was reading about the nosler partition and it seems of interest.

What I'm looking for then is a few bullet choices that are rapid expanding yet hold together to push through bone/shoulders and a bullet that will penetrate well on those angle shots. I also would prefer a bullet with a good BC value over my previous blunt soft nose bullets.

Suggestions are appreciated and I'm trying to search the forums, but I never seem to get any hits with this search function... I am also looking online.

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Old December 26, 2008, 12:32 PM   #2
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I've used the 100 grain Nosler partition in my .243 for the last ten years or so, and it is by far the best performing bullet I've found for white tail deer.

Contrary to many (most?) deer hunters, I aim for the center of the front shoulder. They go down immediately; no running off into the brush to die and be lost. Of the 30 or so deer I have taken over the years, I have never lost one.

I mention the above because the Nosler partition has given me the least meat loss with a shoulder shot than any other bullet I have tried. It will break the shoulder and then continue to penetrate. Should you be in perfect alignment where the bullet exits the far shoulder, there is almost no meat loss on that one.

Can only speak for the Nosler partition in the .243, but I would bet my experience is fairly common as to great penetration, good initial shock power, and minimal meat loss in the other calibers also.
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Old December 26, 2008, 01:09 PM   #3
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The partition is a fine bullet. When it comes to the 30-06 & deer I believe you don't gain much by going to that extra expense. It would cost you probably more than twice as much as Sierra gamekings/prohunters or Hornaday interlock type bullets. I bet the Sierra or Hornaday bullets would shoot as good or better. Of course a partition or one of the other premium bullets would work. As you go down in cartridge size, 243 or towards a 223/22-250 ect bullet selection becomes more critical.

I like 165 & next 180 grn bullets for the 30-06. I did use a 180grn partition on my one shot black bear hunt. With a gun like a 30-06 & deer, where you have plenty of gun, shot placement is where it's at.
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Old December 26, 2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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What I'm looking for then is a few bullet choices that are rapid expanding yet hold together to push through bone/shoulders and a bullet that will penetrate well on those angle shots. I also would prefer a bullet with a good BC value over my previous blunt soft nose bullets.
Nosler Accu-Bond
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Old December 26, 2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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Hornady SST is great value and works great for 270 Win and 7mm Mag loads for deer.

Nosler Partition are spendy, when a Ballistic Tip or Accubond would work great and cost less. I shot some 120 Ballistic Tip in the 7mm Mag and they are very accurate. I bought 200gr Accubonds for my brother's 8x57 for deer/elk/hog. Accuracy on the Nosler, Hornady and Sierra's have been great.
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Old December 26, 2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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Dipper is right on! I've reloaded (and shot) 30.06 bullets from 55gr sabot to 220 round nose it all types and brands. The Nosler Accubond has virtually the same accuracy as the Ballistic Tip and the effectiveness on game as the partition.
In my Browing A-bolt the Accubond 165gr is sub-MOA. An excellent choice - I've yet to find anything better.
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Old December 26, 2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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30 cal 150 gr

I'm partial to the Sierra 150 Spitzer and the spitzer boat tail #2125 and 2130 resp.

Both drop a whitetail pronto.
I get sub moa with both using R15
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Old December 26, 2008, 02:18 PM   #8
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Did you have an experience with the core-lokt bullets that turned you off of them?

I've been quite happy with them for years (130 grain in .270) on deer sized critters. IMO, good bullet, excellent value.
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Old December 26, 2008, 02:51 PM   #9
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You really don't need a premium bullet for deer hunting with your .30-06. The only thing it'll get you is a much lighter wallet. Premium, controlled-expansion bullets mainly come into play when you get to 3000 fps or faster, or with large animals where you need the penetration.

If you haven't had a bad experience with the Core-lokts, I'd say stick with those--they're not a poor quality bullet by any means.

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Old December 26, 2008, 03:08 PM   #10
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Everyone is fussing about the Nosler bullets costing so much... How many shots a year does a guy take while deer hunting? 50 rounds should last for years. Buy cheap bullets for practice and work on your technique at the range. Buy whatever you think is best for hunting... Figure out the difference in cost and then divide that cost by how many years 50 rounds would last. Per year it probably isn't much.
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Old December 26, 2008, 03:45 PM   #11
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I gotta agree with inspector3711.

I been using the same box for ten years, have put seven deer in the freezer with minimum meat loss, and still have bullets left in the box plus 15 cartridges loaded.

If you need more than one shot per deer, consider taking more conservative shots. [May be easy for me to say here in Texas where finding "easy" shots are no problem; we have plenty of deer. I've never shot at one running or walking through heavy brush, and I can limit my shots to under 200 yards.]

I hate to waste meat, and a bullet that leaves a cubic foot of meat blood-shot just makes me cry.

Worst bullet I ever shot a deer with was the 105 grain Speer. Maybe a bad batch of bullets, but it just exploded on a white tail shoulder. Lost the entire shoulder; penetration was perhaps six inches, no more.

I have no experience with the "plastic tip" bullets on game, so there may be some just as good as the Nosler partition. Like a football coach said, I'm going "To stay with the one who brung me." and for me that's the Nosler partition.

As I said above, I use a .243 Win, but I have to believe that the Nosler partition would work just as well in the 30-06.
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Old December 26, 2008, 05:21 PM   #12
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I would have to say try the Hornady 150gr SST bullet it will preform well for you in your 30/06, see for yourself what it is I like about them and you will keep using them for years to come.
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Old December 26, 2008, 05:31 PM   #13
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I've had no problems with standard bulllets, especially the corelokt. I have had issues with the older version 1.0 ballistic tips.

Come to think about it, the corelokt has been my best performing bullet with the majority of recipients falling over on the spot.
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Old December 26, 2008, 06:33 PM   #14
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I will agree that higher end bullets are a small cost of the hunt.
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Old December 26, 2008, 07:34 PM   #15
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yes, basically what got me thinking was that the article said - you prepare once a year and spend so much on gas/equipment/rifle/accommodation etc etc and most hunters don't want to spend the extra few pennies on a better bullet.

The corelokts have worked and the soft points too but I haven't found them to be the most accurate either hence why I am looking at something a step up... also yea my deer rifle I shoot only about... well depending on how happy I am with the sighting in which generally isn't that good because I can't get them to group closer... I go through only 30 shots max a year, including during the season...

the .223 and .22lr is another story...

O - also my reloading book said the partition came before the accubond, but the accubond is supposed to be the better bullet, I guess they make more accubonds so their cheaper compared to the partitions now...

I am writing these down - thanks for the help so far.

Edited it to add - last time I checked, the price difference for a box of shells of premium bullets vs non premium was Canadian about $25-27 vs $20-24 depending on manufacture/bullet choice so for the few shots a year, its not much at all.

Last edited by Demaiter; December 26, 2008 at 07:40 PM.
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Old December 26, 2008, 10:38 PM   #16
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When I look at the current prices of component bullets, the Sierra Pro Hunter flatbase is still the best of the bunch for bullets under a quarter apiece. What a .30 caliber 150 grain at 2700 to 2900 FPS does on deer has to be witnessed to believe. The Remington CoreLokt is a great bullet, and they will do the job on 99% of the game you shoot with them. I'm lucky in that my rifle likes several different bullets and powders, and I have worked up very accurate loads with most. If I see a deal on a box or 3 of what I use, I buy them. There are many premium bullets on the market, and if I had to choose just one, it would be the Nosler Partiton because it is the bullet that most bullet's performance is judged by. They simply don't fail, and put where they need to go, they make many species of game very dead in short order. I have 4 boxes of Speer Grand Slams that I traded for, and they'll probably have long white whiskers before they ever go down the barrel simply because I have different ammo already loaded. At $.75 apiece, I'll have to book a moose hunt somewhere to do them justice. The Sierras and CoreLokts will kill everything I shoot until then.
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Old December 27, 2008, 03:22 PM   #17
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There are a lot of options. Might give Accubond a try. But they didnt work to well in MY .308, and went back to Sierra Gamekings, and even had good luck with Speer Hot-Cor (the old school bonded bullet). I wont call Sierra or Speer Hot-Cors cheap, but more lower priced. There isnt anything "cheap" about those bullets performance. My son shot his doe this year with one shot, at 300yrds, dropped in her tracks. I use Gamekings in almost everything, and the Hot-Cors in others. They have worked very well, and give me no reason to switch to "premium" bullets. My elk load in my .308 is, 165gr Gameking, with 43grs of RL-15. Mild, but effective.

Almost forgot....thanks to Sierra, I wont starve this winter!
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Old December 28, 2008, 07:20 PM   #18
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I am very partial to Nosler Partition @ 165 gr loaded to 2700fps.Only bullet I have recovered from deer sized game. Makes them DRT, in the 30-06 or .308.
Has enough energy @400 yds to kill elk and not obliterate deer. My powder of choice is Varget for both. If a bullet is passing through your given animal at any range thats not good, a good hunting bullet should expend all of it's energy in the animal and be recovered on the far side on a broad side shot or not exit at all.
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Old December 28, 2008, 08:58 PM   #19
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For the money I use hornady interlocks. From 223 to 338. Good results for me. Have pulled them out of deer elk and antelope, and I use them in my ar for yote. Never had one stay in a yote, but have found them, or had them returned to me to be weighed out of every thing else. I won't bash the others, but for me they have shot well out of my rifles, and don't cost me 40 bucks a box.
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Old December 28, 2008, 09:01 PM   #20
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i use 150 grain full metal jacket sierra boat tail.... and everyone that worrys about wasting meat could avoid the hassle and worry by head shots.... thats what i do
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