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120gr BT's for Deer?

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Old 06-29-2011, 02:10 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
120gr BT's for Deer?

I just got my new .280 Ackley in from the gunsmith. My son (a better "gun man" than me) came over and we worked up three loads for it, got is grouping and sighted in.

When we shot the 120 gr Ballistic Tips @ 3290, the group was impressive (.6) and my son said "There's your load!" I am just a little concerned about this bullet on whitetails. I have been a 140gr Accubond man for a while but he is strong on this bullet for deer. I hear everything but, frankly, have never killed an animal with this weight bullet. My son HAS but he's got super accurate rifles; has sniper training and shoots them in the neck. Might be questionable for me.

So, wanted to check with the experts....comments??
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:08 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 82
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but a 120 grain Nosler BT (a proven bullet) @ over 3000 fps is plenty of bullet for whitetails IMO.

edit: I also believe a heart/lung shot fine. Neck shot is just a matter of preference, not necessity, again IMO.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:38 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 2,280
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

I'm like you I'd "prefer" the 140. I'd have more confidence with bigger bodied deer at less than ideal angles.
Your confidence in your son comes through in your post. In the context of promoting father/son relationship, and demonstrating respect for his opinion, why not try it his way. Win lose or draw with the bullet you'll both learn something.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:53 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

Good point about the father/son bit. Although I think I taught him everything he knows about guns.hunting, it has become painfully obvious that he's teaching me a few things.

Now, if I could just get some of my guns BACK from him that he "borrowed" five years ago!

In south Alabama, deer size is moderate and I have become more and more of a hunter for the table, e.g. does. So, will stay with the smaller bullets this fall and see what happens. (I have come a long way from that .35 Whelen I was shooting a few years ago.)
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,027
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

Coffdvm, I've shot 120gr Ballistic tips and several different 140gr bullets at whitetails with my 7-08. The 120gr Ballistic tip is devastating even if you centerpunch a shoulder. I load them for myself, one of my daughters, and have loaded them for 2 grandsons, all shooting 7-08's. No 140gr ever matched them. I haven't loaded anything else for at least 10 yrs or so. We've never had to track more than 30yds.

I use 160gr Accubonds in my .280, and haven't shot 120's in it. My 7-08 load chronographs at only 3020 fps, but if your rifle likes the 120's, I believe they will perform on deer at your velocity.

Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member

A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:20 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Eden-South of Heaven, Wy.
Posts: 1,102
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

120 gr bullet is plenty good. I use 100 gr Nosler BT in my 25-06 and love it on Antelope, Whitetail and Mule Deer.
Every man needs a good woman, good dog, good horse and a good gun.

Last edited by WyoElk2Hunt; 06-30-2011 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:42 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
Re: 120gr BT's for Deer?

Hey, thanks to everyone. I am going to order some more bullets and load 'em up. I will admit the red-tips do make for a sexy looking round on the Ackley case.

Guess I will report this winter.
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