120gr BT's for Deer?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by coffdvm, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. coffdvm

    coffdvm Member

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    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??
     

  2. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. coffdvm

    coffdvm Member

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    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.)
     
  5. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Tom
     
  6. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  7. coffdvm

    coffdvm Member

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    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.
     
  8. burhead

    burhead Active Member

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    The only thing I would use BT's for is varmits. They explode to easy on deer sized animals. Not enough penitration.
     
  9. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Check with the Nosler bullet site and you will find they have two Ballistic tip type bullets available one for varmints and one for hunting, been using both for years.
     
  10. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    I don't know which one I been using, but I've seen a couple of dozen whitetails hit with neck shots, chest shots, lung shots, etc. The only one that didn't have an exit wound was hit in the chest with a frontal shot, and pieces of the bullet lodged in the pelvis after wrecking everything in between.

    I have no experience with them on game bigger than whitetails. WyoElk2Hunt has got that covered. My next step up now is a .340 Wby with 250gr Nosler Partitions. Used to be a .30 x .378 Roy with 200gr Accubonds.

    If the 120gr Ballistic Tips didn't perform, I and all my family would have stopped using them years ago. I don't load any other bullet in our 7-08's.

    Good hunting, Tom
     
  11. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    I have not personally used them but a well respected gun writer (I believe it was either John Barsness or Steve Timm) wrote that he was turned on to the 7mm 120 gr BT by one of the engineers at Nosler and that it is a stoutly constructed bullet. I'm planning to try them out of my 7mm-08.
     
  12. moombaskier

    moombaskier Well-Known Member

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    What the "Nosler Guy" was referring to is the 120gr. BT's have the same jacket as the 140gr. BT's...so I've been told. Therefore they are considered stouter than Nosler's typical BT hunting bullet. My wife uses them in a 7mm-08 at 2800fps on our tree farm at 70yds. or less and they flat put the hurt on a Blacktail buck. DRT every time.
     
  13. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't used the 120BT on deer, but don't see why it wouldn't do the trick. I've had 100-180gr BT's not exit whitetail in the past but I recovered all but one. I think I had a bad batch of 140gr .277 ballistic tips 13 years ago. I lost a buck, killed 2 does and several coyotes with those bullets and none of them exited shooting a 270 win. I may have got a splash hit on the shoulder on the buck I lost, that's where it looked like I hit. The bullets not exiting coyotes makes me wonder. Nosler long ago beefed up the jackets on some of their bullets and I'm sure this is no longer an issue.

    Now to the 140gr accubond, I've used it in 270 and 7mm magnums since it came out. I've never recovered one from a deer, and never had a hit deer travel over 100yds. It's my favorite deer bullet and I like the extra insurance of it's penetration. I shot a big bodied 180" deer a couple years ago with this bullet and broke the front shoulder, bullet exited right in front of the opposite hip.

    Nothing against the 120BT, my experience with the 140gr AB has just been really good.
     
  14. Dalebow

    Dalebow Well-Known Member

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    140gr ab over kill for a deer, nothing wrong with it but the 115 gr bst or 120 gr bst is PLENTY for any deer walking North America. They are quick killers and never have failed me:D