Possibly the best Deer bullet?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Remington5r, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Remington5r

    Remington5r Active Member

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    A question that my dad and I have had is What would be the perfect bullet for dropping deer and antelope sized game in their tracks? We wanted something that would transfer lots of hydrostatic energy and absolutely smash and destroy the vitals to the point where there was now way their body could function after being shot. Some bullets we have tested were the 125 grn nosler ballistic tip, the 155 grn berger vld, and a 208 grn hornady amax. all of these were tested out of a 300 winchester magnum. I did some wet newspaper tests on all three bullets.

    The 125 grn nosler ballistic tip is going at 3650 fps. I am using 84 grns of Rl 22 out of a 26'' barrel. it penetrated through 13 inches of wet newspaper and all that was left was a 31 grn copper base, the rest of the bullet was turned to dust. the point at which there was maximum expansion was at 6inches into the wet newspaper. we have shot several antelope with this bullet and all but one of them dropped in their tracks. those that were shot broadside had a small exit hole. overall there was 25% weight retention and 94 grains of that bullet that turned to dust.

    The 155 grn berger vld is loaded with 81 grns of Rl 22 and are chronographed at about 3500 fps. It went through about 10 1/2 inches of wet newspaper and what was left was a 36.5 grain mushroom. This means that there was 118 grains of bullet that had turned to dust. Shot two antelope with them and one of them ran about 40 yards. the bullet was stuck just under the skin on the otherside of the antelope. this was a perfect broadside shot at 375 yds. the other was a frontal shot at 115 yards and that antelope hit the dirt. overall there was 23% weight retention.

    The 208 amax is my bullet of choice when it comes to shooting thin skinned game. It penetrated through about 12.5 inches of wet news paper. the mushroom i found weighed 83 grains. this bulled is loaded with 74 grns of Rl22 and is pushing about 3080- 3100 fps. i have yet to shoot any game with it though, all of the hunting reports I have heard with that bullet have been good. People say that their game drops as soon as they get hit. Over all there was 125 grains of bullet turning to dust and there was 40% weight retention. I think that this is the perfect bullet because of its long range capabilities of 1200 yds plus. the other bullets are limited to about 700 or 800 yards. also there will be exit holes on my game which will allow for a blood trail if I make a bad hit. though with a 125 grains of bullet "blowing up" a gut shot animal will not go far, which will allow for another follow up shot.

    What do you guys think decision of bullets on this size of game?
     
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I have never even hunted antelope but have killed a few hundred white tail deer with about everything from a 22lr up through a 45-70. First and foremost is bullet placement. It does not matter what bullet that is used and what caliber it is chances are that a deer will run off a little ways if you behind the shoulder heart/lung shoot them. On average I would say 60% of the time. I have shot them with bullets that totally pulp everything in the chest cavity and leaves exit holes the size of baseballs and still have them run off 50 yards or so. Take the same bullet and caliber and place it in the center of the top 1/3 of a front shoulder and over 90% of the time it will drop in it's tracks because you have traumatized the spine either by the bullet or fragments of bone from the shoulder which usually takes out the lungs at the same time. If you slow that 125 Nosler ballistic tip down to under 3000 fps impact velocity and place it in a shoulder it is one deer killing bullet. I shoot it in my 308 Win and 30X47 rifles and 30-30AI T/C Contender pistol. For full house loads in a 300 Win mag the 150 or 165 Nosler ballistic tip is a real killer. Just my observations from 48 years of killing stuff. :D

    The only for sure drop an animal in it's tracks shot is a brain shot. Don't matter which bullet you use either.
     

  3. Jud96

    Jud96 Well-Known Member

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    I too have really been interested in the 208gr A-MAX for deer and elk out of my custom 28" barreled .308 Norma Magnum. Everybody has had excellent results with them and it will be my bullet of choice
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Well...I just literally dropped a doe in her tracks last Saturday evening. She never even thought about taking a step. 125 yards, 7mm RM, Berger 168 VLD Hunting bullet. Left virtually no blood...Pin-hole sized entrance & exit. She slammed on her side like a mack truck hit her. Didn't lose any meat. Worked better than the Nosler Accubonds I have been using for years.

    I dropped 2 deer in 2 days with the 7mm Berger 168 VLD's. Both bullets worked perfectly. Both shots were about 125 yards. I will be using them from now on for whitetail hunting. And my Nosler Accubonds are just gonna be range bullets, I guess...
     
  5. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    +1. Thanks for writing all of that, so I don't have to. My experience is exactly the same - many deer run like crazy with a heart/lung shot regardless of bullet (that said, I won't say bullet doesn't matter at all). I shot a doe this fall with a 168 Berger Classic hunter. The internal damage to the heart and lungs was amazing. She ran 110 yards. Flipped her over and there was significant lung tissue outside of the wound. Significant lung tissue. Top of the heart was gone.

    Shot a little buck with a 100gr Montec and he dropped 15 yards away. I am pretty sure my bow creates less KE than my rifle.

    High shoulder often drops 'em. Neck shots drop 'em. Head shots drop 'em. If you blow any of these shots, the outcomes can be crappy. True of all shots I guess, but more so of these IMO.
     
  6. Jim in Cali

    Jim in Cali Well-Known Member

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    I like Ballistic tips I use them for all my hunting regardless of caliber or velocity, one thing I wont do is use them within 150 yards.
     
  7. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    One thing I forgot to add is something that I teach people while teaching the handgun carry permit class when speaking of stopping the threat. It has been medically proven that the human body can keep functioning between 15 and 18 seconds after the heart has been removed. It is adrenalin that keeps the body functioning. There have been many a good man killed by a dead man because of this in a gun fight. I have observed this in a deer also. It's heart and lungs can be obliterated and in 15 seconds they can cover a good bit of ground. If a buck has been spooked or is fired up after a doe in rut it's adrenalin is already up and is harder to put down on the spot. When you hit bone it imparts more shock to the CNS of the body as well as breaks the skeleton structure of support which hampers flight or flight mobility.
     
  8. thekyrifleman

    thekyrifleman Well-Known Member

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    + 1 for RT's comments...in my experience with about a hundred deer kills, one never knows.....best bullet?? For me now it is the Sierra Pro Hunter 140 gr in .284. Very effective in 7-08, 7X57, 280, 7RM, oh well you get my point. Since I am retired, and the Sierras are "cheap" in comparison they have become even more of a favorite!!!:)
     
  9. ShowMeShooter

    ShowMeShooter Well-Known Member

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    I used Berger VLD in my .270win for the first time this season. I have to say at 168 yards they get the job done.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    At 125 yards with my 7mm 168 VLD's that's exactly what the exit wound looked like for the first deer I shot early last Friday morning. I never got any pics of the entrance and exit, but that picture is 100% exactly what the exit wound looked like on mine.

    Like I said earlier in the thread...2 deer in 2 days, 1 ran 25-30 yards, and the other never took a step, I am a firm believer in Berger bullets, and will continue to use them with complete confidence.
     
  11. ShowMeShooter

    ShowMeShooter Well-Known Member

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    10-4 good buddy!! This was a big ol doe for my area. She folded right up like a cheap lawn chair:D
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Heard that, that's what happened with the 2nd one I shot. I've been shooting Bergers for over a year now, but had not had the chance to shoot a deer with them until last week. I'm very impressed to say the least.
     
  13. Remington5r

    Remington5r Active Member

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    Thanks for the Picture! I think that those bergers are a great bullet for shooting game. If you look at a cross section at both the berger and the amax they look the same. My question is what is the difference between the two except for one has a tip and the other doesn't?
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    The A-Max is a target bullet and is very fragile at high speeds, whereas Berger makes both target and hunting models of the same exact bullets.