What bullet would be recommended for use on mostly whitetails @ 20yds to 500yds. The rifle will be chambered in 7mmRemMag. I was looking @ the Hornady A-Maxes and the SSTs, but not sure what bullet weight is the best choice. How about elk?
Part of the bullet selection depends upon what you want the bullet to do and at what range.
If you want to be sure of maximum expansion and immediate kill that would be one thing. If you want to minimize the amount of meat damage that would be another. As you probably know here in the east if a bullet does not kill pretty quickly on public land you may lose it to another hunter.
This eastern whitetail was shot at about 50 yards with a Nosler 160 AB with a muzzle velocity over 3000 fps. Even though the bullet went through both shoulders it was the least amount of meat damage of any 7mm bullet I have ever shot a deer with.
I use the Winchester Combined Technologies Ballistic Silvertip 150gr. I shot lung shot at 436 yards and it works wonders. It was like shrapnel in chest cavity but no damage to meat with lung shot, and core stayed bonded for exit wound.
I am using the Barnes 140 gr TTSX @ 3040 fps handloads and they give me a .043 MOA at 200 yards so accuracy is there. Of course that bullet has great terminal performance and controlled expansion. I did however get good accuracy from the 150 gr. Nosler/Winchester combined technology Silver tip and might add it is a lot cheaper in price than the Barnes but decided to wait to hear more from other hunters on how they perform before making a decision on whether to switch to them or not. Not that I do a lot of shooting with this hunting rifle but when I do run out rounds someday it would be nice to know there is another bullet I could use. My feeling is most bullets out there perform well enough in the field so the bullet that gives me the best accuracy is what I end up going with.
I tried Accubonds in my 7mm R Mag, shot a deer at at 423 yards (laser checked) was not impressed with the results. I think the bullet is too tough to open up at extended ranges at least at 7mm R mag velocities. We spent three hours before finding the deer, it had ran over 150 yards into a thicket, left no blood trail to follow. I do prefer bullets to pass through but they do need enough expansion to make an exit hole bigger than a dime. I'm also looking for a better bullet for my needs.