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Good mule deer bullet / recipes welcome.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Zombie Steve, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    I'll be going after mule deer this fall with the trusty old 700 in .30-06. Looking for a bullet in the 150 - 165 grain range that will hold together on the closer shots and get some decent expansion on the longer shots.

    Surprisingly, I've had great luck on elk with the cheepie 180 grain mag-tips from Speer. My rifle really likes them and they hold together well. I'm considering developing a 150 - 165 grain load with these and giving them a try. Seems every bullet review on Midway's site gets 4.5-5 stars. :upeyes:

    I'm sure none of you are really opinionated :whistling:, but I'd like to hear suggestions anyway. I haven't hunted deer in about a dozen years (read before I rolled my own).

    I would have started this in the hunting forum, but there's already a bullet urination match going on there that transcends caliber, the definition of big game, et cetera...
  2. sourdough44


    Jul 23, 2007
    I'd look in the 165 grn list, starting with a gameking or Hornady interlock SP. Then I'd try some H-4350, or another in the same range. I don't think you have to complicate it any more than that, unless you want to. Find a good COL for your gun & test away.

  3. steve4102


    Jan 2, 2009
  4. A friend of mine harvested a mulie last fall with a Hornady 150gr SST at 375 yards; completely took out both lungs and heart.

    I've found the 165gr SST to be very accurate (0.60" @100yards/3100fps) from a M70/300WSM and IMR 4350.

    Plain Jane Remington 165gr Core-Lokt SPs have proved very accurate from my M70 '06 and is more than adequate for mulies.

    165gr Core-Lokt reviews from Midway;

    Bob :cowboy:
  5. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I have an accuracy load with a 168 Hornady A-Max... modest load going 2,600 fps. If you look at the Hornady reloading manual, it says they can be used for hunting, but I get the impression it would come apart quickly at shorter distances or if driven really fast.

    Anyone heard of A-Max results on deer? I have a ton sitting around...
  6. well i have been a fan of the sierra game king. more specifically the 165 grain hpbt in-front of 55 grains of IMR-4350 with a federal large rifle primer and an oal of 3.230". I have never had a hard time keeping it inside an inch at 100 yards with my x-bolt.
  7. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border
    I don' shoot an '06 these days but do load for a friend's 700ADL:

    49.5grns. H4350 w/165 Remington Core Lokt.

    Accurate, powerful, and lethal he kills deer, antelope, elk and the odd bear with it all day long.
  8. MakeMineA10mm

    MakeMineA10mm * * * * Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 13, 1999
    Central Illinois
    That's really all that needs said, but I'm long-winded, so here's some back up to Steve's suggestion:

    I've really gotten excited with all the "Boutique Bullets" on the market these days. I especially like the Barnes MR-X, TSX, and Winchester Fail Safe. HOWEVER, these bullets are over-kill for deer hunting. If you're chasing a Moose or Bear, and you're caliber is a little "undersized" (said tongue-in-cheek, because I know guys who use 30-30s for those game animals), like a 30-06, then those are your bullets. They'll penetrate like no tomorrow, expand, and generally hold together (might shed a petal or two).

    But, my experience and belief with deer hunting is that they are over-kill. You don't need that much penetration, and the slow-opening aspect of them is actually detrimental to the most common shot when hunting deer (broadside). Here's the wonderful things about the Nosler Partition:

    1. It's soft frontal core expands really quick, so if you get the classic broadside shot and slip the bullet between the ribs, you'll still get perfect mushroom expansion, AND, if you take a long-range shot, with reduced impact velocity way out there, the softness of the core gives you better expansion than the Boutique Bullets;
    2. It's partition and rear core will still give you all the penetration you need on the biggest animals out there, so if you get a monster buck walking away from you, you'll still get fine expansion AND penetration.
    3. It's cheaper than the Boutique Bullets;

    There's really nothing to complain about with them. It's what I load for my deer/big-game bullet, and I even load them for my Garand, with the comforting knowledge that at WWII ammo velocities they'll still expand AND penetrate...
  9. albyihat


    Aug 3, 2007
    SW Montana
    165gr hornady sst with 52gr. of 4350 i use this in my tikka 3006 and i just love it. I use military brass so you may need to use more powder if you are using regular brass. i have shot 6 whitetail, 3 mule deer,1 antelope and 3 elk. with this round and it works great. hoping to shoot some wolfs with it but some damm judge just put them back on the endangered species list oh well just have to use the 3 S's of ranching.
  10. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Most std cup/core bullets will work fine below 2700fps impact vel in any caliber. I don't hunt w/ the 06, but have made loads for my son's. For a combo deer/elk, tought to beat the 180grNosler partition. it opens fast & worse case scenario, the nose blows off & you stil have 60% of the base wt left.
    For deer only, I would drop to a 150-165gr bullet. Most will hold together fine, but up close, they can come apart. I have no issue spending a bit more for a bonded hunting bullet. The Nosler AB or Hornady InterBond or Swift Scirraco would be my choice for close to far. A box of 50 bullets would last several seasons of hunting after initial loads dev.
  11. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Thanks for the consideration, fellas.

    I got a few boxes of 150 grain Speer Grand Slam that look like they've been on the shelf for a decade (old yellow translucent box - :supergrin:) almost $15 bucks less than the new boxes are going for, same bullet.

    Test batches getting fired next week with some 4320... just because I have a bunch lying around. Not quite as slow as 4350, and doesn't fill the case completely, but we'll see how it does.
  12. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    The older GS was a pretty "hard' bullet, at least in the 250gr/338 & 145gr & 160gr/7mm. I lstill have some in 7mm I use in my 280 for deer & antelope.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010