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  #1  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:23 PM
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Hunting season summary - Speer Bullets


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I'm not sure where to put this post. It's about hunting, also about reloading, but mostly it's about the performance of Speer bullets.

I use a lot of Speer Hot Cor bullets in several calibers and rifles. By some coincidence, all 6 of the deer killed by my son and me this past deer season were taken with Hot Cors. Here's the summary:

200lb 10pt in Nov: 270 Win, 130-grain Speer Hot-Cor
165lb 8pt in Dec: 35 Whelen, 220-grain Speer Hot-Cor
150lb 6pt in Jan: 30-06, 200-grain Speer Hot-Cor
160lb 6pt in Jan: 30-06, 165-grain Speer Hot-Cor
75lb doe in Jan: 30-06, 165-grain Speer Hot-Cor
100lb doe in Dec: 45-70, 350-grain Speer Hot-Cor

These 6 harvests represent a wide variety of conditions, angles, and distances. The big 10pt I took in November was at 175 yards, hard quartering away. I almost passed on the shot, but I'd been working so hard on the load for this rifle (newer Model 70 FW), and I felt confident I could pull it off. The deer dropped in his tracks. The bullet entered behind the right ribs and existed between the left shoulder and brisket. Really impressive performance.

The 6pt taken with the 200-grain Hot Cor from a 30-06 was a straight on shot. The bullet entered the brisket area below the neck and exited the right hind quarter. I have this load throttled back a bit (around 2100fps), as it's my "woods" setup: Ruger M77 Mk2, with 20" barrel (I cut and crowned it several years ago - incredibly handy, well-balanced, accurate rifle)

I'm not saying this "proves" anything or establishes Speer Hot Cors and the end-all, be-all. I'm just reporting exceptional performance from my loads with these bullets, and year after year my confidence in Speer bullets is reinforced.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:28 AM
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I used a Speer 150 grain R.N.S.P. in my .308 this past season to take a 160 pound Buck. Worked Fine! I also use their 75 grain .257" Flat Point bullets in my .25-20 Winchester Model 43 Rifle. Speer makes great Bullets.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:57 AM
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did a test with my 270 fw with j conners load ,Speer hdy and Sierra ,Sierra won by a nose ,horned a close second and Speer opened up to 7/8 group
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jakesnake66 View Post
I'm not saying this "proves" anything or establishes Speer Hot Cors and the end-all, be-all. .
Well, then I'll say it for you.
Much like a partition, they won't boggle your mind with one hole groups. But they shoot accurately. They are the only ones I've never been able to make stop, deflect, or ???!!!, At any angle or game big game in N.America.(cept a big Horn, haven't hunted them yet).
Things are like a cancer raging.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:29 AM
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If the Nosler Partitions, SST's, and 100% copper bullets didn't exist, I would be more then fine using the Speer Hot Cores and Sierra Pro Hunters for the rest of my life. Extremely accurate, kill good, and relatively cheap. What more could you want.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jakesnake66 View Post

200lb 10pt in Nov: 270 Win, 130-grain Speer Hot-Cor
165lb 8pt in Dec: 35 Whelen, 220-grain Speer Hot-Cor
150lb 6pt in Jan: 30-06, 200-grain Speer Hot-Cor
160lb 6pt in Jan: 30-06, 165-grain Speer Hot-Cor
75lb doe in Jan: 30-06, 165-grain Speer Hot-Cor
100lb doe in Dec: 45-70, 350-grain Speer Hot-Cor
Thanks for the report. I have always had good luck with speer as well.

But what I'm interested in knowing is which state do I need to move to that let's me take 6 deer in a season!
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:03 PM
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Speer Hot Core has been my favorite hunting bullet for more than 30 years. Myself, family members, and friends have killed many varieties of big and smaller game with Hot Core, some have been quite amazing testaments to the quality of this bullet. I reload for numerous individuals who will not hunt with anything but Hot Cores.

Calibers have been 243 win, 6mm Rem, .270 win, .280 Rem., 7mm RM, 30-06, .308 win., and 300 WM. Game taken, elk, black bear, deer, mule, couse WT, antelope, javelina, desert bog horn sheep, and oryx. Out here in the southwest shots can often range out to 600+ yards, so accuracy is a demanding aspect. It hasn't been difficult to find accuracy nodes with the HC that deliver 1/4" - 1/2" groups @ 100 yds..

SMOA
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jakesnake66 View Post
I use a lot of Speer Hot Cor bullets in several calibers and rifles..
I don't think there has been a day in the last 50 years when I didn't have Speer bullets on hand. Handgun, rifle, varmint bullets, game bullets. My first black bear, 1969, my .30-06 loaded up with a 165gr Speer RN. My first elk, a spike, with a .30 cal/200gr SP. My last bull elk, a CO 5X5 with a .35/250gr bullet, and lots of critters in between.

I also used a lot of Hornady Interlocks, and Sierra Pro Hunter and Game Kings.

OMG, they all worked without a single bounce out. How could that be ???
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
But what I'm interested in knowing is which state do I need to move to that let's me take 6 deer in a season!
We live and hunt in the great state of Mississippi. We are allowed 3 bucks and 5 doe in our part of the state. The total of 6 deer is for my son and me. He took a buck and two doe, and I took 3 bucks. Mississippi's list of redeeming qualities isn't that long, but good deer hunting is certainly on there. We belong to a club, but I do the vast majority of my hunting on public land, and we are really fortunate in that regard. The Arkabutla reservoir and park is US Corp of Engineers, Federal lands, and there's an entire "ring" around the lake and park where hunting of many types is allowed. Most of the upper lake is dry during deer season, so the hunting is expansive. The deer get spread out among the thousands of acres of "buck brush" (some call it "iron brush"), and it's a really challenging and fun hunting experience. Most hunters aren't cut out for it, but I love it. Here are two of the bucks from the past season, both from public land. The 10pt was 11/20, the second day of rifle season, 175 yards, hard-quartered away. The 130-grain Speer Hot-Cor from my Model 70 featherweight was true, hit within an inch or two of where I aimed (i was seated on a bucket, left elbow rested on my thigh). He dropped in his tracks, literally.

The 8pt was taken about a mile away on 12/15. It was during the MS "Primitive Weapon" season, which requires either muzzleloaders or single-shot, breech-loading rifle of 35 caliber or larger. No, there's nothing "primitive" about a HandiRifle or Ruger No. 1 in 444 marlin or 35 whelen, especially when it's wearing a scope, but such is the law. My load was a 220-grain Hot Cor over a minimum charge of Varget. This Handi-Rifle is especially accurate with a wide range of loads, both jacketed and lead cast, higher velocity and lower. This deer was taken at 135 yards, from a bucket, but my shot wasn't great. I rushed it, and I hit him higher and farther back than I intended. I had to use a second shot - something that bothered me for several days.
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Hunting season summary - Speer Bullets-8pt-buck1-ed.jpg   Hunting season summary - Speer Bullets-10pt-buck1-ed.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2017, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
...
But what I'm interested in knowing is which state do I need to move to that let's me take 6 deer in a season!
In most of Tennessee you can take 2 bucks yearly, but three does per day. Bow season starts the last Saturday in September through October, then a weekend for youth only, then two weeks of Muzzle loaders. The rifle season starts the Saturday before Thanksgivng and runs through the first Saturday in January.

You learn to be picky on what you shoot. I let about 20 shootable bucks walk this fall, waiting for a big one.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2017, 04:05 AM
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A 45-70 using 350gr Hot Cor's is nowhere near enough gun for a 100lb doe...

Congrats on you and yours having such great luck! I've always found getting any animal with something I made myself much more gratifying than buying a box off the shelf
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2017, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JonP View Post
A 45-70 using 350gr Hot Cor's is nowhere near enough gun for a 100lb doe...

I totally get that you're kidding, but I wanted to comment, because it's a topic that has affected my reloading and shooting tremendously. I completely agree with your second comment, too, that using ammo I make myself adds an entire new and rewarding dimension to the process. Every animal my family and I have taken over the past many years has been with handloaded ammo.

The lone exception for a while was 45-70. I didn't think I would use my 45-70 much, so I didn't get dies or any of the components. I simply purchased a box or two of the Hornady LeverEvolution 325g FTX ammo and went on my way. However, two things happened: First, I started using the 45-70 as my main hunting gun. While I took some longer shots this season, for years I didn't shoot over about 75 yards and the short Handi-Rifle was just perfect - easy to carry and handle, and accurate enough. However, after a year or two shooting those Hornady "canon" bullets (325gr of pointy lead moving well over 2000fps) I got tired of the overkill. The recoil was tremendous, and it was just so much more than needed.

So a couple years ago I went to cast lead "boolits" over Trail Boss or Unique, slowed everything down, and now the old 45-70 does less damage than a 30-30...and NO recoil. My son is young is spunky, and he doesn't yet believe in "big and slow," so I loaded some jacketed for him. (he thinks they are full power, but they aren't. I'm not even sure I'm pushing them hard enough to expand, but .458 is a big hole, regardless, lol)
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tpv View Post
If the Nosler Partitions, SST's, and 100% copper bullets didn't exist, I would be more then fine using the Speer Hot Cores and Sierra Pro Hunters for the rest of my life. Extremely accurate, kill good, and relatively cheap. What more could you want.
I don't think it really matters what the brand is with medium caliber expanding bullets for this class of game. It boils down to whichever bullet is most accurate in your gun. I loaded Noslers for a long time, but have gravitated toward Sierras and SSTs lately with no drop in deadliness. Have used Hot Cors before too. The caveat is not getting wrapped around the axles with speed, which obviously Jake has not.

Nice shooting Jake.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
Thanks for the report. I have always had good luck with speer as well.

But what I'm interested in knowing is which state do I need to move to that let's me take 6 deer in a season!
Eastern NC allows 6 deer a season (two antlered, rest non). Season opens in mid Sep for Archery (3 wks) followed by black powder for two weeks and then opens to gun till about 1 Jan.


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Old 02-05-2017, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bird Dog II View Post
I don't think it really matters what the brand is with medium caliber expanding bullets for this class of game. It boils down to whichever bullet is most accurate in your gun. I loaded Noslers for a long time, but have gravitated toward Sierras and SSTs lately with no drop in deadliness. Have used Hot Cors before too. The caveat is not getting wrapped around the axles with speed, which obviously Jake has not.
I completely agree. Bullets of all brands are designed and made so well these days (and have been for a long time) it really doesn't matter. If you read the forums you'll see success and failure reports regarding every bullet. I really like Speer bullets, and my favorite store nearby, Sportsmans Warehouse, stocks a good inventory, but I have a few guns that don't shoot them particularly well. So I use other brands in those. For example, one of my favorite rifles - a Model 70 "Ranger" in 30-06 - simply won't shoot them accurately, regardless of weight. I've tried 150, 165, and 180. In that gun I use 150 grain Barnes TTSX and 180 grain Hornady Interlock. Both shoot extremely accurately and perform just as well on game. My 1948/49 Mauser sporter 30-06 doesn't like the Hot Cors, either, so I use 150 grain Sierra Gamekings in that rifle. Results are the same: dead deer.

Quote:
Nice shooting Jake.
Thank you, Bird Dog! I'm really hard on myself when it comes to shooting, and while I was really proud of the shot on the 10pt, the poor shot on the 8pt bothered me immensely. I realize bad shots are inevitable, and 135-yards from a seated position in freezing cold isn't exactly a chip shot, but fact is my execution was really poor. I did exactly what we teach others to NOT do: I rushed the shot and jerked the trigger. Most of my shots are from very close range and happen really quickly. I hunt in the buck brush where deer appear and disappear in seconds, and there's no time for buck fever. But with this 8pt it happened differently. He stepped out into the open and assessed the situation for about 10 seconds - plenty of time for buck fever! I knew if he took a few more steps my opportunity would be over, so pointed and snapped the trigger back - rather than aimed and squeezed. I hit him back and high - just below the spine. Broke him down and I had to walk the 130 yards with him struggling. I was really disappointed in myself and for a few days I couldn't even feel any satisfaction from the experience. I'll be practicing a lot from seated positions between now and the next deer season.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:47 AM
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"But what I'm interested in knowing is which state do I need to move to that let's me take 6 deer in a season!"
In Georgia, the limit is 12 deer per season - 2 bucks and 10 does.
Season runs from mid October to early January.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:02 AM
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Jiminy crickets!


All these states that let you take multiple does! In Michigan, you have to pick a county, then apply in a lottery to get a doe tag. For counties with any state hunting land the best odds you have is about a 25% chance of getting the tag. The worst odds are about 5% in some counties.

And that's all just for a doe tag to harvest a single doe. I know hunters (and non hunter) that have hit more does with their car than harvested in the field. All year around highways are littered with doe. Now that I think of it, I have never seen a buck on the side of the road. So either they are smarter, or people who hit those keep them.

Done ranting
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:51 AM
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In Tennessee, in about 1/2 the state, it's legal to harvest 3 does per day in a season that runs 100+ days. You can also shoot 1 buck per day and a total of 2 bucks per season. So, you can legally shoot 4 deer in one day.

I've only ever harvested 2 deer in a day twice that I recall in Tennessee and all the dragging was enough to convince me that I don't need to do it again.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
...I've only ever harvested 2 deer in a day twice that I recall in Tennessee and all the dragging was enough to convince me that I don't need to do it again.
Yup. I've done it three times. Twice it was because two does were traveling together and disappeared in the brush after the first shot. When a doe next appeared, I didn't know if it was the un-touched deer, or my first one with a wound, so I shot the second one as well. Both times, two dead deer.

The other time was when I shot this doe:



Then ten minutes later this buck came out:



Ironically, ten minutes after shooting this buck, and even larger one came out and stood broadside at 20 yards,,,but Tennessee only allows one buck per ay, so I had to let him walk,
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:12 AM
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Sorry, I did not mean to hijack the OP's thread.


hopefully to get back on track.... I plan on using hot cores this year with my 30-30s.

Although for my single shot 30-30 and 303 savage, I wish speer made a hot core in the 130gr range. Maybe I will play around with the 123gr 7.62 bullet they have in hot core. The 303 savage is over 110 years old. Bore is at .309 or .3095
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