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As IDShooter has covered this completely I will just add that to get what we all want, a quick, clean, great blood trail, big exit wound,and minimal meat damage kill every time, is not possible with any caliber. Sounds like your son did a great job. He made a good shot and you guys worked it out and found the deer.

I,m not satisfied with my .308 or 30.06 performance so far but I am new to this gun hunting game. As a bow hunter I expect tough blood trails and yes even some marginal hits. But not with a gun? Yep, even with a gun.

The hunters I know that have killed many animals and especially deer, hunt with many different calibers and all are confident in what they shoot. To listen to them they never have a bad experience but I think the good just outweighs the bad and you tend to forget the worst. If you pin them down they will tell you their bad hits and bad bullet performance stories too. They have settled on their preference and accept it's performance or they continue to tinker if they are a tinkerer and accept that.

Sounds like your son has made a great start. Nothing wrong with you changing things for him as far as ammo goes. If range is short a round nose may be worth a try. I see Nosler makes a 90 and 95 gr Ballistic tip. If penetration is the thing you want the Partition or that type is the answer. The next one could drop like a rock with your present bullet.

Y'all know all this. Why do I run on this way?
 
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