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I've been using the Hornady Light Mag with the spire point bullets with good results. Now everything seems to have the SST bullet. I've read the Hornady SST bullets might not be the best for big game. This is more of a question across the bullet selection for facory ammo than just the ammo (if that makes sense). Lot of folks use Winchester Silvertips or Remington Core-Lokts. Don't know many using Federals. I'd like some recommendations for my calibers. I'm shooting .257 Roberts, 6.5x55 Swede, 7mm-08, and .270 Winchester. Haven't done any reloading, and really don't have a good spot at my house to do it. I don't shoot much, really just enough to check the zero on my guns each year. A box of 20 lasts a few years with me. I'd just like to make sure I'm using the best I can.
 

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Each gun is different. You may have 2 Remington 700's in the same caliber and they can each shoot the same load differently. It really does come down to testing. All of the brands you listed will get the job done. But until you shoot them you won't know which will shoot best.
 

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Any of the major manufacture's ammo is adequate for deer but one may be more accurate than another in your particular rifle. Shot placement is the most important factor.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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You gotta be kidding - SST's not good for deer? Use them all the time for deer and never had one go more than 30 yds. This is with 6mm/284, 6.5 Swede and 30-06.
 

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Water-man is pretty much right on. Whitetails are not all that hard to kill, even big-bodied northern ones. Just about any reasonable bullet will do the job, be it an old-style cup-and-core or the latest dragonslayer designs. The most important factor, IMO, is how well a bullet shoots in your rifle. Wal Mart Remingtons, or $2-a-bullet custom loads -- if the bullet goes where you want it to go, it'll work.
 

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My brother killed many Coastal Blacktails with his 257 Robt. and Remington 100 gr Corelockts Unfortunately they no longer load that weight.If you are concerned about the SST's shoot the new GMX.No reason not to use the SST in my opinion.About any proper weight bullt in the 257, 6.5X55 and 7mm-08 will do and the 270 would be ok with the Hornady offoring or even Remington or Federal loads.
 

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I'll admit that i'm cheap and have always waited till after christmas and picked up a couple boxes of Remington core lockts with the $5 mail in rebate and this year Dick's sporting goods in our area had them buy one get the second half price and the additional $5 mail in rebate. Winchester used to do the mail in rebate as well. But this is usually when I buy my ammo. And I have never had a problem with my cheap Remington core lockts taking deer and printing paper quite nicely. I do want to get into reloading as I think I can reload my .300wm cheaper then buying them and have even better loads.
 

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I haven;t tried them, because I handload everything I shoot, but the Winchester Power Max bullets look interesting. Bonded bullet without the plastic tip, only about $5 per box more expensive than baseline SuperX.

I like the bonded bullets just to increase chances of exit hole and blood trial on quartering or other shots that might get hung up on large bones on the way out after destroying the vitals.
 

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I've never understood the appeal of premium bullets for deer unless one is pushing a small bullet at extreme velocity so that it does not hold together at close ranges. I use either Winchester Power Points or Remington Core Locks for both whitetail and mule deer and have not had a problem with either in .30-06 or .270Win. The only bullet problems I've had on deer and pronghorn were with the factory Weatherby .257mag loaded with Nosler partitions when the front blew off and the back portion was too small to give adequate penetration. I don't use the tiny .244 diameter bullets, so I don't know if premium bullets are of benefit there, although I suspect that with moderate muzzle velocity (3000fps) and non-varmint bullets they are probably not needed there either.

I can understand the benefit of premium bullets to get better penetration with the small cartridges (.277, .284, .308) on larger animals such as elk and moose, but I prefer to just move up to the heavier standard bullets in .338 or .358 caliber.
 

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Remington Core-Lokts tend to shoot well enough for us in every rifle we've ever shot them in. Cheap and as long as your impact velocities are below about 3000fps, work like a charm. As someone said above... whitetails aren't exactly hard to kill as long as you put the bullet in the right place.

If you're talking about bigger than that, like elk/moose, then I'd use something a little tougher... Nosler Partitions or a bonded bullet to make sure enough of it held together if it goes through a leg bone or something.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Irv, when we're deer hunting, we're hog hunting too. Suspect that goes for much of the south. That's been the reason I've tried many different loads in order to come up with something economical, yet effective on both. Not only with the little stuff but pretty much anything I take to the field has to handle both.

Agree it doesn't take too much to bring down a whitetail. Pigs though..... more difficult to get a pass-through especially when the velocity goes up.

About the only time it doesn't matter what I'm shooting is when calling coyotes!
 

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No question, hogs -- BIG hogs -- can be tougher to down than whitetails. But again, in a rifle of the .270/.30-06 class, if your rifle likes the old-style cup-and-core bullets like the ones loaded in Remington (Core-Lokt), Federal (Hi-Shok) or Winchester (Powerpoint) standard, non-premium loads, you are good to go. And they represent a lot less strain on the budget than premium loads. The only adjustment I would make would be to maybe lean towards the heavier-bullet end of the load ranges. A 180 gr. Core-Lokt .30-o6 load is no bad choice for anything in North America, provided a shooter is up to the task. No less than famed .270 lover Jack O'Connor opined that nothing more was needed even for big bears, and even though he was more famous as a sheep hunter, he shot more grizzlies than I or, I would guess, anyone else on this forum has.
 

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Irv, when we're deer hunting, we're hog hunting too. Suspect that goes for much of the south. That's been the reason I've tried many different loads in order to come up with something economical, yet effective on both. Not only with the little stuff but pretty much anything I take to the field has to handle both.

Agree it doesn't take too much to bring down a whitetail. Pigs though..... more difficult to get a pass-through especially when the velocity goes up.

About the only time it doesn't matter what I'm shooting is when calling coyotes!
I understand now. I wasn't aware you were also hunting hogs. Never hunted them, but understand that with them it is harder to get a blood trail because of the fat (correct me if I'm wrong). I've seen some huge mounted boar and if I were hunting them I would move up to the larger cartridges I use for elk and moose. I'd probably opt for my .35 Whelen with my 250 grain handloads.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Your .35 would do fine, I'm sure. Yes.... blood trails are tough to get. A bullet that will very reliably exit on a deer may not always go through a pig. No exit hole means likely no blood trail.

As an example, my wife has been using a 6mm Rem with good results with factory Core-Lokt ammo (100gr.) on whitetail, never have recovered a bullet. The bullets will stop in about 14" - 16" of pig, though. They are holding together, just running out of steam. I don't think she has gotten a single passthrough on a pig.

Fortunately she has managed to DRT several of them, but a few others we had to go stomp the brush for. Right now I'm waiting for a pig to volunteer to try and stop a 100gr. Hornady Interlock to see if that is a step up :D

Even with the larger calibers (.30-06 as an example) a too-fragile bullet won't exit.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have gotten very good blood trails, generally, when using hard cast in rifles. Sometimes they bleed out both sides!

Tough research, but someone has to do it ;)
 

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I've been using the Hornady Light Mag with the spire point bullets with good results. Now everything seems to have the SST bullet. I've read the Hornady SST bullets might not be the best for big game. This is more of a question across the bullet selection for facory ammo than just the ammo (if that makes sense). Lot of folks use Winchester Silvertips or Remington Core-Lokts. Don't know many using Federals. I'd like some recommendations for my calibers. I'm shooting .257 Roberts, 6.5x55 Swede, 7mm-08, and .270 Winchester. Haven't done any reloading, and really don't have a good spot at my house to do it. I don't shoot much, really just enough to check the zero on my guns each year. A box of 20 lasts a few years with me. I'd just like to make sure I'm using the best I can.
With factory non-premium bullets, I've had my best accuracy and kill results with the Federal Blue box ammo with their old flat base soft point and the Remington with their Core Loc bullet. In my opinion. the Core Loc ought to be a premium bullet. Its a good one. Kills good, holds together, and its accurate. Worst accuracy is with the grey box Winchester. Not by much, but a little worse than the others.
 

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I'm thinking I'm gonna try some Core Lokts on paper first. I've never really heard many folks complain about them.
The odds are excellent that they will shoot well enough in your gun. If you keep your cool under pressure and put a Core Lokt into the boiler room of any deer, any where, it won't go far and will leave a trail of breadcrumbs (or, something) to help you find him. ;)
 
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