The best ammo choices for deer season
Monday, November 11, 2019
It’s November now, and that means we’re right in the middle of one of my favorite times of year in most of the United States: whitetail deer season.
Forget pumpkin spice lattes or Thanksgiving: when I think about fall, the general deer season in Texas is the first thing that comes to mind for me. I know I’m not alone in that regard, either.
Since deer season is upon us, we should talk about the sort of ammo you’ll be taking afield deer hunting this year.
Just like when discussing rifles or cartridges, there are almost as many different kinds of good deer hunting ammo as there are stars in the sky. However, it’s still a fun topic to discuss and the good news is that hunters have more and more types of factory ammo to choose from each year.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Nosler Ballistic Tip
If you’re looking for some hard-hitting centerfire rifle ammo that delivers devastating terminal performance on thin skinned game like whitetail deer, then Nosler Ballistic Tip just might fit the bill for you.
The Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet is designed for rapid expansion at impact velocities normally encountered when using typical deer hunting cartridges at short to moderate range. Like many other bullets used in modern hunting ammunition, the Nosler Ballistic Tip incorporates a polymer tip that helps initiate expansion on impact and improves the ballistics of the bullet.
Add it all up and you have some ammunition that usually produces a massive wound channel and either drops the deer in its tracks or results in a very short and easy tracking job.
Note that since the Nosler Ballistic Tip line of ammunition uses lighter weight bullets and is designed for very rapid expansion in general, it’s intended for use on game like deer and pronghorn. It’s not recommended for use on really big animals like elk or moose (though it will work in a pinch).
Nosler Ballistic Tip ammunition is available in .243 Winchester, 6mm Creedmoor, .25-06 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, .270 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .280 Remington, .280 Ackley Improved, 7mm Remington Magnum, 7.62x39, .30-30 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, and .300 Winchester Magnum.
Hornady American Whitetail
The Hornady American Whitetail line is another good choice for deer hunters all over the United States. This ammo line is loaded with Hornady’s InterLock bullet, which is designed for more controlled expansion and higher weight retention.
Though this is not flashy ammo with eye popping ballistics, it’s very dependable and reasonably priced. For this reason, the Hornady American Whitetail line is held in high regard by many hunters, especially by those of the “meat and potatoes” variant who want some good deer hunting ammo they can rely on to get the job done without a lot of fuss.
Not surprisingly, Hornady currently offers their American Whitetail line of ammunition in really popular traditional deer hunting cartridges like .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington 7mm Remington Magnum, .30-30 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM, and .300 Winchester Magnum.
It’s also available in the newer 6.5 Creedmoor, .350 Legend, and .450 Bushmaster cartridges as well.
Federal Trophy Copper
Though lead-free ammunition is still nowhere near as popular as traditional lead core ammo, more and more hunters seem to be making that switch each year and the big ammo companies are following suit. The Trophy Copper line by Federal Premium is one of several good lead-free hunting ammo options available to hunters these days.
Just like the name states, the Federal Premium Trophy Copper line utilizes copper bullets that are legal to use in areas that require lead-free ammunition. In addition to being lead-free, the Trophy Copper bullets have a polymer tip and are designed for reliable expansion, 99% weight retention, and deep penetration.
Federal Premium manufactures their Trophy Copper line in .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, 270 WSM, 7mm-08 Remington, .280 Remington, 7mm WSM, 7mm Remington Magnum, .30-30 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, 300 WSM, .338 Federal, .338 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum.
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