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Choosing a Hunting Bullet (feature article)

June 2009 Feature Article:

Choosing a Hunting Bullet

Thinking back several decades, I remember one of my early visits to a gun shop. I was hoping to buy some ammunition for a new hunting rifle. Leaning over the gun counter, I was confused. Subconsciously scratching my head, I wasn't sure what to do next. I scanned from left to right, then back and forth several times. The first thing I noticed was the labeling.

"Fine," I thought to myself, "I'll start with a popular brand."

Names like Winchester, Federal, and Remington were familiar. As a neophyte hunter, it was all so new and, frankly, a bit overwhelming.

"A bullet is a bullet," I thought to myself, "why are there so many different ones on the shelf?" Read more...

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

JJD
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Choosing a Hunting Bullet (feature article)

The article is well written and informative.

One thing that baffles many new to hunting is that there is no real all purpose bullet. While one bullet may perform well at short to medium ranges, they will often perform poorly at longer distances and vice versa.
While it would be great if there were a bullet that performed well on everything from white tail to moose and from 75 to 600 yds, it does not exist. I suppose one could argue the definition of "perform well" till the cows came home, but I believe most would list bullet penetration, expansion (which includes wt retention) and flat shooting as the top 3 for what ever game they decide to hunt.

All you have to do is read the posts on this site to understand that there are as many opinions on this subject as there are bullets.

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Choosing a Hunting Bullet (feature article)

One thing that perplexes me the most is how all these choices and the companies who provide them have baffled new novice hunters and even some seasoned hunters into believing that only a bonded super premium bullet will do. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The manufacturers are the one responsible for all the hype. Every year it seems a magical bullet hits the market and people will pay high dollar for it.

One thing I've always had absolute confidence in for N. American biggame is standard jacketed soft point bullets such as Remington Cor-Lokt or Speer Spritzer Hot Core. I'm talkning for game such as Antelope, Deer, and even Elk and Moose. But I will say that it's not a terrible idea if you do choose a tougher bullet for large game like Elk and Moose. You just can't go wrong there if you do. I do know however that I've taken my fair share of biggame, including Elk, with standard jacketed soft points in the past that I'm convinced they work perfectly well as long as the hunter does his/her part. You just don't need solids or even anything super bonded or so-called premium for these critters. I have long ago upgraded and chosen the Speer Grand Slam bullet as my all-around biggame hunting bullet and have been quite pleased with the results and the accuracy in my rifles. But if my only choice was a standard jacketed soft point for N.American biggame, I wouldn't think twice before using it. But that's just what my experience has taught me. Others may vary.

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Choosing a Hunting Bullet (feature article)

It amazes me all the hype that get's bought. I must admit though that the solid bullets like the TSX, certainly will retain more weight but, if your cup and core bullet is already shooting through animals, where's the benefit to TSX type bullets?

I'm pretty sure that the bonded core bullet's are a good idea but I doubt they are any better than the old Speer hot cores. Actually may not have all that much an advantage over a Hornady interlock. In both those bullet's, actually pre interlock, I shot bullets into news paper and the Speer stayed tight in it's jacket and the Hornady was loose but none ever seperated from the jacket.

Where most trouble come's in is pushing bullet's to fast. Then when fired at close range the velocity takes the bullet aopart. The easy fix for that is to use heavier bullet's that can't be driven so fast an stay together.

A lot of hunters want a light bullet so if they get that big chance at 400yds, they have the velocity to pull it off. Problem is that big chance comes at well under 200yds more often than not. And when it come's at under 100yds, they find the bullet more prone to not work well. Shocking isn't it?

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