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  • 30 06 bullets

    What 30-06 bullet is better for deer rem core lokt or Hornady American whitetail

  • #2
    Interesting, I was just talking about this subject yesterday with a friend. His son uses the Remington factory loads in his 308 and is having trouble finding any. He's going to buy three boxes from me before Fall if the shortage continues.

    So far, I've only used CoreLokts on deer and think they do a great job. But I've got a couple hundred of the Hornady bullets I'm going to load, my friend says the Hornady's are not as accurate in his rifles. Maybe I'll have better results.

    But, I say see which shoots better for you in your rifle. Shot placement is way more important than minor comparative differences between the performance of the bullets.
    Trump 2020 - Keep America Great!

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    • #3
      PH is right, with locked cupped-core bullets in factory ammo, performance is probably going to be pretty similar so you're going to want to see what patterns tightest out of your rifle 1st.

      Hornady has made some interesting developments in ammo, but I can't say if it will make that much of a difference. Rem Core-Lokts in 30-06 go on sale for $8-$9/box and sometimes that price plus a 2 for 1 coupon in the fall.

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      • #4
        Both guys are right.
        Unfortunately, finding ammo just about anywhere with any kind of selection is quite problematic!
        If you can afford it, I'd suggest shopping online.
        Last time I was in Academy, their shelves were barren of anything except odd boxes of .303 Brit and .30-40 Krag. i.e. stuff nobody wanted.
        9mm is basically nonexistent.
        Rem Core-Lokt has been a good bullet for decades.
        Hornady, bless their hearts, just aren't bench rest bullets. But they work as intended with hunting accuracy.

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        • #5
          I've used nothing but Core-Lokts in my hunting rifles for 20 years now. .30-06, .270, .30-30 and .338 win mag. First, they are very accurate in my guns. Sub MOA in my bolt actions if I do my part and lay off the coffee before range time! As far as performance on game, I've never lost a deer and always had good blood trails. And I had a 250 gr. .338 take out the top of the heart and "jellied" the lungs on a 750 lb cow moose.

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          • #6
            I think if you aren't pushing them at 3000 fps, they are both pretty good bullets. At higher velocities, I get more pass-throughs with the Hornady, so in my mind they are a bit stouter. But very subjectively.

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            • #7
              As has been previously written, whichever load shoots best in your particular rifle. I have one '06 that spits nearly anything but a hot loaded 165 gr., and really gets accurate with Nosler Ballistic Tips. Another '06, just a little more forgiving, will shoot just about any load, but really shines with the 150 gr. loads, from anybody. Point of all this is, find a load your rifle likes, and stay with it. You may be somewhat handicapped in trying different loads right now due to this chinese communist virus silliness causing ammo shortages, but, this too shall pass!

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              • #8
                A few years back on the Outdoor Life site I saw a review for those Whitetail loads. Was VERY unimpressed with the damage caused to meat. The author showed an image of inside of rib cage and the exit hole was big enough to stick my fist through. No kidding! The outside of shoulder probably looked like it was hit with a hand grenade. I seem to recall he was using 270 but can't recall the bullet weight or velocity. In my book 270 and 7mm mag are typically meat manglers anyway. But that was extreme! For most of fifty years I shot 180 gr 30-06 and often with Remington CoreLok. I was usually in deer/elk/grizzly country so heavier bullet was standard. They worked well but definitely not long range. No matter to me because I was usually stalking in snow and heavy timber. I did try 165 gr CoreLok for deer two seasons back in the 80s and was not pleased with lack of knock down and damage to meat. Last year I loaded 165 gr Nosler Partition @ approx 2750 fps for Africa plains game. They worked very well dropping everything on the spot (including a couple of long shots) ... except the gemsbuck. I shot it twice: incoming straight on at a gallop at fifteen yards through the heart and crossing at twelve yards also through the heart. Second shot almost knocked it off its feet. Momentum carried it a few more yards before it ran over itself. I watched them skin it down to neck and the damage did not look extraordinary especially considering the close range. One shot knocked over my wildebeest bull at 110 metres. PH said he'd only seen one drop like that once before. They are tough. Through the right shoulder and bullet was stuck in hide of opposite shoulder. Or rather remains of bullet. Front half of partition was gone, which is typical. What impressed me was the bullet stayed on track after coming apart. I think with a smaller animal the meat damage might be more severe at that range. One bullet was recovered from gemsbuck (presumably the first shot head on was found in the guts) and it looked the same.

                If you are hunting close to medium range (which is advisable ... MOST advisable!) I think 180 gr CoreLok will do you fine, especially if you are concerned about meat damage (and any ethical hunter should be). Place your shot well (which is not difficult at 200 yards or less) and the deer won't go anywhere. It may not drop on the spot but almost certainly will go down in sight. I don't place a lot of stock in the fancy explosion bullets/loads/calibres designed for "bang-flop." I see nothing but shame in taking something to a butcher that looks like it had been hit with an artillery round. Of course this is important for the fools who want to shoot long distance (the current rage) ... because it might be day after tomorrow before they get to where they hit the animal. Blown to bits is best for them. All the animals I killed in Africa were butchered and meat sold on the market. The outfitter and landowners were VERY pleased that I didn't mess up anything. Even the buffalo was a one shot deal and with no meat lost. None. Shot it head on through the chest also at 110 metres ... but with a .375 H&H (minimum legal calibre). That was actually a long shot for buff, but my PH said to take it. "I knew you can shoot."

                Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1421.JPG Views:	0 Size:	570.8 KB ID:	738234
                Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 07-08-2020, 03:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	gun range 9 18 13 005.jpg Views:	0 Size:	635.2 KB ID:	738261 Here is my Remington 700BDL shooting Remington Core-Lokt, 180gr RN, 100yds, two shots, off-hand, rapid fire. I know, it amazed me to. Expand to see holes.

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                  • #10
                    I have gotten a lot of game with Remington core-lokt bullets and they always performed very good and proved to be very accurate. Years ago Silvertips by Winchester were the thing but I had some bad luck with them. Big deer I would use 180gr, medium deer try 165gr. Bottom line, try what ever shoots the best group in your rifle from a good solid rest. When you find the best one, stock up on that one with same lot number if possible.

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                    • #11
                      The deer will never know and neither will you. From a 30-06 both these bullets are lethal and both are plenty accurate for deer. I use the Hornady Interlock bullet for deer. It seems to leave a lot of energy in the deer as it passes through, killing them instantly and in my rifles, it has been more accurate than almost every other bullet out to 500 yards (as long as you don't deform the relatively soft lead tip). I find the Sierra Game King to be slightly more accurate at that range and it expands better at slower velocity than either the Core-Loct and the Interlock but it can make a mess with meat at closer range. I would shoot them high behind the shoulder with any of these though if you are worried about meat damage. A 30-06 will damage meat.

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                      • #12
                        A young man (20 years old) has me load his whitetail deer loads. I load 125 grain Nosler ballistic tips and he says they are the best deer load that he ever shot. He was shooting 150 grain Core Locks before this.

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                        • #13
                          I'm going to echo Dakotaman's first sentence. Honestly, deer hunters overthink this stuff way too much at times. The one thing about cup and core bullets is that occasionally you'll get one that marches to it's own drummer.

                          Two years ago my kid killed his first buck at about 20 yards with a Hornady American whitetail 139gr 7mm-08 round. I'd bought them based on numerous reports of them being tough for that style bullet. It was probably the close range but the bullet blew up on impact quartering in just behind the ribs, I found the empty jacket under the scapula on the far side with no exit. It wasn't the performance I'd hoped for but still resulted in a very dead deer in about 40 yards.



                          OHH; I believe the ammo you referred to were Winchester's similarly named Deer Season XP line. They have an exaggerated plastic tip that fills what amounts to a huge hollow point.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post
                            A young man (20 years old) has me load his whitetail deer loads. I load 125 grain Nosler ballistic tips and he says they are the best deer load that he ever shot. He was shooting 150 grain Core Locks before this.
                            Nosler Ballistic tips come in two styles, one for varmints and one for big game. The Ballistic Tip name gives the impression that they blow up, and the varmint style do, but the big game version was beefed up years ago to where something like 65% of the bullet weight is the jacket.

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                            • #15
                              The Deer load in my utility rifle is winchester deer season xp .300wm 150gr. They're blazing fast and fun to shoot. If you're looking for a different load, you might give those a try, but yeah like everyone is saying I grew up on Green and Yellow Box Core-lokts. Hell, I think I was in my late teens before I even knew that other companies made centerfire ammo LOL.

                              On my .280Rem (aka My Deer Rifle) I'm shooting 165gr Core-lokts and 140gr fusions. I wish I could get the fusions in 165gr. Feel free to chime in if your mileage varies, but the fusions IMHO perform better than cupped-core at the same bullet weight and load. No worries about what that jacket is doing.

                              I'm not a fan of polymer tips in general, but as others have said, we can over complicate things. There's such a thing as "good enough" which is why I use those Deer Season XP loads when hunting deer with my utility rifle

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