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what bullet for what big game

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 10:29
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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I plan on hunting this year with my new 7mag.  I'm new enough to  hunting that I'm not sure what kind of bullet I should be choosing for what type of game.  I understand that for larger animals, such as elk, I should be using a heavier bullet, but of what type?

there's solid copper bullets and core-lokt and tipped and partitioned, ect ect.  what does all that mean?

I do realize that the different bullet types are meant to perform in different ways, but don't fully understand how that equates to performance on game.

For instance, I would like to hunt black bear, deer (black tail and mule) and elk this year.  do i need a different bullet for each species?  can i use 1 round that will be good for all 3?  I don't reload, so factory loads are what I have access too... I've zeroed and practiced thus far with Hornady super poerformance 154gr SST's.... but a friend told me that might not be the best round to take for bear... although he didn't really explain why.  I expect 95% of my shots to be within 300 yards.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 10:35
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You best bet is to find whatever round performs most accurate out of your gun and then make good shot placements.  I think the SST"s would be fine on black bear with correct shot placement.  Think about this, if a 100gr broadhead on a carbon arrow shaft will take it down, why won't that 154gr SST?  Its all about shot placement!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 10:50
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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Thanks for the response SVT...
Those SST's shot pretty well, 4/5 in a 2.5" circle at 300 yards... the 5th was 3.5" out.  As for the arrow analogy... I'd always though the 2.5 feet of arrow sticking out of the animal helped with bringing them down, as much as the head penetrating into it's body :p


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 10:53
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You get pass throughs on animals too.  its actually a bad analogy because a bullet and an arrow kill in two different ways.   Oh well you get the picture.  DOnt' get hung up on this bullet or that one.  I guarantee you you'll find people who say brand X kills them deader than brand y but in all actuallity its brand Z that kills them deader'erWink 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 11:07
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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i was just worried that the SST might not be the right bullet because it expanded too quickly or not quickly enough, ect.  I wanted to try some 168gr bergers available from the hunting shack, but i'm not sure i'll get to the range to test them before going out for bear this weekend.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 16:44
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If you buy a reloader you can try them allBucky! And Graham, I disagree on the difference between on how arrows and bullets kill... They both kill by damaging life-critical tissues, or neither will kill effectively. Shock, and wound channels are great, but if they don't connect to something life critical (like major blood vessels, lungs, heart, or brain) the animal is most likely to die of infection days later. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 16:50
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The Berger's will also expand violently and very quickly on game, probably even more violently than the SST's. I've taken game with both, and like SVT said, just put the bullet where it belongs, and you will have meat in the freezer. It's been my finding that the bonded, or solid copper bullets do less meat damage, and the lightly constructed bullets (Hornady SST, Nosler ballistic tip, Berger VLD, ect) tend to leave larger exit holes.........But all resulted in game on the ground when the bullet was put where it belongs. No bullet out there can make up for a bad shot, so I shoot what shoots good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 22:34
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Not a huge fan of SSTs, although I am a huge fan of Hornady bullets.  The SSTs work, but at really close range they seem to expand too fast and not penetrate as well.  At longer ranges they can leave huge holes (8"+ on a doe I shot).  Just my personal preference, but it really comes down to correct shot placement no matter what bullet you shoot.  

I have had great luck with just the simple BTSPs from Hornady.  But bonded bullets are great too.  Good accuracy and performance. 

Shoot a variety and see what shoots best for your gun.  Practice, practice, practice so you can put the bullet where you want it in the ranges and conditions you will encounter hunting.  If you do that, you will have meat in your freezer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 22:55
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Dyelynn, I believe Hornady also offers the superformance line with the 154gr Interbond bullet in addition to the SST.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2011 at 23:17
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

The Berger's will also expand violently and very quickly on game, probably even more violently than the SST's. I've taken game with both, and like SVT said, just put the bullet where it belongs, and you will have meat in the freezer. It's been my finding that the bonded, or solid copper bullets do less meat damage, and the lightly constructed bullets (Hornady SST, Nosler ballistic tip, Berger VLD, ect) tend to leave larger exit holes.........But all resulted in game on the ground when the bullet was put where it belongs. No bullet out there can make up for a bad shot, so I shoot what shoots good.


Trigger,

That is interesting about the Bergers exiting with a large hole.  I have seen a few Berger kills on elk over the last few years, including my bull from last season, and noticed the exits were kind of smaller than other bullets I've seen used, including Accubonds.  I have had quite a few larger exits with Accubonds.  The best part of the Bergers for me is that, like you said, they shoot good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 15:17
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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this is actually what i was trying to get at... or learn more about....

what's the difference between the bullets?
sst
gmx
vld
nosler partition
ballistic tip
ect.

i know that the differences are about how quickly the bullets expand and/or how much weight they retain through impact or whatever...  but which is better at what?  and why?  and why would that be better for big game or dangerous game, ect.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 16:06
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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maybe this is a better question, if you were going to choose 1 factory load to hunt black bear, black-tail deer, mule deer, and roosevelt elk for a 7mm rem mag, what would it be :p
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 16:25
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I know a lot of people don't see any benefit in using the premium bullets, and honestly I've only used premium bullets for hunting black bear and elk, but I figure I'd spend the extra few cents on tougher bullets.  The elk hunts and black bear hunts that I've been on have been pretty expensive, and it would suck to lose an animal for lack of a decent bullet.  The last black bear I shot was with my 270 and nosler accubonds.  They shot well and seemed to do the trick.  I like the results I've gotten with the accubonds, partitions, and TSX.   Although I probably wouldn't have noticed any difference if I had used regular cup and core bullets. Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 22:32
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Almost everything I have shot over the last several years was killed with a Barnes solid copper bullet usually one with a plastic tip that covers the hollowpoint design.  The Nosler Partition bullet is also a knowm performer as the bullet is designed like an H which helps the bullet to retain its weight and not fragment that carries the bullet deep through the animal  both of those bullet s will typically shoot entirely through large game and put them down HARD.
The new BARNES  LRX   145 gr 7mm bullet is what i would load
If you need already loaded cartridges
Black Hills Gold
7mm Remington Mag.
140 Gr. Barnes TSXThunbs Up
Velocity 3150 FPS
Energy 3084 Ft. Lbs.


162 Gr. Hornady A-MAX
Velocity 2950 FPS
Energy 3130 Ft. Lbs.


154 Gr. Hornady SST
Velocity 3000 FPS
Energy 3077 Ft. Lbs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 22:36
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I would also try the Winchester PowerMax it is a Bonded Bullet so should stay together very well and is reasonably priced for loaded ammo.
X7MMR1BPX7MMR1BP
SYMBOL OVERVIEW
Cartridge7MM Remington Mag
Bullet Wt. Grs.150
Bullet TypePower Max Bonded™
Barrel Length (in)
UseBig Game Thin Skin (Whitetail, Mule Deer, Antelope, Black Bear)Big Game Thick Skin (Elk, Moose, Caribou, Brown Bear)
VELOCITY IN FEET PER SECOND (fps)
Muzzle3090
1002844
2002612
3002391
4002181
5001981
ENERGY IN FOOT POUNDS (ft-lbs.)
Engmuz3180
1002694
2002272
3001904
4001584
5001307
TRAJECTORY (in.)
50-0.3
1000
200-2.8
300-10.7
400-24.7
TRAJECTORY LONG (in.)
1001.4
2000
300-6.6
400-19.1
500-39.1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2011 at 23:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 00:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 07:48
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  When in doubt.  Nosler Partition.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 12:12
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Just remember that until probably the last 15 years the premium bullets were not seen very often except for maybe the partition. People went around whacking all sorts of game with everyday silvertips and coreloct bullets from winchester and remington and seemed to do just fine. Actually I would say that 80% + of hunters in the field still do. Sometimes the gun rags and internet forums will have you beliving that elk and black bears are nearly bullet proof but that is not really the case and a hit in the vitals will pretty well do most North American game in pretty quick. The ammo companies do push the premium stuff because the profit margin is better and in some very small percentage of cases there is probably a marginal performance advantage with a premium bullet. Only you can put a price on that small advantage for your case. If I was wanting to use one bullet for everything in a 7 mag I would probably go with around a 160gr. bullet that grouped well in my rifle and change only if I was losing a lot of game that was hit well. Your 154gr may well be just fine for what you want. If you follow the info on the manufactures website like the Winchester CPX system you should be OK.

Edited by powderburn - August/03/2011 at 12:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2011 at 13:23
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As far as factory loads go, I have had pretty good luck with the winchester "supreme" lines.
 
For what you describe, within their lineup I might lean toward the 160g accubond CT , or the 160g XP3 (Supreme Elite).
 
I use their 150g ballistic silvertips in my .308 and they are very reliable and consistent.
 
I have the 200g accubonds for my .325 and so far they have been fine also (range only on those so far).  I would like to try the XP3 in this one, but haven't been able to get any yet.


Edited by Hatari - August/03/2011 at 13:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/2011 at 10:23
Dyelynn View Drop Down
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i stumbled across this description of different bullet terminology and a basic description of the technologies involved and found it very informative:
http://www.gotthardt.net/pix/hunting/BulletGuide.htm

para:

Quote The final of the basic three bullet descriptors is weight as expressed in grains; the higher the number, the heavier the bullet. If you grab a box of cartridges for your .30-06 off the shelf and the box reads 165-gr. BTSP, you're holding a box of shells that will shoot 165-grain boattail soft point bullets.

Though these are the basics of bullet construction, ammunition manufacturers often throw their own designs and abbreviations into the mix. The Nosler Ballistic Tip and Winchester Silvertip, for example, are both jacketed, pointed bullets with their own tip material. Whenever there is any doubt in your mind about selecting the correct ammunition for your firearm, be sure to ask a sales associate or customer service representative before you buy, as most ammunition points of sale do not accept returns.

Weight retention is key to efficient bullet performance, especially on big game, and ammunition makers have a number of ways to ensure optimal expansion without the bullet coming apart. Nosler's famous Partition® bullet is one example. A specially designed jacket tapers to a soft point that will "mushroom" on impact and allow the jacket to peel back. This increases both shock and the diameter of the wound channel. What makes the Nosler Partition® special is that the core is divided into two sections - a front section engineered for optimal expansion, and a rear section designed to hold together and use its mass to drive the projectile deeper into game.

Bonding is another method of keeping bullets together on impact. It's a process whereby the copper jacket is "bonded" to the core bullet material (usually lead) in order to prevent the core and jacket from separating. Bonded bullets are an excellent choice for big-game hunters and have delivered impressive results in the field. Among the popular brands of bonded bullets available are Federal's Trophy Bonded® Bear Claw and Fusion™, the Swift A-frame® and Sirocco®, Speer's Grand Slam®, Remington's Core-Lokt® Ultra, Nosler's Accubond™ and Hornady's Interbond™ to name a few.

The solid bullet is one that has no jacket and core, but is one kind of metal throughout. Technically, musket balls and lead conicals are solids because they are lead all the way through, but these days some hunters in pursuit of big and dangerous game often opt for something more modern. Barnes makes an excellent solid copper-alloy bullet that performs very well on big and nasty game animals. Solids are generally not intended to expand but instead to dedicate all of their energy to penetration of thick hide and bone. There are expandable "solids" in the Barnes X™ line of bullets, and they're engineered to open large wound channels without the possibility of jacket and core separation, because no jacket or core is involved in their construction.

There is truly no shortage of choices when it comes to the selection of modern bullets that rifle hunters have available. Trial and error at a rifle range will teach you which bullets shoot best from your gun. Remember, however, when it comes down to the shot at that trophy of a lifetime, shot-placement is every bit as critical as the kind of bullet you shoot.


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