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What Ammo to Hunt Deer. #7549210 07/05/19 03:28 PM
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Goodo Texas Boy Offline OP
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Hello,

I am preparing for my first deer hunt this year. I will hunt deer in Texas. I live in Houston. I recently purchase this rifle https://honeybadgerfirearms.com/product/savage-arms-11111-trophy-hunter-xp-308-win-41/.

I have been practicing target shooting at 100 yards with my 308 bolt action rifle with 168 grain Federal Premuinm Sierra Matchking https://www.federalpremium.com/products/rifle/gold-medal/gold-medal-sierra-matchking/gm308m. I like how accurate the ammo shoots and Savage Arms manufacture tested this ammo for accuracy.

Questions:

1. Can I effectively hunt deer with this ammo I been practicing with? My aim is to not injury the deer and have a quick ethical kill.

2. If not, what ammo do you recommend I consider for shooting deer?

Thank you kindly.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549228 07/05/19 03:40 PM
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You will likely get dozens of different recommendations. This topic or others like it have been discussed many times on this forum. In my opinion, you don't need a premium bullet to kill Texas deer under 200 yards. I would suggest any major brand 150 grain soft point for your .308. As always, bullet placement is the most important factor.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: papa45] #7549284 07/05/19 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by papa45
You will likely get dozens of different recommendations. This topic or others like it have been discussed many times on this forum. In my opinion, you don't need a premium bullet to kill Texas deer under 200 yards. I would suggest any major brand 150 grain soft point for your .308. As always, bullet placement is the most important factor.


Thank you papa45 for responding to me.

https://www.federalpremium.com/products/rifle/gold-medal/gold-medal-sierra-matchking/gm308m

Is this ammo soft point? How do I know if a bullet is soft point or not?

Thanks

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549305 07/05/19 05:19 PM
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Just pick a hunting bullet, and options are nearly endless. For the grandson’s 308 I load 150 gr SSTs. For the rest of my rifles I use Nosler Ballistic Tips or Sierra Gamekings. If you are getting good accuracy with the 165 gr Sierra Matchkings, just buy some 165 gr Gamekings. They should print in about the same place.


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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: 603Country] #7549322 07/05/19 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Just pick a hunting bullet, and options are nearly endless. For the grandson’s 308 I load 150 gr SSTs. For the rest of my rifles I use Nosler Ballistic Tips or Sierra Gamekings. If you are getting good accuracy with the 165 gr Sierra Matchkings, just buy some 165 gr Gamekings. They should print in about the same place.


Thank you 603Country,

What is the difference between Sierra Gamekings and Sierra Matchkings? Thanks

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549335 07/05/19 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Goodo Texas Boy

What is the difference between Sierra Gamekings and Sierra Matchkings? Thanks

MachKings are target ammo and won't expand on impact in a consistent manner. Gamekings are for hunting, and will expand fairly consistent. Should be a fine whitetail load for you.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: dkershen] #7549340 07/05/19 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dkershen
Originally Posted by Goodo Texas Boy

What is the difference between Sierra Gamekings and Sierra Matchkings? Thanks

MachKings are target ammo and won't expand on impact in a consistent manner. Gamekings are for hunting, and will expand fairly consistent. Should be a fine whitetail load for you.


This. The Gameking followed the Matchking design but is made with a softer core for expansion in game animals.

Last edited by Pappybear; 07/05/19 05:57 PM.

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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: dkershen] #7549351 07/05/19 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dkershen
Originally Posted by Goodo Texas Boy

What is the difference between Sierra Gamekings and Sierra Matchkings? Thanks

MachKings are target ammo and won't expand on impact in a consistent manner. Gamekings are for hunting, and will expand fairly consistent. Should be a fine whitetail load for you.

Thank you very much dkershen.

I will have to buy some 168g Gameking and see how well it shoots.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Pappybear] #7549352 07/05/19 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pappybear
Originally Posted by dkershen
Originally Posted by Goodo Texas Boy

What is the difference between Sierra Gamekings and Sierra Matchkings? Thanks

MachKings are target ammo and won't expand on impact in a consistent manner. Gamekings are for hunting, and will expand fairly consistent. Should be a fine whitetail load for you.


This. The Gameking followed the Matchking design but is made with a softer core for expansion in game animals.

Thank you Pappybear, I will try the Gameking

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549356 07/05/19 06:05 PM
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Since you've been shooting 168gr MK's I'd suggest trying the Federal premium 165gr game king ammo.
My .308 shoots them extremely well, yours might do well with them too.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549402 07/05/19 07:07 PM
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Once upon a time through a Remington 700VS .308 I shot three Federal Gold Medal 168 Grain Matchkings and three Federal Premium 165 Grain Gamekings at 100 yards.

That six shot group was under 3/4 inch. That is how close they are in accuracy.

The Gameking has much more consistent expansion and penetration on game.

Sierra does not recommend Matchkings for hunting applications. Use the Gamekings.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr


"Whitetail Deer are extinct because of rifles with telescopes mounted on them." - My 11th Grade English Teacher
Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549442 07/05/19 08:07 PM
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The only bullets I'd suggest steering away from are the Remington Core Lokt. I've seen and had several people experience those bullets not performing the way they ought to.

Nothing wrong with the Federal Power Shok 150gr or 180gr. I've killed just over 100 deer with these.

You can get fancy with the Hornady ELD-X 178gr. I've shot a few with these, they're violent, but don't leave as good as a blood trail.

Like it was said above, just pick a general hunting bullet to learn with and you can expand knowledge from there. Take your time and make sure your shot is good, a deer shot in an undesirable place is tough to track regardless of what bullet was used.

Good luck

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: TKandMike] #7549451 07/05/19 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TKandMike
The only bullets I'd suggest steering away from are the Remington Core Lokt. I've seen and had several people experience those bullets not performing the way they ought to.

Nothing wrong with the Federal Power Shok 150gr or 180gr. I've killed just over 100 deer with these.

You can get fancy with the Hornady ELD-X 178gr. I've shot a few with these, they're violent, but don't leave as good as a blood trail.

Like it was said above, just pick a general hunting bullet to learn with and you can expand knowledge from there. Take your time and make sure your shot is good, a deer shot in an undesirable place is tough to track regardless of what bullet was used.

Good luck

Thank you TKandMike,

Wow, you killed over a 100 deer? How did you manage to do this. I have never shot a deer before.

Thanks

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: LeonCarr] #7549454 07/05/19 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TKandMike
The only bullets I'd suggest steering away from are the Remington Core Lokt. I've seen and had several people experience those bullets not performing the way they ought to.

Nothing wrong with the Federal Power Shok 150gr or 180gr. I've killed just over 100 deer with these.

You can get fancy with the Hornady ELD-X 178gr. I've shot a few with these, they're violent, but don't leave as good as a blood trail.

Like it was said above, just pick a general hunting bullet to learn with and you can expand knowledge from there. Take your time and make sure your shot is good, a deer shot in an undesirable place is tough to track regardless of what bullet was used.

Good luck

Originally Posted by LeonCarr
Once upon a time through a Remington 700VS .308 I shot three Federal Gold Medal 168 Grain Matchkings and three Federal Premium 165 Grain Gamekings at 100 yards.

That six shot group was under 3/4 inch. That is how close they are in accuracy.

The Gameking has much more consistent expansion and penetration on game.

Sierra does not recommend Matchkings for hunting applications. Use the Gamekings.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Thank you very much LeonCarr for your input.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549493 07/05/19 09:04 PM
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Should not state this but I will. Have used Remington core-lokt for at least 30 years in 243 and 30-06 mainly and have had success with them. The only time there was a problem it was because of the shooter.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549537 07/05/19 10:15 PM
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A lot of people love em and a lot of people hate em, but coreloct has a good fan base.


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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549590 07/05/19 11:47 PM
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Core-lokt was all I used, and quite successfully until I started reloading. Never once had a complaint about the bullet.


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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549886 07/06/19 03:49 PM
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Just don’t use match ammo to hunt with and you’ll be fine

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549914 07/06/19 04:26 PM
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Deer die pretty easy compared to other animals and you will have more then enough power with your 308 and ammo listed. Accuracy is a lot more important then what brand of ammo you decide on. I personally feel the most important thing is to practice shooting in as close to reality of what you will encounter when hunting. That means shooting a cold barrel. A hot barrel will shoot different then a cold one, and siting your rifle in ounce it warms up will not reflect what it will do when you take that first shot out of a cold barrel when you see a deer.

I shoot once at the target and see where it hits. That first shot is the most important at the range. Then I wait ten minutes and take another shot. If they touch, I'm good . If it's off more then an inch and I feel that I didn't screw up the shot, I will wait another ten minutes or more and take a third shot. That will tell me if I'm in trouble or need to make some changes.

For my rifle, I've found that Federal Premium 165 grain bullets give me the best accuracy. Your rifle will be different then everyone elses, and the only way to learn what shoot best in your rifle is to buy a box of ammo and try it out. Then another and another, until you can get one inch groups.

Do not get caught up into the "whats best" and "what's newest" way thinking when reading and talking to others. The worse thing you can do is over think this. Find the right ammo and work on getting those one inch groups. That's all that matters. The killing part is easy ounce you can put the bullet where you want it.

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549917 07/06/19 04:37 PM
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Thank you all so much for helping me. I am now looking for SIERRA GAMEKING ammo for the deer hunt.

Questions:

1. Is this the GameKing ammo you perfer? https://www.federalpremium.com/prod...rifle/sierra-gameking-boat-tail-sp/p308c
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/3...r-165-grain-spitzer-boat-tail-box-of-100

2. What does BOAT-TAIL SP mean?

Thanks,



Last edited by Goodo Texas Boy; 07/06/19 05:03 PM.
Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7549975 07/06/19 05:54 PM
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That ammo should be perfect for you. “Boat tail” refers to the shape of the base of the bullet itself. Google up pictures of boat tail and flat base bullets and you’ll see the difference. The SP, as Sierra uses it, is for Soft Point.


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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: 603Country] #7549988 07/06/19 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
That ammo should be perfect for you. “Boat tail” refers to the shape of the base of the bullet itself. Google up pictures of boat tail and flat base bullets and you’ll see the difference. The SP, as Sierra uses it, is for Soft Point.

Thank you 603Country,

Can I use SIERRA GAMEKING ammo for hogs as well?

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: EddieWalker] #7550169 07/06/19 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
Deer die pretty easy compared to other animals and you will have more then enough power with your 308 and ammo listed. Accuracy is a lot more important then what brand of ammo you decide on. I personally feel the most important thing is to practice shooting in as close to reality of what you will encounter when hunting. That means shooting a cold barrel. A hot barrel will shoot different then a cold one, and siting your rifle in ounce it warms up will not reflect what it will do when you take that first shot out of a cold barrel when you see a deer.

I shoot once at the target and see where it hits. That first shot is the most important at the range. Then I wait ten minutes and take another shot. If they touch, I'm good . If it's off more then an inch and I feel that I didn't screw up the shot, I will wait another ten minutes or more and take a third shot. That will tell me if I'm in trouble or need to make some changes.

For my rifle, I've found that Federal Premium 165 grain bullets give me the best accuracy. Your rifle will be different then everyone elses, and the only way to learn what shoot best in your rifle is to buy a box of ammo and try it out. Then another and another, until you can get one inch groups.

Do not get caught up into the "whats best" and "what's newest" way thinking when reading and talking to others. The worse thing you can do is over think this. Find the right ammo and work on getting those one inch groups. That's all that matters. The killing part is easy ounce you can put the bullet where you want it.





Thank you so much EddieWalker. I really appreciate the simple approach and what I should be focusing on. I will use your advice of waiting for 10 minutes wait time before shooting.

My plan is the following:

1. Buy 1 box Serria Match King 165g https://www.federalpremium.com/prod...rifle/sierra-gameking-boat-tail-sp/p308c
2. Sight in at 100 yards
3. Test for accuarcy
4. stop or repeat again for another ammo.

I hope Match King solves it for me.

BUT, I am now dedicated to practicing once a week or twice a month to improve my accuracy and as you said focus on accurate shooting for an ethical shot placement.

Thank you,

Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7550188 07/06/19 11:24 PM
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The most important thing is to get out there and do it. So don't worry too much about gear. My stepbrother killed deer and pigs with stepdad's .222 regularly when I was growing up. I think any .308 load will do, as long as your rifle is sighted in with that load.

Don't get too bent around the axle over gear and loads and etc. You could be in your 30's bu the time you get into the deer woods!

I only ever killed one deer in my life. Used a .243 i picked up super cheap (like $180 plus tax), a $30 tasco scope, and a box of perfecta soft points. Cheapest ammo in the store. Shot him in the base of the neck and he collapsed where he stood.

I think you are on the right track searching the web though. It helped me a lot being in the same shoes you are in right now. You are doing it right by getting started early and getting practice before the season starts.

You have a good rifle. You dont need to find the best or most accurate load to kill anything, but it also doesn't hurt. Just keep those targets from the ones your rifle likes from target practice and lable them. That way instead of dropping $100 on ammo and shooting your rifle till it is too hot to group, you can work your way up to it gradually a range session and a box of shells at a time. Confirm your zero with the same box of shells you hunt with because factory ammo may shoot a little different one box to the next.

Good luck my man I can't wait to see pictures of those deer and pigs you kill.


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Re: What Ammo to Hunt Deer. [Re: Goodo Texas Boy] #7550211 07/07/19 12:00 AM
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Whitetail deer are not exactly known for being tough to kill. Just make sure it's a bullet designed for hunting medium sized game and not for target or military use.


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