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Best Bullets for Deer

Here are 4 great bullet choices. I’ve killed a bunch of whitetails and mule deer with each of them and recommend them without reservation.

Trophy Bonded Bear Claw

Weights for Deer:
140-grain .270; 165- and 180-grain 30 caliber.

Comments: Copper jacket and lead core with fusion bonding for controlled expansion and intense penetration. The 130-grain .270 TBBC blew right through the first buck I shot with it years ago; the deer ran 70 yards and left a gushing blood trail that any nimrod could follow. When I gutted the deer I found the lungs destroyed, which meant the bullet had expanded well inside the animal before exiting. I’ve had similar results on the other deer I’ve shot with the TBBC. I love those blood trails, something you sometimes don’t get with a more rapidly expanding bullet that stays inside a deer.  

Remington Core-Lokt

Weights for Deer:
Thirty-plus pointed soft-point bullets in Remington factory ammo line, from 100-grain .243 to 165-grain .30-06.

Comments: The original controlled expansion bullet, it has killed as many deer as any other pill over the past 50 years. Copper jacket is locked to the lead core (hence Core-Lokt). Great all-around bullet: accurate, fabulous mushrooms, good weight retention. I’ve used it on and off for years, and quite a bit recently with the 7mm Rem. Ultra Mag. (RUM). Knock on wood, I’ve killed eight deer with eight 140-grain Ultra Core-Lokts; farthest a buck has gone was 70 yards. Awesome.

Sierra GameKing BTSP

Weights for Deer: 100-grain .243; 117-grain .25-06; 130-grain and 150-grain .270; 150- and 165-grain .30-06; 165-grain .308.

Comments: Tapered bullet with boat-tail base has been popular with hunters for years, especially Westerners who get the long shots. Accurate bullet that by design has reduced drag and wind drift than similar-weight pills. Impressive downrange velocity and game-thumping power, too. On a Wyoming or Montana mule deer/whitetail hunt, I regularly use .270 Federal Vital-Shok with 130-grain Gameking, or .30-06 Vital-Shok with 165-grainer.

Nosler Ballistic Tip

Weights for Deer: 130-, 140- and 150-grain .270; 150-, 165-, 180-grain 30 caliber; 140- and 150-grain 7mm.

Comments: One of first bullets to use polycarbonate tip to initiate expansion; fully tapered jacket with lead alloy core. I remember first of many bucks I’ve shot with the Spitzer Ballistic Tip, a rutting 8-pointer in Alabama at 120 yards. When the 130-grain bullet struck, he shook violently, jumped 20 yards and fell. Bullets hit hard, kill fast.


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