This was my 3rd season gun hunting,and managed to shoot my 1st buck($.50 cent piece) with one side of rack broke off . I'm shooting a Savage 30.06 w/165gr hornady sst's. My shot was a 125 yrds, deer fell over upon impact. So I get up to my deer and am dumbfounded to find no blood at all,or any entrance wound...?After making for sure deer is dead,rolled him over and to much surprise a few "specks" of blood and had to search hard to find exit wound....I haven't been hunting very long at all but just wondering if anyone else has witnessed anything like this at all?
Dead deer,no blood...?
Most of what you pay for in higher end ammo is CONSISTENCY...CoreLokts will work fine at closer ranges (ie inside 150-200 yards), but in my experience, the velocity standard deviation with them will really open up groups at longer ranges. But for the guy that hunts in the woods, swamp, etc and doesn't take long shots, they work perfect on deer. The stand I hunt during rifle season has the potential of yielding a 300+ yard shot...most are 150-250, but I still shoot and use ammo that will perform at 300+ in case it is needed. Cheap ammo has its place and uses, but long range shooting is not one in my experience. YMMV. Now, cue the guy whose "uncle's, friend's, brother's, cousin shot a deer running at 800 yards with a single 180 gr. CoreLokt off-hand in a blizzard"...
On the core-lokt comments.....great bullet for whitetail. Most of the "cheaper" shells (core lokt, hornady american whitetail, etc.) are great for whitetail because they literally explode on impact. Many people pay extra for expensive bullet and weight retention which are intended for much larger game animals. For cape buffalo they are fine, but whitetail are not very large game animals.
Have to admit I'm laughing about the cheap bullet comment I made. Didn't realize it would bug people, but I guess what else is new. Cheap is what you make of it, its a word. The way I meant it is that before I had any idea of what different bullets did, I bought whatever was cheap and had no clue what type of bullet it was. Much like many of the gun hunters out there believe it or not. Just start talking at the range before the season. Funny thing is I never said I lost a deer, just had some bullets blow up at close range. Still got the deer, but the bullets definitely blew up.
The way I look at it, a box of bullets will last a long time unless you are one of those guys that shoots like crazy. Understanding the situation and going with what is best makes more sense to me because the cost difference is minuscule when you break it down on a yearly basis. 1 shot to check that its on, 1 to shoot a deer. May cost an extra $ or two for that year. That's really the main point I was trying to make. I used to not care but I like to learn in life and when I learned more about different bullets it made more sense to me to change to what fit my gun better. I didn't shoot more deer because of it, but why not learn and improve? I know some people don't care though and that's fine too, to each their own.
I have seen a similar thing happen with a broadside forward low neck shot a friends dad made. Took us a long time to find the deer in some thick stuff finding only finding pin drops of blood at impact and just getting lucky and walking a deer trail the doe had crashed on.
Shot put a golf ball sized hole through both sides of the neck cutting the wind pipe but all the blood drained into the chest as the deer was running. It probably made it 75 yards if I remember right. The only good blood was within 5 yards of where it fell.
On a side note people can call them cheap all they want but the $19.99 a box Remington Corelokt 150 gr for my 30-06 have done nothing but kill deer. When they don't fall right away there is a 6' wide path of spray to follow right up to them.
I shoot those same 165 gr. SST loads in my Remington 700 Mountain Rifle. I used to shoot the 150 gr. SST, but had a 'phantom kill' of my own in 2014 on the whitetail buck below. I shot him at 225 yards, hit him high shoulder and he never moved. Looked like someone swept his feet out from under him. Zero blood. Didn't find the entrance hole until we skinned him the next day and only found lead dust and small chunks of copper in the wound channel. I thought to myself, had he ran after the shot, would we have been able to recover him without snow on the ground? I decided at that point to switch to the 165 gr. SST.
The 165 SST is the optimal .30-06 bullet in my opinion and experience and here is why. The problem with the 150 gr. SST is it has a muzzle velocity of nearly 3100 fps (3090 or something similar IIRC). So, a light-for-caliber bullet going VERY fast-for-caliber, which is the recipe they use for varmint bullets to preserve pelts. Small entrance hole, bullet grenades, no exit hole and the pelt is worth more money. The problem is that recipe that works so well on coyotes can be (usually is) a recipe for disaster on big game. A coyote's body is 6" deep, deer (one of the smallest of the big game species) are about twice that. So...why the 165 SST? You are getting STANDARD 150 grain ballistics (from non-Superformance ammo, standard .30-06 150 gr. bullets are generally around 2900 fps) with the mass, penetration and improved ballistic coefficient of the 165 gr. STT bullet (muzzle velocity of 2960 and BC of .447) while still getting the 'shock factor' of the SST tip. The 165 gr. SST has been a GREAT penetrator on the deer I've shot with it. The mule deer below was shot in Montana last fall at a ranged 376 yards. He was walking up the other side of a canyon in the Missouri Breaks at a hard quartering-away angle. I hit him about 4" in front of his right rear ham and found the bullet perfectly mushroomed against the leg bone in his front left shoulder. He did not drop on the spot, but only ran about 50 yards and I watched him fall. Good blood trail and the retained bullet weight was 136 grains AFTER it went through about 35" of animal. Another great thing about them is they shoot 5/8 - 3/4" groups in my rifle at 100 yards.
I am also a firm believer in matching the bullet I use to the situation. If I am hunting in the woods, I tend to use heavier, sturdier bullets. Shots are closer and those bullets seem to hold together better. When I am hunting open country, a flatter-shooting bullet will generally perform better. My Wisconsin gun buck from this year I shot at 250 yards with my .270 Win. using a 140 gr. Hornady American Whitetail Interlock. Shot through a shoulder going in (quartering towards me) and came out just behind the off-side shoulder. Again, those shoot well in that rifle and I know those Interlock bullets will hold together, even at close range. So, to answer your question, yes the 165 SST Superformance bullets are a good bullet, but may not be the RIGHT bullet if you shoot a lot of deer at close range. They would be a no-go for anything larger than a mule deer for me as well. There are better bullets for that application, like the GMX, AccuBond, Trophy Copper, etc. If you will be shooting a lot of deer inside 100-125 yards, I would use a standard cup-and-core bullet that is heavy-for-caliber and skip the ballistic tip. I like two holes in deer whenever possible. The ballistic tips generally make for more violent expansion and decrease the chance of a bullet passing through the animal. Just my $.02, and sorry, no refunds.
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A lot of people seem to be saying expensive bullets are "better". Well, the construction of bullet is more important to performance than price.
Say you are shooting your .30/06 at something 20 yards away. You need a heavy bullet that won't explode when it hits. Something like a 220gn. round nose bullet might be ideal. You wouldn't want a 160gn. Spitzer at twenty yards, the Spitzer is designed to provide optimal expansion at 150-250 yards. Of course it will blow up at twenty yards.
Conversely, you wouldn't want a 220gn round nose at 250 yards.
The closest thing to an all-range bullet available is the Nosler Partition. It has a the soft nose of a Spitzer but the core can't separate. Noslers ain't inexpensive.
I have never lost a deer shot with my .308 and green box Remingtons . Heart Lung shots , straight on neck shots . Anywhere from 15 to 150 yards .
Shot a big doe back in 02. Tracked it down to a creek where she bedded down. I must have jumped her, and then I lost the trail in a bunch of other track. she bedded down and there was a slight smudge of blood. I followed the best trail I could and it went back the exact way she went. Providence . I walked back down the same trail back . She returned to her backtrail and I found her. It was a gut shot and the fat plugged up the hole