As hunters, we argue about cartridges more than just about anything, when we really ought to be debating bullets. After all, a cartridge is just a launching engine; the projectile itself is the solitary connecting element between us and our target.
We demand that said bullet be accurate, that it slip between air molecules with the greatest of friction-free ease, and that on impact it provides clean-killing terminal performance. All this after being accelerated from a static position instantly to around 2,000 mph, simultaneously spun up from a standstill to around 3,000 rpm, and blown out the end of a gun barrel shuddering with vibration as it contains some 60,000 psi worth of controlled explosion.
It’s a lot to ask. Thankfully, a double handful of superb hunting bullets perform yeoman’s duty in the field, predictably doing their job year in and year out. And they’re only getting better, as modern manufacturing methods and design parameters continually improve.
Whatever your philosophy, there’s a capable deer bullet that fits your needs. Without further ado, in no particular order, here’s a look at a handful of the finest available today.
Featuring ultra-modern design, this high-ballistic coefficient (BC) bullet shrugs off air friction, thereby maintaining maximum expansion-inducing and energy-packing velocity as far as you care to shoot. It tends to be superbly accurate out of a broad spectrum of rifles and cartridges. Expansion on impact is invariable massive, wreaking havoc on vitals. To achieve best-possible BCs these bullets tend to be heavy for caliber, which provides plenty of mass and momentum for raking shot presentations. There are those that believe the ELD-X is the single most versatile deer bullet on the market. And it’s available in multiple versions for just about every logical deer caliber in America. Hornady and Black Hills load factory ammo.
Nosler Ballistic Tip
“If your deer rifle won’t shoot a Ballistic Tip accurately,” stated one savant, “you may as well sell it ’cause it probably won’t shoot anything well.” Although it was the first of all the modern polymer-tipped, boat-tailed hunting bullets, it’s still one of the very best. This bullet is known for easy accuracy and for prodigious wound channels. Drive a light-for-caliber version fast for maximum hydrostatic shock or a heavy-for-caliber version for a large, full-penetration wound channel. It’s available in excellent factory ammo by Nosler, and Winchester loads the Combined Technologies version.