Home Hunting Deer Hunting The Best Bullets for Big-Game Hunting

The Best Bullets for Big-Game Hunting

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Bullets and broadheads… Perhaps no other pieces of hunting gear have created more discussion, with seemingly everyone having their own opinion on the matter. Sure, hunters owe it to themselves (and the game they hunt) to use the best-performing projectile. But what must be ackhowledged is the fact that no single bullet is best — you’ll want to match to specific game animals and types of hunting. For example, a rapidly expanding bullet is ideal for deer-size game, yet not recommended for larger species like elk, moose, and bear. Which types of bullet material is best? Lead, copper, copper jacketed, or full metal jacket? Is it best for a bullet to travel through an animal or expend its total energy inside? Each type of performance has its strengths, writes Chuck Hawks, editor of Guns and Shooting Online:

CO Rifle Elk 2011 103A good bullet for most game, such as deer, goats, antelope and sheep, should optimally expand to approximately twice its original diameter and create a wide wound channel that destroys the maximum amount of tissue on its way through the animal’s lungs. A bullet that fragments inside the vitals and scatters bits of lead and jacket material all through the animal’s heart/lung area will kill quicker than one which creates a long, narrow wound channel through the lungs and exits the far side. But the bullet must not fragment before reaching the vitals, which is why varmint bullets are not suitable for shooting even the smaller species of big game. For light framed animals, a quick expanding bullet that dumps the maximum amount of energy into the heart/lung area usually gives the quickest kills.

Hawkes does an excellent job of discussing nearly every brand of bullet sold in America and the benefits of each. Read his full report.