View Full Version : Hornady bullets for deer
I would like to know peoples opinion of two Hornady bullets for deer. I live in southern OK and our deer seldom exceed 150 lbs live weight. I have used the 55 gr. Rem PSP bullet with great success on our deer, but due to recent price changes and lack of supply on these in bulk form I recently purchased around 500 rds of the Hornady 55 gr.SP bullets. These seem like they may work very well and I can get them in bulk from several places even cheaper than the Rems. My question is can I expect about the same terminal effects as I was getting from the Rem's? I also recently acquired around 150 rds of Hornady 55gr. VMAX bullets and am wondering about the terminal ballistics on these for deer as well. I am only looking for peoples experiences that have actually used these on deer.
You might not get too many comments. I know for instance that the VMax was intended as a varmint bullet, so I would not use it and I have killed a few deer over 35 years of hunting them. I shot a 40 grain VMax at 3500 FPS or so into a 16 ounce water Bottle at 50 yards, I could not find where the bullet hit the backstop. I load them for home defense because they don't penetrate sheet rock too many layers.
I shoot 250 live weight Whitetails with PPU 75gr match and they go 50yards and die with lung shots. I have some great closeup photos of the wounds but dont know how to post them.
I have shot a number of deer with Hornady 55gr JSP, 60gr JSP, and the 60gr Nosler Partition. All did the job with good hits, but there were various delays in effect. The Nosler was the best of the bunch and I liked it very much for a variety of uses.
If I were intentionally hunting deer with a .223 or 5.56, I would use a heavier bullet with consistent penetration to vitals with reliable expansion/deformation.
The VMAX is a varmint bullet. Superbly accurate well-loaded, but a shallow penetrator.
Vmax is a no-go on deer for me. Too shallow penetration. The Hornady SP should perform very similar to the Remington SP. They should work fairly well.
Nothing really works better than a Barnes TSX, but they do cost more. We shoot critters as big as caribou with them up here and they are deadly. Expensive, but how many do you need? A box of 50 will do all my hunting for a year and sight-in at the beginning of season. I prefer the 70 grain ones, but 55's seem to work well too. 70 grainers need a minimum of a 1in8 twist.
I killed a deer two years ago with a Hornady 55gr soft point out of a 16inch barreled AR. Quartering towards shot, went in in front of her left shoulder, exited behind her right shoulder. Found some bullet fragments under the offside hide.
She dropped where she stood.
I would not use a V-Max bullet on deer. Their jackets are thin to initiate violent expansion in varmints. I have shot several coyotes with the 50gr V-Max out of a 220 Swift (4030 fps at the muzzle). Some exited with spectacular destruction. Some hit bone on the way in and didn't exit at all.
Deer are too heavy to use V-Max bullets on. If you hit a thick rib or shoulder on the entry, the bullet could come apart before it gets to the vitals. Leaving a deer with a nasty surface wound.
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