hunters carrying dead turkeys on their backs

Big Green Blog

How To: Choosing a Rifle Hunting Bullet

9.19.2022 | By Remington Contributor

With so many options available, picking the right bullet for the right hunt can seem complicated. Coyotes or caribou, every hunt needs the right bullet for the job. While some bullets work better in more situations than others, there’s no one-size-fits-all hunting bullet. Each kind of projectile is suited for different kind of hunts. Here are some options for your next trip afield.

Varmints – Prairie dogs, coyotes, rabbits, ground squirrels, woodchucks

  • Small game and varmints call for frangible bullets with hollow points or tips that quickly sheer off and transfer force on impact, fragmenting fast and dumping energy onto the target. Pass-through shots, or deep penetration, isn’t necessary on smaller game and varmints. Frangible bullets also help keep pelt damage to a minimum.
  • Bullets: Remington Premier Accutip-V, Nosler Ballistic Tip, Hornady V-Max, Speer TNT Green

Smaller Big Game – White-tail deer, mule deer, wild sheep, goats, caribou, small African game

  • Smaller and thinner-skinned big game like whitetail deer and similar sized critters can be taken down with classic cup-and-core bullets like Core-Lokt, more robust bonded bullets, or even monolithic bullets made from 100% copper or an alloy. For longer shots when hunting at elevation, consider tipped bullets with a higher ballistic coefficient.
  • Bullets: Remington Core-Lokt, Federal Power-Shok, Remington Core-Lokt Tipped, Berger Hybrid Hunter

Bigger Big Game – Feral hogs, elk, bear, moose, larger African game

  • Bigger, tougher animals with thicker skin call for bonded or monolithic bullets. Select a bullet that can penetrate deep and make it through barriers like bone or heavy muscle to get to the vital zone. While cup-and-core bullets might work with good shot placement, don’t chance an important shot. Select a tougher bullet.
  • Bullets: Remington Hypersonic Bonded, Nosler Accubond, Federal Trophy Copper, Speer Impact

Dangerous Game – Big cats, cape buffalo, the biggest animals

  • If you could end up as dinner instead of your quarry, pick the biggest, baddest and heaviest bullets you can find. The best bet is solid core projectiles or extremely robust monolithic bullets that are designed to create the deepest possible wound channel.
  • Bullets: Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, Swift A-Frame, Barnes TSX

Once you’ve picked a general category of bullet, try a few options in your rifle to see how each performs for you. Choose the right hunting bullet and you’ll enjoy years of success in the field.

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