Factory Loads for Deer Hunting

By Chuck Hawks


Not every hunter shoots factory loads, but many do. And even reloaders sometimes need to buy factory loaded ammunition. Listed below are, in my opinion, well proven deer loads for most popular calibers. These are the factory loads that I would be most likely to use myself. Hunters in other parts of the world will find these loads satisfactory for their CXP2 class game as well.

Not every caliber is listed, of course, but if you shoot an unlisted caliber there will probably be a listed caliber that is similar ballistically. Use that as a guide. For some calibers the problem is not selection, it is finding ammunition. For others ammunition is widely distributed, but is produced in a single load by only one manufacturer. I have generally omitted such calibers.

Nor are all manufacturers listed. I have tried to include factory loads for each caliber that are effective, reasonably popular and widely distributed. In the most cases that means loads from Federal, Hornady, Remington, Weatherby, and Winchester. For some, mainly European, calibers Kynoch, Norma and Sellier & Bellot loads have also been listed. Although not included here, these brands are also available in most of the popular U.S. calibers. So not every brand, and certainly not every load, is represented for every caliber. Just because a particular load is not included does not mean that it is no good.

In most calibers I have chosen one or two loads from each of the major manufacturers in the bullet weight(s) I prefer. I tend to favor standard loads over premium loads, because in my experience they are often as good or better for killing deer.

All of these recommendations are based on a solid hit in the heart/lung area. Many bullets that are perfectly adequate with proper bullet placement are inadequate with poor bullet placement. That is not a bullet problem, it is shooter error. Remember that bullet placement is the primary factory in killing power. If you are not certain that you can kill a deer with your first shot, don't shoot! Wait for a better chance. Good things come to those who are patient.

Recommended reading for those interested in a more in-depth look at hunting bullets are my articles "Bullets for Big Game Hunting" and "The Killing Power of Big Game bullets." Both articles may be found on the Rifle Information Page.

  • .243 Winchester: Federal 100 grain Soft Point, Federal 100 grain Sierra GameKing, Hornady 85 grain IB LM, Hornady 95 grain SST, Hornady 95 grain SST LM, Hornady 100 grain BTSP, Hornady 100 grain BTSP LM, Remington 95 grain Accu-Tip, Remington 100 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 95 grain Ballistic Silvertip, Winchester 100 grain Power Point.
  • 6mm Remington: Federal 100 grain Soft Point, Hornady 95 grain SST, Hornady 100 grain BTSP, Hornady 100 grain BTSP LM, Remington 100 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 100 grain Power Point.
  • .240 Weatherby Magnum: Weatherby 100 grain Hornady SP, Weatherby 100 grain Nosler Partition.
  • .250-3000 Savage: Remington 100 grain PSP, Winchester 100 grain Silvertip.
  • .257 Roberts: Hornady 117 grain BTSP, Hornady 117 grain SST LM, Winchester 117 grain Power Point +P
  • .25-06 Remington: Federal 117 grain Speer Hot-Cor, Hornady 117 grain BTSP, Hornady 117 grain BTSP LM, Hornady 117 grain SST, Remington 120 grain Core-Lokt PSP.
  • .257 Weatherby Magnum: Weatherby 115 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Weatherby 115 grain Barnes-X, Weatherby 120 grain Nosler Partition.
  • 6.5x52 Carcano: Norma 156 grain Alaska, Sellier & Bellot 117 grain Soft Point.
  • 6.5x55 SE: Federal 140 grain Soft Point, Hornady 140 grain SP, Norma 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Norma 140 grain Nosler Partition, Sellier & Bellot 140 grain Soft Point, Sellier & Bellot 140 grain Sierra GameKing.
  • .260 Remington: Federal 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Federal 140 grain Sierra GameKing, Remington 120 grain AccuTip, Remington 140 grain Core-Lokt PSP.
  • .264 Winchester Magnum: Remington 140 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 140 grain Power Point.
  • .270 Winchester: Federal 130 grain Soft Point, Federal 130 grain Sierra GameKing, Federal 145 grain Low Recoil, Hornady 130 grain IB, Hornady 130 grain IB LM, Hornady 130 grain SP, Hornady 130 grain BTSP, Hornady 130 grain SST, Remington 115 grain Managed Recoil, Remington 130 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Remington 130 grain AccuTip, Winchester 130 grain Power Point, Winchester 130 grain Silvertip.
  • .270 WSM: Federal 130 grain Soft Point, Norma 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • .270 Weatherby Magnum: Federal 130 grain Nosler Solid Base, Weatherby 130 grain Hornady SP, Weatherby 150 grain Hornady SP.
  • 7x57 Mauser: Federal 140 grain Speer Hot-Cor, Hornady 139 grain SP, Hornady 139 grain SST LM, Remington 140 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Sellier & Bellot 139 grain Soft Point, Winchester 145 grain Power Point.
  • 7x57R: Norma 156 grain Oryx, Sellier & Bellot 139 grain Soft Point.
  • 7mm-08 Remington: Federal 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Hornady 139 grain SP LM, Hornady 139 grain SST, Hornady 139 grain SST LM, Remington 140 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 140 grain Power Point.
  • 7x64 Brenneke: Norma 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Sellier & Bellot 139 grain Soft Point.
  • 7x65R: Norma 156 grain Oryx, Sellier & Bellot 139 grain Soft Point.
  • .280 Remington: Federal 140 grain Speer Hot-Cor, Hornady 139 grain SST, Hornady 139 grain SST LM, Remington 140 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 140 grain Ballistic Silvertip.
  • 7mm WSM: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • 7mm Remington Magnum: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Federal 150 grain Sierra GameKing, Hornady 139 grain BTSP, Hornady 139 grain IB, Hornady 139 grain SST HM, Hornady 154 grain SP, Remington 140 grain Managed Recoil, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Remington 150 grain AccuTip, Winchester 150 grain Ballistic Silvertip, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • 7mm STW: Federal 150 grain Nosler Solid Base, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • 7mm Weatherby Magnum: Federal 150 grain Nosler Solid Base, Hornady 154 grain InterBond, Weatherby 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Weatherby 154 grain Hornady SP.
  • .30-30 Winchester: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Federal 150 grain Speer Grand Slam, Hornady 150 grain RN, Hornady 160 grain LEVERevolution, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt SP, Winchester 150 grain Power Point Plus, Winchester 150 grain Power Point, Winchester 150 grain Silvertip.
  • .300 Savage: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • .30-40 Krag: Remington 180 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 180 grain Power Point.
  • .308 Marlin Express: Hornady 160 grain LEVERevolution.
  • .30 T/C: Hornady 150 grain SS.
  • .308 Winchester: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Federal 150 grain Speer Grand Slam, Federal Low Recoil 170 grain, Hornady 150 grain BTSP, Hornady 150 grain SST, Hornady 150 grain IB, Remington 125 grain Managed Recoil, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 150 grain Power Point, Winchester 150 grain Ballistic Silvertip.
  • .30-06 Springfield: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Federal 150 grain Sierra GameKing, Federal 170 grain Low Recoil, Hornady 150 grain SP, Hornady 150 grain BTSP, Hornady 150 grain SST, Hornady 150 grain IB, Remington 125 grain Managed Recoil, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Remington 150 grain AccuTip, Winchester 150 grain Power Point, Winchester 150 grain Silvertip.
  • .300 RCM: Hornady 150 grain SST.
  • .300 Rem. SAUM: Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP.
  • .300 WSM: Federal 150 grain Nosler BT, Norma 150 grain Barnes TSX, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • .300 Winchester Magnum: Federal 150 grain Sierra Pro Hunter, Hornady 150 grain IB, Hornady 150 grain SST, Hornady 150 grain BTSP, Norma 150 brain Nosler BT, Remington 150 grain Managed Recoil, Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Winchester 150 grain Power Point.
  • .300 H&H Magnum: Federal 180 grain Nosler Partition, Kynoch 180 grain Soft Nose.
  • .300 Weatherby Magnum: Federal 180 grain Nosler Solid Base, Hornady 150 grain SST, Hornady 150 grain IB, Remington 180 grain Core-Lokt PSP, Weatherby 150 grain Hornady SP, Weatherby 150 grain Nosler Partition.
  • 7.62x54R Russian: Norma 180 grain Soft Point, Sellier & Bellot 180 grain Soft Point.
  • .303 British: Federal 150 grain Soft Point, Hornady 150 grain SP, Norma 150 grain Soft Point, Sellier & Bellot 150 grain Soft Point.
  • .32 Winchester Special: Federal 170 grain Soft Point, Hornady 165 grain LEVERevolution, Remington 170 grain Core-Lokt SP, Winchester 170 grain Power Point.
  • 8x57 Mauser: Federal 170 grain Soft Point, PMC 170 grain PSP, Remington 170 grain Core-Lokt SP, Winchester 170 grain Power Point.
  • .338 Federal: Federal 180 grain Nosler AccuBond, Federal/Fusion 200 grain.
  • .338-06 A-Square: A-Square 200 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, Weatherby 210 grain Nosler Partition.
  • .357 Magnum: Federal 180 grain Hollow Point, Hornady 140 grain LEVERevolution, Hornady 158 grain JHP/XTP, Remington 165 grain Core-Lokt JHP, Winchester 158 grain JSP, Winchester 180 Grain Partition Gold.
  • .35 Remington: Federal 200 grain Soft Point RN, Hornady 200 grain LEVERevolution, Remington 200 grain Core-Lokt SP, Winchester 200 grain Power Point.
  • .356 Winchester: Winchester 200 grain Power Point.
  • .358 Winchester: Winchester 200 grain Power Point.
  • .375 Winchester: Winchester 200 grain Power Point.
  • .38-55 Winchester: Winchester 255 grain Soft Point.
  • .405 Winchester: Hornady 300 grain SP, Hornady 300 grain FP, Kynoch 300 grain Soft Nose.
  • .44 Remington Magnum: Federal 240 grain Hollow Point, Hornady 225 grain LEVERevolution, Remington 240 grain Soft Point, Winchester 240 grain Hollow Soft Point.
  • .444 Marlin: Hornady 265 grain FP LM, Hornady 265 grain LEVERevolution, Remington 240 grain Soft Point.
  • .450 Bushmaster: Hornady 250 grain LEVERevolution.
  • .45-70 Government: Federal 300 grain Speer Hot-Cor SP, Hornady 325 grain LEVERevolution; Remington 300 grain JHP, Winchester 300 grain JHP.



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Copyright 2004, 2008 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.



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