How to pick the best ammo for every big-game species



Many hunters find the array of bullets available to be even more confusing than cartridge choices. Before deciding on the best bullet for the job, ask yourself what exactly you expect your bullet to do. It can be boiled down to travelling accurately to the target; penetrating through skin, bone and muscle tissue to reach the vital organs; and expanding reliably, but not to the point that penetration is compromised.


Accuracy is a product of a consistently well-made bullet that your rifle shoots well. For reasons that are difficult to understand, some rifles are suited to a particular brand or style of bullet more than others, and you must experiment to learn which ones your rifle digests best. How accurate do you need your bullet to be? We’d all like sub-MOA accuracy, but if you can consistently put a bullet into a two-inch circle at 100 yards, it will land inside a six-inch circle at 300 yards. That means it will be no farther than three inches from your aiming point, and that’s a killing shot on deer-sized or larger animals.

Penetration and expansion are whole other issues, and that’s where the confusion often lies. So, let’s examine the types of available hunting bullets.