Which Bullet For Deer?

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Cooper BackCountry Rifle
Cooper BackCountry Rifle

Q: I have enjoyed your Ask The Gun editor column and articles for many years. Keep up the good work. I have a Cooper Back Country rifle in 7mm Rem. Mag. and want some information about factory loads for a deer and Tahr hunt in N.Z in 2018. I mostly hunt sambar and fallow and don't reload. I'm looking for a scope, would a 2-10x42 or a Leupold 2.5-8x36 be a good choice? What would you suggest I try in factory ammo with 150-160gn projectiles for the best results? How would you rate the Hornady SST, Barnes TSX BT, Remington AccuTip BT and the various Winchester loads?
Gavin Ray

Hornady Superformance 139gn GMX
Hornady Superformance 139gn GMX

A: A good factory load for the 7mm Rem. Mag. for deer is the Hornady Superformance load which drives the 139gn GMX bullet at 3190fps. That's a flat-shooting, hard-hitting load judged by any standard, My own choice of scope would be the Leupold 2.5-8x36 which is compact and has plenty of magnification for big game. For larger deer such as sambar, I'd choose a 160gn bullet like the Remington AccuTip or Nosler AccuBond. Winchester ammo for the 7mm Rem. Mag. lists the Barnes 140gn TSX and the 160gn ABCT - both renowned for giving deep penetration. Good luck on your New Zealand hunt.

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