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Thread: The Best bullet for Roe Deer

  1. #1

    The Best bullet for Roe Deer

    I am new to this forum and would welcome some advice.

    I use a .243 with 100gn RWS T Mantle soft point bullets. Very accurate, but of the four bucks I have shot this year - all within 100yds, and all just behind the leg shoulder shots 1/3 of the way up, only one fell over where it was shot. My last buck, admittadely slightly quartering away was shot through both lungs, the heart and the shoulder, but it still ran 20 yds, cleared a barbed wire fence and went 30 yds into deep woodland. It did leave a good blood trail and I did find it after a good search.

    Is this normal behaviour for roe, or should I be using a different bullet. I know that beasts drop immediately with a head or neck shot, but shooting off sticks in close proximity to woods is I am sure a recipe for disaster - I really would not want to have a wounded beast on my hands.

    I do like the 100gn as it is accurate and I am technically legal for reds as well, but should I be looking at a differnet brand of ammo / differnet bullet

    I have tried the federel soft point in the past - but the Heym doesn't like them.

  2. #2
    Hi Heym,
    Deer are all different, some will run! I use a 243 with Sako 120 gr soft nose, very nice bullets. My last Roe buck ran 100m, from a 80metre heart shot. Its only my opinion but a good safe shot well placed is what is important, if you can do that, whats the problem?
    Best rifle bullet combo I've used on Roe is 6.5x55 with a 156gr soft nosed. Always dropped on the spot, very little damage.

  3. #3
    In general a deer will run between 5 and 100m when shot heart/lung irrispective of bullet/caliber choice. They will drop immediately when a shot is through or very close to the spine/brain.
    The animal that drops to the shot is the one that needs close follow up, dont wait go up to it quickly with the expectaion of shooting again.


  4. #4
    Thnaks for your comments - interested to hear that the 6.5x55 doesnt do much meat damage - certainly the .243 leaves quite a big exit hole and bruising. What sort of damage do the 120gn Sako 243 bullets leave?

  5. #5
    I agree with your post Mark, but personally I find a high heart shot has the same effect.

  6. #6
    Sako 243 120gr are rather well behaved. I prefer a heavy bullet 120 upwards for Roe. I butchered a Roe for a friend the other day and thought that the damage made by his 308 was rather heavy, we couldn't use the front legs or ribs at all. But that could have been any number of things.
    IMHO I like 243 120 or 140gr or 6.5x55 140 or 156 on Roe.

    Its all down to personal choice at the end of the day!

    This is my 243rd post, thats an omen!

  7. #7
    RWS T mantel are very soft soft-points and tend to over-expand. In 243 try the Sako or other premium bullet and go a little heavier to reduce velocity.


  8. #8

    bullet choice for roe

    120 grain in a 6mm bullet. thats very heavy, the bullet must look like a pencil and your twist rate must be very fast.

    I have a .30-06 which i have shot a number of roe with i use 150 gr soft points and i find this nearly always drops the deer dead on the spot.

    I also have a .243 win which i have used 80, 87 and 100 grain bullets of various types. the most recent was hornadies interlock. psp (2450). I have found that none of these knock over the deer anything like as well as the .30-06.

    I know it is "head above the parapet" stuff but i would not recomend a .243win to anyone for a deer rifle. It is a good foxing round. I know lots of guys use them for deer.

    I have now bought a 7mm08 which i am yet to shoot a deer with.


  9. #9
    I use a 243win on roe with Hornady 100gn SST bullets this drops them one the spot no problem, it has nailed Sika stags were they stand in the rut also. In fact I got fed up with the bang flop scenario, because it meant my deer dog was not getting any runners to trail.

    I find high heart drops them on the spot, but not all deer read the books I have seen gut shot deer fall dead no the spot when hit in the kidneys, small intestine shot ones run only 25yrds before dieing, and neck shot roe with a 308 150gn bullet run near on 700 yrds. So don’t expect them all to do exactly as the book says, heart shot deer running 100yrds is not un-common especially if he is aware of your presence.

    Personally I think that a 243 is the ideal roe round, not for any ballistic advantages it has but because this is the biggest calibre I can shoot and still see the bullet strike. It is easily up to the job of roe, I would look to getting your self a trained dog before you get a bigger calibre.




  10. #10
    i've shot 2 bucks this year. the most recent with a 95gn winchester silvertip @ 100m off bipod (see trophy room, exit wound is visible). this dropped on the spost like a lead baloon - but it was not alerted of our presence.

    the first was shot at 87m off sticks with a 100gn t-mantel - shot a bit far back and the bullet glanced off a rib, came out of the bottom (big hole - lots of guts). two successive follow up shots grounded it (one in the gut, one through the spine). it was finished off with a knife across the back of the neck by the stalker on the estate.

    both were .243 calibre and both have the same zero out of the pro-hunter mountain.

    i pay £26 for 20 t-mantel and £30 for 20 silvertip.

    i just bumped into a guy who uses 55gn silvertip homeloads at 200 fps over factory velocity, head/neck shot only!

    i will stick with the chest shots for now.

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