The Best bullet for Roe Deer

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
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.


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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.


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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.


Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
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?


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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! :D

This is my 243rd post, thats an omen! :eek:


Well-Known Member
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.



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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.



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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. :cry:

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.




Offroad Gary

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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.

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
On a similar vein, does any find that our friend the Muntjac is the best “dead on his legs” runner of the woods.
I predominantly shoot munties and find they are very tuff little animals and it never ceases to amaze me that maybe only one in 10 will drop on the spot even with a perfect shot. Also there skin is far thicker and tougher than that of the roe or fallow. In my experience with roe they nearly always drop on the spot.

Just for the record I use 80g soft point federal. Finishing the box and thought I would try the Remington accutip in 95g as advertised on the back of the BDS mag. Interested to see what the meat damage will be.



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Sorry I meant 120gr 243 Sako, or 140 and 156gr in 6.5x55. Anyway they go down and don't get back up! As for meat damage, very little.

Andy L

Well-Known Member
I find that my Sauer will not handle anything over 95 grain well. The Grouping starts to go off. I think it has a 9:1 twist.
I have also just bought some of the Remington Accutip in 95 grain. I have a few of my Hornady to use up first so if you get to try them soon, 2428 miles, then let me know how you get on please. Cheers

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the responses and good to hear that I ma not doing anything particularly wrong, nor indeed that there is anything particularly better than what I am suing in terms of bullets etc. Will give Hornaday's or the Sako bullets a try, but do feel that not essential to change and if they don't group as well then probably will stick with what I am using.

Thinking back, the one buck that fell instantly was grazing quietly in a hay field, and in fact quietly walked towards me - well camoflaged, but trying to stay still whilst being eaten by midges was another story. He didn't have a clue that I was there and still doesn't

Of the others, the first one was in hot pursuit of a doe so his adrenalin was certainly up and the other two were aware of that I was there.

The first was a big buck with a very good head and would put up a piccie if I knew how to. It got a bronze medal at the Scottish Game Fair. When I suggested I wanted his head fully mounted, the mgmt told me that my head would be mounted alongside! She is pretty understanding, lets me buture a beast in the kitchen and sends me out when the venison stocks are getting low. I can't complain

Yes will be getting a dog at some point, but I do live in a flat in the middle of town, so not overly fair to keep one.


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The last 3 roe I shot all fell on the spot, the middle one knew I was there as I had just shot his mate, a 150grain 7mm would appear to take no prisoners.

before I used a 243 with 100grain, and only the neck shot ones dropped.


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No Beowulf made a mistake and pointed it out in another thread, but thanks anyway. Beowulf uses 100grain Sako soft points in his 243, the last Buck he shot was with a quartering shot at 80 yards. The bullet destroyed the liver, lungs and heart and the deer somersaulted backwards and died on the spot!


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this is indeed a dilemma, you want a bullet that does maximum damage but does not destroy edible meat, such an animal does not exist!
The bang flop scenario that you seek, comes about by the sudden lack of blood to the brain which causes unconsciousness,this is caused by disruption of major arteries,the animal is then unable to recover from the trauma caused by the bullet.
Almost all of the deer that drop to the bang flop are not dead, but in the stages of dying.
The only deer that are dead on the spot, are shot in the head!!
If you are not bothered about losing a bit of meat, then pin shoot them, that will stope them running..

The 243 is cerainly one of the best calibers for the smaller deer, plenty of big stags have even been shot with this caliber.All of our native deer are classed as thin skinned, non more so than the muntjac,I don't know who it was that suggested that the 243 was marginal and that muntjac are thick skinned,but that info should be binned..


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I use 85gr Federal Premium BTHP straight from the factory and they do the job no probs! Farthest runner so far went only 15yards or so and dropped before it reached cover. The same round also copes well with fallow, again so far, though I try to pick my shots with care, getting in a bit closer and all that.
For bigger stuff I would definitely consider a heavier round, .308 perhaps, but that might have to wait to be next year's pressie to myself, at present I'm more than happy with the .243 for what I do, maybe using a "boy's gun" keeps me young at heart. :lol: