There are many good reasons to seek a new hunting load.  Maybe it’s a new rifle or an opportunity to hunt new game.  Maybe you’re just getting started in big game hunting.  Maybe in the ammunition pinch you can’t find your old favorite.  For the upcoming season, it’s high time to start your search.  A logical approach assures you’ll find the right one.

For varmints, a bullet must provide rapid expansion on impact with a small, soft target.  It doesn’t need to penetrate much since the widest coyote is only 8 inches thick.  Bullets like Hornady’s Varmint, V-Max and Z-Max provide this kind of performance.  However, if you’re hunting for fur you want a non-expanding bullet like a full metal jacket (FMJ) to minimize pelt damage.

Dangerous game animals like cape buffalo are huge with thick hide and heavy bones.  They require large caliber bullets (.375 and up) which don’t expand.  These “solids” rely on penetration and already substantial diameter for stopping power.  Other dangerous game with thinner skin requires bullets that will expand, but also penetrate deeply.  Hornady’s DGS and DGX handle these needs.

Large big game includes species like moose and big bear in North America and some of the larger plains game species in Africa like the eland and kudu.  Mid-sized big game is what most of us hunt.  On the light end are pronghorn; at the heavy end elk and black bear.  Right in the middle is the most popular– white-tailed deer.

Bullet designs for large and medium big game are similar.  Generally, bigger animals are hunted with larger calibers and magnum cartridges where deer-sized critters are hunted with slightly smaller calibers in standard cartridges – with lots of crossover. The ultimate big game bullet delivers controlled expansion with deep penetration across a wide range of velocities.

Hornady’s core big game bullets are the InterBond and the InterLock.  They are available for all standard and magnum big game cartridges.  The InterBond features a bonded core and streamlined design to deliver flat trajectories, deep penetration, and 90%+ weight retention.  The InterLock is designed with an InterLock ring to hold the core and jacket together.

Bullet choice is easiest when the manufacturer puts the name of the game right on the box!  Such is Hornady American Whitetail Ammo.  These loads range from .223 Rem. through .300 Win. Mag. loaded with InterLock Bullets at velocities optimized for mid-sized big game.