Skip to main content

6 Deer Hunting Ammo Options in the Most Popular Calibers

Whatever your deer-hunting caliber of choice is, from the iconic .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester to the popular 6.5 Creedmoor, this roundup has all your ammunition needs covered.

6 Deer Hunting Ammo Options in the Most Popular Calibers

As the 2019-20 deer hunting season approaches across the country, a visit to your local Academy Sports + Outdoors store — or to academy.com — is definitely on any hunter’s to-do list.

Why? Because from the latest in camouflage clothing, to the newest treestands and deer blinds, to a new rifle or scope for the upcoming season, Academy is your one-stop shopping source for all things related to deer hunting.

And that includes getting a box of shells for the deer rifle — top rounds that will get the job done when the buck of a lifetime steps out and an unused deer tag is burning a hole in your camouflaged back pocket.

That being said, the deer hunting ammunition market is a crowded field. How do you take the guesswork out of buying a top round (one that will sight in easily and perform well at camp)? Fortunately, the folks at Academy have helped take some of the uncertainty out of this decision by suggesting the following rounds for some of deer hunting’s most popular calibers.


6.5 Creedmoor

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in recent years, you probably know that the 6.5 Creedmoor is one of the hottest calibers on the deer hunting gun market these days. And when a hunter loads that rifle up with the Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter cartridge, the result is a winning package that is more than worthy for your deer camp, lease, or farm.


hornady-eld-x-precision-hunter-65-creedmoor-143-grain-rifle-ammunition.jpg

Utilizing a 143-grain ELD-X bullet that comes with Hornady’s Heat Shield tip, this 6.5 Creedmoor round comes in 20-round boxes at Academy Sports + Outdoors. Once out in the field, the round helps hunters achieve terrific terminal end performance when that big buck steps out 250 yards away at last legal-shooting light. With high-end propellants and primers, the results of this Hornady round are as deadly accurate and consistent in the field as they are on the practice range at the bench.

.308 Winchester

Another outstanding round from this perennial American ammunition maker, the Hornady Outfitter in .308 Winchester is a 165-grain bullet that brings a lot to the 20-round box it is sold in.

hornady-outfitter-308-winchester-165-grain-gmx-rifle-ammunition.jpg

These nickel-plated cases resist corrosion along with a watertight seal being delivered by the sealed case-mouth and primer. With the Outfitter’s monolithic copper alloy bullet construction, the result is a controlled expansion and solid weight retention of the round downrange. That results in deep bullet penetration, which will help you quickly put down the big, burly buck of your dreams.

.30-06 Springfield

Perhaps the most iconic deer rifle caliber of all time in America, the .30-06 Springfield still finds itself in many deer blinds and treestands all across the country each fall.If you’re carrying this classic deer hunting rifle, you probably know that there are a myriad of possible bullet options. One of the best is the Winchester Deer Season XP in the 150-grain bullet option.


winchester-deer-season-xp-30-06-springfield-150-grain-rifle-ammo.jpg

With a large diameter polymer-tipped bullet featuring a contoured jacket, this round brings 2,920 fps muzzle velocity and 2,839 ft.-lb. muzzle energy to the table. Thanks to its streamlined profile, this offering from Winchester offers terrific ballistic performance downrange. Sold in 20-round boxes, this alloyed lead core bullet expands rapidly upon impact, delivers plenty of lethal power, and offers superb penetration on deer-sized big game.

.243 Winchester

Initially designed as a varmint/target kind of round, the .243 Winchester is a great deer hunting rifle for youngsters, women, and anyone looking to reduce the pounding of recoil upon the shoulder.

sierra-gamechanger-243-winchester-90-grain-rifle-ammo.jpg

But make no mistake about it, the .243 isn’t kid stuff as a deer hunting round these days, thanks in great part to rounds like the Sierra GameChanger in 90-grain option, which you can find at Academy Sports + Outdoors.


With 20 rounds per box, this is high-end deer hunting ammunition from the Sierra Bullets folks — the Bulletsmiths, as they are also known. These lighter rounds are still able to deliver a knockout blow at deer camp when a big trophy buck steps into a clearing.

.270 Winchester

Famed gun writer Jack O’Connor loved the .270 — it was his favorite caliber, a round that he used to dispatch game all over North America and even Africa.

A neck-downed version of the .30-06 Springfield mentioned above, the .270 is still an all-American round today, delivering a reasonably flat-shooting, hard-hitting round that is perfect for many big-game animals including the white-tailed deer.

hornady-superperformance-sst-270-winchester-130-grain-ammo.jpg

While some pass on the .270 for newer calibers like the 6.5 Creedmoor, the gun remains one of the best with plenty of great ammunition options like the Hornady Superperformance SST in a 130-grain bullet made just for the timeless cartridge.

With 3,190 fps muzzle velocity and 2,937 ft.-lb. muzzle energy, this is a hard-hitting option that is sold in 20-round boxes at Academy. Designed for large game from the white-tail on up, the Super Shock Tip bullet delivers quite a wallop despite the grain weight.

.30-30 Winchester

No discussion of American deer hunting calibers would be complete without the brush-busting .30-30 lever-action round created a century ago.

Another iconic cartridge, the .30-30 was developed in the late 1800s for the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle. Still in use today, the bullet is an excellent choice in dense eastern and southern woods where brush busting is a way of deer hunting life.

federal-premium-buckmasters-bonded-soft-point-150-grain-rifle-ammo.jpg

With the Federal Premium Buckmasters Bonded Soft Point in a 150-grain offering, there’s nothing small or lightweight about this hard-hitting round.

Sold in 20-round boxes, this bullet offering from Federal Premium brings skived bullets featuring a boattail design and molecularly fused jackets. That’s nothing more than a fancy way of saying that this bullet performs — and then some — in the deer woods.

Whatever your caliber choice, Academy Sports + Outdoors has your deer hunting ammunition needs covered this fall. Whether it’s one of the rounds mentioned above or one of the many others that are found on the shelves of your local Academy store, stop by and find what you need for your next white-tail adventure into the American deer hunting woods.

Advertisement

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

This recipe adds a little something extra to already-perfect venison backstrap – a sweet and spicy relish made with white-flesh peaches.Venison Backstrap with Sweet & Spicy Peach Relish Recipe Recipes

Venison Backstrap with Sweet & Spicy Peach Relish Recipe

Jack Hennessy

This recipe adds a little something extra to already-perfect venison backstrap – a sweet and...

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd? Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.Why Freezer Burn Matters Recipes

Why Freezer Burn Matters

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

As the season approaches, fulfill all your ammo needs at Academy Sports + Outdoors!6 Deer Hunting Ammo Options in the Most Popular Calibers Ammo

6 Deer Hunting Ammo Options in the Most Popular Calibers

Lynn Burkhead

As the season approaches, fulfill all your ammo needs at Academy Sports + Outdoors!

Sig's focus for the past 18 months has been developing hunting ammunition.Review: Sig Sauer Elite Performance Ammo

Review: Sig Sauer Elite Performance

Joe Arterburn - March 31, 2020

Sig's focus for the past 18 months has been developing hunting ammunition.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is the most popular cartridge in hunting, but medium bores are still deadly as ever.Medium-Bore Cartridges for Big-Game Hunting Ammo

Medium-Bore Cartridges for Big-Game Hunting

Keith Wood

The 6.5 Creedmoor is the most popular cartridge in hunting, but medium bores are still deadly...

Strolling down the ammunition aisle at your local gun shop will reveal a multitude of differentHistory and Development of Hunting Bullets Ammo

History and Development of Hunting Bullets

Phil Massaro - August 14, 2018

Strolling down the ammunition aisle at your local gun shop will reveal a multitude of different

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now