Video: Best Remington Core-Lokt Deer Shot

rem core lokt

The bullet that has killed more deer than other turned 75 years old in 2014. Serious gun writers with more knowledge of ballistic coefficients and terminal performance than me say that the iconic Remington Core-Lokt produces good accuracy in most center-fire rifles and “typically sheds considerable weight during expansion and penetration, which quickens the death of an animal.”

While I might not have as much ballistics knowledge as those gun writers, I have more field and hunting experience than most of them. I have shot dozens and dozens of whitetails and mule deer (and one blacktail) over the years with 140- to 180-grain Core-Lokts, both the soft-point and pointed-soft-points. The shock and knockdown power of these bullets are impressive. They kill deer hard.

Never is that more evident than in this video (below) we shot up in Saskatchewan. I am proud to say this is the quickest, cleanest and most ethical buck kill in all my years of hunting. I was shooting a Model 700 in .30-06 and using a standard 165-grain Core-Lokt. Keep in mind that this was a big-boned, heavy-muscled, 250-pound Canadian brute.

Is this one of the quickest and cleanest kills you’ve seen? And see the steam shoot out the deer? It was below zero that day.

Rifle Hunt: How Far to Shoot a Deer?

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One time I shared a camp out West with a gun writer of some repute. He was retired military and rough around the edges, but a nice enough fellow and well-schooled in literature, politics and firearms/ballistics in particular. Having fired hundreds of rifles and a zillion test rounds over the years, the guy couldn’t hear squat, but he could shoot.

I watched and spotted for him as he sighted his 7mm Mag. at 100 yards. I was impressed with his 1/2-inch groups, and I told him so.

A couple days later he dragged in a nice mule deer buck. “How far?” somebody asked randomly.

“542 yards,” the scribe bellowed proudly. He had missed with his first 2 “test” shots, but with his guide spotting the bullets as they kicked up prairie dust, the dude finally nailed the elevation and windage. He held a foot in front of the deer and over its spine, and plunked that third bullet smack into the lungs.

I was not impressed, and I told him so. I don’t care who you are, how experienced a rifleman you are, or how many thousands you spent on a rifle, scope and ammo. Nobody needs to be shooting at a warm-blooded critter more than 5 football fields away. I know long-range shooting is all the rage today, and that’s fine on the range, and fun. But not on deer!

My max is 300 yards…and then that is even far for me, especially when I’m striving to make a clean and ethical kill on TV. In HD, you can see the bullet part the hair on a buck. I want that bullet to be perfect on the shoulder, or almost so, every time—pressure man.

I ask you, how far is too far to shoot at a deer with a rifle? What is your max range?

Muzzleloader: How Temperature, Air Affect Rifles & Loads

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Toby Bridges of the North American Muzzleloading Association is an expert on blackpowder rifles and loads. Here is some new info from Toby that will help you sight-in, shoot and hunt better:

“Temperature is one variable that affects muzzleloader performance.  So are changes in the humidity and elevation. I almost always obtain the best and most consistent accuracy with saboted bullets when shooting at temperatures from about 40 to 60 degrees. Here in Montana, I’m lucky that through most of June I can still get in several hours of shooting early in the morning with temperatures still in the upper 40s and into the 50s.

Even in early July, I can drive up to 5,000 or so feet and shoot for a couple of hours before temperatures break into the 60s. Up there, I have noticed how another 2,000-plus feet of additional elevation tends to make the rifles and loads I shoot print a little higher than down at 3,000 feet where my personal shooting range is located.

Most days when I shoot, the humidity level is 25-35 percent. However, I often drive out to my range on calm, rainy days when humidity levels are 90-100 percent to check how the increase in air moisture affects my rifles and loads. In higher humidity, the loads print just a bit lower than normal.

Here’s a link to my 2014 “50 Consecutive Shot Test.” Nothing special was done to either of the two rifles I used for the test.  Each of them had been shot 300 to 400 times prior to the test session. The loading components (sabots & bullets) were straight out of the packaging, and the charges of Blackhorn 209 were volume-measured right at the range.

Two contributing factors to the accuracy I enjoyed (1.285”): the entire shooting test took place with temperatures ranging from 38 to 56 degrees…and each rifle barrel was allowed to fully cool down before reloading.

I haven’t done much muzzleloader hunting the last couple of years, but I’m planning to this fall. What about you?

NRA Mag Names Remington Model 783 “Rifle of the Year”


In bestowing the honor on the Model 783 American Hunter (May 2014) said: “Here’s a case where top-tier performance comes at a bargain price…a big-game rifle showcasing accuracy, dependability and a retail price of only $451.”

Having carried two Model 783s (a .30-06 in fall 2012 and a .270 last season) countless miles in mountains and woods, I can attest to the dependability and especially the accuracy of this no-frills but hard-working rifle. I noted how surprisingly fine my Model 783 in .30-06 shot in this review I wrote a year ago…and I had even better accuracy results with the .270 I used last year.

I sighted-in the .270 Model 783 (topped w/the fine Trijicon Accupoint 3X-9X scope) on a cold, snowy bench in Saskatchwewan last November. The temperature was minus 5 and there was some wind. My first 130-grain Remington Bronze Point cut the target about an inch high. My second shot (I just watched the TV footage and have close-up proof) clipped the first hole. I stopped right there, having shot a 100-yard group of like .1 in brutal outside conditions.

As outstanding as that accuracy was, I decided to use my second rifle, a Remington Model 700 in .30-06, on that hunt. I wanted the added power of a 150-grain bullet for those heavy, gnarly Canadian bucks.


But I did use the sweet-shooting Model 783 in.270 on several hunts later in the season, and shot a couple of great bucks with the 130-grain Bronze Point, including the North Texas Panhandle beauty pictured above. You can watch the action on BIG DEER TV later this summer and fall.

If you are in the market for a deer rifle you should check out the NRA’s Rifle of the Year. The Model 783 is available in .308, .270, .30-06 or 7mm Rem. Mag, so there’s the right caliber whether you hunt whitetails, mule deer, elk or a combo of the animals.



22LR: Why Still a Shortage?

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The ammo shortage of the last few years has gotten better, but why it is it still hard to find .22 LR in some places?

Three reasons, according to this Sierra Bullets blog.

Some gun owners are hoarding bricks of .22 in basements, garages and “prepper” bunkers, fearing they might not be able to get the ammo again in the near future–or ever. The blog’s writer, Matt Reams, says this is a “minor factor.” But I think it is a big factor. People know about President Obama’s and Holder’s views on guns (should I say hatred of) and then they envision 4 to 8 years of Hillary out there. No wonder people are hoarding ammo.

Then there are the gougers who prey on the anxiety of the hoarders. From the blog: These are the guys that wait in line at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. to buy up the daily allotment that Wal-Mart puts out at normal retail prices and then double or triple their price on the weekend gun show circuit ($75 to $100 a brick). Again, not a huge factor, but keeping the shelves looking empty which keeps the panic level higher for those that are looking.

But the main reason is good old supply and demand. Reams notes that there are conservatively 35 million gun owners in the U.S., and that number may be as high as 70-80 million. Many if not most of those people own at least one .22 rifle. Do you know any (of these owners) that are not looking for .22 LR ammo or would at least buy some if they saw it for normal prices? How many would they buy when they found it? A lot – right?

Reams points out that major ammunition manufacturers are running 24/7 on their rimfire lines, cranking out an estimated 25-30 million .22LR rounds PER DAY. And they still having trouble keeping up with the demand.

What about where you live and hunt? Can you get .22LR at normal prices, or is it still hard to come by?