Ammunition choice is critical to Mike Robinson. He’s a deer manager, and wants to achieve reliable, quick, humane, one-shot kills on the deer he shoots. But he’s also a chef and restauranteur, so it’s important to minimise any wastage of meat or carcass contamination. That’s why he uses just two Hornady rounds in both his 6.5 Creedmoor rifles.
The first is the 120 grain GMX Superperformance. This is a one-piece copper alloy bullet with high weight retention. “It’s basically a fragment-free bullet, and it doesn’t contain any lead,” Mike explains. “It’s very fast – it does around 3,050 feet per second out of my 22 inch barrel. And it’s very accurate. These factory rounds shoot a ragged hole the size of a thumbnail at 150 yards.”
“I mostly shoot my deer in the neck with these, and they drop on the spot. But on a recent trip to Scotland I was using them on wild red stags at ranges of 120 to 200 yards, using body shots just behind the shoulder, and not one of those stags went more than 10-15 yards.”
“So they work really well, and from a chef’s perspective they don’t leave a great trail of devastation through the carcass, and they don’t leave fragments of lead. Whatever your thoughts on lead vs non-lead, that’s an issue for me when I’m serving customers with my own venison.”
“Certainly if you’re thinking of moving away from lead ammunition, I can’t recommend the Hornady GMX highly enough. They may cost a little more, but if you’re shooting one deer for one cartridge, the difference is negligible.”
For longer range shooting, Mike switches to another Hornady round, the 143 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter. ELD stands for Extremely Low Drag, meaning this bullet has a very high ballistic coefficient. It has a lead core, and at longer ranges it mushrooms to give excellent stopping power with high weight retention.
“This is a phenomenal round,” says Mike. “It’s gentle to shoot, predictable when you’re dialling the scope, exceptionally accurate, and amazing in the wind. Plus it doesn’t do horrendous damage, it punches a hole.”
Finally for rabbits and the like, Mike uses Hornady 17 grain V-Max ammo in his .17HMR rifle. “I find these very consistent,” he says. “I don’t get misfires, and they are highly accurate. With small game I always try to place my bullet in the head or the neck, as a body shot can make a mess. They have very little recoil, and put the animal down instantly. They can make a bit of noise, but with a moderator that’s not a problem.”
“So there we are, that’s my three kinds of ammo of choice – all phenomenally great!”
Find out more at the Hornady website.