Best Bullet for Deer in 308

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Since its inception in the market in 1952, the 308 has gradually captured the hearts of many rifle shooters.  Its roots run deep in the hunting scene, and its popularity in this genre has seen to their high reputation across the world for their excellent and reliable performance in deer hunting. It is from their favor that the question, which is the best bullet for deer in 308, arose.

It is chambered across most rifle models, including tactical bolt-actions and also modern rifles. This aspect also contributes to their preference over other valuable cartridges that also get the job done. For those interested in deer hunting, there are dozens of bullets compatible with this cartridge explicitly made to tackle the said application.

This article focuses on three of the best options available to pair up with a 308 to make an effective combination for deer hunting. Since the list is endless, we had to fore-go some of which you may argue to be the best. Check out my top three picks:

Three of the Best Bullet for Deer in 308

Barnes 130-Grain TSX BT

It is no surprise to have this 130-grain bullet from Barnes topping our list. A significant number of verified purchases have left a five-star rating this all copper projectile because of its spectacular performance. Whenever you hear of a gold-standard combination in deer hunting, the Barnes 130-grain is always paired with a 308 cartridge.

Without a doubt, it is an excellent performer that is a force to reckon with its minimal recoil impact. Since it is a heavy grain, we expect a substantial feel upon its muzzle departure; however, its build design accommodates the energy. It also boasts of top velocities, almost reaching 3300 fps in collaboration with a flat trajectory projectile. The bullet can fly straight to its target in wide-open areas, hitting it hard, hard enough for immediate incapacitation.

Its monolithic build is responsible for all the velocity and weight retention observed in this bullet. It can retain more than half of its muzzle speed on long-range attempts, and even better on shorter ranges.  This performance equals deep and precise penetrations that gravely injure the target. It also features grooves on its exterior, which act as friction reducers and, in return, improve the accuracy of the projectile.

However, it’s ballistic coefficient is a sight to frown upon, as they reflect poor performance. This is only on paper; high muzzle velocities tend to correct this poor performance on the field.


  • It is effective and efficient
  • Has a muscular build.


  • It only features a hand-loading option.

Hornady 150-Grain SST

The “SST” in the Hornady 150-grain stands for its build design, which is Super Shock Tip. It is explicit to hunting, not only deer’s but also other medium and large-sized game. Its potency is enough to take down a 1500 lbs. target. It is a personal favorite from its looks to its dependable and pleasant results.

The Hornady 150-grain bullet is a flat shooting trajectory that effectively exits the muzzle at terrific speeds and retains it until impact. Immediately on impact, it takes a turn on its approach as its sharp red tip penetrates and expands quickly, causing severe damage to the target. Depending on the target’s size, larger prey will incur lesser impairment compared to a smaller one.

Its exquisite design features an ogive build complemented by a sharp point. With this body formation, it can eliminate a significant amount of inflight drag, attaining a much stable path. The jacket is held together with a cannelure and an additional interlock ring to moderate its expansion once it hits the target.


  • It features an exquisite design.
  • Incredibly accurate.

Nosler 165-Grain Partition

Nosler is not a new name to the hunting gurus; in fact, we may be correct to term it as a significant brand in firearm accessories manufacturing. It is from this 165 Grain partition bullet that they continue to ascertain dominance in the respective genre. If you are looking for an option confident enough to take down some of the most incredible deer species, here is your best bargain. It is explicit to big game hunting, and will not shy away even when facing a bear.

Its engineering includes a special lead-alloy that provides the projectile with extraordinary strength. On the other hand, its dual-core mechanism is responsible for the mushroom characteristics observed in-flight and after penetration. 

The present partitions function is to aid in the expansion of the front segment and, at the same time, hold the rear part intact even after penetrating the target. From its curly design to its premium build-up components, this is one bullet you can never go wrong with.


  • It features unique engineering, thereby enhancing the effectiveness 
  • Very reliable.


  • It is toxic.

Frequently Asked Questions

At What Distance Should my 308 be Zeroed in?

I recommend that you zero in your 308 at approximately 200 yards. According to most expert shooters and 308 cartridge manufacturers, this is the ideal distance. Note that at 100 yards, your trajectory will be two inches higher, and at greater than 200 yards, it will be lower. However, it is all dependent on your muzzle velocity and weight of the bullet.

What is the Maximum Effective Range of a 308?

Depending on your target, the 308 has enough potency to take down objects as far as 600-800 yards. The higher range is for large-sized targets, which provide more surface area, while the lesser degree is for smaller ones.


There is no doubt that the 308 is a fit for deer hunting and with the right bullet, you can achieve extraordinary results that may exceed your expectations. Considering the above options first, before searching for other alternatives, will save you a lot of time and resources and give you ultimate performance.

Well, come on, grab your rifle, it’s time to take down the deer!

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