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Hi Guys, A few months back, I got a Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel. I love this gun! Acurate and carries great. I find it quite versatile as a wilderness gun for backpacking, hiking, etc. I'd like to try hunting with it this fall (in Pennsylvania) for deer. When I carry it backpacking in bear country, I load it with Buffalo Bore 180gr hardcast (which the Ruger tames very well!) How do you feel about this load for deer? Would it be too much penetration with a non expanding bullet? I'd prefer to use the most powerful ammunition possible, but don't want over/under penetration due to bullet type. I don't handload, so I wish Buffalo Bore or Doubletap made a 158gr soft tip with their respective 'maximization' of the cartridge (somewhere in the 600+ ft/lbs range). Any ideas? How do you feel about 158gr bonded hollowpoints, would they expand too soon? Thanks for any info.
 

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If you have confidence in this load for your current needs, it will certainly convert deer to venison if the shot is placed correctly. I see no need to find several other loads, go through a testing procedure, have to re-zero your sights, and then switch back later. Just use the load you use now. I can see your concern about under penetration; no danger of that with the load you're using. As for over-penetration, I'm not sure two holes (entrance and exit) are such a bad thing when hunting. It's not like self-defense in a shopping mall, where there may be other folks behind the target (you're not hunting at the local zoo, are you?); a hunter can usually take the needed care to keep the shooting angle safe even if the bullet exits (at a much lower speed). If you're hunting from a stand, you can even pre-determine safe shooting lanes and no-shoot zones.

Now, on the other hand, if you have the time/money and are just looking for a reason to shoot some more....then go for it! :mrgreen:
 

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Most serious handgun hunters use a lead bullet with a large meplate. Although their are some good hollowpoints and good softpoints that do the job. I would not be too concerned about energy/velocity. As long as you put the bullet where it needs to go you will harvest your game.
 

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Hopefully you are a hand-loader. If you are use either the 158 gr. Hornady XTP or a Nosler JHP and a suitable powder charge to get about 1300 fps from your barrel length, it will get the job done. However keep the shots at well under 50 yds & place the bullet carefully in the chest region. With a 6" barrel, Alliant Blue Dot, 2400, or Winchester 296 would be good for that bullet weight & barrel length.
 
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