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Q:
What is the cheapest centerfire rifle cartridge that I can use for deer hunting?

Question by Fabio. Uploaded on December 21, 2010

Answers (15)

Top Rated
All Answers
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

You do realize that cheap ain't always effective don't you? That being said, good old green box Remington loaded with the plain old Remington Core-Lokts is inexpensive and it works!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

My uncle uses a semi-custom AR-15 in .223 to deer hunt. .223 is relatively cheap and can be found anywhere.

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

After I re-read your question I'm not sure I gave you the answer you are looking for.

The 30/30 Winchester probably has the cheapest ammo around. It is usually sold under cost as a lost leader to get customers in a store.

30/06 & .270 are also on the lower end of the cost scale.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

If you shoot so many deer that you cannot afford to buy premium ammo, you should turn yourself in to the Game Warden.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from upnorthmn wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

I like the 30/30. i can get a box of 170 core lokt for $12 at wally world. im putting in for a bear lottery this spring and will be using that combo on some black bears thats been busting up my bird feeders.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

try reloading your own ammo. much cheaper that way, but do your homework.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

7.62x54R. 203gr. soft-points are about $.50 a piece on sportsmansguide.com. That's plenty of power and exspansion to take deer. Also, Mosin-Nagants can also be bought for little money, and are easily accurate enough to make vital shots on deer.

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from Ed J wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Reload the 30/30, cast your own bullets from wheel weights (you can usually get them for free at a tire shop).
Be sure you hit a bone when you shoot, that way you can recover the bullet, melt it down and recast it ($0.0 cost for bullet if you reuse it).
Total cost;$0.0 bullet,$.o1 or so for the primer,$.05 for the powder =$0.06 each.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Phil1227 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

you can get 223 ammo cheap but i don't recommend it for deer

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from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Most deer hunting ammo is not especially cheap but is pretty economical. You can expect to pay $15-$25 dollars for a box of 20 cartridges. If you shoot three a year, they will last you for six or seven years at an annual cost of a Big Mac. The cheap military ammo is typically full metal jacket or tracer ammo and it is not good for hunting because it pokes a needle sized hole and doesn't do enough damage to be fatal or starts a forrest fire. I agree with James and Ed that reloading your own ammo will be the cheapest by far if you intend to shoot a lot. .223 reloads cost about .25 cents a round for top grade ammo vs a dollar a round for cheap factory ammo. I can load my .375 H&H for about .50 a round versus $4 per round with factory ammo.

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from lawman328 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

7.62x39 SKS, AK-47, and the Mini 30, my kids have taken three deer with my SKS all one shot kills, one was 116yds with open sights.
Ammo is very cheap heck the SKS 15 years ago only cost like $79. I think the rounds I have for it are 154Gr soft points.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Ed J -
That is a riot. I like your sense of humor. And that is also the best honest answer I've read in a long time. Nice work! I hope Fabio gets his deer with one shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

The one that fits in the chamber of the rifle you already own. Pricey ammo that requires the purchase of a rifle...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Don't put all of your eggs in the "cheapest" basket. You can buy a box of .22 Hornet ammo or some elcheapo import stuff for a bigger caliber and be legal in some areas, but that hardly makes it deer material. Please combine adequate ballistics with economics.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Keith Costley wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

If you are looking for economical over-the-counter rifle ammunition, I would like to suggest that you go to your local Walmart and purchase a box or two of Federal non-premium projectiles. Three months ago, I purchased three boxes of 30.06 Federal Powershok ammunition for just over $13 a box. If you scour the internet, you may possibly find ever cheaper ammunition than that. Sometimes when you purchase bulk ammunition, you can get some pretty good deals. You just have to do the math when you are trying to figure out wheter you are getting a good deal or not. The same thing is true when you are buying groceries, etc.,. A lot of it depends if you are purchasing ammunition for hunting or just for target shooting. They are not always one in the same.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

After I re-read your question I'm not sure I gave you the answer you are looking for.

The 30/30 Winchester probably has the cheapest ammo around. It is usually sold under cost as a lost leader to get customers in a store.

30/06 & .270 are also on the lower end of the cost scale.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

You do realize that cheap ain't always effective don't you? That being said, good old green box Remington loaded with the plain old Remington Core-Lokts is inexpensive and it works!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Don't put all of your eggs in the "cheapest" basket. You can buy a box of .22 Hornet ammo or some elcheapo import stuff for a bigger caliber and be legal in some areas, but that hardly makes it deer material. Please combine adequate ballistics with economics.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

try reloading your own ammo. much cheaper that way, but do your homework.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ed J wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Reload the 30/30, cast your own bullets from wheel weights (you can usually get them for free at a tire shop).
Be sure you hit a bone when you shoot, that way you can recover the bullet, melt it down and recast it ($0.0 cost for bullet if you reuse it).
Total cost;$0.0 bullet,$.o1 or so for the primer,$.05 for the powder =$0.06 each.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

The one that fits in the chamber of the rifle you already own. Pricey ammo that requires the purchase of a rifle...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

My uncle uses a semi-custom AR-15 in .223 to deer hunt. .223 is relatively cheap and can be found anywhere.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from upnorthmn wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

I like the 30/30. i can get a box of 170 core lokt for $12 at wally world. im putting in for a bear lottery this spring and will be using that combo on some black bears thats been busting up my bird feeders.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

7.62x54R. 203gr. soft-points are about $.50 a piece on sportsmansguide.com. That's plenty of power and exspansion to take deer. Also, Mosin-Nagants can also be bought for little money, and are easily accurate enough to make vital shots on deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Phil1227 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

you can get 223 ammo cheap but i don't recommend it for deer

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Most deer hunting ammo is not especially cheap but is pretty economical. You can expect to pay $15-$25 dollars for a box of 20 cartridges. If you shoot three a year, they will last you for six or seven years at an annual cost of a Big Mac. The cheap military ammo is typically full metal jacket or tracer ammo and it is not good for hunting because it pokes a needle sized hole and doesn't do enough damage to be fatal or starts a forrest fire. I agree with James and Ed that reloading your own ammo will be the cheapest by far if you intend to shoot a lot. .223 reloads cost about .25 cents a round for top grade ammo vs a dollar a round for cheap factory ammo. I can load my .375 H&H for about .50 a round versus $4 per round with factory ammo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lawman328 wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

7.62x39 SKS, AK-47, and the Mini 30, my kids have taken three deer with my SKS all one shot kills, one was 116yds with open sights.
Ammo is very cheap heck the SKS 15 years ago only cost like $79. I think the rounds I have for it are 154Gr soft points.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 16 weeks ago

Ed J -
That is a riot. I like your sense of humor. And that is also the best honest answer I've read in a long time. Nice work! I hope Fabio gets his deer with one shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Keith Costley wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

If you are looking for economical over-the-counter rifle ammunition, I would like to suggest that you go to your local Walmart and purchase a box or two of Federal non-premium projectiles. Three months ago, I purchased three boxes of 30.06 Federal Powershok ammunition for just over $13 a box. If you scour the internet, you may possibly find ever cheaper ammunition than that. Sometimes when you purchase bulk ammunition, you can get some pretty good deals. You just have to do the math when you are trying to figure out wheter you are getting a good deal or not. The same thing is true when you are buying groceries, etc.,. A lot of it depends if you are purchasing ammunition for hunting or just for target shooting. They are not always one in the same.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

If you shoot so many deer that you cannot afford to buy premium ammo, you should turn yourself in to the Game Warden.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer